"He's what we call the machine, he does not quit" said Ken Hudson. Hudson is the owner of the Americus Martial Academy. Twenty one year Clay Thomas had never trained in kickboxing until about a year and half ago but after a strong urge to release some stress and get in shape he gave it a try
Clay Thomas said "This is why a lot of us come back, once they come here they get addicted to it. It's an experience. Everybody is like a family here and they treat you real well and you fit right in."
The Lee County grad now trains at the Americus Martial Arts Academy in Americus under the watchful eye of its owner Ken Hudson. He's won 5 times in 7 matches including a huge amateur tournament win in Oklahoma where he took home the belt.
Thomas said "This is like a Chess match, you gotta pick your shots, pick your blocks and you're just sitting their playing chess."
Hudson said "He's just one of them that when its time to go he goes. At the end of the night we have a drill that we do. He may have worked out for the last two and half hours but he still gives me a 110% and that's what it takes be a champion."
Thomas said "You find something that works in practice and you work on that for a few weeks and then you find something else and work on that."
Clay's instant success caught the eye of the Word Kicking Boxing Association who asked he and just 1 other person in the state to represent America in the world tournament in Germany this fall.
Hudson said "Not everybody goes not everybody gets asked"
Thomas said "That's what it's all about. I'm representing America's martial arts, representing Lee County, Albany area, representing where I come from."
While kickboxing has provided Clay with the unique opportunity to represent this land we all love, its also filled another gap in his life.
Thomas said "I feel like a different person. It keeps me out of trouble and makes me look at things a little different. I'm just a lot better person all around."
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