Martial Arts at Kent

Freshers Week ended with a bang, as various martial arts offered at the university all showcased their skills and fighting prowess. Each had 15 minutes for their various acts, which ranged from patterns of movements to training exercises to actual combat skills. Whatever the martial arts, there was something on offer, and all societies were open from beginners to advanced.

First off was Kickboxing and Taekwondo. Kickboxing showcased their sparring skills, from trying to throw your opponent to grappling on the ground. For Kickboxing, membership is £35 for the year and they have sessions on Monday 7pm-10pm and 8pm- 9pm for sparring. They focus on Muay Thai on Tuesday at 6pm-8pm. On Thursdays they run the same as Mondays. Taekwondo demonstrated some more flashy skills, performing group forms full with flashy kicks, then smashing boards with jumping kicks and one memorable split kick! If you want to join Taekwondo, head to the Sports Hall on Tuesday 5pm-7pm, Thursday 7pm-9pm and Saturday 12.30pm-2pm.

Next was Boxing and Aikido. Boxing demonstrated various sparring forms and a few short matches, and the sound of punching filled the hall. If you want to go to their sessions, head to Hall 2 on Thursdays and Fridays at 4:30-6pm. Aikido showed different falling and redirection techniques, from the basic roll to a much more advanced jump roll, which looked absolutely incredible and wowed the entire audience. Their training sessions on Sunday from 1pm-3pm.

After that was Fencing and MMA. Fencing demonstrated their three different kinds of weapons from the foil, rapier and the sabre. Each had their different speeds and methods of gaining points, and you can join their sessions on Tuesdays 8pm-10pm, Wednesdays 5pm-7pm or Sunday 3pm-5pm. MMA was much more brutal, with a drawn-out grappling session and some sparring. Their sessions happen on Thursday 6pm-8pm and Sunday 1pm-3pm, with a sparring session on Friday 6pm-8pm.

Photo by Cassandra Barnard

The penultimate groups were Kendo and Karate. The UKC Kendo society were hosting the whole event, and definitely showcased their very impressive skills. They showed off some of their training, which included a hit to the head and a lot of screaming, then a few short bouts. Their sessions happen on Saturday 3pm-5pm and Monday 6pm-8pm. Karate had multiple single katas – where people go through choreographed movements, like the wax on wax off from Karate Kid! Their session are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6pm-8pm.

The final group were Battodo and Jiu Jitsu. Battodo happens on Monday at 7am and practices the smooth drawing and sheathing of the swords and utilises real swords. They chopped bamboo mats standing and had a short spar with each other using real swords. Jiu-Jitsu demonstrated their large group all rolling together, then some sparring and throwing each other. Their sessions are Wednesdays 7pm-10pm and Friday 8pm-10pm.

If you are considering joining a martial arts group, check out their Facebook pages and watch some of their videos for more demonstrations, and go to their free taster sessions.