Another year of training is past and what a year it’s been! We are so proud of our team and to celebrate this here are the awards given out at our 2011 Awards Ceremony:
Leicester Shootfighter of the Year: JD Hylton
This year’s Shootfighter of the Year is our very popular boxing coach and physio JD Hylton. For his enthusiasm and positive attitude that uplift those around him and his dedication to helping others we say thank you for being part of the gym and it’s an honour to have you on the team. In 2012 JD will be teaching more boxing classes and continuing his competition success which this year saw him win by TKO in the first round of an MMA fight and win medals in 3 grappling events, ending the year with a gold at the UMA IV British Open Grappling Championships .
MMA Competitor of the Year 2011: Liam Corrigan
Two time winner of the Grappling Competitor award Liam “Bermuda” Corrigan focused on training for MMA in 2011 and it paid off, topping a fantastic year with yet another competitor award to go with his title belt. Early in the year Liam defeated Kieron Rolfe [video] by first round TKO and Paul Jones by unanimous decision to earn an MMA title shot. In September he fought for and won the Fight UK Lightweight Amateur MMA title by submission in the second round completing a hat trick of wins and maintaining his undefeated record.
Grappling Competitor of the Year: Nathan Matts
There were a lot of close contenders for this award, both on competitive performance and embodying what it means to be a good competitor. The person who combined both those aspects best for us was perennial bridesmaid Nathan Matts. He has placed 2nd at three tournaments this year and previously had some of the worst luck always facing the division winner in the first round. But, with limited training time available Nathan is a dedicated student who continually gets back on the mat to try and correct his mistakes through hard work and has repeatedly tested his progress in open competition. For this attitude to training and progress made he is our Grappling Competitor of the Year.
Most Improved Student: James Norcliffe
Another difficult call this year with so many young guys putting in the mat time and making a lot of progress in a very short space of time. However, James stood out to us as one of the next generation who is most dedicated to his own training and making gains all the time yet has learned also how to be a good training partner and work well with others. A quiet student who when he does speaks ask intelligent questions and isn’t afraid of hard work. It’s been a pleasure to coach him.
- Mark Crofts – While some students are quick to find excuses to not train and loud in announcing their achievements Mark has come back from very serious health problems to put other students half his age to shame on the fitness classes with zero complaint or attention grabbing. He is an inspiration to us as coaches. In addition, we greatly appreciate the support he gives our fighters by coming to all the shows.
- Tim Wurr & Louisa Edwards – Many students walk through the door wanting to be MMA fighters. A few come in with a passion for learning the art form of grappling. Teaching both types is rewarding but as we also have a passion for grappling it’s wonderful to have students such as Tim and Louisa who share it. As important as their genuine interest in what we teach is the dedication they’ve shown to supporting the gym through attending seminars, coming to watch the team compete and participation in charity fund raising etc. The kind of students coaches wish for!
- Paremveer Bassi – Pav has only been with us a short time but is often the first on the mat and has worked very hard this year, making consistent improvement in both his striking and groundwork. One of the students we very much look forward to seeing grow and compete in the years to come.