Where fighting is encouraged
A school holiday camp for future fightersDON ROWE
Channelling children's energy can be a problem during school holidays but one programme has found a way to harness all that kicking, punching and wrestling.
Hamilton gym Core MMA's Youth Holiday Programme is a camp for future fighters. The kids taking part will go home with the skills, study and theory behind martial arts, thanks to its carefully supervised drills and activities.
Joesef Hamblin, programme co-ordinator and 2012 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion, said the camp aims to provide something a bit different.
"It's about getting the kids off the couch with specifically martial arts related activity," he said.
"A lot of their parents train here at Core MMA and together we're trying to get the kids involved with something other than the computer."
Hamblin coaches alongside Forest View High School teacher Marc Lelievre, head of Core MMA's youth classes and national Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion.
Lelievre believes the programme will provide lasting benefits.
"Kids learn socially, so it's really important to introduce them to other people while they're five to 15," he said.
"Learning happens outside the comfort zone and that's where mixed martial arts puts you."
Cameron Tanner, 11, was entered into the programme by his father, Warren, and enjoys the range of activities.
"It's just like MMA so you do all kinds of stuff," he said. "It's a lot of fun."
Tanner, owner of animal nutrition firm Agrivantage, said he enrolled Cameron after experiencing the benefits of martial arts himself.
"Martial arts teach discipline and are good for fitness.
"Having done it late in life myself, I can see that these are good lessons to learn early."
It is not all about the theory though, Tanner said.
"Cameron is the youngest of three brothers so this will help him deal with the typical younger brother stuff."
Tanner was not worried about safety at the camp.
"There are always inherent risks, but having trained under Joesef andCarlo Meister [owner of Core MMA] , I know that safety is paramount.
"These are experienced coaches and practitioners."
The programme runs daily until Friday.
Don Rowe is a Wintec journalism student.
- Waikato Times