Dewsbury martial arts fighter Luke Cooper has been selected in the Great Britain squad to compete at the World Council of Jiu Jitsu Organisation Championships, which are to be held in Orlando, Florida, in August.
The 25-year-old, from Hanging Heaton, has been involved in martial arts since the age of six and trains out of the Revolution Martial Arts Academy, based at Woodkirk Valley Country Club.
Cooper has a wealth of experience having been involved in martial arts for almost 20 years.
He fought in old style jiu jitsu and has trained with UFC veteran and former champion Royce Gracie, along with famous martial arts fighters Roland Osborne and Tyler Weaver.
Aside from competing and training up to five times a week in preparation for the World Championships, Cooper is also an instructor, where he coaches youngsters and also offers self defence classes to women.
Cooper is a Second Dan black belt in Budo Taijutsu, which incorporates self defence pressure points weapons defence and traditional Japanese weapons and he is a purple belt in freestyle jiu jitsu
He has been combining his training at the Revolution Academy with travelling to the midlands to train with the Team GB squad for the past year.
Cooper finished just outside the medals at his first nationals tournament — the AMA National All Styles Championship — last year but believes he has improved vastly since then and is now looking forward to realising his dream of representing Great Britain and hopes to return from the World Championships with a medal.
Part of Great Britain’s camp involves travelling across the country to various seminars and training sessions in the various martial arts disciplines.
Cooper said: “I began helping in classes at the age of 12, and have gone on to run my own lessons in a number of different locations, including the Revolution Martial Arts Academy.
“During my classes I teach children and adults martial arts, as well as women’s self defence. I also volunteer at school sports open days and fairs – running and helping in martial arts demonstrations.
“I have been training with Team GB, and working with their director, Hanshi Michael McGarry, over the past year. I am now honoured to join them at my first World Championship this year.
“I have improved myself immeasurably since placing one below bronze at my first national tournament and I now have the dream of bringing Great Britain a gold medal.”
All team members need to raise their own funds to travel and compete in the World Championship and Cooper has received sponsorship from Hamuel Reichenbacher and his employers High Seat Limited (HSL), based in Grange Road, Batley.
Cooper will also hold a fundraising evening at the Black Horse Pub in White Lee on March 30 when band God’s of Fortune will be playing and a raffle will be held.