From July 25th through July 28th our team competed at the International Kuoshu Championships that was held in Baltimore, Maryland. This was the 26th anniversary of the tournament and also a very special year for our organization. It was the 25th year that we attended this prestigious event! Every single year since 1989, we have brought a team to compete at this event with some of the best Chinese martial artists from around the country and the world. Each year our students look forward to attending this tournament and travel across the country to take part in the most prestigious Chinese martial arts tournament in the country.
With over 75 competitors and all of our parents and supporters, we have well over 100 people come with us from our schools to represent our organization. This was our largest group in years and their spirit and enthusiasm was fantastic. Led by head coach Master Buckley and assistant coach Ms. Newman, our students competed in a variety of events from traditional northern forms and weapons to kenpo divisions, light contact sparring and full contact lei tai. Many of our students participated in 10 events or more throughout the weekend, so needless to say it was a very busy weekend for everyone. Many of our black belts not only took part in the competition but also helped as judges and referees throughout the weekend. Mrs. Buckley, Dr. Panella, Mr. McKay, Ms. Piacente, Ms. Mitchell, Ms. Mannion and Mr. Cusack all helped officiate the weekend as International Certified Referees.
We also had a number of our black belts earn their ranking through the TWKSF. Mrs. Buckley and Dr. Panella earned their 3rd Tuan. Mr. Hodge and Ms. Mitchell earned her 2nd tuan, and Ms. Mannion, Mr. Cusack, Ms. Ellett, Mrs. Silverman, Ms. Baker and Ms. Berch all earned their 1st tuan. Congratulations to all that earned their ranking. It is very prestigious to be ranked through the TWKSF so congratulations on your accomplishment!
Special recognition must be given to our lei tai team that all did extremely well this year. They are preparing for the US Team Trials that will take place next year at this tournament to select the USA Team for the World Championships that will be held in Argentina in September of 2015. Mr. Lee, Ms. Dominguez, Mr. Hodge, Ms.Baker, Ms. Berch and Mr. Stamm all represented their teachers and our system and made us all very proud. Their level of skill on the lei tai was impressive, but most importantly their spirit, professionalism and sportsmanship brought great honor to our organization. We are looking forward to them all competing next year and hopefully earning a spot on the USA National Team!
At the end of the competition our team took 2nd place in the Youth Team division, 2nd place in Adult Form division and 1st place in the Lei Tai team event. We won the overall grand championship Wang Cheuh-Jen trophy for the 13th time in our organization’s history. We are extremely proud of our team’s efforts and would like to thank each one of them for their participation. We have a long standing tradition at the US International Kuoshu Championships and our success wouldn’t be possible without each and every one of you.
We would like to thank Grandmaster Huang and the USKSF for hosting the tournament. The tournament directors, organizers, judges and volunteers make this event so successful and we are grateful to each one of them for their hard work and dedication to Kuoshu. It is always a pleasure to see our Kuoshu family from around the country and the world at this tournament. It is a special weekend for us to be able to reunite with friends that we don’t get to see often. We’re already looking forward to next year’s tournament to be able to see everyone again!
Take a look at more of our pictures from the event HERE. We will have a full photo gallery posted soon, so check back on our website shortly. If you were with us at the tournament and have any pictures or video, please get them to us as possible so that we can include them in our gallery.
On a final note, here is a message from Grandmaster Lee to the team regarding the tournament.
To All Members of the West Coast Team:
I’d just like to express to you how delighted I was at your win. I think it’s important to realize that it’s an accumulation of everyone’s individual points in the various events that makes a win like this possible. The scores were very close, but we came up the winner. And even though I couldn’t be there for the first time at this particular tournament, it was a very sweet victory for me, and I thank each one of you for your efforts.
Grandmaster Richard Lee