Academy Fighters Shine on World Stage


19 of The Combat Academy's finest students took on the Worlds best this past October when they fought as part of the 200 strong Team England Kickboxing squad. Having travelled as far and wide as Italy, Germany & France for these events in the past we were lucky to finally be attending a World Championships in our home country in the great city of Birmingham. 

The team competed in various Kickboxing disciplines including, Ring Continuous and K1 and as is the Academy way we medalled in all of them.


Academy chief instructor was on double duties for this event working not only as Academy coach but also as one of three National Coaches to the whole of Team England. Mick was tasked with the role of selecting and managing the whole of the ICO Team England Northern squad. Here was Mick's official statement after the event; 


"Wow!! Where to start on this amazing tournament. There are so many stand out qualities and moments its hard to cover everything but i will try to cover what for me are the most important takeaways.

Firstly - the chief Mr Andrew Hennessy. This man is a true leader who brings ethics & values of the highest order to everything he touches. The ICO is built on a bedrock of integrity, respect and a people centred approach that values quality martial arts, fair play and a commitment to doing things the right way without compromise.

Its no coincidence that the ICO has so many accomplished individuals all working in and on its behalf. Andy and what he stands for is what attracts these highly talented individuals and his conduct in all matters is what inspires their loyalty and commitment to the ICO.

I would personally like to say a huge thank you to Andy and his wife Fiona Hennessy for being genuinely passionate, skilled & committed in what they do not only with the world championships but also the year round support and guidance that goes into making the ICO such a great organisation to be a part of.

Secondly i would like to mention my own team of fighters. We had an amazing adventure as always at these things and you guys did an awesome job turning out a huge Haul of medals at what was a very very high standard tournament.

I can't mention everyone but the stand outs for me were as follows;

Brogan David Wilson was my man of the tournament. After coming off of a loss recently i felt bad because i had put him in a big fight knowing he was ring rusty and not firing on all cylinders but in truth i had underestimated both his opponent and the effects of ring rust on him. So the mission with brog was to re-discover his rythmn, timing & distance as well as re connecting with the fundamentals which he had neglected recently.

We did that on day one on the mats where he picked up 3 easy wins on the mats cruising to a Gold medal and knocking off some of his rust in the process.

Next up on day 2 was our real challenge. Brogan entered the K1 division and in his first ever K1 fight he was going up against the awesomely talented and previously undefeated reigining British, 5 nations and IKF World Champion Alex Hook from the Mighty Assassins gym. Alex is a formidable opponent for anyone let alone your first ever K1 fight.

Brogan rose to the challenge and seemed to recapture his old form not only putting in a beautiful and rounded performance but also looking like a natural in k1 blending in knees and low kicks with his sublime boxing, spinning kicks and body attacks. Brogan won both rounds of the fast pace fight but Alex showed his mettle taking some amazing shots and putting in some fantastic work pressuring Brogan and going to the body hard.

This was for me fight of the tournament with both lads showing awesome skills and being a credit to their respective coaches and the whole of Team England.

After this Brogan fought a strong French fighter who he outmanned and outgunned in the final to take the ICO World Open K1 Title in only his first ever attempt at the discipline. The 2 golds and a much needed return to form against the highest possible calibre of opponents is what made this my favourite fighter of the 2017 worlds.

Another stand out was the academies rising star Gasan Gindra. Gasan weighed in for the minus 50k category but chose to move up to the 55kg category in the K1 division to ensure that both himself and his Academy tea mate Seth Housley had a clear run at Gold without them having to face each other.

A 5 KG deficit when your only 50kg as it is is some disadvantage. But the risk was calculated as we knew that Gasans silky skills could carry him through against any threat. First up he faced a tough Ukranian who looked massive at the side of Gasan. Gas used his lack of size to his advantage and was like the needle in a haystack for his bigger opponent who just couldnt find him despite getting picked off with heavy hands and clean kicks throughout the bout.

In the final Gas faced a much more difficult challenge when he met the Assassins other top K1 stylist - English & British champion Tommy West Jr. Tommy was coming off of probably the most impressive finish of the tournament after beating up his German opponent in brutal style before eventually finishing him with a two touch roundhouse kick.

