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Thread: Anthony Kelly - Martial Arts World Record Breaker

  1. #1
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    Anthony Kelly

    See Can Kung Fu Make You a World Record Holder? by Anthony Kelly in our SEP+OCT 2010 issue.

    Aussie Anthony Kelly breaks Guinness World Record for catching spears shot from speargun
    Date November 14, 2014
    Scott Parker


    Anthony Kelly breaks the world record for catching spears. Photo: Supplied

    Anthony Kelly is a martial arts expert with lightning fast reflexes and, for Guinness World Records Day 2014, he broke the record for catching spears from a speargun.

    Record holders and potential record breakers worldwide came together on Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of the day in 2004 when Guinness World Records became the world's best-selling copyright book, according to its website,

    Mr Kelly, who assists at Armidale High School, organised the Australian leg of GWR 2014. Students and teachers from the school took part.


    The world's tallest man, Sultan Kosen, meets the world's shortest man, Chandra Bahadur Dangi. Photo: AFP

    "We attempted two records at Armidale High School; the first was for the most people head-banging and we succeeded in that," Mr Kelly said.

    "[We had] 320 people [headbanging] to AC/DC's It's a Long Way to the Top."

    The second attempt was for the most thongs thrown, which the students unfortunately missed by just 19, because half the students forgot to bring their thongs to school and some students were away on excursions.

    "Any multiple record like that, you must have a minimum of 250 people participating," Mr Kelly said.

    But the best effort was Mr Kelly's own record, which he set in the swimming pool at Sport UNE at the University of New England: not once, but twice.

    The event involves catching the most spears shot from a speargun, from a distance of two metres, underwater in one minute.

    The record stood at seven, but Mr Kelly caught first eight, then 10, spears.

    Mr Kelly is a learning support officer at Armidale High, where he handles a group of children with special needs and engages them in extra-curricular physical activities..

    He also teaches reaction training and kung fu classes at Duval High School.

    He is not a spearfisherman himself, but his interest in the record comes from his incredible reaction ability and the difficulty of the event.

    Around the world, various events took place to mark GWR 2014.

    In London, the world's tallest man, Sultan Kosen, met the world's shortest man, Chandra Bahadur Dangi, for the first time, at St Thomas's Hospital.

    The pair also posed for photos outside the Houses of Parliament.

    Mr Kosen, 31, from Turkey, measures a staggering two metres, 51 centimetres, while Mr Bahadur Dangi , 75, from Nepal, measures just 54.6 centimetres.

    In Tokyo, the record for the fastest 100 metres on all fours was set at 15.86 seconds by Katsumi Tamakoshi at Komazawa Olympic Park Athletic Field in Setagaya.

    In China, a record was set for the most people eating breakfast in bed. Three hundred and eight-eight people congregated in Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai, to eat their morning meal, breaking the record by 99.

    The world famous Moulin Rouge in Paris also participated in GWR 2014 with three successful attempts.

    They were the most simultaneous demi-grand rond de jambe cancan kicks by a single chorus line in 30 seconds (29), the most spinning splits in 30 seconds (36) and the most times to position one leg behind the head in 30 seconds by an individual (30).

    In New York, home to some of the world's biggest and best fashion labels, the largest high-heeled shoe was created by Jill Martin and fashion brand Kenneth Cole. The shoe is 1.95 metres long and 1.85 metres high.

    In an astonishing attempt at the world's longest basketball shot made backwards, Thunder Law of the Harlem Globetrotters landed a shot from 25 metres. An American NBA basketball court is 28.65 metres long.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    Anthony Kelly catching shuttle****s over 200km/h



    For more on Anthony, read it from the man himself in Can Kung Fu Make You a World Record Holder? By Anthony Kelly in our 2010 SEPTEMBER + OCTOBER issue.
    Gene Ching
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    Another for Anthony Kelly

    There's video embedded but you must follow the link.

    'Arrow Catcher' snares another world record
    Quinn Jones, WWOS
    16:00 AEST Thu Nov 12 2015

    What happens when a tennis ball is fired at nearly 193kmh?

    The 'Arrow Catcher' breaks another Guinness world record.

    Australia's highest record-holder Anthony Kelly added another title to his name when his superhuman reflexes set a new mark for 'fastest tennis ball caught'.

