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  1. ITV Report

Cumbrian kickboxer fights his way to Malaysia

Jack Harris from Crosby, near Maryport, is taking to the ring to compete in the World Muay Thai Kickboxing Championships in Malaysia, which start tomorrow.

The 18-year-old, who works as an electrical and engineering apprentice at Sellafield Ltd, has won numerous UK tournaments over the past two years.

He has been hand-picked to compete against the best Muay Thai kickboxers in the world by the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur (IFMA).

He is not phased by the possibility of going back to work a world champion.

“I know I have the potential to win, but I guess it depends on the competition as I haven’t met my opponents yet. The tournament it will be a brilliant experience, but whatever happens I’ll be coming back to Sellafield Ltd and concentrating on my apprenticeship as this is really important to me too.”

– Jack Harris
Jack has been involved in competitive martial arts since he was 12 Credit: Sellafield Ltd

Before leaving for Malaysia Jack was undertaking a punishing training schedule, which he had to balance with his work and social life.

“It is hard balancing a job and training as sometimes it’s the last thing you feel like doing after a full day’s work, but I know I need to be in the best shape possible to keep winning fights. Unfortunately, this means my social life suffers in the lead up to a tournament, but the feeling I get when I step in the ring and the adrenaline kicks in is worth the sacrifice.”

– Jack Harris
Jack is also completing an apprenctieship at Sellafied Credit: Sellafield Ltd

Jack says everything in his job revolves around safety, something that he tries to apply to kickboxing too.

"To those who aren’t familiar with the sport it sounds really dangerous, and you can definitely get hurt, but there are strict rules to follow and it is important we stick to them to make the fights fair and safe.”

– Jack Harris

Muay Thai is a combat sport that originated in Thailand.

The rules differs slightly to modern kickboxing and it's characterised by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet.

It requires techniques which use the entire body movement.