Baltimore School of Self Defense, LLC is a member of the American Ju-Jitsu Association offering classes in traditional Japanese-style jujitsu (specifically Budoshin Ju-Jitsu & American Combat Jujitsu), basic self defense for adults, fitness kickboxing, and an internationally accredited martial arts program for youths called SKILLZ. The SKILLZ program incorporates elements of traditional karate and grappling. We also offer public and private seminars for Women's Self Defense and Active Shooter Preparedness. We are located at 11600 Crossroads Circle, Suite C in the Middle River/White Marsh area of eastern Baltimore County.
Our dojo has been known by a number of different names through the years, each of which was based on the location of where the classes were being taught. Immediately prior to our current name, our dojo was known as the "White Marsh Dojo" due to our former location which was run through the now defunct White Marsh YMCA. Our dojo was also sometimes referred to as the "Ward Y Dojo" because of another previous location inside the Ward Y in Abingdon, MD. After taking over the dojo in September of 2013, Sensei Harris decided to rename the dojo once again, but this time chose a name that will stay the same regardless of where classes are actually taught.
The dojo got its start under Sensei Jim Howard, who taught Budoshin Ju-Jitsu through what was then known as the Northeast YMCA. Classes were held in an old house converted to offices with an open multi-purpose room upstairs. The house was located on White Avenue in northeastern Baltimore City.
The class stayed with the YMCA but was moved to office trailers that served as the YMCA's office and activity room at its then new location at the corner of Lillian Holt Drive and Rossville Boulevard in eastern Baltimore County. Eventually the name changed from Northeast YMCA to White Marsh/Fullerton YMCA. The dojo operated at this location for quite a long time. The name White Marsh/Fullerton was frequently shortened to simply White Marsh. It was at this facility that the class was transitioned from Sensei Jim Howard to Sensei Wade Susie circa 1990.
When the YMCA sold the property at Lillian Holt Drive and Rossville Boulevard, our dojo went on the road in search of a new home. The name "White Marsh Dojo" was kept because that is how many people knew and referred to us. Furthermore, we didn't want to change the name of the dojo every time we moved locations. We found ourselves in various locations until eventually landing at the Gribbin Center, a facility owned by Catholic Charities and secured through a relationship with the YMCA. All the while, the class remained an official course offered through the YMCA.
During the time we were operating at the Gribbin Center, Sensei Wade began offering classes at the Ward Y in Abingdon when that facility opened. The classes were an immediate success, gaining more students than at the original location in the White Marsh/Perry Hall area. Eventually the YMCA canceled the classes at the Gribbin Center because enrollment had dropped significantly. But the popularity of the classes at the Ward Y continued.
In the summer of 2013, Sensei Wade decided he wanted to retire from teaching and asked Sensei Will if he would be interested in taking over the classes. Sensei Will accepted the offer and began teaching classes at the Ward Y in September 2013.
The increased demand for more classes coupled with the unavailability of space at the Ward Y encouraged Sensei Will to move the dojo out of the YMCA. Our first location that was independent of the YMCA was at 11550 Philadelphia Road in White Marsh, MD. We spent about 3 years there from the fall of 2014 through the fall of 2017 before moving to our current location at 11600 Crossroads Circle, just off of Route 43 (White Marsh Boulevard) in the Middle River/White Marsh area.
Please take some time to stop by and visit us!