The summer seemed to go by amazingly quick, mainly due to many highlights, the biggest of which was the seminar conducted by shaolin monk, Shifu Yuan Jing on the evening of Aug.18. He taught traditional drills, breathing exercises, philosophy and a form. It was a real honour to have him travel from his current residence in Toronto to our Academy for this memorable evening. I’ve attended many seminars during my 24 years in kung-fu and would definitely say that this was amongst the best! Having essentially grown up training at a shaolin temple in China, he displayed world class skill and instruction. The form we learned was quite technical and I thought those in attendance did a good job of learning the moves. Now the challenge will be to continue to train the form and improve it. All too often I see content learned in seminars get lost to a lack of training as the years progress. Shifu Yuan was impressed with the WKFA and said that he would like to return; let’s show our gratitude by diligently working the form in the meantime.
Our summer kicked off with one of our strongest Adult Novice II gradings in recent memory. Next we had our annual board breaking seminar on June 23 run by Sifu Daryl. It was another smash! Our Demonstration/Performance Teams had their usual busy calendar, performing at all of the Open Streets Uptown Waterloo events (including the upcoming Sept.14 date) plus DQ Miracle Treat Day. The Annual Summer Picnic held on Aug.24 at Kiwanis Park was another success, as fun was had by all!
For early risers, we’ve introduced Tues/Thurs 6am classes! There has been a small but dedicated group attending over the summer. I will monitor attendance throughout the fall with the hope it makes sense to continue with these new additions to our already full class schedule.
A lot of effort goes into this newsletter, which is another long standing tradition at the Academy. In order to make articles more accessible, they are now categorized and archived in the Students Corner section of the website. I firmly believe the quality of the content is one aspect that sets our Academy apart from others, so please invest the time to read.
Please check out the documentary video posted in the Our Leaders section of our website. Those familiar with it will note Sifu Busch’s commentary on the friendships he has made at WKFA over the years. I agree! This summer was a chance to welcome back two close friends of mine: Sifu Kevin and Sifu Rikin. Sifu Kevin was here for a month, visiting from Venice Beach (taking a pause in his pursuit to become a professional musician). Sifu Rikin returned at the end of the summer, after a long stretch studying to become a doctor – I’d like to congratulate him on recently passing his exam to become a pediatrician! Both of these sifus are friends I made early in my training and have kept throughout. I’m seeing the same familiar pattern among our younger students and it brings a smile to my face!
September always feels like the start to another year. I want to welcome all new students to the Academy. We have an exciting calendar planned, including a special seminar for our youth students on Oct.18, hosted by Sifu Patti. Our very popular Halloween party is on Oct.25. Gradings will be scheduled at regular intervals for all ranks from now until June – so plan ahead and train accordingly!