Tom Cunnington ready to take on Europe's best at 'toughest tournament'

Ronin Kyokushin coach heading to France

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 4:45 pm
Tom Cunnington.

Tom Cunnington is preparing to compete in ‘the toughest tournament’ he’s ever fought in.

The 37-year-old, who coaches at Melton’s Ronin Kyokushin Club, will head to France next month to take on some of Europe’s best in a full-contact event.

But what separates the Tournament of Bayeux from many others is that it is open weight - and victory can only come via knockout.

Weighing in at 69kg, Tom is expecting to be the smallest fighter gunning for glory - but hopes that it’s a case of the bigger they are the harder they fall.

“I’ve been training hard,” he said.

“The way you win this tournament is by knockout. You have to knock your opponent out cold.

“It’s a great tournament to be in. It’s a massive test of character and not just courage and bravery, but confidence in your ability.”

Karate is a way of life for Tom, who has been training for 27 years, in Melton, London and Thailand.

He also has competition experience in Japan.

“This’ll be the toughest tournament I’ve ever fought in,” he told The Times.

“I will probably be the smallest there, probably by 15kg.

“There’ll be Russians in it, Spanish, French, Swiss - a lot of fighters from across Europe.

“It will be one of the first large events happening in Europe after Covid-19, so everyone will be coming out of the woodwork.”

The Tournament of Bayeux is a two-day event beginning on December 11.