Martial artists have a new home in the Cayman Islands.
Purple Dragon Martial Arts opened their new karate dojo at Mirco Centre in George Town last Saturday. Senseis Floyd Baptiste and Geddes Hislop welcomed dozens of supporters to observe a ribbon cutting, awards ceremony and demonstrations featuring black belts and weapons.
Baptiste states the opening of the dojo is about fostering youth development.
“It was about support for the work that is being done,” Baptiste said. “I’m very happy the kids have somewhere to go that’s a positive environment where they can be safe. Whether I’m there or not, there are instructors who are ready for the kids.”
Saturday’s opening was action-packed as the demonstrations showcased young and older black belts handling weapons like the nunchaku and the sai. Both senseis also staged a mock fight between two teams of martial artists, which ended up in a draw. A number of instructors, like Euclides ‘Beco’ Pitta and Leonard Lewis, were also present.
Hislop states the opening goes beyond sports and focuses on community togetherness.
“I think it turned out great,” Hislop said. “We had thought about it for some time as it would be nice to do it. We had our people go and run with it. We can properly develop staff here and we have a core home. It’s great to see the support and gives you a good focus because all of the hard work you have done is sticking.
“This is not just about kicks and punches, it’s about community spirit. There are still the same principles: work hard, sweat, support each other. We’re hoping new people join because everyone likes new things.”
For the record, Purple Dragon practices Don Jitsu Ryu karate and has two locations in George Town; the smaller dojo is on Crewe Road. Up next is black belt grading, taking place this weekend in Trinidad.