Kickboxer Russ ready for challenge

Reporter:

Matt Jones

FORMER world kickboxing champion Russ Williams is passing on his skills at a summer camp for Ukrainian orphans.

During his second visit to the country Russ, from Caerwys, who runs gyms in Wrexham and Caerwys, will also teach martial arts to local police officers.

He said: “I've been asked to show some of the local police my training this time and will also be teaching orphans and children from poorer families in a summer camp.

“I enjoy teaching anyone who is keen to learn, from complete beginners right up to world champions.

“It's a bit more of a challenge when I'm teaching people who can't understand English.

“In the future I'm also planning to organise trips for people to experience the Ukrainian way of life and to train with people in different types of martial arts.”

Russ, who has trained actor Spencer Wilding who appeared in Stardust and Batman Begins, is a former double undisputed world champion in the sport and the only Welshman to achieve this feat.

In Ukraine the former Ysgol Maes Garmon pupil is teaching courses organised with the help of one of his students, Victoria Lichmanyk.

Russ said: “There are no Thai or kickboxing classes in the areas where the courses are to be held.

“On my last trip it was like going through a time warp into the 70s.

“Nearly all the cars in the smaller towns were the ex-Soviet era Lada cars and the farmers would travel around by horse and cart.

“It made me appreciate what the council services do for us here in the UK. The main roads outside the cities there are in a very poor state. The people are friendly and helpful with a lot of the countryside is picturesque. I am hoping to build up links and exchange visits.”

Some of Russ’ fights have been shown on Ukrainian TV and on his previous trip he was featured in the local newspapers.

See full story in the Leader

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