Four children from the Portadown area have turned months of martial arts training into World medals.
Ryan Mota, Nicky Mota, James Black and Alexander Black finished with gold at the TYGA World Championships as representatives of the town’s Hebron Kickboxing club.
Portugal-born Ivo Mota, father to two of the recently-crowned World winners, has been operating under the Hebron name in Portadown’s The Football Warehouse for around 12 months.
His primary focus is on providing children with self-defence techniques via martial arts towards improved confidence levels, fitness and discipline.
He also holds adult training, with Hebron in operation every Monday to Thursday.
The boys’ success in England provides gold-standard evidence of his effectiveness and Mota is determined to open the doors to as many people as possible.
“I have been involved in martial arts for around 20 years now, since taking up the sport in Portugal around the age of 11,” he said. “I have been living in Portadown for six or seven years now but around 15 in total in Northern Ireland.
“Although I took part in competitions growing up, my main passion always came from teaching and The Football Warehouse sessions allow me to really focus on the needs of the individual.
“The progress made by the boys has been superb, especially the Black twins as the London tournament marked a first competition at that level for James and Alexander.
“Both boys play football and I know how much they have improved, in terms of fitness levels, since training at the Hebron club.
“My two sons have been training for a few years now but all four were superb and loved the whole experience.”
Mota has plans to introduce self-defence courses for children early next year at The Football Warehouse.
“We have connections with a few federations so can pick various competitions to enter, with the TYGA event just over in London so that helped with costs,” he said. “The atmosphere was great.
“I have experience in different disciplines and we place a lot of emphasis on self-defence and fitness with Hebron.
“We can start from six years old or so and sessions for children up to 12 years old run each Monday and Wednesday from 6.30-7.30.
“Our adult course takes place every Tuesday and Thursday from 6.30-7.30.
“The cost is £2.50 per child or £3 for adults.”
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