3632 Broad St, Sumter, South Carolina 29154

History of Keishidojo

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History of Keishidojo

To tell the story of Keishidojo, we must first go back a bit.  In May 1999, Sensei JD arrives in Japan for his dream assignment for the Air Force and is determined to learn Aikido like Sensei Seagal.  After just a few months in the country, JD attends a local Aikido class and was unprepared for how little of his martial arts Japanese would help him in a full class.  Getting some help from a few fellow students, yet between the detailed techniques and the language barrier, JD decided to take some language lessons first. 

Enter Greg, he was a coworker and fellow martial artist.  He was taking Aikido on base.  Without a doubt, JD went to class that evening and met Sensei AJ Weimer.  He started the class and was met with a blend of Aikido, Filipino Kali, and Jiu-Jitsu.  Not really looking for the other two, yet the classes were taught as a combined program so there were little options but to study all three.  After years of training with Sensei AJ, JD would be granted the rank of Black Belt in Martial Arts Unlimited.  

In 2004, JD would return to the US and begin teaching on Shaw AFB.  Upon starting this new program which would take the three core programs that comprised the Japanese classes, JD would have Aikido, Filipino Weapons, and Jiu-Jitsu classes.  It was at this time Sensei AJ would start granting school names to the handful of Black Belts that he had promoted, although the requirement was the name was only to be given to those that were teaching.  It was at this time that Sensei AJ would grant Sensei JD the school name Kei Shi Do Jo or Training Place of the Dedicated Warrior.  

Sensei JD's number one student wanted to expand from the base and on September 2006 he found the location at 3632 Broad St, Suite A.  It was a small school by the current dojo standards, yet it was ours and we had a lot of great classes at that location.  As the word spread and Kesihidojo began to expand, the need for more space brought upon the move from suite A to suite E (Asian Grocery Store). We were in that location only for a few months, when the AC went out and the crew that fixed it forgot to hook up the drain line and the school flooded and collapsed the ceiling.  It was at that time the church that had been in suite F, decided to relocate and Sensei JD was given the choice to take the end space.  Without even looking, he agreed and the move once again was on.  

Old Puzzle Mats

The first set of martial arts puzzle mats that traveled between all three Broad Street locations.

New Wood Flooring

Upgrading the flooring from the green tiles to luxury vinyl planks to enhance the overall look of the gym.

Warrior Weekend 2010

Top Row: Eric, Tracey, Sensei Cory, Sensei AJ, Sensei Tom, Randy, Cole.  Bottom Row: Sensei JD, Unsure, Sensei T, Unsure, Sensei Shannon

The space looked very different in the beginning with several smaller rooms as the church had a kids room, lending closet, pastor's office, baptismal room, and more.  The initial move-in didn't change the space much, although over the past decade and then some the dojo began to change.  First it was smaller things as in new paint and room layouts.  We had an afterschool program for a year or two.  More and more there were changes, some bigger than others, the combining of three smaller rooms to make up the now second training space.  

Blue Room

Blue Belt Hannah and Sensei's Son Brandon in the 2nd training space called the Blue Room. 

At this point, the dojo is almost unrecognizable from the initial place we moved into, of course, it is all part of progress and the desire to give our people the very best we can.  



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