I find September always feels more like January with the thought of getting back to a more discipline routine. Taking July and August for some relaxation and travel was a very welcome change though. This season, my family and I put some serious kilometres (5,000+) on our new travel trailer, as we explored Ontario and Quebec. We took in this country’s vast and beautiful landscape, visiting family and friends as the five of us had some quality time to connect.
Working back from February’s Achilles tendon rupture, I learned the importance of setting a healing goal. While the doctor’s timeline wasn’t a full recovery until closer to Christmas, I had some other thoughts and this helped get me through this long stretch. Visualizing specific and realistic goals motivated me to stick to the often-tedious physio regime. In July, while exploring the Saguenay region of Quebec, with my 2-year old in a pack, I completed a hike with some serious elevation. Having this mobility felt especially satisfying after losing it for a chunk of the winter.
Near the start of our vacation, I was saddened to learn of the passing of my teacher’s teacher, Grand Master Pan. His influence on our Kung Fu style and the culture of our Academy cannot be understated. In one of our recent summer cinema nights at the Academy, we watched Talons of the Eagle, which stars him and includes, Sigung and Sifus Lloyd and Eric. The movie has a clip of our instructors performing the Ferocious Fist form, which is a major part of our curriculum. Grand Master Pan made a presentation at our 25th Anniversary and we are planning a tribute to him at our 30th Anniversary this Nov.12 at Golf’s (more on that event soon).
This summer our Demonstration Team has been very busy, including performances at all of the Open Streets events (where Sifu Isabelle was recently featured breaking boards on the cover of the Waterloo Chronicle). Our Lion Dance Team was also quite active, performing at three weddings. Special thanks to the team members, families and instructors that work tirelessly to make these teams triumph!
Sifu Anne and Sarah put in a tremendous amount of planning and energy into making WKFA’s first ever summer camps a huge success! I received a lot of positive feedback from the participants and their parents. They already have next year planned and I will get the dates to everyone soon!
For qualifying Youth/Junior students that trained consistently through the Summer, our first grading of the new season will be on Sept.30. We try and conduct them roughly every eight weeks into June. Please be patient and trust the instructors and I in our assessment with readiness for a rank. We’ve been doing this for a long time and have the best idea as to whether a student’s effort and skill is sufficient. Ranks at our Academy are earned; a slower progression leads to better quality Kung Fu. The same lesson is true for adults (the next grading is set for Oct.21).