A 57-year-old Lachine resident drives a bus, works as an educator, and can undoubtedly kick your butt.
Competing in Kenpo style karate, Danny Griffith won his ninth world championship title competing with 34 countries at the WMO World Championships in Rugby, England on Oct. 19.
Griffith placed second in two other divisions before winning gold in his final match.
« That match I really zoned in because I said ‘I’m not going home with three silver,' » said Griffith.
Competing with a fractured rib after an incident at the qualifiers in Toronto, Griffith said he was sore pretty much the entire competition. After a second fracture, caused by a jump spinning back kick, Griffith had to rethink his strategy.
« Your mentality changes, your footwork changes, you become more of a defensive fighter. »
Off the mat
When the eighth-degree black belt is not competing, he keeps busy running his own Kenpo school and working as a part-time educator at the Centre d’Integration scolaire.
Griffith has taught karate since 1980, and studied since 1973, when he took his first class in Saint-Eustache. « I had the biggest workout of my life and I never wanted to stop. »
While he’s not going to stop competing, Griffith plans on resting at least two months to take care of his fractures, a break he probably deserves.
« I don’t think there’s anything left for me, » he said. « I have 1314 international fight victories from around the world, but it took well over 6,000 fights to meet that goal. »
For now, Griffith is going to continue to have fun, and take care of his family, who study Kenpo at Griffith’s school. « If they didn’t, we’d have to have a family talk, » he laughed.
He’ll most likely be back at the World Championships in 2016, either to compete, or as the Canadian vice president of the WMO.