The first ever Festival of Martial Arts and Combat Sports was held at the Praça da República square in Tavira on Thursday, 27 June. The event brought together around a hundred athletes and instructors representing a variety of arts and styles – all based in and around Tavira – who made the most of the opportunity to showcase their skills for the large audience that had assembled to watch.
As the sun gently set, the evening began with a high-energy performance of the Brazilian art of Capoeira. This was followed by a demonstration of the Mugairyu Iaido, a Japanese sword art hailing from the island of Okinawa. Next up was the first appearance of the Academia Kombate Fácil, which provided a comprehensive introduction to the highly renowned style of Shotokan Karate.
One traditional Japanese art gave way to another, as Tavira Ju-Jitsu Club made its entrance and presented a broad selection of its numerous intricate and effective techniques.
The kickboxing division of Kombate Fácil then took to the mats to show off some of the training drills that distinguish this high-octane style. It was then time for a demonstration of Philippino Martial Arts, which featured examples of how everyday items can become lethal weapons in highly trained hands. To round off the evening, the fighters of Boxe Arte demonstrated the drills and hard work required to become a skilled boxer.
The organisers would like to thank Tavira Municipal Council for its continued support and commitment. They would also like to recognise everyone who contributed to staging this trail-blazing event, including and in particular José Manuel Guerreiro, Sports Councillor from Tavira Municipal Council, Jorge Vicente, Miguel Pires, Elsa Martins, Domingos Ramalho and Isabel Afonso, as well as Sr. Jorge from the Sports Division.
Of course, it would not have been possible to organise and hold the inaugural Martial Arts and Combat Sports night in Tavira without the participation of the local clubs, whose students and teachers selflessly devoted their time and effort to preparing and staging a series of fascinating and often complex demonstrations. The arts and styles represented were: Capoeira, led by Master Ricardo Castro; Mugairyu Iaido, led by Sensei Jon Berry; Shotokan Karate, led by Sensei Jose Mauricio Correia; Kickboxing, led by Master Walter Martins; Ju-Jitsu led by Shihan Helder Nunes; FMA led by Instructor Miro Zajic; and Boxing, led by Trainer Iria Santos.
Finally, the organisers would like to thank Dr. Custodio Moreno, Regional Director of IPDJ (The Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth) who was present in Tavira to lend his support to this exceptional event and to highlight the commitment of IPDJ to supporting initiatives that promote sports, friendship and community.