Shotokan Karate teaches students defense and discipline

Marjan Hussein
Staff Writer

Self-defense is a vital skill in today’s world as it equips one with the required knowledge to protect themselves in case a dangerous situation arises. The Shotokan Karate Club at Minnesota State University, Mankato trains students on self-defense and offers several other benefits to all who join.

The Shotokan Karate Club is sponsored by MNSU Campus Recreation and Student Activities. The club is free for students and open to the general public. The club meets for training sessions every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday in Pennington Hall room 102.

The club has appeared numerous times in the Reporter and continues to be a valuable source for out of class, physical and lively activity. 

Shotokan Karate Coaches Mark Willie and Brad Weelborg share on how the club and participation in the activity has bettered their lives. “I take every single session seriously and to me Shotokan Karate is more than just an activity,” Coach Willie said.

“Shotokan Karate is self-defense, physical exercise and requires a certain amount of athleticism,” Coach Weelborg said. Coach Willie states that the club has been in existence since 1969 and his hope is to keep the club buoyant in the years to come.

He also states benefits such as stress reduction, as college can be a hectic time for any student, receiving a terrific workout in short period of time, challenging oneself mentally and physically all come about by joining the Shotokan Karate Club.

Coach Weelborg states that the unique thing about martial arts, especially Shotokan Karate is that whatever input you give to training, you are guaranteed results. 

Coach Willie states that a quick way to learn the moves in Shotokan Karate is through repetition. “Shotokan Karate deals with stances a lot and I tell my students to practice these stances when they’re brushing their teeth or on their computer studying, it is easy and refreshes what you learnt,” Coach Willie said.

He gives a very inspirational line; the only way you can fail at Shotokan Karate is to quit, which is essentially the foundation one needs to transcend in anything they do in life. Coach Willie emphasizes the importance of self defense stating that it is a life skill that everyone should learn. 

The Shotokan Karate Club is an ideal place to begin the journey and even if one does not plan to fully get involved in martial arts, getting a few pointers wouldn’t hurt.

For those who may plan to get involved now or in the future, Coach Willie states that every two months there is an opportunity to test your knowledge on what you have learned up in the cities. He provides transportation to the test area and if a student passes, their status gets elevated to the next level.  

Coach Weelborg says that the difficulty with Shotokan Karate and Martial Arts in general in patience in addition to a ton of repetition. “It can get a bit monotonous for some students as a couple of months down the line, you will still be repeating some of the same stuff you learnt on day one,” Coach Willie says. The main challenge the Shotokan Karate Club faces is the fluctuation of students throughout the semesters. 

Jordan Peterson, said of the club, “I joined the club because I wanted to do something more in college. Also, I wanted to join a physical activity I was good at as I was not very active in high school.”

Another student, Megan Scheffe said, “I joined the club to learn another style of Martial Arts as I used to do Kung Fu. The lessons I learn from Shotokan Karate are also highly applicable in life in terms of self-discipline and self-defense.” 

Shotokan Karate is one of the many forms of Martial Arts that teach self-defense and other key values such as discipline, courage as well as patience. Shotokan Karate Club at MNSU welcomes beginners and watchers to their training sessions.

Feature photo courtesy of Shotokan Karate Facebook page.

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