British Columbia·Photos

B.C. kick-boxer raised in the ring excited sport now officially recognized in his home province

Last week, B.C. authorized professional kick-boxing as a subset of mixed martial arts (MMA). For professional kick-boxer Josh Jauncey, it is life changing news.

Josh Jauncey, ranked 5th in the world, has never competed in B.C. but that could soon change

Josh trains at his family's gym in Surrey. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Last week, B.C. authorized professional kick-boxing as a subset of mixed martial arts (MMA). For professional kick-boxer Josh Jauncey, it is life-changing news.

Since Jauncey was 13, he's dreamed of being the one to make kick-boxing big in North America. 

This passion was no accident; he grew up in a kick-boxing gym run by his parents. 

From left: Jay, Vincent, Fabienne, and Josh Jauncey. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

His parents met at a gym in England when his father, Vincent, was a champion kick-boxer and his mother, Fabienne, was a personal trainer. The couple had two boys, Jay and Josh. 

Jay, left, and Josh have matching tattoos also shared by Fabienne’s two children from a previous marriage who live in England. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

When Jauncey was three years old, his family moved to B.C. to run a gym called the World kick-boxing Xtrm (WKX). 

Vincent says they didn't know any babysitters so Jay and Josh grew up in the gym. 

Josh's first kick-boxing competition was at age nine. 

Josh’s mother says, having grown up immersed in the sport, she knew at least one of her sons would be a professional kick-boxer. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Six years ago, Jauncey was advancing from amateur to professional kick-boxing when B.C. passed legislation that made it illegal to compete professionally in the province. 

Jauncey faced the decision all professional kick-boxers faced in B.C. at that time; to leave the province to compete or give up competitive kick-boxing. 

In keeping with his lifelong dream, Jauncey chose the former and is now ranked the fifth lightweight kick-boxer in the world for the Glory kick-boxing league. 

Several of Jauncey’s champion belts hang above the mirror at WKX. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)
Jay Jauncey, centre, says he found the attention of competitive kick-boxing uncomfortable and prefers to be an instructor and coach for fighters like his brother.  (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Jauncey's next fight is in Miami in three weeks. To prepare for each fight, he trains for two hours twice a day for six days a week. 

Every workout begins with a warmup then moves to more technical work such as these footwork drills. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)
Josh’s father and brother often help him by holding the pads. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)
Vincent says he has been holding pads for Josh during training since his son was two years old. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)
Fabienne says that she will help with training but can’t handle seeing them fight in competitions: 'I get anxious, of course, but this is what he wants to do, so I have to be here to support him.' (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)
It's Josh’s dream to make kick-boxing big in North America. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Jauncy says that the authorization of kick-boxing in B.C. is a game changer because fighters can now build their professional careers locally before hitting the world stage. 

Building a name for yourself locally can also attract big fighters from other countries, and, as Jauncey puts it, "to be the best, you have to fight the best." 

Since he didn't have the chance to do it here, Jauncey's second professional fight was against a world champion in Spain.

He knocked the fighter out in the first round.

Even with his international success, Jauncey says he is looking forward to being the local big fish for once, so he can gain more experience and wins. 

After hours of training, Josh is ready for a break. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

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