USA Allstars team member and multiple kickboxing World Champion Elijah Everill is a young athlete with the world at his feet. Having achieved huge success on the British and international tournament circuit, Elijah is currently just back from California, where he's been training with one of the all time greats, Raymond 'Real Deal' Daniels.
He's now fighting with the famous Allstars team and he's got his sights set high. We caught up with this phenomenal British talent to find out what he's most proud of, what he aims to achieve, and just what it's really like to train with someone of Daniels' calibre.
"I want to be the best ever, it’s that simple. I want to win every major tournament on the planet both in Europe and in the USA, I want to prove that I can be the best under any rules, any circumstances against any style of fighter." - Elijah Everill
MAO - Would you mind giving our readers an insight into when and where you first started kickboxing?
EE - I first started my journey in kickboxing at the age of 4 at Lee Matthews Black Belt academy (now known as Lee Matthews British Military Martial Arts) where to this day I am still training and also teaching classes and private lessons.
MAO - When did you first realise kickboxing was your passion?
EE - The moment when I walked into the dojo for the first time. Its always been my passion ever since I can remember.
MAO - Your list of successes in kickboxing is quite incredible, which you are most proud of?
EE - I have a few that I’m particularly very proud of. The first was when I won the senior Irish Open in continuous at 14 years of age. I was apart of the famous night of champions show on the Saturday evening, it was an incredible feeling to be on a big stage like that so young.
The second would be when I won 4 gold medals at the junior WAKO world championships 2016 in Dublin, I became the first person to ever do that winning the point fighting, light contact, kick light and team event.
Lastly, winning the senior WAKO world championships last year in Budapest, I took home 2 gold medals and became the first male GB athlete to ever do this at senior level.
MAO - Points fighting seems to be ever growing in it's popularity in the UK and further afield, what do you put this down to?
EE - I think with more point fighters transitioning to mainstream combat sports such as MMA, boxing and taekwondo, people are starting to see the effectiveness and skill level of point fighting and are learning to appreciate the style a lot more.
It has even got to the point where fighters from those other sports want to learn it and add it to their training regiment to improve their speed, understanding of distance and timing.
MAO - Do you think the large number of competing governing bodies in the UK damaging the sport?
EE - I think it’s a shame that there are so many different organisations and associations, I hope that one day we could all come together and work together for the betterment of the sport.
MAO - Though WAKO seem to be making progress, Kickboxing is not guaranteed an Olympic future, do you think this could lead to more athletes moving to other sports like MMA or Taekwondo?
EE - Many top GB athletes from kickboxing have already decided to make the transition to other sports and this will most likely continue, people have dreams of the olympics or the UFC and you can’t blame them.
That’s what our sport is unfortunately lacking right now, the pot of gold at the end of the journey. I think it's why you see so many people deciding to leave the sport behind, it’s a real shame but I hope this can change in the future.
MAO - Is this something you might consider?
EE - Right now at this moment, my focus is to become the best in the world in my sport. That’s my primary goal. I won’t be satisfied until I accomplish that.
However, I am a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I absolutely love it. I’ve also been boxing for a number of years aswell. So you never know about the future, we will wait and see what happens.
MAO - Who do you consider the best kickboxers in the UK right now?
EE - There are so many fighters that come to mind, too many to name.
Britain has always been able produce top fighters and I’m pleased to say that that with the amount of talented youth we have in our country, I think this will continue for generations to come.
MAO - We've seen that as a member of the infamous USA Allstars, you're spending lots of time with one of the best ever, Raymond Daniels. What have you learnt from him?
EE - Raymond has really taken me under his wing, looked after me and treated me like family. I’m learning from him all the time whether it’s in training or I’m just having a regular chat with him.
He has so much knowledge and experience that it’s impossible not to evolve mentally when being around him.
He’s teaching me not only things that can help me on the tatami/ring but things that can help me in the real world as well, that will help me to grow as a human being, not just a martial artist.
MAO - What's it like training with arguably one of the best all round fighters of all time?
EE - The training has been great, whenever we train he’s always looking through a lot of my fight footage, trying to help me improve on my weaknesses and strengthen the areas that I’m already good at.
It’s exactly what I need. I feel extremely lucky and blessed to be working with him.
MAO - You must have some long term kickboxing goals in mind, would you mind sharing them with us?
EE - I want to be the best ever, it’s that simple. I want to win every major tournament on the planet both in Europe and in the USA, I want to prove that I can be the best under any rules, any circumstances against any style of fighter.
It’s a great challenge that I look forward to continuing.
MAO - Do you have any words of advice for any young kickboxers looking to emulate your success?
EE - My advice would be first of all to have fun and enjoy the sport, if you don’t love what you do, then you will never reach your full potential at it.
Second, to remember that anything worth having in life doesn’t come to you without hard work and sacrifice.
Lastly, don’t be afraid of failing, be competitive and hate to lose but don’t let the fear of failure get in the way of the excitement of success.
MAO - Thanks Elijah for talking to us at martialarts-online.co.uk