If you are looking to learn about Aikido and Wing Chun, Weldon Mauney is the go-to guy for that.
Aikido and Wing Chun Martial Arts in Gulf Breeze was opened several years ago by Weldon and his wife, Lilian, and offers people the chance to learn one, or both, of the traditional martial arts.
“I teach them in a very traditional way, focused on personal development and improvement, but of course, either one can be used effectively as a self-defense system,” Weldon said.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba and focuses not on punching and kicking opponents, but rather using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you.
“Some are attracted to the philosophy of Aikido and some are interested in it as moving meditation. Others do it just to have something physical to do,” Mauney said.
Wing Chun is a concept-based Chinese Martian Art and form of self-defense using both striking and grappling while specializing in close-range combat. It was the primary martial art utilized by Bruce Lee.
“It’s a simple martial art and very practical. It’s meant for people who have less power,” Mauney said.
Weldon first started learning Aikido in the late 1990s while living in Texas. A native of Paraguay who attended medical school in South America, he came to the United States with the intent of practicing medicine here.
He soon got caught up in learning Aikido. All these years later he’s still teaching it and he’s a pediatric neurologist in Gulf Breeze.
“I continued to train once I started to focus on medicine again. I started teaching others at the same time and shared my knowledge of Aikido with them,” Weldon said.
While Aikido was something that he had an interest in for a long time, learning Wing Chun was a different story.
“I had never seen anything like it and wondered what it was. I told myself I wanted to learn this,” Weldon said. “I started doing it about seven years ago.”
His training is extensive in Wing Chun and he brings that expertise to his studio. Weldon learned from Gary Lam in California. People come from all over the world to train with him. Weldon typically takes a trip out there three times a year for two weeks at a time to train.
The training keeps him sharp and ready to teach Wing Chun to others.
“We train for about seven or eight hours a day. It’s very intense,” Weldon said.
Even before he had his own studio to teach martial arts, Weldon would teach others at the recreation center in Gulf Breeze, starting out with training his daughter. He said others approached him about learning it as well and things kind of took off from there.
He said the key to Aikido is consistency.
“It takes a long time to learn. It’s a complex martial art. But if you train regularly, you will learn it,” Weldon said.
Aikido classes take place Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Wing Chun follows for an hour each of those nights. There are also open mat sessions on Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. until noon.
“If you want to learn Aikido, I will teach just Aikido to you. Or if you just want to learn Wing Chun, I’ll teach just that,” Weldon said. “I don’t try to mix the two. I teach it to the T. They are concepts and you have to build a foundation and understand the basics. You can do what you want with it from there.”
Call or stop into Aikido and Wing Chun Martial Arts today to sign up for a class. It will benefit you in more than one way.
“If you are looking for a healthy activity that also helps with focus and self-awareness, and is good for the mind, Aikido or Wing Chun do that. It’s a great activity.”
Aikido and Wing Chun Martial Arts
3055 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, FL
Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 6 p.m. until 8:15 a.m.