Local Muay Thai kickboxer Joshua Sutherland has fought his way to a bronze medal at the World Union Kickboxing Championship.
Sutherland, 16, won bronze in the Kick Light, Male Teens (15-17) – 75kg category, as part of the tournament that ran for six days in Cardiff, England, at the end of October.
“It was the most intense, most exciting experience I’ve had, just going to a different country and competing at a world level,” Sutherland said.
Sutherland was recognized for his efforts by Cranbrook city council at the inaugural meeting on Monday, Nov. 7.
Sutherland began kickboxing a couple years ago as a middle school student, and began training with Rocky Mountain Martial Arts and Joel Huncar, and later doing physical and nutritional conditioning with Laurie Dickson at Aspire2BFit.
“That was my dream, just to become a fighter,” said Sutherland.
Dickson said she crafted a training program tailored to increasing cardio capacity and building muscle endurance, along with changing diet and nutrition.
He competed in four bouts, each totaling two minutes, while competing at the World Championships, describing the moments before his first event as nerve-wracking.
“The biggest moment of my life, basically, was coming up right in front of me,” Sutherland said. “Once you’re standing across from your opponent and you know it’s about to go…it’s like a leap of faith.”
With the World Championship experience under his belt, Sutherland is turning his gaze to the future.
“You just got to work hard, have a dream and just go after it,” he said.