Martial arts and combat academy is packing punch

PUNCHING ABOVE HIS WEIGHT -- 12-year-old Mitchell Wilson, who won the boxing club's first bout
PUNCHING ABOVE HIS WEIGHT -- 12-year-old Mitchell Wilson, who won the boxing club's first bout

KANG HAN means strong in Korean. So it makes a suitable name for a Hucknall-based martial arts, combat and boxing academy which is making a powerful impact.

The Kang Han is located at the former Bourne Methodist Church on Beardall Street near the junction with Watnall Road.

NHUD11-0887-1''Hucknall's Kang Nam Martial Arts School.''Pictured L to R are; Greg Brothwell 22, Greg Somers 21 and Lyndon Berry 29.

NHUD11-0887-1''Hucknall's Kang Nam Martial Arts School.''Pictured L to R are; Greg Brothwell 22, Greg Somers 21 and Lyndon Berry 29.

Tuition is given in taekwondo, boxing, karate and ju-jitsu, with 23 separate training sessions held there throughout the week.

The taekwondo classes are taught by Master Ian Lennox, a seventh dan and British Taekwondo Control Board (BTCB) technical director.

He has been teaching the martial art for 30 years and has been running a full-time training centre in Hucknall for the last ten years.

This was based on Watnall Road, next to the Ashfield District Council offices, before moving to the present venue a year ago.

NHUD11-0887-2''Hucknall's Kang Nam Martial Arts School.''Pictured L to R are; Bethaney Harris 11, Assistant Instructor Steve Grocock and Natalie Baker 21.

NHUD11-0887-2''Hucknall's Kang Nam Martial Arts School.''Pictured L to R are; Bethaney Harris 11, Assistant Instructor Steve Grocock and Natalie Baker 21.

An impressive makeover of the premises for the academy has been achieved as the result of a major DIY project.

The premises comprise a main hall, measuring 20 metres by 14 metres, and a boxing room of 20 metres by nine metres.

More than 150 people, aged from four to about 80, attend the training sessions.

The karate is taught by sensei Tony Baker (ninth dan), who has been training for 40 years and instructing for 32 years. He is supported in his classes by his wife, Julie, who is a third dan.

Tony and Julie also teach the ju-jitsu classes on Sunday. In this martial art, Tony is an eighth dan black belt and Julie is a third dan.

Lee and Glenn Kingham started the boxing sessions, which are Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) standard, and they have now been joined by Albert Reynolds as head coach.

Albert (69), who has vast experience as a boxing coach, was formerly connected with Bulwell clubs which included Red Lion, Scots Grey and Swinger.

He said: “Kang Han wanted me to get members ready for tournaments and I am delighted to help. The academy is an excellent venue and it is an ideal place to build confidence, get fit and de-stress.”

Endorsing this opinion, Ian said: “We are playing an important role in keeping youngsters off the streets.”

THE Kang Han boxing club enjoyed its first success in its very first fight when 12-year-old Mitchell King won on points against Jay Gallagher in a bout at Eastwood.

Mitchell made club history with a fine performance that showed he could be a young fighter with a big future.

Head coach Reynolds turned down opportunities of other fights for his boxers because the weight, age or experience of their opponents did not tally.

But he hopes to engineer many more successes for Kang Han members when the boxing season resumes in September.