Tiger Balm Internationals 2018
Last weekend our school had the honor of attending the 2018 Tiger Balm Internationals, our first tournament since the school opened 2 years ago. Two of our most dedicated students, Chad and Lee, took to the road with Sifu Falko to make our debut as representatives of Fu Jow Pai in the Northwest to the greater martial arts community. What a trip it was!
We embarked on a snowy drive over the mountain pass and a stop at Kuen Way to scope out some kung fu supplies. That night we treated ourselves to a hearty pre-fight dinner of authentic ramen with nourishing bone broth and a full night’s rest. The next morning we were up at 6, registered at 7:30, and had time to get warmed up with a hike through Lynn Valley Canyon to invigorate the energy and lungs with fresh mountain air.
Once the tournament began the guys got ready with some stretching, push-ups, and light matching hands. Divisions were called and the full contact Lei Tai/San Shou fighting began! Each fighter had 4 matches that day, a formidable amount of fighting comparable to a pro event. Chad and Lee fought with the ferocity of a tiger and did credit to the spirit of our style. Their opponents surely felt the power developed through arduous basics and conditioning in every strike.
Chad took 3rd place in the fighting, with Lee a close 4th. Afterwards Chad competed in forms and took 1st for Traditional Southern Style with a section from Fu Hok Seung Ying Kuen. Not bad after 4 full contact fights! All in all it was a tremendous debut for us and wonderful experience. We treated ourselves to a well-earned celebratory burger and pint, and enjoyed an epic evening seeing the sights and exploring the streets of Vancouver as the bruised up fighters continued on into the night with true kung fu fortitude. I returned the next day a proud and happy Sifu, renewed and inspired.