Over recent years the Lincoln Fight Factory have had an international reputation of producing some of the best adult kickboxers in the country winning World, European, British, English and Area Full Contact titles on a monthly basis with a solid 30 man fight team.
However, over the last couple of years we have moved more into the boxing scene, again producing some fantastic fighters with Dan Cooper, Aaron Robinson and Jordan McLoughin moving onto the pro ranks. The boxers have gone on to compete in Norway and New York, but we only had a handful of fighters who were willing to use their legs. This is all looking to change now with the return of former x3 World Kickboxing Champion Trevor ‘TNT’ Tacy return to action in March, Lithuanian Professional K-1 star Karolis Macisevskis coming to the gym and the exciting return of Aaron Robinson and Jamie Lambert both looking to get back in the ring in November in kickboxing bouts.
The one thing we never had was a strong team of kids who were getting into the ring. We had Wikor Gornicki leading the way in 2010 when he was a 7 year old smashing his way into title contention and in 2014 we had the Deakin siblings winning every title there was, but it wasn’t a team, it was the odd 1 or 2 junior fighters on an adult fight card.
Viva La Revolution
This has all changed now and it is the juniors that are taking over the gym, fighting on any show, anywhere, anytime and any rules. A team of 10-12 kids from 7 to 15 years old making huge waves on the fight scene, improving in every fight and forming a bond with each other that cannot be formed in parks or schools. In the gym ‘having your back’ doesn’t mean joining in a fight with other kids, it means pushing each other in training, working on each other’s weakness before an upcoming fight and supporting each other when they step in the ring.
This is what the Lincoln Fight Factory try to install to all junior members, they are not just club mates they are brothers/sisters and we are finally seeing the results in the ring and in life.
Many of our junior team have had some major setbacks in their lives, none more so then Kraig Green and Keegan Roberts but with the help of the team they have managed to move forward and look to be set to be forging a successful career in the world of kickboxing.
If we talking about true determination we need to look no further than Kraig. Most kids who lost their first 6 fights would think this is not the hobby for them and call it a day, not Kraig though. Losing fights was nothing compared to what this kid has been through. Diagnosed with Autism and ADHD as an early age and losing his dad Adi 3 years ago, Kraig was determined to make his hero proud. Set back after set back, Kraig was punched from pillar to post in every fight, rarely looking like he would win a combination exchange, let alone a fight. This all changed in June this year when he switched to K-1 rules, winning his first fight by first round stoppage, installing a new belief in himself. He then went on to win his first fight on home show against a current world games gold medallist. We still have a lot of work to do on Kraig, but he is definitely moving in the right direction and has landed an area title fight in Boston in October.
Like Kraig, Keegan also lost his dad Carl to a brain tumour and went through a spell of being bullied at school. At the age of 13 most kids would lock themselves in their bedroom and avoid contact with others. Keegan however would be in the gym pounding out his frustration on the bags and it wasn’t long before bonds were formed with the other kids in the gym, particularly with Kraig and Aiden Richardson, whom all spent Christmas Day together last year. It wasn’t long before the gym realised we had some huge potential on our hands with Keegan, who has fought under Full Contact and K-1 rules, winning Midland and British titles in the last 5 months, with more title fights and defences scheduled for September, October and November this year.
Another fighter who we truly believe will make waves on the scene is 10 year old Daniel Elliot. Dan suffers from ADHD and has massive confidence issues, coming to the gym he made it clear he had didn’t want to fight and just wanted to train for fun, the coaches thought this was a wasted talent but accepted Dan’s decision, but knew one day he would change his mind. This changed when we were at a show once and Dan said to his coach, Shawn Burton, “I wish I was fighting today Shawn,” surprisingly that day one of the fighters failed to show up and 20 minutes before the fight was expected to go ahead we asked Dan if he still fancied it, to which Dan jumped at the chance, the rest as they say his history. Dan was by far the most technical junior on the card that day, but still lacked confidence when putting himself forward for fights on other shows. We managed to convince Dan to fight on last weekend’s show, but this led to 4 months of nerves for Dan and till the day we were not sure if he would step into the ring, but when he did, he produced another punch perfect, controlled performance, dominating his fight and taking his record to 2-0. We expect big things from Dan in the next 12 months.
We have another pocket rocket in the team in 10 year old Lukas Nanartavicius, this kid has to be the bravest, toughest 10 year old we have ever worked with, Lukas just loves to spar against anyone, no matter how big and how old. Not the most technical fighter, but very powerful and will give any 30kg kid a tough time. Lukas is one of the many Eastern European’s with have in the gym and like the others mixes well with all 26 of the other nationalities in the gym and has been taken under the wing of the older kids in the gym. Current record 1-0.
Danny Kennedy, a 14 year old southpaw from the fighting Kennedy family has spent the last 2 years training at the Lincoln Fight Factory and is now really starting to show his potential. Whether he was over looked at on previous shows or out injured we never got a chance to see Dan in action so didn’t know how he would cope in a fight situation. He really stepped up his training for last weekend’s show and produced a very dominant display taking his first win.
Other fighters on the junior team that are to be watched out for in the future are undefeated Vinny Coyle, Aiden Richardson, Carl Cox, Lukas Venkus, Kallum Mayer, Alfie Hartley, Dylan Massingham and Grace Kennedy.
Although we are still a relatively new fight team, I honestly believe if these kids keep progressing as they are it will not be long until we are knocking on the doors of the top junior fight teams that include Saxons in Birmingham, Suggy’s Gym in Newark and the formidable force that is Mick Crossland’s Combat Academy in Barnsley.
Outside of the ring these kids have a proper brothers in arms mentality and any parent worried about their children’s social skills, confidence, bullying issues and weight problems I truly believe a trip to our George Street based gym will chance their lives, they will become fitter, more confident, more disciplined and most importantly form friendships that will last a lifetime.
These kids are the kindest, most respectful kids you will ever meet and an absolute honor to teach.
VIVA LA REVELUTION