    Appearing on Today to celebrate Guinness World Record Day, Kelly braved a cannon-like ball machine that shot out the missiles at 200kmh.

    Standing 6m from then machine and only with a 0.106 of a second reaction time, Kelly, who is the holder of 40 world records, caught three of eight shots fired down at him, breaking the record with one flying at a speed of 192.9kmh.

    The speed of the shots and Kelly's amazing hand-eye coordination drew gasps of astonishment from the Today studio.

    "You can't even see it!" Host Karl Stefanovic exclaimed.

    However, the record was without its dangers with Kelly forced to suffer a number of painful blows before nabbing the record ball.
    Gene Ching
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    And an article on Kelly

    Way to go, Anthony! The Coxons too!

    Guinness World Record holder Anthony Kelly, of Armidale, wins spear-catching title Nov. 12, 2015, 9:30 p.m.

    LIGHTNING FAST: Armidale arrow-catcher Anthony Kelly proved his reflexes were quicker than most, breaking yet another record on Guinness World Record Day yesterday.

    A HANDFUL of Aussies, including Armidale’s arrow-catching martial artist Anthony Kelly, have smashed their way into history on Guinness World Record Day.

    Australia’s highest record-holder, Mr Kelly has added yet another string to his bow, breaking the record for the fastest tennis ball caught, at the lightning speed of 192.9km/h.

    Often referred to as a ninja, Mr Kelly is renowned for his fast reflexes, in particular his ability to catch fast-moving items. He holds the world record for most arrows caught in two minutes, blindfolded.

    Last year on Guinness World Record Day, Mr Kelly succeeded in his attempt to break the record for the most spears shot out of a spear gun and caught underwater in one minute.

    After three attempts, where he caught eight from eight in two rounds, then 10 from 10, he smashed the world record by three.

    Mr Kelly was just part of the global record-smashing attempt, along with fellow martial arts guru Glenn Coxon, who smashed his way through 338 wooden boards in one minute.

    While he didn’t break his previous record of 359 boards, set in 2005, the Sydney area resident retains his record-holder status as he created the original record.

    Record-breaking is in the family, as Mr Coxon’s daughter Summerly, 27, broke the record for the most wooden boards broken in one minute by a female. She broke a whopping 215, beating the record of 161 boards.

    The feat was a personal triumph for the family, as just last year Mr Coxon was diagnosed with advanced and aggressive cancer in his neck and shoulder.

    After surgery and radiation, he’s beaten the odds and is determined to give back to those who saved him from becoming another statistic, particularly the team from the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Cancer Hospital at RPA.

    While these three record-breaking attempts were happening at Sydney Olympic Park yesterday, Perth-based HoopFit coach Bree Kirk-Burnnand attempted to set a new world record for most hula hoops spun simultaneously by an individual. The Guinness World Record is 162 hoops at one time and was only recently set.

    A skateboard-riding dog in Peru aimed to pass through the longest human tunnel, and a Japanese man sabered as many champagne bottles as he could in 30 seconds. In the UK, the Poms attempted the largest gathering of people dressed as penguins, while the Chinese aimed to create the world’s largest lipstick sculpture.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #5
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    Anthony Kelly again

    Got to hand it to Anthony. He keeps delivering records.

    Anthony Kelly will attempt his next Guinness World Record on Sunday.
    Madeline Link
    9 Nov 2016, 2 p.m.


    ARMIDALE'S BRUCE LEE: Anthony Kelly will attempt his next world record on Sunday. He plans to break the record for the most chopsticks to hit a target in a minute.

    AS the sun rises Anthony Kelly finishes the first 50 push-ups and sit-ups of 200 he will complete that day, and every other day, for the next 200 days.

    He has imposed the rigorous training in the lead up to the next Guinness World Record he plans to break, with the most chopsticks to hit a target blindfolded in one minute.

    “Am I confident I’m going to break this record? Hell yeah,” Mr Kelly said.

    His love of martial arts began more than 40 years ago and quickly became a Guinness World Record obsession, of which he now has more than 40 under his belt.

    “I had a great passion for Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali and I really wanted to be as fast or as good as I could be, I’m the youngest of five brothers so living in the seventies was pretty full on,” he said.

    “I was sick of getting the cane at school and getting bashed up at the bus stop so I thought there had to be a better way to live life than being a punching bag.”



    Each record he plans to break takes significant physical and mental preparation.

