Kickboxing is not sport that you would normally associate with local women - but members of Causeway Kickboxing Club hope to change that.
Last week, Times reporter Nichola Neill visited their gym, or ‘do jang’ to use the proper term, to find out what the sport is about, as the Club prepares to host women’s only sessions next month.
‘Femme Fatale’ will run on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9.30 at the Club’s new premises, inside Score FC at Hillman’s Way.
Instructor James Hourican, who was a member of the Irish Olympic team back in 2000, spoke about the benefits of the sport and the new classes.
James, explained: “We practice many different forms of martial arts here - judo, MMA, kick boxing, taekwondo to name a few. Causeway Cross Fit also train in the Centre.
“We find that our members,who come from across the Causeway area, come to do one form of martial art, and end up doing two or three - that’s the benefit of this multi functional club.
“I actually started off doing taekwondo many years ago.
“I got interested in kick boxing and the rest they say is history - I even became the Northern Ireland champion.”
James said he had been contacted by a number of women who were interested in the sport but not keen to train with men.
“It’s all about improving fitness and well being,” said the fitness fanatic.
“We added the new classes to the timetable for September, and to be honest there has been more interest than I could ever have dreamed of - I am really surprised.
“Kick boxing is a good all over work out.
“I would encourage anyone who is even in the slightest bit interested to come along.
“We will be focusing on core strength, punching and kicking it’ll be a good high intensity work out.”
Speaking about the benefits of martial arts, James went on: “We train kids here from the age of two through our ‘Ninja-nastics’ classes. We have a little ninja school that runs each week, and the kids come along and get a little bit of everything. They love it.
“In total the whole club has around 200 members, and most of them cross over and train in a couple of different martial arts.
“Martial arts isn’t just about getting fit, it’s also about confidence and improving well being in general.
“ We find that many of the young people that come here are low in confidence, and it’s great to see a change in them in a few weeks.
“Martial arts is a great way of teaching children discipline, and we find that our junior members are some of the most dedicated in the club.”
You can find out more about the Club by visiting their Facebook page.