Sixty-six-year-old martial artist Eugene Ford continued his remarkable career on the world stage, taking home first place in the 40-and-over category at the fifth Uechi World Cup.
Ford, who also won in 1998 and 2009, went out at the top, winning the 40-and-over category yet again in what he says will probably be his last fight.
“Being number one in the world means a hell of a lot to me. I’ll never forget it. In 2009, when they told me that I was number one in the world, it brought tears to my eyes. I don’t think I’ll be fighting any longer. I’ll go to the next World Cup, but as a spectator,” Ford told the Bermuda Sun.
Despite being the most senior competitor by almost 20 years compared to a lot of his opponents, Ford remains unassuming and credits his success to hard work and consistency in training.
“I still just work hard, keep my training up. It’s my normal exercises. Running, working out, and just keeping fit. I just have to stay on top of it. I just love training.”
He also gave credit to his long-time sensei and friend Al Wharton, who said of Ford: “I attribute his success to his understanding of combative engagement. If you wish to win, you must engage smoothly and feel the heart of the opposition. When you understand his distance, timing, rhythm and angle, you can get between his defences and evade his attacks.”
Ford says he will continue to have a hand in teaching the next generation. “If I can still do it, they can do it.”