Opening night at Coleraine's oldest and newest martial arts club

WORLD-renowned martial arts teacher, Jeffrey Balmer from Coleraine, will be guiding the new club's teacher Steven McCurdy at Unit 3 in the Loughanhill Industrial Estate.

Steven is a student of Otake Sensei, a ‘National Treasure’ in the world of martial arts and Head Teacher of Japan’s only Samurai art recorded as a Cultural Asset of the Japanese Nation.

Steven has been training as a child at the Japanese Cultural Centre in Ballymoney and has trained over 20 times in Japan.

The first club to open was in Ferryquay Street in the sixties, however Jeffrey Balmer’s skills were sought after across the globe with him just recently returning from near the North Pole where, in temperatures of -48, he was teaching the indigenous Sami people.

Jeffrey has taught groups from the FBI to the Guardian Angles and the Egyptian Army just prior to the Gulf War, where he had to take an emergency flight out of the area he was teaching as Iraq invaded.

Last year he took a solo trip into the heart of the Borneo jungle, which was covered by a documentary camera crew who are taking the next few years to document this man’s vast life experience.

Jeffrey and Steven are the only people in Ireland north or south authorised by Otake Sensei to teach the ancient Samurai art of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu and of only five people in Europe.

For more information on the new club email: [email protected]