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Martial Arts Gets a Kick From Many Students Here in Claremont

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Martial arts is a traditional skill that, in the past, was solely used as self defense. Since then, martial arts is not only used to protect oneself, but can also be a hobby. Many CHS students are involved in these sports, including freshman Gina Gonzales.

“My friend wanted to try martial arts, but she did not want to start alone so she urged me to go with her. After that experience, I was hooked and went six days a week,” Gonzales said.

Martial arts originated in eastern Asia and has since spread around the world so that many people can now have the opportunity to learn martial arts. “Elements of Change,” an academy of martial arts where Gonzales attends, was opened in Upland in 2012. Sensei Red, the owner and the chief instructor at “Elements of Change,” has 28 years of experience. He teaches a variety of types of martial arts, each possessing unique techniques and qualities.

“We teach four different types of martial arts here [Element of Change], Sandodai Ryu Karate, Tai chi, Zen Kobudo weaponry, and Capoeira Angola,” Sensei Red said. “Sandodai Ryu Karate is a unique blend of Okinawan Karate, Korean Taekwondo and Korean Hapkido. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese form of moving meditation, Zen Kobudo weaponry is a combination of 32 different weapons, like swords, spears, nunchuks, and fan. Capoeira Angola is a martial art from Africa and Brazil based on music and gymnastics.”

Martial arts bring many benefits to people who participate in this sport including learning old traditions, staying fit, and reducing stress.

“The benefits from all of these arts are self discipline, strength, agility, focus, self confidence, balance, coordination and leadership,” Sensei Red said.

Gonzales attends martial arts classes to learn more about this sport. Out of all the many types of martial arts, Gonzales is involved in karate and started this sport when she was 10 years old. Karate is defined as a type of Asian combat in which hands and feet are used to fight an opponent. Even though Gonzales started karate unintentionally, she actually thought it was interesting and decided to take classes regularly. She expressed how this allowed her to meet many individuals, learn new skills, and sleep better.

“I would recommend this class to anyone with extra energy and stress or just if you feel like punching something. And if you’re just starting, I would say to stick with it, because the things you learn gets more interesting as you advance in the ranks,” Gonzales said.

This advice shows a student’s perspective, but instructors also understand how martial arts can benefit individuals.

“I recommend that everyone learn a martial art. It trains the mind, body and spirit, and makes you better at whatever other activities you want to try,” Sensei Red said.

Martial arts is now a sport where many people can join to learn how to protect themselves or for a simple workout. In addition, there are many types of martial arts including, but limited to, Sandodai Ryu Karate, Tai chi, Zen Kobudo weaponry, and Capoeira Angola, that can fit each person individually. Martial arts cannot only help people become fit and learn important skills, but can also bring peace of mind to those who decide to give this sport a shot.

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Martial Arts Gets a Kick From Many Students Here in Claremont