In Chun Eng's words...

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year 2007

Happy New Year!!!

Looks like it's another quiet New Years eve for me as I am at this moment, at home typing this message. I can't even remember when's the last time I actually out there ushering the New Year with my friends. In a way, I can also avoid the messy crowd at the happening places in KL. So for those out there, enjoy yourself but do take care of your personal belongings.

Singapore, Part 3: Vici - Daggers

Right.... so it was one event down, one last one to go. For this event, there was only 4 people. A marvelous chance for me to actually make up for my disappointment in losing the Hand Pattern earlier in the day. But then again, I should be wary of my opponents.

After a draw of lots, I'm second to enter. The first guy was supposed to be a Brazilian, who actually flew a 36 hours flight with numerous transits to get to Singapore. Gosh... how on earth would a person last the amount of hours travelling like that... !!!

Anyway, just before the event, he was preparing for another event, running at the same time, a dual pre-arranged weapon fight. I think he competed in 5-6 events in this Championship. So instead of waiting for him, I became the first person to enter. This time, the event was not held on a carpet. It's the first time I've done so in an external event.

Nevertheless, my score of 9.06 (I think) was enough for the gold. The Brazilian who was the last to enter, was second with I think 9.02 (I can't remember the scores much). The other 2 opponents whom I'm not sure of their Nationality, played their routine like Silambam and got 3rd and 4th respectively. So now I can officially claim myself to be the World Amateur Champion!!!! But despite this, something is not right. I felt that something was missing. Somehow, I was not as happy as I thought I would be despite winning.....

Monday, December 25, 2006

Singapore, Part 3: Vici - Hand Pattern

Ok... so I was the 8th person in. Before I stepped into the carpet, the highest score so far was 9.26 while the rest ranges from 9.18 to 9.23 (if I remembered correctly). Majority of my competitors were Europeans and Americans (North and South)... and only a handful of Asians. So after I completed my routine, I scored 9.33 (with an additional 0.02 points awarded by the Chief Judge, but for what reason I don't know). Hehehe... that immediately sky rocketed me into first place.

So again, I had to wait for all the competitors to complete their own routines before we could know the final result. Many after me got below 9.25. Up till that moment, I was still winning. The 2nd highest after me got 9.32 and it was the small boy I mentioned from my previous post. He had actually gotten only 9.22 but was awarded an additional 0.1 points. Never had I seen someone being awarded such a high additional score. Usually it was 0.05 at most and was also the highest I've ever gotten in the past. That boy gave me a 'sweaty' moment when I saw his score. All my teammates around me were like going... whoa...!!!!! so close!!!! so lucky!!!!... etc

Then, the 13th and last person took the carpet... a Singaporean who wasn't really playing a traditional routine. From what I saw, he just modified the modern routines to make it look traditional. To me, it was kind of unfair. I've seen too many modern routine players competing in the traditional events. His score... 9.34. He got his fellow teammates cheering... and gave me a heartbreak at the same time. I just hate it when you were actually winning up till the very last person only to know you've lost. And the final result... I lost the gold medal by 0.01.

By then, it was lunch time. After lunch the late night bus trip drained me of energy. I was so tired and sleepy. I slept on a chair and almost fell up. Then, I played safe. I slept on the floor and laid my head on the chair instead. Wouldn't want to embarrassed myself for falling off a chair, would I?

While waiting for my 2nd event, the organisers called my name for the medal ceremony. I was sleeping and did not hear my being name called until Tiffany woke me up. So don't complain when I looked sleepy when I post the photos (",). And, another surprise of the day for me. The boy, despite losing to me, got silver as well. Maybe the organisers thought he deserved it since he's competing in an adult's event. Another person took the bronze instead. So that boy and I was award silver.

Next up... my daggers.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Singapore, Part 2: Vidi

This time, the competition wasn't as big as the one I had in China and the competition was using the old format. There was 4 competition arenas, but only 1 was using a carpet. The other 3 was only on the gymnasium floor and in another hall was the Sanshou (sparring aka Chinese Kickboxing) which I have no time to watch. Only knew of the event taking place.

The competition this time had all the 5 judges seated around the competition arena/carpet based on the old format unlike the competitions in China where judges were seated in a line. This was after the judging system was changed to a new format. In China, we would not know the scores given by each individual judges and only got to know the final score. And the scores were displayed on the electronic scoreboards. Almost everything was computerised. In the old format, we could see the scores given by each judges as well as the final score. And in Singapore, the were doing things manually. So you would see all the judges holding up cardboards to indicate their given scores.

Anyway, when I arrived, I immediately contacted the rest of the teammate. So now comes the waiting game.

