ANTHONY Pendlebury has added to his bulging trophy cabinet after dominating a national karate competition.
Anthony, 27, from Newton, took on the country’s best individual kumite fighters including several internationals to claim the Karate Union of Great Britain’s Shotokan Cup.
The cup is one of the biggest events in Britain’s karate calendar and was staged in Chesterfield.
Anthony said: ‘It’s a hard competition to win to be totally honest and they’re all good fighters. In a way I was surprised. I had to tell myself I could win it but it’s a big competition.’
Anthony has fought since he was six and became a serious competitor aged 12. He runs his own academy at the Cheshire Martial Arts Centre of Excellence in Saltney as well as training twice a week in Liverpool, but six weeks before the competition he focused on sparring and reaction training five times a week.
The preliminary rounds began at 12.30pm and, over five hours and six fights later, he faced his friend Stephen Oliver from Newcastle. Each bout is watched by judges and Anthony took the three-minute final by one-and-a-half points.
He said: ‘Stephen’s won it before. We’re both members of the England squad and we know each other – the final was very close.
‘People say I’m quite an aggressive fighter – I like to take it forward and I’m more of a kicker than a puncher. A lot of fighters now just use their hands.’
Anthony won a trophy, a gold medal and the outstanding competitor trophy. He will go to the Northern regional championships in Leeds in a few weeks but for now is savouring his victory.
He added: ‘All the top names have won it so it’s great to have my name on there as well.’
Anybody interested in attending Anthony’s karate classes can call him on 07871 322034.