29,30,31 of October 2004  St. Petersburg,Russia. The 3rd European Taijiquan Internal Martial Arts Championships.


After the Championship.

 This page contains the organizer's Diaries.
It also may include your personal impressions and memories if you want to send them.

After the competitions.
(Organizers diary).
"All the teams revealed their typical features-
Russians never make mistakes,
The Frances are cold and restrained,
The Englishmen are excitable, the Germans
showed their characteristic sense of humor..."
TCFE's President- Dan Docherty. 
I.  About the importance of event for Russia and European Federation.

It is very difficult to gather all the Slavonic taiji practitioners. Therefore, the TCFE's decision to organize the regular Championship in Russia was the only possible way to do it.
Europe looked into the window showing Russia 

II. History. 

The Most Ancient history. 

The History of Internal Arts on the territory of ex USSR made its first short steps for about 15-20 years ago.
At first Soviet people heard about karate.  After that, it became clear that something like that was practiced in China. Than the people began discussing the miracles of extra sensitive persons and sorcerers. Some people created their own systems. Bu soon, it turned out that all this had been invented by the Chinese under the name of Qigong. It was a little offensive that we were left behind even in this case. That time the Chinese practices of different levels began to visit occasionally some cities and towns of USSR. Than we understood the next thing, on the one hand- not all the yellow-skinned men are masters, on the other hand - not all the masters regard seriously to our achievements. It was necessary to study again in spite of the achieved skills of karate, meditation and sensory.
It began the mass pilgrimage of soviet and post-soviet youth to a real Eastern country.
After some time spent in studies and development, the first contact with the European colleagues at last happened.

The Ancient history.

I remember my life in England eleven years ago. While my Motherland was suffering from perestroika and putsches I got acquainted with the masters of taiji living and working in England and those who came there with short visits- Chee Soo, Dan Docherty, Raimond Gho, Ling Weiji, Dong Zenchen.
Then I came back home and met Sasha Kozminykh.
In two years, Dan Docherty invited me to a regular European Forum as a participant and for the meeting with TCFE.
On coming back to Moscow, we got acquainted with Albert Efimov. Two years passed, and on the next Forum of 1999 I worked as an instructor. In the spring of 2000 we organized in St-Petersburg The International Festival of Internal Arts. In that Festival the main clubs of taiji-quan and others internal styles, at least from the Central and Northern-West regions of Russia competed for the first time. In addition, there participated the delegation of Taijiquan and Qigong Federation of France headed by Anya Meot. Every Autumn TCFE began organizing its Championships, the first of 2000 - in Holland, the second of 2002- in Denmark. By the total voting of TCFE's members, it was decided to organize The Championship of 2004 in St-Petersburg. 

The Contemporary History.

One year before the Championship.

1. The conference in Moscow- Albert Efimov, Dan Docherty, the representatives of Moscow's clubs.
2. The creation of forum taiji.ru - Albert.
The divisions of duties - Moscow (Albert Efimov, Vladimir Sidorov) are responsible for the Competition's Rules.
Andrey Serednyakov from St-Petersburg is responsible for general organization.
3.The meeting of Technical Committee in St-Petersburg - Andrey Serednyakov, Nadezhda Sokolova, Tatyana Ivanova, Nikolay Kirillov, Elena Dobrovolskaya, Sergey Levinson.
There were discussed financial calculations, composing of schedule of actions. It took place the meeting with managers of "Winter Stadium".
Tour Company "S-tour" was authorized to receive guests. Hotel "Sovetskaya" was chosen for an accommodation of participants.
Information support on the site iari.ru - Nadezhda Sokolova.
4. The beginning of creation of computer program - Daniil..
5. Searching of sponsors. 

One month before the Championship.

We try to teach referees to understand the systems of putting down the points and working with initial documents, which are referee's notes. But for any inexplicable reasons it was done only in St-Petersburg. Only once Vladimir Sidorov came from Moscow. Every Sunday St-Petersburg's referees gathered for training judging process. And again, nothing like that happened in Moscow.

Two weeks before the Championship.

Some team leaders began making changes in the lists of their participants.
I am discussing with Ronnie Robinson (The secretary of TCFE) a possibility to introduce a new nomination of tuishou tuishou on stage as in Chenjiagou - Jiaojuo. The result was the principle refuse, because Europeans did not get accustomed to this version. Most of all, the manufacturers of a stage suddenly asked for unusually high price. As a result, the organizers refused of this item.

One week before the Championship.

