Loyal to the annual appointment with her students, Grandmaster LILY LAU was once more in Athens, on the 17th of May.
On Tuesday, 19th of May, at the new school of A.S.K. the usual party to honour her took place, and the cake for her 65th birthday was cut. Before that, Grandmaster had watched with interest the demonstration by Dimitris Doukas’ students (chief instructor of her system in Greece) and by Christos Papachristos, noting once more, that the greek instructors are working methodically to spread Eagle Claw in Greece. As she stressed in her interview for the “E” magazine of the newspaper “Eleptherotypia”, on the 17.5.2009, “the dissemination of our style is the basic aim of every teacher and instructor. Every school must spread Eagle Claw, through its own activities and with the right actions”, while she explained that “learning Kung Fu, greatly depends on the instructor’s quality; on whether he has the required qualifications to guide his students, and on whether he is really good at Kung Fu”.
In this frame, wishing to reinforce the position of the Greek team in the international community of Eagle Claw, and in order to encourage his students and raise their level, D. Doukas suggested that Grandmaster LILY LAU gave individual lessons to the students of intermediate level. These lessons included Taolu - weapons and fists - and gave the students the chance to hear the Grandmaster’s corrections and suggestions, as - with her huge knowledge and experienced eye - she can notice everyone’s weaknesses and show the way to overcome them.
In addition, the usual lessons for the advanced students took place. This time, the Grandmaster showed them a beautiful, but difficult, Taolu for spear (Moy Fa Choon). Habitually, the Grandmaster wanted to make a present to her students, so she decided to teach the girls - intermediate and advanced - a Taolu with double swords. This Taolu is executed along with music; it is very slow, but yet very demanding. Moreover, it has a special sentimental value for the Teacher, as it was shown to her by her father, who used to sing while she performed it.
The week passed with these lessons and ended with the two-day, open to all, seminar that took place at the “Thisseion Lofts” (Peiraios Str.). There, the Teacher showed some details in the way various fists are performed, and then continued with the teaching of the double form of 108 moves, that she had begun last year. Even though all the Taolu “constitute a very old and diachronic training for fight”, as the Teacher noted, this particular Taolu offers the additional opportunity to the students to train in contact and to realize the application of many fighting techniques, included in the Taolu they practice on their own. Besides, this is the reason that Dimitris Doukas suggested that the Teacher should show this Taolu to all students, regardless their level, even though it is a Taolu for more advanced students.
The days passed very quickly and the concentrated knowledge transmitted by the Teacher was once more a motive for hard effort.
“By learning many Taolu with different characteristics, the student gains an integrated and multidimensional knowledge. It has to be noted though, that knowing the movements of many Taolu cannot be compared to being able to perform even two Taolu very well. The quality always prevails quantity!” said the Teacher when asked whether it is better to focus on some Taolu or to practice many of them. Behind her answer definitely lies the urge for hard and continuous training, which is also the true meaning and the literal translation of Kung Fu.
Once more, everybody had the chance to see the human face of the Teacher and to realize that she is accessible by all her students. Smiling and good-tempered, very patient -despite her age- she is always ready to pay attention to any of her students, even to the beginners. Often, she spends most of her time with those that have difficulties. Through her actions, she proves her words: “Instructors and students from all over the world should feel welcome to contact me for whatever may concern them”.