Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000


Modern Arnis is a Filipino martial art that helps people develop their self-confidence, stamina, endurance and become fitter. Through classes, students learn how to defend themselves, develop new skills and feel proud of their achievements. Modern Arnis London CIC is based in
Newham, one of the most deprived local authorities in England. We have taught more than 60 students between the ages of 5-60+ within the last three years. We have the capacity, and demand, to teach more people but we need additional training mats to do this in a safe environment.
Children from a deprived mostly BAME background get the opportunity to learn Modern Arnis for a small fee but they need your help. The fee only covers the current costs but it is not enough to invest in better equipment.
We run also female only classes, which is unique in Newham. Women get the opportunity to train in a safe environment, get fitter, become more confident through the taught techniques but also through their personal achievement.
For a safer training, proper training more mats are much needed to cover the whole floor and to avoid injuries.
Background of our work
London Borough of Newham is one of the most deprived local authorities in England. Child poverty is up to over 40%. More than 20% of all committed crimes in Newham are connected to Domestic Violence. More than 25% of children in year 6 (10-11 years old) are obese. The risk of developing heart diseases and/or diabetes 2 is much higher than in the rest of the UK.
Children, who attend the Modern Arnis classes, tackle all these problems. Another focus of the classes lies on respect and discipline, two necessary values for the children’s life. Bullying is not allowed at the classes. Children learn how to encourage other children rather than to blame each other. They all come from different cultural background and practise together. Respecting each other’s beliefs is essential for a peaceful diverse community.
Positive impact on students
Often women come without self-esteem, are scared of their own strength and feel helpless. Through the classes they can work on their self-image and become more confident.
Feedback from parents and students have given proof about the positive impact of the classes:
“Modern Arnis is an excellent form of fitness, self-defence and discipline” (mother of an 8 years old daughter attending the classes)
“The lessons are entertaining and fun, we learn a lot without even noticing because of how focused we are sometimes” (Boy 10 years old).
“I thought I cannot do anything, I have always been scared when leaving the house. Now, I know what to do and I feel so much better” (female student, 22 years old)
The head instructor
The classes are delivered by a passionate advanced Modern Arnis instructor with a background as social worker. The combination of these skills makes it possible to not only teach but also to work with families on their problems.
Dayang Uli, the instructor, has already been awarded by Newham Council as “Community Builder”, helping the Newham community to become a better place to live, to give the children a better perspective to live. Modern Arnis London CIC works closely with Manor Park Neighbourhood Community Team which values the work and the impact it has made on the community.
However, these children are used to train with the minimum of equipment. They grow up in poverty, they know they will never get the same chance as other more privileged children. Usually, women especially mothers, cut on their own costs and well-being. They are used to have the minimum. The mats would work on their empowerment how much more they are worth to get than just the minimum.
Modern Arnis London CIC wants to make a difference.
The classes contribute to work on a future in Newham, in which women are empowered, people respect each other, are fitter and grow up with the knowledge and experience they can achieve everything in their life when they put enough effort into it.

Project Video

Modern Arnis London - martial arts and self-defence CIC

Moment of Pride

I am proud of all my students because they work hard to change their living condition. They have a very positive inspiring attitude and never give up. The pride and joy of themselves and achievements gives me the drive to carry on. The project is orientated on their needs and not on money.

Location: London Borough of Newham, United Kingdom