This was the first of a series of events to encourage professionalism and quality of Judging at UK and European Competitions, working towards the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing, China.
For this to happen it is a matter of urgency to convince the British Sports Council that we The Tai Chi Union For Great Britain, are indeed capable and competent in representing the UK in such an event independant of the Wushu umbrella.
The following proposition was agreed by the Technical Panel of the TCUGB on the 13/3/05, at the 1st Judges Seminar, Nottingham.
Proposition; Those TCUGB 'A' grade instructors of adequate experience and who are Technical Panel qualified who wish to be certified by the Union Technical Panel may attend six pre -competition events such as this by the end of 2006, and or designated workshops to be advertised in due course. On completion, at the end of this period, those instructors will be properly certified as UK & European judges for International standard events, and awarded a TCUGB certificate.
The Traditional recognized styles are; Chen, Yang,Chen Man Ching, Wuu [Hao], Wu, Sun, and Fu. Each of these styles will have a number of variations that need also to be recognized.For example the WU Style has the Hong Kong main Family Style, the Shanghai Style, the Cheng Wing Kwong Style ,Wudang and Beijing.Judges must eventually be well versed in all of these forms, as to the specific features and requirements. It will be up to a genuine and qualified representative of each of the styles to demonstrate and explain clearly the essential characteristics in relation to the expectations at each level and the regular ten point criteria for competitions.
Self made styles would need to be in a separate category dependent on the competition organizers.
Although all styles of Tai Chi Chuan have basic principles in common re the Tai Chi Classics, when it comes to judging in a competition most judges in reality will have a bias towards thier own style and mark down other styles that are not the same. Judges need to have a genuine understanding of the other styles, and an impartiality. So this is an attempt to set a standard of fairness and real understanding, it is not to rival each other.
The levels are; Beginners, Intermediate, Senior, Advance and Expert International.
A recognizable form, a reasonable grasp of basic mechanics of posture, balance, co-ordination and weight distribution, according to basic principles of Tai Chi Chuan. In reality probably still a little stiff.
Intermediate; A basic grasp of circularity with flow, continuity and relaxed external co-ordinations. Better than a beginner but not so good as a senior. More confidant than a beginner but in reality only a little less stiff with inconsistancies of root and han shun ba bei,chi shun tan tien, and hui lin din jin.
Senior & Advance; Accuracy of body posture, circular movement, focused mind control and breathing. Better than intermediate but not so good as expert. Loose relaxed and rooted with substance and power generation with maintainance of correct height.Evidence of Sung and principles of Tai Chi Chuan. Advance have more assurance and ability than senior.
Expert; A very good level of ability with each aspect of Tai Chi Chuan. Movements propelled with concentrated spirit and awareness, natural and at ease.The Ten Point Criteria are;
How would you mark up or down in relation to the specific features of the style, or accepted variation of the style at each level, and the ten point competition criteria?
At The Nottingham Open Championships we began with the
Yang representative, Shelagh Grandpierre.
Chen Man Ching representative, Chris Thomas.
Wu representative Gary Wragg.
Wudang representative Dan Docherty & Carl Burgess.
Dynamic Tai Chi representative, Marnix Wells, [self made form from yang style].
One of the main aims is to appreciate the criteria relevant to the style demonstrated that may be different to your own.
Endeavour to keep your ten minute slot simple and clear. Please show the expectations at each level, ie; Beginner, intermediate, senior, advanced, and expert international level. How would you mark a contestant up, or down. Marks are 1 to 10. Take 4 as below average, 3, is very poor, 2, is struggling badly, and 1 is not considered at all ready for competition. Average is 5, good is 6, very good 7, 8 is very very good, 9 is exceptional and 10 the tops.
The forms,hand and weapon are four minutes.
Lastly, something to consider. The International Wu Style Federation has in the past few years established a competition form specifically for all Wu Stylists worldwide regardless of the different branches of style, ie, Wu Family, Shanghai, Beijing, Cheng Wing Kwong and Old Wu Chuan Yau Style. This is intended to be the form to be demonstrated in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Apparently Grand Master Chen ofthe Chen clan, and Grand Master Sun of the Sun clan are considering the same reasoning. This was discussed in Beijing at a tournament last October,2004.It is hoped that in July 2006 in Toronto, at the next Pan American Championships, the Grandmasters of each of the traditional families ,ie; Chen, Yang Wu, and Sun, will convene to further review representation of forms in competitions.
Gary Wragg, Chairman.19/3/'05.