Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a collection of common questions regarding the Stanford Martial Arts Program. As time goes on, additional questions will be added to this page. Feel free to contact us if you still have questions after reading this page.

How SMAP was Formed

An ASSU-sponsored meeting of the martial art student leaders at Stanford formed the basis for SMAP in January 2001. Previously, martial arts at Stanford were supported and offered as PE classes by the Department of Athletics. This relationship officially ended in the summer of 1999, and SMAP arose in response as a student-initiated umbrella organization to help individual groups deal with issues such as practice space, publicity, and funding.


"The Stanford Martial Arts Program (SMAP) is a collective of the various martial art student groups practicing on the Stanford campus."

What is the Stanford Martial Arts Program?

The Stanford Martial Arts Program (SMAP) is collective of the various martial art student groups practicing on the Stanford campus. Its main goals are to educate the Stanford community about the variety of martial arts available through outreach programming, serve as a centralized communications network between the different martial arts groups, and preserve the martial arts as a vital and distinctive component of Stanford life.

Why form SMAP in the first place?

In summer 1999, the Athletics Department elected to remove all martial arts classes from the PE schedule, forcing the martial arts groups on campus to reorganize as student groups or as informal clubs. In January 2001, an ASSU-sponsored meeting of the martial arts leaders sowed the seeds for the formation of SMAP, a unified coalition of martial arts groups dedicated to the preservation and support of the martial arts at Stanford.

Why are you requesting a Special Fee?

SMAP is seeking the Special Fee in order to generate funds to support the operation of its 11 member clubs and also finance several programming initiatives it plans in the next year. These include:

  • Dorm-based self-defense seminars
  • An annual multi-group martial arts demonstration
  • Publication of a martial arts handbook for the Stanford community
  • Events open to the Stanford community such as the quarterly Martial Arts Movie Night
  • Hiring of a part-time martial arts program director to oversee the martial arts at Stanford

Who benefits from SMAP's Special Fee funding?

The entire undergraduate community benefits from SMAP's outreach programming events (listed above). The 400+ members of SMAP's 11 clubs will also benefit from the funding. These clubs are: Aikido, Capoeira, Escrima, JKA Shotokan Karate, Judo, Jujitsu, Kenpo Karate, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Wing Chun Kung Fu, and Wushu.

Why should I really bother to vote for SMAP?

To help preserve the martial arts as a distinctive athletic and cultural component of Stanford life. We feel that the martial arts are threatened at Stanford, and we need the support of the students to insure that they will still be around. SMAP regularly contributes to the Stanford community with programs such as its self-defense seminars, martial arts demonstrations, and its Intro to Martial Arts class, all of which not only promote self-defense but health and fitness on Stanford campus.

How do I find out more information?

Take a look at this website and browse through the websites of the various martial arts that SMAP represents. You might also try checking out the Intro to Martial Arts class run by SMAP which provides a wide sampling of the various martial arts on campus.