Everybody was kung fu fighting! Those kids were fast as lightning. In fact it was a little bit frightening, but they fought with expert timing…
Perhaps they aren’t kung fu fighting, but they’d like to think the rest of that phrase is pretty accurate! Toccoa Falls College, whether you knew it or not, has a Martial Arts Club! Headed up by president Cheyenne Capin and Vice President Matthew Sanders, this group of students is a pretty close-knit family. They had the privilege last semester of welcoming the newly acquired president, Dr. Bob Myers, to the team as their faculty advisor. Since then, the group has only grown tighter. Currently, they are meeting every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday through the end of spring 2013 semester.
With three black belts involved, classes are an impactful experience of acquiring practical skills involved with mixed martial arts, particularly in the styles of: Tang Soo Do, taught every Tuesday from 6-7pm by sensei Conor Van Vranken, third degree black belt; Tae Kwon Do, taught every Wednesday from 5-6pm by sensei James Priest, first degree black belt; and American Karate, taught every Thursday by sensei Micah Brewer, first degree black belt. Together, these three form the crew the club has dubbed the Blackberries, with the help of autocorrect. On Saturdays from 2-4pm, Matthew Sanders will be teaching grappling and submissions alongside Peter Sfragidas, who will be working with proper strength and conditioning techniques. Students and staff are encouraged to sit in on a class to see if it is something they may be interested in.
Current members of the club are as follows:
Scott Arnold, junior.
*Micah Brewer; freshman.
*Cheyenne Capin; sophomore.
Cheryl Gaughan; junior.
Jake Harmon; sophomore.
Tiffany Hartis; senior.
Galwyn Hill; sophomore.
Travis Jones; junior.
Jason Kohl; TFC alumni.
Nehemiah McAmis; sophomore.
Brandon Owen; freshman.
*James Priest; freshman.
*Matt Sanders; sophomore.
*Peter Sfragidas; freshman.
Jose Trinidad; freshman.
*Conor Van Vranken; freshman.
Donovan Walker; sophomore.
*Dr. Bob Myers; faculty advisor.
[Note: those with a * by their name hold a current leadership position]
Practices are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7pm, Wednesdays from 5-6pm, and Saturdays from 2-4pm. The club currently meets in the gym lobby, and will have practices outside in the intramural field as the weather reaches a more bearable temperature on a regular basis.
While the club has already begun for the spring semester, they have only just begun, and are very interested in gaining new members who share their interests still! They say the reason to join is as follows: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:30, NIV. We are called to balance our heart, mind, strength, and soul in loving Christ; while we exercise our minds academically, our hearts and souls spiritually through Chapel, worship, Barnabas Group, etc., we can exercise our physical strength to God through our bodies, strengthening ourselves in the skills of self-defense. Not only that, but learning the skills of self-defense is important in protecting oneself, and a valuable skill in the event of a crisis situation. Our goal is to equip you with these skills in a safe environment, in hopes that you would in turn use them for the glorification of God, in a safe manner.”
They invite anyone with an interest to sit in on any of the classes to see if it may actually be a fit for them. For any further comments, questions, or concerns, you may direct them to Capin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sanders at email@example.com. Whether you have had previous experience, training, or none at all, the Martial Arts Club will warmly welcome you to their family.
In short, their club motto seems to sum up MAC in a nutshell: “it is not about how much more you can take, but how much more you can give”