Last Saturday a group of Shaolin students led by Deputy Chief Instructor, Gerry Abram, visited the Seni International Combat Show. This is what the organisers say to promote the show:
"Taking place every two years in a fantastic Olympic venue, Seni is the most informative, interactive, educational and inspirational expo on the planet with six exciting zones to truly offer something for everyone-from MMA to Classical Arts, from Olympic disciplines to strength & conditioning and reality based combat through action movies jammed packed across a thrill-packed weekend. After taking in workshops, demonstrations, tournaments and open-mat sessions you can catch your breath by visiting the hundreds of trade stands that promote the very latest, cutting-edge innovations and give you the opportunity to pick up fantastic special offers and a range of incredible freebies."
Whilst this is a little over-the-top, all Shaolin attendees (including, in addition to Gerry: Laz, Antony, Brandon and Alex (a prospective student) were impressed with the exhibition and particularly with the presence of Alistair Overeem, the K1 champion and UFC Heavyweight title contender.
All students were keen to have their picture taken with Alistair and you'll see in the gallery below that Laz is proudly sporting his IKF Southern Area Cruiserweight title belt (he left his Shaolin title belt at home not wanting to risk losing it!)
Laz is also shown posing with Ian "the Machine" Freeman, one of the first British champions to fight in the UFC.
A highlight of the day was when the team approached a stand manned by a scientist and a senior Taekwondo master. They had developed the "StrikeMate", a kick and punch pad able, via a link to a laptop, to measure and display the power of such blows, and were looking to promote their technology. There was a tally of high scores for the day both in punching and kicking with a prize of a bottle of champagne for the most powerful kick of the day. Obviously, each member of the Shaolin team wanted a go and some great scores were achieved. However, one team member, and modesty prevents the author from disclosing his identity, achieved not only the highest score on the day, but the highest score they had ever recorded! Suffice it to say that it's a good thing that Deputy Chief Instructor enjoys champagne which he will be drinking while wearing the new pair of Thai shorts he treated himself to www.facebook.com/photo.php (picture on the members-only Facebook Group page)! A photo of the winning kick downloaded from Antony's phone is in the album below.
PS. To quote from the StrikeMate literature, "A strong roundhouse (turning) kick...from experienced martial artists is normally in the 10,000 to 20,000 ft.lbs wt/sec range! 10,000 ft.lbs wt/sec is equivalent to a baseball bat at full power". For information, the unit measured the Shaolin kick at 64,000 ft.lbs wt/sec!