Thursday, April 24, 2008

National Inter-School X-Country Championships

Yesterday, VS gather together to bring the undeniable, unforgettable and unstoppable VS Spirit to CCAB to cheer our X-Country boys on.

Here, we see the C-Div boys being flagged off.

It was an anxious finish for us as the various competing runners were all spread out amongst each other. We knew we had a chance of being in the Division top 4 but we coulnd't be sure till the end.

You can see the determination and grit on their faces as our boys ran their hearts and souls out for VS.

Next came the B-Div Boys.

At the end of the race, our calculations seem to indicate that VS might only emerge 2nd despite our best efforts. Yet, word from the grapevine was that we were first in the B-Div. The conflicting news from various sources made us all anxious for the final results. It would all boil down to our fourth runner Lim Han Ren who would be the determining factor:

But just as the results were about to be announced, the skies opened and it began pouring with rain.
Yet, we braved the rain and waited patiently for the results.
The wait was not in vain when it was finally confirmed that C-Div boys had managed to retain our Top 4 position by coming in 4th; but the declaration that VS had clinched the B-Division Championship by a mere 2 points gave us a sense of pride and emotion that it had all been worth it.

Red Sports has covered this event. Please click here and follow the link

Our boys had this to say today:
"We all fall down in life at one time or another, but it is the champion who crawls his way up and comes back stronger for the experience"

Nil Sine Labore

Monday, April 21, 2008

SNWF Sanshou Exchange 2008

(VS Wushu Team Members with Mr Ang Moh Seng, MP-Hong Kah GRC and President of SNWF)

On Sun 20th Apr,
Victoria School sent a delegation of students to participate in the Sanshou free-sparring exchange organised by the Singapore National Wushu Federation.

Although the National Inter-schools Wushu Championships were just over, we decided to still participate in this event so as to gain more exposure for our team and more importantly, so that we would developed as a well-rounded team able to compete both in routines as well as in the practical applications of sparring.

Our atheltes were:
Chang Wei Liang from (3G) and Pang Hong Yun fro (4C)who fought 2 rounds each with their opponent. As it was a friendly match, there were no declared winners but our 2 boys did well against the competition. Hongyun and Weiliang both were able to land solid blows on their opponents and score decisive ring-out and take-downs during their matches.

We also had 2 alumni representing the VS Team:
Liu Weilie (currently from TPJC) & Tan Lye Huat (current in TJC), the fact that past Victorians still continue to get involved in CCA in the alma mater came as a surprise even to the officials in the SNWF. It shows the great sense of pride and belonging that Victorians have that even after they graduate, they are willing to come back and fight for her glory under the VS banner.

Our Volunteer Adult Leader (VAL), Jin Cai also motivated our team by participating together with the boys. The fact that instructors and students compete as one body is something we would like to keep as a hallmark of VS Wushu Team's tradition.

The VS Wushu Team will continue to strive for greater heights and we thank all Victorians for their support.
Nil Sine Labore

Friday, April 18, 2008

Soccer Game: Victoria School vs Sekolah Indonesia

On Thu 18th Mar, our VS All-Stars team had a friendly soccer game with our neighbours from Sekolah Indonesia.

Here are the fantastic match highlights!

VS Wushu Team's Achievements for 2008


Hi guys,
Student Health Services is doing its health screening for you guys now.
As part of the health screening exercise, they nurses are also talking to you all about the dangers of smoking and its effects on your health.

Here's some clips to reinforce the message.
Do come to the teachers if you need help with cigarette addiction. We will help you with your problem.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

National Inter-school Wushu (Group Finals)

Finally, we reached the final day of competition!
After an agonising 2-weeks and months of hard work, it all boiled down to this day.
Based on our calculations, VS was unbelievably in contention for Top 4 placing in both B and C Divisions.
But we knew we were head-to-head with other tougher and more experienced teams. The point difference was very close and there was still a total of 18pts in total to be contested for in each Division (9pts for 1st placing in Group Weapons, 9pts for 1st placing in Group Quan)

First, up was our C-Div Group Quan.
Our competitors dazzled the judges with changing formations and some of them had very technical flips and somersaults in them; by contrast our routine was a relatively simple one. To the old-school practitioners, the routine would seem familiar (Look at videos of the old Beijing Team during 80s :)

When we got our score of 7.86, we were quite hopeful but strong performances from our competitors pushed us to fourth place. Nevertheless, it was still an achievement to be in the top 4 and garner an additional 3 points for our team.