    “When I do it I’m so focused that I can hear flies flying around,” he said.

    “I don’t meditate and lots of people expect that I sit around watching a mountain or something, my meditation is catching a ball travelling at 200km/h or doing something really deadly because it gets me in the zone.”

    Mr Kelly lives on a diet of meat and potatoes and claims he hasn’t eaten fruit or vegetables in his life.

    Unwilling to reveal the next record he plans to break, Mr Kelly said the ideas he has for the future are significantly dangerous.

    “My motto is ‘physically, mentally, faster, stronger,’” he said.

    “I know I’m only going to live once and so that’s why I do it, I want to try to get the most out of myself.

    ” I’ve got some really wild ideas of what I want to do but it’s pushing the human boundaries and I don’t want to die just yet.”

    The record for most chopsticks caught sighted is also held by Mr Kelly.

    The record attempt will be held on Sunday in his home and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall will witness the proceedings.
    Gene Ching
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    CATCH! Anyone For Tennis?




    Anthony Kelly - Martial Arts World Record Breaker
    deserves his own thread. Not sure why I didn't do this earlier because I know Anthony personally. I've poached all the posts above from the Martial Arts World Records and Stunts thread.
    Gene Ching
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    Anthony Kelly on Officially Amazing

    Gene Ching
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    Fastest Tennis Ball Caught at 248 KPH

    OCTOBER 9 2018 - 12:55PM
    Armidale's Anthony Kelly breaks another Guinness World Record


    MARTIAL ARTS MASTER: Perpetual Guinness World Record holder Anthony Kelly has broken yet another world record for fastest tennis ball caught.

    STARING down the barrel of a custom-made air gun, Anthony Kelly is a long-time member of one of the world’s most exclusive clubs.

    With 50 Guinness World Records under his belt, Kelly just earned the title of World’s Fastest Tennis Ball Caught at 248 kilometres per hour.

    Recently, he was best man at the wedding of his good mate Morris Zavatta – one of the greatest tightrope walkers in the world.

    ​“I’ve been practicing the fastest tennis ball for two years, it’s extremely hard to do,” Kelly said.

    “The speed of the balls travelling from the air cannon I had to get made in America myself is 0.08 seconds, we’re talking a thousand of a second.

    “I have to really train my body to overcome the pain the balls inflict on my body.”

    Kelly just learned he’ll be on the inside cover of the Guinness World Book of Records in 2019.

    The 54-year-old shows no signs of slowing down. He lives on a diet of meat and potatoes, and reckons he’s never eaten a piece of fruit or a vegetable in his life.

    “One of my techniques is opening and closing my hand in five seconds – I have a personal best of 85,” he said.

    “That keeps my body super active, I think we can do anything if we set our mind to develop our bodies.”

    Kelly has appeared on television shows worldwide; he’s been studied by scientists in Plymouth, England; and met the crew of Mythbusters.

    “I have a few other records pushing on the limits of human endurance,” he said,

    “I know I won’t do it forever but I certainly have two or three other records that will make people stand up and have a look at what people can achieve.”

    Each record he plans to break takes significant physical and mental preparation.

    “My motto is ‘physically, mentally, faster, stronger,’” he said in 2016.

    “I know I’m only going to live once and so that’s why I do it, I want to try to get the most out of myself.

    ”I’ve got some really wild ideas of what I want to do, pushing human boundaries.”

    THREADS:

    Anthony Kelly - Martial Arts World Record Breaker

    Martial Arts World Records and Stunts.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
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    Another record for Anthony

    I need to see video of this to understand what he just accomplished.
    DECEMBER 13 2018 - 2:15PM
    Anthony Kelly adds another record for Ripley's Believe It Or Not
    Steve Green


    RECOGNITION: RJ Media film producer Chris Holding with new world record holder Anthony Kelly and camera operator Shane Hutt.

    Local thrillseeker and Guinness Book Of Records multiple record breaker, Anthony Kelly was about town on Wednesday afternoon, following a successful attempt to add yet another record to his collection.

    This time he had a camera crew in tow who had filmed him shooting and arrow skywards and then racing to catch it as it fell to earth. Thursday’s achievement makes him Australia’s leading Guinness record holder with more than 50 records to his credit.

    RJ Media producer Chris Holding filmed the world record event for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and said the previous record was a little more than 15 metres.

