cmat 17


Saturday was the 17th annual Cal Martial Arts Tournament, at Cal Berkeley. For the 4rd year in a row I went, and as the last three years I was solely a spectator. I took some footage, and snapped a few pictures, but I wasn’t into staying from 8am till 11pm running around to each ring trying to film everyone. My experience with that last year solidified the idea that no matter what, someone (usually more than one too) will be unhappy with what you’ve worked hard to do, and I wasn’t interested in repeating that thankless job. You know, things like “You got my score wrong” (I didn’t), “be sure to spell my name right” (that’s hard to do with a resource like Facebook), and “how come you didn’t get X form?”. So, I enjoyed just watching and hanging out with the usual suspects.

Collin “smiling”, poor kid…


Normally, I take BART to Berkeley with an event like this. This year I decided to drive, for a few reasons:

  • Taking BART turns a 35 minute drive to a 80-95 minute commute (I normally miss the first train during the transfer)

  • BART doesn’t operate all night, and the last few years I’ve had to rush out of CMAT to catch one of the last trains

  • BART is still expensive to me

So I ended up parking on Hearst, right next to Wushu West, and walked a good 30 minutes to Cal. I enjoyed it, it was a very peaceful walk, and I enjoyed the mild exercise. The extra bonus is I didn’t have to pay for parking.

I walked in just in time to talk with Connor and his parents (it was about 3:40pm, and he was done for the day) and I unfortunately already missed the Nandu (“difficulty”, all the flashy stuff) division. Chase got a Bronze though, good job. For the first few hours, things were pretty uneventful and it wasn’t until 8pm or so when the advanced divisions went on when things started to pick up again. It was sort of odd not to have Collin and Shahaub compete this year, and it seemed that the entire overall quality of competitors was lower than previous years. Also, there were not as many people from China, you know, the ringers, to completely destroy everyone else. Still, there were some good people, and Anton was very good (he is also new to wushu, which makes it even crazier).

Lynda, Patti and Mark. Mark is covering up his mysterious hair cut


The entire competition lasted till around 11pm. There was a young girl who must have competed in almost 6 or 7 divisions. She was the last female competitor and she did a very good job:

crazy girl in mid aerial


After it was over, I contemplated going over to Marks to watch videos and hang out with everyone, but man it was late, and I had to walk back to my truck. I was also getting a little worried that I may have been towed :) I’ve been towed away in the neighborhood before, and even though I asked the person who lived there if it was okay I still felt very uneasy. With that, I made it back to my truck, munching on a free veggie sandwich (it was from the judges lunchroom, they had a bunch left over). The evening was very nice, it was cool and quiet. I made it home at exactly 12am.

Collin judging, why so judge-y Collin?


Stephanie Lim and Anton Alexsiev(sp?)


Wong Wei and Shahaub judging two separate events


Now they are waving at us (Mark and I moved to the other side of the staduim)


Those are all the photos (that are worth showing, most of them didn’t come out). I’ll probably upload some of the footage I took to the Wushu West You Tube account later. Or I’ll give it to Mark and let him decide what he wants up there or not.