By Donald Barnes
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — The Rebellion Fitness-N-Self-Defense is a workout and martial arts class that takes place every Saturday at the House of Bastet located on Lafayette between Brooklyn and Eighth Street. The program combines elements of cardio and Tang Soo Do giving participants a great way to get in shape while picking up a few self-defense techniques along the way. Tang Soo Do is a Korean style of Martial Arts that originated in the early 1900s during Japan’s occupation of Korea.
Cameron Cullers, founder and instructor of Rebellion Fitness, is both certified to teach Tang Soo Do and is a Tang Soo Do black belt. He says all the knowledge he holds about martial arts stems from the training he’s done with his father as a youth. Cullers says his father began teaching in the late 70s and trained martial arts masters who currently have schools in the city.
At the age of six, he began training with his father, but not to compete in tournaments and expos like a lot of people do, said Cullers. “I was taught martial arts so I could protect myself, my family and to also instill discipline, concentration, dedication and self-confidence,” Cullers told the Michigan Citizen. “Training throughout my life, I think it’s safe to say I’m able to apply martial arts to all aspects of life.”
Cullers graduated from Saint Joseph’s College (Indiana) where he played football for four years on an athletic scholarship. He says martial arts helped him tremendously during football training and recommends to those who are involved with sport activities to consider The Rebellion. “The discipline aspect of martial arts helped me during football training, I was able to really focus on what I needed to improve,” Cullers said.
Pattidukes Jordan, a dance and fitness instructor, regularly attends The Rebellion Fitness and said being an instructor is completely different from being a student. She describes it as a “whole different energy.”
“I’m really funny about who I take classes from but this is a great class,” Dukes said. “I absolutely love it, Cameron is intense and yet slightly sympathetic. I look to gain stamina, increase my flexibility and I appreciate the self-defense aspect of it; that’s one of the special things about the program.”
The Rebellion is broken into three different levels of classes: beginner, intermediate and high intensity. The beginner’s class is combined with the senior citizen class but Cullers suggest to those who have no history of working out to begin on that level.
“Everyone has to start somewhere. It’s the slowest pace I have. If you want to start slow, this is for you” Cullers said. “The intermediate class is a (slightly quicker pace) than the beginner class; anyone can join in… The high intensity class is more so like a non-stop grind. I don’t encourage everyone to join that one — it’s mainly for people who already have a history of working out and they want to push themselves to the next level.”
The classes are structured with a warm-up that contains cardio followed by instruction from Cullers.
“I actually teach the techniques — the proper way to stand, the proper way to deliver the technique. That gives students the idea of how to deliver the technique while hurting your opponent but not hurting yourself,” Cullers said. “A lot of other (teachers) have their students just mirror their moves, but they don’t tell you the benefits, disadvantages and advantages of the different techniques.”
After instruction, the workout begins and depending on which class it is, the speed of the workout and techniques taught may differ.
A cool-down session is the last portion of the class which includes a core workout, Cullers likes to leave the last five minutes of class for meditation and says, “it’s about centering and focusing. It really helps to stabilize your mental muscles.”
Cullers also offers a class for high school drama students. The class is focused on choreography and says it is “more like a performing arts type of class.”
“I teach fighting choreography and we do it to music,” Cullers said. “I specialize in teaching on-stage combat.”
Cullers’ father, Craig Cullers, joined The Rebellion out of admiration for his son and hopes to lose 20 pounds in the process. “I realized the continuous activity of the program is conducive to tricking the muscles so you get a faster burn and a faster result,” Craig said. “Mentally I look to gain a reaffirmation of my goals, which is to be at my optimal level.”
Cullers says when thinking of joining The Rebellion Fitness, don’t feel pressured about your level of stamina or knowledge about martial arts; just come. “I don’t encourage uniforms and I don’t encourage people to come in wearing karate belts,” Cullers said. “Wear what you’re comfortable wearing whether it’s sweatpants, shoes, no shoes whatever. It’s about being comfortable in an environment where you’re trying to progress and develop yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.”
For more information visit ThaRebellionFitness32@gmail.com