Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Moy Yat Academy Austin's 10th Anniversary Victory

by Sifu Vyvial
and Mary Ceallaigh

Back in June we began to get busy with preparations for our upcoming 10th Anniversary with an  interesting convergence of meaning around the number 10:  Moy Tung's school number given to him by Moy Yat is the number 10, Sifu's kung fu name given to him by Moy Tung is the number 10 and this is our tenth year in Austin.... That makes 3 number 10s and in Ving Tsun the number three is very auspicious.  So we collaborated and improvised in anticipation of the weekend, to make it one of great training and memorable celebration for our kung fu Family Reunion August 10-12.

Time flew by, and the day came when our Sigung Moy Tung arrived in town, along with Sibak Hayleigh and Sisuk Ryan from Richmond, VA and Owen, Sifu of the Detroit school, for a weekend of digging deep into training.  Joining our faithful Austin crew and local Dai Sihings Neil and Heath were Nic & Beebee, Sifu & Simo of the Houston school along with several Houston students.  We were also really happy to be joined by early Austin Dai Sihing Anne from Austin, and Dai Sihing Galen from North Carolina!  The seminar went from Friday evening through Sunday evening, with a candlelight dinner party on Saturday night at a rented hall across the street from the school. 

Opportunities such as the weekend immersion experience are the equivalent of a month of training in a few days - or, as you may have experienced, a month of sweat in a few days!

For students who attend all seminar days, it is definitely a transformational experience on various levels.  Along with our old students in grey and white shirts, there were plenty of redshirts (around 30 officially registered), all ardently training onwards into intense new ground. 
Though we gathered as a mixed group several times in one room, we also utilized both studio spaces for specific training groups as well, which was of great benefit.  
Throughout the weekend, Sigung Moy Tung conducted the schedule/curriculum in communication with the various Moy Sifus (including many hushed phonecalls) and while students trained in both studios, the Sifus and Sihings all had individual mentorship sessions with Sigung.  

And, in the middle of this massive sweatfest, we took time out for a catered banquet at the church hall across the street.  
Thanks to the creative improvisation, donations, and physical efforts of Simo, Mary, Jessica S., Neil, Heath, Rubin, and Stina, the church hall was touched with magic and rose petals. 
While awaiting the arrival of Sigung that evening, our Sifu and various guests arrived all cleaned up/dressed up.
We admired the spectacular plum blossom cake:
and relaxed to music from saxophonist Raymond Johnson (also of the band First Flight) and guitarist Andy Schneider (with a song sung by first year student Marina Schneider).  
By the time Sigung arrived, the vibe was high and then the feasting began (with some definite catering glitches despite a contract otherwise, but thankfully you were all understanding). 

The highlight of the evening?  Sifu Vyvial and the giant plum blossom cake with a big "10" on it ("sup" in Cantonese) – and he cut it with a bot jom doa knife...  
The cake was a very tasty Hong Kong whipped cream cake and it paired well with the Fujian Golden Monkey tea we had brought in from The Steeping Room.  And it was followed by a very touching surprise presentation of a framed inscription plaque for Sifu with a beautiful message on it from Dai Sihings Nic, Beebee, Neil, and Heath.

We celebrated ten years in Austin, and the evolution of a thriving Moy Yat Ving Tsun kung fu community out of simple beginnings.  
We celebrated the journey of Sifu Vyvial's early days and the arrival of Simo and then Kingsley Vyvial, the opening of the Houston school, and the growth of two locations in Austin.  We celebrated old students, and new students, and a flourishing women's program (the only one of its kind in Texas).  
We celebrated the Ving Tsun Kuen Kuit, and the Ving Tsun Saam Faat.  

And then we cleaned up (many thanks to Stephanie, Camden, Justin, Joshua, Rubin, and Stina's husband Dane), and the next day began.
On Sunday, Sigung personally visited the training studios and at one point directed that the women and men be divided into two groups, saying that it is better that way for best learning.  He mentored some first and second year students in Tan Sao-Gaan Dar grab releases, and referred to the women's section as 'master killers' - to their delight.  By the time of the advanced training session at 7:30pm, we were down to 4 redshirts and 6 senior students and the Sifus and Sihings and, as they say, the best was saved for last as those who there got to experience.  At 10:30pm the radiant new students were released and senior students closed out the evening in an advanced-advanced session that only they know about.
Ving Tsun has now been in Austin for 10 years, and we feel very fortunate for our beautiful school and for having such an amazing community of Moy Yat Kung Fu peaceful warriors who are making the world a better place, together.

P.S.  We took hundreds of photos over the weekend, and will be posting an online gallery for our students soon.