NATIONAL TEAM PERFORMS AT WORLDS!
all the news we've sent out regarding late October's
TEAM USA trip to the WKA Worlds in Spain, it's about
time we got you the results and outcome of the Team's
trip and performance.
Held at the breathtaking
Barcelo Punta Beach Resort in the fishing village of
Punta Umbria, near Huelva, Spain, the 17th annual WKA
Amateur World Championships was packed with competitors
and coaches from many countries competing in divisions
ranging from MMA and Thai Boxing to Forms and Weapons.
From October 27 to November 2, competitors showed off
their best skills against each other while retaining a
sense of comradeship and team spirit.
United States, eleven competitors from the Ring Sports
division attended along with four coaches and a
cameraman. Thai competitors Steven Dang (Evolve
Academy, MD), Scott Sawade (Real
Fighters, KY), and Chris Kwiatkowski (Church
Street Boxing Gym, NY) joined female K-1 fighters
Fighters, KY), Aisha Thomas (Lloyd
Irvin, MD), and Lindsey MacMhaolain (Combat
Sports Center, VA). This year, WKA Worlds has added,
much encouragement by WKA USA, MMA as a division for the
first time. The
brought a good showing of MMA fighters, among them Chris
Academy, MD), Gary LaBreck (Shotokan Academy, MA,
Evolve), Jeff Blachly (Lloyd
Irvin, MD), Michael Goodman (Combat
Sports Center, VA), and Eric Heegaard (Shidokan
All US Ring
Sports fighters who had a match placed, bringing home
five golds, one silver, and three bronze medals. Of
note were Chris Lujan’s and Michael Goodman’s wins
(earning each a gold medal) in the MMA division in its
first year as a division at the WKA Worlds. Chris won
his final match by defeating Spanish fighter Manuel
Yusta. Goodman won his his final by standing
guillotine (after a clean clinch and knee that was
later discovered to have broken his opponent’s ribs)
against a strong and game Canadian, Stephane Dube.
Lindsay Scheer won the gold by defeating last year’s
gold medalist, the much more
experienced Greek Maria Pantazi. Her teammate Scott
Sawade lost by close decision to a Croatian fighter in
the quarter-finals for his weight class. Chris
Kwiatkowski won all of his Thai Boxing matches, ending
his division in a final match against Iranian fighter
Javad Jafari with both a gold medal and a huge grin.
Aisha Thomas likewise made it to the finals and won
the gold, her aggression and busy technique in the
ring overwhelming her opponents. Steven Dang fought
hard in the quarter-finals
and lost only by close decision to an Iranian fighter.
Eric Heegaard lost via submission to tough Brazilian
fighter Gustavo Sampaio in the finals, earning the
silver. Lindsey MacMhaolain lost in the quarter-finals
via TKO in the first round in her K-1 division to the
power-packed body kicks and knees of Swedish Jill Idh.
Gary LaBreck and Jeff Blachly, both game and ready to
fight, were disappointed that their opponents withdrew
after seeing strong performances by other US MMA
fighters and left them without a match, but both
stayed on to help train and encourage their team