Session 1 of the Martial Apprenticeship Journey started with our interns getting themselves acquainted with the chosen apprentices at Kranji Secondary School. The young apprentices were thrilled at the prospect of learning an ancient Chinese martial art. Most of them had never had the chance to learn a martial art. Their excitement was apparent in the chatter going on during the bus ride to SCAPE, the venue for the programme.
Meanwhile at SCAPE, Expert, Master Zhou Shu Sheng was eagerly awaiting his young apprentices. He gave us a brief history of the Eagle Claw style of Chinese martial arts and eagerly told us about the 24 basic movements he would be teaching his students.
Upon arrival, the young apprentices met Master Zhou and greeted him with the customary wushu salute.
Master Zhou expertly demonstrated the movements he would be teaching to his students. He went through each individual movement in detail with them. It was a long process but many of the apprentices expressed their enjoyment and satisfaction in seeing visible progress through the lesson. Master Zhou also thrilled his apprentices by demonstrating advanced Eagle Claw movements in between their practices.
It was a charming sight watching the old master and his young apprentices perform the movements in synchrony at the end of the session. The apprentices were proud of what they had learnt and excited at the prospect of learning the rest of the routine.
It was heart-warming to see how the learning of martial arts served as a platform to deepen inter-generational and cultural ties. There is more to be taught and much to be learnt as we proceed with our Journey of Martial Apprenticeship.