Martial arts centre’s first interclub event proves a success
Thursday, Feb 16, 2017 05:28 pm
For the first time since relocating to its new location, the Airdrie Martial Arts Centre held an interclub competition on Feb. 11 to a rousing success.
The competition pitted 20 martial artists from Airdrie, Calgary and Edmonton against one another under modified Muay Thai rules in front of nearly 250 fans and fellow competitors.
“We’re trying to generate interest in the sport and really showcase its merit,” Airdrie Martial Arts Centre co-owner and head trainer Luis Cofre said. “We’re trying to show kickboxing is a viable sport (in the area).”
A total of six Airdrie competitors took part in the unsanctioned contests on Feb. 11, including three adult level competitors and three of the team’s young up-and-coming fighters representing the Lil’ Dragons program.
Of the three Lil’ Dragons, two of the Airdrie competitors won, showing Cofre his team can stand up to some national level competition coming out of Edmonton. That has inspired him to think about putting a team together for national competitions.
“The stars of the show were the Lil’ Dragons,” Cofre said. “Those kids are well-trained and have competed at nationals before, so it was a good showdown for our little guys.
“Events like this show that the sport even at the kids level is competitive, safe and alive and well.”
On the adults’ side of the event, Warren Big Bull put forth an awesome debut in his Muay Thai career fighting in the 170 pounds weight class, knocking off Andrew Marco from Edmonton for his first-ever win in a Muay Thai bout.
“(Big Bull) has been training with me for two years and has taken part in a couple of tournaments, but this was his first in-ring event,” Cofre said.
Darryl Vaughan also came away with a win at the event in the 135 pounds weightclass after he defeated Mitch Wilds of Edmonton to keep the streak going for local competitors.
Unfortunately for fellow Airdrie-based fighter Travis May, he was unable to come away with a victory in the inaugural event at the Martial Arts Centre’s new location after falling at the hands of Jeff Mejia of Edmonton.
“It was a really good tilt, but you can’t win them all as they say,” Cofre said.
The event was a good gauge to show the martial arts centre that it is capable of holding events in its new space, which has been a major improvement for the organization since it relocated in January.
With the success of the event, Cofre says the club is planning on doing similar events throughout the year, but not just Muay Thai events.
On March 4, the centre will be hosting an adult-level kickboxing competition and in April another kid-level tournament will be held and then in May, the club is expecting to host its second-ever interclub competition.