Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let's overcome all our obstacles to get to where we want to be. Jiayou.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If you cannot tumble and you also cannot stunt, either buck up or go join a cheer dance team (assuming you can at least dance)...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Well I know that by claiming that all bases are weak was quite hard on all; it was purely down to my own frustrations at my own incapability and I just had to get something off my chest.

After reading the post through again, it kind of felt like I was imposing my dreams and beliefs. I was wrong to do that. Being harsh on myself will do just fine.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Females the stronger gender?

Did some training last night. I trained till I could not even do a proper toss to hands, and my entire shirt was drenched with my sweat from top to bottom. However, Snow's shirt was still completely dry, and she told me this: "She got nothing from the training at all, except hurting knees and ankles from all the pop down; she did not felt that she had trained at all."

Today on my way to work, as usual I would take a copy of My Paper and read. I read this article from the chinese section about "我国体坛为何女强男弱?" This article makes me go into deep thoughts.

In summary, the article explores reasons why females are dominating Singapore sports scene at the moment; with the victory of our female table tennis in the 2008 Olympics as the most notable example. The article also mentions for the first time, since the establishment of Singapore National Olympic Committee(SNOC) Awards in 1967, the "Best Male Athelete of the year award" has zero nomination because no single male is deserving of that award and hence not awarded.

As reported on the paper, some reasons given that may be attributing to the senario now is due to the lower international standards for females as compared to males and also the higher participation of males in competitions. Another reason stated is the disruption of training for males due to NS commitments. Another reason that I picked out is the fact that females can receive more help in training from males but not vice-versus; for example a female table tennis player can spar with a male player to maximise and bring out her potential by playing with the quicker and stronger male player. The paper also said that this phenomenon may just be a temporary one, with more male atheletes up and coming.

After some thoughts from reading the article, coupled with last night's training, I start to seriously agree with the statement: "我国体坛女强男弱" Are the reasons given by My Paper a true reflection or are they just excuses for our under-performing male atheletes? To me, I start to think that they are all but excuses, it is either you succeed or you fail. Don't tell me that the female atheletes mentioned in the paper did not train hard for their competition? They may be where they are now because they put in so much more efforts than their male counterparts. And please do not take the credit away from them by saying stuff like there is less competition and lower international standards for females, they deserved to be right where they are now.

I resoundingly think that for the cheer scene in Singapore, the guys are much weaker than the girls in general, maybe with few and far between exceptions. Let me talk in terms of partner stunting, if the guy is not good and strong enough to base the flyer, there is no way the flyer can do her stunts or try any new tricks. Now I know why Snow did not even break a sweat last night; the stunts that we were doing are so "elementary" to her. It is not like she was doing something new, it was stuff that she had done 2 years ago when the Taiwanese came down. Then all the Taiwanese bases had to do was to mention and explain to her a few details of the stunt and there you have it, she did it on the first or next couple of tries with them; stuff like full up, full around, tick tocks, pop overs (It can all be seen from her videos). It took me 2 years to be doing what they had been doing back then, and still I am less consistent. People sometimes are amazed or wonder how come Snow can take a 1 year break without training and yet come back and do all the stuff as if she had been training hard and that she had not been away. The reason is that it is all very simple stunts for her, which I must elaborate again that she already did it 2 YEARS AGO and the only variable comes from the base that is me.

The point I am trying to make is that all, every single one of the bases in Singapore are weak, if not they are strong but have no techniques! In the My Paper article, they mentioned about the male table tennis players playing and helping the female players reach a higher standard. To me, this does not apply at all to the males in cheerleading, we do not help the females of our sport to reach higher standards or maximise their potential, instead we are actually impeding them. In all my years of experience, from what I see from all the different trainings at different places in Singapore, it is always the bases who said lets take a break, or complained about having no strength; yes when I say this it includes myself. When is the time we as bases in Singapore want to start to buck up? If we know that we are way off the mark, shouldn't we be working doubly hard? or much harder than the girls?

So is this phenomenon really a temporary one, with more male atheletes up and coming, like what My Paper says? I think not in 1 or 2 years time. In cheer, what I can see from the new generation of bases is promising in general at the moment, but to say, for example, that we are going to have even 10 sets of flyers and bases doing Pop Overs together, I think we are still way off the mark, unless all bases have a radical change in their mindset. Bases who felt wronged and aggrieved by my stinging accusations, that we are all below standards, feel free to prove me otherwise, I will be more than happy to be able to eat my words one day. Myself as a base, I will like to make myself eat my own words too, no matter how much I do not like the feeling, I have to accept it. Improvements only starts after acceptance.

