London’s James Southwood continues to prove he is a world force in fight sport Savate with a solid performance at the Budapest Open in Hungary.
Savate is a dynamic sport that combines movements from English boxing and French kicking. Southwood is a multiple Great British Champion, 2011 World Bronze medallist, former European Vice-Champion, and 2014 World Champion.
His third appearance at the Budapest Open reflected his efforts not only in developing his own abilities, but also in his coaching.
Fighting three times, Southwood faced a Hungarian first before taking on a Serbian fighter ahead of the final.
There he faced a Belgian fighter for the Gold.
James reflected that not everything was perfect and he only developed the desired ‘headspace’ in the final fight.
Southwood demonstrates shadow boxing
"My form was good, my focus lacking in places," he explained afterwards.
Southwood won the final unanimously (as he did the previous fights), leaving him undefeated in three visits to the event.
The victory may have been rewarding, although the fighter felt more rewarded by other things.
"I was pleased more with my students from the London club, all of whom fought with great spirit and energy, two gaining gold along with me," he said.
"We received several compliments from other coaches about the standard of competition, which is the real reward after all their well delivered effort."
Vegetarian from birth, Southwood turned vegan as a teenager, so now has more than 20 years – and countless sporting successes – as a vegan.
At 38 James’s experience and coaching skills are invaluable, but he is also focused on his own competitive career.
"Next up is a smaller event - the Northern Irish Open, then I'm going to Helsinki in March where the French police team - including my opponent from the 2014 World final - await me," he said.