A Peterhead martial-artist captured one of the biggest prizes in his sport last weekend when he became the European Sanshou Champion.
Ryan Donald, who has also won the British Championship three years in a row, defeated Holland’s Jarrio Errens at the Sanda Fight Night in London to claim the prize.
It is the latest achievement for the 28-year old, who only took up the discipline three years ago.
Speaking to The Buchanie, Ryan explained where his journey all began.
“I did Hung Ga Kung Fu for around seven years before I took up Sanshou.
“I actually taught it to myself by watching old fights on the internet and eventually went on to become the British Champion in 2014, that’s when I was invited to join the British team.”
Sanshou was originally developed by the Chinese military based upon the study and practices of traditional Kung fu.
It includes close range and rapid successive punches and kicks, with wrestling, takedowns, throws, sweeps, kick catches, and in some competitions, even elbow and knee strikes
Fighters from all over the world descended on the Fight Night in London as Ryan prepared for five gruelling rounds of action with the Dutch professional.
“I had trained for twelve weeks leading up to the fight , usually for 20 hours a week plus regular visits to London to work with my coach.
“At the end of each round, you find out who has won so after winning the first three rounds the only way I could lose was if he knocked me out - and believe me he tried.
“I stuck to my game plan about 80% of the time and went on to win the remaining two rounds, once the referee raised my hand I was so glad it was finally over and that I had managed to win it.
“My team and girlfriend have both supported me all the way and we were all delighted - we had made a fighter.
“It’s definitely the biggest accomplishment of my career, I won a Bronze Medal at the European Championships in Moscow back in May, which was a great achievement, but this tops even that.”
Now back in Peterhead, and still recovering from the fight, Ryan is taking up his time running Sanshou classes in The Blue Toon.
New members are always welcome with classes taking place Thursday nights at 7:30pm and Friday’s at 6:00pm at the Rescue Hall.