The King’s School’s ‘Karate Kid’ Sam Wilcock will be taking on the world in Dublin this November when he represents England in the 11-12 year old boys under 50kgs points kickboxing competition.
The Year 9 second dan black belt from Buxton is one of three superb young fighters to qualify for the WKC World Championships from the Paul Roberts Modern Martial Arts Academy in Chapel-en-le-Frith.
Sam took up kickboxing six years ago and now attends around four sessions a week at the Paul Roberts centre, training for anything up to 10 hours a week both in Chapel and at home.
“You have to develop speed, strength and flexibility,” said Sam, who is also a gifted mathematician.
“And you have to be able to size up your opponent and know when and how to attack. Above all the discipline is founded on self defence, so knowing how to keep your opponent away from you is at the heart of the sport.”
Thousands of young fighters will travel to Dublin from all four corners of the world for the blue ribbon event in a vast range of age, weight and style categories and Sam is hoping to make an impression on the international stage.
“I have won medals in some local, regional and national events representing the club alongside fellow young kickboxing students, including Jacob Roberts, Matthew Powell, Penny Lowes and Billy Harrison, but this will be my biggest event yet.”
He added: “My dream is to fight in the Olympics, when kickboxing qualifies as an official sport.
“It’s a long, long way off - at least eight years - and I will have to work really hard, but I am up for the challenge.
“If it doesn’t work out I’d love to do something with my mathematics.”
He concluded: “My friends think it is pretty cool and I get a lot of support both at school and from my family.
“Dad did some karate when he was younger and that got me started and my sister does ballet and there are definitely some similarities between kickboxing and ballet - both need physical control and mental discipline.”