Gasan & Tommy are no strangers having met 4 times previously. Gasan has been the victor 3 times out of the 4 but this time things were different with West Jr boiling down to the weight and coming in with much more muscle and at least a 5kg weight advantage. Despite this the fight looked evenly matched and was nip and tuck throughout. Gasan landed a higher volume of shots with much cleaner boxing and lots of body kicks getting through. West focused on big power round kicks and was working kick catches and take downs impressively. After the final bell went Gasans cleaner more consistent work got the nod and gave Gasan his first of an eventual 2 gold medals (which he received in the Full Contaact Kickboxing division).

Other stand outs included - Blaine Dylan Wilson who broke his knuckle in his Gold medal winning fights on the mats before winning his semi final literally with only his left hand and two legs and then withdrawing in the ring continuous.

Craig Hardcastle who beat Ireland and New Zealand in his first ever time fighting to take Gold. Rosie Longley who picked up too golds in her own categories and then moved up a weight to grab a Silver in the weight above. Paul Paszek who with only very limited experience fought in 4 seperate divisions picking up medals in each as well as some battle scars in some of the incredible wars he had. Nathan Hill who picked up two golds in both kickboxing & K1. Seth Housley who bagged dbl gold in the K1 Full and K1 continuous cats and Callum Hennessey who fought through 3 wars to grab a Gold in his first ever World Championships. Young Callum CopeOwen Deakin & Sonny Roydon Greaves all picked up Golds too and we had loads of fantastic fights from the rest of the team with almost everyone medalling with great performances in hard fought fights. Adam Paszek also shone in a last minute K1 debut that produced a bronze medal win and Eva Longleywowed the crowd in her fights on the mats that eventually yielded a silver. The rest of our team including Owen Paszek, Carson Bentley Ian LeeAaron Gibbs, & Simon Powell who all did us proud with their efforts.

Finally i would just like to say a huge well done to the rest of Team England. Especially the Northern Team who trained together at my gym in the run up to the event.

The Impact team were amazing and a credit to their awesome coaches AlanCaitlin Chapman and picked up a load of medals. I was especially impressed with young Mary Corbyn and Zak English who was fantastic in his K1 fights and obviously Caitlin and Allen themselves who performaed amazingly. I didnt get to see everyone for Impact but these guys were a treat to watch and a fine example of the quality that the Impact Team bring.

In addition to these guys Tony T-Bone Dias brought his fantastic fighters and were involved in some fantastic scraps. Young Rio in particular was a head turner.

And finally for our team were Shawn Burton's fighters Kraig GreenKeegan Roberts & Lucas Nanaz were an absolute credit to their team. Sublimely skilled, teak tough and ready to fight every second of the day. All three impressed with great performances and lots of fights in the bank and another horde of medals to take home for their trouble.

All in all the northern squad picked up 63 medals with 30 Gold, 24 silver and 9 Bronze.

Finally i would just like to say a massive thank you to all the supporters and spectators who attended. Especially parents and family members who helped their guys endure the long difficult training camp and supported them with their strict regime. You guys make these events what they are - memories to last a lifetime!

Fantastic experience. Great fights, even better memories and great team work across the board on every level."

All in all it proved to be a very successful trip for The Combat Academy. We cannot wait for the next one!




August has been a busy month for The Combat Academy fight team as the fighters ramp up their efforts to get razor sharp for the upcoming ICO World Championships in Stuttgart Germany in October. The prospect of competing at the worlds has seen the team go anywhere and everywhere for the chance to get some competitive action in and sharpen our skills for the battles that lie ahead. 

This past Saturday was just such an occasion when 4 of our young warriors were in action on Shawn Burtons latest instalment of the Kickboxing Classics series "Out For Glory". A former multiple British and European Champion, Burton is as credible as they come in the game this means that the best and brightest talents around the UK all want to take part in these events.

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FIGHT ZONE 7  - Bigger, Stronger, Better!!

Barnsleys Premier Kickboxing Promotion returned this past February 23rd with its biggest and best promotion yet. Back but at a new Venue; The Barnsley Metrodome; Fight Zone 7 provided its growing audience with an action packed evening of thrills and spills. 

With the Fight Zone brand growing, more and more of the UK's kickboxers are queuing up to be featured on the Barnsley promotion. This meant that this event provided more top class fights than has been seen in a Barnsley ring in a long time. As a furthr bonus for the viewing public, the fight card this time was extended to feature some top junior fighters in what formed the first part of a two part show. 

