Martial arts conference turns black belts back into beginners

Martial arts conference turns black belts back into beginners »Play Video
Dozens of small classes covered the basics of different martial arts

EUGENE, Ore. - For someone who is a black belt in kung fu or jiujitsu, learning the Brazilian martial art of capoeira is like starting out as a beginner all over again.

"Capoeira is different in that it is set to music, it is much more focused on creative expression rather than striking and hurting people," said David Jackson, a capoeria instructor, "so being at a martial arts event it was important to convey that sense of fun and style."

At the 7th annual Pacific Martial Arts Conference in Eugene, martial artists learned the fundamentals of dozens of self-defense styles.

"You may have practiced one art for 30 years," said Alan Best from Best Martial Arts Institute, "but you go into next session and you are just as clueless as a beginner is."

Over the course of the day, martial artists participated in nearly a dozen 25 minute courses.

"It is such a huge world within martial arts that no one can specialize in every area," Best said.

Many of the students are black belts, but the conference is open to all levels.

"My favorite part is the ground work of judo and how you can get from one move to the other," said student Luca Cline.

"I started with karate, I've studied kung fu," Jackson said. "It's nice to dip into more serious martial arts and see how applied force is used with different schools."