Andrew Hudnall: Bushido, the Way of the Warrior
For Andrew Hudnall, Martial Arts is more than a form of fighting or breaking boards. It is Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, embodying the principles of respect, discipline and honor.
Every person who requests to study with either Hudnall or his one of his associates must undergo an interview to determine why they want to begin learning martial arts. Many, he said, want to learn because of something they saw in a movie or on the internet. He noted that his goal is to effect change with students, teaching them a different perspective. The goal is not just to know how to kick and punch, but to hone the level of defense through mental strength, being disciplined enough to know how far one needs to go when fighting. Bushido, according to Hudnall, provides viable answers to situations, teaching how not to fight if necessary, and to walk away instead of inflicting injury when not needed.
Growing up in a home with nine brothers and sisters, he said his mother was very stern and there was no getting around her. Things had to be done as she taught; there was no questioning her. Family was very important to everyone.
Hudnall commented, “She was old-school and we learned to do things the right way.”
As a youth in Wicomico and then Reedville, he played baseball from Little League through Pony League and then JV and Varsity in high school. In addition to baseball, he participated in wrestling and soccer. His first exposure to Karate was a sand-filled burlap bag he and his brothers hung from a tree and kicked. Later, as part of the Northumberland Recreation Department, martial arts classes were offered and Hudnall started in 1975, earning his first junior black belt in Shorin-Ryu Kara-Te at the age of 15.
Martial Arts became an important part of his life in the military, studying various forms wherever he was stationed. His first assignment was Germany where he began the study of Tae-Kwon-Do and Judo. After two years, he was promoted because of his experience to 3rd Dan. After Germany, Hudnall went to Korea, achieving the rank of First Degree Black Sash in the Southern Long Fist Kung-Fu system.
At Fort Devins, Massachusetts, he began instructing, training in hand to hand combat at the Military Intelligence School, while participating in competitions including Army martial arts teams. In 1993, Hudnall was the All Military Martial Arts Champion, a competition that brought martial arts competitors from all of the military branches.
Hudnall commented the Army was good about giving him time to study martial arts, giving him time off when necessary. He mentioned the Army has also given him an education as he has finished three quarters of his Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice.
A 26-year veteran, the mental strength he developed in martial arts was a strong asset for the harshness he experienced when deployed overseas.
Whether wearing body armor in the 105-degree heat or in combat in the Iraq Afghan theater of action, metal preparation has helped. Hudnall said he saw friends and…
–See the full story in this week’s edition of the Northern Neck News!