Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Power-Packed Martial Arts Night 2014!

On 6th August, the sports hall was abuzz with life. Students were clad in all sorts of martial arts robes, either pacing around the hall or chatting animatedly with other students dressed in a similar fashion. Meanwhile, everyone in the hall was getting ready for Martial Arts Night 2014. 

Martial Arts Night 2014
Martial Arts Night is an annual event planned by NYP’s martial arts committee. The significance of this event is to showcase each martial art’s specialty and perform the handing over ceremony for the new martial arts committee president. This year, the participating groups were: Wushu, Kendo, Taekwondo, Aikido, Judo, Silat and Kickboxing. 
We knew the event was about to start when loud cheers from everyone greeted the emcees as they walked on  stage. They introduced the event and the seven participating martial arts groups. This was followed by a video of the practice sessions of each group.

Next, the Guest-Of-Honour, Mr Chua Gim Peng, Director, Student Affairs, gave his opening address. 

“This memorable day allows us to appreciate various displays of Martial Arts. This event also strengthens the bonds between members of the various martial arts groups,” he reminded all present. 

Then it was time for the main show.

The various groups performed their special moves led by the Zhong Hua Wushu team showcasing its talents. Wushu is a form of Chinese martial arts that is also a full physical contact sport. The team’s moves were sharp and clean, and the team also used interesting equipment such as a plastic broadsword. The team members displayed resilience and executed difficult moves skilfully and gracefully. 

Zhong Hua Wushu
Kendo was up next. Before their performance, an in-depth description of the art of Kendo as well as its’ history was shared by one of its members. After that there was a warm up session before the members engaged in combat. They had fast reflexes and executed each move skilfully. We could literally feel their passion for Kendo.

Guess which martial arts group was next? A little hint! It originated from Korea. 

Yes, Taekwondo! Before the start of the performance, a representative from Taekwondo described and demonstrated some Taekwondo moves. The members then began sparring with their partners while encouraging the audience to clap along in rhythm to their movements. Later, two of the club members brought out some wooden planks, ready to show off their plank-breaking skills. Although they failed to break the planks initially, they persevered and managed to succeed in the end with the encouragement of the audience. 

Their next act got us gripping our seats. A Taekwondo member was blindfolded and the audience was asked to be silent. The sound of a bell ringing soon pierced the air. The blindfolded member walked towards the bell at the other end of the stage. With a great swing of his leg, he kicked the bell down, without hitting the helper holding the bell. This act was repeated with increasing levels of difficulty. 

There were certainly many supporters for Taekwondo. One Taekwondo member, Imran Syukri Bin Jumari, even told me that he was disappointed that he could not take part in the demonstrations due to his projects. However, he hopes to be able to participate next year. 

Emcees conversing with the representatives of Taekwondo

Aikido was next. There was some strong support from the audience as the team took its place on stage. For the benefit of the audience, the moves were demonstrated in slow motion to allow the spectators to fully appreciate the harmonious art of Aikido. The moves were fresh and the members showcased their elegant throws with their sparring partners. 

Aikido performance

After Aikido was… Judo! Judo is a modern martial art that originated from Japan. The opening act started off with members throwing each other onto the floor. Following that, some selected members did frog jumps over other members lying on the floor. The number of people lying on the floor was gradually increased, making each jump more difficult. The moves were executed with power and overall, it was an interesting display.
Judo in action!

Silat is a fusion of arts and combat practised throughout the Malay Archipelago. The Silat team did a group cheer before the start of their performance. Their performance was slightly different from the other martial arts groups as it also incorporates dance! One moment, the members were doing a dance and the next, they were throwing each other on the floor. 

It was fascinating, to see grace combined with martial strength. The background music also changed according to the act. All the members also took a selfie photograph at the end of this performance.
Silat’s ‘selfie’ ending
We managed to interview one of the Silat performers, Roskurniasih Binte Moksin. She is in Year 1, which meant that the night was her first time performing for her CCA. When asked whether she felt nervous, her answer surprised us.  

“No, I do not feel nervous. In fact, I feel excited and proud being able to perform for my CCA. I hope I will get the chance to perform again,” she said.
The last martial arts group was the Kickboxing team. Kickboxing is a stand-up combat sport based on kicking and punching. The opening act reminded us of the Street Fighter games and movie. The girls in the team used real boxing gloves to fight each other. 
Kick on, Kickboxing!
Members also tried to break long sticks into halves through powerful kicks. Near the end of the performance, bricks were brought out and one member stepped up  to break those bricks. There were several pauses before he hit the bricks. Eventually, he delivered the blow and managed to break them, displaying his courage and passion for his art.

The seven groups finally finished their incredible performances, but that was not the end. The martial arts committee also put together a special performance for the audience. 

The various martial arts groups were pitted with one another, for example, Kickboxing versus Taekwondo. The groups displayed their own specialty through this combined performance and there were lots of cheers from the crowd.
Kickboxing verses Taekwondo
Zhong Hua Wushu verses Silat
To end off the night, the new president of the Martial Arts Committee was formally introduced. She is Jerlyn Woo, a Year 2 student from Judo and Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science. As a token of appreciation, Jerlyn also presented Mr Chua with a Martial Arts Night 2014 T-shirt. Cool shirt, right? 
Token of appreciation for Mr Chua
Martial Arts Night 2014 ended on a high note with the National Day Parade song “Home” being played and everyone in the sports hall singing along to it. There was also free food provided at the end of this event. It was certainly an eventful and fun night.

By Amabel Yeo, Diploma in Information Technology and Ng Chwin Chi, Diploma in Business Informatics. Photos by Amabel Yeo and Gabriel Lim.

During her free time, Chwin Chi prefers to spend time in front of the computer or read books.

Unlike most girls, Amabel prefers spending her time on the computer than to go shopping. During her free time, she can be seen playing different mobile games or reading their reviews.

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