For the past decade English karate has been in a dark place. Last year, 2016, witnessed karate being accepted into the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. England has a newly crowned World Champion in Jordan Thomas, and the richest prize in traditional karate history is returning.
London based Fighters Inc, the promoters off the Seni Show, Pain and Glory, 3ON3 Karate and many more combat-related nights out, are proud to return with the winner-takes-all-prize of £10,000 at London’s award winning Troxy in the heart of East London, where 32 elite competitors go head to head for the winner takes all prize of £10,000.
Following ten years away from sporting karate events, former karate internationals and founders of Fighters Inc Joe long and Paul Alderson feel the moment has come to return with this high production value event. The move to return with the 10k brand has been well received from all corners of the karate world, both in the UK and abroad. VIP tables to the event sold out within two weeks of the announcement in December 2016, which generated over 20,000 views live on Facebook.
It is well documented that all former 10k winners also took world gold honours, so the bar is set high for the next generation of athletes to match the likes of Wayne Otto, Leon Waters, Alexander Gerunov and Jason Ledgister. Promoter Joe Long is confident the time is right for many individuals to shine, and he has been observing training sessions in many clubs as well as making visits to national squad sessions.
Long said, “There hasn’t been the depth in competitors to return with the 10k Karate Clash until now. I feel the tide has turned, and the next generation are in a position to put themselves on the map domestically and internationally. Jordan Thomas winning the World Title and Joe Kellaway taking bronze at the recent Junior European Championships should be fuel for all other athletes on and off the national squad to go and get theirs!”
There is no doubt that Jordan Thomas could become a multiple World Champion, and his manner off the mat, work ethic and role model qualities are to be admired. Without a shadow of a doubt the young Thomas – or Make Them Miss (MTM), as he likes to be known – has a large target on his back, walking into the 10k Karate Clash as the hot favourite, however there are many other athletes who are confident and able to cause the current golden boy problems.
If you ask any former competitor from the 10k, he will tell you the event and pressure it brings are far different from any traditional karate event. Favorites from the past such as Paul Newby, Rory Daniels, Alton Brown, Ian Cole and Davin Pack didn’t walk away with the 10k cheque, but many practitioners and fans thought otherwise.
The 10k Karate Clash is unique in its concept and unique in the pressure it creates on the night for athletes. It could be the money, the crowd, the talk, the cameras, the lights – but one thing is for sure, and that is there are no guarantees.
Many people assumed a lightweight competitor could never win this open-weight tournament, but the last 10k King was Birmingham’s very own Jason Ledgister, who proved that theory wrong with a clinical display of technique and mental toughness on the big night.
The excitement and the unpredictable outcome of the 10k is what makes it an event not to be missed. With four groups of eight competitors competing under WKF rules and 50% off the line up already confirmed, it is already shaping up to be a monster with no easy run on the night.
•Group one currently sees Joe Kellaway, Devante Walters, Mark MacMahon and international competitor Ali Nyoni set for some exciting and long range match ups.
•Group two sees the return of the most experienced competitor Alton Brown, who has come close to a 10k final twice before. The big question is: will his experience pull him through? Alongside Brown is Scottish International Adam El Shaefei and son of the first 10k King (Wayne Otto) and current England International Jamal Otto and the active Cheyne Phillips.
•Group three will witness the return to karate competition and hungry underdog heavyweight Ryan Lambert, former 10k competitor Scotland’s very own Callum Rob, the next generation of Walters, Chandler Walters and England’s current number one heavyweight Brandon Jewell.
•Group four sees Dutch international Rene Smaal with a ton of experience, Scotland’s Johnny Gilmore, the up and coming Josh Gleadall and the name on everybody’s lips Jordan Thomas.
The 10k Karate Clash has previously been hosted by BBC actor Danny John-Jules and the pop group “Damage”. This year’s event will be hosted by sports journalist Joel Campbell and YouTube sensation and martial artist Master Wong, who will most definitely add some flavour and comedy to the evening.
Former World Karate Champion Paul Alderson said, “Both Joe and I are overwhelmed with the positive response from athletes and clubs alike in the lead up to the 10k. It’s great to be back and I can’t wait for the first bout!”
This year, Fighters Inc also celebrates 20 successful years in the fight industry and they expect a number of special guests from various martial arts, MMA, boxing and film to be in attendance on the night.
In keeping with the times, Fighters Inc, in association with Plus Media, has produced an online documentary following the training, talk and politics in the lead up to this year’s showdown. The Road To The 10K Karate Clash has been well supported online, with parts one and two currently available on:
With tickets moving fast for the event, there is a strong possibility that this year’s event will also be streamed online with host Master Wong. This could potentially be the way forward for Fighters Inc as they move into their third decade of promoting events.
With a busy start to 2017, Alderson & Long are continuously working with various athletes and organisations in MMA and boxing. The Arm Wars super series continues with International events, but the sport that launched Fighters Inc back in December 1997 runs through their blood – and both individuals are determined to make a statement on 16th April when they return with an event that the Karate World has been waiting for.
•Tickets are available now from:
Answer the following question.
How many elite competitors will go head to head for the winner takes all prize of £10,000?
Please email answer, by midnight on Sunday, 19th March, to – [email protected]
All correct entries will be entered into a draw to win a pair of competition tickets. The winner will be notified by email.