Suffolk student soars in Kickboxing World Championship

Published 6:21 pm Friday, November 11, 2022

Landon Jones and his family are celebrating a momentous achievement in his kickboxing career.

Jones, a straight-A senior at Nansemond River High School, has competed and won the World Championships for the World Kickboxing Association held in the United Kingdom.

This achievement follows his bronze award at the World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai World Games in Canada.

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Jones explained how his childhood helped to elevate him to the world stage, what it’s like to reach that level and what he envisions for himself in the future.

“Fighting was one of those things that I chose later on in life,” Jones said in a Thursday interview. “Growing up, I was very shy, very nervous as a kid. I was always afraid of conflict, and I decided that I wanted to be a fighter to build confidence. And once I achieved that confidence, I decided I wanted to do this as a sport and as a profession, and inspire those who maybe struggle with being shy or not being confident in themselves.”

He said he wants to show others they can do whatever they want and be a fighter.

“We’re all fighters in life,” he said.

Jones said there have been challenges in his daily training as a kickboxer while also going to school and teaching children how to fight in training sessions.

“In the morning, I usually get up fairly early before school and I go on a run, typically five miles, and then I go to school and after school I go and teach kids,” he said. “I teach the little kids class, and from there I basically do Q training sessions that are about an hour and a half long each.”

His routine includes a lot of running, dieting and hard training, such as sparring and hitting pads. And then came having the time to work with his coach, Jake Chamberlain, who Jones said is “without a doubt one of the best coaches in the area for anyone who wants to get into training.”

He shared what it’s like to balance his school and sports life while also trying to be a regular kid.

“It’s been really easy. Luckily, Nansemond River is just a great school,” Jones said. “A lot of the teachers there support me and know what I do and they’re very patient when I go out of town and fight.”

He said its really important to keep a good balance.

“I don’t do a lot of normal kid stuff, like, I don’t go party and hang out with friends. Most of my friends I train with,” Jones explained. “Most of the time, it’s just keeping a good schedule. Keeping a good routine and staying disciplined, and just finding that good balance. And for some people, it might be different, but it took me a little bit to find what that balance was and now that I know what it is, I’ve been able to do all of both school and my training.”

Likewise, Jones it takes a lot of work and dedication because of the training that is needed. While talent is great, he said it’s the hard work that matters.

“It really boils down to one word and that’s discipline,” said Jones. “Discipline is key for everything. Like, for me… I’m not the toughest guy, the most physically gifted guy… but I have discipline and I have heart and I am willing to listen to my coaches.”

Jones explained further.

“All it really takes is to have an open mind. An open mind and being willing to put in the extra work,” he said. “If you want to train just to get in good shape, that’s awesome. But to be a fighter and to be in fight camp, like me for example, I fight probably 20 times a year, so I fight a lot and what you have to do is you have to be willing to do the things no one else wants to do.”

For him it involved super early training from as soon as the sun rises and carrying that through the day until the sun goes down.

Jones talked about the moment he won the World Kickboxing Association World Championship in two different weight divisions.

“It was very overwhelming, not in a stress overwhelming, but just overwhelming of happiness,” said Jones. “The fact that I was able to go on the world stage at a young age and show my talents to the world is amazing and to be able to do something, not only for Virginia and for the 757 community, but to represent my country.”

Likewise, Jones said he is grateful to his support team that helped make his achievements possible.

“I’ve been saying forever, Jake Chamberlain, he has made champions but now I can tell people that he’s made world champions,” Jones said. “That’s really what I am proud of. Again, just being able to go out and to be on the team is one thing, and that’s a great achievement of itself. But to go there and to win gold and be known as one of the best in the world, if not the best, that’s just something I take great pride in and that’s something that I am incredibly blessed to say that I have. And it’s all because of my training partners, my coaches, and of course my parents.”

As for the future, Jones is looking to college, but wants to continue his work in kickboxing.

“Of course, I want to go to college and stay in the area so that way I can be close to my team and continue to train,” he said. “But definitely I just want to fight professionally and continue fighting on the world stage and just representing those who believe in me.”

He said this is all he really wants to do because he loves it.

“But also just being able to go out and represent all the people who rally behind me, that’s really what I want to do and just do that for as long as I can. And then when I retire and when I am older, I want to be able to run my own gym and teach and give back to the community. That’s really what I am all about.”

Finally, Jones spoke about where he would see himself in five and 10 years from now.

“Definitely want to be an Olympic champion,” Jones said. “Muay Thai kickboxing has been recognized by the Olympics and they’re planning on putting it in the 2024 Olympic games, so I definitely want to be a gold medalist in that…”

Jones continued on his future.

“To go longer than that, I want to see myself as the greatest fighter to ever live and that’s not because I want to put it in people’s face, but I want to do it to show that hard work can get you anywhere. Talent is great, but without hard work, that is really what it’s all about. I really just see myself as just to be the best fighter I can possibly be and to be the best fighter to ever live. That’s really the main goal.”