Martial arts to be highlighted during upcoming expo

Tribune-Post Staff
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SACKVILLE, N.B. – An upcoming event geared toward youth in the community will put martial arts in the spotlight – from the culture that surrounds the centuries-old practice to the discipline behind the sport.

Sackville RCMP and the town, as well as several other community partners, are working together to host a Martial Arts Expo later this month, an event that will serve as the kickoff for this year’s Winterfest.

The expo, which will feature a number of high-performance and exciting demonstrations from various martial arts clubs, will also include tasty samples of Asian dishes, music from different cultures, and raffle draws with a variety of prizes.

“We want to offer the community an experience they can see, hear and taste,” said Amélie Jarvis-Lavoie, Sackville’s community program officer (CPO) with the RCMP, who is helping to organize the event.

Jarvis-Lavoie said this event, similar to the launch of the bike park, will be a youth-friendly event aiming to encourage physical activity and provide youth with opportunities to develop pro-social behaviours.

“We’re trying to find different ways of offering our youth a chance to try new things and to develop new hobbies and interests,” she said.

Jarvis-Lavoie said the expo will hopefully build awareness of the existing martial arts programs as well as generate more interest from the community to attract more clubs to town and widen the range of activities available to youth.

She’s hopeful the event will also be a chance to break some of the pre-existing stigmas behind martial arts – particularly with the increasing popularity of UFC and MMA fighting.

“We want to bring awareness to martial arts and the culture, history and discipline behind it.”

Jarvis-Lavoie said martial arts offers plenty of benefits for people of all ages, including improving a person’s level of fitness, strength and flexibility as well as building discipline, confidence, and respect.

It could also serve as a way for youth to get rid of pent-up anger or aggression, she said, in a safe and supervised program.

The expo, which will be held Jan. 30 from 4-7 p.m. at the Tantramar civic centre, is already attracting interest from various clubs in the area, representing a diverse mix of martial arts – including Tae Kwon Do, boxing and karate. Information booths and displays will be set up in the lobby area.

As well, each club will have a time slot in which they will be able to offer the crowd a sample fight and explain the culture and history behind their particular practice.

“People can come and see what each of these clubs have to offer,” said Jarvis-Lavoie.

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Tantramar

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