WAKO Team USA Kickboxing kicked off 2021 with an exciting national championship for ring sports in low kick and K1 disciplines. This years National Championships took place from February 26-28 in Nashville, TN, the great music city! With over 300 registered athletes and 236 actually competing during the two-day tournament, the ring action was nonstop all day long.
The stakes were set and expectations were high for all the athletes who came from 29 different states, some who traveled days to get to Nashville to showcase their skills. President of WAKO USA, Rob Zbilski was in attendance and expressed that, “we were blown away by the level of competition at this championship. We have never had this level of skilled fighters before at our national tournament and I think it really shows how badly these athletes from all over country want to earn their spot on Team USA. I was impressed by the novice, intermediate and advanced fighters, even the juniors fighters really came to fight. Our junior team is going to be stacked with some amazing talent.”
The winners in the advanced/professional divisions were fighting to secure their spot on Team USA Kickboxing. The championship winners will get to travel to the WAKO World Championships later this year and experience top-notch competition from the best fighters in the world. Also, six of the weight classes had athletes competing not only for their spot on Team USA Kickboxing for the World Championships but also to earn their spot in the 2022 World Games which will be held in Birmingham, Alabama. There are three weight classes for women: -52kg, -60kg and -70kg and three weight classes for men: -63.5kg, -75kg and +91kg. The winners from the WAKO USA National Championships for these weight classes who will be on Team USA are: Jenine Pilla, -52kg, Anna Crutchfield, -60kg, and Amanda Ginski, -70kg, Diego Jagessar, -63.5kg, Austin Bybee, -75kg and Sullivan Cauley, +91kg. These fighters will have to make it through about 4 days of fighting and usually 4-5 fights at the World Championships and win the gold in order to make it to the World Games in 2022.
The WAKO World Championships location is expected to be announced later this month. WAKO USA will plan an official Team USA Training Camp, held at the WAKO USA headquarters in Huntley, IL, leading up to the World Championships sometime in August or September. Stay tuned for all happenings by following WAKO USA on social media, Facebook: WAKO Team USA Kickboxing, Instagram: @wakoteamusa and YouTube: WAKO Team USA Kickboxing.