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NEWS RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH, 2011


WKA US NATIONAL TEAM SHINES AT THE WKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN KARLSRUHE, GERMANY!

The US National Team enjoyed beautiful weather in the historic city of Karlsruhe, Germany. After the full team, coming from all over the country, arrived on Sunday and got registered and weighed in, everyone had a good meal and returned to the hotel for some rest and recuperation. On Monday, WKA USA Representative and World Ring Sports Vice President Brian Crenshaw, along with WKA Official Lindsey MacMhaolain, attended seminars and meetings, leading the MMA and Submission Grappling sections of the referees' seminar. That evening, the team, dressed in their Fighters' Inc sponsorship warm-ups, marched through the Karlsruhe castle for the World Championships opening ceremony. All national teams, carrying their flags and wearing their colors, marched out of the castle to cheers and much national spirit. No one could have failed to be impressed by this sight--it was a truly breathtaking and momentous moment!

On Tuesday, the competition began. Nearly two thousand competitors from about sixty countries filled the Europahalle, along with coaches, teammates, friends, and family. Officials had their work cut out for them with non-stop action on the mats and in the ring from morning until evening. Most competitors had multiple bouts to work their way to the top, and US team members gave it their all.

This year's team consisted of fighters in the Thai Boxing, MMA, Full Contact and Original WKA Kickboxing (K-1) divisions as well as the brand new Gi and No Gi Submission Grappling divisions. Notable, first, was the willingness of many of the competitors to step up and compete in multiple divisions. In addition, the 2010 team was exceptional in that it included a number of amazing coaches who gave the team their full dedication.

Here's the most exceptional thing about this year's team: EVERY TEAM MEMBER BROUGHT HOME A MEDAL! Team WKA USA had nine golds, eight silvers, and five bronze medals from the toughest, highest-level amateur competition in the world. We cannot truly express how proud we are of the dedication, heart, and performance of the following champions:

Brandon Mickens: Thai Boxing - GOLD MEDAL
Vahe Sahakyan: Junior K-1 Kickboxing - GOLD MEDAL
Vahe Sahakyan: Junior Full Contact - GOLD MEDAL
Spencer Grekoski: Junior K-1 Kickboxing - GOLD MEDAL
Christopher Torres: MMA - GOLD MEDAL
Greg Rowe: Thai Boxing - GOLD MEDAL
Pascal Jean-Michel: Thai Boxing - GOLD MEDAL
Christopher Torres: No Gi Submission Grappling - GOLD MEDAL
Buck Grant: No Gi Submission Grappling - GOLD MEDAL
Michael Macauley: MMA - SILVER MEDAL
Michael Macauley: Thai Boxing - SILVER MEDAL
Diamond Watson: Thai Boxing - SILVER MEDAL
Ani Hilditch: K-1 Kickboxing - SILVER MEDAL
Eric Heegaard: No Gi Submission Grappling - SILVER MEDAL
Lindsey MacMhaolain: No Gi Submission Grappling - SILVER MEDAL
Lindsey MacMhaolain: Gi Submission Grappling - SILVER MEDAL
Michael Macauley: Gi Submission Grappling - SILVER MEDAL
Clay Thomas: Thai Boxing - BRONZE MEDAL
Kale Blessum: Thai Boxing - BRONZE MEDAL
Aleksandr Melts: Full Contact - BRONZE MEDAL
Eric Heegaard: MMA - BRONZE MEDAL
Megan O'Bryan: K-1 Kickboxing - BRONZE MEDAL

Behind this list of medals, there were some spectacular matches! Chris Torres of Krav Maga, DC, won his first MMA match by KO within thirty seconds of the first round with a vicious left hook. Coach Buck Grant of Hybrid Training Center also competed in No Gi, winning his matches by points and by a nice head and arm choke submission. Greg Rowe of Five Points Academy had one of the most technical matches of the tournament. He fought a German opponent with more than 70 amateur fights who planned to turn pro after the tournament. Despite these challenges, Rowe won by mixing up traditional Thai with Dutch style, counteracting the strengths of his opponent and winning his division. We also had two junior stars this year. Vahe Sahakyan of Lions Martial Arts took the gold in both the K-1 Kickboxing and Full Contact divisions. Spencer Grekoski of Weapons 9 won his division when he dominated his final opponent with multiple leg catches and sweeps, after which he followed with some vicious low kicks to win with an impressive KO. Finally, our MMA fighters as well as two coaches pulled double duty, competing in the Submission Grappling divisions as well.

Though this year's team was one of our largest ever, we anticipate an even larger team next year, as the World Championships will be held in Orlando, Florida, and as the new divisions, MMA and Submission Grappling with and without Gi, continue to grow.

To learn more about the US Team's performance, stay tuned into the website!


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