Martial Arts Club helps members grow

You can see them walking to their taekwondo class in their doboks, taekwondo shoes and belts that indicate their rank, the Martial Arts Club members meet every Monday and Wednesday at 12:30 at Falcon Gymnasium.

The club is open to all practitioners of any style that want to come in and share their martial knowledge.

The Martial Arts Club’s advisor is head taekwondo instructor Vicmar Colifloures, who is a fifth degree black belt in the Korean art of taekwondo.

“We’re looking to bring awareness to the college that we do have martial arts here at the college,” Coliflores said about the club.

“It would be nice to be able to introduce and recognize other styles whether [they are] karate, kung fu [and] muay thai.

“MMA is becoming very popular. Even though our system of training is different, there’s a lot of commonality with different martial art styles.”

Clint Hankins, the club’s vice president said, “The club is about bringing in certain fighting styles instead of just worrying about the fighting aspect of it. We’re just trying to share each other’s style in a friendly way, in a nonaggressive environment.”

If you’re afraid of joining the club because you don’t wont to show up to work with a black eye and constantly get asked “what happened?,” Hankins said, “If I kick somebody to the face, it’s not like they come back in a plastic bag.

“We (train) with respect. We do it with control and not in an attempt to hurt each other.”

The club isn’t always school-based. On occasion, it gets together and watches taekwondo tournaments and, if some of its members are interested, they can compete in them.

Coliflores said that some of Cerritos’ taekwondo students have already competed outside of school.

Hankins and Julius Ehua competed in the notable “Jimmy Kim” tournament and actually placed in the top three in their level.

The idea of a club sparked off as people would bring up other techniques.

Even though the techniques were welcomed by Coliflores, and now president Rob Flores, he thought that rather than taking class time to talk about these other techniques, it would be better to establish a club.

“We can even go further by establishing ourselves as a club as well, and at that time specifically we would share more different varieties of styles,” Flores said.

He said that the club and practice of martial arts go beyond the whole fighting aspect of it.

“There’s a lot more to it. It’s growing as an individual, and after all, you only strengthen yourself confidence-wise. Not only that [but] you lose weight,” Flores explained.

The club doesn’t jump straight into a technique. It gradually makes sure you’ve stretched well so that you are able to do the technique effectively and without injury.

Coliflores likes to show the class self-defense grappling techniques from hapkido once in a while in both the class and the club.

Hapkido’s techniques are not so concerned about physical prowess as they are about technique and finesse.

“It (hapkido) looks pretty effective so that you’re not even hurting the person. You’re just getting them to stop [attacking],” Flores said.

This club is very unique as far as politics go.

When it comes to electing their president and vice president, having a white belt does not meet their minimum requirements.

The club prefers for its leaders to be experienced in and knowledgeable of martial arts, but all other positions are open to everybody else in the club.

As of late, the club is also trying to stay active in raising money. It will host a snow cone fundraiser on campus on Oct. 14.

If anyone would like to join the Martial Arts Club, you can always find the advisor, president and vice president during their taekwondo class every Monday and Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.