Next came the B-Div Group Quan.
The competition here was out of the world- the standard has really gone up and some of the schools have mastered some really impressive acrobatics. This year, we tweaked and modified our Xia Jia Quan to include formation changes and to add in more aerial movements.

Although we had hoped to impress the judges with our uniformity and form, the B-Div boys were relegated and only managed to place 6th. Nevertheless, I'm of all of you all, especially Terrence and Weiliang who braved their pain and injuries to pull through for the team.

After that came the final event for C-Div- The C-Div Group Weapon. Based on our calculations and rough estimates, it seemed that the C-Div was tied for division first at this point in time! Everything rode on the performance of the Group Weapon and pressure was intense for the boys.
This year's Group Event combined the best of 2 traditional forms by both my own teachers. We got Ryan Goh to be the central pivot of the team by leading with a traditional Hung Gar dagger routine while the rest of the boys did a modified Heng Quan Circling Dagger Routine that had them intersecting each others path

By this time, we knew that our focus on uniformity and martial choreography would be overshadowed by the flashy acrobatics of many other teams. But the boys did their best and hoped that the judges would appreciate how we blended 2 traditional forms and performed it in a novel way.
Our final score left us hovering precariously being tied for 4th- Fortunately, after the scores were re-assessed we won the tie break and emerged 4th for the event, adding another 3 points to C-Div.

By this time, the pressure was really on and even the judges were starting to feel it. The were several occasions where the head judge had to intervene to moderate the scores as there were instances of wide variances between the various corner judges.
Inspired by '300', our B-Boys attempted to inject a Spartan flavour into the wushu competition by doing a Sword and Shield performance for their Group Weapon event.

This even was the result of a long process of me choreographing it with the help of my own teachers to fine-tune and give it a distinct combative feel the routine. However, perhaps the intense combative element was not what the judges were looking for and we did not manage to place within even the top 6.
But that is the nature of competition, I'm proud that the boys have done their best- their performance went perfectly according to plan and they had no mistakes.
That is all I can ask of any one of the team members.

When it came time for results, I was really feeling anxious for the boys to see if my calculations were correct. If they were, in our short history since being officially formed in 2006, we would rank in the top 4 for not, one but two divisions.

Fortune favours the brave and we when it was announced that VS came in 1st Runner Up, my heart leapt with joy for all the hard work that the boys put in.
I wondered whether, my calculations would prove as accurate for the B-Boys. They had been disappointed in both Group events despite having trained really hard.
This was the first batch of students to have trained with me since the team was formally set up and they would be graduating this year and I wished so much for them to be able to leave their mark in VS history. Despite being denied in the team events, it seem our previous achievements did see us through and the B-Div boys managed to come in 3rd in their division.
This was an astounding sense of achievement for the boys and myself. Last year, we knew that VS was on the verge of breaking into the Top 4 in the C-Div but we didn't know if we could maintain and develop that edge this year- espcially since competition seemed to be getting more intense and the standards higher.
To simulataneously breaking into Top 3 for both C and B Division at the same time is a testament to the blood, sweat and tears the boys have put in.

We sacrificed our entire March holidays, I gave them a intensive training camp during holiday weekend (the boys can testify that we trained close to 16 hours from Fri to Sat morning!)
We analysied our movements by video, we trained at the beach.
I must also thank all our specialist coaches, my teachers who have taken time and effort to help me with my students. To my sifus, I hope I can sustain the legacy you have given to me in my students

It is a long road ahead and we know that we will bleed, sweat and cry along the way.
In reality, some of the boys literally bled for VS- Ryan Goh sustained a deep gash on his underarm from his weapon that required 3 stitches.

