The Trinity Training Center in Peoria put on what I believe was its first benefit for St. Jude this past Saturday at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Peoria.
The event featured several talented and knowledgeable instructors presenting information about a variety of arts, mostly Chinese in origin.
I was invited to participate as a member of Aldus Martial Arts, where I’ve trained in tai chi chuan and Hsing-i chuan for the past three years. The Alduses and several students presented a short piece of the old Yang style tai chi chuan form and the five Hsing-i element forms, but the audience was stunned when they began seeing the self-defense applications. They were literally “ooh”ing and “ahh”ing when Mr. Aldus showed practical applications on me and his top student. Mr. Aldus showed empty-hand applications, as well as applications with escrima sticks and a cane, before ending his allotted time with a spear form.
Other instructors showed some great arts, as well.
One whose name escapes me (please forgive me if you read this, or leave a comment and let me know who you are), led a stretching session for about 30 minutes to begin the day. Both students and attendees were invited to participate.
Mr. Ed Parker, the emcee of the event, brought up audience members to teach them several self-defense techniques, including an armbar and a wrist turn.
His uncle, Mr. Dexter Parker, showcased the abilities of his students, and later demonstrated five-animal hung gar kung fu on his nephew.
Ms. Vera Harrison, whose seminars and tournaments are coming up quickly, demonstrated some taekwondo sparring techniques before delving into some self-defense and jiu-jitsu work.
Two more students of the senior Mr. Parker invited members of the audience out for some breathing exercises, which I enjoyed.
I also participated in a challenge with the host school’s students in which we had to balance on our left leg for 10 minutes while holding our right knee at our belt level. I made it nearly 7, and I applaud the students who soldiered through 10 solid minutes. Afterward, many of the same students participated in a horse stance competition for the same duration.
I was honored to participate in this demonstration with so many other talented martial artists. Next year, I’d like to bring Metamora Martial Arts into the event and perform some Okinawan martial arts.