While waiting I tried to get some rest after a night of travelling. After a short rest, I did some light training and warm up because I estimated that my name will be called anytime soon. Gosh... after only 1-2 rounds of practise, my legs are feeling really really tired and weak. I had to stop for my legs to recover.

Ok... so then name was called, I got my order and the competitors and I waited for our event. There were 13 competitors including myself and I was no. 8 in the list. My first event, which was the Hand Pattern, would be held on the carpet. There was a young boy (I forgot his Nationality but I think he's a Brit) was a sole participant in his event and so was moved into my event. I think he's only about 11 or 12 years of age.

So my first event for the day up next... how did I manage?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Singapore, Part 1: Veni

I could not wait any longer for the Singapore photos from Tiffany, so I'm breaking up the story of my Singapore trip into few parts. And this is part 1...

Nov 11, 2006: My trip to journey to Singapore begun with some hiccups upon my arrival at the Singapore Customs. Well, it was partly my fault for not finding out the proper procedures when entering the country because I was considered carrying an illegal item... my weapons.

At the Singapore Customs, I wanted to declare my weapons but there was only one "Nothing to declare" counter opened, so I just put my luggage into the scanner... sigh... here's where the problem began.

Without any permit or letter of participation, I was totally clueless of what I should be doing. One of the officer asked for some documentation which I obviously do not have. So, he asked me to call my team manager which, sadly, I did not have his contact no. So I had to call Tiff instead... at 4am in the morning.

With her quarter-awaken self, I was lucky that she sent me the right numbers. I then called my team manager who luckily has my details with him. So after he could verify my name and NRIC no., I was let off. Fortunately only spent 15-20 minutes there. Lucky too the bus driver was also willing to wait for me for a while. If it had taken longer, I'd probably have to ask him to leave without me. I'll have to figure my own way around should things happened that way.

Surprised, surprised... I also met up with a old friend at the Customs... also from Wushu, Chris from the Selangor team. Don't think he trains anymore. We were actually sitting in the same bus but he was actually going to the Singapore airport to go to Australia. Seems that he's now working there.

Anyway, the bus soon arrived at the intended destination, the Copthorne Orchid Hotel at Dunearn Road. Here was where Chris took a cab to the airport while I waited for my father's friend to pick me up. It was only 0500 in the morning (we arrived 30 mins early), so I waited until around 0630 before actually contacting my father's friend. I was reluctant to bother him at first and had wanted to take the cab to the place myself. But my father had already made an arrangement with him and I think relying on a family friend for transportation would be better than relying on a public service in a country unknown to you. I don't even know how he looked like but he was in KL and met with my parents and brother when I was away to China. So I'm guessing that he should recognise me instead, since ya know, my bro and I looked the same.

He took me for breakfast at a nearby coffee shop before we actually started looking for the competition arena at Republic Polytechnic Campus, Sports & Swimming Complex... a place where he wasn't even sure himself.

The coffee shop owner told us that the place is at Avenue 1 but after driving along Avenue 1 we still could not find the place. We then asked for directions at a petrol kiosk who didn't even know but fortunately for me, another customer who heard our conversation told me that it is at Avenue 9. And it didn't take us long to find the place. The time - 0815, ample time for me to rest, warm up and prepare for 'war'.

Today only me and one of my junior are competing. Tiff completed both her events the day before, but sadly, no good news from her this time and our definition of no good news means that she did not win any gold medal. The other girl, May Ooi, who was making her debut, has already competed in the same 2 events as Tiff's and will have her last event today.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ciplak, the movie

Yesterday (3 Dec 2006) I was at One Utama near noon with my brother and 2 other friends (of course, some ffk us). The purpose was to watch the local movie "Ciplak". We decided to watch the movie because one of our friend by the name of Ariff Aris (who happens to be an ex-schoolmate and ex-Kung Fu member as well) had a cameo role in the movie. He was also the Director of Photography of the movie.

Our friend Ariff (photo taken from Ciplak website)
Ariff Aris

For a local production, Ciplak is pretty good and funny, considering the amount of budget they had. Frankly, I wouldn't consider it as a movie but more of a documetary about the darkside movie piracy. Local productions never interest me, especially when there was practically almost no publicity at all about the movie but we decided to maybe give a little support to our friend here whom we've known for, well, I dunno... 10 years? maybe more...

The whole cinema only had 6 patrons at that time, out of which, 2 were someone we do not know, and we're guessing they must'd known someone in the crew or cast as well, like us.

So if anyone of you do have the time, do help us support our friend a little and maybe contribute a bit to the locally produced movies. Least we could do is to let them prove their worth.