MiNi-MAUL

Times

Things being 2020, we seem to be changing schedules with each governmental update. You’ll need to contact us for latest information. In a distant ‘normal’ future, the children and families’ class is on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Early arrival to get changed and start practicing with training buddies is always encouraged.

To Join

Our MiNi-MAUL club is usually oversubscribed. Currently, we are actively recruiting, and providing extra small-group virtual sessions for:

  • children of refugees
  • teens, particularly teen girls
  • children and teens on free school lunch programmes

he groups mentioned above are all welcome to train for free as we have specific funds for this. If you/your child do not fit this description, you can still get into contact and we’ll discuss attendance on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us to join, or for more information.

Location

Classes are held at Queen Edith Community Primary School, Godwin Way, Cambridge, CB1 8PQ in the large hall.

Term dates

The schedule may change during school holidays etc, so please check the schedule regularly – class details will be updated there.

Environment

The Mighty Ninjas of MAUL, abbreviated to MiNi-MAUL, is a children and families’ class for ages 7+. We have a strong philosophy of team-work, respect and perseverance.

The instructor team consists of solely female and non-binary instructors, and our youth students are encouraged to take on leadership roles as they become advanced belts. Our adult students find creative and lovely ways to support and champion the leadership endeavours of the youths when they themselves become advanced belts.

We offer free places to refugee children/families and other kids who would otherwise be unable to participate.

Bonus fun

Additional sessions, often held at weekends, include mat sessions, meditation, and sessions for teens run by the youth instructors.

Content

The classes are centred on traditional International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) and World Taekwondo (WT, i.e. Kukkiwon) styles, with some influences from other martial arts. Adults and children train together in the big MiNi-MAUL family.

See our student resources page for all the information we provide for students.

Costs

Recommended donations

  • Classes: £48 per student per term, or £3.50 per class
  • Uniform: £10
  • T-shirt: £15
  • Bandana: £2.50
  • Grading: £7 for white & yellow belts, £15 for orange+ and all adults

What does ‘volunteer-run’ mean?

Everything we do is on an unpaid, voluntary basis. None of our instructors get paid for classes (or any other instructing they might do outside of regular classes). Fundraising is always welcome!

The sorts of things the club’s funds are spent on include insurance, hall hire, equipment, guest instructors, and supporting free places for those children who need them.

Why MAULives?

MiNi-MAUL was started by a mum in Ori-MAUL who was passionate about working with kids, Layla Vandenbergh. This grew into a bit of social experiment – could we run a co-ed class with all female instructors? Could we demonstrate respectful gender relationships in a contact-sport and a traditionally male-oriented environment? 

The answer, in sum, is yes. The first two MiNi-MAULers to grade for blackbelt were teenage boys who graded alongside non-binary and female Ori-MAULers. They united into a respectful, caring four-person team that continues to support and reach out to each other across the MAUL organisation to this day. We chose to accept men as students, but not instructors, to model respect towards hierarchy and expertise, no matter the height! We have made quite a number of bold decisions in line with the MAUL ethos. First, we split the syllabus between adults and youths. MiNi-youths are required to use their voice as teachers and mentors in our junior instructor programme and thus develop confidence and invaluable leadership skills. The adults meanwhile are not allowed in these leadership positions and instead are evaluated on their ability to support and follow respectfully. We often have a waiting list of students wishing to join the club and our selection process ensures gender balance and that spaces go to those students with need.

As our Junior-Instructor team grows to include a youth-run weekend session, our blackbelt young men will co-instruct as equals with their lower belt female peers, again modelling our ethos of respect, support and representation from the front. We have held instructor training sessions on privilege and the power of using your platform. We have developed a unique consent and community defense session to overturn strongly held (and erroneous) views of ‘street defense’ as shown in movies, television, and unfortunately promoted amongst the majority of martial arts clubs. We have also promoted gender discussions, specifically educating our students about non-binary and other genders (as represented by one of the instructors) and maintaining our training hall as a safe space.

MiNi-MAUL may look like a standard kids martial arts club – until you look closer, and see the community and environment built, modelled and defended by the students themselves. Gender, class, physique, race – these do not divide our students. They unite them in a push for equity, over equality.