A BRAZILIAN martial arts club has taken a grip on Inverclyde.

Chris Carmichael of GF Team Scotland (Grappling Fight) runs sessions at the Port Glasgow Victoria Boxing Club in Chapelton Road.

He runs the club with his wife Gilda and has been teaching martial arts since 2005 and says training nights on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7.30 and 9pm are proving very popular.

Gilda, 29, said: “Chris previously fought in Thai and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) boxing.

“He is a black belt in judo and has just been awarded a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

“He is the only person in Inverclyde to do that, and only one of 20 in Scotland.”

Gilda, Chris and four other members spent time in Brazil training with the best in the world last year and this year they have sent two of their best members to complete seven weeks of tough training there.

Gilda said: “It is a martial art and combat sport created so that a smaller person can overcome a larger opponent by gaining superior positioning.”

The club has 30 adult members and 15 children who come along to sessions four times a week.

Gilda said: “It’s definitely a growing sport.

“Conor McGregor, the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) champion has made it cool for people and given it more recognition.”