Posted on: March 6, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Marcus Collins

Gabriel Jaime practices moves on Test Dummy Bob as Sensei Phil Davis looks on.

Joshua Edwards’ connection to Moraine Valley’s Budo Martial Arts Club and to Sensei Phil Davis is very personal. 

“He’s kind of like a father figure,” Edwards says. “My dad passed away back in 2020 to COVID, and I was kind of messed up. I was dealing with a lot of stuff–dealing with grief, dealing with this pandemic.

“I was like a prisoner in my own cage because I felt safe in it, but I realized I was hurting myself and I had to break out of this cage and just be better. He helped me out of that.” 

Sensei Davis, whose alter ego is educational case manager for TRIO Student Support Services at Moraine, has studied martial arts since he was in elementary school. He resumed his training in college and after relocating back to Chicago from Mississippi, under the tutelage of Kiyoshi Andrew Cash, 9th-Degree Black Belt.

He loves everything about the art, “the traditional training, the Kata (fighting forms) the self-defense techniques, the deep history and how the information has been passed on for centuries. I also love the discipline aspect of the art and how the techniques learned can be applied on the street if needed.”

Watching students’ progress is rewarding, he says: “If one technique learned by a student can deter a threat, I can rest well knowing that what I taught worked.”

Mark Grant, practicing with Sensei Phil Davis
Photo by Marcus Collins
Marquise Grant practices with Sensei Phil Davis.

Club activities and events

“It’s like a gym class, but, I gotta say, it’s like the Marines as well because he puts us through hell,” Edwards said fondly. 

Marquise Grant agreed. “It’s a good hell, though.” 

The club focuses on strength and muscle training as well as defensive techniques, discipline and honor. 

Davis explains, “Budō is a Japanese term describing modern Japanese martial arts. Literally translated, it means the ‘Martial Way’ and may be thought of as the ‘Way of War.'”

The club is currently raising funds for uniforms through a GoFundMe.

Take it from active members

Edwards and Grant both value how welcome the club has made them feel. 

What Grant said he enjoys the most is that Davis “makes everyone feel like a family. If you’re struggling, he will not bypass it. He’ll try to help you understand.”

Sensei Davis also “takes time to balance” his teachings between newer members and veterans of the club. He ensures that no one feels left behind. 

When and where

The club meets in the KidRec in Building H, Wednesdays from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and Fridays from 1 to 2 p.m. 

How to join

The club is open to all who may be interested. “There are no requirements to join, just a desire to learn, no matter what skill level,” Davis says. 

Sign up on MVConnect, under Student Life and Organizations or by visiting the club while it’s in session. Interested students can also email Davis at

Joshua Edwards practicing a high kick
Photo by Marcus Collins
Joshua Edwards practices a high kick during the Budo Martial Arts Club meeting Friday.

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