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SURVIVING THE CRISIS: Students of British martial arts gym owner set up surprise GoFundMe to help him through Spain’s COVID-19 lockdown

MATRIX Martial Arts was opened in April 2018 and was the first dedicated martial arts school in Javea,” says Professor Steve Newman owner and head instructor of Matrix Martial Arts.

“We came to this beautiful town via a friend and fell in love with it. After coming to Javea just once we went home to Canada and made the decision to sell everything we owned – it was the best decision we ever made.

“When we opened in April we started out teaching children and adults, Kickboxing, MMA and Jiu-jitsu and the school was growing at a steady rate. We had reached a point where the adult Kickboxing was full as well as adult Jiu-Jitsu. Life was good!

Steve Newman

Steve Newman

Steve Newman had just been promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt before the crisis hit

“On Friday the 13th all our lives were to change forever, across the world. My wife and I thought, to begin with, that we could do a deep clean of the school, on top of our already rigorous cleaning schedule.

“It was soon made very clear that all sports were to be stopped immediately. That was us closed.

“After that, our income instantly plummeted to zero. As I’m not allowed in my school I decided to put some mats in my communal area inside my complex and record some videos to keep all my students active. And then new restrictions put a stop to that as well.

“But it’s during crises like these that something amazing can happen. Two very special students, Dennis and Markus, decided to set up a GoFundMe page and others have said they will pay their April training fees to keep the doors of Matrix open in these bad times.

“I had only just come back from visiting one of my instructors, Rafael Lovato Jnr, in Oklahoma city where I had been promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt.

“I only managed to teach for a week after my promotion before being closed down, so I can’t wait for this to be over and get back on the mats doing what I love.

“#Matrixstrong #Matrixfuerte. We will rebuild Matrix when this is over so watch this space. Nothing can keep us down for long.

“Stay strong and positive everyone. Spain will recover. Javea will recover. Matrix will recover.

“As it happens, we just got 500 euros in GoFundMe – that’s two anonymous donations of 500 each, very strange, someone loves us.”

Find out more about Steve Newman by visiting Matrix Martial Arts’ Facebook page here.

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