2020: “Cultivating the Heirloom Seeds of Everlasting Springtime”

In light of the Covid pandemic, we decided to cancel our Physical retreat. However we offered a monthly virtual gathering beginning July culminating into a larger (virtual) gathering in October.

“Cultivating the Heirloom Seeds of Everlasting Springtime,” the Eighth Annual Sisters Retreat
June 28, 2020

Sisters, it’s that time again! Although we cannot be together physically, let us not break the circle. The Ving Tsun Sister’s Retreat is an annual event set in a nurturing environment that supports our kung fu sisters and explores the core fundamentals of Ving Tsun Kung Fu. Like heirloom seeds, we carry the legacy passed from generation to generation. We care for and cultivate the core skills and values of Ving Tsun, that they will be preserved for future generations in our sisterhood.

In 2020, the Sister’s Annual Retreat used a new format. Every second Saturday of each month, starting in July and ending in October, we offered monthly virtual workshops focusing on the variety of skills and knowledge of our sisters. The workshops were designed to touch on the five Chinese elements: Metal, Wood, Earth, Fire, Water. Topics such as breathwork, connecting to your local plant life, refining your foundation, gardening, homeopathy for women, Yoga and more were presented by the sisters to reveal the inherent kung fu in each of them. The virtual retreat series closed with a panel discussion and the Ving Tsun Kung Fu skills and drills that return us to the center.

“You have to walk on a path of irregular stones where you must concentrate to leave the external world behind.”
-Liz Parry

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but the seeds that you plant.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson


July 2020

We welcome you in body, mind and spirit as we commence the 8th Annual Ving Tsun Sisterhood Gathering, 

“Cultivating the Heirloom Seeds of Everlasting Springtime,” with our opening circle, led by Carrie Collins, followed by Intentional Breathwork with Mei-Yann Huang. We hope that you enjoy the positive experience of energy shared by sisters; emerging calm, relaxed and connected. 
Saturday, July 11  6:30pm EST, Opening Circle [Virtual Meeting Via Zoom]

Preparing your space: Leading up to our opening circle there are a few things we invite you to do and, as always, do what feels right to you and nothing is an obligation. In honor of the theme this year and how the workshops are set up, please be sure to gather one particular item that can represent each of the five elements, something that is metal, wood, earth, fire, water. This could be a pendant or a coin for metal, a branch or carved sculpture for wood, a potted plant or dirt for earth, a candle for fire, and a clear glass or bowl for water (filtered if you have it, or from a nearby river or stream, any water is good though). Whatever these items are, we invite you to create a space where you can have these five items with you during the opening circle and also for each of the following workshops and closing circle. 

Prior to joining us via Zoom  find a place to sit that is private, remove items and disinfect a minimum of ¼ of the room for your meditation.  Return those items after disinfecting and place them however you like.  Think about each action as care for yourself.  BONUS: Set up an untraditional altar that holds fun items, various deities, icons, etc. Also, journal your intentions in a book. DOUBLE BONUS: Do an internal and external body cleanse as if you were ready for a transformational retreat.

Before and After: No alcohol drinks, no stuffed or empty stomach, no man made drugs/additives.  Drink lots of water after, prepare for a little bit of rest, disconnect from electronics.

What is Intentional Breathwork?

Based in the ancient Pranayama tradition, the Intentional Breathwork method uses rhythmic breathing to quiet the mind and move an incredible amount of energy in a short amount of time. In this safe and sacred space, it is possible to clear deeply held emotional blocks and allow yourself to experience great clarity, serenity, and overflowing joy. 

Mei-Yann’s particular style guides listeners into full body breaths, through the mouth and deeper into the belly and up to the top of lungs. The arc of a session starts with: tuning out distractions, creating a safe space, guiding into the breathing ‘workout’, and ending with stillness and serenity.

