Ross fights his way to world number one

Ross Gladwin after his win in the Irish Open.
Ross Gladwin after his win in the Irish Open.

A martial arts teacher is celebrating after winning two of the biggest, and hardest, martial arts events in the world.

After winning two national titles as well as bringing home a silver and two bronze medals at international events last year, Ross Gladwin had set his sights higher for 2013.

Backed by sponsors Gate 7 and Rhinox, Gladwin targeted the world’s two largest and most prestigious events – the US Open World Martial Arts Championship and the International Irish Open.

The Irish Open, held in March, saw Gladwin fight his way through three qualifying rounds to earn a place against world number one, and nine years reigning champion, Zoltan Dansco.

After a tough bout, he managed to prevail and land his biggest achievement to date.

But he upped that a few months later when he crossed the Atlantic to compete in the US Open World Martial Arts Championships in Orlando.

After two tough qualifying rounds, he made it to the final against a Jamacian national team member and took a comprehensive win.

The two wins mean Gladwin is now ranked number one in the world in his weight division, and fulfilled a dream he has worked towards for more than 20 years.

With the season now over, Gladwin will be competing in Norway and Italy towards the end of the year as he looks to defend his titles next year.

Gladwin runs Emulous Sport Kickboxing in North Shields. Anyone interested in joining should visit or email