Chu Tai Chi Student John Signoriello Wins Full-Contact 2005 US International Kuoshu Championship Title
July 23, 2005
From top left, clockwise: Rene Gonzalez, Lindsey Horner, John Signoriello, Hyland Harris, Master C.K. Chu, Jesse Shadoan
Hunt Valley, Maryland — Students of C.K. Chu’s Chu Tai Chi school battled fighters from the U.S. and the world to take multiple honors at the U.S. Chinese Kuoshu Federation’s 2005 US International Kuoshu Championship. See highlights of title matches.
John Signoriello won three three-round fights, two by TKO and one by unanimous decision, in one day to earn the middle-weight ‘b’ championship belt. The success came just four weeks after Signoriello victory at the Sport Fighting Titans Kickboxing Championships event on June 18, 2005, in New York City, which culminated in a majority draw favoring Signoriello. Signoriello’s triumphs also demonstrated the versatility of his tai chi training against more specialized hard styles because they came under different rule systems, first San Da (boxing gloves and kickboxing rules, with boxing ring) and then Lei Tai (open platform with open-finger gloves for grappling).
In his fighting debut, Hyland Harris won his first three-round fight by TKO, beating an opponent 20 years his junior. Unable to continue because of a muscle pull, Harris forfeited his next fight and took a Bronze medal in the tournament’s middle-weight ‘c’ division.
In their push-hands competition debuts, Rene Gonzalez won second place in moving step, and Jesse Shadoan won third in limited step, both in the heavy weight category. Their successes also were a testament to their training, which enabled them to compete the same day they learned the tournament rules.
Training in tai chi principles and techniques helped these four students prevail against taller, heavier, and more experienced competitors. “We chose to enter John and Hyland in these full-contact tournaments, and Rene and Jesse in the push hands, so that tai chi technique and power can be fully manifested,” said Master Chu. “Of course fighting is not an end in and of itself.”
“We focus on all aspects of self-cultivation: not only are there fighting classes, but also classes in meditation, chi kung, nei kung, Taoist philosophy, and weapons, to make for a well rounded martial arts education. This is the correct training, especially for full-contact fights.”
“All over the world people see the elderly doing slow beginner-level tai chi movements in the park, but not too many people are aware that advanced tai chi can be done faster, and that all the movements can be applied to fighting. In fact, the tai chi chuan system is regarded by many martial arts masters as the most profound, sophisticated, and high-level system of self-defense.”