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Bradenton Martial Arts

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Kevin Bergquist

About Dojo Martial Arts in Bradenton, FL

Meet Kevin Bergquist

Owner and Chief Instructor at
Dojo Martial Arts in Bradenton
Rokudan 6th Degree Black Belt

(Se habla Español. Se fala Portugues.)

Master Kevin Bergquist began his journey in the martial arts at the age of 5. He has now achieved international acclaim as an expert in the martial arts. He is a Heavyweight Fighting Champion, as well as a 3X Florida Karate State Champion. He has been inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame as well as the International Hall of Champions. He was honored by World Martial Arts Magazine and named "Karate Master of the Year". His school was voted #1 in the state by the Florida League of Martial Artists and his students have won over 50 State, National, and World Championships.

Master Kevin Bergquist began his journey in the martial arts as a child. At the age of five, he began his studies of combative science under the tutelage of his father, Gilbert T. Bergquist. Gilbert, Or “Gib,” as his friends called him, was a WWII Marine Corps Veteran and a 24-year Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As such, he was highly trained in hand-to-hand combat. He also specialized in weaponry, weapons disarmament tactics, and combat restraint tactics. The majority of Master Bergquist's childhood training came directly from the FBI Defensive Tactics Manual.

Kevin's older sister, Sensei Deborah Ross, is a Black Belt in Yoshitsune Ju-Jutsu. Deborah is the Founder of the Fighting Chance Womens' Self-Defense System. After many years of painful study, she awarded Master Bergquist a full Menkyo teaching license to teach the system as a Certified Master Instructor.

At the age of ten, he began his formal training in the art of Karate-Do. He quickly fell in love with the art and has been training continually ever since. His early training with Shihan Robert Miller, Jr. was severe and often brutal, but this harsh training quickly made him a Champion. He was a consistent tournament winner in Forms, Weapons, and Fighting. He soon began winning championships and trophies throughout the state of Florida. At the age of 15, and after much blood, sweat, and tears, he was awarded a Shodan, his first Black Belt.

One day, while walking down the beautiful beaches of his Anna Maria Island home, he saw a man performing a series of intricate combative motions. Impressed by this display, he sat down on a nearby rock and waited for the man to complete his practice. After nearly an hour, he approached the man and inquired about his style. The man, Professor Philip Lewis, accepted him as a student and agreed to train him for the duration of the summer. Prof. Phil Lewis is the head of Tora Karano Ryu International and an internationally recognized Grandmaster. They trained in Kali, Tora Karano Kempo, and Shaolin Tiger Claw Kung Fu. On their last day of training together, Professor Lewis awarded him an honorary Black Belt and inducted him as a Lifetime Member of Tora Karano Ryu International.

While attending High School, he excelled at Varsity Football and Varsity Powerlifting, competing at the state level in both sports. During this time, he was promoted to Nidan Second Degree Black Belt Ranking in Karate. He also studied the arts of Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate and Filipino Kuntao Silat.

Under the tutelage of Ninjutsu legend, Shidoshi Larry Beaver, he was the youngest person ever to be inducted into Shadows of Iga Society. He continues to train with Shidoshi to this day. In 1996, he was awarded a Certificate of Proficiency in Bujinkan Ninjutsu by Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, Noda City, Japan.

While attending college, he trained in the arts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Capoeira, Tae Kwon Do, Okinawan Kobudo, and American Kickboxing.

He was Batizado(initiated) into the art of Capoeira by world renown master Mestre Bira "Acordeon" Almeida. He was later awarded a Level 6 Corda and appointed as Head Instructor of the Capoeira Baiana Furacao Academy. He was very successfull as a teacher of Capoeira and Kickboxing. Through the fruits of this labor, he had the honor of training with Capoeira pioneer and world renown master Mestre Jelon Vieira and has been a loyal student ever since. He earned a Corda Laranja ranking from Mestre Jelon on September 16th, 2000. Master Bergquist is known as "Graduado Bujao" in the Capoeira world. He was the subject of a television documentary entitled "Capoeira is Life". He later was promoted and was awarded the Corda Azul Graduado ranking by Mestre Jelon and Professor Gafanhoto in 2010.

