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Freshman starts UHV Martial Arts Club to teach taekwondo

March 16, 2013 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated March 15, 2013 at 10:16 p.m.

Juan Manzanares, left, and Henry Huynh practice down kicks while head instructor Jordan Antoine gives instructions during Friday's University of Houston-Victoria Martial Arts Club practice. Club members train in taekwondo and other forms of martial arts every weekday.

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WHAT: Taekwondo practice

WHEN: 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday WHERE: Jaguar Hall Commons, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

WHEN: 2-5 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Aerobics room at the Victoria College Sports Center, 2200 E Red River St.

NOTE: The club is open to UHV or VC students, faculty and staff committed to practicing taekwondo. To find out more, contact Jordan Antoine at 713-498-5837 or jordan.antoine@ymail.com.

When Jordan Antoine arrived at the University of Houston-Victoria in January, he knew he wanted to continue practicing taekwondo, but he didn't know anyone he could spar with.

During the transfer student's first night in Victoria, Antoine struck up a conversation with Elvin Mumphord, a UHV security officer who shared a similar interest in martial arts.

Mumphord took Antoine around town to visit martial arts businesses, but the cost of joining was too much. That's when Antoine decided to become a teacher rather than a student.

"I realized there wasn't a martial arts club at UHV, and no one was going to start one but me," Antoine said. "It started off as an idea to keep up with my training and went from there."

While Antoine and Mumphord liked the idea of forming the UHV Martial Arts Club, they weren't sure if anyone else would. They held an introductory meeting in February inviting interested students, faculty and staff from UHV and Victoria College.

"I was scared," Antoine said. "I didn't know if anyone would show up."

They did, and a month later, Antoine is now the captain and head instructor of the club. Mumphord serves as the club's sponsor.

"My mom was a little worried about my studies and asked why the club had to meet every day," Antoine said. "I told her, 'You can't grow if you're not working on it every day.'"

Antoine said Mumphord and club members Henry Huynh, Juan Manzanares, Leslie Reed and Cordell Baham have brought their own martial arts knowledge and experience to practices.

"We try to do a little bit of everything, but it's predominantly taekwondo," he said. "I try to incorporate some of my kung fu into my teaching. I recently checked out books on aikido for counters and grappling and muay thai for kicking power."

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