Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Success for York martial arts club
Multi Masters Academy medallists from the GB WAKO championships from left (back) Connor Crayke, Megan Wetton, Courtney Catterson and Megan Catterson; (front) Teigan Watson and Jordan Lunn
MARTIAL arts have never been as potent in York. Tip-top gyms have sprung up and titles, trophies and tournaments have been amassed.
Among the vanguard of the clubs in York is the Multi Masters Academy, which was opened 20 months ago in Layerthorpe by Gaz Watkinson.
Since then the strongholds of disciplines such as karate, judo, Thai boxing and jiu-jitsu have been augmented by mixed martial arts.
And popularity and plunder are still on the rise as explained by MMA head coach Daz Catterson.
In the past 20 months, the club has gathered in a shining spread of crowns and medals – 21 golds, 20 silvers and 21 bronzes in various national championships.
The range of ruling bodies are littered with acronyms that initially might be confusing – WAKO, ISKA, WKTA and SIMAC – but there’s no confusion over the strength to strength advance of the Multi Masters Academy.
Pupils from tots to adults throng classes held almost each day and night at its Redeness Street base.
Catterson, who took up coaching several years ago at another York-based club after leaving the military said: “It’s been a tremendous run of success, but we are determined that it will get even better.
“In that time we have gone from local success to bigger success and now on to lots of national success.
“Only recently at the WAKO British finals out of our 16 contestants we had one gold, one silver and five bronzes.
“We have eight pupils from the Academy going for WAKO Great Britain trials later this week.
“Besides the events held in this country we have youngsters targeting championships and training in Holland, France and Slovakia.”
One of the bronze medallists at the just gone WAKO British championships was seven-year-old Tiegan Watson. Not yet a red belt she fought as superbly as her club-mates to come third. “It was a fantastic achievement,” said the Academy coach.
Catterson, who is also senior coach for the British team, revealed his 16-year-old daughter, Courtney, will be going for world title glory in Slovakia in September.
The Canon Lee pupil, ranked number two in the world in her age group, has already captured two British titles this year. At last weekend’s Cage Confrontation V cage-fighting show at York’s Energise centre she hoisted aloft an area junior belt after beating the reigning European champion.
As important as triumph to coach Catterson is the boost to well-being that mixed martial arts brings to youngsters, even those not competing in tournaments.
“It gives them self belief and confidence, but we always insist at the club that we want them to show black-belt commonsense from black-belt defence,” he said.
“We want them all to take the club’s black-belt attitudes of respect into their home and their school.
“It’s one of the best jobs in the world taking kids and helping them to benefit from the training so that it can change their lives.
“And it’s great that other clubs in York are doing well.
“Now we have gone from strength to strength – but we want to get even better.
“We have already lined up more challenges for this year.”