Bernie (aka Mr Baluku) got whacked twice in the head in one day (once by himself and once by his partner:P) The second impact was on the bump sustained during the first impact *sigh*
Bernie's little 'baluku' split and blood spurted out, staining his entire face.Yet all the while I was giving him first-aid, he maintained his composure.

None of the boys gave up- all of them wanted to keep training, to keep fighting for their team.That is the VS spirit and that is what makes us different.

My time as a competitive athlete is over for the moment, my dreams live on in the endeavours and success of the boys in my teams.
And when I see your achievements tower above my own,
when I see you all progressing so fast that I struggle to keep pace with you,
when I see old boys coming back to still train with us and be part of a team,
when I see all this in the silence of my office late at night,
I know that it is all worth it

You may be 2nd, 3rd 4th or even last in the eyes of the world.
To me, you are my champions and no one can take that away from you.

Nil Sine Labore

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Planet Shakers in Singapore

Planet Shakers will be in Singapore for a 2 night Tour on April 10-11.
[[Latest Update 10th Apr]]
Hi people,

Currently have only 9 tix left for friday
3 are up for grabs
6 are pending collection.

Tix are available on a first come, first serve basis.
I teach and live in Victoria School.
I will be available from now till 10pm today for collection.
For the 3 available tix, it goes to who gets it first
The 6 pending collection, if not collected by 12pm on Fri, I will release.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

National Inter-School Wushu Championships (Day 5)

Today is the final day for our Individual events, Tan Xiang Tian completed his hat-trick by winning the Gold Medal in the B-Div boys Nan Gun event:
(quality of clip is grainy because my original footage was lost and

Fung Jin Jie got off to a good start in the B-Div Cudgel 2nd International Routine.
However, 2 unforced errors cost us the Gold and we ended up having to settle for a tie between 2nd and 3rd- will have to check the average of the invalid scores to determine the tie break.

This concludes the individual routines for both C and B Division boys. All the competiting schools are frantically calculating the total points in the various divisions.

Next Tueday's Group Events will be the final determining factor for Division Championship.
So let's go VS, let's go!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

National Inter-School Wushu Championships (Day 4)

Today was Day 4 of the National Inter-school Wushu Championships. VS had many events today and a lot was riding on it as every point is crucial towards our over-all division score at this stage.

For the first time, we fielded 2 athletes for the 24-style Taiji Event in C-Div. Although there were only 11 participants, the standard of the competitors was very high. Both Ang Kang Jie (1B) and John Png (1F) only had less than 2 months to learn the routine but in VS we believe it is the fighting spirit that counts more than the final outcome- so although we didn't manage to place in the top 4, rememer that you boys both have a long way to go and now that you have seen the how intense the competition is, you must work harder in order to be able to do your school proud.

Here is John Png's routine:

Here we have Kang Jie's routine:

I must take sometime to praise Kang Jie here for his hard work during the holidays- on his own he signed up for extra coaching, even after our regular practices, he comes to me to get me to watch him practice a few more times. That is the attitude that we are looking for in all our students and athletes here in Victoria.
That attitude is what makes you a champion; and not the medal that hangs round your neck.

In the C-Boys Nan Gun 1st International Routine, Darren Tan from (1E) managed to clinch 3rd by a very narrow margin.

Well done, Darren!

Unfortunately, Darren and Bernie Ang were not able to place in the top 4 for the Group Sparring Event for C-Boys. They had work very hard for that event as it was the last event that we managed to get together in the time we had to prepare for the competition. Yesterday, the boys came back to school after competing to practice some more and Bernie was hit on the head practicing for this event. Despite the injury, both he and Darren persisted and gave us a good showing today- not bad considering the huge 'baluku' that sprouted on Bernie's head yesterday :)

Our B-Boys Group Sparring managed to retain our 3rd position with the 3-Man Set. Wayne Kang (4D), Sean Ho (4D) and Tan Xiang Tian (4I) worked hard to overhaul the routine from last year and made new additions to spice up the content.
Here we see them in action:

Our one and only A-Div participant, Pang Hong Yun (4C) competed in the Nan Gun 1st International Routine:

Because he's older than the rest of the guys, Hongyun's our one and only A-Div participant.
So this year, we have students in C-Div, B-Div and A-Div. Although, Hongyun did not place in the top 4, he has improved tremendously in his Nan Gun routine and that is also something to be proud of.

