BMACE: Uncover the Martial Arts Extravaganza

Wanna kick some butt? Feel like your self-defense skills need some serious brushing up? This weekend, the martial arts clubs of Brandeis put on an event to exhibit their talents and teachings to help you do just that. We sat down with one of the coordinators of the BMACE event, Seema Saul, to get the real lowdown. Check out this video as well to get a first-hand experience with the Deis fighters.

HC: What is the purpose of the event?

SS: The dream was to showcase the diverse martial arts that Brandeis has to offer. I have to give appropriate credit to Nachum Serota for his innovation and visionary direction through the entire process. He contacted the martial art clubs last semester and the coordinators have been working for months to plan and executive this event. Our goal for BMACE was to create an environment where we could teach informal lessons as well as perform original demonstrations to highlight similarities and striking differences among the martial arts. Krav maga, for example, is a reality-based self-defense while Aikido is considered to be an art. Each martial art has a unique style from the technical ground fighting of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, to the aggressive close contact style of Boxing, to the artistic Uechi-Ryu Karate.

HC: What clubs were present?

SS: We have martial arts that represented from around the world, such as Japan, Brazil, Israel, Korea, and China. The event featured the following chartered martial arts clubs: Aikido, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Tae Kwon Do, and Uechi-Ryu Karate. We also received support from the soon-to-be chartered Kung Fu & Judo clubs. We additionally had a great deal of involvement from Project Plus One and the Japanese Student Association.

HC: What cool demonstrations did you have?

SS: Every club exhibited a 15-minute demonstration of their unique martial art. Krav Maga members demonstrated epic fight sequences with chokes, hair pulls, bear hugs, and unbelievable weapon defenses against weapons (knives, guns, just to name a few). Boxing club had two members, Nachum Serota and Maksim Mints, compete in a full on boxing match! Taekwondo destroyed wooden blocks! BJJ demonstrated their intense grappling style!

HC: Why have martial arts be a presence on campus?

SS: Who would have guessed that Brandeis has such as diverse and dedicated groups of martial art clubs?! Eight clubs participated but there are even more active on this campus. I believe that martial arts are near and dear to many of the coordinators' hearts. People join martial arts for a variety of reasons, such as for fitness, self-defense, or entertainment. From BJJ to boxing, from karate to Krava Maga, there’s something here for everyone no matter your gender, size, experience, etc..

HC: Do you hope to do this every year?

SS: Absolutely! The coordinators (Seema Saul, Nachum Serota, Zahin Huq, Rebecca Mitchell, Rachel Burton, & David Lee) hope that this tradition is continued long after we all graduate. This was the first year in Brandeis’ history that combines martial arts and cultural clubs and we definitely are preparing new leaders to take charge of the event for the future.

HC: What kind of skills does Martial Arts help foster?

SS:  Martial Arts, on a whole, strengthens the mind, body, and soul. Each contributes something unique and allows participants to develop life long skills.