At the request of Dr. William Eyerly, he was appointed as the Martial Arts Director for the prestigious Gainnesville Association for the Creative Arts. There he organized afterschool programs combining academic tutoring and martial arts. The programs were enormously successful and expanded to to include several local Elementary and Middle Schools.

During this time, he also won the Heavyweight Fighting Division of the University of Florida Martial Arts Festival. He continued to perform in martial arts demonstrations and shows throughout the state of Florida, as well as in San Antonio and Houston,TX, New York City, NY, and Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

In 2004, he was invited to join the Sidekick Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping abused and at-risk kids through the martial arts. A program was soon started at Oasis Middle School. Master Bergquist was appointed as Martial Arts Program Director and now works with over 70 abused and at-risk children, helping them to learn discipline and self-confidence through the martial arts.

In 2007, he opened a new studio across the street from the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria Island. The new school grew quickly and has produced two Grand Champions. One week after opening, he won the Heavyweight Black Belt Fighting Division at the Warriors Karate State Championships.

The following year the DOJO Storm Team (Master Bergquist's Competition and Demonstration Team) dominated Competition in the State of Florida, bringing home 18 State Championships and over 100 trophies and medals.

In 2009, he was named as World Martial Arts Magazine's "Karate Master of the Year" and later inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He was then inducted into the International Hall of Champions by the World Head of Family Martial Arts Association and presented with the distinction of "Master of Honor".

During the Florida League of Martial Artists State Champions Banquet, his students won an astounding 21 State Titles. His school was voted as #1 School of the Year and received awards from the several prestigious organizations. Master Bergquist was awarded the Title of Florida State Champion in Forms and Weapons.

In December, he was awarded the "Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Southeastern Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

In the Spring of 2010, he opened a new school in Bradenton, FL. The new location has become a great success and is growing every day.

He was then recognized by Martial Arts World Magazine for "Outstanding Achievement in Competition" and inducted into the Martial Arts World Hall of Fame.

In 2012 he was named “Grandmaster Warrior of Honor” by the American Federation of Martial Arts as well as “Master of the Year” by the World Head of Family Sokeship Council. The WHOFSC has also given him the additional honor of being one of the Featured Instructors for their annual Hall of Fame.

In 2012, he and a group of Martial Arts Masters made a pilgrimage to the legendary Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, China. During this amazing voyage, he was able to train with legendary Masters and meditate in the Cave of Bodhidharma, Karate’s first Patriarch. In Beijing, he was presented a Martial Arts Scroll by one of the last surviving members of the Chinese Royal Family. This occurred inside the walls of the Forbidden City with the nephew of Emporer Pu Yi, the last person to sit on the throne of China. As a result of these travels, he was able to produce the documentaries, “A Guided Tour of the Shaolin Temple” and “Shaolin Kung Fu & Shengwa Fight Club”.

In 2013 and 2014, his students competed in the world’s largest Martial Arts Tournament, The ISKA US Open. The Dojo Storm Team dominated the competition and brought home 14 World Championship Titles and over 50 trophies.

Later in 2014 , he began his film career with being cast in “The Martial Arts Kid” with Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock as well as the movie “Enemy My Love”.

Master Kevin Bergquist has been training in the martial arts for over thirty years. He has been teaching for over twenty years. He is highly ranked, accredited, and certified by national and international martial arts federations. In spite of his busy teaching schedule, he continues to train regularly with the best teachers around, ever striving to improve and learn more.

How To Get Started

Come join our Bradenton, FL Martial Arts facility! We offer programs in Kids Martial Arts, After School, Adult Martial Arts, Fitness Kickboxing, Capoeria, Fight Club, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Children's Summer Camp and Birthday Parties. Choose a program that most interests you and have the opportunity to sign-up right here on our site for one of our awesome web specials. Or feel free to give us a call at 941-807-1734 if you have any further questions. Dojo Martial Arts hopes to speak with you soon!

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