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The art of defense

Roseville martial arts studio strikes delicate balance between practical, recreational
By: Amy Holiday Special to The Press-Tribune
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There is something rather paradoxical about the image of a martial artist. On one hand, they are frightfully intimidating – they know how to slice through wood with their fists, how to identify the body’s weakest place and how to defend themselves. But on the other, there is a sense of assurance in being in the company of a trained artist. They can defend you, too. And at Marinoble’s Martial Arts Center in Roseville, they are training every client the mastery of this ancient art. “Our goal is to take each one of our students to their maximum potential and reach above that,” said Justin Ewen, one of Marinoble’s lead instructors. “We want them to know that leaving here they can be confident in the things that they’ve learned and know how to apply them correctly. But at the same time, know where and when to apply those techniques.” It’s the fine line between practical fighting and recreational activity that has come to define Marinoble’s. A “homegrown studio,” according to Ewen, Marinoble’s has grown to be the area’s “most recognized place for martial arts.” Dave Marinoble, owner of the studio, brings to his teachings an abundance of experience and what he calls a “pretty good resume.” He holds three world titles, eight national titles, is a fifth-degree black belt in two events and has been operating the area’s largest martial arts studio since 1995. He speaks with the modesty that only a true artist can. Born in Roseville in 1968, Marinoble grew up training, practicing and pursuing his ultimate vision of creating a place where local residents can learn and practice. The business has blossomed into a regional landmark. “Some other schools in the area lack a quality, and are more interested in the look or the money,” he said. “They have become more commercialized. But Marinoble’s has always been about self defense.” Part of the success of the studio – the factor that has permitted continuous successes – is the plethora of options it offers to students. “The most distinctive thing between us and everybody else,” Ewen said, “is the program that we teach. We teach a practical martial arts system. Our programs are based 100 percent on self defense.” And with this common vision at the root of every one of their dozens of classes, Marinoble’s offers something for everyone. From kickboxing to Mixed Martial Arts to Bok Fu to Jujitsu to karate, the programs cover a wide spectrum of interests. “Our clientele is pretty large and pretty diverse,” Ewen said. “We deal with everyone – men, women and children. Recreational to competitive training to law enforcement to your specialty classes as well.” As a result of a recent move from a 7,000-square-foot location to a 12,000 square-foot studio, the 15-person staff is now able to accommodate additional clients with the same intimate teaching philosophies. It is the idea of positive goal setting, self-discipline and interaction that makes martial arts an ideal physical activity, according to Ewen. It instills in kids a desire to “set goals, achieve them and move past them.” And for adults, he said, it offers an excellent alternative to a gym. “Unlike bodybuilding or just going to the gym where it’s kind of like a hamster running on a wheel,” he said, “this is something that challenges your brain and your body at the same time.” And when you combine both of those elements, with Marinoble’s passion for promoting self-defense, the result, according to Marinbole can be rewarding. “I had a phone call from a woman about five years ago who had only taken one of my four-hour classes,” Marinoble said. “She called to thank me because she had almost been assaulted walking out from a bathroom at a baseball game. She remembered what I taught her about self-defense and the guy scurried away. What I teach works.”