Nato makes Italian connection to expand his training empire

NEW VENTURES: Nato Ficarra.
NEW VENTURES: Nato Ficarra.

Nato Ficarra is to expand his growing number of schools into Europe after announcing plans to create two new clubs in Italy.

As of next month, the three-times European full-contact karate champion will open up the doors to a school in Rome.

A month after opening up his club in the Italian capital, the Newmarket-based fighter will launch his second club in Milan.

“I have had the idea of setting up clubs in Europe for around the past three years now,” said Ficarra.

“It was around the end of September early October last year that I decided to try and make a go of it in Italy as it’s where I won my first European title, while a lot of my family come from there.

“Being given the opportunity to make this happen is very exciting.”

To start with, each class will run on a monthly basis, with sessions lasting three hours at a time.

However, Ficarra, who teaches martial arts to more than 700 pupils across East Anglia, has suggested that should the classes be a hit it could result in them becoming more frequent.

“The initial feedback I have received has been good, with 92 signed up for the Rome club and 101 for Milan,” said Ficarra.

“By teaching the classes in three hour sessions it means that those attending will get three weeks worth of lessons in one hit.

“If it all goes well then I would consider increasing the sessions in Italy from one to two per month.”

While most of Ficarra’s attention for the time being is being taken up by his Italian venture, the father of two has also revealed that he is still aiming to set up a club in Newmarket at some point in 2013.

“Now I am based in the Newmarket area I can now properly look into setting up a club there which would cater for both adults and children,” said Ficarra. “The main thing I need to do before this can happen though is find a suitable venue.”