A DUNBAR teenager is celebrating after becoming an international kickboxing world champion. . . just as his coach also claimed a world title.

Kyle Campbell, a 14-year-old from the town’s Simpson Avenue, starred at the ICO World Championships, which were held in Glasgow from October 18 to 20.

Kyle won his first major world championship title in the under-18s -45kg category for kickboxing, having only earned his black belt the week before.

He told Courier Sport: “When my hand got raised in the final, I was shouting because I was so happy.

“In every other competition when your hand gets raised in the final, it does mean a lot because you’ve just won the competition, but they aren’t usually a competition as big as the Worlds. This one meant a lot.”

Kyle, a third-year pupil at Dunbar Grammar School, first started taekwon-do and kickboxing about five years ago.

His coach Brad Robertson, who owns Robertsons Martial Arts and Fitness, came to the youth club Kyle attended with his twin brother Ryan one day for a taster session.

Instantly the boys fell in love with the sport, running home to tell their parents and signing up for the first class possible.

Kyle’s training in the lead-up to the competition pushed him to his limits.

He said: “I was sometimes having to train twice a day, once in the morning and once after school, it was hard and intense.

“I was doing my martial arts training but Brad was also taking me into the gym and doing circuits with me in his new high intensity room. Everything Brad has learned, he is teaching us.”

Kyle started off training in taekwondo but, after struggling with the patterns, a decision was made to try out kickboxing.

During the competition, Kyle said his fights went well despite him being the smallest in his category, winning his first two by a sizeable margin.

The final, however, was really close but Kyle said he “felt like I had this because of the amount of training I do”.

His mum Claire, who is also a black belt in taekwondo and works as a cleaner at the school, and dad Jason, a joiner whose company is one of his boy’s sponsors, watched on in fear and anticipation.

Brother Ryan said: “Mum was really nervous and standing there panicking while watching him fight.”

Brad, a former Dunbar Grammar School pupil, followed in Kyle’s footsteps, winning the -90kg light contact world title, his first kickboxing world championship gold.

Brad is a three-time ITF taekwondo world champion.

Talking about Kyle’s victory, Brad told Courier Sport: “I am so proud of Kyle, not only for getting the gold but for his attitude in the build-up to the tournament.

“Watching his hand get raised in the final was one of the proudest moments of my martial arts career.

“He has dedicated so much of his time and energy to it, no one deserves it more.

“He is an asset to the club.

“Kyle has been my focus over recent months and seeing him get his hand raised in the final is up there with the same feeling as when I have had my own hand raised at previous World Championships.

“I am by no means responsible for Kyle winning, it is down to his attitude and determination that has won him this title.

“But to say I played a role, training and coaching him, fills me with great pride!”

Kyle is Brad’s first student to win a world championship.

Brad added: “Kyle has two sides to him in training: when helping me teach he is fantastic; then when it is his turn to train, he is like a different animal.

“To compete at a top level you need to be able ‘flip a switch’ and focus on what needs to be done.

“Kyle has that ability and when he does, there is absolutely no stopping him. No matter how hard the session or how tired he is, he will not stop until I tell him.”

On returning to school, Kyle was greeted by a round of applause when he came into class.  Ryan was in the UKITF National Championships the week before, winning a silver for his patterns and a bronze for his sparring in the under-18s -50kg category for taekwondo.

Claire Slowther, headteacher at Dunbar Grammar School, said: “It’s a phenomenal achievement, I’m so proud of both of the boys.

“They are absolutely incredible and I think it’s a huge amount of dedication and time it takes to their training. It’s doubly sweet as well with Brad being a former student.”

Kyle’s celebration after winning gold was... hanging out with his mates!

In terms of what’s next, both of the boys want to try for the 2024 Olympics and are back in the gym training for next year’s competitions.