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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Big, bad NE Martial Arts Club packs plenty of punchBy Diamond Mitchem reporter

By Diamond Mitchem/reporter

Members of the NE Martial Arts Club get together to learn about different martial arts techniques. The free club is open to all students and offers a different way to exercise.David Reid/The Collegian

The NE Martial Arts Club kicks fun up a notch incorporating various fighting styles in a friendly atmosphere.

“If you think the movies are fun, you should try getting involved in the actual martial arts,” said David Redenbaugh, the club’s public relations manager.

Even though martial arts are known as a discipline, the atmosphere is relaxed.

“It is kind of more a community more than one person leading the class,” said member Josh Erwin. “We’ll get together. We’ll talk. We’ll chat.”

Everyone works together to teach each other new fighting styles and techniques. Not everyone knows fighting technique, but that is OK, Redenbaugh said.

“You can be absolutely terrible at it, and with practice, you learn the moves,” he said. “People come and share. If you don’t know [how to fight], come and learn. If you do know, come and teach.”

The club usually begins each practice with a quick five-minute warm-up and stretch. After that, members split off into groups.

Whatever fighting method students want to learn, they go to that group. There is no prerequisite.

If they want to learn wrestling, they go to the corner with wrestling. If they want to practice kickboxing, they go to the corner where there is kickboxing. Club members are knowledgeable in boxing, kempo, tae kwon do, karate, jiu-jitsu and more.

“We’re all learning what we want to learn,” vice president Kristen Mooney said.

With all this technique and practicing going on, NEMAC members pay close attention to safety.

“No one wants to beat anyone up,” Erwin said.

To aid with bodily protection, the group provides padded mats, blocking pads and punching pads, and if students really feel like breaking something in half, blocks of wood are available, all at no cost. In fact, the club is free.

There is “no cost to join” and “no cost to leave. You come and go as you please,” Mooney said.

Occasionally, the group will gather to get instruction on a new technique from Shane Whitehead, a third-degree blackbelt with more than 12 years of training in kempo.

“Shane is great. He has a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge,” Erwin said.

If students have any questions about the club, Whitehead can be found Monday through Friday in the NHPE building on NE Campus.

The Martial Arts Club meets at 1 p.m. every Monday at the NHPE racquetball courts.

“TCC is geared toward student success,” Whitehead said. “And this is just another way for students to get together as a group and share and get a workout.”

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