(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Mon 29 May 2023, 7:17 PM
The UAE's largest martial arts organisation has opened a new dojo in Abu Dhabi to support children's character development.
The Warrior Academy, with its first location in Dubai's Al Quoz, has launched a world-class facility at Al Wahda Mall in the Capital.
Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who attended the opening ceremony, noted that Abu Dhabi has always embraced the growth of education and sport.
“It is important to nurture children's development to become well-rounded citizens of the future, and the Warrior Academy creates a world class platform through martial arts that is set to inspire thousands of children to achieve their goals around the world. I'm honoured to be here to mark the opening of the only specialist character development centre in Abu Dhabi,” he said.
Initially, the academy was started in the UK in 2011. In Dubai, the academy trains nearly 1,000 children a week using a unique 'the Warrior Method' focused on confidence, conduct and concentration. The training is offered by a team of world-class professionals, including national, European and world champions, and personal trainers.
Academy founder Sebastian Bates pointed out that the launch of the Abu Dhabi facility was a result of demand from parents.
“We had so many parents reaching out to us to encourage us to open in Abu Dhabi, and so this was a natural step forward for us to be able to bring the organisation to the capital,” said Bates, who is also an author, a former professional fighter, extreme sports athlete and philanthropist.
According to the academy, more than 80 per cent of children report an increase in confidence within a year of joining the facility.
“We're incredibly proud of the impact the Warrior Academy is having on children's lives. This is much more than a martial arts academy. Through our small class approach and the methods taught, we're able to rapidly increase a child's confidence, conduct and concentration, so that they develop a black belt mindset, and go on to live a happy and compelling life as an adult,” Bates noted. Tackling bullying
At the academy, the instructors practice taekwondo, which can have a significant impact on a child's character development, helping them to build confidence, discipline, and focus.
Bates is also passionate about putting an end to the cycle of bullying, following his own experiences as a child, and helping young people through the academy.
“Bullying is not a single event, but a transition. It's a transition that carries with it the potential for huge growth with the right mentoring. It is through this approach, that I hope the Warrior Academy will continue to help children, and we could not be more excited to be welcoming students to our dojo in Abu Dhabi,” Bates added.
There are plans afoot to expand the operation across a further nine cities in the GCC over the next three years.
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