Medals galore and new premises make 2013 a year to remember for Hereford Combat Academy

Hereford Times: (3337560) (3337560)

Hereford’s Combat Academy enjoyed a highly successful and progressive 2013 with the team picking up over 250 medals as well as the long awaited opening of the clubs own dedicated facility.

In a highly productive year the Combat Academy team amassed a total haul of 98 gold, 94 silver and 82 bronze medals in the disciplines of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Karate, Japanese Ju Jutsu, Kickboxing and Grappling.

The club experienced great success domestically with 13 British Champions, seven Welsh National Champions and Four English National Champions crowned.

Success was also achieved abroad with Emma Baker winning two silver medals in America while assistant coach Pat Baker claimed a bronze medal at the International BJJ Federation European Championships in Portugal.

The club can also boast a further four black belts as after 11 years of study coach Simon Small was awarded his BJJ black belt by World Champion Braulio Estima.

Additionally Ryan Hill, Tyler Furnell and Jurirs Kudrjavcevs were awarded their Karate black belts following a five-hour grading session in Coventry.

Great strides were made away from the mat as after years of planning and thousands of pounds of fund-raising the club finally moved into their own full time premises at Foley Trading Estate in July.

Chief coach Dave Coles believes the club have benefited greatly from the new facilities which include 200 square metres of permanent matted training area, gym ropes as well as punch and kick bags.

He said: "The new building has certainly helped the club as we’ve been able to increase the number of classes that we can put on for our members.

“We can now hold classes during the day which is a big bonus and we now have enough space to cope with the demand as last year we had to turn people away because of a lack of room.”

Coles believes the club can build on the strong foundations set in 2013 for the coming year.

He said: “The club had a great year but our aim is to always improve and we’ve got a squad of 15 going to the European Championships so hopefully we can better our medal tally from last year.”

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