Zhong Ding New Dawn
Welcome to the new Zhong Ding News Board where you will be able to find all the latest information about what is happening in Zhong Ding. Here also you will be able to share all your own news as well as read articles, reports and the latest information related to those martial arts covered by the Zhong Ding umbrella.
The first piece of news relates to the Zhong Ding Spring Festival camp which was held at the Sherbrooke Scout camp in the East Midlands. This camp marked the end of our year of celebrations ofthe 25th Anniversary of Zhong Ding as well as the start of the Chinese year of the Horse.
This event proved to be a resounding success with its unifying theme of the Zhengzi taijiquan”Tripod” of empty-hand work, sword and “gong” or skill, both in terms of neigong and the vital “gong fu” exercises that are the foundation of our art. Delivering and supporting this theme were the Zhong Ding senior team of Darren Roberts, Don Harradine, John Gardiner and Dave Spencer, as well, of course as Fong and myself. Working as a team we were able to demonstrate to those present, not only the differences in our approaches but also the similarites, and, through doing so, show to the camp participants the real depth of experience that the senior instructors share.
As the theme of the camp was the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, arriving participants found themselves surrounded by red decorations, some made of red packets. Following this on Saturday night everyone got ot enjoy a veritable Chinese feast prepared and cooked by Carol Harradine and Fong.
The training sessions were punctuated with showings of the Zheng Man Qing Master Tapes, with a commentary provided by myselfand the other seniors. In this way everyone there was able to not only see what Grandmaster Zheng was doing but also to gain an understanding of the social, cultural and martia context of his teachings, something that is not always clear if the films are viewed “as is”.
Zhong Ding members from all over the UK as well as Ireland, Belgium and Germany attended the camp and it was gratifying to see the strength in depth that Zhong Ding now enjoys. At the end of the Saturday afternoon session everyone gathered in the Large Hall where they enjoyed a vigorous pushing hands session. It was not all sweating and exertion, however, the session started with some detailed examination and work on sensitivity, distancing and timing, as practised in the Zhengzi system of taijiquan.
On Sunday Senior Master Instructor Dave Spencer gave a much-appreciated masterclass on aspects of body structure and their relation to the practice of pushing hands. Finally to bring the event to a fitting climax, Fong taught a set of neigong from Ye Xu Ting’s Zheng Man Qing tradition. This is a set which has not been publicly taught before in the UK.
By three o clock on Sunday afternoon the majority of the participants had left but the tireless Sam Casey was still working, clearing up and packing away. Over the last few years the stalwart team of Sam Casey and Graham Ball have worked extremely hard to create the environment and provide the amenities to give everyone a superb training experience.
The camp ended with general agreement that this had been one of the best yet and all left looking forward to the next camp which is due to be hosted by Zhong Ding London and held in the Home Counties.