If you are a Muay Thai competitor in the East Coast, one of your goals as an amatuer fighter is to win the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) Nationals. The WKA Nationals is a three days event, with over 100 teams from all over North America coming together to compete in Muay Thai and Kickboxing. At the 2015 WKA Nationals, Ricardo Mixco (24) and Tafon Nchuckwi (20) Crazy 88’s very own kickboxing fighters took home the title as Champions in their respective divisions.
This year we sent seven competitors and five of them made it to the finals putting on stellar performances on the first day of competition. We ended the tournament with Tafon’s dominant win in the 209+ pounds division and Ricardo brutal TKO win via knee to the body in the 125 pounds division.
Tafon who won the novice division said, “It was the best feeling having my hand raised and having the medal placed around my neck. It was a very good experience for me. I will keep training to come back next year to take the belt.”
The National Title and the great performances came with a cost and a lot of hard work. Aside from the two hour weeknight sessions, the competitors were required to spent a minimum of three grueling hours practicing every Sunday afternoons. This was to insure that their conditioning and their techniques were on point.
A Crazy 88 student since 2010, Ricardo who won the Novice division last year, said, “I had been preparing for the 2015 WKA National Tournament pretty much since I won the tourney last year. I know it takes a lot of hard work and dedication so i worked my butt off to make sure I was prepared mentally and physically. I am lucky enough be part of such a great team with great coaches and I know listening to them and working hard will allow me to accomplish my goals.It was a great feeling to become a national champion. It made my parents very proud which is awesome!”
This win has earned Ricardo a spot on the USA National Team who will be traveling to Benidorm Spain for the World Championships in November. Ricardo is more dedicated than ever and works hard to become a world champion and then turning pro when the time comes.
Crazy 88 may be known for the best BJJ in Baltimore but there is no denying that we can strike as well. With the guidance of Coach Jomal Hargrove and the hard work put in by the students, we are competing at the national level and are having success. I look forward to next year’s WKA Nationals and I assure you that we will have more Muay Thai & Glory competitors and more champions. What is next for these young fighters, you will just have to wait and see.