The Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw National team composed of members from the Puerto Rico, Madison, The Evergreen State College, Texas and Florida branches, under the direct guidance of Grandmaster Fu Leung and coached by Sifu Dana G. Daniels and Sifu Gianni DeMichele, arrived in Dallas, Texas to compete at the Ching Wu Tai Chi Chuan Legacy tournament hosted by Jimmy Wong and sanctioned by the USAWKF.

This was an important competition to the team as our style is representative of traditional Ching Wu culture. Our team of 34 competitors, which included 12 team members from the Evergreen Team, brought home a total of 57 medals including 20 gold medals, 24 silver, and 13 bronze. As is often the case in recent years in competitions around the nation, we were the dominant force in the fighting arenas, in numerous cases sweeping the division.

Once again, this competition showed Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw's ability to field a large, effective team from its numberous bases around the world. The national and international instructors present as a team coaches were:

(All three national medallists in the USAWKF Sanshou and semi - contact 96 - 97 - 98)

The first day of the competition was dominated by form competitions, where our team won across a wide range of age divisions. Loa Arnoth, TESC team member, completely dominated the intermediate female forms divisions with her powerful Eagle Claw form. She won gold medals in traditional, open and Eagle Claw forms. In the black belt Eagle Claw forms compteition, the team swept the division. Wisconsin team captains Nate Sonnenberg and Noam Reininger took gold and silver respectively. In the open division, Evergreen team captain Sam Haskin took bronze..

As usual, the Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw team performed exceptionally well in the fighting rings. Sparring rules were "continuous - fighting: where the combatants are allow to continuously fight for two minutes. In the Adult beginner fighting rings, Isaac Overcast (TESC) took a silver in Middleweight and Abi Hassan (TESC) took 4th in Heavyweight..

The intermediate level division was represented just as well, with Evergreen team member Shasta Smith's gold in the middleweight ring and John Eastlake's silvers in the lightweight and heavyweight rings.

At the end of the day, the advanced Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw team members demonstrated their skill in their respective weight classes. In the female division, Jesse Smith and Loa Arnoth (Evergreen) took gold and silver respectively, fighting dominantly and aggressively as usual.

The male black belt rings involved some of the most spectacular fights and were very well run by Vancouver based Sifu Jon Funk. Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw black belt competitors dominated all four weight classes, taking three gold and three silver medals. In the lightweight division Sifu Eric Cintron from Puerto Rico put on a beautiful show of skill and experience by outsmarting and outhitting all of his opponents to win the gold. Wisconsin's Noam Reininger fought in his usual aggressive and hard hitting style.

In the middleweight ring, Nate Sonnenberg won the gold with his fast fighting skills. In the heavyweight division, Olympia's hard hitting Jesse Harter and Matt Sieradski took gold and silver respectively. In the Super Heavyweight division, Evergreen Team Captain Sam Haskin took a silver after three fights.

Once again, the Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw team held up its reputation for producing hard - hitting fighters. A number of Sifus called it "Full Contact light" and the rough and aggressive Olympia and Madison fighers, coached by Sifu Dana G. Daniels, were invited to compete in the Texas and New York full contact circuits.

Most of our members travelled long distances through hardship - many by car from Olympia and Wisconsin, and under great expense (flying from Puerto Rico) to compete.

We wish to commend all of our local teams who joined our national group and came together ot train, compete in forms, and fight. As always, we thank Grand Master Fu, who brought the syle to us from Malaysia and to the coaches who work under him to produce the great teams we field. And also, thanks to the parents and support members.