Earlier this month FHDC dentist Laura Beardsmore become undisputed Aikido World Champion. Laura won her 5th world individual title while competing on 3 September in Akita, Japan, a feat never before achieved in the history of the sport.
Laura began her Aikido career at the age of 12 at Wharfedale Aikido Club in Ilkley, as an active child Laura jumped at the chance to try a new sport and has never looked back.
In 2011 Laura won her first individual world title in London, followed by two more in Japan (2013) and Australia (2015). This put Laura in the record books as no competitor had ever won 3 world titles in the history of the sport.
This year the first World Sport Aikido Federation (WSAF) world championships took place in London. The WSAF is a world governing body for Aikido and has been set up to provide a platform for open and fair competition with a goal to encourage the amalgamation of all international competition. At this competition Laura won her 4th individual world title along with a mixed team gold and women’s team silver.
Just two weeks following this competition, to ensure Laura was undisputed champion of the world she travelled with the British Team to Akita, Japan to compete in the World Championships hosted by the Japanese Aikido Association (JAA). The majority of competitors at this event hadn’t competed in London as they have an affiliation to the JAA.
Laura made her way through the preliminaries and into the final where she won her 5th individual title and was crowned undisputed champion of the world. Laura remains the only person in the history of the sport to win more than two individual world titles, so to win five is an incredible feat.
In her career Laura has won 11 gold medals in total including a number of mixed and women’s team medals.
Laura said, “Im thrilled to win both titles as its been quite a battle both emotionally and physically competing in two events so close to each other whilst also managing the British Aikido Association National Team. It has been incredibly rewarding thougout the past few weeks seeing some of the youngester come through and shine and the team are already excited to prepare for the next event in 2019!”