The United States Kuo Shu Federation (USKSF) is an organization which promotes friendship, unity, physical fitness, harmony, martial ethics, and peace around the world through the principles of Kuo Shu. The USKSF consists of a board of directors representing martial arts organizations across the U.S. This national network set standards for judges’, referees’, and instructors’ certifications, as well as created a new ranking system based on international standards. Originally called the United States Chinese Kuo Shu Federation (USCKF), in 2006, members of the executive committee voted to change the name to the United States Kuo Shu Federation (USKSF). Through the organization, certifications are awarded. The USKSF is a member of The World Kuo Shu Federation.
Kuo Shu, the Chinese “national art,” is a cultural heritage that promotes both a healthy body and a strong moral character. Also known as Kung Fu, it is the trademark of traditional Chinese Wushu (martial arts) and emphasizes peace and harmony. As a method of cultivating the mind and body, Kuo Shu appeals to persons of all ages and nationalities. By certifying the proficiency ratings of Kuo Shu participants, the USKSF brings the level of competition up to international standards.
In the United States, the name Huang, Chien-Liang is synonymous with Kuo Shu. Since his arrival in the U.S. in 1973, and now as the president of the USKSF and Chairman of the Board of The World Kuo Shu Federation, Grandmaster Huang has actively promoted the teaching and study of Kuo Shu and supported its athletic and self-defense aspects. Grandmaster Huang has spent much of his time conducting seminars around the world, while simultaneously promoting Kuo Shu and martial ethics.
Through his efforts, Kuo Shu has received widespread respect and recognition inside and outside martial arts circles. Since he took the helm of the USCKF in 1991, Grandmaster Huang has continued to raise the quality of Kuo Shu seminars, demonstrations, and competitions. The tournament’s first 102 competitors many years ago have now grown to an average 600 competitors who come from around the world to support the USKSF’s annual event. In addition, the USKSF has sponsored many charitable events that benefit people far beyond the martial arts community. Grandmaster Huang led the USKSF to raise over $4,000 for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during a martial arts demonstration on April 24, 2005, and raised over $3,700 for victims of September 11 at a demonstration in November, 2001. The Baltimore County Executive issued a proclamation praising the event and the generous sum that was raised during the relief effort.
In the western hemisphere, the USKSF participates in the Pan-American Kuo Shu Federation, which holds tournaments throughout the Americas each year. These include the First Americas Cup International Kuo Shu Championship Tournament in 1991, and the U.S. International Kuo Shu Championship Tournaments for the years 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000 through 2007. The year 2000 marked a significant step forward for the USKSF when it inaugurated the Kuo Shu Hall of Fame (KHOF) at the annual U.S. Kuo Shu Hall of Fame banquet. The KHOF is the USKSF’s most prestigious award because it recognizes the individual who has promoted Kuo Shu and martial ethics throughout his/her lifetime.
The KHOF nominee must obtain two thirds of the votes of the KHOF Committee in order to be inducted. Additionally, the USKSF confers annual awards for Competitor, Instructor, and Judge of the year, and also recognizes Kuo Shu Contributors at the KHOF banquet.
The USKSF is honored to receive proclamations from Maryland officials, including former Governor William Donald Schaefer, former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., Maryland State Senator Andrew Harris, former Baltimore Mayor, now Governor, Martin O’Malley, and Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith. Since 1994, U.S. Congressional representatives and state officials have joined the USKSF in welcoming tournament participants in the opening ceremony. Since 1994, the USKSF has hosted the only annual Kuo Shu tournament with formal representation from the White House.
While hosting the International Kuo Shu Championship Tournament in 1994, the USKSF raised Kuo Shu’s recognition level by successfully gaining the participation of the offices of President William Clinton and Vice President Al Gore of the United States in the opening ceremonies. This participation, which is unprecedented in the history of Chinese martial arts in the U.S., has become an annual practice, with President George W. Bush continuing the tradition and sending a representative since 2001. This consistent participation of the White House demonstrates USKSF’s serious commitment to promoting Kuo Shu outside traditional martial arts communities.