Fundraiser concerns quelled
A self-defence fundraiser by a Timaru mixed martial arts club is being taken on trust by Women’s Refuge – the group to benefit from the event.
Knight MMA has organised the fundraiser to give back to the community for donating time, gym equipment, coaches, and even a ping-pong table after its move to a new facility last year.
Amid concerns the charity’s name was being associated with a full-contact combat sport, MidSouth Women’s Refuge manager Dawn Rangi-Smith made calls to organisers of the event to find out it was focused on self-defence.
‘‘I’m taking them on trust value that it’s only a one-off one and it’s not violent in any shape or form,’’ Rangi-Smith said.
While she was doubtful the women in her care would be going to the fundraising class, in the past trainers had been brought in to teach self-defence.
Knight MMA president Wayne Knight acknowledged a number of fighters had been convicted of domestic abuse, but those incidents did not reflect the principles of the sport.
‘‘Martial arts is mainly for peace and working out who you are as a person. It’s spiritual,’’ Knight said.
‘‘I get my outlet. I’m very rarely stressed. It helps you sit above what might be going on in your life.’’
He felt family violence was pervasive in New Zealand and impacted many people across the country, including his mother.
‘‘Awareness seems to be the way to go nowadays and we just want to give it a go,’’ he said.
The self-defence class is a gold coin entry and will be held at 32 Turnbull St, Timaru from 10am on Saturday.
‘‘Generally we’ll be teaching the traditional moves for getting away from people and making yourself feel safe,’’ club treasurer Michael Eaton said.
Rosie Chambers training with mixed martial arts instructor Wayne Knight.