Achieving self-defense and physical fitness goals

Markham Martial Arts (MMA) owner Chris Williams remembers the joy of opening his business on March 3. Sadly, he was forced to close down march 16 due to COVID-19.

“This was very devastating for us and our customers that had joined the first week,” Williams said. “We have free online zoom classes three times per week in order to keep our students training. On a brighter note we will reopen under 30 per cent capacity on July 13.”

His gyms features programs in all major aspects of self-defense, fighting and fitness. The classes are created to facilitate both children and adults of all ages and skill levels.

They have qualified trainers, specializing in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

MMA is focused on providing a supportive and friendly environment for members; while educating them on ways to achieve their personal goals in self-defense, combative sports and physical fitness.

“We seek to enhance the quality of life in our community through offering diverse and affordable fitness programs that are administered by our highly skilled staff,” Williams said.

 An important element of Martial Arts training is enhancing body fitness through the development of strength and conditioning.

The adult program consists of three different fighting techniques; Muay Thai, Kickboxing and Boxing. Classes are tailored to focus on each individual style and broken down into two segments, Fundamentals and Technical.

The Fundamentals class will provide beginners the opportunity to learn the basic elements and principles for each fight style and provides advanced students an opportunity to further refine and enhance their foundation skills. The Technical class will focus on advanced level drills and techniques, as well as controlled sparring sessions providing students the opportunity to implement and apply the various fight systems.

It is important to understand the process of development. It takes repetition, patience and perseverance to learn and master a technique. He says that the MMA team supports, encourages and creates an environment conducive to learning at your own pace, while offering students the push they need to take themselves and their training to a higher level.

Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is a combat sport originating from Thailand. Commonly described as “the art of eight limbs” referring to the eight points of contact, that includes the use of fists, elbows, knees and shins as weapons.

MMA’s Fundamentals class focuses on developing proper stance and rhythm, through shadowboxing and practicing simple footwork. Learning the various Muay Thai guards and basic strikes using punches, kicks, elbows and knees. The Technical class will concentrate on pad and mitt work and teaching advanced striking methods such as clinch, dumps, sweeps, knees and elbows. Students will perform Interactive partner drills and have the opportunity to put their skills into application with technical sparring.

The  Kickboxing program will focus on the Dutch method of fighting originating in the Netherlands, which incorporates techniques from Western Boxing, Muay Thai and Kyokushin Karate. Dutch Kickboxing has an emphasis on hands, low kicks and knees.

The Fundamentals class will focus on fight stance, guard, basic footwork, punches and kicks. The Technical class will offer an in depth and advanced look at heavy hands strikes and kicks. Partnered drills will be used to focus on building powerful punch combinations ending with strong low kicks. Repetitive drilling is an excellent way of building power and stamina and developing timing and distance.

Boxing may look intimidating, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Our Fundamentals class helps nurture and build students skills by placing focus on basic techniques. Williams and his team begin with learning the boxing stance, footwork and how to control and pace your breathing as you prepare to throw combinations. From there students will learn to jab, cross, hook, uppercut, slip and duck. The Technical class will focus on developing more complex hand combinations and footwork.

“Martial Arts is a perfect way for children to stay fit, have fun and encourage a healthy lifestyle,” Williams said. “It teaches them respect for themselves and others, and discipline of their mind and body.”

The MMA youth program is broken down into three components. The focus is teaching the fundamental skills of Muay Thai, Kickboxing and Boxing.

Along with cultivating their technical skills, there are many other benefits to be gained. Kids will learn self-defense techniques by boosting their fitness and building confidence and self-reliance. Martial arts help improve focus, concentration and coordination both academically and in extracurricular activities. Most importantly it teaches children in order to meet their goals, hard work, perseverance and a growth mindset is required to achieving success in all aspects of their lives.

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Photo (l-r): Student Ali Samed with MMA owners Melandra Ramjas and Kru Christopher Williams. The owners believe that teamwork makes the dream work.


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