In Oxford at Oxford Brookes University, being their 12th year, the School of Martial Arts (SOMA), part of the Oxford Martial Arts Institute has been teaching, if this be the right word, many different styles of Martial Arts within the same training session.
How is this possible?
They welcome students of other martial art styles to train and pass on the knowledge of their "style" that they have studied to the other students.
The School has many newcomers who have never studied martial arts other than watching David Carradine in the series Kung-Fu on television and/or Bruce Lee films at the cinema!
The School has been able to "recruit", (and they are still growing), 35 Black Belt ranking sensei, saban and instructors who cover various styles, such as Aki Jitsu (5th Dan),Tae Kwon Do (5th Dan), Free Style Karate (3rd Dan), Kendo (2nd Dan), Shinto-Rye (2nd Dan), Lau Gar (2nd Dan), Judo (2nd Dan), Shotokan Karate (2nd Dan), Aikido (2nd Dan), Ninja-Kungfu (1st Dan), Wado Ryu (2nd Dan) and Ninjitsu (1st Dan) ; these are just some of the "teachers" at the School.
Not forgetting the Sifu, who founded the School of Martial Arts.
He has spent over 35 years involved in Chinese Martial Arts, with several years in mainland China, Shanghai, Tsing-Tao, Ching-Win-Tao, Hong Kong, and the UK in the 60's learning specifically Mantis, Wing Chun, White Crane and Dragon.
He has fought professionally in the ring, as it is called now, "shoot fighting", and has taught the Special Branch Police and run several Martial Arts schools in London.
He was appointed by Oxford Brookes University in 1994 to become their Senior Martial Arts Coach and Chief Instructor (Sifu) - Chinese recognition being, Sifu (teacher) Black Sash.
It is also his opinion that some martial artists with a lot less years of experience than he has had, call themselves "Masters". It is however, the Sifu's view that this 'title' should not be self bestowed, but come from the students as an accolade to their teacher.
The philosophy of the School is based on "Open Style - Open Mind" the onus of the training being "Application" in as near realistic situations as is possible; i.e., the innocent party being attacked or defending an unprovoked attack could be sitting down, lying down, standing at a bus stop, walking out of a nightclub, sitting at a bar, etc.
The Sifu will commence with the "Chinese" way of attack or defense, then he will request one of the black belts in attendance, who are mostly Full Contact European or Country of Origin Champions, to demonstrate how they, in their style, would attack and defend in such a situation.
This environment is NOT to see which style can beat another, it is completely the reverse of such a statement; the fundamental essence being that it is to show students, no matter at what level, the variants that can be used in such a volatile environment.
From day one the Sifu has set out not to turn the school into a specific style, whether it be Chinese or otherwise; it is a place to learn about martial arts, freely and openly, where questions, and hopefully answers, can be obtained.
The training, predominantly, is full contact from day one.
YOU WILL NOT BE TAUGHT A PURIST MARTIAL ART as a student would be in a dedicated style.
The School has invested heavily, covering Mats, Weapons - traditional and modern, Muk Chong, Striking Pads, Kicking/Iron Hand etc., etc.
For further information, please contact us.