A master of self defence By Janie Smith – Central Leader

With half a century of experience and a national honour under his black belt, Eddie Wong knows more than most when it comes to martial arts.

The Avondale resident, who was awarded a Queen’;s Service Medal this year for services to martial arts, will be giving a demonstration at the Chinese New Year Festival and market day at the ASB Showgrounds on February 13.

Mr Wong started out learning judo and jujitsu as a youngster at the Auckland Judo Academy in 1959.

“Ever since I was young, I loved martial arts,” he says.

Mr Wong would watch kung fu films and when a friend asked him to be his sparring partner in judo, he jumped at the chance.

“In those days we had no options, we only had judo and jujitsu.”

In 1965, his instructor David Lynch and David’s wife Hisae travelled to Japan and brought back aikido, the Japanese martial art of self-defence.

Mr Lynch was the first person in New Zealand to teach aikido and Mr Wong learned under him.

Mr Wong also took up iai-do, the Japanese art of swordsmanship and the martial art of choice for the samurai in 1996.

In 2007 he went to Japan, where he had the honour of meeting an aikido master and an iai-do grandmaster.

Mr Wong started teaching aikido in Mt Albert in 1981 and now also teaches iai-do and t’ai chi at the suburb’s community and recreation centre on New North Rd.

Over the years he has been involved in numerous public demonstrations, including the opening of the St Lukes shopping mall and the Japan Day Festival.

Being awarded a QSM was great, he says.

“It was a surprise, I didn’t expect it. I love what I’m doing and my aim is to continue to serve the martial arts community.”

Mr Wong will also be holding demonstrations at the Chinese Lantern Festival that concludes the New Year celebrations from February 26 to 28 at Albert Park.

This year, the Chinese New Year Festival celebrates the Chinese zodiac year of the metal tiger which begins on February 14 and ends next year on February 2.

“There will be indoor and outdoor activities at the showgrounds, ranging from cultural performances to food stalls.

“There will be a bouncing castle for the little ones and a special prize draw with a chance to win two return trips to Hong Kong,” says organiser Kai Luey.

Admission is free.

Queen's Service Medal

Eddie Wong

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/3285704/A-master-of-self-defence

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