Team Evergreen at Master Rick Johnson's Northwest Martial Art Karate Kung Fu Friendship Tournament
Saturday, June 17th saw another victory for The Evergreen State College Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw Kung Fu Competition Team. Following hard on the heels of their victories in Midland, Michigan, Eatonville, Washington, and Rainier, Washington, Team Evergreen arrived ready to rumble, fielding seven competitors under the leadership of Coach Sifu Dana G. Daniels.
Rick Johnson, West Coast NBL arbitrator, was the tournament's promoter. Rick was impressed with Team Evergreen's control and skill. He commented to National Coach Sifu Dana G. Daniels, "You guys are starting to learn our [NBL] game." His respect for the Team's competitive abilities was demonstrated in his invitation to have Team Evergreen travel to competitions with his own squad, Team M.A.A.D.
The day began with Team Evergreen excelling in multiple forms divisions. Ryan "the Borracho" Kunimura took 2nd in Open Beginner Forms and followed with 3rd in Traditional Beginner. Owen "the Owenator" O'Keefe followed suit taking 2nd in the Open Advanced division. Catherine "Boulder" McLaine took a 1st in Traditional, beating out a large division of men and women, and also 3rd in Open Forms Advanced / Blackbelt. John "the Scholar" Eastlake placed a resounding 1st in Traditional Forms and captured 3rd in Open Forms. John went on to place runner up in the Adult Underbelt Grand Championships. Loa "Tsunami" Arnoth took 1st in Open Blackbelt and 3rd in Musical Creative. Jesse "NHL" Harter placed 2nd in Blackbelt weapons with his mighty Shaolin staff. Team Evergreen scored again, adding to their chain of victories across the Northwest.
Team Evergreen showed its Eagle Claw spirit in the fighting rings. Ryan Kunimura and Owen O'Keefe both fought sturdily, demonstrating kung fu power in their respective divisions. John Eastlake incurred multiple penalty points for excessive contact to the face, losing the points but driving his opponent repeatedly from the ring. Shasta "Partyboy" Smith made a showing with his patented speed against a difficult opponent. Loa Arnoth had three fights, in which she demonstrated power and control by dominating two fighters and TKO-ing one, placing 3rd in Women's Blackbelt Fighting. Her use of consecutive kicking techniques overwhelmed her opponents. Jesse "NHL" Harter came ready to rock, taking 2nd in Heavyweight Blackbelt Fighting. This tournament also saw Team Evergreen's first foray in the Blackbelt Team Fighting division. Jesse Harter and Owen O'Keefe fights were clear examples of the power and solidity of Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw Kung Fu. Jesse kicked his opponent in the head repeatedly, out-kicking a Black Belt Tae Kwon Do stylist. With attention to both power and strategy, Team members Owen O'Keefe, Shasta Smith, and Jesse Harter took 2nd place. Team Evergreen's presence was felt by all at the tournament.
This tournament saw the unusual and welcome entrance of Sifu Dana G. Daniels into the position of Judge. He contributed his talents to the position of Center Judge during the Black Belt Forms Grand Championship. He also was on hand to serve as a corner judge during the Black Belt Point Fighting. Sifu Dana's trademark clarity and fairness were evident in the clean decisiveness of his point calls. Both top form and fighting competitors showed their respect to Sifu Dana, bowing deeply and sincerely.
The Team thanks Grandmaster Fu Leung, National Coach Sifu Dana G. Daniels, and Evergreen RecSports for training, coaching, and support that led to this, their latest victory.