20 years of Kickboxing

Thursday, December 15, 2016, 20:06

Gavin Muscat

This time 20 years ago the Ying Yang Kickboxing club under the guidance of Master Noel Mercieca opened its doors to the first students to learn the discipline of Kickboxig.

From a school’s hall to an official club in Fgura Ying Yang Kickboxing has become one of the most prominent and largest club in Malta with 150 students. The age of the athletes varies between five to 55 years and all training under Master Noel Mercieca and 25 Black Belt. From the club emerged athletes that compete in professional level also in the disciplines of kickboxing, K1 and Boxing.

The first international title was in 1999 when Ruth Tanti won the gold medal in international WKA championships held in Malta. She won her final match in the first round and thus bring honour for the club and for Malta.

In 2007 Ying Yang Kickboxing became the first Maltese club to join the World Kickboxing Network (WKN) which led to many opportunities for Maltese athletes from different clubs to represent Malta in international matches. The first match was in the hands of Ruben “the Wolf” Azzopardi in Turin.

From the club emerged also the first Maltese Kickboxing athlete who fought on the professional level. In a short period Daniel “the Jet” Zahra won numerous matches and Title Belts in Kickboxing, K1 and Savate. Zahra was also the first Maltese Kickboxer who took part in a competition which was broadcasted live on Eurosport and also competed in Japan.

On more tha one occassion Master Noel Mercieca organized training sessions with world-renown athletes. Among them was Osman Yigin, Stephane Cabrera, Fabio Siciliani and Ernesto Hoost. He also worked to increase the Malta Kickboxing competitions especially the Gladiators Night events and the first World Cup of WKN.

The Ying Yang Kickboxng closed 2016 with two major victories in Sicily. Keith “the Speed” Azzopardi won with a KO in the first round and Clayton Desira won by points.

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