The Recent Conflict:
As many of you already know, the MMAC was facing a catastrophe in that we were being prohibited from using the teaching studio of the Athletics Centre as our ‘place to train.’ We were told by the administrators of that facility that our numbers were too grand, that we had no right to ‘demand exclusive use of the teaching studio,’ which we never did, and that the only way we could function using that room was to do so under them, via a certified instructor. Basically that translates to 2 realistic options:
1) pack up and go home…
2) become ‘official’ by having an instructor affiliated with the club work for the Athletics Centre, which requires certification (from where?) and possibly insurance (I was told, and I quote, ‘there’s always that 1 in a million chance that someone becomes a paraplegic doing these kinds of things.’ For the record, I’ve been more hurt playing tag than practicing Muay Thai, partly because the ‘surprise factor’ of injury is removed).
With our recent order arriving the day after this news (+ $700!!), decking our most eager members in quality boxing equipment, as well as providing shin guards and hand mitts for general use, the very idea of shutting down the club (due to lack of training facility) was extremely lame to us all, and something we would not accept easily…
I almost immediately asked my coach from Warrior Muay Thai Inc. to draft me a reference letter saying that I was capable of teaching this art. In addition, I asked my coach from my younger years to give me my teaching certificate, which I earned but never thought I’d need – until now. After discussing the issue thoroughly with the executives and members, I was promptly provided several documents from both sources to bring the athletics centre in hopes of getting hired. This included the financial history of the club, including donations and orders, an extensive club list, and a letter from a pleased member detailing their experience with us. Long story short, I got hired. Yes this sounds really awesome for me, but it also opened several opportunities for ‘the MMAC’ which we could never ask for in the past:
1) Exclusive time slots for the MMAC.
2) Permission to store our equipment in the Athletics centre – which means
nobody will have to drag it to the teaching studio or from it.
3) Access to the mats for grappling training, etc.
With exams underway and Monday, August 6th being a holiday (gym closed), it is time we say goodbye once again until September. I am sending a strong recommendation to all the members to keep up their cardio and strength because I have the intention of stepping up the intensity of the classes as soon as we begin again. The executive members have just drafted a request for funding which we have already sent into the SCSU, which if approved, will provide us with even more equipment (resulting in higher quality of training).
*IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING NEXT YEAR’S CLASSES:
We will be operating Mondays and Thursday from 8-10pm. The classes have LIMITED ENROLLMENT, meaning that only 15 people are allowed to sign up per class (only 2 classes). One of the downside’s to being official is that there will be a member’s fee of $15/semester/class, which must be paid to the teaching studio ($15/semester translates to approx. $1 a week!!). I will see what I can do about increasing the person cap, but it won’t change until I am more established in their system. Therefore, if you are serious about training and this club then sign up as soon as you can – I will send out another e-mail when I find out the exact date, but feel free to ask the Athletics Centre’s staff about when you can sign up (you are competing for spots since the program will be more publicized).
For those of you who also WANT TO TEACH each other on the side, I plan on leaving 30mins at the end of each class (after 9:30pm) for everyone to do whatever they like – this would be the time that people can either leave, hit the pads with friends, ask questions about martial arts in general, teach each other, etc.
Good Luck on your finals and have fun with the rest of your summer.
The MMAC sincerely hopes you all enjoyed the summer sessions.
See you in September!
Sherif Badr, President, The MMAC