The Columns

W&L's Champion Kung Fu Fighting Champ

— by on July 31st, 2009

For Washington and Lee junior Marshall Olszewski, the first time was more than a charm. In his first competition in Lei Tai, full-contact Kung Fu fighting, at an international Kung Fu tournament last weekend in Hunt Valley, Md., Marshall won his division at 153 pounds and earned a spot on the United States team that will compete in the World Kuoshu Championship Tournament in Ulm, Germany, in September. Although this was Marshall’s first experience with Lei Tai, which includes kicks, punches, throws, take-downs and sweeps on a three-foot high platform without any sides, this was not his first experience with Kung Fu. He’s been studying Kung Fu for 10 years at the U.S. Kuoshu Academy in Owings Mill, Maryland under Grandmaster Huang. Last year Marshall also competed in the tournament but not in Lei Tai. Instead, he took third in Chinese wrestling, second in weapons fighting and first in light contact. Marshall will be joined on the U.S. Lei Tai contingent in Germany by his two Lei Tai coaches in the event, Michael Huang (Grandmaster Huang’s son) and Sanjay Nair, a third-degree black sash. Marshall wrestled at McDonogh School in Baltimore for four years and also in his first two years at W&L, where he had a 3-2 record last season in the 157-pound class.