You will be lying down so consider location for some padding (yoga mat or other mat; not your bed), and a blanket.  Consider the angle of your body.  Use a lamp or candles for lighting so that we can see you on the zoom screen.  Soft lighting helps to illuminate your face and we can all feel connected, be it visually, since we cannot be physically near each other this year. You will need an eyemask for the breathwork portion. We will be starting while the sun is still up on the east coast, however, it will set before we close for the evening. Feel free to smudge your space and yourself and/or light incense (we used to burn sandalwood in our mokwoon and it always reminds me of being there).  Hold rocks if possible, light your own incense, oils, or whatever you feel is delightful. You will be laying down so be warm 🙂

Be sure to make yourself comfortable, wear loose fitting or stretchy clothes or whatever is relaxing to you.  

Sunday, July 12 at 2:30pm EST, Open Form  [Virtual Meeting Via Zoom]: Drop in and do your form with your fellow sisters. We begin with Siu Nim Tao together then move to break out rooms for those who want to work on Chum Kiu or Biu Je. This is an opportunity for us to share our kung fu practice, our insights or pose questions for deeper understanding.

 We look forward to sharing this with you and hope to see you for the lineup of workshops and training sessions to come!

Thank you all who attended our first weekend gathering.

Special thanks to:
–Carrie Collins for opening our circle and setting the tone for our monthly gatherings.
–The Past retreat speakers: Sifu Liz Parry, Jennifer Foraker Wong, Simo May Houri-Carreon and Heather Pesta, thank you for sharing your experience from past events.
–Mei-yann Hwang for bringing in the Metal element with a powerful and intense breathwork (for first timers with breathwork, please know things may continue to shift from that session, so get some rest and be kind to yourself).
–Malati El who facilitated the SiuNimTao breakout room, and to Sifu Liz in Biu Je, thank you for sharing your knowledge in improving our forms.
We hope to see you return to next month’s gathering. For those who couldn’t make it, we hope you can for the next ones. Stay tuned for more details.

August 2020

Theme: Earth and Wood Elements

Saturday Aug 8, 4p-5:15 and 6:30-8pm EST  [Virtual Meeting Via Zoom]

Green Ting:  Connecting with Nature with Dr. Jere Boudell

Gum Gai Duk Lap: Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg w/ Sifu Liz Parry

Sunday July 9, 2:30 pm EST  [Virtual Meeting Via Zoom]

Open Forms

We will be holding virtual gatherings the second Saturday of September and October, stay tuned for more details

Registration and Workshop Access: Sliding scale $20-$40*
Paypal: vingtsunsisterhood@gmail.co
Venmo: mia-velez-1
Once payment is received, we will send you a Zoom invitation and further event details.  For 1st time registrants, please provide: name, phone number and your lineage from Moy Yat to vingtsunsisterhood@gmail.com
*Proceeds go to a scholarship fund assisting attendees who wish to attend next year’s retreat, but may not have the financial resources to do so


Green Ting: Connecting to nature with Dr. Jere Boudell

Green Ting is the art of listening and connecting to nature. In this relationship, we find ourselves rooted in the essential truth that we belong in the vast green web that underpins our very existence. Join us as we listen, explore, and learn to see the plants and their allies in our world. 

Jere is a plant biologist and professor specializing in understanding, and restoring, the relationships that plants form with each other, their allies, and the environment. She has been teaching and conducting research for 23 years. In 2013, Jere found Ving Tsun and has been a student of Sifu Wayne Belonoha ever since. 

Gum Gai Duk Lap – Rooster Stands on One Leg with Sifu Liz Parry:

This workshop will look at tools to help cultivate your kung fu practice, restoring balance and bringing resilience.

