Whitley follows in footsteps of world champion Hanchant
Second pupil claims another big title for club
But Whitley stayed focused and determined and after two rounds ended up being announced as the -45kg WKU world champion. He then had to run across the stadium to take part in the patterns event, where he added a silver medal.
It was a stunning success, but Whitley was soon given a taste of what it was like to be a multiple world champion when the club received a visit from Zak Espi ahead of a BUTF (British United Taekwondo Federation) tournament.
Epsi, a current ITF (International Taekwondo Federation) heavyweight world champion, who has won every title going and is one of the biggest names in ITF, is on old friend an excolleague of Master Keith Whitley, instructor at Chesham.
Master Whitley said: “Zak offered to come down and share his knowledge and skills, and just in time, too, as the club prepares to enter a BUTF tournament.
“He left everyone inspired and motivated for the tournament. A true gentleman of the sport, he sparred with a couple of the students who were brave enough.
“He was kind enough not to damage them, but left them in no doubt as to what he could do with his immense skill and power. Hopefully the students will reap the rewards.”
The visit seemed to work as Chesham came away from the tournament with a clutch of medals at both junior and senior level, including a gold and silver for Charlie Rix, and a gold for Neilon Pascall – both competing in their first tournament. Liam Glinzter, Joe Rix and Ian Evans were also among the winners.
Meanwhile, Lewis Swallow has become Chesham’s latest junior black belt after finishing top of his class at a recent BUTF black belt grading. The 14-year-old took part in an intense exam held over two weekends, testing him on all aspects of taekwondo.
(Top) Lewis Swallow, Zak Espi, Max Whitley and Master Keith Whitley; (above) Zak Espi
(right) coaches at Chesham Taekwondo Club; (left) Zak Espi with Chesham Taekwondo Club