Jack Manis World Champ

On July 21st, 2013, Jack must have felt on top of the world after he stood in front of his friends, family, and complete strangers to receive his first World Championship Belt.  Tears rolled down his cheeks as dozens of people snapped photos to capture this exhilarating moment.  As he made his way down the steps of the ring and ran to hug his father, many members of the audience were close to tears themselves.  

Many people could be heard whispering: “That kid is a true fighter.”

Kasey Jack Manis, age 11, has been training at Pride Mixed Martial Arts since he was 5 years old, and earned his black belt just days before going to Orlando, Florida to compete in the IKF (International Kickboxing Federation) World Classic Championship.  In the last few years, he has decided to pursue his love of kickboxing through this event, held every year in Orlando, Florida.  This year the tournament was bigger than ever, with over 300 competitors from eight countries making the journey to see if they have what it takes to hold the title.

This year was not Jack’s first experience at the IKF World Classic.  In 2012, he went with the Pride Mixed Martial Arts fight team as his very first international rules (all kicks and punches allowed) kickboxing tournament.  He fought an extremely close battle with a very talented opponent.  At the end of the fight, the opposing coach asked Jack how much he weighed.

“Sixty pounds,” was Jack’s reply.

“Wow,” said the coach. “You hit harder than any sixty-pounder I have ever seen!”

Jack took those words to heart.  He got straight to work the day he got back to Oklahoma, improving his heavy-hitting and touching up on his skills.  Every day since, he could be found working out at his house, or training at Pride.  He credits a huge amount of his success to his Coaches Jason Epps and Jessica Cargill, who worked with him on his game plan in the ring.

This year, his training paid off.  His skill, his heart, and his natural ability helped him to finish his first fight by TKO just over a minute into the first round, against a kid with much more experience.  For the championship, he fought a young man with a lot of strength and skill, with the fight ending in a close decision.  At the end of his fight, everyone around him could tell that had given everything, emotionally and physically, in the ring.

His goal is to compete in many more tournaments in both international rules and Muay Thai rules (punches, kicks, knees, and elbows) and to become a professional fighter and martial arts instructor at Pride Mixed Martial Arts.  Kasey Jack Manis is the name to watch for in Muay Thai Kickboxing.