Geneva test for Ripley academy’s GB fighters

Ripley-based Wragsters Kickboxing Academy has fighters flying off to Geneva this weekend to represent the W.U.M.A Great British squad in The World Martial Arts Games 2013.

Ebony Upton (15), from Selston, is a brown belt third tag and trains at Wragsters Kickboxing Academy, based at Ripley School of Boxing & Martial Arts on Park Road.

She won her place to represent the W.U.M.A Great British squad by winning gold medals in Korean forms and light continuous kickboxing at the W.U.M.A Battle of England open competition and a gold and a silver medal in the W.U.M.A Welsh open. Ebony’s categories will be the advanced under 16s - 65kg light continuous kickboxing and Korean open hand forms.

Wragsters Kickboxing Academy’s chief instructor 5th degree Black Belt is Lee Wragg, who is also flying off to represent the British squad.

Lee (41) secured his place on the squad by winning the 2011 W.U.M.A World Cup under full contact rules, and in April this year won the W.U.M.A British Super-cruiserweight Full contact title.

Lee will fight at the World Games in the advanced black belt –95kg where he will compete in three categories. On Saturday, there is boxing and full contact kickboxing, and Sunday he will compete in light continuous kickboxing. While in Geneva, Lee has also been selected as an official W.U.M.A Gb coach, so between his own fights he will be coaching and cornering some other members of the GB squad.

Lee said: “We are both excited and honoured to be representing our country and are looking forward to the world games. For Ebony, it will be a big experience as she’s only just starting her fighting career and it could bring her big opportunities for her future. For myself, being 41 it’s getting towards the end of my fighting career, but I’ve still got some fights left in me.

“Most of my kickboxing career, I have been teaching and coaching other fighters, and fighting where I can in between other commitments, but this year and thanks to my kickboxing team I have managed to train as well as coach. The world games are expecting around 30 countries with quite a few major associations attending, so this is a big concern. We will enjoy the experience and we will have represented our country with pride.

“I managed to secured a personal sponsor, The Johnson Partnership Solicitors, and thanks to them it’s made it financially possible for me to go to Geneva.

“I will be regularly sending updates back to the gym on our progress, by my facebook page lee wragg wragsters gym or on twitter @wragstersgym”