May 19, Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw Team Evergreen Kung Fu competed in the 5th Annual Northwest Open. The team did excellently, winning 16 top three medals, five fourth place finishes, and one grand championship, with only six competitors. The tournament was an International Martial Arts Council (IMAC)-sanctioned event and had a large spectrum of martial art styles. There were Olympic tae kwon do sparring divisions, point and continuous sparring divisions, and even an Arnis stick-fighting ring. Team Evergreen Kung Fu was comprised of two members from the world championship team, captain Jesse Harter and co-captain Shasta Smith, and four up and coming junior team members, Kevin Barrett, Ben Green, Morgan Thomberry, and Patrick Kenny.

One of the first divisions of the day was continuous sparring. Shasta Smith, Kevin Barrett, and Ben Green competed in the lightweight division. The three teammates set the tone for the day, winning their first round matches. Barrett won his second round fight after his opponent was disqualified. Green bowed out to Smith in the second round and ended the division in fourth place. Barrett then bowed out to Smith in the final round, taking silver and giving Smith the gold. After the division had ended, Smith had an exhibition match against the #4 National Blackbelt league fighter in the world. After two rounds, the score was tied at one round apiece. In the third round, Smith turned it on with a barrage of kicks and punches; he knocked out his opponent and won the match two points to one. Smith went on to win the grand championship for the light and middleweight divisions.
In the heavyweight ring, Jesse Harter followed the lightweights performance with three crowd-shocking matches. Harter controlled the ring in each of the fights with his power and skill. The three fighters Harter came up against were all from the Dacascos School. He knocked out two of his three opponents, one with a solid punch to the jaw and the other with a lightning fast rear leg roundhouse that his opponent never saw. Harter was disqualified in his last match and finished fourth in the division.

In the beginner rings, Morgan Thomberry and Patrick Kenny had outstanding performances in their first-ever tournament. Thomberry won gold, and Kenny followed with bronze in a large traditional forms field. In their second forms division they placed third and fourth respectively. Thomberry finished the day with a fourth place finish in women’s point fighting.

Kevin Barrett and Ben Green, competing in the intermediate rings, pitted their less than one year’s experience against competitors with one to three years of training. Green won silver in the intermediate open forms. In beginner point sparring, Green won his first two fights but had one win revoked due to the judges overlooking a fighter. The brackets were reworked, and Green ended in fourth. In the intermediate point rings, Barrett brought it all to the table. He fought through a division of nearly twenty fighters, and after four tough fights in a row, won silver.

Captain Jesse Harter started off strongly in the blackbelt forms divisions. The competition was left behind in the traditional forms division as Harter took gold with his incredible performance of tai min jun. In the open forms division, Harter and Smith combined to take silver and bronze; Harter was one tenth of a point off the leader. Harter was a force to be reckoned with in the forms arena as he followed his gold and silver performances with a gold in open weapons. Harter qualified for both the weapons and open hand grand championships with his first place finishes. He did extremely well in both grand championships, finishing runner-up in each of the grand championship finals.
In the blackbelt point sparring rings, Smith came in fired up and rocked the lightweight ring. He dominated his first match with his elusive fighting. In the second round, Smith had a low-scoring fight, just beating the other fighter. In the finals, Smith came up against a Dacascos fighter and took silver after nearly knocking out his opponent.

In team sparring, Team Evergreen Kung Fu came up against Dacascos’s team. After fighting each other all day, the teams’ matches were fast and furious. Team Evergreen got their hits in and rounded out the day’s victories with a bronze in team sparring.

Congratulations to Team Evergreen Kung Fu for their most recent victory. The team thanks all the club members and spectators that came to cheer and give their support to the team. The team also thanks Grandmaster Fu Leung and National Coach Sifu Dana G. Daniels for their teaching and coaching that made the team’s success possible.