First-degree blackbelt Luc Perreault feels privileged to have a master who is not only so skilled, but is willing to come to the Yukon once a year to instruct him.
“My master learned in the real Chinese tradition,” said Perreault. “After my master spent many years in Toronto he moved to Quebec to open his school.”
On Saturday, fists and feet will be flying as eighth-degree blackbelt, kung fu master Ron Baulne demonstrates his skill at the Canada Games Centre between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Baulne studied under Chinese grandmaster William Wong, and is the second-highest-ranked artist in the country. He’s also the first Canadian Caucasian to reach an eighth-degree blackbelt.
To achieve that, Baulne had to pass a test called the Triangle of Death, facing three armed blackbelts at the same time.
“Three real Chinese artists came in (for the test),” said Perreault. “They had a real knife and a real sword—it’s for the honour.
“He talked with his students before (the test) and he said, ‘I don’t know if I’ll come back in one piece.’”
Those attending the demonstration will get a taste of the Triangle of Death. Not only will Baulne take on two armed blackbelts simultaneously, he will also take on as many as six of Perreault’s student at once.
Perreault is the chief instructor at Whitehorse’s Shaolin Dragon Kung Fu school. It bases its teaching on “self-defence founded on reality.” In the real world, defenders sometimes must face numerous opponents in a fight, he says.
“In my school, every class, if I have 10 students it’s nine against one, if there’s eight students it’s seven against one,” said Perreault. “That’s how it is on the street.”
The school currently has just over 30 students, a third of whom are women.
“It’s very good—a third,” said Perreault. “It’s important for the public to know that it’s possible for women, children and handicap persons to do kung fu.”
As an added bonus, while Baulne is in town, Perreault might get to test for his second-degree blackbelt.
“I’m not sure,” said Perreault. “I’m due (for the test).”
The demonstration is open to the public.
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