Mar­tial arts cen­tre on a strong growth tra­jec­tory

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Ig­nite Mar­tial Arts & Fit­ness Cen­tre likes to fly un­der the radar, but its jack- of- all­trades ap­proach is mak­ing people sit up and take note.

The Plim­mer­ton-based gym spe­cialises in teach­ing Zen Do Kai mar­tial arts, but also caters for muay thai kick­box­ing, box­fit, yoga and boot camp pro­grammes.

Co-owner James Ham­mond, Ig­nite’s head trainer, said the club had re­cently been work­ing with Pare­mataPlim­mer­ton rugby teams on their fit­ness and get­ting plenty of ku­dos for it.

Ig­nite has been based in spa­cious premises in Cedric Place for two years and has loved it.

‘‘It’s great, it suits what we need and what we do,’’ Ham­mond said.

His busi­ness part­ner, Chris Sa­muel, has been train­ing in mar­tial arts for 19 years.

He said the fit­ness and gym mar­ket was a tough in­dus­try to crack, but Ig­nite was steadily grow­ing its mem­ber­ship be­cause of its re­sults.

The club does not tend to send ath­letes to com­pe­ti­tions, but nev­er­the­less of­fers an en­vi­ron­ment for all ages to get fit, Ham­mond said.

‘‘This place is for any­body and ev­ery­body and we def­i­nitely try to get that bal­ance be­tween train­ing and com­pet­ing.

‘‘It’s not in­tim­i­dat­ing and we pride our­selves on mak­ing people wel­come.

‘‘We’ve all been in that po­si­tion when you walk into a gym or fit­ness cen­tre for the first time.’’

Ig­nite pulls most of its mem­bers from Porirua’s north­ern sub­urbs, but has mem­bers liv­ing in Kapiti, too.

Ham­mond said it had 80 kick­box­ers, 35 chil­dren from age 6 and many more clients from within the com­mu­nity, such as the rugby club. Two weeks ago, the founder of Zen Do Kai, Bob Jones, vis­ited from Aus­tralia.

It was fan­tas­tic to host him in Plim­mer­ton and show him how the club was go­ing, Ham­mond said.

‘‘This is one of the big­gest mar­tial arts in Aus­tralia and it’s re­ally grow­ing here in New Zealand,’’ Sa­muel said.

‘‘Zen Do Kai is quite tra­di­tional and is based on bal­ance, move­ment and self­de­fence, but you have to have an open mind for it.’’

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