Gina Thornton

Team: Impex

Date of Birth: November 21, 1984

Style: American Freestyle Karate

Specialty: Point Fighting

Hometown: Charlottesville, VA

Location: Roanoke, VA

Experience: 20 Years


Gina "The People's Champ" Thornton has been training for over 20 years and holds black belts in Tae-Kwon-Do, Karate Kempo, and American Freestyle Karate. American Freestyle Karate is her main system of study. Thornton trains under Sean Elliott at Elliott's Family Karate Academy in Roanoke, Virginia. As a member of Team Impex, she is also coached by Richard Plowden.

Thornton has achieved 28 world championship titles, claiming championships in every league she has competed in. Her titles also span multiple contact events including point fighting, team fighting, and continuous fighting. She has been ranked by multiple organizations as the top female super lightweight fighter in the world, and is considered one of the best overall as well.

Her success in the ring has culminated in numerous grand championship titles at prestigious events like the U.S. Open, Diamond Nationals, Quebec Open, and more. This success has also increased demand for her sparring seminars around the world, which can be booked by contacting her on her social media platforms. On multiple occasions she has been one of the featured instructors at Jadi Tention's legendary TCK Winter Camp. She also coaches a small school team (Team EFK) in addition to her own rigorous training schedule. Thornton is extremely passionate about sport karate and her energy is contagious. Aside from martial arts, Thornton is also a proud graduate of Lynchburg College.

Black Belt Magazine has a storied history that dates back all the way to 1961, making 2021 the 60th Anniversary of the world's leading magazine of martial arts. To celebrate six decades of legendary martial arts coverage, take a trip down memory lane by scrolling through some of the most influential covers ever published. From the creators of martial art styles, to karate tournament heroes, to superstars on the silver screen, and everything in between, the iconic covers of Black Belt Magazine act as a time capsule for so many important moments and figures in martial arts history. Keep reading to view the full list of these classic issues.

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We regret to announce that we will not be holding Compete this year. Due to Covid restrictions we had to make the decision that in order to provide the highest quality experience for our competitors, officials and families, we will not hold Compete World Martial Arts Championships in 2021. Compete will be February 25, 26 & 27, 2022 at Ontario Convention Center and we hope to see you there. Thank you all for your support.

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