World karate title for former Chapel man Anthony Knibb
Former Chapel man Anthony Knibb, who now lives in Sweden, has been crowned World Ashihara Champion.
Representing Sweden, the 48-year-old claimed his title in the Veteran Over-35s Under 80k class at the World Ashihara Championships in Bucharest, Romania, which followed his October success of winning silver in the full contact Swedish National Karate Championship.
“Ashihara karate is a type of full contact karate,” he said.
“That means in competition you try to knock out your opponent as opposed to semi-contact karate where you try to score points and knocking out your opponent means disqualification.
“The first two matches were against Romanian opponents and both were close.
“I had to fight an extra round in both matches before I was awarded the win by judges' decisions.
“Advancing to the final I met a Russian who I stopped after about a minute of the first round. He went down and didn't beat the count. I landed a body kick and folded him up like a deck chair.”
Knibb's team mate Amando Motino also won silver in Bucharest.
Explaining his journey to being a world champion, Knibb said: “I started training in martial arts when I was 15.
“I trained initially in karate at Buxton Wado Ryu Karate Club.
“After that I trained in kickboxing, then amateur boxing and then mixed material arts.
“I started doing ashihara karate 10 years ago in Sweden.
“I visit my parents in Chapel three times a year when I train at Warrior Kickboxing in Whaley Bridge.
“Back in Sweden I train at Boden Ashihara Karate Club and live in Luleå.”
Knibb's wife, Carina Töyra is Swedish and they have a daughter called Hannah.
They lived together in Edgeley for four years before moving to Sweden, when Hannah was one year old.