Maple Leaf International School sets the bar for student safety and physical fitness.

Maple Leaf International School sets the bar for student safety and physical fitness.

Maple Leaf International School sets the bar for student safety and physical fitness.

0 comments 📅28 November 2014, 12:31

Maple Leaf International School (MLIS) recently attended a self-defence / mixed martial arts workshop at Rough House(RH) MMA  Gym St. James, Trinidad with the assistance of Paul Pickard Physcial Education teacher (MLIS),Coach Adam De Silva(RH) and national athletes Omar Smith(RH), Ryan Sooknarine(RH) and Randy Sooknarine(RH). Due to the popular and mainstream status of MMA in Canada with UFC stars such as retired champion George St. Pierre and top contenders Carlos Condit and Rory Mc Donald flying the nations flag high. The sport has gained a large following within North America and the Caribbean. Therefore it was no surprise that many of the students were familiar with the sport and eager to learn the techniques involved with a few already having prior experience.

Day one consisted of grappling drills commonly used in Olympic Wrestling and Judo. These consisted of sprawls, bear crawls and break falls to name a few. Students were taught techniques on how to escape from being mounted as well as defences against “bully style” / side headlocks. Lastly, two basic choke holds/submissions with high rates of success in MMA competition were taught, those being a rear choke hold and the “guillotine” which is a choke done from holding the person in a front headlock position. Given the simplicity, high intensity and enthusiasm of the young athletes the techniques were quickly absorbed.

The second day of the seminar, students were introduced to striking techniques. Mainly the jab and cross used in Olympic style boxing and were introduced to differences in stance, footwork and defensive techniques such as cage defence, bobbing and offensive drills such as punching and defending in combination. Due to the prevalence of mixed martial arts and boxing within mainstream media as well as MMA currently being the fastest growing sport in the world many of the students were familiar with the techniques but never given the opportunity until now to be formally introduced.

The availability of training equipment such as boxing gloves, Muay Thai pads and padded flooring the young athletes were able to efficiently and safely learn the techniques. Maple Leaf International School are the first school in Trinidad to use the rapid growing sport of Mixed Martial Arts as a form of self-defence and physical fitness for their students. This sets a new standard in physical fitness, functional training and self-defence for our nations students. Overall the workshop was a huge success among all those involved with many of the students looking to start more formal classes in the near future.

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