Curious about karate? Moved by Muay Thai? Taken with Tae-kwon-do? Haverford’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Alliance, currently led by Rose Glass ’17, Chris Wong ’17, Sarah Mahlia Daguio ’17, and Gavriel Kleinwaks ’18, might be for you. The club offers student-taught classes in a wide range of different fighting styles.
Daguio teaches Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do, a form of karate that incorporates both hard and soft techniques in attacking, blocking, and defending. Kleinwaks and Glass both train students in ITF Tae-kwon-do, a Korean martial art that emphasizes kicks as well as speed and agility. And Wong offers instruction in Muay Thai (a stand-up striking martial art that engages a lot of full-body contact), Chinese Sanda (also known as Chinese kickboxing), and grappling.
These classes can count towards Haverford’s required physical education credit as long as students attend at least two of the three weekly meetings, so the Alliance’s membership can vary in size. However, regular classes are often small, which allows for one-on-one work and flexible personalization of techniques to suit individual members.
“We teach a mix of things, necessarily,” explains Glass. “We all have different styles and a lot to say and teach, but we agree on curriculum for the sake of consistency, then add refinements and variations as people gain more skill.”
Classes are open to all skill levels, and focus on developing mindful control and awareness of one’s body. “We want to make people feel secure in themselves, and like their bodies are in their control,” says Glass. “We have a big emphasis on making sure that we work around injuries and limitations.
Every fighting style that the Alliance members teach uses every part of the body in some way, and has real-world applications as forms of self-defense.
“It’s useful to have lower-impact moves for less-worrying situations, and leave the more militarized styles and hardcore moves for serious situations,” explains Glass.
The club meets three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4:30-6:30 in the GIAC Multipurpose Room. Interested potential members can email any one of the club heads to join the mailing list and get updates.
-Jenny Ahn ’17
Photos by Holden Blanco ’17