WKU World Championships 2013

Friday 1st November

Members of Masters Wolf's Taekwon-Do Academies recently traveled to Crete as part of the England Kickboxing Team. Below is the report from

Report by Tom Raybould and Zak Cohen

The 2013 WKU World Championships took place at the Heraklion Arena in Crete from 20-25th October. It was a tough tournament and the England WKU Squad returned with a wealth of experience and a very successful haul of 65 medals (27 gold, 11 silver and 27 bronze). 

As usual we have Master Wolf to thank for the hell he put us through to get us where we needed to be. Running, pad work, skipping and sparring for hours, not to mention the additional patterns practice for the black belts, all helped to prepare the squad for the task at hand. 

The first potential obstacle was the weigh-in, which went off without a hitch thanks to thorough preparation each member of the squad made their weight category. With that formality out of the way the squad had some down time to recuperate from the journey and prepare themselves for the competition ahead. 

With many new faces in the squad the juniors return home with a fantastic medal tally including gold for our newest Junior Light Contact World Champions, Adam Bonwick and Kamil Sonnenfeld. While Jasmine Grant and Aaron Cobley both progressed to the finals for Light Contact and Points Scoring they each had to make do with silver medals after just being pipped to the post. All juniors performed brilliantly and did an amazing job of representing their country. 

As usual our senior competitors fought like true warriors with gold for World Champions Joann Rolison & Reuben Hemmings, while notable mentions for Chris Djaelani and Ben England who narrowly missed out in their finals and had to settle for silver. 

Well done to all competitors both junior and senior for the individual events, everyone trained extremely hard for the competition. Win or lose this squad fought like champions. 

Our teams were incredible to watch as always, with our junior teams coming home with medals for Junior Boy’s Light Contact and Junior Girl’s Light Contact. The boys won gold after beating the Libyans and the Germans. A huge well done to Frankie Smith, Adam Bonwick, Luke Rothery, Elliot Allen, Luke Wadsley and Rizwan Rafique for embracing the Spartan indomitable spirit and securing the win. With so much potential in this team the sky is the limit and it will be exciting to watch them develop over the coming years. Frankie, Adam and Elliot also competed in the Semi Contact Team but despite giving their all they unfortunately couldn’t secure the win. Our Junior Girls Semi Contact team consisted of Kasey Browning-Sampson, Aysel Garip, Jasmine Grant and Nicole Follett.  They gave their all in their fights coming away with bronze. 

The Women’s Semi Contact team took the gold in a 2-0 clean sweep. Joann Rolison and Tammy Lee both winning their fights so Stevie Parker did not have to fight. 

The remaining adult team finals took place at the grand finale fight night, which was televised and broadcast on Greek television, adding pressure, but our teams really rose to the occasion. 

The Women’s Light Contact team Joann Rolison, Charlotte Jones, Kimberly Bradshaw and Tammy Lee secured gold after a 2-1 victory. After a surprise defeat in the first bout for Kimberly, Joann was up next. She fought the largest of the German team, with frenetic precision winning the fight, bringing the score to 1-1!  Tammy was the deciding fight, she dodged, ducked and dipped her way to victory against her larger adversary. A brilliant win for the ladies team!

The Men’s Light Contact Team were outstanding beating the Irish to qualify and beating the biggest Germans their coach could find in the final. Adam James took out the Germans top fighter with a fabulous display of heart. A scintillating display from Chris Djaelani galvanized the team in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity before Gavin Williamson put his body on the line once again to take on the behemoth Oliver. Dwarfed by this huge opponent, Gavin, who would later be nominated as the England’s Fighter of the Tournament, put on a courageous display. Finally it was down to Reuben and Jamaine Hemmings to close things out with a lesson in movement and timing completing an astounding victory.  Jamaine Hemmings won the deciding fight in what could definitely be described as a David and Goliath contest.

The final event saw Gavin, Chris, Jamaine and Reuben joined by Gordon Mitchell and Kyeran Cox for the Men’s Semi Contact Team. This time in the spotlights of the main roped ring but once more against the now familiar foes, Germany. It took all five fighters to decide the contest with England clinching it and taking the teams gold tally to an unprecedented four. 

Overall it was a great week with lots of world class fighting and some amazing pictures captured by Adam Smith who always had his camera ready at the perfect moment. Everyone fought as hard as they trained but as always there were a few fights that need a special mention. In particular Chris Djaelani’s fight against Reuben Hemmings in the Men’s under 75kg Final. Both fighters demonstrating true skill in the ring. 

Joann Rolison made it all look so effortless in her Light Contact final in her march to the gold. 

Ben England’s Men’s under 65kg Light Contact Final against the highly decorated German Guido Rodel that ended in heartbreak after Ben had given his absolute all on the mats. 

Frankie Smith’s fight against the largest of the Lebanese team in the Junior Boy’s Team Light Contact Pre-Elimination, giving away almost 45kg but more than making up for that with ability and heart. 

The inspired choice to send out Luke Rothery first in the Junior Boy’s Team Light Contact Final and Luke’s subsequent victory against the opponent who had eliminated him and gone on to win gold in the individual competition. 

Special thanks to Master Wolf, Lucy Wolf, Jamaine Hemmings and all of the coaches for making us the most prepared we could be and helping to get the best from our performance. Thank you to Mr England for refereeing for the whole tournament.  Also thanks to the WKU England Supporters who traveled with and supported the squad over the tough week of competition.

Finally, thanks to Jamaine and Reuben Hemmings for taking the time to video and post all of the interviews, which really captured the atmosphere and excitement that the tournament generated – go to You Tube and search WKU England.

Well done to everyone who took part; I hope that you can take everything that you did at this tournament and use it to chase your next victory.