TAYLOR COUNTY—Martial arts is more than just a sport, it is a way of life, and students who take on the skillset devote hours, weeks, months and years of their time to perfect and grow in their craft. Recently, that hard work paid off for a local martial artist.
Sensei Eric Swick’s dedication the art was recognized, as he was inducted into an elite group, the West Virginia Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
A special inductee ceremony was held Saturday October 16, 2021, at the Fairmont Knights of Columbus, to help recognize and celebrate men and women who have walked the path of a martial artists, encompassing core values of the lifestyle.
There were 25 inductees into the inaugural Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and officials stated that they will induct more members every other year into the elite role.
“For many in the martial arts community it was a night of celebration and fellowship among the martial artists who have known each other for a long time,” said Sensei Swick. “I was honored to have been selected as a member of the first-ever inductees into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame.”
Sensei Swick has owned Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), a martial arts school in Grafton, for 22 years and counting.And what better person to teach students the craft than Swick, who has earned many accolades during his years.
Swick is a Sixth-Degree Black Belt in the art of Shotokan Karate-Do, a Third-Degree Black Belt in Renzoku Jiu-Jitsu, a First-Degree Black Belt in Judo, MMA coach and a Na Rong Muay Thai kickboxing instructor.
Starting his journey in the martial arts in 1988 with Shihan Sam Boyd and Sensei David Burner, he continued on with his training with Master Shihan Ben Leonard and Sensei Chuck Patterson.
“I have studied with some the greatest instructor across America, but the best ones were always back home in West Virginia,” Swick voiced.
Now, his training and skillset is being passed down to new generations of martial artists, something that will help to carry on Swick’s legacy long after he leaves the mat.
According to Sensei Swick, Team Dragon’s Den has won many local and state karate championships. Many Dragon’s Den students have also won multiple National Karate Federation team trails for the USA Olympic Team.
Sensei Swick shared that one of his favorite things to do is visit the elementary schools to teach the kids self-defense tactics because he really enjoys talking and working with kids.
On top of his martial arts knowledge Sensei is a certified personal trainer, certified youth fitness trainer and a strength and conditioning coach.
The staff of the Mountain Statesman would like to congratulate Sensei Swick on this outstanding recognition!