Kicking Off Spring Semester

By Caralyn Geyer

On Thursday, February 1, 10 students dodged punches and blocked kicks as they attended the newly emerging kickboxing club at Spring Arbor University (SAU) for an hour-long session of fight training.

The club started in the fall of 2016 when two students in associate professor of physical therapy Mitch Zigler’s HPR101 class expressed interest in learning techniques he taught one day in class.

Now that school is back in session for the spring, this new club is “kicking” it into action for the year with the hopes that the new semester will bring in some new recruits to help the group come out of the shadows.

The group meets every Thursday night from 5:30 to 6:30 and is led by Zigler in the Physical Therapy clinic. Zigler said that he instructs by his history of Krav Maga and Filipino fight training.

Mitch Zigler and Bethany Ulrich, assistant professor of HHPR. Photo by Rachel Merchant.

“Just training in Krav Maga offers your body cardiovascular exercise,” Zigler said. “It is also mainstream combative, so we get to have fun all while working on these very direct techniques, making it the most effective way to defend yourself.”

Zigler also said he would like to focus on Krav Maga techniques.

“It’s the most movement-efficient, and is proven combatively effective because it’s used by the Israeli army and is taught in our police and army systems as well,” Zigler said. “I think that all SAU students should learn how to handle any combat situation.”

Student Conner Williams attended for the first time this past Thursday.

“My favorite part of the class was being there with my friends and learning something new together,” Williams said. “We’re constantly learning new information in an academic sense, but it’s nice to learn a new way to use our bodies, too.”

Regular attendee Celeste Fendt said, “it’s a casual, fun way to get some cardio in and learn important self-defense skills.”

The class is free, welcomes beginners, and is for anyone looking to have some fun and learn how to protect themselves.