The standard of Wushu and the level of our competitors is increasing- let this spur us all to greater heights!
Nil Sine Labore

Monday, April 7, 2008

International Friendship Day

Today we celebrated International Friendship Day. We were very fortunate to have friends from the Indonesian School, our neighbours located right across the road, come over to perform the gamelan for us!

Indeed, this spiced up our usual morning assembly!
May this be the start of more collaborations between our two schools!

National Inter-school Wushu Championships (Day 3)

Today was Day 3 of the Inter-school Wushu Championships.

First up were Tan Yuda (2F) and Bernie Ang (1F) taking part in the 4-Duan Cudgel.
Here is Yuda during his event:

Here is Bernie during his event:

Bernie gave his best for all his previous events and this was his last individual event and he put everything he had into it. It was quite suspenseful as he was tied with another athlete for 2nd and 3rd placing. In the end, after the scores were re-calculated, Bernie managed to clinch the second place and walk away with the Silver medal. Well done, Bernie! All your hard work paid off!

For 4-Duan Spear, Tan Xiang Ting won his 3rd individual Gold Medal when he made a decisive win during his event:

For the B-Boys, Fung Jin Jie won his second medal for VS by mananging to place 4th in the Broadsword 2nd International Routine. Competition in this event was very tight- with the athletes scores being very close together. Jinjie gave his best and here is a clip of his outstanding performance:

Friday, April 4, 2008

National Inter-School Wushu Championships (Day 2)

Day 2 of the National Interschools Championships saw some very intense competition amongst the skilled athletes from all the various schools. In the C-Div Broadsword,
Bernie Ang (1F) and Ryan Goh (2F) did their best but were unable to place in the top 4.

Here we see Bernie and Ryan in action:

In the C-Div Sword, Tan Xiang Ting managed to clinch his second Gold medal for VS.

Elder brother, Tan Xiang Tian also completed the double-whammy by securing his second Gold in the B-Div Nan Quan routine.(As there were 2 events going on consecutively, I was only able to get footage of Xiang Tian's routine from afar)

Our final medal came from Fung Jin Jie 'Jingo', JJ had a tough fight for 2nd and 3rd placing as he was tied in score with his fellow opponent.
(JJ was penalised 0.1 for an extra movement thus giving him an identical score with another athlete)
In the case of a tie, the competitor whose mean value of the 2 invaild scores comes closer to the average of the valid scores shall be placed higher. After much waiting and the final calculations, JJ achieved 3rd.
It was a hard fought event, with all the athletes pushing the limits of their personal performances, so it is important to savour every bit of success as it is hard won.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

National Interschool Wushu Championships (Day 1)

Wed 2nd April was the beginning of the National Inter-school Wushu Championships.
In the first event, C-Boys 5-Duan Chang Quan, VS scored first blood with Tan Xiang Ting from 2G winning us the Gold medal for the event.

Our new Sec 1 member, Bernie Ang gave a great performance and only missed getting into the top 4 by 0.01. Keep it up Bernie!

In the second event, C-Boys 5-Duan Nan Quan, VS made it a two-in-a-row when Ryan Goh from 2F came out of nowhere to astonish the crowd with his outstanding performance.
Ryan has been training very, very had these few months to brush up on his routine and the work has paid off with our dark horse emerging champion.

Darren Tan from 1E also did VS proud. Even though he is only in Sec 1, he is competition in the more technical event for Nan Quan 1st International routine.
Despite this challenge, he managed to achieve a 4th placing to secure a Bronze (4th) for VS.

In the B-Div, Tan Xiang Tian from 4I gave VS our hat-trick when he clinched the Gold medal in the B-Div Nan Dao routine.

Well done, boys!
Let's keep up the good work and continue working hard.
Know that success does not come easy and that with success we must continue to stay humble and train even harder

Nil Sine Labore