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Gambia Martial Arts & Self Defense Academy Launch

May 21, 2009, 8:29 AM

The GambiaMartial Arts & SelfDefenseAcademy under the coordination of Mr. Yorro Njie held its three days Martial Arts promotion from the 15th-17th May 2009, at the Buffer Zone. This was in a form of exhibition, grading of belts and training course for Taekwondo, Karate and Viet Vo Dao.

The programme brought together about 50 students from Kaolack, St. Louis and Post Kerr Ayib in Senegal. The Team from St. Louis was led by Master Khally Faal (3 Dan) and the team from Kaolack was led by Master Abdul Azziz Njie (3 Dan).

The grading was officiated by the masters from Senegal for Taekwondo and Viet Vo Dao and promotional certificates were awarded to the students that successfully passed the technical exams. The grading was conducted in the B.O Semega Janneh Hall.

The participant spent a three day long active programme.

The Academy was launched and opened by Master Abdul Azziz Njie (3 Dan) on behalf of his grand master Dam Seck (5 Dan) from Senegal, who was not able to attend the programme due to the delivery of his wife.

Some important dignitaries who also joined in this official launching of the first GambiaMartialArtsAcademy were Commandant Secka who deputised for CDS Lang Tombong, and the Executive Secretary National Sports Council.

The programme was one of its kind in The Gambia as the Buffer Zone was filled to capacity that people had to climb the fences to watch the Senegambian Martial artist perform. The students' parents and families were there to cheer up their young participants.

According to Yerro Njie, coordinator, "the academy was formed on 6th May 2008, by some internationally reputed Gambians some of whom spent their whole lives training in Senegal. This was formed with the sole purpose of developing the sport of Martial arts in The Gambia and has since been actively pursuing its goals."

"Their enthusiasm to share, coupled with our desire to execute our civic responsibilities, prompted them to form this academy. They have been able to manage with the little resources bestowed on them to wholeheartedly see to the development of Martial arts sport over the past months," he explained.

He pointed out that the Academy aims to maintain high standards for all students and instructors in order to preserve traditional beliefs that the student's rank is earned through strength of character as well as a challenging physical and mental test, rather than received by just attending class over a period of time.

It is to empower students to become versatile and well rounded, open minded, and excellent martial art technicians in the quickest most efficient way -motivated, educated and inspired to train for health and happiness.

He also promised that this would be among series of promotional activities of Martial Arts sports in The Gambia and work with all the development oriented Martial Arts National Federations/Associations to realise their goals.

He advised Masters to reform their clubs into Academies as he has paved the way through for the development of this game. This, he believes is the only way that The Gambia could excel at international competitions.

Master Khally Faal, 3 Dan from St. Louis, announces the invitation of the Academy in their International Summer Camp to be held in St. Louis. The importance of that camp will give the young boys and girls the chance to meet friends and learn new techniques and experiences. The camp in slated for August 2009.

The programme ended with a training course conducted by Sensei Njie Jobe at the B.O Semega Janneh Hall on the 17th May 2009.