Fam­ily af­fair for trio who are crowned karate cham­pi­ons

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - TOM HOUGHTON tom.houghton@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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