How and why the Cobra 'Freestyle' or Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Concept was developed
The Cobra Martial Arts and Fitness Centres founders are the brothers, Kyoshi Craig Monie and Sensei Aubrey Monie, who began martial arts training as children in the 1980's. They have studied and achieved varying black belt / levels in five different martial arts styles, being Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Freestyle Kickboxing and Filipino Eskrima.
In 1991, in response to the requests of the local community, Sensei Craig established the school with the assistance of his brother. Cobra was an instant hit in the local community for a number of reasons explained below and grew rapidly to an academy of hundreds of students over multiple locations.
What became evident to the founding instructors very early in their own training, was that each individual form of martial art and combat had areas of strength and weakness. For instance boxing is excellent for handwork but weak in grappling (close range holding, trapping and controlling), knees, elbows, kicks, take-downs and wrestling. Taekwondo teaches amazing high kicks, but often neglects the more practical kicks to the groin, legs, grappling, take-downs and wrestling. As a matter-a-fact, if you analyse most 'individual' martial art styles, you will find strengths and weaknesses.
Being qualified in a number of different martial arts styles, the founders combined them into the one, more complete system. They combined the superior handwork of boxing with the spectacular kicks of Taekwondo and Karate, the powerful low kicks and grappling of Muay Thai Kickboxing, the take-downs and wrestling of Jiu Jitsu and the weapon self defence of Filipino Eskrima (also known as Arnis or Kali).
Cobra Martial Arts consequently absorbed the strengths of each art into its curriculum and eliminated the weaknesses of each 'individual' art, creating a complete, all-round, practical, quick-to-learn martial arts system.
The mixed martial arts or freestyle concept is nothing new. Bruce Lee's martial arts system Jeet Kune Do was a mixed martial arts system also and in recent years, particularly after the advent of 'all style' competitions such as UFC in 1993, the martial arts industry began to wise up to the mixed martial arts or blended style concept. At Cobra Martial Arts and Fitness Centres we have been doing this all along, since founded in 1991.
One difference between the Mixed Martial Arts you see on TV and what we teach at Cobra Martial Arts and Fitness Centres is that Cobra has retained the traditional values, teachings and structure, from the traditional martial arts (e.g. Karate and Taekwondo), such as respect, discipline and integrity. We also teach you in a safe, family friendly, non-competitive environment, suitable for all ages and abilities.
We must say however, after answering enquiries for three decades years, we have realised that when it comes to Children's Martial Arts, most parents are not so concerned about what 'style' of martial arts we teach, but are more interested in how Cobra will positively influence the lives of their children and lead them along a good path to a healthy and rewarding future. On a daily basis, parents request assistance for their children in areas such as self confidence, (self) discipline, respect for elders, balance and coordination, focus and attention, bullying and they want positive role models for their children. These teachings have become an important part of our curriculum over the years and is why parents who trained with us as children, now bring their own children to our academies.
New enquiries and new students also report on a daily basis, that they have heard positive reports in the community about Cobra Martial Arts and Fitness Centres, how we have helped their friends or friend's children, and how we instill life changing values, good character and leadership skills in our students. For many, all they want is that guarantee and reassurance before booking their trial.