So, I know today will probably be a long post and it's not often that I do huge text and video and stills posts like this, but I think it will hopefully be worthwhile and will interest someone so please enjoy and let me know if you like posts like this because it's really easy for me to blog with content like this as I spend the majority of my time when I'm not in school now, doing martial arts and stuff and even if I can't offer advice or get content on something I know plenty of people who do! :) So I will make stuff like this from time to time...anyway! On with the day!
The show itself was a weekend event and we booked tickets for Saturday only - there was a group of 11 of us from my karate club (and we could only do Saturday because we actually train on a Sunday) - it was in Birmingham...and we actually had to leave at 7.30 in the morning just go get there for the 10 am start! So it was early rising! But it was fun so that's alright!
Anyway, onto the stalls themselves...Their was lots to buy, which obviously had to cater to everyone their so they were selling like Wing Chun stuff next to Shaolin stuff and Muay Thai and Karate and Kendo...and yeah the list goes on. Personally, I only bought myself some rattan sticks, the Shaolin UK's laces and yeah...I think that was all I bought at the actual show because I've just recently bought myself some new pads and gi and everything :) But I'll make a video later once I gather up my gear and I'll show you what I bought.
What was awesome though, about half way-ish through the day...A parade of lion dancers decide to amble through the hall. I didn't realise what it was for ages - we heard the drums and the cymbals and just decided to head over and see what was going on - and I managed to squeeze myself to the front and get some pretty good footage of it! (All apart from the random Asian man who decided to walk in front of my camera xD) So feel free to check out my footage of the Lion Dance below!
My favourite act was definitely the Shaolin Warriors from Shaolin UK - who you may have actually already seen on TV and stuff? They've been on Britain's Got Talent and Matthew Ahmet is in stuff - you may have already seen some of the footage on YouTube but they held 5 shows throughout the course of the day and I managed to get footage for all of them however the first show wasn't great so I haven't uploaded that one. So, Shaolin UK also had a stall...place...thing? Where they were selling their products and because I was stupid and forgot that I could have bought loads - and because I'm broke because I love MUJI and skincare products too much and waste my money as soon as I get it! - I didn't bring much money and couldn't go crazy and buy everything, but luckily they're smart and also have an online store so I managed to see their awesome stuff and chat to them so I can order it online now - *or when I get paid*. One thing I will recommend though is the Lace Up Power Up laces, Matthew was promoting these most of the day and the money goes to helping the kids train and after seeing the kids in action (I swear the videos don't do them justice, watching them back now...it was way more impressive being able to see their technique and everything in real life...so if you think they're awesome from the clips, I suggest you go and watch them up-close!) you definitely need to get these laces and they're only £4 so why not huh? AND they're bright orange - they'd look awesome as well with the Shaolin hoodie! (check out below to view part of one of the Shaolin performances - this is the 2nd one on Saturday as far as I'm aware)
The actual day itself...I think they could have just made it clearer when different groups and stuff were doing workshops, demonstrations and signings...if it weren't for Matthew and some of the other guys, I don't think I would have caught some of them - like I missed the majority of the Kendo ones (which really bugged me, because I wanted to chat to them!) and by the time I got there, I was too far back to film - other than that though, it was fun.
What would have been nice as well, just to add to the whole atmosphere of the day, is just to dress everything up a lot more...The majority of MAs were Asian - whether it be Chinese, Thai, Korean, Japanese or Filipino etc. - and it would have been awesome to have some food stands as well...but that's just my personal opinion and their was one right outside...so I think I'm just being lazy!
But I think that's about it for now? I'll come back along and add stuff in and add the videos I upload to this post just so it's all together for you! Hopefully I'll go back along next year, maybe even as a performer that would be fun...It's just the whole organisation that's the problem xD But we'll see what happens yeah?
If you have any recommendations for festivals, events or performances or anything please feel free to contact me on Twitter, Facebook or email and I'll do my best to make them and maybe force some of my dojo to come as well... Thanks for reading guys, enjoy your day and remember that 猿も木から落ちる:)