Some team leaders are going on changing the lists of their participants. We tried to keep the tradition of TCFE and to organize program in that way when every participant has a few minutes for the appearance. So, the result of any changes is the breaking of all the plans. However, the badges were being printed! Finally, we got badges showing the wrong time!
By that time were ready:
- medals, diplomas,
- T- shirts,
Posters were sent to be stuck.
The plan of appearances on nominations for three days was composed. A part of nominations was reduced because of small quantity of participants.  In particular, judges and referees were assigned among brigades, and the brigades distributed among grounds. The principal of distribution- nobody referees his own participants (correspondingly his own styles). Everyone has to referee according to a general level, on the base of ten general criterions of judging.
- We received the wrestling carpet,
- The rented tatami were driven,
- Also there were ready the flags of countries-participants and TCFEs flag which specially was made for the European Federation Championships. 



Ronnie Robinson (The secretary of TCFE) arrived.
The last meeting on Winter Stadium of volunteers who are students and the members of Polytechnic Universitys Taijiquan club. Last trainings just on the spot.
The volunteers were assigned among groups - video, judges working with stopwatches and their assistants, a group helping with the accommodation and cultural program, ticket collectors.

The volunteers work, especially of stopwatches and referees assistants, exceeds all the praises! Thanks to them that the competitions finally took place. Because all the records were considered, composed and presented to a secretary.


Arriving, accommodation, registration. 
In the morning, registration began on Winter Stadium. On the daytime, it moved to the hotel Sovetskaya. Even during the registration, some participants went on making changes. For example, the weight of nearly all the members of Estonian team considerably differed from the weight indicated on registration forms!
Some about thirty persons changed their declared nominations or found the difference of declared nominations and nominations indicated on badges.
The information sent beforehand was put on the base in time, and checked by Organizing Committee twice. Therefore, it was difficult to understand the cause of mistakes- weather it was program falls or the changes of mind of participants. The second variant was more probable.
Decoration of Winter Stadium.
Marking of grounds. Placing of the flags of countries-participants, tables and chairs. 
Computers expert Daniil is spinning his web. 
Video-expert Victor is placing video cameras. 
At 7p.m, the first meeting of the representatives of Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian and Estonian teams took place on Winter Stadium. There were discussed general questions. Just at the same time, the leaders of Federation - Dan Docherty, Ronnie Robinson, Cornelia Gruber suddenly appeared on the stadium. They were humbly waiting the end of Russian meeting. 
7.30 p.m. referees conference for Russians. Many of them would work for the first time on the competitions of such level. Vladimir Sidorov, deputy Chief Referee of Russia, presided on this conference. 

Chief Referee is especially remarkable person of the competition. May be he had not done his best over training referees for work on The Championship. Nevertheless, his personal presence and work during four days and nights is an example of high level of internal art. Vladimirs ability to control all referees procedures including investigation of appeals, to appear himself without losing peace and lucidity of mind is his personal mystery and an example for the descendants.
The second Russian patriarch of referees is Paul Troshkin. In his usual solid and unhurried manner, he refereed tuishou competition in its most filled categories. He is founder of school and Wushu Federation of Orel. Soon they will have a regular tuishou seminar (see announcements).
By the way, a couple of words about patriarchs. Mikhail Baev was noticed on the stands among spectators. He came from Moscow especially to watch The Championship. 
The INBI team was accompanied by mysterious . uznetsov. It is said he is a teacher of a famous Russian alchemist CHO.
We wish n Isakovich Isakov could come. He is the most famous master of internal arts from Kirghizia, teacher of the Baev Brothers. Now he lives on the Urals. He spent in China those days, but his spirit was together with us. 
To my opinion, the level of European judges and referees in general is higher than the Russian ones. The Frances - Stephan Zimmer, Caroline Shatz, Louis Michel Berose, Ilias Calimintzos, Christian Bernapel, Marianne Pluvier, Philippe Raffot, Dominique Ricci, Julien Granjoux, The Englishmen - Carl Burges, Garry Wragg, Fang Chen from Denmark, Finne Hans from Norway, Piotr Ziemba, Sylwia Janos from Poland.
And of course - Dan Docherty, Anya Meot, Ronnie Robinson.
That is a result of great experience of participating in the similar competitions. 
However, the most of our referees worked for the first time in such important Championship they stood a considerable load, shown a maximum adherence to principles and organization. They are- N. irillov, S. Levinson, . Soloviev, .rovin, the group of referees from St-Petersburgs club headed by R. Romanov - . Grigoriev, . Grishchenko, . pekin, . Berezin, R. udrogelenko, referees from Togliatti - . Verialov, . rchenko, from Moscow- .zminykh, P. Shulman, Wan Lyn, . fimov, . raikovsky, .Skalozub, . Bayandina, .ramtsova, . Ziyatdinova, .Stankevich etc. 
At the same time Dan Docherty, Ronnie Robinson and Crnelia Gruber express me their wishes concerning the organization of process.


