11600 Crossroads Circle, Suite C, Middle River, MD 21220
(410) 529-1262

Baltimore School of Self Defense

Become Stronger Outside & In With Our Fun, Supportive Classes. Choose the program that's right for you:

The 5 Ways We Change Lives,
For Both Kids & Adults.

Welcome!

Bet you thought our Baltimore School of Self Defense was nothing more than just a super cool place to get fit and learn self-defense. Well, that’s true, but it's so much more than that!

As you get physically fit, you’ll also start to see some changes that most of our students are NOT prepared for. Especially our younger students. They are absolutely amazed by some of the indirect changes that happen when you train in our programs. 

Below are a handful of those really awesome, life-changing experiences people walk away with. We can’t wait to hear what kind of positive things you experience too!

More Confidence

One of the first things both children AND adults notice when training with us is a big boost in confidence. And it makes sense when you think about it.

After all, martial arts is challenging. Yet when you persevere in the face of challenge, and come out on top, you realize you're stronger and more capable than you thought.

Realizing that makes you feel more confident. You feel more sure of your ability to handle whatever other challenges life throws your way.

This goes for kids, too. Their confidence boosts quickly as well.

Laser Like Focus

Focus your mind grasshopper...as you concentrate hard on listening to your instructor, then performing what they taught you, you’ll improve your ability to concentrate and absolutely smash your martial arts and fitness goals.

The neat thing is that this intense concentration naturally pours into all other areas of your life.

Studies have shown that just a half hour of physical fitness improves focus, heightens problem solving ability, and even boosts memory in both kids and adults.

Physical Fitness

Each class is loaded with challenging, fun exercise. But because you're so focused on performing techniques, and having so much fun, you hardly notice it. Before you know it, the class is over, and you not only learned powerful martial arts...

... you got a great workout, too. Being physically fit boosts energy, mental clarity, and confidence as well.

Genuine Friends

We're a tight-knit group here. And our members and instructors are all about support and friendship.

We provide the kind of environment that fosters friendship, encouragement, and motivation. It's truly a great feeling to be part of something genuine.

You'll Have FUN!

You’ll have an absolute blast in class! Sure, sometimes things will be tough and training can get intense. But we like to break up the intense focus and concentration with lots of laughs, encouragement, and light-hearted humor.

Laughing and smiles are part of every class!

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Our Mission

Our mission is simple: We want to teach everyone who walks through our doors the timeless, incredible benefits of martial arts. Self-discipline, so you can work hard to all of your goals in life. A deeper respect for self and others, to help you live a more peaceful life. Fitness, for health, energy, and stamina. And self-defense, for safety, and to put your mind at ease.

From children to adults - we help people of all ages gain these timeless traits and live better lives.

Our Story

Our 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 in northeastern Baltimore City. Over the years the dojo moved to several different locations, all the while flying under the YMCA flag. The dojo came to be known as the "White Marsh Dojo" among students and other dojo. Somewhere around 1990, Sensei Jim Howard moved away and handed the classes over to Sensei Wade Susie.

During Sensei Wade's tenure, he was presented with the opportunity to begin offering classes at the Ward Y in Abingdon when it opened. Sensei Wade seized the opportunity and 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 in the White Marsh area due to declining enrollment, but the popularity of the classes at the Ward Y continued.

Professor Will Harris

Professor Harris has been studying martial arts for over 30 years. He got his start by tagging along with his older brother who had become interested in trying out a ju-jitsu class at the local YMCA. Life's obligations took his brother in different directions and away from the class, but sensei continued his training, ultimately earning his shodan (1st degree black belt) under Sensei Jim Howard, who had had received his training from Sensei William Fromm. Professor Fromm along with Professor George Kirby, founded Budoshin Ju-Jitsu.

Sensei Jim relocated to California and turned the class over to Professor Wade Susie. Under Professor Susie, Sensei Will Harris continued his training and progressed through the ranks to his current rank of shichidan (7th degree blackbelt).

Throughout his martial arts career, Professor Harris has competed in and judged competitions too numerous to list. He has also attended and taken part in numerous seminars and learned from a multitude of sensei, including but not limited to such notable sensei as George Kirby (Budoshin Jujitsu), Wally Jay (Small Circle Jujitsu), Tony Maynard (American Combat Jujitsu), Gene Roos (Aiki Jujitsu), Dennis McCurdy (Jujitsu), Bruce Jones (Taihojitsu), George R. Parulski, Jr. (Ni-Hon Ryu Jujitsu), Bill Stokely (Seibukan Karate), Reginald Heefner (Judo), and Scott Anderson (Sambo).

Upon Professor Susie's retirement from teaching in 2013, Sensei Will agreed to take over the teaching responsibilities for the dojo, which at the time only held classes at the Ward Y in Abingdon, Maryland. In 2014, Sensei Will founded and opened Baltimore School of Self Defense, LLC in White Marsh, Maryland.

Professor Harris is a member of the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Yudanshakai.

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