Team Evergreen black belts and beginners bring home the Gold
The Team Evergreen Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw Kung Fu Team competed in their second tournament of the year on Saturday, November 10th in Tenino, Washington. The Greater Tenino Tournament of Champions was hosted by Chuck Cameron and sanctioned by the International Martial Arts Council (IMAC). Every competitor on Team Evergreen placed in the top three in at least one division and the team was awarded a plaque honoring their dedication to martial arts and competitive spirit.
National team representative Sam Haskin and Team Evergreen captain Owen O'Keefe took first and second place respectively in the men's black belt traditional forms division. Jessie Smith, another national team member and Evergreen alumni, placed first in the women's traditional forms division. In the beginner traditional forms division Team Evergreen took gold, silver, and bronze. Newcomer Rob Brewer took first place followed by Robyn Holmes and Animito Pollino.
In the open forms division Team Evergreen swept the black belt division as well as the under belt division. In the men and women's black belt open forms division Smith took first place again on her way to another flawless performance. Haskin, the founding team captain at Evergreen, took the silver with his quick-handed Eagle Claw Lo Han. O'Keefe displayed his overwhelming power in his form and was awarded the bronze. In the under black belt division Rob Brewer placed first with his clarity and power. Holmes took a close second with strong stances and sharp movements and Pollino had another strong performance in his second tournament taking third place.
The black belt point sparring division began late in the afternoon and absorbed the crowd. Some of the top competitors in the Northwest were gathered in Tenino to make it a true tournament of champions including Mike Regliatti IMAC world champion and Marty May, NBL world champion; their teammate Mike Mathers was also in attendance. In the heavyweight black belt division O'Keefe fought a close championship match and kept the score tied for the majority of the time but finished in a close second. Haskin finished the day with a bronze in point sparring. In the women's black belt point sparring division Jessie Smith finished in first place making this her second straight tournament with gold medals in all her divisions.
The showing illuminates the up and coming competitive presence of a young junior Evergreen Team following in the footsteps of last year's World Championship squad. Also of note, team leaders Owen O'Keefe and Jesse Smith have been steadily racking up national rating points in IMAC which leads to World Championship invitations in yet another sanctioning organization that Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw has chosen to enter. The Evergreen Kung Fu team would like to thank Grandmaster Fu Leung and Sifu Dana G. Daniels for their countless hours of instruction and dedication. For more information about Team Evergreen Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw Kung Fu Club and Competition visit www.bakshaolineagleclaw.com or contact Owen O'Keefe at 357-9137.
The Evergreen Kung Fu team would like to thank Grandmaster Fu Leung and Sifu Dana G. Daniels for their countless hours of instruction and dedication. For more information about Team Evergreen Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw Kung Fu Club and Competition visit www.bakshaolineagleclaw.com or contact Owen O'Keefe at 357-9137.