Arnold martial arts studio takes home 14 medals
By DONNA L. COLE, Staff Writer
Everybody was kung-fu fighting.
Sounds like a song, but in
actuality that's exactly what several martial arts students from the
Arnold-based, Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu and Tai Chi were doing
at the recent Five Tigers Championship in Columbia.
Not only were they fighting, they were competing - and winning.
Of the six who participated in the competition, five took home at
least one gold medal.
The total medal count for the competitors from Jing Ying included
seven golds, five silvers and two bronzes.
This wasn't just a small, local competition either.
"There were hundreds in the competition from all over the U.S.,
and I think there were some from out of the country as well," said
Billy Greer, owner of Jing Ying and a competitor himself.
Jing Ying's gold medal-winners were Justin Heath of Shady Side,
Mike Jefferson, 16, of Annapolis and Tyler Saxe, 15, of Arnold.
Erik Johnson, 7, of Bowie fell just short of winning a medal, but
was a finalist in the beginner kids' category.
Mr. Greer won one gold, three silver and one bronze medal, while
his 15-year-old daughter, Lane, won three gold, two silver and one
bronze. Is this an overzealous sports dad pushing his daughter to
excel in the sport he loves?
No way, according to dad and daughter.
"If anything she pushes me," said Mr. Greer. "We really help
encourage each other. "
As for his daughter's performance in the competition, Mr. Greer
is clearly proud.
"I think it's just a tribute to her dedication and hard
training," he said.
Martial arts doesn't seem to be just a passing interest in this
"I plan on continuing it throughout my entire life," said Lane.
"I love it."
For both father and daughter, the sport isn't just about
"We're not a tournament school," explained Mr. Greer. "We're not
pushing the kids to go out there and win, win, win. It's more about
going out there and having fun and pushing ourselves - the focus
isn't on coming home with medals."
His daughter seemed to agree about her experience at the Five
"I loved it because it's really an opportunity to go out there
and see the different styles," said Lane. "It's really fun and you
get to interact with people from other schools - I made a lot of
For another member of the Greer family, though, it seemed other
priorities came before the competition.
"My son usually competes too, but the last month he was in the
midst of his drivers ed training," said Mr. Greer.
But there's a lot of interest in martial arts outside of the
Greer family. For the studio directly, enrollment has doubled in
Interestingly, it's not just a kid trend.
"We had three moms who were testing for advancement who also had
their children in the program," explained Mr. Greer. "We're finding
more parents who bring their kids in for classes and decide hey,
this looks like fun, I want to do this too."
In addition to their regular classes and camps, Jing Ying does
host special events throughout the year.
"We've been very fortunate to get some top masters from China to
come to the studio to give workshops," said Mr. Greer.
Donna L. Cole is a freelance writer living in Annapolis.
Published July 13, 2007,
Copyright © 2007 The
Capital, Annapolis, Md