The School just opened.
There were only a handful of students training and even less through the day.
This meant plenty of attention from the teacher, basically personal tuition from a master.
I could not have been happier. My Wing Chun began to progress very nicely.
I became instrumental in creating a wing chun demonstration team.
We began demonstrating all over Melbourne at different functions and schools.
David was very spontaneous and would ask on the spur of the moment for you to perform.
This was very challenging for my nerves and at times placed me under a lot of pressure.
I liked to spend hours training my demonstrations so they would be perfect.
We also became involved in Traditional Lion Dancing.
It was extremely hard work, both in the head of the lion and in the tail.
Lucky for me I was the main head of the lion and the leader of the Lion Dancing team.
This caused some controversy with the other teams.
The head of the lion was a position meant to be held by a man.
When Chinese New Year came around we would perform all over Melbourne.
With the heat pounding down on us for up to four to five hours at a time.
We would also perform Wing Chun demo’s in the streets and the markets.
The Chinese love it when they see their heritage, Kung Fu, being displayed in the street.
Even though it was very demanding it was a great experience and a lot of fun.
There is nothing quite like four lion teams meeting at the centre of China town.
The challenge to win the first right of passage through the street.
There were eight magnificent colored lions bounding and lunging at each other.
Other Lions had to climb the buildings to gain access to the highest of lettuces.
One could have been in the heart of China. They were great days.
Being the only girl training, David could be quite hard on me at times.
I remember my graduation day quite clearly.
Mid December, 35 degree heat, 2nd floor and no air conditioning.
There were five guys going for various levels, between 6 and 9, and myself.
We all had to get up together and do chi sao, swapping partners at different times.
The heat just hung in the air, sweat was pouring off us, making it even harder.
Finally after 20 minutes he told us to stop.
No one before or after ever had to do chi sao for that long. I had earned my way.
In 1995 I trained for the Australian Kung Fu Championships.
I was 38 years old at the time and it was my first competition.
I was proud of myself, I came second in a round robin of three.
Our students did extremely well at the tournament, with two firsts, three seconds and two thirds.
At this event David stood in the center of the arena and asked anybody for a friendly bout of Chi Sao.
He had been sending this message out for quite some time, even to William.
At the time you could have heard a pin drop, there was not a sound to be heard.
People looked in the other direction and hoped not to be noticed.
Others suddenly found they were busy with things to do.
There was not one person who stepped forward to take him up on this public challenge on that day.
I was extremely proud of him, it was a very classy thing to do.
No one took him up on his challenge he requested my husband Garry to do chi sao with him.
Garry had asked him earlier not to use him as a guinea pig in front of his brother.
He kept calling Garry’s name over the microphone.
I looked around and there was Garry hiding behind a pole.
I couldn’t help myself and dobbed him in by pointing behind the pole to David.
David made a joke about this as Garry came out of hiding to do random chi sao together.
Garry was humble but still held his own.
The following year Garry and I decided to enter our students into the NAS Competition.
David actually told us we should not enter as it was a Karate tournament.
We entered and one of our students achieved a first place in continuous fighting.
David was very impressed with our performance.
Lucky we did not take his advice.
This was the start of a very productive nine year career with competition in the NAS.
But that’s another story.
After graduation, in 1996 I started teaching children at our Greensborough branch.
Towards the end of 1996 David went to Hong Kong for three months.
Garry and I took over the school while he was away.
This end up being the catalyst to me teaching adults.
I never had aspirations of teaching adults.
Taking over the city school meant we now had two schools to run so I had no choice.
What began as a three month venture turned into 15 years.
The city school has since moved to 96a Hoddle Street Abbotsford.