Family affair for trio who are crowned karate champions
THREE members of the same Rhondda family have won a world championship in karate.
Laurie Williams and his two sons Tom, 17, and Jack, 12, won the Team Kata event at the TY-GA World Championships held in London last month.
Although it’s the third time Laurie has claimed a world championship, it was Jack’s first, and came at the event in Crystal Palace during November.
Karate is a real family affair for the Treorchybased Williams family.
Laurie, his sons and their mum Kathryn are all black belts and even run their own club in Treforest – Independent Family Martial Arts.
Their success is all the more impressive as the couple only took up karate to keep up with Tom.
Laurie said: “When he was seven Tom was very small and very shy so we started taking him to karate.
“It helped him gain confidence and as he became proficient in the art, eliminated his shyness.
“I could see that it was going to be a long-term thing for him, so I started training – as did my wife and my younger son Jack once he turned four.”
Laurie, who is a senior project manager at the Baglan-based informatics directorate at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, added: “The rest of us had several world titles but Jack had only won silvers and bronzes at world level, so we decided on a big push for titles in Team Kata synchronised sequences of movements that show off fighters’ skills - this year.
“We won the UK Black Belt Team Kata title in March and trained very hard for the World Championships and it certainly paid off.”
Even though Jack was only 12, the trio still had to compete in the senior adults division against some of the top teams from around the world, making their win even more satisfying said Laurie.
“To cap a really memorable day Jack also went on to win the sparring division.
“Karate is a wonderful sport. It is something that all ages can take part in together and has changed our lives.”
The TY-GA World Championships is held every November in London and attracts fighters and teams from all over the world, donating profits from the tournament to Cancer Research.
Tom, Jack and Laurie Williams with the UK title trophies they won earlier this year