W Thomas - EKF National Kumite Coach
I started Shotokan Karate at the age of 14 years in 1980, entered my first competition in 1983 and by 1985 was selected to compete for England in the junior European championships.
After a difficult championship I returned home and trained harder than ever going on to win the British title later on that year. I was selected again to represent England at the following European championships gaining a bronze medal (-70kg) and silver in the team.
At 20 years old I became standby for the senior European Championships and due to an athlete dropping out I was called up to compete. To the surprise of both coach and athletes, I won and became the youngest ever English competitor to win a senior European title and still hold the record of the youngest male ever to do so.
The rest as they say is history, I retired in 1999 due to a back injury but not before winning everything available to me. English, British, European and World titles both team and individual. Contrary to popular belief I am indeed a traditionalist and enjoy Kata bonkai, particularly its Kyushu application.
Coaching is my first passion and over the last two decades I have coached national and international champions, many of them from scratch. I still coach regularly and can be seen in the ‘chair’ coaching at all levels, from open tournaments to international events. I believe that coaching is an acquired skill and an art but must be supported with sports science. I use my experience and intuition on the back of hard data and facts, not just opinions to produce innovative training drills and produce current and future champions.
"I do not just want you to try your best........
.......... I want you to be at your best".
Willie Thomas 6th Dan, English Karate Federation National Kumite Coach