Arnold Buenviaje

Wushu Master

It’s easy to say that you’re a sports enthusiast or an athlete. But to stick to a certain sport for forty years is a whole different story! Get to know more about the humble man who became a key figure in the history of Wushu in the Philippines.

How did you get started with Wushu?

One of my classmates in school was interested in Chinese martial arts. He invited me to join a club that he has joined.

Can you tell us more about your Wushu experience?

I started Wushu in 1977. I entered a traditional club during that time. In 1990, I went to the Wushu Federation and trained for 3 years. After that, I became a national player. In 1993, I became a student of Master Zhong Lian Bao of Shandong, China. In 1995, I became a student of Lu Zhong Mo of the White Crane in Hong Kong. From then on, I started teaching traditional Wushu up to now.

Why did you choose to teach Wushu?

I love Wushu. In my younger days, I could really do Wushu. But as we grow older, we cannot be competitive anymore. I decided to train youngsters so that someday they could accomplish something or they could win a competition for themselves.

Tell us something about Wushu that most people don’t know.

There were several Wushu clubs before, although right now, some of them have already been closed. The old clubs mostly stopped operation due to financial reasoning. We are a new club that started in 2006.

What is the best thing about being a teacher?

The best part about being a teacher is seeing your students become an accomplished martial artist.

What is the worst thing about being a teacher?

The worst part is when your student uses the moves with the wrong intentions and becomes a criminal or a bad person.

What are you most proud of about being a teacher?

I am proud that some of my students become accomplished martial artists while others become accomplished businessmen. That’s the one thing I am very proud of.

“You need to be persevering. You have to take lots of hardships in learning the art and number one, you have to love the art. As in really love it.”

Master Arnold

 

What do you think the state of Wushu is right now in the Philippines?

Right now, the traditional Wushu is diminishing because the old clubs have shut down due to financial problems. Our club here wishes to continue the tradition. That’s the reason why we’re here.

Why do you think it’s important to keep the tradition going?

It’s part of the Chinese tradition. These traditions, if they’re not passed to the next generation, will be totally gone.

What are the basic forms in Wushu?

You can learn the basic forms of Wushu: Praying Mantis, which is Sao Chui, a basic form of Shaolin fist – a basic Tao Lu.

What are the basic forms with sticks and swords?

I could teach basic cajole and basic swords.

Can you tell us more about the Wushu experience that you offer?

Travellers could expect to learn basic Wushu such as the kicks, the punches, and the application. If the client is more adept with Chinese Wushu, we could go further higher with the system.

 

Photos credits: Jeff de Guzman

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