Martial Arts and Muay Thai at JCU

“I couldn’t breathe, my nose was broken, and I could barely see by my left eye. But I didn’t stop until I saw my hand raised up. ‘It is not about how hard you can hit; it is about how hard you can take hits and keep moving forward. That’s what life is about,’ said Rocky Balboa. This is the message of the JCU Martial Arts Club. As long as they have the will, no matter how many difficulties students face, they will keep moving forward and find their way.

Our story started with the Muay Thai team. When I first enrolled at John Cabot University, I found out that sports and student life are considered an important part of the college experience. As a champion both in my home country of Lebanon and abroad, I was encouraged by the athletic department to form and train the Muay Thai Team. When the team first opened its eyes in the spring semester of 2011, it consisted of just eight students. By fall, it already had twenty-five members, and continues to grow each semester.

On January 14, 2012, the team participated in a regional championship called “The Warriors’ Day.” The team’s only woman, Silvia Dalla Torre Di Sanguinetto, had the will, and found her way to the gold medal. The team looks forward to many more championships in the future!

Due to the diversity of the JCU community, the Muay Thai team members brought different kinds of martial arts from around the world. We decided to form a Martial Arts Club with the purpose of promoting an exchange of knowledge of the various martial arts amongst students of different nationalities. In this club, students have the opportunity to discuss, practice and compare the different styles of martial arts. We have had great support from the John Cabot community, and we can now count on 50 members, 60 percent of whom are study abroad students!

This semester, the Martial Arts team will conduct workshops to introduce students to the different martial arts and give them the chance to discuss their own cultural martial arts. The team will also hold a 2-day training camp on March 30th, which will include self-defense, trekking, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The club will also hold exhibitions at the JCU campus.

With self-confidence, man can surpass his limits. Martial arts can help provide a student with this important factor. By discovering that they can do 100 push-ups instead of 70, run 10 kilometers instead of 5, or handle pressure, exhaustion and pain more than they expected, they will learn that they can do anything, as long as they have the will. The skills learned from practicing martial arts will help students develop a strong personality, and the self-confidence to make better decisions in life.”

El Cheikh Fares Cheikh Moussa
President of the Martial Arts Club, Trainer of the Muay Thai Team