Event will give local talent chance to shine
Aries Sports Centre are aiming to continue growing martial arts on island by hosting their first Aries Fighting Championships.
In association with the Bermuda Sanshou Association, the event will take place at North Field at the National Sports Centre on July 20.
However, far from a conventional fight promotion, the day will also include a full day of events for the community before San Da, a form of Chinese kick-boxing, and Brazilian jiujitsu take centre stage with numerous junior and adult bouts, including a host of overseas competitors.
“We wanted to make it a bit different from a normal fighting event so we will be including a full day of events to involve the community,” said Cyril Whitter III, president of Aries Sports Centre.
“The events will run through the day from 10am-5pm and will free entry before we get ready for the main events from 7pm-10pm, which will be ticketed.
“We will be fighting under the big tent on North Field at the Sports Centre and so that should create a really exciting atmosphere.
“We already have a number of youth and adult international fighters signed up to travel over and compete from the likes of USA, Canada and across the Caribbean.
“It will be Bermuda versus the rest of the world and that could prove really exciting.
“It's massive for us as a centre to be putting this event on. We opened the centre to provide martial arts to anyone aged 3 years old to adults and this is the next step for us to be able to showcase the amazing local talent that we have on island.
“We have a number of very competitive local fighters who have travelled overseas and won medals so we should see some impressive bouts on the night.”
Since offering alternative martial arts like Brazilian jiujitsu at Aries Sports Centre just over two years ago, Whitter has seen interest rapidly increase.
He is hopeful that their maiden championships will help introduce more of the island to less favoured sports and continue the positive trend in participation.
“Some of the martial arts on show may be a little new to some people on the island,” he added.
“It's great that we will be able to showcase sports like Brazilian jiujitsu which has really grown in its popularity since we first offered it to the public at the club.
“We launched membership in 2017 and had five youth members and now we have 35 from beginners to intermediate and have had to limit the classes.
“All of our martial arts have been growing and it's really promising to see from our point of view.
“I'm really excited that we can continue that growth and introduce more people to these sports.”
As well as improving fitness levels, Whitter highlighted the positive affects of taking up martial arts on the mind and soul for adults and children alike.
“We offer something a little different to the conventional martial arts and they can have a real positive affect on people both physically and mentally,” he said.
“Getting into martial arts can help with self confidence, focus and help develop character, it has real benefits on the mind, body and soul.
“We are just trying to offer people another dynamic from mainstream sports and they have proved really popular so far.”