Master Jerry Pritchett is a 7th degree black belt and is head of the Budokai Traditional Martial Arts system. With more than fifty years of experience in Traditional Japanese Karate, Okinawan Weapons (Kobudo), and Japanese Sword (Iaijutsu), his journey in the Martial Arts has been a very fulfilling and rewarding journey. Having always been very passionate about teaching and passing the Art on to others, he began teaching traditional Japanese Karate, Japanese Sword and Weapons in Wilson, NC in 1987 when he began the Budokai Traditional Martial Arts Association.
Master Pritchett’s journey began in 1965 when he walked into a Martial Arts school in Colonial Heights, Virginia and watched a master black belt teaching an advanced class in the Art of Karate. The school was the Southside Virginia Police Karate Association and the instructor that evening was Sensei Hulon Willis. The school was owned and operated by Sensei James P. Radcliff and Jerry enrolled under him and began his study of the Art of Karate at fourteen years old. He continued to study at this school for several years under James P. Radcliff and his brother, Donald A. Radcliff, until eventually leaving to go away to college. Some years later after graduating from college, Sensei Pritchett returned and resumed his study at that same school, now under the name American Bushido Kan, under a new instructor, Sensei Bernie Houchins. He continued his study under Sensei Houchins until 1987 when he left Virginia and moved to Wilson, North Carolina.
Upon arriving in Wilson in 1987, Sensei Pritchett enrolled in the United States Shotokan Karate Kobudo Kai to continue his study of Shotokan Karate and opened his own school, The Budokai Traditional Martial Arts Association, in Wilson teaching Shotokan Karate, Japanese Sword and Okinawan weapons. In the late 1990s, he left the USSKKK and continued teaching the Shotokan curriculum under his Budokai Traditional Martial Arts Association. During the many years that have followed, many techniques have been incorporated into the Budokai system redirecting the focus from tournament point sparring to techniques more appropriate for actual street confrontation. Most notably, the Tai Sabaki method of managing body movement to create advantageous positioning for yourself and using the opponent’s aggression and momentum to your advantage and to his disadvantage. Though we chose to depart from the Shotokan system in order to develop the Budokai system, we never forget that Shotokan is where our roots lie. Master Pritchett has now been teaching the Budokai Martial Arts system in Wilson for more than thirty years.