I was brought into the Martial Arts Center for Health by my dad about 4 years ago and we were attending the free qigong class. I saw the students out in front going through the martial arts class and it reminded me of when I was in Karate as a kid. When I came in, I had just sustained a back injury and was trying to find a way to recover from the injury, as nothing else I had tried had worked. I remember I had initially talked to one of the Instructors and he told me that they could help me not only get over my back injury, but make it stronger than ever. I had never thought of using martial arts as a way to recover from an injury before. Fast forward 4 years and I’m now training for my black belt this year alongside my best friend Vijay with no more back issues and I can move my body in ways I could never dream of before joining.
Karen joined the Martial Arts Center for Health in 2000 at the age of 14 with an ambitious two year goal of reaching First Degree Black Belt. As you will soon learn, this young lady does not lack ambition . Karen’s remarkable scholastic achievements had earned her a full paid scholarship to medical school at NYU. Over the years Karen has stayed in contact with us and whenever she comes back to Florida she always drops in for class. She sent Tom & I this message on July 1st, 2016 and Tom felt it was imperative to share with everyone! Due to the current events taking place in our world we feel driven to educate more people in practical self defense. Help us reach more individuals so they have confidence instead of fear!
“I had the most surreal experience today – an old guy just walked into the grocery store brandishing a large kitchen knife, wandered around looking at all of us. He never said a word the entire time. I was at the checkout counter, jumped to the employee side, and instantly recalled all of the knife defenses we did all those years ago at the Martial Arts Center for Health. Mostly I just remembered the part that you should wrap your arms in something so you don’t get cut, so I grabbed a mat and started thinking through scenarios. Fortunately the guy was finally herded out by store employees (shoving grocery carts at him), who then locked the doors after him and called 911. He did leave and was apprehended by the police a few blocks away. Just wanted to share this with MACH because the first thing that went through my head was, “That is definitely not a rubber knife” and the second was, “I’m really glad it’s not a gun.” Prepared or not, I was grateful that because the scenario wasn’t completely unfamiliar I didn’t freeze, but ended up getting into a somewhat more secure position. I have never ever imagined being close to a situation in which I would need a knife defense, but I was really grateful first that it wasn’t necessary today, and second, that there was something in my head to draw upon. Although my martial arts skills at this point are highly questionable, I do think that the more useful thing about having had training is that the situations I’ve been in feel “familiar”, so it helps to not freeze. I’ve been in a few dicey situations late at night besides this, so I’m glad that at least I’m thinking about what to do (free my hands, run, call the police, throw my book bag at the suspicious person…). I must say I think everyone should have a little bit of self-defense training just to help keep cool if they ever get in a situation. I’ve been in a few (patient in the clinic pulled a knife on a clinician down the hall), and while I’ve never been directly threatened, I’m glad to at least think through the situation. Now what I need is a “self-defense for clinicians” course which doesn’t involve anything that might harm the patient. I finished my PhD in May and just started clinic on Monday (to finish my third year of medical school)!”
“The Martial Arts Center for Health (MACH) has been a true blessing. As a Wellness Coordinator for an insurance firm, my role is to create wellness programs for our corporate clients to assist in improving the overall wellness of their employees. MACH has done countless corporate events for us, such as health fairs, demonstrations and even tailoring corporate on-site programs for employees which has led to a more enriching and satisfying work environment. I would highly recommend MACH for anyone looking to offer wellness to their employees. The staff at MACH is amazing to work with and I am proud to call them our partner in health as they have been an integral part of wellness programs we put in place.”
Melissa Gomez, MBA
Employee Benefits Wellness Coordinator
We at the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc. cannot thank you and the Martial Arts Center for Health enough for taking part in our annual Employee Health Fair! The event was an invigorating and educational experience for our staff, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Every day, the Legal Aid staff works to access justice for low-income clients in our community, often in high-stress positions. We heard many compliments from attendees about your interactive Tai Chi sessions, and your resources were very informative. This event helped give our amazing team a chance to refresh and recharge.