Ever been interested in wrestling? Taekwondo? Hapkido? Boxing? All of the above? Starting last semester, David Van Tassell established the Mixed Martial Arts club here on the Hill.
After taking the Hapkido EPE class, Van Tassell continued training with PennMar Martial Arts and continued at the Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In addition to this, he did some unofficial training with a boxing coach that trains amateurs and semi-pro boxers in DC along with a KungFu specialist who had experience in the Sanshou (Chinese Kickboxing) national circuit.
Needless to say, Van Tassell is more than passionate about learning and practicing different aspects of Martial Arts, and established this club to get others involved in these areas. He adds that he also wanted to provide a place for students to practice their technique freely.
“I want the club to help develop people into more rounded martial artists through exposure of different styles. Some people are interested in learning how to fight in the cage, some just want to learn self defense and have a place to practice it,” says Van Tassel.
In addition to practicing and learning other techniques, the members ask certified instructors around the area to come to meetings and share their knowledge. This way, the group can get some outside techniques to learn from.
The group also holds plenty of events on campus. The week of Halloween the club hosted a self-defense class for the residents of the Garden Apartments. On Halloween, Van Tassell wore a padded suit used in self-defense classes and offered people the chance to beat him to raise money for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines.
The Mixed Martial Arts club also rented out Decker Auditorium for UFC 105 on November 14th as an open activity for everyone on campus.
“The premise of the club is to bring together all the people that have a passion for the martial arts and co-mingle the different styles,” says club advisor Joe Dressel.
He adds that at the meetings, he brings his knowledge and the members bring theirs. They are able to co-mingle their ideas and techniques.
If you are interested in any type of Martial Arts training, or you simply want to see what the club has to offer, attend the meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30 to 10 p.m. in the wrestling room.