Hence the entrée of The Welch Martial Art Experience — a teaching haven for multiple disciplines with fitness elements.
The manifestation of its owner/founder’s long-held dream opened its doors in January, occupying space within the BodyFitz Certified Personal Training gym. A few dozen men, women and children have since been drawn in to the former, with perhaps more embarking on a path to healthier living.
The Neighbor Newspapers recently caught up with Welch, a former corporate careerist, for a candid conversation.
Q: What are you offering here?
A: Here, we offer a combination of martial science — and Martial Fitness — which is actually my trademark. I have a U.S. trademark on Martial Fitness, which took me three years of fighting to get. And what martial fitness is, is not focusing on a specific martial arts style … so, you don’t own a belt, you don’t do self-defense, you don’t work with partners. It’s using the five different black belts I have to get people over the fitness hurdle.
Q: How can one further distinguish the two?
A: Some people do [martial fitness] to lose weight, tone [up], build strength, improve agility, flexibility and balance … so it’s primarily geared toward adults. The kids and adults do martial sciences — they’re earning belts … if they want to study Tai Chai, Wing Chun, Bruce Lee’s Junfan Gung Fu, Kali, Capoeira. … I offer all those arts because those are the things I’m certified to teach.
Q: What you don’t offer is …?
A: What we don’t offer, I like to tell people, is probably more important. We don’t teach martial sport, so we’re not a UFC or mixed-martial arts school in that sense. We’re mixed-martial art in the sense of training multiple arts … not standup, takedown, grapple, cage fighting. That’s actually the exact opposite of what we’re trying to teach.
Q: How has martial art impacted you personally and professionally?
A: I [cannot imagine] not having the guidance of my martial art teacher, who is still a tremendous influence in my life. I just feel like I have so much more to offer my son. Even as he sees me do different things, he’s tapped into it — he’s culturally aware at 3. He can count in three languages … So, it’s helped me appreciate culture, diversity and people … and not think about everything in a box or a silo.
And what it’s done for me professionally is allow me to put all of my energy into something I’m really passionate about and it’s helping me change lives … which is something I’ve kind of always wanted to do.
I didn’t know that martial art would become that vehicle, but that’s definitely what it’s become.
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