    “He made one attempt and got it at 20 something, I forget now. The second attempt was 31.7 metres, and today we just got 51.2 metres, which is a new record,” he said.

    “It has to be authenticated, but we’ll be sending the documentation off and I don’t have any doubt that it will be recognised.”

    Anthony said his more than 50 records were mainly for catching things at fast speeds.

    “Usually for catching arrows at fast speeds and the fastest tennis ball caught, and lately the most coaches qualifications in multiple sports,” he said.

    “I’ve had several international shows over the years come over here to film me, and Ripley’s have come over here yet again to shine an international spotlight on Armidale.”

    Anthony said practice was the key to success as he continued attempting records to set goals for himself.

    “I coach five nights a week to hundreds of kids and that keeps me on the edge and believing and achieving,” he said.

    “They’re milestones for me at my age, to see that I can still be doing things faster than anyone in the world.”

    This story Ripley’s Believe It Or Not to feature Anthony Kelly first appeared on The Armidale Express.
    Gene Ching
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    Anthony Kelly on Officially Amazing

    Gene Ching
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    The most coach qualifications (multiple sports)

    Never mind what I said about Rashid yesterday.

    Most coach qualifications (multiple sports)

    Who
    ANTHONY KELLY
    What
    19 TOTAL NUMBER
    Where
    AUSTRALIA (ARMIDALE)
    When
    19 APRIL 2020
    The most coach qualifications (multiple sports) is 19, and was achieved by Anthony Kelly (Australia) in Armidale, Australia, on 19 April 2020.

    Anthony had always been into sports growing up. He started with rugby union, cricket and basketball, then got into martial arts at the age of 15. He began training hard already with the aim of becoming a blackbelt. After achieving it in Taekwondo, he had a passion for more and started to train in more and more styles.

    This is what got eventually got him into the world of record breaking as Anthony made his first record attempt on television on El Show de los Récords in 2001 for records around arrow catching. Becoming a record breaking marked a real turning point in Anthony's career as now, renowned martial arts trainers from around the world were asking him just how he trained his reflexes to be able to catch flying arrows.

    This lead Anthony to develop his training program based on his specific training exercises which he called "Reaction Training". He trained many athletes of different sports.

    As he progressed as a trainer, Anthony became more curious about how these athletes were mastering their sports and had a desire to learn more from them, so he decided to study and subsequently master more martial arts and some different sports and earned more coaching qualifications.

    To date, Anthony has 21 blackbelts and has completed over 70 coaching courses. He also has at least another 10 coaching courses he plans on completing to add to his current record of qualifications.

    The most important piece of advice Anthony had to share was “learning and practice is the key to being the best you can be”.
    threads
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  12. #12

    Anthony Kelly talks Year of the Tiger on Tiger Talk

    This is Anthony Kelly, Guinness book of World Records holder for such thing as catching arrows, catching them blindfolded and over 50 more.
    He joined me on the latest episode of TIGER TALK
    https://youtu.be/utGTt9Zenpo

    https://youtu.be/utGTt9Zenpo
    Tiger Talk 2 with Guinness Book of world record holder Anthony Kelly
    Learn more at Kickstart.aTigersTale.com

  13. #13
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    Oz GRHs

    From feats of endurance and athleticism to the downright strange, these are Australia's Guinness World Record holders
    By Gary Nunn
    Posted 3h ago

    Australia's world record holders include an Olympic gymnast, a martial arts expert, and a woman who shoots the bow and arrow with her feet.(Supplied: Olivia Vivian/Anthony Kelly/Guinness World Records)

    Ever since she was 12, lifelong passionate swimmer Fiona Cullinane wanted to swim the English channel between Britain and France.

    So it was with a real sense of accomplishment that in 2022, at age 20, she achieved her long-held dream.

    Post feat, a fellow swimmer asked if she'd accompany him to swim the North Channel — from Northern Ireland to Scotland — a month later. She agreed, cancelling her booked flight back to Perth, where she lives.

    What happened next was completely unexpected.

    "As I finished the 147-kilometre swim in Portpatrick, Scotland, I climbed onto the boat, and this woman said: 'Fiona, congratulations! You've just broken the world record'," Cullinane says.

    A swimmer stands on a boat with a towel wrapped around her as a person kneels talking to her
    Fiona Cullinane unexpectedly broke the world record for youngest female to swim the North Channel in 2022.(Supplied: Guinness World Records)

    "I didn't even know there was a record to break!"

