Thai gold… Marky’s big tick off his bucket list

Martial artist Marky Straughan has fulfilled his long-held ambition of fighting abroad – and even came away with a stunning victory writes Rob Griffin.

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt, who trains at the Gracie Barra Hastings academy in Earl Street, entered the Copa de Bangkok championship in Thailand. And not only did he win the Gi, purple belt, Master 2, ultra-heavy division by submission, he also won a rashguard for recording the quickest win of the day – just 20 seconds!

I have always wanted to fight abroad so that was a tick off my bucket list,” he said. “I travelled across Thailand on my own and am buzzing to have won.”

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Marky Straughan with his much prized gold medal.

The competition, which featured hundreds of grapplers, is recognised as one of the premier BJJ events in Thailand.

Marky, 45, who used a collar choke to defeat Jonathan Fisher of the EMAC Thailand gym and claim the gold medal, runs the Downtown Diner in Robertson Street.

His delighted staff were thrilled with his victory: Marky is a great boss and supports a lot of charities and local causes across the area both through the diner and privately, so we just want to say a big well done from all of us here,” they said.

Gracie Barra Hastings, which is affiliated to the international Gracie Barra organisation, is focused on both self-defence and competition training.

It runs classes for all ages and abilities. Anyone interested should ring Paul Bridges on: 07967 659867 or visit www.graciebarrahastings.com.

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