Martial Arts Academy coach becomes Britain’s first karate world champion in 12 years
A karate coach at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL)’s Martial arts Academy has become Britain’s first world champion in 12 years.
Jordan Thomas defeated Hungarian world number two Yves Martial Tadissi in the final in the kumite – meaning ‘grappling hands’ – under 67kg division to take gold in Linz, Austria.
The 24-year-old fighter, ranked 11th in the world before the event, is the son of Will Thomas, himself a former world champion in 1992, national team coach and head coach at the College’s Enfield Centre.
“He [dad Will] led the way," said Jordan, won the European crown in 2014. "He could not be a better role model for me and I have to dedicate it to the hard work he and I did to get this medal.
"I know my history and I know where I come from, but it is a new generation - English and British karate are on the rise."
It was announced in August that karate would be included in the Olympics for the first time at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Proud dad Will said: "Jordan has been working towards his dream of being world champion for as long as he can remember. I am so proud of his achievement."
The last Britons to claim world karate titles were Rory Daniels and Paul Newby who took gold while representing England in 2004. Natalie Williams was the last Briton to win a world honour when she took bronze at the 2010 championships in Belgrade.
The Martial Arts Academy, run in partnership with the English Karate Federation, was launched in June and is open to students aged 16 to 18 who are studying a vocational skills course at the College.
At the time, Will said: ““This development for karate is very exciting, and means that the sport will grow immensely in popularity as well as funding and sponsorship opportunities.”
- Last Updated: 04 November 2016