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WKA USA Nationals/North Americans/Worlds News

Hampton, VA

June 25, 2010
2010 WKA North American
Combat Sports Championships
Hampton, VA

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WKA USA hosted its 9th annual Combat Sports Championships on June 18th-20th, 2010 in Hampton, VA. This year’s North American Championships boasted its largest number of participants and spectators to date. With over 75 schools from 18 states and Canada, this year’s event topped the charts for both categories. The event featured both novice and open level competition in Muay Thai and MMA; it also introduced junior level (13-17) K-1 and MMA divisions. Novice class fighters had three wins or fewer and open class fighters had more than three wins.

On Saturday morning, staff put the final touches on the two boxing rings and cage in the beautiful Boo Williams Sportsplex before the nearly 300 competitors filed in the gym for the 9:00 fighters’ meeting. Chief officials Chris Wagner of New York and Fred Corritone of Virginia conducted the fighters meeting, giving instructions to fighters and coaches while addressing all of their questions and concerns. After some bracket modifications, the event began with the two rings starting the Muay Thai brackets. Shortly after the Muay Thai divisions began the MMA divisions began in the cage. The first round of the tournament consisted of 75 matches in Muay Thai, MMA, and K-1. It seemed that all teams had prepared their fighters well for the competition, especially the novice fighters who seemed more like the open class fighters of past years. Edge Brown, former WKA professional champion now running a gym in California, was quoted as saying, “The event was very good and the standard of the fighters was very high; most of the novice fighter were better than a lot of open fighters at other events. This event has become the premier amateur US championships for Muay Thai and MMA.” The matches began at 10:45 and ran throughout the day with the last of the 145 bouts ending shortly after midnight. This year there were 46 champions who received commemorative medallions or championship belts.

Eric Haycraft, another former WKA Champion whose gym is in Kentucky said “This was the third year I have brought fighters to the WKA North American Championships. The level keeps growing each year and it is great to see so many of the same teams bringing fighters year after year. The level in the region is pushed because of this. The one thing that I really love about this tournament is the fact that winning it gives fighters a chance and a venue to compete on the international stage in the WKA World Championships. I encourage everyone to check out the dates of next year’s tournament. Plan ahead and attend! If we really want to make the sport bigger and better it takes a bit of work. Let’s all start now!”

Haycraft went on to say “This year we were able to bring in Rob Kaman and it was an amazing response. The WKA awarded him his WKA Championship Belt as a nice show of respect. Rob was amazed to see so many of his old friends there and make some new ones.”

Special guest at this year’s event was three time WKA world champion, Rob “The Dutchman” Kaman. Rob was available throughout the event for autographs and pictures. He also handed out many of the awards during the competition. There was a brief intermission where Rob was presented an official WKA World Title Belt. During his tenure as world champion he had been given the belts of the various promotions but never an official WKA World Title belt. He was genuinely surprised and happy to receive the belt. He was impressed by the number of Muay Thai participants in this year’s competition and the organization and smooth running of such a large tournament. On Sunday, Rob shared many of his Dutch-style training methods which he has coined “Kaman 101” in a seminar at the event hotel. Through his many years of competition in many rules styles, Rob has developed a comprehensive training program which can improve a fighter’s stand up striking skills, whether novice or professional. All who attended the seminar were impressed by the progress of the drills and saw how it could benefit their stand up game as a Muay Thai or MMA fighter.


After 9 successful years as the premier summer tournament to feature both Muay Thai and MMA, the WKA North American Combat Sports Championships will move to winter. 2011 WKA North Americans will join 10 others sports to form the Hampton Sports Festival and bring even more excitement to the championships. The event will be held on President’s holiday weekend on February 18th-20th, 2011, which will allow the event to be split between two days of competition. The 10th year anniversary of the tournament will be highly enhanced by the addition of a Full Rules Muay Thai Division, a streamlined check in process, the spacious Hampton Road Convention Center and increasing to 3 rings and a cage. Plans and refinements are already underway as next year’s tournament is only 8 months away.




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