About 100 people packed into the downtown Port Angeles dojang at White Crane martial arts for the honor of competing in the first Port Angeles Invitational Martial Arts Tournament held on May 29.
The Port Angeles school had 25 competitors from the ages of 5 up to middle-aged adults, six black belts who ran the competitions and several support staff to keep everything rolling along.
Goldstream Taekwondo from Victoria, British Columbia, was the biggest visiting contingent with 18 competitors, two senior instructors and lots of family and friends.
Sequim Martial Arts head instructor Katherin Sumpter came with eight athletes including three of the cancer survivor class members.
There were five types of competition. Robert Nicholls, who is certified by the international organization for judging, ran the official taekwondo forms events. Local instructor Patty Parrill, a veteran of many open tournaments, ran the breaking events, while fellow White Crane black belt Nicholas Ostrovsky-Snider officiated the open forms.
Kajukenbo black belt Marcus Tanner, who teaches at the headquarters, oversaw weapons forms.
There were two types of fighting: no-contact karate style and contact taekwondo. In the point karate fights, the first one to three points wins, without hitting the other player. In taekwondo continuous fighting, the players do not stop. They fight for two rounds and whoever has the most points wins.
The White Crane Federation is growing in the north Olympic Peninsula and the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It is believed that there are enough schools here to have a regular competition schedule without the need of traveling to the mainland except for major events like the regional championships or the nationals.
Nicholls said he would like have small events that grow over time with the manners and etiquette of the schools being the highest criteria.
The next big event for the downtown regional headquarters will be the Patriot Days Seminars on Sept. 11.