Cage fighters in tights and tutus

By Alan Bunce
July 28, 2010

Cage fighters swapped grappling for glissades when they donned tights and tutus in aid of charity.

Gods of War Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) showed off moves that would have made dancer Rudolph Nureyev weak at the knees as they had a go at pliés, pirouettes and jetés in aid of Help for Heroes.

The fearless team of fighting professionals slipped on their best pink ballet clothing – and their fighting mitts – for a workout under the guidance of instructor Nicola Jenkins.

Instead of tearing one another apart, they were performing poses and exercising at the barre to a small but admiring audience at David Lloyd gym in Thames Valley Park.

Troops, based at Arborfield and Farnborough, regularly train with the Gods of War fighters and, through knowing them, the team wanted to raise money for the forces’ charity.

Team coach and instructor Philip Else said: “We always considered it to be a mental strength going into the cage but when you hear these guys’ stories it really puts it into perspective.”

They did some small fundraising events but wanted a bigger idea when one member mentioned his partner was Nicola Jenkins, who ran her own dance school.

Ballet, said Mr Else, provided the perfect contrast to MMA, but was still difficult.

He said: “The tights were surprisingly comfortable and the ballet was surprisingly hard. The interesting thing was that Nicola was very good – and a little bit scary actually.”

Their efforts have so far raised more than £1,700 through sponsorship and they expect to be putting a video up on YouTube soon.

More fundraising is planned and Mr Else admitted all the members kept their tights and tutus.

Donations can still be made at www.justgiving.com/mmamenintightsandtutus.

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