Vince team’s Pisa the action

A team of talented martial arts enthusiasts from Norwich, Diss and Harleston have won gold, silver and bronze medals at the recent World Traditional Karate Association (WTKA) World Open Championships in Pisa, Italy.

All of the pupils study at the Black Belt Academy under the guidance of Master Richard Vince 7th Dan, and were fighting as part of the Richard team - one of only four British teams competing at the event. With an estimated 6,000 competitors representing more than 60 countries, the team 'Vince' medal haul of two gold, two silver and five bronze was an outstanding achievement by any standards.

The highlights for the Richard team were of course the gold medals, although these were not always the most exciting bouts. There were some titanic bouts in the early stages in all categories, one of which pitched Harry Meeks against a Hungarian opponent nine inches taller! However, the overriding highlight from the event was that all Richard competitors fought with heart, within the rules, with respect and without questioning the officials.

Better known as the 'Iceman' and a World Superheavyweight Kickboxing champion himself, Master Vince commented: 'I am truly delighted, this was our first foray into international competition with a team that has little or no experience of anything other than local events. To come home with such a haul is a fantastic reflection on how hard they have worked and how closely they have listened in training. It goes to show that, even though tournament training is not the primary objective of my Black Belt Academy, solid, effective and quality Martial Arts tuition always produces results.'

As part of the launch of the pioneering Richard martial arts technologies brand, they have also sponsored the England team for the ISKA World Amateur Championships in Alicante, Spain, the MuayThai Super fights show in Birmingham on Saturday 19th November, plus a number of other high profile tournaments in the UK and USA.

The next event for team Richard is the NAK National Championships on January 31st 2011, to be held in Ipswich, Suffolk. Any local Martial Artist who would like to be considered for the team is welcome to join one of the training sessions at the BBA venues across Norfolk.