World champion pays visit to St Leonards

Ed Lofts, Paul Bridges and Michael Page at the Fitness Loft

Ed Lofts, Paul Bridges and Michael Page at the Fitness Loft

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World champion martial artist Michael ‘Venom’ Page was back in St Leonards last weekend to teach a kickboxing seminar.

The rising star of mixed martial arts, who fights under the Bellator promotion, taught at the Fitness Loft in Sedlescombe Road North.

And as an added bonus, he took part in the Gracie Barra self-defence Jiu Jitsu class run by Paul Bridges and Ali Bayley, of the Dark Star academy.

Ed Lofts, who owns the Fitness Loft and is also a six-times world kickboxing champion, said it was a great honour for his students to have the chance to train with Page.

“MVP and I have trained together for over 20 years in Lau Gar kickboxing and Michael has caught the eye of everyone who sees him fight," he said. “He’s an amazing ambassador for the martial arts and never stops learning, which is very inspiring.”

Dark Star’s Bridges also paid tribute to Page’s willingness to share ideas and techniques.

"He is a true martial artist and always eager to learn," he said. "It was great to share the mat with someone of his ability – a real athlete and definite rising star.”

The timing was also perfect for Bridges as he is due to fight today (Saturday) at the Polaris 4 professional Jiu Jitsu tournament in Poole.

The 41-year-old is taking on Jeff Lawson, a hugely respected mixed martial artist, who was on series nine of The Ultimate Fighter.

Also appearing on a packed card that features some of the sport's biggest names is Dillon Danis, the training partner of UFC mega star Conor McGregor.

"It’s great to have the opportunity to appear on what is arguably the number one grappling show on earth," he said. "Some people might feel I’m crazy taking such a big match on just two weeks' notice, but when opportunity comes knocking, I believe in grasping it with both hands.”

Michael Page, whose unorthodox style of fighting with his hands by his sides, has caught attention in the fiercely competitive MMA world.

He is unbeaten in his 11-fight professional MMA career, with his most recent victory coming in July when he knocked out Evangelista Santos with a flying knee.

His next scheduled appearance in the cage is at the end of next month when he takes on Fernando Gonzalez in California.

You can get further information about the Fitness Loft on 07720 318067 (www.fitnesslofts.com) and about Dark Star Jiu Jitsu on 07967 659867.

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