My favorite thing about the Macalester Martial Arts Club (MMAC) is that anyone can be a part of it. I always get asked, “Do you need any experience to join?” The answer is a resounding “No!” It’s great to get new members who have some experience in a martial art, but it’s just as good when someone who has never thrown a punch in their life wants to join. It’s a terrific feeling to bring in someone with no experience and help to build the martial arts community.
Building community is a familiar Macalester theme, though “martial arts community” may not be the first thing that comes to most students’ minds. But a community we are. For instance: There’s an art professor and an American Studies professor who practice Tai-chi together, and a Kirk Hall custodian who knows Silat, a Southeast Asian martial art form. Then there’s the biology professor who knows Taekwondo, the religious studies professor who does archery, and the anthropology professor who used to do karate.
None of this is listed anywhere on the Mac website or in its printed materials, but once you become a part of the martial arts community you’ll find and befriend these and other community members. Martial arts are not just for self-defense or sport but are actually a way of relating to other people.
The MMAC might seem like an intimidating organization, but we’re really just here to socialize, get a great workout, and have fun. You might think with all of the punches and kicks flying around, egos would be thrown around as well. But that just isn’t the case. We’re a community of people who want to laugh and improve ourselves. We help one another, grow together, and have a blast. I encourage anyone—student, faculty, or staff—to try us out. You won’t be disappointed.