    In shock, and panting from her 10-hour-and-4-minute-long swim, Cullinane drew a rectangle with her fingers, indicating a certificate. The wordless gesticulation was a question. "To check I'd heard her right," she says.

    She had. Cullinane had just become the world record holder for the youngest female to ever swim the North Channel, aged 20 years and 253 days. The previous record holder, a Scot who later direct-messaged Cullinane on Facebook to congratulate her, had held the global title for 25 years.

    "I'm always emotional after a long swim," Cullinane says. "But this was next level. I burst into tears, and was just bawling."

    Less than a year of glory

    For 11 months, until August 2023, Cullinane sat amongst a small group of extraordinary, diverse and, in some cases, incredibly talented Australians: Guinness World Record (GWR) holders.

    A woman wearing SPEEDO branded swimsuit with goggles on her swimming cap smiles on a beach
    Fiona Cullinane held her record for 11 months.(Supplied: Guinness World Records)

    Unlike Cullinane, many will have their eyes firmly set on the prize, and will prepare for years to break that record.

    Just under a year into her title, Cullinane heard rumbles of challengers.

    "I had a feeling it was coming," she says. "It was actually quite exciting watching it unfold on social media. Two girls were both going for it, almost like a race. It has returned to the home country now — an Irish girl holds it."

    The fact that Cullinane's record was broken so quickly after her predecessor held it for a quarter of a century shows that the act of record breaking itself is on the up.

    In 2023, Guinness World Records received 40,455 applications for record attempts; a 4.8 per cent increase from 2022, when it received 38,584 applications.

    Not every record makes the edited, hallowed book itself, which includes the wackiest and most impressive highlights.

    Meet Australia's world record holders likely to make the 2025 book

    What drives people in their desire to, at times, put their safety at risk and their lives on hold, to get their name in that famous book?

    A combination of factors are at play: bragging rights, human endeavour, eccentricity, 15 minutes of fame, or to simply prove to ourselves that we're still alive, worthy of achievement and can even be the world-best in a field, no matter how niche, narrow or quirky.

    Australia's current record holders span all such categories.

    They include remarkable feats of human athleticism and endurance, such as the highest altitude catch of an American football (221.89m) broken by Brendan Fevola in Melbourne, September 2022. Or most aerial silk front saltos — drops that rotate forward like somersaults — in one minute (25), achieved by Celeste Dixon in Adelaide, September 2022. Or most "mega walls" climbed in one minute (seven), achieved by Australian Ben Polson in January 2023.

    These sit alongside more novelty records held by humans and, in one case, an Australian dog. The tallest stack of hats worn at once (107.5cm) was set by Anthony Kelly in Armidale in May 2022. Stanley the dog holds the world record for most consecutive items caught by a dog (27). Stanley got his certificate in September 2022 in Dederang, Victoria.

    Traversing both the quirkily unusual and the impressively contortionist is the Gold Coast's Shannen Jones, who holds the world record for ****hest arrow shot using feet (18.27m), which really has to be seen to be believed.

    A woman bent over with her legs above her head uses her feet to shoot a bow and arrow
    Gold Coast woman Shannen Jones holds the world record for ****hest arrow shot using feet, at 18.27 metres.(Supplied: Guinness World Records)

    Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records' editor-in-chief, tells the ABC that a strong theme of sports and endurance emerges from Australia's 2024/25 record-breaker applications.

    "This differs from general categories like fastest or most in a minute," he says.

    Records can only include one superlative (fastest run), and not multiple superlatives (fastest run by tallest woman).

    Australia punches above its weight. In the 2024 edition, 83 records were from Australia, in line with populations triple our size such as Germany and France.

    'Guinness World Records asked me to do it'

    Olivia Vivian, 34, from Perth, is in 2024's book for most consecutive flying bar jumps (female). She performed 28 of them on a TV show in Milan in February 2023.

    Vivian now holds four records, including furthest monkey bars travelled in one minute and in three minutes, which she broke earlier — having been invited to do so.

    Given her profile as an Olympian gymnast who competed at the Beijing Games, GWR actually reached out and asked her to have a crack.

