In Japan, Bushido signified the code of ethical behavior followed by Samurai Warriors. Today, the philosophy of Bushido represents the underlying set of values for all the martial arts. It incorporates virtues such as honor, humility, discipline, courage and self-confidence.
Dylan Edwards wanted to give back to the community he grew up in and teach the system that was created by his grandfather. This is the reason that beginning on April 4th, we are excited to announce that Bushido MMA will be coming to the U! This form of martial arts has a long history, in which Professor Dylan’s family plays a major role. The Bushido MMA Society was resurrected in 2015. It was originally known as the Bushido Fighting Society, founded in 1962. It is a unique martial arts organization. More of a club than a traditional karate school, it stresses camaraderie and offers students a more direct one-to-one relationship based upon their individual attributes and skill sets. Rather than placing importance on blind—and too often empty—observance of strict forms, Bushido puts heavy emphasis on real life experience.
TRAINING IN THE BUSHIDO MMA SOCIETY:
Youth will begin with training geared towards developing kinesthetic awareness and discipline, and will gradually shift over to more combat-effective training with increase in rank, experience, and maturity. The goal of Bushido is to give students genuine self-confidence, the kind that is based on knowledge of one’s strengths and weaknesses in realistic situations.
The Bushido style is eclectic. It combines techniques from karate, kung fu, old style boxing, and thai kickboxing. This mixture is based on the observations and experience of Bushido’s founder, Bob Beal, who feels that the best self-defense techniques are those that are most effective. Bushido is an open system; it is still evolving. We respect all other styles, and take from them the most useful elements.
The Bushido MMA Society is basically a “hard” school. That is, rank is given based on personal improvement and dedication rather than participation. Bushido MMA is a black belt school, and we emphasize black belt excellence. Initial emphasis is placed on movement and developing kinesthetic and self-awareness. Then students will progress to learning soft, circular, defensive movements and learning how to fall properly. This prepares students for the hard and direct power techniques that will be learned from the striking arts by helping students learn the grace and balance that comes with continuous, fluid movement.
Emphasis is then placed on the striking arts; blocks, strikes, punches and kicks. Bushido concentrates on a relatively few basic techniques at a time and their correct execution. In our observance it is often better to know a few techniques that are effective than to learn many which are ineffective or forgotten in real life situations. This pattern of training will continue in an undulating, repeating manner until students demonstrate proficiency and begin the mastery of Bushido. Then grappling and takedowns will be added to the undulating curriculum.
As our Bushido classes evolve and our students develop, we will increase the class offerings to include their subjective categories. (e.g. boxing, kickboxing, brazilian jiu-jitsu, Bushido MMA, etc)
The key to mastery of Bushido is the ability to function in the real world. After students reach a level of initial Bushido mastery and/or a specified rank, contact training will be made accessible to students who are willing and cleared by their instructors. Contact training is a privilege not a necessity! Bushido training methods are meant to upgrade students software WITHOUT damaging the hardware! Students who choose to eventually engage in contact training will proceed on a safe, supportive, and gradual basis. All students are allowed to progress at their own rate. Actual contact during normal training hours is not allowed unless approved by an instructor, and again at all times contact is done with safety as the first consideration.
Mastering Bushido is not easy—but it is worth the effort. If you decide to make the commitment to Bushido, Bushido’s commitment to you will be that you will become confident of your ability to defend yourself in real life situations and you will grow as a human being.
Bushido Council of Masters
Great Grandmaster Robert Beal: Founder and Chief Instructor, is a former CYO, Golden Gloves, and AAU National Heavyweight boxing champion. Grandmaster Beal has been involved in fighting disciplines most of his life. During his 70+ years of experience in the fighting arts, he has earned a Black Belt in the Okinawan Matsu Karate Style, trained in judo, wrestling, and all major karate styles. He holds a Red Belt (Black Belt of the 10th degree) and is a member of the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame and Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame.
Great Grandmaster Fred Degerberg: Founder and Grandmaster of the world famous Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts in Chicago. Fred Degerberg was the former Director and assistant instructor of the Bushido Fighting Society and was a key figure in the diffusion of “mixed martial arts” around the world. Grandmaster Degerberg holds numerous awards, accolades, and high ranking belts in many martial arts disciplines. He is a member of the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
Dylan Edwards: Founder of Bushido MMA and Lead instructor, is Grandmaster Beal’s grandson. Although not an accomplished fighter having never stepped inside the ring/octagon, Dylan holds a black belt in Bushido and has competed in powerlifting at a world class level. The youngest of three competitive brothers, Dylan spent his early childhood playing video games with low self-esteem and self-confidence. Soon enough, inspired from his family’s history and resilience and with a desire to improve, Dylan took up training Bushido under his grandfather. He quickly learned how the principles and disciplines learned in martial arts could be applied anywhere in life. Dylan is passionate about martial arts, fitness, health and wellness, and personal development. It is his dream to learn, instruct, and grow with his students. Dylan looks forward to instructing and trying to give back to others even a sliver of what Grandmaster Fred Degerberg and Grandmaster Robert Beal have given him, countless others, and the martial arts community.