Buchan man in world class Sanshou comp

Ryan Donald is preparing to represent the country on the world stage in Indonesia
Ryan Donald is preparing to represent the country on the world stage in Indonesia

A martial artist from Buchan is set to become the first Scottish athlete to be a part of the British team at the World Sanshou Championship.

Ryan Donald, who is originally form Cruden Bay, has been practising the martial art for over one year now and has already seen success.

He has won the British Championship twice: last November in the under 70kg category and again this May in the under 75kg.

These triumphs have seen him be selected to represent Britain in this year’s World Championship, which will be hosted in Indonesia this November.

Sanshou, which literally translates to ‘free hand’, is a mixed form of combat that combines kickboxing, wrestling, takedowns, throws and sweeps among other techniques.

Talking about the style, Mr Donald explained his passion for it: “It includes every style. It’s fast and exciting,” he said.

The sport was developed by the Chinese military in the mid 20th century, and is fought on a raised platform called a ‘lei tai’.

Mr Donald, who got into the style after training martial arts for six years, has admits getting sponsorships have been difficult.

The 27-year-old flies to London ‘most weekends’ for training due to the lack of specialised facilites in Scotland.

Mr Donald, a health and safety advisor with an oil company in Westhills, spends at least £400 a month on his passion: “I work to train,” he said.

He appealed for any businesses to sponsor a local athlete.

He said: “I am looking at discussing with local companies for sponsorship, so anyone interested please come forward.”

Mr Donald is also preparing to compete in the British Championships, which occurs twice annually, on September 27th.

He said that it his dream to “bring Sanshou to Scotland” and one day hopes to open a dedicated gym.