The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Eastern Ways Martial Arts School wows students

Sifu Chun leads a Tai Chi demonstration on as part of a seventeen year tradition of celebrating Chinese New Year with City College. Photo by Evan E. Duran

The powerful beats of drums echoed down the halls of City College Jan. 19,  enveloping the everyday sounds of hustle and and chatter among students. Sensing unfamiliarity, students followed the sound with curiosity.

These students were led to the Cultural Awareness Center there two men stood outside the main doors of the building dressed in matching black and blue martial arts uniforms.  The two men, pounded on the large, round drums with mallets, never missing a beat.

This year was the 13th year that the Eastern Ways Martial Arts School held a festival for Chinese New Year at City College.

“We always do a performance at Sac City College to celebrate the Chinese New Year,” head instructor Hans Chun said.

Kung Fu, Tai Chi and lion dancing were all elements that were featured in the dancers hour long performance. They opened the show with a lion dance in which five lions in different colors and sizes paraded and danced around the room to Chinese drum music.  Audience members in the front row jumped and clapped with excitement when the lions stomped on half-heads of lettuce, picked up the remnants and hurled them in the front row.

After the lion dance, the atmosphere of the room quickly shifted when the Tai Chi group gave their performance. Other than the peaceful sounds of the music and breathing of the performers and audience, it was silent. The audience looked on in awe, admiring the patience and flexibility of the performers.

“I enjoy how well-practiced they are,” said Sarah Goley, general education major.
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Tai Chi was followed by the display of traditional forms of Kung Fu. Eastern Ways Martial Arts School teaches Kung Fu techniques with over 52 weapons, according to their brochure. With only a small time slot when the dancers performed, they were able to demonstrate the different techniques with a small fraction of the weapons they had.  Some  of the weapons featured in the Kung Fu part of the show were the sword, the dagger and the walking stick.

Fan dancing was also incorporated into the show, putting an emphasis on balance and grace. The martial arts performers pulled people out of the audience and had them try lion dancing. They paired up the volunteers and put them in the lion costumes and gave them a quick lesson on how to lion dance. The volunteers danced around the room clumsily, and the performers and the rest of the audience laughed and clapped for their efforts.

William Holmes, solar engineering major and lion dance volunteer, said he enjoyed the the new experience.

“It was fun,” Holmes said. “It was kind of difficult to keep up with at first.”

A Lion and Dragon dance demonstration by the Eastern Ways Martial Arts School is performed on January 19 in the Cultural Awareness Center located between the Cafe and Business Center. Photo by Evan E. Duran

The show ended with another lion dance from the performers. Students left the Cultural Awareness Center, enthusiastic with high spirits.

“I enjoyed the different talents they’ve shown,” Goley said. “It made me explore the Chinese culture.”

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