Kick boxing coach James Hourican is '˜really proud' of his female students

There's no stopping the ladies of Causeway Kick boxing Club.

At the start of September, the Club, based at Score FC, set up a ladies only session - Femme Fatale, in a bid to get more woman involved in the sport.

Three months on, and the sessions have become so popular that another one has been added, and a handful of the ladies have even gained their first kick boxing belts.

Instructor James Hourican was bursting with pride when we caught up with him and the ladies in a session last Wednesday morning.

James who was a member of the Irish Olympic team back in 2000, spoke about the benefits of the sport and the new classes.

“We practice many different forms of martial arts here - judo, MMA, kick boxing, taekwondo to name a few. Causeway Cross Fit also train in the Centre.

“We find that our members, who come from across the Causeway area, come to do one form of martial art, and end up doing two or three - that’s the benefit of this multi functional club.

“I actually started off doing taekwondo many years ago.

“I got interested in kick boxing and the rest they say is history - I even became the Northern Ireland champion.”

James, A Second Dan, is joined at the sessions by fellow coach, Angela Keys, who is a green belt in kick boxing.

“We could never have dreamed how well the Femme Fatale sessions took off.

“The ladies are so dedicated, they have improved beyond my expectations.

Anna Macaulay, who took up kick boxing in September, gained her white belt just before Christmas. She admitted that at the start she struggled to do a press up, “I’m now banging out full press ups and sit ups,” joked Anna.

“My overall fitness has improved immensely.

“I’m one of the older members, but age really doesn’t matter here, there is great camaraderie amongst the group, we have all become really good friends.”

James who carried out the grading back in December, says that the girls are working towards their second belts.

“A few of the girls were double graded back in December, that just shows how well they have come on.

“Double grading basically means they wear a white belt with a yellow tag - their skill levels are a little higher than those with the white belts.

James, who admitted being ‘close to tears’ on the day of the grading, told The Times: “The girls are all so passionate and focused.

“Many have even went ahead and bought their own equipment, they are so keen to learn.

“The sessions initially were set up two days a week, but the girls enjoyed it that much that we increased it to three days, from 9.30 to 11.00.

“I have noticed not only the fitness levels of those involved improving, but the confidence of some of the girls that came here in September has too.

“At the start they were standing with their heads down punching, now heads are up and shoulders are back - it’s a great feeling for me as a coach to see someone benefiting from a sport, that I have got so much out of.

“It’s great to be passing on the magic,” said coach Hourican.

Are you interested?

Then James says - ‘come along and take part’.

“I would encourage anyone who is even in the slightest bit interested to come along. The sessions focus on core strength, punching and kicking it’s a good high intensity work out. It’s not just about getting fit, it’s also about confidence and improving well being in general,” said the fitness fanatic.