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This article was published 25/7/2016 (1754 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg Kickboxing and Muay Thai (1777 Portage Ave.) isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to supporting the community.
The kickboxing gym recently organized a one-of-a-kind fundraiser to help support the Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre (1150 Waverley St.).
On July 19, the gym offered two evening classes to the community for a suggested donation of $10. All proceeds went to the centre, which identifies itself as a feminist organization that supports women and their families through programming and other services.
"Their mission statement is to have a safe, healthy environment for women and kids in Winnipeg and we have the same mentality at this gym," Andrea Katz said.
A former fighter, Katz now does marketing and communications for the gym, which is run by her sister-in-law Trisha Sammons.
"A lot of kickboxing gyms are heavily male in the classes and run by men and sometimes they’re intimidating for kids and women to go to," Katz said. "Here, it’s a lot warmer of an environment and more welcoming so we found that synergy with (the centre) and thought, let’s try and raise some money for them and have some new people coming out to the gym too."
Katz started in martial arts when she was six and says that there are a lot of beneficial elements to combat sports, even if the athlete chooses not to get in the ring.
"It really teaches you self-discipline," she said. "There’s programs here for ages five to, I think our oldest person is in their 60s… so I think no matter what your age or fitness level, it can boost your self-esteem just because you’re learning something new about yourself… and self-defence I think is something all people should know, especially women."
Katz added it’s a great workout that requires using all of the muscles in your body. Beginners and kids start out by hitting pads and punching bags and eventually have the option to move into the sparring element of the sport.
"You have to really be ready," Katz said. "First of all mentally, you have to be ready to want to take that step in the sport and you have to be physically ready even if it’s not full contact. You’re not trying to hurt your partner, you’re just trying to learn with each other but you still have to be at a certain skill level to do that, so you know how to defend yourself and also from the offensive point of view, you want to make sure you have that control so you’re not hurting your partner, even if it’s by accident."
Women’s beginner classes are Monday to Thursday, 6 to 7 p.m. or Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 to 10 a.m. Co-ed and mixed skill levels open classes are Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m. Kids classes for ages five to 11 are Wednesdays from 9 to 10 a.m. and Fridays from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. for the summer. Drop-in fee is $10 per class, three months unlimited for $200 or a 12-class pass for $100.
For more information, call Andrea Katz at 204-770-2203.
Community journalist — The Metro
Alana Trachenko was the community journalist for The Metro