Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kung Fu Dragons and Lions: Wah Lum Kung Fu

Wah Lum Kung Fu Dragon, Knoxville
I've previously posted photographs of dragons in the Dogwood Arts Parade. I didn't know where the dragons came from and simply became intrigued.

Drums for Wah Lum Kung Fu

Happy Buddha tames the Lions - Wah Lum Kung Fu
I ran into them again at the Children's Festival of Reading on the World's Fair Park, which is where these photographs were taken, and learned that they come from the Wah Lum Kung Fu group in Knoxville and that probably some of the characters I'm calling dragons may be lions. There are different performances for each and each feature rhythmic drumming, gongs and cymbals and a Happy Buddha. They are to bring good luck.

Wah Lum Kung Fu lion mounts a stand

Wah Lum Kung Fu dragon, World's Fair Park, Knoxville
The center also features Kung Fu classes under the direction of "Sifu Leroy Kautz (who) is a 7th generation successor of the Wah Lum Tam Tui Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu System." He has won numerous awards for his dragon dancing and has studied under the world's greatest Kung Fu masters. If the dance performance is any indication, his Kung Fu must be amazing.

I'd encourage you to look for an opportunity to catch one of their performances. It's very impressive

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At June 29, 2011 at 11:39 AM , Anonymous Greg said...

Speaking of World's Fair Park ... when I was there last week the fountain was full of happy kids and the area around it was like a beach for sunbathing parents. But the rest of the park was deserted. Is the amphitheater used for anything? It's too bad the lawns aren't set-up for playing games like bocce or croquet.

At June 29, 2011 at 4:44 PM , Blogger Cindy Ellison said...

How interesting. I suppose we all could use some "Wah Lum Kung Fu". Love those colorful costumes.

At June 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

Hey Greg and Cindy,
We could probably all use a bit. It look VERY hard. As for the rest of the park - it is used some, but could be used much more. Most festivals that I check up on seem to be well attended. I know plans were made for the recent Willie Nelson concert to happen there, but some sort of drainage problem caused a move. Years ago Hot Summer Nights were held on the south lawn and for cheap I saw B.B. King, Cheryl Crow, Santana, Joe Walsh and Glen Frey, Leon Russel, The Neville Brothers and others. I'll love to see that come back - especially at the $18 a pop it used to cost. It does also seem that some sort of organized sports could happen there. Why not have some of the new adult kick-ball league games there? I'm not sure.

At June 30, 2011 at 10:27 AM , Anonymous Greg said...

Thanks, Urban Guy. Maybe they could have a few special summer editions of the noon Blue Plate Special concerts outdoors at the amphitheater? Or weekly yoga classes on the lawn? Easier said than done I suppose. Anyway, the "Knox Beach" scene at the park's fountains is great and the rest of the park may be empty but it's very good looking.


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