Martial arts club arrives

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    If students want the chance to kick some butt and do it with TCU’s blessing, there’s now a place for you.About 60 members have joined the Tae Kwon Do Club , which brought home six trophies, five for first place, at Grand Master Han’s Texas Championship 2006, the club’s first tournament.

    Kat Barseth, a senior health and fitness major, started the club and said she wants to share her love of the sport.

    “I am passionate about martial arts and love to teach,” Barseth said. “I wanted other students to have the experience.”

    The club serves as a great place for martial artists to come together, said Brandon Burgess, senior entrepreneurial management major.

    “If you want to meet people, have a good time and learn how to defend yourself at the same time, it’s a great way to do that,” Burgess said.

    Other members joined for the physical activity and to improve their health.

    “I joined mainly for the exercise and to get in shape,” Chris Carlin, sophomore radio-TV-film major, said.

    The hardest part of the process to become a sports club for Barseth was avoiding a paper cut.

    “It was a plethora of paper work and a lot of hoops to jump through but worth it,” Barseth said. “It’s been a learning process. I had never started an organization before and didn’t know what it took to do that.”

    Barseth has been involved in martial arts since she was 11 and is now a third-degree black belt in tae kwon do and a first-degree black belt in jujitsu.

    Everyone who is new to tae kwon do starts with a white belt, and students have opportunities to advance through the TCU club, Barseth said.

    Barseth said most of the members probably have white belts since 80 percent of the members have little to no experience before this semester.

    Burgess is one of those students new at the sport.

    “I have no experience, I just thought it would be fun to try it out,” Burgess said.

    One of the problems the young club has faced has been trying to find a place to practice at TCU, Barseth said.

    “Reserving space was difficult since we are brand new, and some clubs already had spaces reserved,” Barseth said.

    That is part of the reason why the club does not have plans to host competitions, Barseth said.

    The club practices two nights a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, in the University Recreation Center.

    Dues for the new club are $30, and Barseth encourages people to come and poke their heads in.