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Justin Whiley Named Team USA Assistant Coach


News from WAKO/KICK Head Coach, Rob Zbilski and WAKO/KICK Representative, Ronnie Copeland:
After the 2007 WAKO Senior World Championships in Portugal and the recent USA vs. France competition in Pont Audemer, France; we in the USA “have seen the light”. In other WAKO countries the government fully funds athletics such as kickboxing. In these countries a member of the National Kickboxing team does not work, their full-time job is kickboxing. The team is housed together and they train/compete together on a regular basis. This is how a European kickboxer can have over 100 or more matches. In the USA our fighters are lucky to get a hand full of fights, it’s time to start using what they do overseas as a model to improve our sport here in the USA.The first step in the process is to put together a professional and organized coaching staff for the United States Kickboxing Team. There a a lot of top notch coaches that would be brilliant assets to the USA Team. Rob Ziblski is at the helm as the head coach, but at this time we are adding three assistant coaches: Tommy Alcozer Sr. of Plainview, Texas; Mark Greubel of Augusta, Ga; and Justin Whiley of Minneapolis, Minnesota. All of the fore mentioned coaches were contacted and all graciously accepted the position of “Assistant Coach to the KICK/WAKO United States Kickboxing Team”. These men are dedicated to the sport and have a lot of knowledge that they can share with our athletes. Each has coached their share of champions. Coach Z’s plan is to add two more coaches to the staff which will be asked and will be announced in the coming weeks. The KICK/WAKO staff of coaches will manage the team here in the United States as well as abroad.

Justin Whiley began karate in 1986 at age of 19 after participating in sports all his life (primarily football). He needed a replacement for the competition, structure, and physical challenge that he missed by not being a part of organized/school sports. Whiley went on to earn his 2nd degree black belt prior to making the move to full contact kickboxing in 1995. He then opened the Cellar Kickboxing Gym in Minneapolis, MN in 2002. In 2005 Whiley left the business side of the martial arts, passing on the school to Chris Cichon, but remained a very big part of the gym by forming the Cellar Fight Team along with Chris Cichon and Jon Lewis. Under Whiley’s leadership the Cellar Fight Team has brought home 3 World Titles and 6 U.S. Titles since being started.

Whiley states, “Kickboxing has given me some amazing experiences, allowing me to travel across the country and the world, from the K-1 in Las Vegas to the WAKO World Champions as a part of Team USA in Coimbra, Portugal. Kickboxing/martial arts has become a lifelong passion. I look forward to the opportunity and privilege of being a part of Team USA (OOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSAAAAAAAA) not to mention the chance to learn from trainers/fighters such as Rob Zbilski, Ronnie Copeland, Tommy Alcozar, and Mark Gruebel.”

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