Coleman Combat aims to expand

Image courtesy Paul Coleman.

Image courtesy Paul Coleman.

When we last interviewed Paul Coleman in July, 2015, he was hoping to establish a brand new Kenpo club in Ringsend. One year on, and Coleman has not only achieved his objective, helping local children in the process, he’s now aiming to establish a greater foothold in the community, with new plans to expand.

With a full year in St. Patrick’s Boys National School under his black belt, Coleman is looking for a permanent base to stage his classes and house his equipment. In fact, it’s not really his. Coleman teaches the students to fundraise and buy their own kit then look after it, that way learning to value it more.

One item that requires fundraising of a larger scale is the collapsable training cage that has already been part-financed by the good people over at Aviva Stadium.

Coleman recently put in an application to the Poolbeg Incinerator Community Gain Fund to secure finance for a permanent headquarters, but was unsuccessful. Not one to throw the towel in, he’s putting in a new bid, this time for much-needed equipment like the aforementioned training cage, a minibus, mats and face masks.

The combat school has a strong anti-bullying ethos, and teaches students important lessons such as respecting and helping others. It also uniquely promotes the idea of children and parents training together to secure greater family unity. It has worked previously in underprivileged areas and helped disadvantaged teens from the Oliver Bond flats achieve focus in their lives and go on to compete and win world titles in the 2013 World All Styles Championships in Las Vegas.

Coleman is hoping to take a team of local competitors to the WAC games in Portugal next year. In addition, he has plans to create an exchange programme, where Irish students will regularly travel and compete in other countries, while their counterparts visit Dublin. In the meantime, classes continue weeknights in St. Patrick’s School.

By Paul O’Rourke