Body Balance Academy claims 14 medals at Baltimore tourney |

Body Balance Academy claims 14 medals at Baltimore tourney

From left: Brian Haennelt, Emily Melancon, Chandra Moore (kneeling), Summer Lujan, Kiala Lujan, Steve Adel (in back), Vivian Borello, Shih Fu Eileen Hancock and Kaia Smith at the U.S. International Kuo Shu Championship Tournament in Baltimore.
Tina Heck/courtesy photo |

BALTIMORE — Grass Valley martial arts school, Body Balance Academy, showed its kung fu prowess at the U.S. International Kuo Shu Championship Tournament in Baltimore and brought home the medals as evidence.

The team took six gold medals in forms, weapon sparring and light contact sparring. Eight additional silver and bronze medals were also awarded to the team of martial artists.

The Kuo Shu Championship Tourney is an annual competition that celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.

Body Balance owner and Master Shi Fu Eileen Hancock takes her team of students to the competition every year.

Team spirit runs high for this small band of competitors. Six students from Body Balance Academy participated in the tournament.

“We are a small and energetic team of capable and committed students,” said Hancock.

Hancock grew up participating in international kung fu and tai chi tournaments and now participates as a judge. She was recognized for her support and participation in the tournament and received an executive citation from the Baltimore County Executives.

Before this year’s tournament began, the governor of the state of Maryland, Martin O’Malley proclaimed July 21-28 International Kuo Shu week. President Obama signed the proclamation.

Body Balance Academy is located in the old Union Building on Mill Street in downtown Grass Valley and offers classes in kung fu and tai chi.

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