My Dublin City University Martial Arts Club Years

DCU|MAC was the "All-Style" club I have ever come across.  Cross training was the foundation of the club, allowing everyone to share and pass on their experience and training to everyone else.  All martial arts are different - different philosophies, different techniques, different approaches to conflict.  By training in techniques from different styles, our goal was to become more rounded in the arts, and develop a better style that suits the individual.

Where DCU|MAC also differed from another club was the fact that its members ran it, not some "higher" governing body.  The club's members elected a committee, and had direct input into training, events and anything else the club did.  This created a more friendly atmosphere in the club; classes filled with enthusiastic students who were proud of their fellow practitioners and club.

In explaining this clubs to others over the years, they expressed concern that such a club would become merely a group of undisciplined students learning to hurt others from unqualified people.  In fact it was quite the opposite.  The club achieved more disciplined learning than I have experienced in other clubs.  I, like many, put a lot into DCU|MAC, but far less than it managed to return to me.

{From the DCU|MAC Committee's Website} "After one semester, he knew he was where he belonged and decided to instruct. Mick's term as a Resident Instructor extended beyond the academic year, as he took summer classes in 1999 and 2000. His graduation at the end of the 2001/2002 year saw his tenure, the most classes taught by any Resident Instructor, come to an end.

In his time at DCU, Mick served as the club's Secretary, Webmaster, temporary Editor, self-proclaimed Proudest Member, and Chairperson. To sum up, he has helped shape the club into what it is today. He will continue to be a patron to the club, as he looks to bring the DCUMAC style to rest of the world."

I learned how to instruct in DCU|MAC, pure and simple.  With the many talented and lesson-hungry students, it was a joy to teach there.  A moment that will stick with me is the first time a student came up after my class to thank me for it.  I was stunned as a wave of pride and elation washed over me.  Being short for words is not something I'm used to.  I realised I could pass on what I had spent the previous eight years learning and mastering.

I have far too many great memories of DCU|MAC to recount here, but I'll happily bend an ear when asked.  For as long as the club existed, I was a patron and a supporter.  I'm saddened that it ultimately folded in 2008.  DCU|MAC formed my belief that it is only when we can take responsibility for our own training that our path will open for us.  DCU|MAC taught me what a martial artist truly is.  I aim to keep the DCU|MAC spirit alive in LMA and the Twin Cities Martial Arts Group.

DCU|MAC Alumnus