Andrea Guerrero/ Contributing Writer
Many of our FIU students may be found in the rec center lifting weights or working on their cardio on either a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. But every Tuesday and Thursday at 4 p.m. there’s a unique way to get a great workout, all while learning self-defense as well and this is with our karate club.
“Not only does it help you develop muscles, but kata also emphasizes on doing the right movement,” says EJ Ventura, an FIU alumni who is now the instructor of the karate club at FIU. The style of karate our club practices is kata, which is a sequence of detailed movements practiced while picturing multiple imaginary opponents.
Within minutes of starting karate practice our panthers were sweating away. Throwing high kicks and practicing their sharp variation of movements of kata, Ventura likes to make sure to teach his students defense first then attack.
“The key is not to go on the ground like other martial arts. That is not ideal in most scenarios,” explains Ventura.
Natalie Chirife, junior biological science major and president of the karate club, said that thanks to the sport she has developed reflexes that she can rely on as a form of defense.
“If anything actually happens, you react without even thinking sometimes,” Chirife said.
The club members mentioned that many times people may look at karate as a martial arts that won’t really help you defend yourself.
“Every single move that we do have a meaning and can be used as a way to defend yourself, ” explains Jesus Gonzalez who is studying Dental Hygiene and Japanese.
Gonzalez shows that every movement they do is to defend themselves and that all the movements become so natural to them that they feel confident enough to use them in case of a real life scenario.
If you’re looking for a great way to learn self-defense while getting a good workout join our karate club! We have great members with a lot of experience to pass on to anyone who is interested in learning. With many years of practicing and competition experience, Marlon Pena will soon be competing in a big tournament too and is ready to demonstrate all that he has been learning with our club.