Donn Schucker - Executive Director
Sensei Schucker may be contacted at:
P.O. Box 2171
Florissant, MO 63032-2171
Phone: (314) 838-0869
|Donn Schucker Biographical Notes|
Sensei Schucker began training in the martial arts in 1964 with his father, a US Marine MP, and in 1969 began the formal study of judo. During his competitive career, he was fortunate enough to win many awards and trophies at the local and regional level, including a Silver Medal from the Junior Olympics in 1972. After more than three decades of practice, Sensei was awarded the rank of shichidan (7th degree) in 2001.
Shortly after his introduction to judo, Sensei began the study of aikijujutsu (which includes aikiken and other traditional weapons) and then jujitsu. These martial arts offered a more combat oriented approach to the martial arts that was somewhat neglected in the judo dojo that stressed mainly the competitive aspect of the martial arts. He was promoted to the rank of kudan (9th degree) in jujitsu in 2006 and the rank of hachidan in aikijujutsu in 2003.
Sensei's training also eventually led him to study karate. He felt that it would be beneficial to learn from a different viewpoint about the traditional Japanese/Okinawan martial arts. Since both judo and jujitsu tend to stress the grappling-type techniques over the striking techniques, Sensei studied karate to expand his knowledge of the valuable striking tools for self defense. His study of the striking arts began in 1974, and continues his study today.
Sensei Schucker and four other instructors were honored by being promoted to the rank of Yudansha Taigu in 2005. This rank is awarded for technical and administrative excellence, and long and dedicated service to the martial arts. With this promotion to Yudansha Taigu, Sensei became a member of a very exclusive group of martial artists, as there are only five holders of this rank known in the United States.
In addition to the ranks mentioned above, Sensei has been honored by being inducted into the United States Martial Arts Association's Hall of Fame in 2000 for his organization's work within the community. The following year, he was honored with the USMA's highest award...the Philip S. Porter Lifetime Achievement Award. This was one of the highlights of his life and he often told his students, "This is the greatest honor that I can imagine. To accept the award that bears the name of his personal teacher is a dream come true." In 2003, Sensei was inducted into the USMA International Hall of Fame as "International Martial Arts Leader of the Year", and in 2004, he was inducted into the World Martial Arts League's Hall of Fame as "American Jujitsu Grandmaster of the Year."
In 2005, Sensei Schucker was fortunate enough to compete in the first ever USMA Nationals, and was awarded the Silver Medal for his performance in the solo forms division. Additionally, he placed third, and along with his partner Kim Schucker, was awarded the Bronze Medal in the partner forms division. In the weapons forms division, Sensei Sam Sutton and Sensei Schucker won the Gold Medal for their performance of the two-man sword kata, Sekimon. Fortune smiled upon him again the next year as he was able to retain the National title in weapons forms competition by bringing home the Gold Medal in 2006.
Over the years, Sensei Schucker has traveled to various parts of the country to attend seminars and train with top instructors. In 1997 the opportunity presented itself to travel to Asia, and he went to both Taiwan and Hong Kong, and to the islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia to investigate the arts of these areas. In 2000, he ventured to Korea and other historic martial arts sites such as the Shaolin Temple situated in the mountains of central China.
Sensei regularly travels to many locations to conduct seminars and rank evaluations several times each year. Since 2006 he has been to Washington, Ontario, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, Texas and have offered his services as mentor and friend to instructors of many disciplines.
In 2001, Sensei was appointed to the position of Director of the USMA International Training Camp. The following year, he was appointed Chairman of the USMA National Board of Examiners. This group of high ranking instructors is responsible for the certification of all ranks and instructor credentials for USMA members around the world. In 2003, he was appointed USMA Director of Operations and oversaw virtually all activities of the United States Martial Arts Association. To help maintain high standards, Sensei appointed several of his top students to the positions he formerly held.
In 2008, Sensei Schucker's time with the USMA came to an end and he formed the SMAA. In order to lead by example (with regard to verifying every person’s ability level before registering ranks or presenting certifications) and maintain the highest standards possible within the new association, Sensei relinquished all of his rank as a symbolic gesture and will be evaluated for rank by our Yudansha Taigu in the near future.
Through the Martial Arts, Sensei has acquired an interest in Japanese swords as well as Japanese archery. This has also led to an appreciation for Japanese calligraphy and artwork, which he has enjoyed for years.
Sensei is always quick to point out that while he has done quite a bit in his martial career, he is only now in his 50s and there is so much more to do! He is painfully aware of the problems in the martial arts and has tremendous plans for the future. With the friendship and support of his colleagues in the arts, great things are on the horizon! Here is a brief preview of what he has in mind for the SMAA…
Hopefully by about 2011, the SMAA should be able to obtain about 200 acres in the southern part of Missouri, and then eventually build a permanent training facility, along with classrooms, mess hall, dorms, and everything that will be needed for dedicated martial artists come and to train for as long as they like. Training will be offered in classical unarmed and armed martial arts as well as training in modern combatives, both with and without weapons.
Sensei's goal is to make the SMAA the best and most complete martial arts organization of its kind, and to truly offer people the chance to participate in all facets of martial skills. And of course this will be done without the destructive influence of politics, bias or corruption!
Finally dedicated martial artists will have a place to come to train and to stay for as long as they like. At long last all GENUINE and LEGITIMATE martial artists will have a tangible goal to shoot for, and will be able to see and benefit from the fruits of our labors.
THE INSTITUTE OF JUJITSU STUDIES™
Copyright © 2006 [Wesner's School of Martial Arts]. All rights reserved.