P.S: Maybe this is why there is only 1 base nomination compared to several flyers nomination in Chaang's top 20 - There are just no base deserving of that accolade.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Being Satisfied

I mentioned in my earlier post last week: Life is full of paradox; one reason why, in my opinion, is because humans are never satisfied.

So is never being satisfied something good or bad? I believed that this is one of the very important traits of human beings; it got us from being a cave man to where we are now. If humans are always satisfied, records will not be broken, innovation will not happen, and life will not be changed.

We should all always strive to be better, not get satisfied with what we already achieved. Being never satisfied indeed can bring us further, but only if it is still in your own control.

P.S: The difference is to be able to acknowledge, appreciate and give thanks to whatever you had achieved; before you continue to strive for more. If you cannot enjoy and appreciate the moment when you achieved something, that is when this trait has gone overboard.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


When 元大鹰 was young, his grandma never allowed him to play basketball or even get near a ball. Her only wish and hope was for him to master 岚蝶划云游身步 in future.

岚蝶划云游身步 is a very powerful skill of dribbling a basketball, that you can defend and attack at the same time with zero loophole.

“就好像练高超极限的武功招式,最适合的人选就是不懂武功之人”This was what the master said.

To be truely magnificent, to master great skills, it is best to start with zero knowledge, an empty mind.

So when the time is ripe, when the right teaching comes your way or when it is time to learn the 绝世武功; only then with a "mind of a newborn", is it possible to absorb every minor little details without any rejection from your mind because of what you learnt and experienced before.

P.S: Forget what you learnt about toss to hands...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Make a guess

Was going through some random videos and found this; and I realised I was quite daring back then. A video screen shot image of me doing "backtuck" midway when I just started learning.

The distance of my head to the ground seems pretty little (~<50cm?). Do you think I made it standing at the end?

No Limits

Started reading this book on Michael Phelps. He is just like any other guy on the streets, just with a bit more imagination.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Everytime when it comes to goodbyes with my collegues on Fridays, they would always say,"Enjoy your weekends".

As the saying goes, time passes quickly when you are enjoying yourself; so why will I want to enjoy my weekend for? If I enjoy it, time flies and my weekend will be over fast and before I know it I will be back in office.

So to all people working,"Lets not enjoy our weekends so we can turn it into a long weekend!"

P.S: Life is full of paradox; one reason why, in my opinion, is because humans are never satisfied.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Today marks a New Beginning


I consider myself still very young in life's long road ahead of me. Although 27 years is not considered a very long time, there were still many big decisions that I had make along the way. Every such decisions are life changing; you will never know what will become of you if you had made a different choice back then. For example, what will happen if you had chosen a different secondary school, or a different JC/Poly, or a different Uni. The different friends that you may meet, and the different activities that you will engage in.

When it comes to big decisions, one may consult in their family and friends before making the final decision. But what are big decisions? For me, I feel that decisions which you had to stick with for a substantial period of your life constitute to a big decision. Back in school days, those decisions included which schools you want to join, because once you chosen it, it will be where you will be spending most of your time for the next 4 years for Sec, 2-3 years for high school, and another 3-4 years for Uni. And now in my career, big decisions include which line of work to choose, which company to join, which jobs to do, etc.

For us, such big decisions are key milestones in our lives and many more are waiting to made. These are the kind of typical, traditional "big decisions"; such as school, work, house, marriage, kids and so on. We sort of already knew when the time comes, we have to make such a decision. However, have you thought about the smaller decisions in life, those that does not fall within the so called "big decisions", those that you never knew would become a part of a bigger picture?

Some decisions may seemed small, that you thought probably will be a one time thing, but such decisions can actually end up becoming a large part of your life inadvertently. When you make a decision, sometimes it takes years, maybe decades for you to realise the full magnitude of that "small decision". For me I had made one such decision before in my life, and that "small decision" leads on to another and then another and then snowballed into one unforgettable, major part of my life now.

That small little decision that I had made was to follow my friend, my senior, then later my mentor, to take a look at Hall 4 HO cheerleading training in 2003. It probably also took alot of fate to bring us together into NTU out of 3 University in Singapore, and then into that 1 hall out of 15 halls in NTU and then into the same block and same level out of 6 different blocks. However, after that nothing was fated, it was all his hard work that pushed Hall 4 to join HO cheerleading that year, after they almost decide to pull out, and it was also his efforts in getting people to join.

His name is Calvin Teo. He would always come to my room, or we would go out for supper, and we became friends. It was through our friendship, and his psyching and persuading, that I decided to go down to take a look after my exams. After the first session, where he taught me a few basics, such as elevator and shoulder sit, I got a clearer picture of the situation our hall was in; if we do not have enough people, we will have to pull out, which would be a very big thing then as all halls always participated. Well I made another decision and that is to help them for the HO performance.

