Carrie Cann swapped beauty therapy for Bruce Lee martial arts career

Carrie Cann (centre) with Cass Magda and Guro El

Carrie Cann (centre) with Cass Magda and Guro El

A former beauty therapist has turned her obsession with a martial art form developed by Bruce Lee into a thriving business.

High kicking expert Carrie Cann, Newport, traded in her career in the beauty industry last year to devote herself full-time to sharing her decade long love affair with Chinese, Indonesian, and Filipino martial arts.

The 33-year-old, black belt, mum-of-two even travelled to Los Angeles in January to train in self-defence with other top female martial arts instructors from all over America.

While in LA, she met and trained with her renowned instructors Guro El and her husband Cass Magda, who have strong connections to one of the world’s most famous martial artists of all time - Bruce Lee.

“I trained with Cass Magda whose instructor is Dan Inosanco, a student of Bruce Lee,” explained Ms Cann.

“We spent 12 to 13 hours a day in the gym for five days and I had private lessons with Cass Magda. It was quite an experience.”

Since her trip to LA, Ms Cann has used her experience to develop a specific self-defence course, which she is teaching in local schools.

Back at base, Impact Martial Arts at the Paddock, Westport, Ms Cann teaches children, teenagers, and adults a combination of jeet kune do, a Chinese martial art form developed by Bruce Lee, kali escrina, a Fillipino weapon art, and silat, an Idonesian art form.

Ms Cann got hooked on martial arts 12 years ago.

“I was 21 and I’d just returned from travelling,” she explained. “I had put on a bit of weight and I tried a few different exercise classes with my friends but I found them mundane and boring.”

When a friend told her about his martial arts training, she went along to see if it was for her.

“I’d always wanted to do martial arts ever since I saw The Karate Kid,” she said.

This initial class quickly turned into an obsession. “Within four months, I was training five days a week. If I couldn’t get to a class I’d be in a panic in case I missed out on learning a new move or something.”

Four years later, she picked up a black belt and became an instructor.

Martial arts has even led to love for Ms Cann as she met her partner Richard Jahn through the sport.

Mr Jahn is now in business with Ms Cann, teaching Brazilian jiu jitzu and mixed martial arts (MMA ) at the Impact studio. MMA has exploded in popularity here in recent years in tandem with a growing interest in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

For more information on Impact Martial Arts, contact (083 ) 3486761 or email [email protected].

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