By Ken Sim, student, Southern Crane Kungfu
My alarm clock went off very early on a Sunday morning in May last year. As I was waking up my first thought was that the day had finally arrived, the day of the BCCMA Forms Championships, and I was taking part.
I was performing our first form, San Zhan, and as I had been training for under a year, I was in the Adult Beginner Section.
After a quick cup of tea I picked up my lunch, which I had made the night before, and set off. Myself, John and Asif were meeting round Adrian’s house, who had kindly offered to drive us to Milton Keynes.
We arrived at Milton Keynes after a two hour drive and the first thing we had to do was sign in. When I was saying my name to the person on the desk, suddenly I felt butterflies in my stomach, the same feeling that you get when you do a grading. ‘Relax!’, I thought to myself.
Having signed in, we then checked out what time we were each performing, and who we were competing against. I worked out that I would be performing at about 2pm or 3pm that afternoon and that I was against two other people, a man and a woman. So there was plenty of time to relax and watch some kungfu.
First performing were the kids; some were good, some were very good. Next on show were the internal forms, with Tai Chi and Shuang Yang, which Adrian was performing. It was great to see so many different styles of kungfu.
Before I knew it, it was time for me to start warming up and stretching. I found a quiet space outside the main hall, warmed up and went through my first form a few times. I went back into the main hall just in time to hear my group being called out; it was my turn. The butterflies came back.
The three of us in my event stood waiting to be called up by the judges to perform. First to be called was the woman. I didn’t know the form she did but she seemed to perform it OK, and when she finished everyone clapped. Next was me. I performed San Zhan ok, but I could have done it better, I thought to myself. However, just as I finished I heard lots of clapping; that was a great feeling. I had just performed my first form in front of a lot of people I didn’t know and they were clapping me! Wow!
Last to go up was the other man in our section; I saw him do a pattern that was very much like our third form. Again he seemed to perform it ok. The three of us were then asked to stand in front of the judges to find out who had come first, second and third.
“Third,” the judges said; I held my breath. It was the woman. “Great,” I thought, “I wasn’t last!” “Second,” said the judges. I held my breath again. “Ken Sim.” “Oh no,” I thought, “That’s me.” I was pleased with my silver medal, but I would have liked the gold medel much more.
After a great day out, in the car on the way home I kept thinking to myself, “Maybe gold next year.”
Ken is taking part in the upcoming BCCMA Traditional Forms Championship on 29 April in Luton. We wish him luck for that gold!