Questions About The School

Question: Who and What is SOMA?

Answer: SOMA stresses teaching the actual application only of the ‘technique’ in a given, realistic situation.

It is the point of view of our Master, that in a real fight in a bar or on the street against a ‘street fighter', Forms, Kata, and wood or brick breaking will not help you!

With SOMA you will learn the applications first, for use in the street or in Semi/Full Contact Tournaments.

Question: Other Martial Art Schools teach ‘Self Defence’ – what makes SOMA so different?

Answer: That statement is correct. But, it would possibly only be focused on that particular school’s grading syllabus and discipline.To learn other ‘fighting’ skills, you would need to train in many different Dojos or Kwoons.Also, at each school you would, possibly, start right at the beginning, no matter what your experience in the Arts.They too would require joining fees, insurance fees, grading fees, association fees, etc., etc. It could take many years of learning and be expensive.

At SOMA you will be taught many ‘alternative’ forms of Self Defence and Competition skills within the same school.

Question: Explain?

Answer: In September 2006 we began our 12th year at Oxford Brookes University, and in that time we have had over 1,000 students and attracted 33 Dan Graded Black Belts from various schools of thought and teaching who have been/are training with us on a regular basis – most are British, European or country of ‘origin’ Tournament Full / Semi Contact Champions!

We also have many Brown Belts, some from familiar styles, also very ‘different’ fighting forms such as Snake, a recent addition; Lau Gar and Eskrima.

Question: How is the Student taught?

Answer: Normally the Master, after a ‘warm up’ will take the first hour on a typical, ‘what if?’ attack. He will show the ‘Chinese Way’ to defend oneself. These scenarios usually come from the class.

Then, by prior arrangement, he asks one of the other Dan Grades, ‘How does your style accomplish this?’ The School will then take part in this. The Master also becomes that Dan Grade’s ‘student’ – he wishes to learn as well. It is the Master's opinion is that there is no complete ‘perfect style’.

Question: Do you spar?

Answer: The simple answer is no, sparring is normally associated with sport.

You will not be taught a sport; it is ‘Full Contact’ Self Defence.

Ask yourself the question: ‘If I get into a fight, is he/she going to really hurt me? If not, shall I ask him/her to wait, while I go and get the protective sparring gear, then both of us can put it on, and we can ‘pretend’ to hit each other?’

Of course not, that person has one thing on their mind, to knock your block off – real time!

At this School, you will be opposite another student from day one, according to the ‘situation’ being shown, you must learn to block or attack, if you do not you will be hit – hard, by your partner.

Up to Green Sash, all your training is geared only, to the “Street Fighter”, who is an opportunist and has no Marquis of Queensbury restrictions in trying to beat you to a pulp - you must stop him/her.

But, as we do have very experienced British and European Full and Semi Contact Fighters you will learn how to kick and spar – in their style!.

Some of their photographs and experience is contained within the SOMA Presentation Album also under “Testimonials” on our web site; and they are growing.

Question: Does SOMA have a Philosophy?

Answer: Yes, it is based on ‘Open Style – Open Mind’. Learning ‘openly’ can only offer better chances of achievement, where you can learn complement your own chosen style if you are an exisiting martial artist. We have many novices who have never been involved with martial arts other than watching Bruce Lee films!

Everyone must be a ‘Newcomer’ at one time, no matter what the discipline, but from experience, we learn.

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Club Information

Is there a minimum age?

Yes. For insurance purposes the minimum age is 16.

How much is the Joining Fee?

There is none.

How much is the Association Fee?

There is none, you automatically become a Member of the Oxford Martial Arts Institute.

How much is the Grading Fee?

There are no grading fees, prove to the Master your dedication by training hard!

How much are the suits?

Mandarin style Kung Fu Suits £24 (5-10 days delivery)

Can I wear my own style of Gi/Hakima or uniform and if ‘graded’ wear my belt?

With pride – you have worked hard to attain that level!

What do I wear if I am a ‘Newcomer’?

Preferably black track suit bottoms and a white T-shirt

When do you train and how much is each session?

Training is currently suspended, please sign up to our mailing list here to be kept up to date with the lastest timetables, or alternatively check the site frequently!

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Closing Statement

As YOU are the future of our School, it is our philosophy and policy to make you feel as welcome as we can, no matter what your style, experience, or lack of it!

We try, whenever possible, to allocate one of the more senior students who the Master feels capable of assisting you in your initial training sessions.

He does this for several reasons:

• YOU have someone who is totally dedicated to you for that session;

• YOU will have someone to ask questions of throughout the session;

• YOU already have a ‘friend’ in the class;

• YOU will feel more at ease;

• YOU will have someone to explain what the School’s etiquette requirements are;

• YOU will be training in an environment which has no politics, where, if you are an experienced Black Belt martial artist in a different style, the Master will seek (by prior arrangement) your consent to demonstrate the techniqes you have learned from your style to the school.

This school is open to everyone to discuss martial arts openly and freely - not to challenge another style, but to learn from it!

SOMA's philosophy is one of "Open Style Open Mind".

The Master welcomes qestions from the class throughout the session if they relate to the current technique which is being discussed or demostrated.

Note to reader: Dr Edward Digét (Master and Founder of SOMA) is the verified and directly appointed Senior Martial Arts Instructor/Coach for and to Oxford Brookes University since 1994.

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