By Chance Fortune
At UWS there is a club for almost every interest you can imagine. Barbecues, marksmanship, figure skating, even financial management, but it wasn’t until early in the Spring 17 semester that a club was created with a focus on self-defense and mixed martial arts.
When club founder Gelu-Septimiu Bolba came to our small corner of the U.S from Transylvania he brought with him years of martial arts experience ranging from Aikido and Tae Kwon Do to Boxing and Kickboxing. Being a longtime fan of MMA, Gelu felt that there was a need for a martial arts focused club at UWS. The club’s primary purpose is to give the UWS community an opportunity to learn a variety of martial arts techniques for self-defense and to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
“Martial arts is better than going to the gym because you learn to defend yourself with every part of your body and you get a full workout from it.” Gelu said.
There hasn’t been a martial arts based club at UWS since the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu club was operational in 2013.
To round out his cadre of instructors Gelu enlisted the help of his good friend Fernando Floriano who brings three years of Judo and six months of Muay Thai to the table, as well as Army veteran Davin-Depoe who was trained in Modern Army Combatives during his time in service. The club has attracted members interested in learning lifesaving self-defense techniques, the sport of mixed martial arts, and just getting a great full body workout.
“I think martial arts is a great way to train your body and to achieve a good physical and mental state of mind…I also believe that martial arts is great for your mind, it is relaxing, at least for me.” Club V.P Fernando Floriano said when asked why he preferred martial arts to conventional exercise methods.
While the MMA club is still new in comparison to other student organizations at UWS, both Gelu and Fernando are optimistic about the clubs’ future going into the Fall 17 semester. The school has awarded the club with a $1,200 budget in order to purchase equipment such as thai pads, gloves, and shin guards. Currently the club members are making due with wrestling mats and a single heavy bag in the Marcovich Wellness Center which has forced them to limit training to basic grappling, and only a small amount of striking techniques. Fernando hopes that by bringing in more equipment they can attract more members to join the club. Additionally, they want to be able to bring club members to MMA events in Wisconsin.
As it happens the club is in luck. Currently there is an MMA show coming to Superior in late September that will be the largest mixed martial arts event in the area since the UFC came to Wisconsin back in August of 2013.
Currently the club meets twice a week on Monday and Wednesday and conducts training from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. If you are interested in becoming a member of the MMA Self-Defense Club you can get in contact with Gelu by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.