MMA Club Getting Up After Knockout

After taking a hit, a new Mixed Martial Art’s club has been planned to sweep the campus.

The club dissolved in Spring 2013 when former advisor Joe Cardillo left the club. At the time, only five members were actively participating, one of which was Brian Philson, a Liberal Arts major. Philson plans to revive the club.

“[The other former club members] all graduated last semester so I’m the only one left,” said Philson. Now, he is working with Louis Coplin, Director of Student Life, to reform the MMA club under various conditions.

Last semester, Philson was charged with weapon possession by Public Safety for bringing various Martial Arts weapons including sticks and knives in the Campus Center The charges were eventually dropped for “not violating any Hudson Valley policy.” Weapons can be authorized on campus if an agreement is met with Public Safety through a registration process.

After collecting signatures for a new martial arts club, Philson met with Coplin and Fred Aliberti, the Director of Public Safety to discuss how the club will manage to operate under strict guidelines regulating training weapons.

According to Philson, no punching bags will be allowed in any facility the new MMA club will operate. “In a self defense class I was in, there was a guy who only attended because he liked to hit the bag. He had serious anger problems and we’re not going to have people like that distract everybody else.” A process for terminating members in the event that they show maladaptive behavior at club meetings is in the works.

For advisors, Philson has considered Crystal Heshmat, an adjunct math professor. “She knows how to do ninjutsu with a katana. Her brother taught her. She would be a great addition,” said Philson.

Philson’s greatest inspiration was Martial Arts icon, Bruce Lee. “His style was the first style I ever learned. I wouldn’t even call it a style. It’s a set of philosophies without patterns.

Philson’s interest in Martial Arts began eight years ago. When he attended Paul Smith’s College in Brighton, he was instructed in Tai Chi, Wing Chun, and Eskrima by Ed Nabla which Philson considers to be the best instructor in the Adirondack region.

After two semesters at Paul Smith’s College, Philson transferred to Hudson Valley.

During training sessions, Philson said that he would take “field trips” to Pai’s Taekwondo facilities as, “an example of what not to do.”

In his training, he found that facilities like Pai’s have a “Take My Dough” program, where the program is designed to provide students with an easy path to obtaining a high rank. “These places will give you a black belt and a pretty little certificate but that’s about all they can show for experience,” he said.

“There’s no such thing as a superior style but there are superior teaching places and Taekwondo seems to be a pretty low level [martial art],” said Philson, “We’ll promote many different styles so [students] can accumulate everything they can.”

He wishes to base the new martial arts club around no set style or pattern. “It’s easy to say that everybody has their own style but they have to find it. You do what works for you,” Philson added. Once initiated, he plans to hold club meetings around 2:00 p.m on Mondays in the Hudson Hall multipurpose room.

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