A FIELD in Renton may seem a long way from the training grounds used by elite US Navy SEALs – but if the business partners behind a local martial arts school have their way, it’s a gap that could become a little narrower in the months and years to come.

After Drew MacEoghainn and Frankie Hoey from the Makoto 88 martial arts school were forced to shrink their classes at their Renton dojo, they hit upon the idea of giving a new lease of life to the site of the former Millburn sandstone quarry – and giving their pupils somewhere very different to train.

Drew said: “Unfortunately in martial arts there is no opportunity for the kids to social distance, and at the end of the day the children are our priority.”

“I bought that land because they were going to use it as a dump, but it has a waterfall on it. It is one of the few waterfalls in West Dunbartonshire.

“The land has been sitting there waiting for me to decide what I wanted to do with it, and now the perfect opportunity has arrived.”

Frankie, who has first-hand experience of the gruelling obstacle courses used by the US Navy’s Sea, Air and Land teams – SEALs for short – and Drew want to use the land to provide challenges for people of all abilities, as well as providing a new learning environment for their students of the martial arts of aikido and koopu jutsu.

Drew continued: “We are looking to build two assault courses in the area. We would have an advanced course and a smaller course for beginners and kids to take on.

“The assault course will be suited to the individual. They can set their own times or ask one of us to time them.

“It will help them train the right parts of the body to build up the strength, muscle and endurance whilst experiencing something unique.

“It will also have a matted area in the middle for martial arts and that’s something we can take people from the club to when the weather is decent.”

Drew says the site, which he has owned for many years, could be up and running before its completion date next summer.

He said: “If we get some big demand then it won’t be an issue to devote a lot of time to it and get it up and running really quickly.

“Navy SEAL stuff is rough and ready so it shouldn’t be that difficult to assemble the course and obstacles.”

“If we get it up and running in time for next summer then we can take loads of kids.

“It’s the perfect site as it’s enclosed and the only way in or out is the gate so it’s very secure. Once a kid is in there then they are safe.

“The hope for the end result would be to have a space available for a campfire in the colder weather for families to have hot chocolate for a full outdoor experience.”

If there proves to be enough local interest, the pair want to run competitions along with free classes for schools and charities to learn koopo jutsu techniques.

To follow the progress of the site visit Makoto88.co.uk.