    A muscular woman in white top and orange shorts grips onto a long stick as she navigates an obstacle course
    Guinness World Records approached Olivia Vivian to see if she would be interested in attempting some records suited to her skills as an elite gymnast.(Supplied: Olivia Vivian)

    "It was during COVID and I got the impression GWR wanted people to start breaking records again," she says.

    "They said, do you want to try breaking these ones? As I was in Fortress Perth, which had few COVID cases, it was an easier place to get the appropriate witnesses to my attempt, who filmed continuously from multiple angles."

    Whilst Vivian enthusiastically agreed — it was a "childhood dream" to be in that exciting book — another challenge awaited her on the day of her attempt: Perth's 42-degree heat.

    A woman leaps through the air to grab a red horizontal bar, grinning widely
    Olivia Vivian now holds four Guinness World Records, including most consecutive flying bar jumps (female). (Supplied: Guinness World Records)

    Initially she travelled 65 metres on the monkey bars in 60 seconds, breaking the one-minute record. But trouble lay ahead for her three-minute record attempt.

    "I started feeling the skin separate from the flesh on my hand in the heat as the metal monkey bars were scorching," she says.

    Nevertheless she persisted — and also broke the three minute record.

    "I did have to wait until my hands healed before I tried the three-minute attempt," she says.

    That night was her brother's 30th birthday. Vivian turned up in a cocktail dress with red tape on her scalded hands.

    "Everyone asked what'd happened," she says. "I told them about breaking world records that day and my brother said, laughing, 'Liv, you couldn't let me have one day about me, could you!'"
    continued next post
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    Continued from previous post

    Do novelty records devalue those requiring years of training?

    2024's Guinness World Records includes some feats that are so extremely niche, they verge on the ridiculous. Most rotating puzzle cubes solved one-handed while hula hooping is one such example. Fastest mini disc caught by a dog is another.

    Previous years have seen records verging on the puerile, such as loudest burp ever recorded by a male. Then there are the seemingly futile: most toilet seats smashed with your head in one minute (47).

    On one hard, it's gratifying the book still exists and is going strong as it approaches its 70th anniversary next year: a triumph of print publishing on a subject — outlandish, extraordinary and sensational feats — which the TikTok generation can access instantly. The book acts as a trustworthy physical authority on the superlative in a world wary of fake news and AI deep fakes.

    However, one of its former senior staff members takes a dim view of how records have become wackier.

    Last year, Anna Nicholas, former head of PR for the book in the 80s and 90s, told The Guardian that she lamented how things had changed: records are now more sensationalist, she said, to meet the demand of an audience that can see extraordinary things whenever they like on social media.

    A white dog with black ears and patches jumps up to catch, in an open grassy field with pond behind
    Good boy Stanley, from Dederang in Victoria, holds the record for most consecutive items caught by a dog.(Supplied: Guinness World Records)

    Those who grew up receiving the annual book as a Christmas gift might counter-argue that it has always included the oddball, the circus freak; that absurdity and achievement have always sat side by side.

    Glenday says this is actually the best thing about the book, and that if you look back inside its first edition in 1995, there were definitely quirky and sensationalist records in there by today's standards.

    "We're not elitist, we're accessible. We aren't exclusive, we are inclusive," he says. "It's this broad approach to what we consider record-worthy that has sustained us over 70 years. We're incredibly proud to receive applications and ideas from everyone no matter who you are, where you're from or what your passion is."

    Some notable names hold records they didn't set out to achieve. Elon Musk holds the record for largest amount of money lost by one person. Eminem holds the verbose, pacy record for most words in a hit single (Rap God at 1,560 words).

    One thing that open water swimmer Cullinane showcases is that we can focus so much on one superlative, we overlook others.

    The word's fastest runners and swimmers often become household names. But, whilst the Olympics rewards speed, GWR rewards endurance.

    "I was never the fastest swimmer," Cullinane says. "But I just found that I could just keep going no matter what. And open water gave me that opportunity."

    Back home in WA, she became something of a Perthonality.

    "Both my parents are schoolteachers, so were telling their pupils. Word kind of got round. They also went out and bought eight copies of that year's book," she says laughing.

    "I was a swim teacher at the time and I'd hear parents saying their kids should use my record as motivation."

    Australasia's greatest record holder of all time

    Anthony Kelly from Armidale currently holds 60 Guinness World Records — more than any other Australasian. (Silvio Sabba from Milan currently holds the most worldwide: 193.)

