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Martial arts encourage family bonding in Algarve

by SOPHIE MCCARRICK [email protected]

Lovers of the martial arts are now able to learn a variety of practices while socialising, meeting friends and achieving new skills in Albufeira and Almancil with the Lifetime Family Martial Arts group.

With more than 30 years of experience internationally, group instructor Ian Donnelly established the Lifetime Family Martial Arts club following his move to the Algarve eight years ago from Ireland ,with the hopes of improving martial arts standards and making the sport available to all members of the family resident in the Algarve.

Ian Donnelly is a 3rd Dan Black Belt and has competed at international, European and world Tae Kwon Do championships.

“Our goal at the Lifetime Family Martial Arts classes is to help our students learn and bring out the best in themselves mentally and physically,” Ian Donnelly told the Algarve Resident.

Ian Donnelly performing a high kick for students.
Ian Donnelly performing a high kick for students.

“We practice the original Korean art of ITF Tae Kwon Do. This is the original form of Tae Kwon Do that should not be confused with imitators,” he added.

Students are taught using modern methods, however, in a very traditional form by always addressing the instructor by the name “Sir”, bowing for opponents and showing the top most respect at all times.

“I am a very laid back person and classes are very motivational and encouraging. It’s important to show students praise and for them to understand the importance of supporting each other, even with simple high-five gestures following an accomplishment,” said Ian.

“However, I also believe respect is massively important and we bring great focus to that in our lessons.”

Tae Kwon Do Korean Karate, Fitness Kickboxing and Minimal Engagement Self Defence (MESD) are lessons available for all ages with Lifetime Family Martial Arts.  

All classes aim to teach the importance of teamwork, respect, self confidence, co-ordination and courtesy, while also presenting the opportunity for participants to meet new friends, widening their personal social group.

Although Ian works on a non-profit basis, members are asked to pay a €35 monthly fee to help cover rental payments and equipment requirements.

This membership fee allows students to enjoy two classes per week each month and attend special events provided by the Lifetime Family Martial Arts club regularly.

Currently the group consists of 15 students from Albufeira and 10 students in Almancil who are all of a varied age group and of different nationalities.

Following only four months of preparation, seven students recently successfully tested for their yellow belt. Our goal is to help our students learn and bring out the best in themselves mentally and physically.

On February 25, a women’s self-defence course will be held followed by an event on March 31 when the club will also be hosting a workshop with Tae Kwon Do Dan Master, Frank Murphy.

Irishman Frank Murphy is a 7th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, public speaker, author, renowned Black Belt Examiner, founder of the system Kaizendo Fitness and qualified Tai Chi Instructor, who is considered one of Martial Arts most forward thinking educators.

The workshop with Frank Murphy will be free to members and open to the public at a small fee.

Upcoming events with other Tae Kwon Do Masters and World Champions are currently being scheduled for the remainder of this year.

Regular training sessions take place up to three times a week.

In Albufeira, the group meets at a studio, just 400 meters south of the Bull Ring roundabout, and lessons in Almancil take place at the Villa and Vacations Tennis Centre on the road between Almancil and Vale do Lobo.

For more information please contact instructor Ian Donnelly on 912 149 881 or email [email protected]

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