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April 15, 2011
Vol. 52 No. 21

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Symposium kicks into high gear

Courtesy of Trevor Buffington
HI-YA! - Instructors demonstrate many styles of martial arts at the 4th Annual Martial Arts Symposium held on April 9.
The 4th Annual Martial Arts Symposium, sponsored by the Asian Studies Program, was held on April 9, for anyone with a martial arts background or willing to learn about martial arts.

Featured instructors were Chris de Wet, Wes Tasker and Dana Sheets.

Wet specialized in a type of karate called Goju Ryu, the type often shown in popular movies such as "The Karate Kid."

Tasker specialized in Pekiti-Tirsia Kali, a type of Filipino martial arts.

A traditional style of Japanese Okinawan karate called Uechi Ryu was taught by Sheets.
Sophomore Marc Santiago said the symposium had a great turnout this year. Santiago, who has a black belt in Taekwondo, began studying martial arts when he was 8 or 9 years old and began training at Susque-hanna as a freshman.

Santiago said that before he came to Susquehanna, the only martial arts events he had been to were events that focused on studying one type of martial art instead of many types combined.

Assistant Professor of Religion Jeffery Mann, an instructor and a third degree black belt, said he has been practicing martial arts since 1988.

He said a black belt is the highest level belt a martial artist can achieve, but there are different degrees of black belt. These levels are achieved by more years of practice and testing.

However, black belts in one type of martial arts do not transfer into different types of martial arts. Santiago said that Mann is currently working on testing for his 4th degree black belt.

There were students from Susquehanna including undergraduate and graduate students in attendance.

"It's a great way to connect with alumni," Mann said. He added that alumni tend to be regular attendees at this event. Other guests came from both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

"I liked how they talked about a lot of different kinds of applications I already know and how they can work together to incorporate into your own. All of them have similar ideas," Santiago said.

While the martial arts lessons were for those with background in martial arts, the panel in Bogar Hall was open to any audience member willing to learn more about both martial arts and Asian culture.

"The academic component of the program allows all members of the community to come together and learn a bit more about Asian cultures and traditions. We also bring in folks from surrounding states to our beautiful campus, doing our part to help put SU?on the map," Mann said.

The panel discussion, which featured Tasker and Heather Lipin, described Chinese medicine and different types and uses of acupuncture.

Lipin spoke about acupuncture while Tasker explained the traditional Chinese medicine and different uses of herb treatments. The panel provided an overview of different medical practices and methods. They also explained the work they do in traditional Chinese medicine.

"They teach complementary medical suport, not primary," Mann said.

According to Mann, practicers of traditional Chinese medicine are wholistic when treating patients. He said, "They look at a number of factors such as symptoms, lifestyle, diet and physical."

After the panel discussion, all attendees were invited to take part in the Qigong workshop in the Garrett Sports Complex. Qi, or chi, is composed of the five elements that can affect a person's body.

"One of the challenges the instructors have is trying to make it interesting for all levels and ages," Mann said. He added that he tried to invite instructors from areas other than Pennsylvania.

He added that the event allows people to receive instruction from people of different backgrounds and skill levels.

"It's different from competitions," Mann said. He said he wanted to have a day of workshops where students could get more perspective from different types of instructors.

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