I feel very lucky and fortunate for having had the privilege of spending half a century pursuing and sharing with others my passion which is the Martial Arts. For half a century I have studied, practiced and taught traditional Japanese Karate, Japanese Sword (Iaijutsu), and Okinawan weapons (Kobu-do). The Art has impacted and influenced virtually every aspect of my life. Being so much more than simply an activity, the study of the Martial Arts has defined me as a husband, a father, a brother, a friend and as a man.
In owning and operating The Budokai Traditional Martial Arts Association in Wilson since 1987 and in teaching private and group lessons for many years, I have had the great pleasure of watching the Martial Arts influence and often change the lives of the countless students that have passed through my dojo and embraced the way of the Martial Arts. I have witnessed young and adult students with low self-esteem, having never experienced the feeling of achievement and accomplishment become achievers in life through their achievements in the Martial Arts. I have watched as students came to the realization that there really isn’t anything that they cannot achieve. When I look through photo albums of my years in the Martial Arts, I see a life’s journey during which I have met some of the most wonderful people I have known and have had many of the most wonderful moments of my life. The journey continues. I choose to no longer operate a large Martial Arts School in downtown Wilson, but rather continue to teach adult group and private lessons here in my smaller private dojo where Budokai Traditional Martial Arts originally got its start back in 1987. Although I have taught in a number of dojos in Wilson over the years, I have never stopped teaching in this dojo.
In reflecting on my journey in the Martial Arts over the past half century, I would like to say to new students just entering the study of Martial Arts, don’t get concerned over belts and rank, but rather focus on the journey. That is where the Art lies. And during your journey, you will meet some the most wonderful people you will ever know, and have many of the most wonderful moments of your life.
Whether you become a member of my school or another, I wish you the best of luck in your journey and I hope yours is as meaningful and rewarding to you as mine has been to me.
Jerrell H. Pritchett (Jerry)
Owner and Chief Instructor
Budokai Traditional Martial Arts Association