Plus One Defense Systems is a Hartford, CT martial arts studio that believes in honoring the true philosophy of martial arts: handling confrontation peacefully, instead of aggressively. Their mission is to provide high quality instruction among an array of martial arts styles, while making a positive impact in their community. Darin Reisler, head instructor at Plus One, says martial arts is often confused with a more contentious sport, when in fact they encourage pacifism.
"The notion of martial arts training is often misunderstood and misconstrued," Reisler says. "The true martial artist is one of the most peaceful people you will ever meet."
Reciting part of the teachings of martial arts, Reisler says "I will do all that I can to live peacefully" and "do what is feasible to avoid a physical confrontation." Reisler describes a philosophy that means accepting "verbal insult without physical retaliation" and the person choosing pacifism because they are aware of their surroundings. Reisler says martial artists are "of high moral character, modest, curious and controlled."
Plus One Defense Systems practices just that philosophy. According to Reisler, the team teaches peace as often as possible, addressing physical confrontations when necessary. This includes, when to avoid physical fighting, self-defense and what to do when evasion isn't an option.
Reisler believes that classes at Plus One, and martial arts in general, teach preparedness and self-confidence that's essential in difficult situations in everyday life and in physical confrontations. As students progress through their training programs, they gain rank among their martial arts peers.
"We are unique and we are different than any school in the area," Reisler says. "While the physical martial arts are taught, we have a peaceful focus that is at the foundation of the teaching. As well, we provide a level of individual care that is unsurpassed."
The studio teaches aikido, jujutsu, boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, capoeira, kali/silat, karate/kenpo, kickboxing, krav maga, kung fu, mixed martial arts, muay thai, sho blyn jui, taekwondo and has kettlebell classes. The 9,000-square foot facility has all the essential tools to be successful in Plus One classes. From 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., students of all levels can find a class at the studio. Every student's first lesson is free, but after that memberships vary based on the program chosen.