MMA workshop just for kicks

SCOTT MITCHELL, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:23 PM ET

CALGARY - One of the top kickboxers in the world is coming to Cowtown.

Remy Bonjasky, a three-time K-1 World Grand Prix kickboxing champ, is making the trek from the Netherlands to Calgary for a two-day workshop that will focus on skills, as well as the mental aspect of what it takes to get to the top of the Muay Thai discipline.

The 35-year-old Dutch super heavyweight won the K-1 World GP — an elimination kickboxing tournament held since 1993 — in 2003, 2004 and 2008. In 84 career fights, he holds a 69-13 record with 42 KOs.

Known as The Flying Gentleman, Bonjasky garnered the nickname with specialized flying kicks and knee attacks that led to knockouts. The fighter recently turned to teaching, opening the Bonjasky Academy in 2010.

Organizer Philip Ndugga, himself a former top kickboxer in Europe and a Calgary resident for the past 11 years, is honoured to have Bonjasky in town Oct. 29- 30 for the two-day event.

“Having Remy come to Calgary is a good opportunity for people who have been making trips (abroad) to train with one of the greatest kickboxers,” Ndugga said.

Currently a personal trainer and martial arts instructor at Heavens Fitness and the Glencoe Club, Ndugga said athletes from across Western Canada, as well as Las Vegas, are slated to take part in the workshop.

A limited number of spots are still available. The event will take place at the Impact Boxing Gym, with two sessions each day.

Following Sunday’s final session, participants will head to Melrose Café and Bar where Bonjasky will speak and highlights from his 16-year career will be shown.

The two-day event comes with a $400 price tag, and includes two lunches, dinner at Melrose and almost eight hours of training.

The workshops will challenge advanced fighters and stimulate beginners.

“We’re expecting everyone from beginners to professional kickboxers,” Ndugga said. “We have people coming from Saskatoon, ex-champions who are currently fighting as well.

“We’ve got a (female) Muay Thai kickboxing champion from Saskatoon coming, as well.

“It’s a very big thing for us. If people are coming from Las Vegas and Saskatoon for the weekend, it’s a pretty big event.”

Bonjasky decided to skip a kickboxing event in China to make it to Calgary.

“It’s a very big honour that he chose to come here,” Ndugga said.

Registration forms can be found at remy-bonjasky-workshops.com. Ndugga Martial Arts has been organizing local workshops since 2006.


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