LAST year proved to be a great one for the sports of Thai kickboxing and mixed martial arts in the area.

Russ Williams opened his new gym on Abbot Street in Wrexham to run alongside his gym in Caerwys and his classes at Ruthin and Corwen leisure centres.

Despite bad weather, 2010 has started well with Russ putting on classes to meet the demand of new members looking to train in a self defence / fitness system, which is easy to learn and suitable for beginners.

A former undisputed world kickboxing champion, Russ was the first person in Wales to teach and promote the sport.

“Thai boxing is an excellent way to keep fit, lose weight, tone your body and also learn good effective self defence techniques,” he said.

“Most people just train for these reasons but there is the possibility to take the sport further through grading, instructor training courses and competition for those that wish to.

“We’ve had around 200 students taken gradings at my centre in Wrexham since it opened just over a year ago, ranging in age from four to 58.

“I have people travelling to train with us from as far afield as Dolgellau, Llandudno, Birkenhead and regulars from Llandrindod Wells - a 140-mile round trip.”

Over the last year Russ also started putting on fight nights at Liquid in Wrexham to give local fighters some experience.

These shows have attracted attendances in excess of 1,000 people, and the next is scheduled for March 14 at Liquid.

Russ says he enjoys promoting a variety of martial artists from different clubs as well as his own and anyone interested in competing can get in touch with him on 07814 516102 and he’ll do his best to get them matched.

Everyone is welcome at his Caerwys and Wrexham gyms to try the sport for themselves, or to go to his other instructors who have classes in Corwen and Ruthin.

Further details: