Ray’s Combat Kickboxing returns from IKF World Classic

OKEECHOBEE — Logan Ray, Lacey Campbell, Karana Bernard and Matt Tullio of Ray’s Combat Kickboxing in Okeechobee are back from the 2018 International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) World Classic held in Orlando, and although none came home with a title belt, Ray’s Combat owner Coleman Ray is proud of his fighters and says they are already looking forward to the 2019 World Classic.

Ray’s Combat Kickboxing fighters in Okeechobee are back from the 2018 International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) World Classic held in Orlando in August. Back row from left to right are: Susan Ray, Coleman Ray and Gerald Shockley. Front row from left to right: Logan Ray, Lacey Campbell, Kariana Bernard. Special to the Okeechobee News.

“We want them to do well, even though sometimes they may not get the win, we want them to do the best they can do,” said Ray. “It’s tough when it’s a tournament. There’s lots of times when you’re competing where you win one fight and you’re good. In this one though, you can win one fight but you’re not done yet.”

This is the second tournament that Logan Ray has competed in and he was able to finish in third place in the advanced division this year.

“You mostly feel nervous before a match starts,” said Logan, “but once the bell rings everything goes away.”

It was also the second tournament for Lacey Campbell, who also made the move to the advanced division.

“It’s really exciting when you’re competing in the tournament,” explained Lacey. “It fun and I really enjoying doing it. It just feels like something I’m supposed to be doing.”

Coleman says that the trip to Orlando to compete in the 2018 IKF wouldn’t have been possible without support from local businesses in Okeechobee. He thanked St. Lucie Battery & Tire, 4J Storage, Summer Breeze RV Park, Pizza Heaven, Powered by Chris, Gateway Medical Group, Florida Trophy Gators, Garrard Tackle and Barbie Campbell for supporting the team. Ray’s Combat had the most sponsors for their 2018 competition than any of their previous years.

Matt Tullio recommends training at Ray’s Combat to anyone who may be interested competing in a kickboxing competition.

“If you’re looking to challenge yourself physically, mentally and find out what you’re made out of, training every day like we do here will do that for you,” said Tullio. “To be conscientious that there is another person, who signed up and took on the inherent risks associated with the sport just like you did, in the same roped confines as you with the only objective being to hit your opponent, is an experience that is almost impossible to replicate. At some point during the bout, your mettle will inevitably be tested, but it’s your response to that point that really helps you figure out what you’re capable of achieving and who you are as a person.”

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