    Kelly, 60, speaks to me with his certificates as the backdrop; they take over all four walls of his study.

    They include: most arrows caught in two minutes, blindfolded. Same for tennis balls and paintballs across both one and two minutes, both blindfolded and not. He holds world records for greatest height to shoot and catch an arrow, highest catch of a tennis ball, most punches in one minute and one hour, most candles extinguished with a single martial arts kick and most spears caught from a spear gun whilst underwater (his proudest record).


    Anthony Kelly holds 60 Guinness World Records — more than any other Australasian.(Supplied: Anthony Kelly)

    He has also participated in successful mass world record-breaking attempts, including the most people breaking pine boards at once and the most people playing hand-held games at once.

    Additionally, he has organised world-record-breaking stints, including the most people doing fist bumps, the most people head banging and the largest human wheelbarrow race.

    Such feats cover 23 years, going back to a martial arts demonstration in 2001 when Kelly, a coach in the discipline, learnt how to catch an arrow, having seen it in an old martial arts film.

    "I sent footage to Guinness World Records thinking they may like to create a record like this," Kelly says. "Within six weeks I was in Madrid in front of 24 million doing it live on their TV show. It changed my life."

    Since then, Kelly has appeared on TV shows worldwide doing stunts both he and GWR came up with to demonstrate his remarkably quick reflex skills. He can open and close his hand 75 times in five seconds and punch 13 times in one second. "Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali only ripped out eight," he says.

    The record he trained hardest for — taking some years — was catching arrows blindfolded.


    Anthony Kelly says it took thousands of hours of practice at catching arrows to prepare for his most coveted record.(Supplied: Anthony Kelly)

    "It took thousands of hours," he says. "I face away from the archer and hear the arrow leave the bow, so I can calculate when to grip it. But the hardest thing was convincing my mind I could do it."

    This record also came with injury; an arrow went into his arm on a TV show in Amsterdam; he blames a "bad archer". Most of the time the archer he uses, he trusts — his brother-in-law. "He's a really good shot," Kelly says.

    Another time, on India's first GWR show, an arrow went through his finger and stuck out the other end. "It bloody hurt," he says.

    Kelly has been hospitalised several times from record attempts. When catching the most tennis balls per hour — coming at him at 100km an hour — he had internal bruising and bleeding and broke two of his fingers.

    So why do it?

    "Well that was to raise money for a bloke I met who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina," he says nonchalantly.

    "To my wife's horror, I do things that are extremely dangerous or spend a lot of money to break these records.

    "But I enjoy it. I travel the world and meet fascinating people — from professional tightrope walkers, to the world's shortest woman and hairiest man, and the world's most pierced woman (15,000 piercings!)

    "Some of them have become good friends. We're all in the same boat, I think. They're just trying to be who they are. And that's who I'm trying to be. We're all a bit different to other people in some way. We push the boundaries and leave a legacy."

    The deeper meaning in record-breaking

    So what motivates the continent's greatest-ever record holder?

    "My dad died when I was 16, and, knowing he'd die, left a card for me to open for my 21st birthday," Kelly says. "Inside he wrote: 'Try to be the best you can be. Make sure your life is worth living.'"

    It's these words, Kelly says, that drive him towards the next record every time. "I was just a fella from Armidale with a dream," he adds. "Now I have all this," he says, pointing at all his certificates.


    In addition to several records in various martial arts, Anthony Kelly holds the title for tallest stack of hats worn by one person. (Supplied: Guinness World Records)

    In 2024's GWR book, Anthony Kelly has four record entries — the most any one person has had in any one edition of the book. Alongside the quick reaction feats he's known for, they include that quirky record of the tallest stack of hats worn by one person. It juts out.

    "It was an unusual one for me," he agrees. But it came from a more poignant place than it seems; Kelly had a big skin cancer removed from his face. "I wanted to promote the importance of wearing sun hats to kids," he says.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
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    Continued from previous post

    New world record breaking attempts are happening across Australia all the time and, whilst they may seem absurd or even pointless, they often come with a deeper purpose.

    On April 25, tennis partners and mates Glenn Pope and Jamie Blair broke the record for longest singles tennis match in Melbourne, with an 82-hour marathon.

    In November, Carlos Duque will attempt to break an eccentric record held by fellow Australian Peter Bujewicz: the furthest distance pushing a lawnmower in 24 hours (individual).

