MMA just four blocks away

Under the watchful eye of instructor Geneva Depenning, couples' kickboxing at Branded MMA combines excersize and humanitarianism with the profits from the class going to the Kamloops Food Bank. PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIES

Mike Davies:  Roving Editor  Ω

Angela and Brad Olson have opened a new gym on Laval Crescent—Branded Mixed Martial Arts—just a few blocks from campus.

They’re developing an interesting series of programs and sessions while giving back to the Kamloops area.

Couples kickboxing classes, for example, are held every other Saturday and invite couples to get a workout together in a light-hearted, fun-first atmosphere.

Instructed by Geneva Depenning, couples warm up with stretches and cardio activities before really get into the kickboxing.

Have you ever wanted to take out a little aggression on the source of that aggression without getting in trouble for it? This is your chance.

It isn’t really violent—more a series of co-operative activities that are designed to improve couples’ strength and their relationships.

“It’s designed to give you a workout without you even realizing it,” said Angela between kicks of a heavy-bag being held by her man.

“And it’s a good workout, too,” she added, pointing out that when they’ve tracked the calorie burn of the participants of their classes, they were burning a similar amount of calories in a one-hour session as they would in about three hours on a treadmill, “and on a treadmill they wouldn’t be laughing the whole time, that’s for sure.”

While laughter and fun are the primary focus of the couples’ sessions, they also give back to the community. At $15 per person for an hour-and-a-half session with the proceeds going to the Kamloops Food Bank, participants not only benefit themselves, but also help with the hunger problem in B.C.’s interior.

Branded is also happily accepting donations of non-perishable food items and will deliver them to the food bank.

“We’re also starting up a Facebook group with a few other Kamloops businesses called FB for Food Bank,” said Angela after the class.

“We’re looking for local business to contribute money or items that can be auctioned off, and when 10,000 people ‘Like’ the Facebook group, it’ll all go to the food bank as well.”

The Olson’s are gearing up for their official grand opening party, which will take place on Monday, March 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We’ll be having a barbeque,” said Brad, “and people can come try out the gym for free and kick a few bags and see what we’re all about.”

For more information on what kinds of sessions are offered at Branded, or ways you can help them with their food bank efforts, call 250-377-0004 or look them up on Facebook.

Brendan Methot holds the bag for his girlfriend Shaunna Pawluk at the couples' kickboxing class put on by Branded MMA on Laval Crescent. PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIES