Former Chantry High School pupil, Ipswich’s Nathan Fillbrook strikes gold in martial arts

Nathan Fillbrook has won a gold medal at the Martial Arts World Championships in Croatia. Nathan is

Nathan Fillbrook has won a gold medal at the Martial Arts World Championships in Croatia. Nathan is pictured at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre in Stowmarket. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s Nathan Fillbrook achieved a remarkable dream last month as he fought to glory in the WFMC Martial Arts World Championships in Croatia.

Nathan Fillbrook has won a gold medal at the Martial Arts World Championships in Croatia. Nathan is

Nathan Fillbrook has won a gold medal at the Martial Arts World Championships in Croatia. Nathan is pictured at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre in Stowmarket. - Credit: Archant

After battling his way through 11 knock-out fights in two days, England’s Fillbrook claimed glory in the under 70kgs category ahead of more than 100 challengers in a freestyle competition consisting of karate, kickboxing, and taekwondo.

What makes the achievement even more remarkable for someone who says he has put “blood, sweat, and Irn Bru” into his 13 years of training, is the fact that Fillbrook, a former pupil at Chantry High School, has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

“Hopefully by achieving such success I can show people that life doesn’t stop just because you have a disability,” declared the 25-year-old, who now lives in Stowmarket.

“With the right attitude and motivation, you can still climb to the top no matter what.

“When I first started Martial Arts 13 years ago, I was told by a psychiatrist that I’d only stick at it for about six to eight weeks – but here I am 13 years later, still doing it and loving it.

“My motivation to succeed stems from that, and drives me on to show that you really can rise to the top whatever your situation or disability.”

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A five-time national champion as well as a regular county champion, the debut experience and victory at an event that is attended by 30 countries is one he’ll never forget.

“It was an absolutely amazing experience,” added Fillbrook. “The amount of quality on show was bewildering, and to compete against some of those was a dream come true,

“I’ve loved every minute of the experience and it’s definitely given me the motivation to do it again.”

Fillbrook, who amazingly trains on his own in his back garden, has a lot of people to thank for their support over the last 13 years.

“My mum and dad have been brilliant for me, continuously supporting me,” added Fillbrook. “As has my girlfriend Hannah, who has been a real angel in kicking me out and making sure I train. My best mate Julian has also done the same and I can’t thank all of the coaches and instructors I’ve had previously in all my years of Martial Arts enough – they’ve all had an incredible impact on where I’ve got to.”

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