SHUAI JIAO CHAMPIONS!
WHAT: World Shuai Jiao Championship 2017
WHEN: December 6-9, 2017
WHERE: San Jose State University - San Jose, CA
WHO: Matthew Gelfand, Lavell Marshall and Ariela Pulido-Westlake
Training hard and working diligently pays off. Collaboration between Matthew Gelfand of Shuai Jiao Evolution and Lavell Marshall and Ariela Pulido-Westlake of Shaolin Strength / Combat Shuai Chiao really made it happen. Coming in first in all of their divisions proved that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything.
This tournament hits multiple marks, both in collaboration between long time friends Matthew and Lavell training together to enhance each other's skills and a meeting of minds with USA Shuaijiao / USSA headed under Daniel Weng and his son Jan-Yu Weng.
For those who don't know, Matthew hails from New York Shuai Jiao Association / Chinese Swai Jiao Association first taught by Shifu James Chin in 1996 and later his classmate Shifu Gavriel Ben Judah (students of Grandmaster Jeng, Hsing Ping). The below video is of Matthew Gelfand, Franc Gomez and their classmates practicing Bie (Lower Leg Blocking) being taught by Alfredo Po (classmate of Shifu James and Shifu Gavriel) in 1997.
Matthew has also trained in Northern Longfist and was fortunate enough to train for a short time with the Taiwanese Northern Shaolin Longfist club headed by late Grandmaster Jian Chang Gen in 2003.
Mario Polito (student of Master Peter Chema, adopted son of Chang Dong Sheng) introduced Matthew in 2013 to Beijing Shuai Jiao teacher Shifu Zhang Wei Dong (he had been training with Master Zhang since 2010) and trained on and off with for four years. Master Zhang helped them both understand Shuai Jiao from a different angle and improved their game greatly.
Together with Shifu Gavriel Ben Judah, Mario Polito, Harry Fontanez and Omar King they started Shuai Jiao Evolution in 2015 and set up shop first in Greenpoint, Brooklyn now in Long Island City Queens teaching traditional Shuai Jiao under Grandmaster Jeng Hsing Ping's curriculum fused with their various trainings helping to evolve their curriculum to become more efficient while staying true to their roots.
Lavell Marshall trained under Shifu Norman Omar Harvin from the American Combat Shuai Chiao Association (student of the late Grandmaster David Lin) in South Carolina. He trained Hung Gar Kung Fu and Combat Shuai Chiao (Shuai Jiao) for years with Shifu Harvin as well. Moved to New York in 2017 and established Shaolin Strength.
Being that Matthew and Lavell had known each other for years, it only seemed right that they would collaborate with their training to elevate their skills and push their limits. Both teach their own respective classes at different locations but train together to continue to evolve as martial artists.
Ariela Pulido-Westlake was a high school wrestler turned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) stylist training at Renzo Gracie academy for the past 2 1/2 years (around the same time she met Lavell Marshall. She began training with Lavell a little over one and a half years ago focusing on the sport side of Shuai Jiao to compliment her training. Prior to the competition she worked with Lavell, his teacher Shifu Omar (see below) and Matt to sharpen her skills while her drive has enabled her to push her limits and further her fierce competitive spirit.
Pixel De Moi Photography (Deserie Gelfand and Patrick Harris) helped deliver an amazing photo shoot of the entire competition capturing some of the tournament's finest moments. We can't thank you enough for your hard work! See some photos below in the embedded link:
SEE BELOW SOME OF THE TOURNAMENT VIDEOS OF OUR CHAMPIONS!
Matthew Gelfand - Shuai Jiao Evolution - Men's 100 KG - 1st Place
Lavell Shaolin Marshall - Shaolin Strength / Combat Shuai Chiao - 82 KG - 1st Place
Ariela Pulido-Westlake - Shaolin Strength / Combat Shuai Chiao - Women's 55 KG - 1st Place