Calvin Teo, the guy I owe my cheerleading career to.

We trained hard for 1 week, yes just 1 week, no more or no less, to put up our HO Cheerleading 2004 performance. You can take a look at the video below; for those younger ones, you probably will laugh(saying you can train that in a few minutes)and for those older ones, it will probably bring back some memories of the good old days. Well we all had fun, even though we got last, but the main thing is at least we tried and did not pull out.

Team Hall 4 in HO Cheerleading 2004. (Me at the extreme right standing)

My first ever performance.

Hall 4 HO Cheerleading 2004 (probably the one and only you can ever find on the web)

After HO 2004, Calvin continued to pass on his passion for cheerleading to me. He asked me if I was interested to join Cheerobics 2004. Calvin Teo was one of the important pioneers for NTU ACES, the unsung heroes behind all the glamour NTU ACES is receiving now. After HO, I got a taste of what cheerleading is about, but I would not say that I had developed a passion for it. I liked more about the interaction amongst the team, the fun that we had together during training. So when Calvin asked me to join Cheerobics 2004 with NTU ACES, I was not so sure still. However after some persuading, telling me it is a good oportunity to get more hall allocation points and to know more people, especially more girls(haha), I made another "small decision" to follow him.

Together with another friend of mine from Hall 4, Weipin, we went with Calvin to join Cheerobics 2004. To me then it was more of just joining Cheerobics and not joining ACES; ACES was just a name to me then. But as if it was fated, one small decision leads to another, and before I know or even think about it, I am in NTU ACES for more than 5 years; the only place I can call home, the best team in Singapore currently.

Training with ACES for Cheerobics 2004 was fun, and I got to try alot of new things as compared to HO Cheerleading (can tell from the above HO video), and that was also when I met Ian & Zhaoming, the only few still around till now. In ACES, we were all new to the cheer scene, we do not know about teams like Magnum, Vespers, Denvers, etc, who were in the business for very long already. The prelims were a eye opener, Magnum was superb and we were like noobs. In the end, the finals we manage to get 2nd after Magnum. We were all very happy, like one big family.

My journey in cheerleading then carried on from the moment we lift that trophy, one small decision at a time. Without going to see HO training, I would not have joined, without joining HO, I would not have joined Cheerobics 2004, Without joining Cheerobics with ACES, I would not have seen the other magnificent teams out there, without seeing those teams, I would not have a bigger picture and understanding of cheerleading, and without that understanding, I would not be inspired to carry on... I would not have won my first Cheerobics... I would not have did my first cupie... so and so on.

Cheerobics 2004 Prelims. Simple but nice.

The Finals.

Final pyramid in my first competition.

1st Runner Up trophy. (Lets hope not to see the "Runner Up" word ever again)

It all starts with that small decision I made that change my whole life now, I cannot imagine what kind of life I would be leading now if cheerleading is not in the picture. Ever since 2003, cheerleading had been part of my life, and for the last 5 years, each day will not pass without cheerleading stuff running through my mind. Cheerleading has given me so much that it is not possible to list out everything. That small decision had to be the best decision I ever made up to now.

I would like to thank Calvin so much, for being the man that made so much difference to my life than he can imagine. I guess my increase in passion for cheerleading is such a gradual thing, and had I not stop and look back now, I would not have realised that if I had to pick the one single person that is responsible for it, Calvin is the man.

I really want to take this opportunity to thank Calvin, and also share with everyone about my friend, mentor and Shifu. In his time as a cheerleader, he is a very fit and strong base with a very nice temper; always putting the team before self. A very nice and helpful friend, always never rejects anyone in need. He is one of the lesser known early pioneer of ACES Cheerleading; someone who had done so much for cheer, than he was ever known and acknowledged for.

The man.

To Calvin:

(Dun think you visit this blog, but if you ever read it...) I thank you for showing me what cheerleading is all about, and for bringing me into the sport. You are my first teacher and will be always. I learnt my first ever cheerleading skill from you, without that, I will not have been able to do the stunts I am doing now. Thank you. Although we did not contact for quite some time, I will not forget the times we break into SRC together and "borrowed" mats, and also all the stupid things that we did, etc, etc. You really did made a very big impact in my life, much more than you know it. Really thank you, so much more than the words have to say.


Calvin, Weipin (as mentioned above, my earliest comrade in cheer) , Myself.

Calvin on elevator. The first stunt he taught me.

Calvin with BU flyer during Cheerobics 2004

Calvin, with all the early pioneers of ACES taking photo with me after Cheerobics 2007.

(Also the last time I saw you.)

P.S: You once thanked me for helping out in Hall 4 HO Cheer '04. Now I have this to say back to you,"No, do not thank me. I thank you so much for that."