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Canadian Martial Artists Win Gold and Bronze at the Phoenix Wushu Nationals

Two Vancouver-based martial artists, Kyle Hui and Gueshly Masson of Chau Luen Athletics, achieved significant victories at the 2024 Phoenix Wushu Nationals, one of the largest Chinese martial arts tournaments in the United States.

Kyle Hui and Gueshly Masson win 2 gold medals at the Phoenix Wushu Nationals in 2024

As the only Canadian contenders, Kyle won gold in the "Other Traditional Style Hand Form" category and bronze in "Other Southern Style Hand Form” for his impressive performance of the traditional Choy Lee Fut kung fu set, "Ba Gwa Long" (八掛郎).

Meanwhile, Gueshly was awarded gold in the "Other Shaolin Fist" category for his outstanding showcase of "Sup Ji Zeet Fu" (十字截虎). Translated as "Ten Letter Intercepting Tiger", the first character “ten” (十), which looks like a cross in Chinese, represents the multiple directions covered in the form.

Training was both physical and mental

The days leading up to the Phoenix Wushu Nationals demanded rigorous training regimens and mental perseverance. But despite the pressure, their dedication to mastering their respective forms brought them victory.

Kyle, with a robust 15 years of kung fu experience, unexpectedly entered the competition, marking his first in nearly a decade. Previously, Kyle was used to training for practical applications rather than for competitions. To help quickly and effectively prepare himself, he focused on optimizing his movements to efficiently generate power while conserving energy, which allowed him to maintain stamina throughout his performance.

Gueshly transitioned to Choy Lee Fut after over a decade in another kung fu style, and has embraced the wide range of movements found in this style. This helped pave the way to winning first place in the "Other Shaolin Fist" category.

“When you fully rotate and use your body to strike, it demonstrates power and control while using very little arm power,” said Gueshly. “When that is displayed in competition, that’s how you get the biggest chance of winning.”

Beyond the physical practice, mental perseverance played a role too. As Kyle reflected on his preparations, "I focused on being in a meditative state before and during the performance. My main goal was to perform at my highest capability without getting distracted by the competition.”

Gueshly Masson shows how to lion dance in Chinatown

Both of their daily training was anchored by the teachings of their sifu (“master”) Michael Tan, whose guidance was crucial in honing their form. “We focused on refining Kyle and Gueshly’s forms with some specific techniques tailored for the competition,” said Michael.

“But the true value of these events lies in personal growth. If they can return knowing they gave it their all, then every moment spent in preparation was worthwhile, regardless of the outcome.”

Chau Luen Athletics members training Choy Lee Fut kung fu outdoors

The moment they won gold and bronze

Despite the competitive pressure and strong contenders, both athletes followed their sifu’s advice and remained focused on their performances rather than the results. As such, their victories came as an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

Kyle paused, reflecting on the moment he learned of his gold and bronze medal wins. "I wasn't expecting it, given the level of competition and the fact that it had been so long since I last competed,” he said. “When they announced my name, it was a mix of disbelief and excitement, knowing that all my hard work and preparation had paid off in the end."

Kyle Huo and Gueshly Masson (Canada) win gold medals at

For Gueshly, he expressed delight upon winning gold, remarking, "I was pretty surprised and happy, as I was very critical about my performance. It shows the importance of self-focus and discipline."

Shining a light on Canadian talent in martial arts

As the only Canadians at this year's Phoenix Wushu Nationals, Kyle and Gueshly made a notable impression, showcasing the strength of Canadians in martial arts.

Winning first place in the "Other Shaolin Fist" category, Gueshly expressed how representing Canada added pressure to perform exceptionally. "I felt like I had Canada on my shoulders," he said. "At such a big event, people remember where you come from and how you perform. It puts some extra pressure on us to represent Canada to the best of our abilities."

Chau Luen Athletics kung fu (Choy Lee Fut)

As for Kyle, he felt like he was “just part of this big community of martial artists” than specifically as a representative of Canada. His focus was more on the competition and less on the national representation, although he humorously noted, "It would be cool to see more Canadians next year."

Chau Luen Athletics kung fu (Choy Lee Fut)

Both athletes agree that while their wins highlight the high level of martial arts training in Canada, they also acknowledge the individual dedication to their craft. Gueshly added, "Our level is promising, but it also showed me what I can reach next. There were some heavy hitters over there!"

So what’s next for these young athletes?

For Kyle, meeting highly skilled competitors from around the world has inspired him to further his kung fu skills, focusing particularly on flexibility and technique. As he considers participating in competitions like the Can-Am International Martial Arts Championships in June, Kyle remains committed to continuous improvement and growth.

Gueshly views kung fu as a lifelong pursuit and wants to continue enhancing his skills, recognizing the invaluable lessons from meeting talented martial artists. With no fixed agenda for future competitions, Gueshly remains open to new opportunities, embracing the journey of self-discovery and improvement.

Their successes at the Phoenix Wushu Nationals speaks volumes about their dedication and the quality training provided by Chau Luen Athletics. Both martial artists continue to evolve as their practice is rooted in a tradition of kung fu that fosters personal mastery beyond mere competition.

Want to start your Chinese martial arts training with us? Ask us about our trial classes – email today!


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