Martial Arts Professor to launch local Association By Clyde Pestano
Stabroek News
March 12, 2003

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Martial Arts Professor Christopher Francis (SOKE) who has black belts in twelve different forms of the sport is in Guyana to launch the Guyana Black Hawks Martial Arts Association.

The launching is set for Friday at the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School at 3.30 pm.

The 45-year-old professor has 38 years of experience in the martial arts field. A native of Trinidad & Tobago, Francis is accompanied by one of his countrymen 21-year-old Sensi, Earl Griffith, who won gold at the last martial arts championships. Griffith is also a 17-time winner at the national championships in Trinidad & Tobago and a 14-time winner at the Caribbean championships.

He is here to assist Francis with the launch of the Guyana Association, whose offices are located at 545 Durani Street, Tucville, Georgetown.

The local instructors are Trevor Smith and Garfield Newton. Francis disclosed that the main thrust of the association would be to develop a working relationship with the ministries of education and youth and sport, to develop a comprehensive programme starting with schools and youth clubs in the Georgetown area.

The programme, according to Francis, is an exchange one and sports scholarships will be awarded each year to three successful students who excel at the conclusion of the local schools programme.

The professor revealed that this programme has already been introduced in five other Caribbean countries namely, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica and Suriname and it has been very successful with several young people emerging as world champions in their divisions.

Francis mentioned that Youth Culture & Sports Minister Gail Teixeira and Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Keith Booker, have been invited along with Education Minister Henry Jeffrey, Chief Education Officer Ed Caesar (CEO) as well as principals of schools located in Georgetown.

The business community, school children and the public are also welcome.

At the launching, the professor has promised to have exciting demonstrations done both by himself and Sensi Griffith.

He disclosed that they want to work along with the youths since they are the future. He argued that martial arts instills discipline and other positive character traits, which young people need especially when they are exposed to violence almost everyday.

He also said that he is extending an invitation to all the local martial arts organizations to be a part of the proceedings.

Francis disclosed that his brother Professor Wayne Lewis is the personal bodyguard of popular star of Walker Texas Rangers Chuck Norris.

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