Suffolk student soars in Kickboxing World Championship – The Suffolk News-Herald

Suffolk student soars in kickboxing world championship

Posted 6:21 p.m. on Friday, November 11, 2022

Landon Jones and his family are celebrating a milestone achievement in his kickboxing career.

Jones, a straight senior at Nansemond River High School, competed in and won the World Kickboxing Association World Championships held in the UK.

The achievement follows his bronze award at the World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai World Games in Canada.

Jones talked about how his childhood helped him rise on the world stage, what it’s like to reach that level, and what he envisions for himself in the future.

“Fighting was one of those things I chose later in life,” Jones said in an interview Thursday. “Growing up I was very shy, very nervous as a kid. I was always scared of conflict and decided I wanted to be a fighter to build confidence. And once I got that confidence, I decided I wanted to make it a sport and a profession, and inspire those who might struggle with being shy or not having confidence.

He said he wanted to show others that they could do whatever they wanted and be a fighter.

“We are all fighters in life,” he said.

Jones said there have been challenges in his day-to-day training as a kickboxer while attending school and teaching kids how to fight in sparring sessions.

“In the morning I usually get up pretty early before school and go for a run, usually five miles, then I go to school and after school I go teach the kids,” he said. “I teach the small kids class, and from there I basically do Q training sessions that are about an hour and a half each.”

His routine includes a lot of running, dieting, and intensive workouts, such as sparring and punching. And then came the time to work with his coach, Jake Chamberlain, who Jones says is “without a doubt one of the best coaches around for anyone who wants to train.”

He shared what it’s like to balance his school and sports life while trying to be a normal kid.

“It was really easy. Luckily, Nansemond River is just a great school,” Jones said. “A lot of teachers there support me and know what I’m doing and they’re very patient when I go out of town and fight.”

He said it’s really important to keep a good balance.

“I don’t do a lot of normal kid stuff, like, I don’t go party and I don’t hang out with friends. Most of my friends I train with,” Jones explained. “The most of the time it’s just about sticking to a good schedule keeping a good routine and staying disciplined and just finding that right balance and for some people it might be different but it took me a little time to find this balance and now that I know what it is, I have been able to do both school and my training.

Likewise, Jones, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication because of the training required. While talent is great, he said it’s hard work that counts.

“It really comes down to one word and that’s discipline,” Jones said. “Discipline is the key to everything. Like, for me… I’m not the toughest guy, the most physically gifted guy… but I have discipline and I have heart and I’m willing to listen to my coaches.

Jones explained further.

“All it really takes is having an open mind. An open mind and being willing to put in the extra work,” he said. “If you want to train just to get in shape, that’s great but to be a fighter and be in a fight camp like me for example i fight probably 20 times a year so i fight a lot and what you have to do is you have to be willing to do the things no one else wants to do.”

For him, this involved training very early from sunrise and wearing it throughout the day until sunset.

Jones talked about when he won the World Kickboxing Association World Championship in two different weight classes.

“It was very overwhelming, not overwhelming stress, but just overwhelming happiness,” Jones said. “The fact that I was able to step onto the world stage at a young age and show my talents to the world is incredible and to be able to do something, not only for Virginia and for the 757 community, but to represent my country.”

Likewise, Jones said he was grateful to his support team who made his achievements possible.

“I’ve always said, Jake Chamberlain, he made champions but now I can tell people he made world champions,” Jones said. “That’s really what I’m proud of. Again, just being able to go out and be part of the team is one thing, and that’s a big achievement in itself. But to go out there and win gold and be recognized as one of the best in the world, if not the best, that’s just something that I’m very proud of and that’s something that I’m incredibly lucky to say that I have. And all thanks to my training partners, my coaches and of course my parents.

As for the future, Jones is looking to college, but wants to continue his work in kickboxing.

“Of course I want to go to college and stay in the area so I can be close to my team and keep training,” he said. “But definitely I just want to fight professionally and continue to fight on the world stage and just represent those who believe in me.”

He said that was all he really wanted to do because he loved it.

“But also being able to come out and represent all the people who rally behind me, that’s really what I want to do and do it for as long as possible. And then when I retire and I’m older , I want to be able to run my own gym, teach and give back to the community, that’s really who I am.

Finally, Jones talked about where he sees himself in five and 10 years.

“I really want to be an Olympic champion,” Jones said. “Muay Thai kickboxing has been recognized by the Olympics and they plan to incorporate it into the 2024 Olympics, so I really want to be a gold medalist in that area…”

Jones continued on his future.

“To go further than that, I want to see myself as the greatest fighter of all time and it’s not because I want to put it in people’s faces, but I want to do it to show that hard work can take you anywhere. Talent is great, but without hard work, that’s really what it’s all about. I really see myself as the best possible fighter and the best fighter ever. That’s really the main goal.

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