Seminar with Grandmaster Lily Lau,13 - 22.06.2010

Once again we had the pleasure of welcoming our Shifu,Grandmaster Lily Lau in Athens, where she made a stop-over during her annual tour of her schools all over the world. Every year Shifu Lily makes this journey, full of youthfull enthusiasm, which she feeds back everytime she sees the progress of the older students and many young people taking up practising the martial art of kung fu, following the ''Eagle Claw Kung Fu'', her family's style, in which she has put a lot of effort into spreading it.
     The most important points of her visit this year were the exams for the black belt, that always take place in the presence of Shifu Lily, the students' demonstration and Shifu's two-day seminar at the weekend.
     On Thursday 17.06.2010, while the first summer heatwave was making things hard for him, Shifu Lily watched Giorgos Divanis performing the syllabus for the black belt. The syllabus was tough, including fist techniques, the 24 kicks of the Eagle Claw style, demanding Tao Lu, double weapon forms (spear against sword, double sticks), the first unit of the famous 108 chin na, locking and pressure techniques in vital points and even answering questions on the theory and the history of the system. Syllabus,that very few people manage to cope with and obtain as skill through the correct guidance and the hard and well-disciplined effort. Shifu Lily recognised the obtention of this level by Giorgos Divanis and happily awarded him the black belt at the ''Eagle Claw'' after 14 years of practising next to his  Shifu and Grandmaster Lily Lau's personal student, Dimitris Doukas.Surely, Grandmaster Lily Lau and his  Shifu, Dimitris Doukas, felt very proud of both his spirit and the high level he has achieved at kung fu.Worldwide champion at the spear in 3rd World Championship of Traditional Wushu, 2008 China, Giorgos is now approaching another level and he's ready to trace his own path as an instructor in order to spread the ''Eagle Claw''. Another student of Shifu Dimitris Doukas becomes instructor and, sooner or later a new school will be added to the local map, thus contributing to the estamblishment of the ''Eagle Claw'' in our country.
     This time the exams for the black belt were combined with the exams for the purple and the blue belt,thus the examinees Ioanna Toumpakari and Eleni Makri had the opportunity to perform the syllabus of their level in front of Shifu Lily and listen to her comments.She praised the two women for their strength at kung fu,while characteristically saying that women's kung fu often does not aquire the demanding strength, and she made aspecial referenceto the quality of the way Ioanna Toumpakari was exercising kung fu, while noticing the grear progress she has made since last year. Apart from the positive comments she made on the girls' progress,experienced as she is, she pointed out to each one of them the basic deficiency that runs over thei technique and asked them to work hard for their improvement.
     The next day the big festive in honour of Shifu Lily  took place.The head instuctor of the Athletic Club Aetos Galatsioy,Christos Papachristos and the assistant instructor of the A.C. Kerameikos, Giorgos Divanis had organised, under the guidance of their Shifu, Dimitris Doukas, a big demonstration in front of Grandmaster Lily Lau,in which all of the students of both A.C.took part in. Grandmaster Lily Lau observed the progress of alla the students with great interest and was satisfied when she understood how well her system is taught in Greece. One of the most outstanding moments was when the young students of Ch.Papachristos performed correctly their Tao Lu in front of Shifu Lily with confidence and seriousness.Lastly, Ch.Papachristos and Ioanna Toumpakari made an impression when they performed together perfectly sychronised the Tao Lu of the 24 kicks.This Tao Lu includes lots of acrobatics and aerial kicks that not only impress, but show with the most elegant way, the spectacular side of the System.Before the demonstration,Shifu Lily herself gave the belts to all the students who participated in the last exams of the school.At the end of the demonstrationshe made a reference to the progress of all the students and she repeated that only through hard everyday training, devotion, patience and persistence someone can improve on kung fu, which as characteristically said, gives power and health,physical and mental. She particularly stressed that someone who practises kung fu must also try to be a ''good person''.Martial arts should mean well,and be practised by people with clear mind and pure feelings,and not be practised in order to harm people and cause pain.
    Unquestionably, the most important event of Shifu Lily's visit was the seminar that took place during the weekend in Thiseion Lofts at Pireos.This time Shifu chose to teach all the students ,despite their levels, a Tao Lu, ideal for the practice of techniques focused on the hands and the throwings in Eagle Claw Kung fu. Siu Moy Fa Kune - the small punch of the cherry flower- that focuses on the reversal techniques and the strngthening of the base through complex steps, has quite short duration,without lots of aerial kicks, thus even the beginners were able to coprehend it. Besides, Shifu Lily combined the learning of the Tao Lu with a series of coordinating hands-waist-legs techniques, that can be performed separately or continuously. Through Siu Moy Fa Kune the beginners became familiar for the first time with a Tao Lu of the Eagle Claw System, that is full of grabs, lockings and reversals. At the end of the seminar both the beginners and the advanced students managed to perform the Tao Lu in front ofShifu Lily, even if it was their first time.
     Afterwards,everyone who wished to meet Shifu Lily personally, stayed for lunch and expressed their questions about kung fu, something that always please her as she never gets tired of talking and explaining the art of kung fu.
     Thus,the Shifu Lily's wisit in Greece was over,and 66 yeares old now,this year she was looking younger and fresher than other years, assuring us that she will be visiting us for at least 5 years, as the head instructor of the System Shifu Dimitris Doukas amusingly said at the end of the seminar.