Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
On February 17-19, 2006, Battle at the Boardwalk is going to invade Atlantic City, New Jersey. This gala event is going to be probably one of the biggest they’ve held in New Jersey to date.
Many organizations are slated to be there and the wide array of styles and disciplines should please any diverse taste out there. One event that I don’t see too often in Martial Arts venues and I’m looking forward to is the Lion Dance Competition.
For those who aren’t as familiar with it, Lion Dancing is a two-man set often done during the Chinese New Years time (which happens to end right before this event starts). One member of the “team” is the head, responsible for directing the movement and keeping the face animated on the large outfit. A constant shake or jump will have the eyes blinking and mouth flapping, making for a more “realistic” creature. The partner in back is the base. Since this person can’t see where they are going, there has to be a good deal of trust in the front man. In addition, they need to time their movements to make sense with their partner as well as often be the “base” when the lion rears forward.
The whole lion dance is to bring about luck and fortune in the Chinese culture. While not necessarily isolated to Martial Arts, it has found its way into a lot of Martial Arts training because the skills and endurance needed to perform the dance often compliments a Martial Artist’s skill set and training. Since it is cultural base, most of the schools that would train in this art would of course be of Chinese lineage.
In addition to this competition, the New Jersey event will showcase several cage matches, many seminars, forms competitions, sparring, san shou, jiu-jitsu/grappling contests, and breaking competitions.
I’ll be attending the event and I look forward to being immersed into this, my first Martial Arts competition of 2006. Look for my report when I return!
If you're in the area and interested in attending, please check out their official website at BattleattheBoardwalk.com.