Contributed to Hoʻoulu by Rob Weltman
Treasurer, UHMC Student Martial Arts Club
Last year, three UH Maui College students realized there was something missing from the club offerings on campus: An opportunity for everyone to learn or enhance their martial arts skills. So, in the spring of 2017, those three students—Rob Weltman, Chaz Crouse and Mitchell Johnsen—teamed up with UH Maui College math instructor Tom Blamey to create the Student Martial Arts Club at UH Maui College. Among them, they have decades of training in taekwondo, Jiu Jitsu, Wing Chun and other martial arts.
Blamey was the initial faculty advisor of the club; he was joined this year by Christi Robell. Blamey, Robell and Weltman have all trained in traditional taekwondo—a Korean martial art based on karate—for many years and have high black belts. Crouse instructs in Wing Chun, a Chinese close-range martial art. Andrew Rose and Russel Dalida round out the club leadership.
The club offers free workouts every week on the Great Lawn near the banyan tree. This is an opportunity for students, faculty and the community to take the first steps toward achieving the benefits of martial arts training—or to deepen and broaden their skills if they are not new to martial arts.
For the Spring 2018 semester, classes are held from 3-4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. A typical class includes stretching, basic exercises (blocking, punching and kicking), self-defense techniques and forms/kata. And it’s far more than an extracurricular activity: Martial arts is unique in that it strives to provide both mental and physical training, while building self-confidence to face any situation.
Last fall, the club invited San Diego-based master self-defense instructor John Ramos to UH Maui College to lead a seminar on how to avoid and handle dangerous situations for beginners. A second seminar will be held on Thursday, Feb. 22, from 5-7 p.m. on the Great Lawn. This year’s seminar will cover avoidance, mitigation and self-defense for common situations. Everyone is welcome to attend; bring your family, friends and classmates. The seminar is free, but a donation of $10-$25 would help the club acquire more training equipment.
For more information about the upcoming seminar, contact Blamey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Weltman at email@example.com. To learn more about the UHMC Student Martial Arts Club, visit www.facebook.com/Student-Martial-Arts-Club-at-UHMC-225076104640721.