Last Updated on Sunday, 26 February 2012 13:13
Written by Malta MMA News
Sunday, 26 February 2012 11:53
Interview with Noel Mercieca – President and Head Coach for the “Ying Yang Kickboxing Club”, located in Fgura, Malta
By Alexander Zammit
Master Noel Mercieca is a 5th Dan Black Belt in Kickboxing and Black Belt in several other martial art disciplines.
The Ying Yang Kickboxing club is around 100 strong. Multiple sessions in a variety of martial arts styles are held daily, Monday to Friday and several activities are organised regularly throughout the year on the weekends.
Visiting the Ying Yang club and covering the various events organised by this club has always been a pleasure. This is one club that runs like a well oiled machine; Master Mercieca runs a tight ship, with disciplined and hard working, happy members of all ages evident, whenever I visit.
The Ying Yang is also a very successful club both on the local and international scene and has produced National, European and World Champions over the past fifteen years. But what is most admirable about this club is the care and safety awareness that prevails in all training sessions and activities.
This time around I was visiting the Fgura, club along with Justin Mifsud, of Viking Media, to cover the introduction of MMA lessons (Mixed Martial Arts) to the club’s curriculum.
In this interview Noel Mercieca, talks about the humble beginnings of the club and how it evolved into the fully fledged modern martial arts club it is today. The success achieved by the members at local and international level. His pride that leading club member, Daniel “The Jet” Zahra, became the first home grown athlete to turn professional under the ‘World Kickboxing Network’ (WKN) banner and future plans for other club members to turn professional.
Talking about the introduction of MMA sessions; Noel explained that the ever growing popularity of Mixed Martial Arts as a sport cannot be ignored and that he was continuously receiving requests to introduce the sport to the club. In order to do this he had enlisted the services of Charlo Spiteri, a local MMA practitioner. From day one the sessions had been a success and this MMA class had already grown to around thirty students.
Following the interview with Noel Mercieca, it was Charlo’s turn to be interviewed, this unassuming young man explained about his introduction to MMA, his training in the UK and his training sessions with one of the world’s foremost exponents of MMA & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Roger Gracie, at the Roger Gracie Academy which is located in Kensington, London, England.