Batley fighter Wilkinson gets GB call

Jamie Wilkinson (left) won Combat Sambo gold last month.
Jamie Wilkinson (left) won Combat Sambo gold last month.
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Two Batley fighters got their hands on medals with magnificent displays at the British Open Combat Sambo Championships last weekend.

Jamie Wilkinson and Neil Powell, representing the Yorkshire Rose team, competed in the Combat and Sport Sambo categories of the Championships, held at Biddington Turn International School, Bedford on Sunday, June 30.

Powell got his hands on bronze in the under 90kg Sport Sambo competition, while Wilkinson was the star of the show as he blew away a strong field to take a brilliant gold in the under 90kg Combat Sambo contest.

Both men train at Allegiance MMA Gym in Batley, and compete for the gym’s sambo team, Yorkshire Rose.

The duo had also trained with clubmate Kieron Cassidy, who withdrew from the event after being offered the opportunity to fight this week at Knockdown Karate in Japan.

After the fight, Wilkinson was approached by Team GB head coach Martin Clarke and was asked to represent Great Britain at a tournament in Russia this November.

He will make up part of an elite squad of GB Sambo competitors, facing some of the best fighters in Sambo.

Coach Neil Hall said: “It is a huge honour and major achievement within the sport.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to compete in the home of Sambo against the best in the world.”

Sambo is a form of martial art from Russia which is enjoying a growing reputation.

Sambo, which stands for Samooborona Bez Oruzhiya, or “self-defence without weapons”, is split into two disciplines: sport and combat.

Sport Sambo is a grappling-only format similar to judo, whereas Combat also involves striking techniques.

Yorkshire Rose is the only current Sambo team in the county, and is run from Allegiance Gym by registered Sambo coaches Neil Hall and Mick Howe.

New members are always welcome at the gym to ask questions, take a look around or even sample a free class.

For more information on Sambo, classes, history or seminars, please contact Neil Hall on 07889 245049 or email neilhall2010@hotmail.co.uk.