16-year-old Stick fighter, Riaz Amin is going for gold
Most five-year-old boys are busy playing with dinosaurs and getting muddy in the garden but when he was five, East London lad Riaz Amin, began his journey as a British Champion in stick fighting. Naturally talented, Riaz started with basic martial arts and faight his way through competing at local, national and international events in Shotokan Karate. However, his talent didn’t not stop there. His determination continued to grow and, by the age of 11 years, he had achieved his 1st Dan black belt then at 14 he was the Cadets British Champion in Stick Fighting organised by the Filipino World Escrima-Kalis-Arnis. The WEKAF world championship is a highly competitive event, consisting of single and double stick-fighting events with participants from countries all over the world who compete over a seven-day period.
Due to his continued successes, Riaz (now 16) has now been selected to compete in the WEKAF, with a chance to compete in the World Cup in Hungary. This high level competition is held every two years, and every four years in the Philippines. Riaz is focussing soley on bringing home another gold medal to add to his collection which already includes gold medals from The English Open, Southern Regional Championships and the Maltese 4 Nations Open Competition.
Riaz will be competing in three rounds of full contact, high octane stick fighting which requires extreme speed and accuracy. The aim is to challenge each competitor’s stamina to its highest ability. The winning title holder is someone who shows qualities such as the appropriate skills, techniques, accuracy, stamina and aggression - if Riaz’s passion and dedication is anything to go by we are sure he’ll succeed and continue to do so for many years to come.
Interview by Simi Gupta