The Student Leadership Journey Council (SLJC) presents October’s Students Organization of the Month Award

Case Kung Fu is a sports club that meets three times a week with an instructor to practice. They participate in multiple national and international competitions throughout the year, as well as hosting a tournament annually in April. SLJC recognizes and awards the members of Case Kung Fu for their success in their tournaments and progressing in their Kung Fu skills, as well as promoting confidence and friendships between members.

SLJC interviewed President John Conrad McGarry, Vice President Ameera Khalid and Secretary Erica Pettit.
Question: What type of Kung Fu does Case Kung Fu do?
Ameera Khalid (AK): “We do a northern Schuai Chiao style Kung Fu. We occasionally do forms from other styles.”
Erica Pettit (EP): “There is another seminar coming up where we will get to learn a form that is beyond our normal curriculum, which is always cool. We normally have two seminars a year for something that is above and beyond what is typically what we learn in class.”
Q: What is your organization doing to connect with the on-campus community?
EP: “One of the big things Case Kung Fu does [is] a lot of different demonstrations. In the last three or four years we’ve done the Share the Vision demo for the incoming freshmen. We’ve also participated with other campus groups for events they put on… So every year we put on a couple of different demonstrations for different campus groups and then we also help out with the open houses for the freshmen [CWRU Live].”
Conrad McGarry (CM): “We plan on having a multi-day self defense seminar… We are pushing toward this semester so if that turns out well, we can do a second one in the second semester…On [Sept. 27] we sponsored a movie [Shoalin Soccer] with [CWRU Film Society].”

Q: How does learning self-defense contribute to personal growth and increased confidence? Does it help you learn how to function as a team or as an individual?
AK: “Both as a team and as an individual…Just fighting with somebody— if you have ever just spared with somebody or especially with swi jow— you learn more about people that way than just talking to them … It’s kind of cool how tight you get with people in the Kung Fu Club. But then there’s a lot of personal growth: You’re better aware of yourself and you don’t feel threatened necessarily by every stranger that walks by.”
CM: “One of the biggest things for me is the development of self-discipline. I have done martial arts for a good part of my life, and I don’t know where I’d be if I couldn’t sit down for 15 minutes or 10 minutes and do a drill. I don’t know how I’d survive classes if I hadn’t learned that from an early age, and continuing it helps develop that for everyone.”

Q: As leaders, what do you think are the biggest challenges to the club and what have you done to overcome them?
EP: “Some of the big challenges are around organizing events, especially with belt testing and tournaments, since we have to deal with external organizations and try and find times that aren’t terrible for us. But that works for Sefu to come in for testing seminars, and then trying to find tournaments that don’t compete with finals or during a break.”
CM: “We go to a tournament most years in Canada in Windsor. It’s not that they didn’t consult with us, but they didn’t look at the U.S. Calendar, and scheduled the tournament for the week after Thanksgiving.”
EP: “They said that was the only week that they had available, but that was unfortunate for us, because we have a lot of members that are in Canada who come down to the tournament that’s held at CWRU in April, and we typically try to go up for theirs. We’re trying to figure out how many of our members are going to be around for theirs and capable of going to this tournament since it is at such an unfortunate time.”
CM: “Communication is a big thing. In general, just trying to get everyone on the same level as you.”

Q: What is your most successful moment as a leader or as a member of Case Kung Fu?
EP: “I would say right after Great Lakes was a pretty good moment […] because after every tournament we try to take a picture of the team with all their various trophies. Any time, you’ve got 17 or 18 people standing around this pile of trophies, and each person has one or two of them. Last year, we had a graduating member who competed in five events, and won places in each one and she’s in the front of the picture with this row of trophies with her behind it! Also right after belt testing is always great because everyone is so excited that they got their new stripe that they have to beg someone to sew [them] onto their own belt! I typically end up taking three or four or five home with me for all the freshmen boys who don’t have sewing machines.”
CM: “The other one is right after demos like Share the Vision, because right before everyone is like, “We don’t know what we’re doing”, and freaking out about things, and then we go out there and it turns out really well and everyone’s just clapping.”

Part of our mission in SLJC is to recognize those student leaders and groups that use their talents to promote growth in our community. The Student Leader of the Month and Student Organization of the Month Awards are our way of celebrating the wonderful people and groups at CWRU. Keep an eye out for future awards. Know someone or a group that deserves to be awarded? Please email for more information.

SLJC is a group dedicated to creating a community among student organizations and student leaders. We work with the Office of Student Activities and Leadership to provide resources, support, and recognition so that our community will grow.