MARTIAL ARTS: World titles and medals

Katelyn Bateman, Jack Mills and Pierce Manning
Katelyn Bateman, Jack Mills and Pierce Manning

Success for G Force fighters in Spain

Three fighters from Rugby’s G Force Martial Arts have just returned home with medals and titles from the World Martial Arts Organisation (WMO) World Championships on the Costa del Sol in Spain.

Jack Mills is a world champion in continuous fighting and a silver medallist in points fighting.

Pierce Manning, who was sponsored by Webb Ellis Sports & Schoolwear, retained his world title and won silver in the weight above.

And Katelyn Bateman was a double silver medallist.

In February G Force sent a team of competitors to the WMO National Championships to compete for a place on the England team.

After tough contests 16 of their fighters qualified for the England team. Due to this being an amateur sport, funds have not enabled all of them to take part this year, but three fighters gained sponsorship and were on the team.

Preparations were fierce with a six-week programme in the build-up involving three training sessions every day, the first at at 5.30am then two in the evening. Butthe physical and emotional challenges were worth it.

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worth it.

The event saw some of the world’s best competitors at ring post, kickboxing, sport karate and forms from countries including South Africa, Australia, Canada, America, Spain and Ireland with an 80-strong England squad.

5th Dan Chief Instructor Gordon Burcham said: “Without doubt these were the best World Championships we have been to, with some of the hardest fights our guys have had. I am, as always, so very proud of our competitors. They trained immensely hard for it on a professional level and it showed. The experience again was amazing and we returned with great results.”

“It’s fantastic to keep developing great talent in Rugby. Having been involved in martial arts for over 22 years and having won four world titles myself it’s great to give back to the town I love. We have now produced 12 World Champions from our school and I can see many more in the future. “Our next competition is in Wales in November and then the team are I are preparing for the 2017 National Championships in February.