On Saturday, March 7th, Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy brought together 60 performers, as well as flag-bearers and lions, to perform at the Southwest Airlines' 2015 Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco. For the Year of the Sheep/Ram we decided to stage a series of skirmishes in the meadow. Our act opened with the sheep practicing their kung fu (they are very proactive sheep, and know the importance of self-defense for confidence and safety). As the sheep continued their kung fu, a pack of wolves crept up and attacked. After a brief battle, the sheep butted away the wolves and retreated. By this time, the shepherds had been alerted and came streaming into the fray. Wolves and shepherds fought to a standstill until the sheep joined the shepherds to drive off the wolves for good.
Students from our San Francisco, San Mateo and Concord Academies were selected to show their skills. For our sprightly sheep we chose younger students (the smallest was six). Many had started as Tigers, some as early as three years old, and they had more than enough experience and confidence to perform on camera. Teens and adults mostly comprised our wolves and shepherds. For our wolf costume, to add extra menace, we included Wolverine claws—the teens LOVED that.
Sifu Felipe Godoy choreographed the routine, with dollops of help from Sifu Martiza Gray, Sihing Brandon Chew and Sifu Mike Lee. So many ideas came up that we had to start shaving them off to fit into our allotted time. The students learned the complicated choreography and timing, and adapted to the changes in the routine as it evolved. As you can see in the pictures, while they attacked their roles seriously, they had an enormous amount of fun.
Watch for us next year—it's the Year of the Monkey, and we can't wait to think up crazy hijinks for that!