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Goldrush for Lowestoft father and son at World Martial Arts Games

PUBLISHED: 11:25 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:25 27 September 2017

Whilst competing at the games in Orlando, Oliver Gunton took gold in the self-defence competition for seven to 13-year-olds. Picture: Courtesy of Kevin Gunton

Whilst competing at the games in Orlando, Oliver Gunton took gold in the self-defence competition for seven to 13-year-olds. Picture: Courtesy of Kevin Gunton

Archant

It seems success is in the genes for one Lowestoft family after both father and son took gold at the World Martial Arts Games in Orlando.

Kevin Gunton won two gold medals to become world champion in the ‘over black belt’ category for creative self-defence and realistic self-defence. Picture: Courtesy of Kevin Gunton Kevin Gunton won two gold medals to become world champion in the ‘over black belt’ category for creative self-defence and realistic self-defence. Picture: Courtesy of Kevin Gunton

Kevin Gunton and his son Oliver travelled to Florida as part of the 24-strong Team GB squad earlier this month, alongside their friend and fellow martial artist Adam Hitcham,

Mr Gunton has been training in jujitsu since the age of 13 and has now reached the grade of 4th dan black belt in jujitsu and 4th dan in goshin ryu, which is a street defence style of martial arts.

Seven-year-old Oliver, meanwhile, has only been training in jujitsu for one year but is already working towards his yellow belt.

Currently under the wisdom of Professor Steve Garrod and Steve St Clair, Mr Gunton and Mr Hitcham have been training together for 15 years and have also been running the Shugyosha Jujitsu club for the last six years.

Members of the Shugyosha Jujitsu club won a total of three gold medals and two silvers. Picture: Courtesy of Kevin Gunton Members of the Shugyosha Jujitsu club won a total of three gold medals and two silvers. Picture: Courtesy of Kevin Gunton

Predominantly based at the East Anglian Mixed Martial Arts Academy (EAMMA) on London Road South, the club offers tuition in traditional samurai jujitsu and street self-defence.

In 2016, the club got involved with the National Martial Arts Committee’s (NMAC) open championship series, which allowed the Guntons and Mr Hitcham to earn themselves a place in the Great Britain squad.

The talented trio’s terrific achievements meant they also qualified for the annual World Martial Arts Games in the USA, held from September 8 to 10.

At the games itself, Mr Gunton won two gold medals to become world champion in the ‘over black belt’ category for creative self-defence and realistic self-defence, beating Mr Hitcham into silver medal position on both occasions.

His son Oliver also took gold in the self-defence competition for seven to 13-year-olds.

“As a result of myself and Oliver winning gold in Florida, we’ve both automatically qualified for the next world games in two years time, which are being held in India,” said Mr Gunton.

“The aim for us is to head out there to defend our titles.”

After returning from the States with clinking gold medals around their necks, the next focus is to qualify for the 2018 European Championships in Liechtenstein.

For more information about the Shugyosha Jujitsu club, visit facebook.com/ShugyoshaJujitsu.

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