On the weekend of the 18th and 19th of February Evolution Martial Arts which is based at Fogarty's down Fishtoft Road sent some of their fighters to represent their club and town at the National Kickboxing Championships held at the North Solihull Venue in Birmingham.
The team was very successful coming away with three new national champions, two national silver medalists and a bronze medalist. This is a huge success for a local not for profit Kickboxing club at the Nationals where they competed against the best that the country has to offer in the sport of Kickboxing.
Not only were competitors fighting to earn the title of WAKO British National Kickboxing Champion but the Nationals also goes towards being selected to represent the Great Britain Team in 2017, therefore it is vital to place and perform well to be considered for his year's squad.
Saturday 18th of February was the day of Light Continuous Kickboxing for Team Evolution.
Nesta Baxter who is 16 years of age was the first fighter to be successful in winning the National Title. Nesta regained her title from the past four years in the Light Continuous Sections, making this her fifth year in a row to hold the title. Nesta fought in the Junior Girls (16-18yrs) -60kg Light Continuous, where she met a strong Welsh fighter in the final but after a great performance landed herself in first position for Team Evolution and Boston.
Nesta also claimed a very well deserved bronze medal in her other category missing out a space in the final by a split decision.
Mark Baldry, who has held the National Kickboxing Title for the past two years was set to make this his third. Mark won the Veteran Men +94kg Light Continuous category, putting him in an excellent position ahead of the Team Great Britain selection. Mark Baldry has represented his country for the past two years at Senior World and European Championships in Slovenia and Ireland and is currently World and European Kickboxing Bronze Medalist in his divisions.
Kev Hunter claimed a very well deserved silver medal in his category after a very tough final against a good fighter. Kev fought very well and is proud of his achievement at this year's Nationals. Last year Kev had the honour to represent Team GB at the WAKO European Senior Kickboxing Championships in Maribor, Slovenia.
Mackenzie Warrant, 10 years old, fought fantastically in his division of Younger Cadet (10-12yrs) Boys -32kg Light Continuous however he went out to the eventual winner of the category from Bristol in the preliminary rounds.
Zac Baldry, 13 years old, also came away with runner up in his category of Older Cadet (13-15yrs) Boys -47kg Light Continuous after some good fighting.
Day Two of the WAKO British Kickboxing Championships was the day of Point Fighting in which Team Evolution and Evolution Martial Arts was represented by ten fighters.
Nesta Baxter claimed her second WAKO British National Champion Title in Point Fighting and the third for Evolution of the year. Nesta fought in the Junior Girls (16-18yrs) -60kg Point Fighting in which she came up against and beat some of the top class fighters in this division. Nesta was very proud to become double British Champion and now has her eyes set on being part of the Great Britain Kickboxing Team of 2017. Nesta has been part of Team GB for the past four years and while representing her country at World and European Championships has become European Individual Champion and World Team Champion. Nesta hopes to be selected for the National Squad to represent her country at this year's WAKO Kickboxing Junior and Cadet European Championships which will be held in Macedonia in September.
Nesta then also went on to claim a silver medal in her other division in which she missed out on a third title in the final against a fellow GB fighter. The fight went to extra time with Nesta's opponent winning by just one point. Nevertheless Nesta was delighted with her performances.
Although there were no more medals for Team Evolution there were a flurry of runner ups and fantastic performances.
Teegan Aldis fought in the Younger Cadet Girls (10-12yrs) Point Fighting in which she came up against the Current World Champion and number one ranked, Freya Holmes, in the first preliminary round. Everyone knew that this was a tough opponent but Teegan looked determined. Teegan fought incredibly only loosing the the world number one by two points in a very close and tense fight. Everyone was very impressed with Teegan's performance against a much taller and more experienced opponent.
Also coming runner up was Paige Stedman who also fought in the Younger Cadet Girls (10-12yrs) -32kg Point Fighting in which she missed out on a spot in the next round by a small margin.
Riley Brocklesby, 9 and Mackenzie Warrant, 10 both fought in the Younger Cadet Boys (10-12yrs) -32kg Point Fighting where they had some great fights in a very large section receiving runner up positions.
Talon Chambers, 10, and Tyler Hilham, 12 both fought in the Younger Cadet Boys (10-12yrs) +47kg Point Fighting. Both boys received runner up positions after one win and one loss for Talon in the preliminary rounds.
Zac Baldry, 13, fought in the Older Cadet Boys (13-15yrs) -47kg Point Fighting where he fought very well but didn't get a podium position.
Rhys Coleman, 17, was one of the last to fight on the day. Rhys came up against the eventual winner of the category in his first round. The fight was very tense with points being awarded each way. Rhys lost out in golden point after taking the current European Champion to extra time.
Finally John Chambers took a runner up in the Men's -89kg Point Fighting after a good fight however he is looking to fight in the veteran sections in the future.
A big well done to all of the fighters from Evolution Martial Arts at this year's WAKO British National Championships in Birmingham coming away with 3 new national champions is a great achievement for the individuals and club. Team Evolution will be fighting next in Ireland at the Irish Open 2017 with a strong team of 10 fighters attending, good luck all.