University Kickboxing Championships made a huge comeback for 2022

15 Universities from across the UK came together in Leeds last Sunday to compete in the country’s largest Kickboxing event

Sporting 246 fighters from all experience levels, the UKC 2022 came back bigger than ever after a two year break. Making up for that extended absence, the event was definitely a highlight for every martial arts enthusiast!

Prelims at the Edge

Don’t worry if you missed it, though as we were live onsite and summed up all the kicks and punches thrown, from Beginners to Advanced. You can also check out the Highlights from 2019 here.

Women Beginners Middleweight going strong

The event took part in a tournament form with the preliminaries being held in four matted areas at the Edge. Fighters were divided in categories, based on experience, gender and weight.

Once a category started, it concluded when there were only two people left in that category – who then progressed to the big finals being held at Stylus in the evening.

Some categories, especially in Beginners’ levels, were huge and required six or seven fights to get to the final. While the category Men Beginners Lightweight had 32 fighters, Men Advanced Lightweight only had 12 fighters.

Blocking that head kick

One fight consisted of two rounds of sparring for one and a half minutes with 30 seconds break in-between.

The rules were semi contact and 20 percent of power only with three corner judges from different universities keeping the score: one point for a punch, two for a kick and three for a head kick or a kick landed while both feet are off the ground, such as a jumping roundhouse kick.

Keeping them at distance with those push kicks

After four hours of competing in prelims, only 36 people progressed to finals and prepared for the grand final fight.

The grand final featuring 36 champions from 15 Universities

Held in Stylus at the Union in a kickboxing ring with over 500 spectators supporting their fighters, everyone was cheering on their uni and awaiting the announcement of the 18 student champions.

Last advice before the fight for Women Intermediate Middleweight champion Olivia from Leeds

Finalists entered the ring under flashing lights, accompanied by their chosen song, cheered on by their fellow students, ready to show their skills and moves, creating quite an atmosphere.

Bow to each other and touch gloves before you spar

Five members of the Leeds Uni Union Kickboxing Soc were represented in the big finals, two of them making first place in the categories Women Advanced Middleweight and Men Advanced Lightweight.

Leeds Men Advanced Lightweight Finalists Owen and Jack (credits: Olivia Farah)

Leeds finalists with coach Will in the middle

A personal favourite was the finals fight in the category Women Advanced Lightweight which impressed with a particularly proficient and clean competition: The contestants from Cardiff and Cambridge were showing some serious skills while fighting with controlled power, going for some ace axe kicks and some well aimed head kicks.

Fighters, coaches, spectators and helpers from all over the UK worked together to make the UKC 22 a great success, featuring some amazing and controlled fights.

Do you want to be involved next year, too? Make sure to attend the UKC 2023 which will be held in Leeds again or even better, join the Leeds Uni Kickboxing Soc and sign up as a fighter yourself!

Leeds Fighters 💪🥊

Related articles recommended by this writer:

A guide to the best nap spots on Uni of Leeds campus

How to deal with a breakup in Leeds

• 10 ways to be more eco-friendly in Leeds