CHINA*AMERICA INTERNATIONAL MARTIAL ARTS TEAM
In 1992 a group of Chinese delegates visited the United
States and one of the performances this country offered them was of
the martial arts under the direction of Grand Master Clifford C. Crandall
Jr. The Chinese delegation was so taken by the performance that Grand
Master Crandall was asked to bring a performing American exhibition
team to China. As a result of over two years of work the China*America
International Martial Arts Team was trained, and the proper paper
work was completed allowing certain areas of China to see American
martial artists for the first time. The team was made up of eight
certified black belt instructors, all members of the American Martial
Arts Institute. The team consisted of four women and four men with
Grand Master Crandall as the coach.
Front Row: David Phillips, Clifford Crandall Jr., Nicholas
Back Row: Barb Hauck, Wayne Handy, Bill Hauck, Sharon Keep, Anne Petkovsek,
With many shipments of materials and
martial arts tools plus fifty-six suitcases, the team and their coach
were ready to go. On December 2, 1994 the team left to perform the
first American Team Exhibitions for the People's Republic of china.
With them they carried letters from President Clinton, Vice President
Gore, and many other Senators and Congressmen plus a vast number of
gifts from central New York sponsors. The hopes were to demonstrate
good will and American friendship to the people of China through the
common interest of the martial arts.
Now back in the United States the team
talks about a positive experience that will live with them the rest
of their lives. The first performance was in the industrial city of
Xinyu. This city, with over a million people, opened its arms to welcome
the American team and hosted them while in the province of Jiangxi.
The team was a guest of the people of Xinyu at the newly completed
Beihu Hotel, a beautiful hotel that had only been open four weeks
prior to the teams' arrival. The next large performance was in the
Boxing Dome on the Beijing University campus in Beijing, the capital
of China. Here the team stayed at the newly remodeled Beijing University
Hotel on campus.
The members of the team varied in their
daily professions making a cultural exchange of ideas and interest
more possible. As the team received the red carpet treatment they
viewed a nation working hard to better its country for the people
that lived there. Mr. Wayne Handy (team member) said everywhere you
looked there were buildings going up and work being done to improve
roads and agriculture. Grand Master Crandall noted that in the three
years since his last visit to Beijing, it had grown in size by at
least a third and that the Vice President of the University said this
growth was expected to continue. The performance at Xinyu was before
3,000 people in an auditorium that held the province basketball championships.
Unlike the general spectators of the city of Xinyu, the audience of
2,000 in Beijing were from the University which was the only Physical
Education University in China and the home of all the People's Republic
Olympic teams. With such varied audience involvement in the martial
arts, it was surprising to note the equal level of enthusiasm demonstrated
by both crowds. Miss Anne Petkovsek (team member) commented that the
applause at times was non-stop from one performer to the next. Grand
Master Crandall said the people were great; they opened their hearts
to us and made us feel right at home. Because we are a young country
compared to China in the area of the martial arts, it was truly exciting
to see such acceptance for what we do in the martial arts which is
quite different from the Chinese Wushu. The many meetings with martial
arts heads and with governmental heads, by means of interpreters,
game the team and the Chinese leaders a chance to communicate about
their individual philosophies of martial arts and their feelings towards
many daily topics.
The American Martial Arts Team had
a daily itinerary that was non-stop from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in
each area of China they visited. Transportation and the aid of a 24-hour
interpreter made it possible for the American team to not only see
much of China but also to understand what they saw. They saw huge
lakes designed as fish farms plus the Great Wall, the Forbidden City,
the Summer Palace with its Dragon Island and much much more. This
sight seeing tours in between practices and performances resulted
in the team shooting 87 rolls of film and footage for four super VHS
tapes; truly a lot of "Kodak moments". Mrs. Jill Crandall (team member)
commented that the food was unique and delicious, that there was always
more than one could eat and the Chinese certainly knew how to make
a meal visually appealing.
Each member of the team believes he/she
has grown from this experience and hopes that through talks with groups
and friends each will have a chance to share what was learned. As
a result New York State Assembly Member David Townsend Jr. sent a
personal letter of congratulations to Grand Master Crandall and the
team and presented the team with the official copy of the New York
State Legislative Resolution adopted in assembly on January 25, 1995.