Competing for the Combat Academy in the first half of the show were juniors Mareks Stromanis, Rosie Longley, Sonny Greaves, Lucy Unijat, Kaine Cowling, Seth Housely and the sensational siblings Brogan and Blaine Knaggs.

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Eight members of The Combat Academy fight team attended the Unified World Championships this past week as part of the International Combat Organisation's (ICO) Team England. The event was the first time ever that major organisations worked in partnership to bring together over 5000 competitors, from 120 plus countries spreading across five continents. 

The historical event was declared as "A dream for many Athletes, Masters and Directors" by  WKA  World Director Michelle Panfietti who also added;

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Academy Fighters go 7 and 1 on home show

The Combat Academy's premier fight sport promotion "Fight Zone" was back and better than ever this past weekend at its new home of Rio's Nightclub. Featuring bouts of various kickboxing disciplines such as K1, Low Kick and FC rules, the sixth instalment of the popular franchise proved to be the most action packed yet with an exciting mix of combatants from amateur novice all the way up to top level pro fighters. 

Of the 11 bouts on this event, 9 featured Combat academy Fight Team members. Brothers Blaine and Brogan Knaggs made their first Fight Zone appearance when they opened the show in their respective bouts. Blaine, 10 yrs old and 33kg won a decisive victory against Brandon Wayne, 12 yrs, 38kg, of the original Jesters Gym from Matlock in a technical and aesthetic match up.

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Aug 10th 2013

Clean Sweep for Kids Fight Team At Machine MMA

The kids fight team were in action this weekend in their first ever Low Kick Kickboxing matches. The Team have been on a steep learning curve this last 6 months as they prepare for the Unified World Open Championships in Tuscany, Italy.

At the start of June none of the team had ever taken part in any competitive fights. Since then they have  attended the trials for the England squad and amazingly in spite of their inexperience got selected based on the strength of their skills, grit and determination. With a World Open in their near future they have had to get busy building their competitive experience. Something they’ve done with gusto attending two British Light Continuous Council (BLCC) Events and a handful of them making it to the ICO British Open. All this within the past three months.

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June 23rd 2013


The Combat Academy took 5 members of the junior fight team to the ICO British Open Championships this past Sunday 23rd June. The event took place at Cocks Moor Wood Leisure Centre in Birminghamand the team had a fantastic day at what was one of the most professionally run Open Tournaments we have attended. 

With only a small team ready to compete this year coaches Mick Crossland and Jamie Clarke took a chance in taking some of our most inexperienced fighters to an open without the usual preparation in a suitable number of preliminary bouts. It was a bold move but one that showed the confidence the coaches had in these young warriors  - a confidence which proved to be justified as the team brought home six medals including 5 Bronze and one silver. 

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July 27th 2013 - Hastings


Members of the academy fight team were in action again this weekend as Tommy "Terminator" Crossland and Jamie Clarke went into battle on the big "Pantheon II - Gladiator Games" promotion in Hastings. 

This was the first time so far South of the Yorkshire border for both fighters and both were eager to impress. Promoter Andy Chambers did a fantastic job with the show; putting on a great production with well matched exciting fights all night. 

First up for the academy was the "Terminator" Tommy Crossland. At only 14 years of age Tommy was giving away 2 years in age and a good 3 inches in height to his 16 year old opponent Elliot Hallsworth of home gym Fighting Tigers.

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July 6th 2013 - York


The Combat Academies Jamie Clarke made his bare shin K1 rules debut this past weekend on Tony Dias's Ring Series 3 promotion in York. Clarke was up against home town favourite Bom Pierre and produced a dominant display to win every round on his way to a unanimous points decision.

The bout took place at the Energise Sports Complex on what was the biggest Ring Series promotion to date. Clarke impressed experts and fans alike as he showed off his sublime skills hitting Pierre with everything but the kitchen sink throughout the three round bout. Pierre showed his metal however, absorbing the heavy fire and applying constant pressure.

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Combat Academy Fighter Dan "2 Fast" Tyas stepped in at last minute to challenge Lincoln Kickboxings knockout artist Roman Sikorski for the ISKA English Kickboxing Title.

With only 2 days notice and five kilogram to lose in order to make the light middleweight limit of 71kg it was a tall order for Dan but he met the challenge in impressive style – going on to emerge victorious in an exciting, action packed battle that was more than worthy of its English Championship status.

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"Took my 2 grandchildren here as I got fed up of them on the Xbox. Mick trains them hard but it is so good to see the boys healthy and alert."

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