The life of a winner is one that we must always strive to possess. Day by day and month after month negative and destructive forces work their way into our minds and hearts in an attempt to weaken us but also to test our strength. This constant battle is our internal war and each and every one of us are warriors with a purpose to overcome this darkness within.
A true warrior is one that has developed endless courage with an unwavering spirit to always win in life. A wonderful example of this warrior spirit is during our recent Long Beach International Martial Arts Tournament held at the Long Beach Convention Center. Every year numerous schools from around Los Angeles attend this competition allowing different schools to come to together under one roof and improve their Kung Fu. Although we have had many students attend this tournament in the past I was startled to find that only one student signed up for the tournament this year.
Disappointed that I would only have one student representing Wushu Shaolin at the tournament this year, I vowed to dedicate all of my efforts to ensure that this student would succeed at the competition. Matt Leiv was a dedicated student who always worked hard in class helping with numerous activities. He recently accompanied Sifu Yi Liang and I along with Paty to the Kung Fu Magazine Championships in San Jose California. Although Paty received the Grand Champion Title for advanced Kung Fu, Matt suffered a couple of losses and didn’t do very good. This was why I was so determined to ensure that Matt would succeed at Long Beach.
As time neared Matt attended almost every one of our classes coming nearly 5 days a week. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings he studied Tai Chi to improve his breathing and concentration. We even took one day off to train at the Park behind El Camino College to get in touch with nature. It was a wonderful experience and a couple of interested people began asking questions about our mysterious Kung Fu practice. After two hours of training we called it a day feeling good about our hard work.
The night before the tournament I felt determined to ensure that Matt would do his best at the competition. I had all of the student’s line up chairs and we pretended to be his audience at the competition. Matt performed a grueling 3 forms back to back without much rest starting with Shaolin #8 Bab Bu Quan, Shaolin Dao, and Shaolin Qiang. After it was all finished we closed up early ready for the competition.
The day of the competition