Norfolk black belt brings home gold from Athens in KATA division
PUBLISHED: 08:30 18 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:38 19 June 2017
A Norfolk woman has become a martial arts world champion , after winning gold in the ISKA competition in Athens, Greece.
Masie Emmerson, 26, from Ellingham, near Bungay took part in the International Sport Karate and Kickboxing Association (ISKA) world championships in June this year - and came home with a gold medal in the Korean traditional KATA division.
She trains at the Black Belt Academy in Norwich, where she now lives, and works as a third dan black belt martial artist and teacher. Masie trained in martial arts from the age of 11, taking up the sport when she was in middle school.
She said: “One of my friends did a class after school and I said to my mum that I really wanted to have a go, and that was really where it started. That was about 15 years ago. I got my first dan black belt when I was 16-years-old”.
Masie still competes as an amateur, as well as teaching and working on martial arts videos at the Black Belt Academy.
However, it hasn’t always been plain sailing, as she took a break from competing “for a few years”.
But after realising she wanted to get back into the sport in early 2016, Masie entered a local competition at the University of East Anglia, in June last year, winning a gold medal in a competition that she says is a highlight of her martial arts career.
“Getting the gold medal at UEA when I came back after the break was really, really good.”
She added: “There was some good competition in the category that I was in, so it wasn’t an easy win. To come first was amazing.”
With a few competitions at UEA under her belt, she applied to the England team for the ISKA championships - and was thrilled to be selected.
Despite her break from competing, Masie says: “Martial arts for me has always been something that, from the day I started, I knew it was what I wanted to do. You know it’s not going to be easy but you all encourage each other and get help from people pushing you on. It’s all about self-belief and confidence”.
She adds that martial arts has been a positive influence on her, saying: “When I was at school I was really shy and, had no confidence, and it’s completely changed my personality in that respect.