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New business combines martial arts, fitness
by Bobby Tedder
June 25, 2014 11:16 AM | 984 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Sule Welch, owner of The Welch Martial Art Experience, teaches students the basics of Tai Chi during a week-long camp in which students learned five different types of martial arts.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal Sule Welch, owner of The Welch Martial Art Experience, teaches students the basics of Tai Chi during a week-long camp in which students learned five different types of martial arts.
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Staff / Samantha M. Shal
From left, students of The Welch Experience Sam Caffarelli, 12, and Wyatt Woodbery, 12, mimick the Tai Chi moves being shown by owner Sule Welch.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal From left, students of The Welch Experience Sam Caffarelli, 12, and Wyatt Woodbery, 12, mimick the Tai Chi moves being shown by owner Sule Welch.
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Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Sule Welch, right, teaching by example.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal Sule Welch, right, teaching by example.
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Sule Welch’s three-decade-long winding road of experience and allegiance to martial arts has found its way into Sandy Springs.

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.

ON THE WEB:

www.thewelchexperience.com
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