Fundraiser con­cerns quelled

The Timaru Herald - - NEWS - Joanne Holden

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.

DOUG FIELD/STUFF

Rosie Cham­bers train­ing with mixed mar­tial arts in­struc­tor Wayne Knight.

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