05.03.2010 Arrived in Nelson where I met up with Paul Patterson, whom I haven't seen for some (just guessing) ten years. Paul was part of our original Nelson group organized by Paul Woods, an unassuming, modest, hugely talented young man of tremendous Wing Chun potential whose character was as upright as his posture. It was a great loss to the Nelson area Kung-Fu followers when Paul Woods followed his own path and moved to Thailand. Anyway, I spent an enjoyable afternoon having coffee with Paul Patterson, some catch-up conversation, and naturally a little Chi Sau after looking at his form.
Apart from the odd infrequent visitor Paul P. has had no Wing Chun contact since Paul Woods left town some 10 years ago, yet the basic skills in Chi Sau were still evident. This is testament not only to Paul Woods instilling in him a good foundation, but also to his own dedication in practicing Siu Nim Tao every day. There is a lesson there for all of us. Thank you Paul Patterson for the coffee and the lesson!
06.03.2010. James Abbott took the time to travel over from Golden Bay with one of his students, Pat, whom I was meeting for the first time. Pat has only had a couple of weeks training, but his enthusiasm and willingness to learn really shone. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon, but thankfully James was able to organize a friends garden for us to train in and it was cool and pleasant training for a couple of hours in the shade of the trees. Hopefully I was able to give Pat something to look forward to in his Wing Chun training. I know James will.
07.03.2010. To Blenheim where I met with Dave Oberdries. I was meeting Dave for the first time. Naturally, as in meeting anyone for the first time I didn't know what to expect, so arrived with an empty cup. Dave soon filled it with coffee and a welcoming smile, and really made Raewyn and I feel right at home. We spent about 20 minutes getting to know a little about each other until his wife, daughter, and friend arrived home. Then we got to know each other all over! Dave came to Wing Chun through Awatea in the heady Dunedin days, but then through work and circumstance drifted away. But the seed was sown and he has recently
returned. Anyway, after some pleasant conversation Dave took Raewyn and I to his training facility. He is currently going through resource consent issues. Hopefully they will be sorted quickly, for Dave has a good training area there that could benefit many people in the Blenheim area. Naturally enough we got into a bit of training. Awatea had built me up a bit so I told Dave I should have stayed away because the legend is always bigger than the man! Anyway Dave, I hope I left you with something to think about. You know, there is something about Wing Chun that attracts good people. I hope to see more of you and your family Dave.
All in all it was a great trip. Seems like all I did was train, but in fact I was on holiday, the purpose of our trip North the birthday celebration of a friend. Perhaps next time the purpose of my travel will be training, in which case I hope to spend more time sharing Wing Chun with old friends, new friends, and those I'm yet to meet. Catch-ya-up-soon! Kevin.