The United States Kuo Shu Federation (USKSF; www.usksf.org) celebrated another year with the 2016 U.S. International Kuo Shu (Kung Fu) Championship Tournament.  The event was held at the Hunt Valley Inn in Maryland, July 29-31, 2016.  This year’s tournament marked the 28th year of this annual event, which is sanctioned by The World Kuo Shu Federation (www.twksf.org).  For over a quarter century, the USKSF has dedicated itself to the mission of promoting friendship, unity, physical fitness, harmony, martial ethics, and peace through the principles of Kuo Shu.  This annual event has been the cornerstone of carrying out that mission.

The 2016 International Kuo Shu Championship Tournament began on Friday with the National Judge Certification Course (NJCC).  This full day program provides instructional training and practical experience to perform the responsibilities of a judge at Chinese Martial Arts competitions. Instruction is provided for internal and external forms and weapons, as well as Taijiquan pushing hands and light contact sparring.  An Introduction to International Referee Training was also provided – which trains individuals to become Lei Tai full-contact fighting referees.

Opening Ceremonies commenced on Saturday morning hosted by Grandmaster Huang, Chien-Liang, President of the USKSF and 64th Generation Grandmaster of Tien Shan Pai. This year, VIP’s and spectators were welcomed by a performance of a Lion and Dragon Dance presented by Calvin Chin’s Martial Arts Academy.

The USKSF was again greatly honored to have representation from President Barack Obama. The USKSF sponsors the only tournament to have had formal participation from The Office of the President of the United States since 1994.  In addition, proclamations and salutations were received from U.S. Senators Benjamin Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, U.S. Congresspersons Dutch Ruppersbuger and Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamemetz, and many others.

Competition events began after the Opening Ceremonies, with adult and youth light contact sparring, forms and weapons competitions, wushu, taijiquan divisions and full contact Lei Tai fighting. Throughout the weekend, tournament participants had the opportunity to compete in over 250 divisions including forms, weapons, and group sets, as well as empty hand and weapons sparring across various martial arts styles.  Medals were awarded for 1st through 4th place in the Adult divisions and 1st through 8th place in the Youth divisions.

The Saturday evening Master’s Demonstration is always a highlight of the tournament as well. This year was no exception,as some of the best masters from around the world demonstrated their various Kuo Shu styles.

Closing Ceremonies were held Sunday afternoon, where the individual and team trophies were awarded. Individual Lei Tai medals were presented to first through fourth place.  The awardees for 2016 were:

The Wang, Cheuh-Jen Cup for Team Grand Champion was awarded to Richard Lee’s East West Kung Fu, Alamo, CA, USA.

Team Adult Forms and Weapons Championship was awarded to Richard Lee’s East West Kung Fu, Alamo, CA, USA.  2nd Place was awarded to US Kuo Shu Academy, Owings Mills, MD, USA. 3rd Place was awarded to TSKF Academia de Artes Marciais, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Lei Tai Championship was awarded to Fight Teal LLC, Tampa, FL, USA.  2nd Place was awarded to Richard Lee’s East West Kung Fu, Alamo, CA, USA.  3rd Place was awarded to Yee’s Hung Ga International Kung Fu Association, Syracuse, NY, USA.

Team Youth Forms and Weapons Championship was awarded to Wah Lum Kung Fu & Tai Chi Academy, Malden, MA, USA.  2nd Place was awarded to Richard Lee’s East West Kung Fu, Alamo, CA, USA.  3rd Place was awarded to Calvin Chin’s Martial Arts Academy, Newton, MA, USA.

After review of the ballots, the Judge of the Year was awarded to Shifu Meghan Mannion Gray, California, USA.  Click HERE for all 2016 tournament awards and results.

The weekend came to a close with the Annual Kuo Shu Hall of Fame Banquet.  Before the dancing and revelry, the annual “Competitor of the Year” awards were presented with categories for both Male and Female competitors.  Those rewarded were:

Youth – Thomas Tran and Michelle Ngo.  Teen – Ricky Mei and Yen-Nhi Chit.  Adult External – Austin Tang and Andrea So.  Adult Internal – Owen Riley and Peck Mun Lee.  Lei Tai – Rashaun Jackson and Angie Dominguez. A huge congratulations to all of this year’s individual competitors and teams!

The annual US Kuo Shu Tournament demonstrates all that is worth celebrating in the practice of traditional and contemporary martial arts. Next year’s event, will be hosted on July 28-30, 2017 in Hunt Valley, Maryland. For further tournament details, photos, results, and additional information on the United States Kuo Shu Federation (USKSF), please visit our website.