10.00-11.00 Arriving to Winter Stadium of the participants, referees, presidium, a minimum quantity of journalists and TV, representatives of sponsors. The end of registration.
10.00-11.15 The international referees conference.
11.30-12.00 A short lunch for journalists with the participation of Presidium of Federation and Organizing Committee.
12.05 - 12.30 Formation of participants and the Ceremony of Opening! 
12.30 - The demonstrative appearance started by the children dancing ensemble studying at a Palace of Childrens Art of St-Petersburg. It was continued by the group of sport wushu from The Sport Academy named after Lesgaft. Also there appeared at the Opening the children group of "Wu-de" centre from Togliatti.
Finally we saw demonstrative appearance of Russian masters of taijiquan and other Internal Arts:
St- Petersburg - R. Romanov, . Grigoriev, . bdulmanov, . Fedorova, . Solonieva, N. irillov.
Togliatti-  .rchenko.
Moscow - . zninykh, V. Tcharushin, .Skalozub, Wan Lyn, . raikovskiy, . ramtsova, D. dgiguerey, Y. Plyasov, . fimov, P. roshkin. 
The beginning of competitions 
8 p.m. The end of the first days competitions. 
350 participants is incredible scale! Some nominations includes at about forty participants!
I participate at a nomination Chen style, advanced. I must have concentrated, heard an internal silence and with a great pleasure made Xinjia paochui. 
I reached the finals.
The first appeal. As a result the nomination 42 forms was parted from the nomination The other forms of taiji . Nevertheless not everything is OK with this nomination even later. In spite of officially announced time - 5-6 minutes, referees stopped the sportsmen in four minutes
Group of referees and Presidium of Federation went to the restaurant which is a sponsor of Championship. 

Tuishou referees conference.
Hardly we try to clear up some questions. For example will be the participants of a combat on boots or barefoot. I vote for a traditional variant for Federation- they must be barefoot. Because of that now I am sitting with plaster on the left foot, my little toe broken. Next time I will insist on tuishou in boots.
I had two combats both of them against Moscows colleagues. I won both times. The second combat was against a disciple of Vladimir Sidorov nton labin. He is a real monster! A young tiger! But that time my experience helped me. Therefore it is necessary to work hard over my physical training for the next competitions. 
It is a very difficult day. Some grounds are empty.
Near the evening time President Dan Docherty could not stand it any more and roar at Organizers and Chief Referee. It had a wholesome effect the time of combat was reduced until one minute. All the referees liven up and the grounds are filled up.
8 p.m. -The end of the second days competitions. It is necessary to be in time on party! 
Video-expert Victor thoughtfully sorts out numerous video cassettes. 
21.00 Party in hotel Sovetskaya. Most of the participants are here. Anya Meot announces The Forum of Federation in July in Paris. The Organizers present diplomas to Presidium of Federation. Dan Docherty made a return speech. An extract of which you can see in epigraph. 
Everything is traditional meals and dances. Russian folk music does not prevent participants from meetings and discussions.
The Organizers leave for a secret address to vigil there all night and prepare for the third, final, day of competitions. The result is a plan of work. There will be nine grounds: three of them to finish preliminary nominations and the finals on forms, the other six are intended for the rest of preliminary tuishous combats, and after that for tuishous finals.
We are trying to examine the tuishou reports. 
The third, final, day of competitions. -

10 a.m. Beginning of competitions.
Everything proceeds according to the previously composed plan. There are appeals to referee .raikovsky. French team expresses distrust. The referees brigade is changed. The nomination appears all over again. 
Albert Efimov leaves competitions at 2p.m. It is time for him to go home. 
In the middle of day the appearances on forms has finished. 
As it usually happens in finals, I feel great impression of prize-winners appearance. They are three best participants of each nomination. It is really international level!
Michel Dussachuy, Lac Le My, Gary Wragg, Aleksei Gailish, Luce Condamine, Tatiana Kramtsova, Piotr Ziemba, Rinat Abdulmanov -  these are prize-winners whose appearances I was happy to see and referee.
I wish the other stars appeared behind my back. Little by little the space of Winter Stadium becoming empty.
The ceremony of rewarding does not look as show. Therefore all the rewarded received their medals.
The last finals of tuishou come to an end too late at about 9 p.m. 
Organizing Committee dismantles an equipment and left the stadium at midnight. 

I met morning at the hotel and said last farewells to my friends and colleagues. President Dan Docherty confirmed once more that Russians never made mistakes. In spite of that all the participants noted some faults of organizers they were glad of MEETING and possibility to compare the mastery of East and West. 
I began understanding that everything had finished and it had not been too bad. 
The most important aim of my visiting England eleven years ago, which is the meeting Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian, Estonian and European practical, happened! 
I am inspired to go on working. The level of all the sportsmen is very high. So the chosen course is correct. I have a feeling of possibility to continue the friendship and creative meetings. I do not know weather it will happen on our Eastern country or may be in two years in Paris. 

Andrey Serednyakov. 2004 November.