Year of the Tiger Celebrations with the Kung Fu School in London

Welcome to the Year of the Tiger!  This years Chinese New Year was celebrated by the Confucius Institute on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th February at the National Portrait Gallery in London.  The young members of the Kung Fu Schools (Crawley and Crodyon) were on hand to help out and put on their own demonstration in front of a very healthy crowd.

Demonstrating punches, the Wing Chun 1st form and various martial art techniques (with some weapons thrown in for dramatic effect) the young students did a fine job representing the Kung Fu Schools and todays youth.  A massive thank you to them all, their parents and grand parents and the Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine and Well Being for a very memorable day!

Kids punching on stage

Twelve young students led by 6 yr old Jordan take to the stage to demonstrate some Wing Chun punches and the Siu Nim Tau (Little Idea) form.

Chldren preparing to performYoung martial artists pay respect to the crowd

Lining up in an orderly fashion before paying respect to the crowd and demonstrating a variety of Wing Chun Kung Fu techniques honed through hours of practise.

The National Portrait Gallery  hosted the eventLittle Dragons Kung Fu demonstration

A nice rear view from the National Portrait Gallery as Jordan and Sophie demonstrate some grip breaks and punches.  A great performance from two of the youngest participants.

 Punching and kicking on stageJunior students with martial arts technique

Kessa takes Joshua on the pads while Finley defends a punch and practises a throw on Jacob.

Kids self-defence techniques

Practising a self-defence technique one junior martial artist is pushed to the ground …

Kids self-defence techniques on ground

… before successfully taking the standing person to the floor and getting back to his feet for a speedy getaway.  Well exectuted!

Childrens martial arts weapons demonstration

Thomas and Rhianne moving around with double sticks strikes – moving with control and hitting with accuracy.

Chinese performers on stage

Chinese Dancers and Wushu experts take to the stage for their Year of the Tiger celebrations.

Traditional dance by the Confucius Institute

The Hankerchief Dance where dancers spin and throw the hankerchiefs.

Dancers from China

Spinning hankerchiefs – not as easy as it looks and members of the audience were later invited up to give it a go on stage.

Wushu weapons demonstration

Wushu on stage performed by the very talented Chinese performers from Harbin, China.  Here the flexible sword is used and wielded with precision and a whole lot of skill.

Wushu from the Chinese martial artistsWushu weapons work

The Chinese whip – the performers have a fantastic ability to judge distance and speed with a weapon very difficult to master.

Wushu spear techniques

A Chinese spear, skillfully used by the Kung Fu expert through years of training.

   Wushu about to somersault ...Wushu  performer somersaults

A nice somersault  with sword in hand and to make it nice and easy …

Then lands in the splits ...

… lands in an impressive side split!

Tai chi group demonstration

A tai chi fan form skillfully performed.

            Tai chi demonstration with fansTai chi pose with fans

The Tai Chi Chuan single fan for balance, flexibility, strength and health.  The fan is used to block and parry oncoming attacks while used to club or spear when folded.

Demonstrating Tai Chi for the celebrations

Fans can be made from silk or even steel for extra strength and can be used to help train the flow of chi that passes through the arm, finger tips and along the fan.

Chinese traditional paper cutting dance

Paper cutting is one of China’s most popular folk arts and can be traced back to the 6th Century.  Here the Papercutting girls celebrate the skill and tradition with a dance as part of the New Year celebrations.

Lion Dance for the Year of the Tiger

The Chinese Lion Dance for the Year of the Tiger Celebrations.  The Lion Dance is often associated with Kung Fu as the dancers are usually highly trained martial artists.  Drums, cymbals and gongs are often played at the same time (far right).

Flaming Torch Chinese Dance

Dressed up – the Chinese dancers perform the ‘Flaming Torch’ dance.

Flaming Torch Chinese Dancers from Confucius Institute

Crouching down as the dance reaches a finale.

Kung Fu Schools