This Legislative Resolution commends the efforts of the China*America
Martial Arts Team in promoting international cultural exchange and
congratulates the team upon the occasion of their performance in China.
The team in conclusion sent letters and reports of the trip to the
many Senators, Congressmen and sponsors who helped make this tour
possible. A special thanks went out to President Clinton for his letter
of support which was read before each performance and Vice President
Gore's for his support.
The China*America International
Martial Arts Team's performances:
The team consists of nine team members.
Grand Master Crandall as coach and participant, plus 4 women and 4
men who are highly trained martial artists, but none of whom do the
martial arts for a profession, except Grand Master Crandall.
The performances included:
- Empty hand techniques with feet and hands.
- Weapons demonstrations such as the Naginata,
Sword, Tonfas, Kamas, Kendo exhibition, Bo, Escrima sticks, Police
PR#24, and the use of the normal walking cane as a defensive weapon.
- Sparring and self-defense.
- The power of the mind through meditation demonstrations
such as: Lying between two chairs and having 50 pounds of concrete
broken with a sledge hammer on the solar plexus, lying bare backed
on a bed of nails and having concrete broken on the solar plexus,
walking through a tray of glass barefoot.
Some information about the people
on the China*America International Martial Arts Team as of December
Clifford C. Crandall Jr. is a
Grandmaster and 10th Degree Black Belt in the international martial
arts school called the "American Martial Arts Institute." This school
teaches the American Eagle Style form of martial arts. He is 47 years
old and married. He is the coach and trainer for the Team and is a
full-time martial artist with over 30 years of martial arts experience.
In the world of martial arts he is known as a Master for he has authored
two books and produced 4 instructional video tapes which are promoted
worldwide. He hosts the Martial Arts Today T.V. show that airs
within the United States and Canada and has traveled the world performing
with and filming martial artists and their styles. He owns three full-time
martial arts schools and a martial arts supply business in New York
Jill Crandall is a certified
3rd Degree Black Belt. She is 44 years old and is married to Clifford
Crandall. Profession: Supreme Court stenographer. She has trained
in the martial arts for 14 years. She specializes in the Naginata
which she trained with in Japan and musical katas. She has one instructional
video tape on the naginata which is sold internationally. She instructs
programs in women's self-defense and has special interest in empty
Wayne Handy is a certified 3rd
Degree Black Belt. He is 42 years old and is married with 3 children
and 2 grandchildren. Profession: Is a Welding Fabrication expert with
his own welding business. He has trained in the martial arts for 14
years. Specialization is in the Kama.
Anne Petkovsek is a certified
3rd Degree Black Belt. She is 38 years old and is divorced with one
son. Profession: Vice President Land Treasurer of a Bank. She has
trained in the martial arts for 11 years. Specialization in meditation
technique, musical katas, tonfa and sais.
Bill Hauck is a certified 2nd
Degree Black Belt. He is 42 years old and is married with 2 children.
Profession: Senior Programming/Analyst. He has trained in the martial
arts for 10 years. Specialization is in Kendo and empty hand katas
and breaking plus the tonfa.
Barbara Hauck is a certified
2nd Degree Black Belt. She is 35 years old and is married to Bill
Hauck. Profession: Administrative Assistant for Retired Senior Volunteer
Program. She has trained in the martial arts for 10 years. Specialization
is in the Bo and Naginata.
Nicholas Chuff is a certified
2nd Degree Black Belt. He is 43 years old and is married with one
son. Profession: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and owner of German
Flatts Veterinary Clinic. He has trained in the martial arts for 10
years. Specialization is in Kendo and Manriki Gusari.
David Phillips is a certified
2nd Degree Black Belt. He is 24 years old and is single. Profession:
Fitness/personal trainer. He has trained in the martial arts for 11
years. Specialization is in Japanese sword, kama and breaking techniques.
Sharon Keep is a certified 1st
Degree Black Belt. She is 37 years old and is married with one son.
Profession: Teacher of English in public education system at the secondary
level. She has trained in the martial arts for 8 years. Specialization
is in katas and self-defense techniques and Escrima (Arnis) Sticks.