Martial arts says, ‘hiya’ to Washburn

Dave Scott

With boxing on its deathbed and the extreme success of mixed martial arts fighting, it was only a matter of time that Washburn would welcome its first martial arts club.

While Washburn has long offered courses in self defense and Tai Chi it has lacked a club for those who wish to learn more about martial arts or those who wish to learn a discipline, until now.

Brad Green and Colin Kostelecky are friends who have studied Aikido for the past several years, though it was Kostelecky who embraced Aikido first.

“I wanted something different than the more conventional and Americanized disciplines,” said Kostelecky. “Aikido just piqued my interest.”

After a week of training Kostelecky contacted Green and convinced him to study the art of Aikido.

“We started around the same time,” said Green. “For me it’s about the self awareness and the confidence that it gives you.”

For the two friends, coming to Washburn opened their eyes as they realized the lack of a martial arts club or activity on campus. Upon their arrival, they began working on the club, and named it Aikido Plus, in honor of their discipline.

“At KU and K-State they have rooms for martial arts activities and clubs,” said Kostelecky. “We want more to be available to Washburn students, and hope that our club will bring about the establishment of more martial arts based clubs on campus.”

Though some might be hesitant to join the club for never having studied or practiced Aikido Green emphasizes that the club will be open to all who study martial arts.

“The point of the club is to introduce many different martial arts to others that may have never studied a certain discipline, and for everyone to share their experiences and knowledge about their discipline and martial arts in general,” Kostelecky said.

Due to university regulations regarding liability the club does not allow sparring, but as with any martial art there will eventually be some contact.

Those interested in joining the club can attend an informational meeting in the SWRC at 8:45 pm on Monday September 15th. For further information Green can be reached by email at [email protected], while Kostelecky can be reached at [email protected]