Sunday 5 June was a day to remember for young Yeovil based Melissa Rogers, aged 8, who secured the British Junior Kick Boxing title and qualified to represent Great Britain in the World Championships to be held in October.
Melissa, who trains regularly at Yeovil-based Panthers Martial Arts Academy, travelled to West Bromwich in the Midlands where she took part in the WFMC (World Fightsport & Martial Arts) World Championship qualifiers, winning what was only her second ever competition fight.
Kire Antoski, owner and chief instructor at Panthers Martial Arts, who trained Melissa, told how Melissa had demonstrated superb control within the fight. He said, “Halfway through the fight her opponent was getting tearful and you could see she was giving up hope. I advised Melissa to continue the fight and win the points, but to keep the strikes very light so that her opponent would have the confidence to finish rather than withdrawing. It was fantastic to witness the control Melissa was able to summon up and she really demonstrated the skill she has learned when executing the moves. I am so proud of her.”
The contest also saw another pupil from Panthers Martial Arts gain a second title following his success in securing the new K1 WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organisations) British Championship in February. This time Yeovil man Adam Ridout, aged 23, was awarded the under 80kg Full Contact K1 Kickboxing WFMC British Championship title, qualifying to represent Great Britain at the World Championships in October 2016.
Both Adam and Melissa have trained at Panthers Martial Arts Academy for several years, with Melissa starting from the age of four, attending the Lil’Panthers kickboxing group and Adam from the age of 15.
Adam is also a black belt in kickboxing and holds a purple belt in classical ju jutsu and mixed martial arts. He works as a qualified instructor at Panthers and is currently teaching children aged 4-8 who attend the Lil’Panthers kickboxing group as well as several junior and adult K1 kickboxing groups plus, juniors and adults learning classical ju jutsu, mixed martial arts and BodyMaX Fitness.
Last year Adam won his first Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) full contact fight in Cheltenham with a Knock Out (KO) and not surprisingly he holds the fastest KO record at Panthers Academy, finishing the fight in just five seconds!