    Both of these record attempts are designed to raise money for men's health charity Movember.

    Bujewicz, who holds the record at 127.57km of lawn, says: "Whether it's pushing a lawnmower for 24 hours or mastering a complex skill over years of dedication, each record represents a unique journey and is a testament to the boundless creativity and individuality of people worldwide."

    The commercialisation of the world record book

    The charity stunt is one thing — the more commercial or "marketing stunts" are another category altogether.

    In 2021, on an overcast day in a carpark in Lancashire, UK, white goods manufacturer Currys created the world's largest washing machine pyramid (44ft 7in) to "send a message to everyone who is still confused about what to do with their old appliances" and encourage them to recycle old machines.

    These types of record attempts are often devised by the GWR Consultancy arm. Since 2009, the organisation has offered adjudication services to customers — usually brands wanting publicity — for a fee starting at $21,000. Half of the company's revenue now comes from such stunts.

    Do such viral-hungry stunts diminish the human endeavour feat that takes a lifetime of sacrifice and challenge?

    GWR says these sorts of stunts — which comprise 2.7 per cent of record applications they receive — are a part of their business plan to stay afloat.

    "Like any business, we've grown and diversified to stay relevant," editor-in-chief Glenday tells the ABC. "Some of the world's biggest brands come to us to break records because they see the value of being 'the best' at something."

    GWR also makes money from an adjudicator being present at record-breaking attempts — around $11,600 a pop. It gets the record fast-tracked for approval. Some TV shows and brands pay this, but most take the free route of submitting video evidence for scrutiny, then holding their breath for months.

    GWR has 90 adjudicators, with some now based in Australia and some who travel around the world. But Australian adjudicators can be scarce. One judge once flew from the London HQ to Sydney "to weigh a risotto", and then got back on the plane again.

    A high stakes game offering novelty in a dark world

    Recent news stories have highlighted how high the stakes can get when it comes to GWR's strict guidelines — some of which run to dozens of pages. Each record applicant is allowed three attempts.

    This month, British runner Russ Cook travelled more than 10,100 miles completing his 352-day run from South Africa to Tunisia. But his claim to a world record for being the first person to run the full length of Africa has been disputed.

    A red haired man cheering surrounded by a crowd.
    Russ Cook finished his journey in Tunisia after travelling through 16 countries on a 352-day odyssey.(Reuters: Zoubeir Souissi)

    Marie Leautey from the World Runners Association (WRA) told British media: "We have no problem with him claiming to be the first to run from the most southern [point] to the most northern. But when we read he is the first man to run the entire length of Africa, it is just not true, from a facts perspective."

    That man was Jesper Olsen, who became the first person to run the length of Africa back in 2010 when he travelled from Taba in Egypt to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa in 434 days. He said two other members of the WRA had also completed the feat "without one single day off, unlike Cook, where there were several days off".

    Last month, a French man who spent eight years building his dream of being a world record holder matchstick by matchstick, had his dreams crushed when judges disqualified him for using the wrong materials.

    View this post on Instagram
    A post shared by richard Plaud (@toureiffelallumettes)

    Richard Plaud's attempt for the tallest matchstick sculpture (of the Eiffel Tower), used 706,900 matchsticks — but the specially ordered matches, which had been made without an ignitable tip, were initially ruled inadmissible by GWR officials.

    Plaud shared his "BIG DISILLUSION, DISAPPOINTMENT AND INCOMPREHENSION" on social media, and days later, GWR opted to reverse its ruling.

    Director of records Mark McKinley said they had been "a little heavy handed" with regulations for a matchstick. Plaud's attempt was two feet higher than the previous tallest matchstick Eiffel Tower.

    Glenday says people have always had a fascination with superlatives. But there's a profound reason such records, even the seemingly trivial and absurd ones, matter so much in today's fraught world.

    "At a time when the news can be so dark, they allow people to better understand the world and their place in it," he says.

    He says the book continues to platform people for fun, to learn and to achieve.

    "We give them an opportunity to take their passion and skills to the next level," he says.

    "Keep an open mind, you might discover something you didn't know about the world, or even about yourself."

    Gary Nunn is an author and freelance journalist
    There are more photos. I only copy & pasted the ones of Anthony. Didn't know about the hat record.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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