Dancing Dragon

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Dancing Dragon originated with Master Archibeque, then was completed by myself, Earl Squalls, and Soodchai “Ting” Phonsanam .  It dates to the early 1980’s when “Ting” was about eleven years old, and training actively with Squalls.  Ting was just embarking on a remarkable three year run of tournament championships in both Kata and Kumite.  Master Archibeque invited him to work out with his cloistered group of students, which were normally adults, working at high intensity.  “Archie” loved Ting’s  movement, and before long, began to suggest sequences that highlited his speed, grace and power.  Despite the significant conbtributions of others, it bears the singular stamp of Master Archibeque.  For that reason alone, the kata is special to all his students who perform it.   

Once the core of the form began taking shape, Earl and I worked to tailor it for competition and performance.  As is the case with all Master Archibeque’s teachings, the kata had to stand on its own as a legitimate fighting vehicle.  I would venture to say that as it was being created around Ting, Archie was thinking only of how he could produce an exercise that would make Ting a more fluid, and powerful martial artist.  Knowing Master Archibeque, I can’t imagine he cared one way or the other if Ting ever took it into competition...just so long as it helped him grow.  Ultimately, as Dancing Dragon evolved into complete form, it did find its way to competition, where it scored well.  Over the years, it has consistently placed in tournaments at all levels.  To see how Ting did it in the old days, click here .

Within Gun Fu, particularly the Iron Crane School, students learn this form early in their martial arts careers, usually starting at Green Belt level.  Technically, it is considered a Black Belt form, because of its complexity, and sophisticated technique with multiple shifts of directions.  While acquiring other more fundamental forms and movements, the student will, in parallel, learn Dancing Dragon.  This reflects Master Archibeque’s teachings that students, even while working basics, should have exposure to the complex.  He emphasized that a form like Dancing Dragon represented a tapestry, where even a beginner can see how  different aspects of basics coalesce together into something much larger.  Dancing Dragon stands as a metaphor for one’s own path in the arts, showing how ultimately those basics, once mastered, string together into a powerful dynamic flow. 

 

Introduction to

Dancing Dragon

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Dancing Dragon

Explained

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Dancing Dragon

Alternate Version

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