LOCAL Martial Arts instructor Ross Penman is going for gold when he flies out to Greece to compete in the ISKA Kickboxing World Championships this month.

Penman, the head instructor at Barrhead club I-Kick Martial Arts, goes into the event on the back of his second full contact kickboxing bout. He claimed victory against Italian fighter Carmelo Caiola in Sicily to make it two wins out of two in full contact contests.

The 24-year-old won a silver and a bronze at last year’s ISKA Kickboxing World Championships and he is aiming to better that when the tournament starts in Athens on May 31.

If he continues his run of form, Penman has his eyes set firmly on a full contact Scottish title by the end of the year after tournament season comes to an end in October.

He said: “I’ve got two World Championships, one for kickboxing and one for Taekwondo. The championships in Greece I won a silver and a bronze at last year so I’m looking to better that this year.

“In Dublin in October I have the ITK World Taekwondo Championships. That’s a really big event with a lot of competitors from Europe and America.

“Once those tournaments are out the way I’m possibly going to look to fight for a Scottish title before December.”

Penman juggles running the Barrhead club with personal training work and travelling to Edinburgh for sessions with his own coach.

But despite the long hours in the gym, he insists he is reaching the peak of his powers and has at least another five years of competing at a high level in him.

He said: “It is tough, I teach 20 hours per week plus do another 25 hours of personal training a week plus run the business and go to Edinburgh every week to have training sessions with my coach.

“I’ve told myself I’ve got another five years of competing at a high level, after that I’ll just compete for fun or I’ll retire completely. I’m 25 in June, I’ve said that at 30 I’ll be retiring from high level martial arts stuff.

“I’m getting to my peak just now, I’m starting to make a name for myself in the bigger tournaments and circuits.

“Now is the time to push on, even though there are times when I feel like I could be doing with not training or travelling away to a competition.”

Ross is currently seeking sponsorship to help with expenses and entry fees for several of the main competitions he has this year and would be extremely grateful if anyone can help with this – please get in touch with Ross directly.

For more information regarding I Kick classes or lessons please contact Ross directly on 07429502254 or email info@i-kickmartialarts.co.uk.