The gym which is based in King Street in the heart of Blyth, has gone from strength to strength in recent years under the dedicated eye of Blyth lad Tony Cunningham and is a true family and community success story.
Wife Carole is also at the heart of the gym “ensuring that the cogs keep turning and the boys tow the line” and all of the couple’s 3 kids, Holly, Reade and Grayson are immersed in the gym too, already forging their own paths in martial arts.
It’s a close-knit gym, where it’s clear that everyone considers each other to be family whether related or not, but this isn’t to the exclusion of new faces. The regulars also provide a welcoming environment for all members of the community, with classes and arms open to everyone!
Nurturing Young Talent
Tony, who has trained in Thai boxing and kickboxing since he was 7 years old and has over 20 years of competitive experience fighting the best in the world- has chosen in recent years to focus on raising his young family and nurturing the gym’s many young champions, as a professional instructor. Not only do the young people who come up through Millennium Martial Arts enjoy great successes in their chosen fight sports but they are also being given the focus and responsibility to develop into the most promising of young individuals; through passing on what they have learned to the younger kids as coaches and acting as fully-functioning members of the Millennium team.
This was proved beyond any question on Saturday night as Tony, Carole and the lads put on an exceptional Home Show, welcoming fellow kickboxing leaders from around the world into Blyth and onto a professionally produced and well-executed show, receiving excellent feedback from all of the other gyms involved, as well as the 250-strong audience.
The night started with 14-year old fighter and junior coach Liam Bowmaker winning his fight for Millennium against John Hamilton and ended on an overwhelming high as Millennium’s 21 year-old Connor Long was announced the winner of the main event. In between, Millennium’s Tom Mitchell and Kyle Todd were among the fighters including Romanian legend Andrei Ostravanu, who put on an exceptional show to a supportive and harmonious crowd.
The event was also the first joining-of-forces between Millennium Martial Arts and Blyth-based Punch-Drunk Comedy, as TV’s Live at the Apollo regular Andrew Maxwell was brought in to expertly and hilariously host the night, which was described by many as “second to none.”
Punch-Drunk said “at a time when we are working hard to dispel the myth that there is nothing of value going on in Blyth, this event brought a gym which is helping countless kids to develop into well-rounded, confident and professional young adults; together with countless local businesses, gyms from all over the country and fighters from all over the world. They are truly a Blyth organisation to be proud of and one that will continue to do ever-increasingly great things.
Putting Blyth on the Map
Connor Long’s professional K1 Kickboxing career is going from strength to strength as he now starts preparing for his next fight, a much-anticipated title bout against Shamsul ‘Black Magic’ Haque on February 6th in Fight Fest Championships #12 at Bedlington Social Club.
Excitement is running high for this event, which will also see the return to the ring of the boys’ mentor as Tony takes on New Zealand’s Wiremu “The Thunder From Down Under” Comp in his first fight in over 8 years!
And as if that show wasn’t already big enough, it will also see the return to the ring of another local legend and former Kickboxing World Champion Kev Smiles! No surprise then, that Millennium alone sold out 300 tickets to this event in under 24 hours!
In a time when it has been known to be said that there is nothing going on in Blyth, the Millennium boys and girls are proving that to be a myth! Watch this space, they’re going to do great things!