Kettering trio make it a family affair at World Championships

editorial image

To have one member of the family in the Great Britain Stick-fighting Team is impressive, to have two even more so, but three members of one family competing at the World Championships which were held in Rome, Italy, is a rarity indeed.

And it was even more impressive as the Stanion family’s combined medal haul was six, which included one gold, four silvers and a bronze.

Tommy Evans, the junior member of the family, led the way as he became world champion in the padded stick division, an impressive feat at the age of 13.

The youngster has been training 
at Unified Fighting Systems, which is based at AG’s Martial Arts Centre in Bath Road, Kettering, for six years.

His dad, Richard, passed his black belt last winter and his stepmum, Lianne, is a brown belt now waiting to take her black belt once the rigours of competing in the World Championships are over.

This was the second World Championship for Richard after he competed in Las Vegas two years ago when he returned with two silvers.

In Rome, he took a silver and a bronze in two divisions while Lianne claimed silver in the women’s single stick division.

One other member of Unified Fighting Systems, David Shaw, took bronze in the double stick division.

They are all now looking forward to the European Championships, which will be held in England next year.

Tommy Evans is the latest of nine world champions to be trained at the Kettering club and, although Andy Gibney is the head instructor, it was five-time world champion Glynn Daniels who was the main coach for the participants in Italy.

The group all attend regular weekly classes but added extra sparring sessions in with the British Team in the build-up to the event.

For more information on Stick-fighting and the other martial arts taught at AG’s Martial Arts Centre, call 01536 513715 or visit the website