A third generation disciple, Sifu Liz Parry has been practicing martial arts for over thirty-six years.  Her Sifu is Master Sunny Tang, an original student of Grand Master Moy Yat in Hong Kong. She was an Assistant Instructor at the Sunny Tang’s School in Scarborough for many years and studied under his tutelage since 1986. She has competed and won for the National Canadian Team internationally. She performed at the 10th World Wushu Championships in Toronto in 2009 and for the Opening Ceremonies at the Ip Man Tong in China in 2003.  She is the Founder of Parry’s Plum Blossom School in Toronto and studied Human Resource Management. She worked as a Manager, Law Clerk, Postal Worker and is currently serving her third term elected as Chief Shop Steward for The South Area Letter Carriers for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the largest Postal Local in Canada. She has been employed at Canada Post for over 23 years and is an active member in the labour movement and a member of the Constitutional Committee for the Ontario Federation of Labour.  Sifu Parry currently holds a Master Degree (Duan Wei) Level 7 conferred by WushuCanada, a Secretarial Committee Member for Wushu Canada and is an Official Judge for the Canadian Team Selection for Traditional Wushu and also served as an International Judge for the 2018 World Wing Chun Competition in Foshan, China. 

September 2020

Theme:  Water Element

Saturday Sept 12, 4p-6pm  [Virtual Meeting Via Zoom]

4p-5p:  Water in the Garden with Carrie Reed James 

5:15-6p:  Open Forms

Stay tuned for details on our final gathering in October

Registration and Workshop Access:
Sliding scale $10-$20*
Paypal: vingtsunsisterhood@gmail.comVenmo: mia-velez-1Once payment is received, we will send you a Zoom invitation and further event details.  For 1st time registrants, please provide: name, phone number and your lineage from Moy Yat to vingtsunsisterhood@gmail.com
*Proceeds go to a scholarship fund assisting attendees who wish to attend next year’s retreat, but may not have the financial resources to do so

Water in the Garden

From the soothing tinkle of a fountain, the trickle of a waterfall or bird baths and watering stations; water in the garden is a way to bring peace to your soul. If you enjoy watching and attracting bees, butterflies and dragonflies to your garden you will reap the benefits of creating a watering station for your winged friends. Join me as I take you outside, into my garden. To a place that soothes me and nurtures the many flying helpers in the garden. Pick up or gather the few items on the materials list, head outdoors and let me walk you through the basics. The finished project is as limited as your creativity.

No matter how big or small your area is, if you have an outdoor space you can bring water into it.

Carrie James is a resident of Northern Ontario. She has had a lifelong passion for gardening.  Water gardening, including ponds, fountains and still water is a particular pleasure, allowing the senses to enjoy the sounds, sights and coolness of the droplets. As a martial artist, time in the garden is restorative. All gardening has a purpose, some meditative, some active. It is the perfect place to practise forms while immersed in the fragrances of whichever plants are in bloom.  Carrie enjoys teaching and coaching her grandchildren to be avid gardeners.

October 2020

Saturday, Oct 17, 2p-3p EST: “Hidden Figures: A study of Ng Mui and Ving Tsun Chinese Characters from a Calligraphy Perspective” By Zhengqui Hu. This seminar is open to everyone [Virtual Meeting Via Zoom]

Hidden in plain sight, Ng Mui and Ving Tsun have a story to tell by looking at their Chinese characters. Please join us on Saturday, Oct 17 2-3pm EST as Zhengqi Hu helps to unlock their meaning. This seminar is open to ALL.

Zhengqi (jeng-chi) performed Calligraphy at Sitai Helen Moy’s 75th birthday celebration in Philadelphia as a nod to GM Moy Yat’s occupation as an artist; and as a reminder that Chinese Calligraphy is part of our lineage.
Space is limited, please register soon! Zoom link will be provided when payment is received.

Closing Circle

Sunday, Oct 18, Time 3:30-6pm EST: Fire Element and Closing Circle. FREE  [Virtual Meeting Via Zoom]

Reminder to RSVP for the Closing Circle. We will invite you to get in touch with your own fire, the element that activates, nurtures, and destroys, and we will be doing 1000 punches! During this time, we will also reconvene with the rest of the five elements and reflect upon the work we individually can do in order to take part in the collective healing that needs to take place globally. Come, create ritual with us as sisters, and set intentions for the year to come!

Closing Circle led by Carrie Collins
1000 Punches led by Simo Mia Velez