Eric Church began his martial arts career in 1987 studying Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido in Illinois. Well…it actually started several years earlier in his parent’s basement as he mimicked --badly-- with reckless abandon what he saw watching Kung-Fu Theater. Training and studying martial arts continues to be one of the most enjoyable and integral parts of Eric’s life.
From 1989 through 1996, Eric moved from school to school as the martial arts were not extremely popular in the Midwest, and schools tended to close as quickly as they opened. During those years, Eric continued to study Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, as well as Gorin Rhu Karate, Wing Chun, and Shudo Kahn Karate.
Eric spent several years working as an engineering technician and survey crew member for an engineering firm in Illinois before enrolling at Illinois State University in 1996. That same year, Eric began teaching Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido at a local martial arts school. There, he met and began training part-time with Kroo Dave Rogers, an instructor in Muay Thai under Ajarn Surachai Sirisute, and an instructor in Jun Fan Gung Fu, and the Filipino Martial Arts under Guro Dan Inosanto.
In 1998, Eric earned black belts in Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido. Not too long after, the school that Eric was teaching at closed down and Eric began training full-time under Kroo Dave. It was truly a breath of fresh air to rediscover how much fun training could be. In 1999, Eric earned an Apprentice Instructor Level 1 certificate from Kroo Dave.
Later in 1999, Eric earned a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice Sciences and completed an internship with the U.S. Marshals Service. Eric then relocated to Virginia to find the be-all-end-all perfect career…much harder than it sounded…more on that later. Eric began training at Martial Arts Koncepts under Guro Mike Krivka, an instructor under Guro Dan Inosanto, whom he had met at a Guro Dan Inosanto seminar in Missouri. Eric eventually earned the level of Apprentice Instructor from Guro Mike.
In 2003, Eric earned Apprentice Instructor certificates in the Filipino Martial Arts and Jun Fan Gung Fu under Guro Dan Inosanto.
Along with Guro Dan Inosanto and Ajarn Surachai Sirisute, Eric has had the privilege of attending training seminars taught by Sensi Erik Paulson, Sifu Burton Richardson, Jean Jacques Machado, Pendekar Herman Suwanda, Guro Dean Lessei, Guro Cass Magda, Tuhon Chris Sayoc, Tuhon Thomas Kier, and Sifu Francis Fong, to name a few.
By the way, Eric eventually found the perfect career. He is a certified Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT) instructor and teaches defensive tactics, close quarter combat, and firearms to law enforcement officers, special tactical units, and many others. Eric also plans to attend the Russian Kettlebell Coach certification course in 2004.
Eric can still be found training with his friend and instructor Mike Krivka, and teaching at Martial Arts Koncepts in Maryland.
Train hard and sweat