Bay kickboxing pair set for world champs

Mthetho Ndoni ndonim@timesmedia.co.za

TWO young Nelson Mandela Bay kickboxers are headed for the 40th annual ISKA World Martial Arts Championships, to be held at Walt Disney World in Florida in the US in July.

Friends Jade Fleck, 11, and Jimmy Jama, 12, are members of the National Mixed Martial Arts (NMA) in Port Elizabeth and are among the 150 participants selected at the national championships held in Cape Town last year to represent South Africa.

Jade said he had met Jimmy at the kickboxing gym last year and that they had put a lot of energy into their training sessions to make it into the national team.

“I’m happy to be part of the team because I know I’ll do my best in US,” Jade said. “I like kickboxing because it has taught me self-discipline and how to defend myself when I’m in danger.”

He said both he and Jimmy won medals in their national championships tournament, and hoped to come back from the States with more medals.

Jimmy said he had started the sport for self-defence and was enjoying it.

“I was surprised with my selection into the national team and I’m looking forward to the world event if our parents manage to get sponsorship for the trip.”

Jade’s mother, Natasha, said the two friends were passionate about kickboxing. “I’m a bit nervous as we are busy organising funds for them to travel with the team.

“My son loves kickboxing and he [arranges] the sport not to interfere with his school work.”

Since 2007, NMA-ISKA (South Africa) has been represented annually by a team in the tournament, and about 86 competitors and 23 supporters represented the country last year.

The tournament will be televised worldwide on the ESPN networks.

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