Barbados martial artist and personal trainer Qaasen Sealy has performed outstandingly at the ninth China Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival in Zhengzhou,China, where he copped a silver medal.
Among the 53 countries that were represented, Sealy was the only Barbadian representative in the martial arts event. With well over 1, 400 participants, he made sure to keep his martial arts training sharpened and received his silver medal in an all-style category.
Sealy has been teaching martial arts for 32 years and currently teaches Wing Chun Kung fu, Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan at Weymouth Police Sports Complex, Brown’s Beach, Foundation School and Trinity Church in St. Philip.
Sealy said he enjoyed being at the largest Shaolin temple in all of China. This year an estimated 50,000 monks came out to put on a demonstration for the local Chinese and the international participants.
“Under the people with the right minds in leadership positions wushu (gongfu) can go far, if not it would be like the proverbial hamster running on a wheel and going nowhere of consequence,” Sealy noted.
He added that there were many rule changes this year. One of the major changes, he noted, was that many martial artists of mixed disciples were allowed to compete against each other in particular categories.
When the competition was completed, Sealy travelled to where Tai Chi Chuan first surfaced for the public to learn – Chen Village and Zhabao Village – two neighbouring remote villages in China.
Both villages are where Yang Lu Chan, the founder of Yang Taijiquan learned his martial arts and taught publicly. Before 1928 Taijiquan was practised as martial arts. It was only around 1928 where Taijiquan started to be seen as a health exercise as opposed to a martial arts.
Because of the benefits of both, Sealy teaches Taijiquan for health and self defence. Sealy said there were so many different types of Tai Chi Chuan systems that he travelled around China interviewing many masters to gather a better understanding of the essence of Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan.While in China Sealy came across a “civilising promotion” that he would like to see implemented in Barbados. So he will be focusing on community building initiatives now that he has returned home.Sealy indicated that sometimes when an individual came from a small country he or she had to be that much better than those from large countries. He added medals were not the ends to a means.”If you think that way, you will miss the journey by focusing on the destination,” he said.