Michele rocks her way to Taekwondo world title

Martial arts expert Michele Cavallin put her recent Taekwondo World Championship success down to three main ingredients; commitment, good coaching and rock music.

Michele, a 4th Dan black belt from the Ken James Academy Eastbourne, had already displayed tremendous courage to win four contests and reach the final of the World Championships held at the Coventry Arena last month.

Michele Cavallin

Michele Cavallin

But going into the final of the heavyweight showdown against tough Argentinian opponent and former champ Haramboure, Michele needed that extra motivation and she found it from American Rock band the Foo Fighters.

The 29-year-old world champion said, “I was tired going into the final and I knew I was in for a tough fight.

“The Argentinian girl is pretty scary but next to us they were performing musical patterns and I could hear the rock music coming through and it really motivated me.

“It was Pretenders by the Foo Fighters and I just thought come on let’s do this.”

Michele began Taekwondo from the age of 15 and went from beginner to British Champion in 10 years. Under the guidance of her trainer Ken James, a 6th Dan black belt, she continued to fine tune her skills to take the ultimate prize in Coventry last week - the largest Taekwondo event ever held.

The teacher from Causeway School admitted her achievement has yet to fully sink in but said he has received great support from her pupils and colleagues at the school.

“Everyone has been so nice, the teachers in the corridors have all been congratulating me and the kids have been funny.

“One of them asked me to autograph a piece of their work which was kinda funny.”

Michele plans to keep training and keep teaching the martial art. Next up will be the British Champs but she ruled-out the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“At 29 I’m just a bit too old. If this (the world title) came two years ago then perhaps. But the selection process can be quite complicated and there are many competitors aged around 18 or 19 who are younger, stronger and injury free.”

Michelle wasn’t the only medallist from Eastbourne’s Ken James Academy. Matt Cook was also on top form and scooped the bronze medal in the Mens Sparring ITF Style welterweight division.

Matt, 31, came through six bruising fights to earn bronze.

He said, “It was a huge event, so to come away with a medal was great. It was tough as I’d been trying to get down to lightweight but I didn’t quite make the weight. I was giving away a stone in weight at welter but I just seemed to get on a role and kept on progressing all the way to a medal.”