Changing lives for the better – Hornets Martial Arts

Hornets Martial Arts members

By Peter Barnett

Thanet-based Hornets’ Martial Arts members’ latest challenge is a cancer charity fundraiser.

The event – which is in the planning stage and will be announced later this year – is in memory of their friend and fellow member Tony Warley.

Experienced instructor Ian Reynolds who runs the group that meets each week at Garlinge Methodist Church said: “Tony was a very dear friend of mine, and a much loved member of the group, at the heart of our martial arts family. We want to do something positive in his memory and for his family.

”We are currently looking at several ideas for our sponsored event and once they are firmed up we will be looking for public support for our appeal.”

The group is keen to support charities and two of its members are currently raising money for a prostate cancer charity.

The news comes as Hornets members are celebrating receiving their yellow and green sash awards and certificates.

They are: John Ferris, Kyle Aquini, Mark Young, Max Zalewski, Natalie Hadley, Lily Chiu, Samuel Gravelle, Tasneem Daud and Sam Bradley. The grading panel was instructor Ian Reynolds, assistant instructor Abuu Daud and Corby Aquini.

Mr Reynolds (pictured) said: “Grading programmes are rigorous and challenging. Members are tested on their technical abilities, balance and control.

“They also demonstrated their power and co-ordination skills during partner pad work and controlled light continuous sparring.

“Make no mistake, this is a very tough examination, to identify how they are progressing and which areas of their martial training we need to work on and improve.

“It is as much a mental test as it is physical and my students are purposefully pushed out of their comfort zones to see how they adapt and also to see how much they really want their new belts.

“I was a victim of bullying when I was at school and I believe that learning a disciplined martial art is of huge benefit to help young people deal with the stress, anxiety and fears of everyday life.

“My aim is to help people of all ages to be the best they can be and to build their confidence awareness and improve mental and physical health by NOT being that victim.

“It’s also a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle of friends.”

He is an advocate of school children learning martial arts and has previously run self-defence classes at King Ethelbert School and Hartsdown Academy, as well as for 4th Whitstable Girl Guides and Minster Women’s Institute.

The Monday evening classes are from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at Garlinge Methodist Church Hall – first session is free. To find out more, contact Ian on 07850 444778 for further information.