Luton’s very own ‘Karate Kid’ who took the world title in 2016 is embroiled in a gruelling training schedule ahead of this week’s European Championships.
Jordan Thomas, 26, has fighting blood in his veins as the son of legendary karateka Willie Thomas who won the Karate World Championship in 1992.
At the time of his own win in 2016, Jordan had followed in his father’s footsteps to become Britain’s first World Champion in 12 years.
Now, he is hoping to inspire as many Lutonians as possible to put themselves forward in the sports and arts arenas.
Jordan said: “I’m just glad to be part of the many Luton sports players of today who are representing our town.
“Just look at Jordan Reynolds in boxing and Lewis Baker playing for Middlesbrough, I could go on and on!
“There’s so much talent in Luton that goes into sports and music. For me, it feels great to be a part of that.”
Jordan’s path to the top was a rocky one. At the age of just two years old, his family were told by doctors he would never walk again after breaking his femur in two places in a car collision.
Since then, the 26-year-old – who started karate at just four years old – has triumphed to achieve titles at both European and World level, despite having to fund his own way to the World Championships in 2016.
And with karate to feature for the first time ever at the Olympics in 2020, Jordan is determined to keep his star afloat in order to play at the Games. He is currently training hard ahead of the European Championships which begin in Novi Sad, Serbia, on May 10.
Jordan said: “Definitely it’s all about discipline, you’ve got to keep on the right path and not lose track of your dreams.
“It helped that my dad was a world champion, all of my role models were in karate.
“My dad has a joke that everyone in karate used to say I was Willie Thomas’s son. Now, they all call him Jordan Thomas’s dad!”
When not competing internationally, Jordan also works as an ambassador for mouthguard company OPRO – which supplies mouthguards to athletes in multiple sports. See www.opro.com.