By Steve Lee
LUTZ — The founder of a martial arts studio that opened in October and combines three disciplines equates his new endeavor to a college curriculum.
Hence, the name: Kombat Arts Institute.
“We kind of consider this school like a college for martial arts” said Sijo (founder) Dominador Uy, who teaches Nijuki Combat Jujitsu. “A student can come in, register for their course of study like they do in college, and then study and get their degree.”
Uy is one third of an instructing trio that includes his brother and fencing teacher, Don Conrad Uy; and Woody Anderson, who teaches Filipino stickfighting among other forms of combat and defense.
Unlike numerous martial arts schools geared toward after-school karate for young students, Uy had a different focus in mind: “The idea was to build the school around the instructor.”
Kombat Arts Institute, located at 2020 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., is a 1,200-square-foot facility with a long mirrored wall and training mat that takes up two-thirds of the room. Males and females, 12 and older, are welcome to a place where quality trumps quantity.
“We’re not looking so much for the volume,” Uy said. “When you’re teaching in volume you’re limited in how you teach.
“We’re looking for small groups,” he continued, mentioning 6-8 students per class. “You have a more personable relationship with your instructor. The transference of the art; you feel it’s much more exclusive.”
While there are plenty of weapons to choose from — staffs, wooden knives and swords, foils and sabers — there also are caged helmets and padded uniforms to avoid injuries. When fencing, protective gear is required.
“Safety is the maIn concern here, because with the arts we’re not teaching paddy-cake,” Uy explained. “We’re teaching them defensive moves that can be lethal.”
Uy, a chiropractor who also owns a business in the adjacent Harbor Village Shopping Center, teaches a full-range of jujitsu that includes fighting in close quarters and combat that can include knives and sticks.
Another factor in establishing Kombat Arts Institute, Uy noted, is to ensure that the disciplines taught are passed on to others.
“The progression of the arts is more important than any financial gain,” Uy said. “Ultimately, this passion I have for the arts dies with me unless I have students with passion and the desire to keep it going.”