Martial art expert leads free workshop for youngsters

Ian Williams painting supervisor Cliff Witcher, fourth from right, with youngsters from Loves Farm y

Ian Williams painting supervisor Cliff Witcher, fourth from right, with youngsters from Loves Farm youth club. - Credit: Archant

Children in St Neots benefited from a free workshop from a martial arts expert.

Maintenance company Ian Williams treated young tenants of housing association BPHA to a workshop at Love’s Farm last week, where they learned basic self-defence techniques from Cliff Witcher.

By day, Cliff works on the company’s contract with BPHA but, in his spare time, he is a martial arts expert who holds seven black belts in seven different disciplines.

He said: “I started off in judo, and was fighting for England in the national schoolboy team by the age of 18. I now hold seven black belts in seven different martial arts, and have been a member of the USA black belt Hall of Fame for the past 10 years.”

Cliff’s main art is jiu jitsu, and he teaches classes for all ages in and around Bedford and St Neots, as well as throughout Europe and the USA.

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Of last week’s session, he said: “The weather was a bit damp, which was a shame, but the children all did absolutely brilliantly and seemed to enjoy themselves.”

At the end of the workshop, the children were presented with a medal and certificate to mark their participation.

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Linda Whifield, BPHA community development officer, said: “I have worked with Ian Williams on previous community projects and was thrilled when they approached me with this idea.

“Love’s Farm youth club provide an excellent service for the young people of their community. I was delighted that I could put Ian Williams in contact with them so that the young people could take part in the workshop.”

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