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Our Instructors

At Beckham Martial Arts & Fitness, we have a rich history (35 years worth!) of raising up our students to become instructors in Nihon Goshin Aikido. Martial Arts requires dedication and heart, and not everyone makes it to the coveted rank of black belt. For those who have put in the time and effort, however, it is undoubtedly one of their proudest accomplishments.

We have several highly ranked students at BMAF. These men have trained hard and sacrificed much to continue to spread the knowledge of our art throughout the Upstate. They, under Joe Beckham’s leadership, are fundamental to BMAF and are often to be found teaching and instructing during the adult and children’s classes.

Head Instructor

Joe Beckham

Joe Beckham began training on August 16, 1980 in Spartanburg, SC. He is a Shichi-Dan (7th degree black belt) in Nihon Goshin Aikido Under Doctor Mihails Pupinsh – President of the international combat aikido union association. He has also received an honorary Sho-danho position in Hombu Aikido under Fumio Toyoda, and a San-Dan in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido under Hanshi Greg Huff.

San-Dan Instructors (3rd Degree Black Belts)

Derrick Baxter

Derrick Baxter has trained with Mr. Beckham since February of 1995. He currently lives in Georgia, does not regularly train with the BMAF dojo, but maintains strong ties with BMAF. He is currently the only instructor/student with an IMBD actor’s page.

Michael McDunn

Michael McDunn began his aikido training in June of 1996. He is a master furniture maker and is the owner of The Studio Of Michael McDunn in Greenville, South Carolina. Michael is a third degree black belt who regularly attends class and helps to instruct all levels of students at BMAF.

Don Ungefug

Don Ungefug, a native of the Upstate, began his aikido training in June of 2000. He has a degree in Criminal Justice from Clemson University and presently works for Ashland Chemical as a Quality Control Technician. Don is married to Lisa Ungefug.

Chad Hardin

Chad Hardin began aikido training in October of 2002. He has a Business Administration degree and is an engineering recruiter. Chad is married and has two children.

Ni-Dan Instructors (2nd Degree Black Belts)

Rick Haskett

Rick Haskett began training in March of 1991. He is the owner of AAA Locksmith & Alarm, President/Co-Owner of State Investigations, and Director of Mission Ready Ministries. Rick is married and has two children and four grandchildren. Though rarely at BMAF, Rick is the Head Instructor at Hall’s Martial Arts and continues to maintain strong ties with BMAF.

Michael Hamilton

Sensei Michael Hamilton began training in July of 2004. He served in law enforcement for twenty-two years and retired as a Captain with the Fountain Inn Police Department. Michael is married and has three children. Michael recently (early 2017) opened a satellite dojo in Fountain Inn (Beckham Martial Arts & Fitness – Fountain Inn) to continue to spread knowledge of our art throughout the Upstate.

Lee Hailey

Information coming soon

Ray Land

Ray Land began training in aikido in August of 2000. He is also ranked (2nd degree black belt) in Taekwondo. Ray is married and has two children.

R David Jones

David Jones was born and raised in Greer, South Carolina. He began training in Nihon Goshin Aikido with Mr. Beckham in 2003 and received his Sho-Dan in May of 2015 after several breaks in training.

Aaron Cullip

Information coming soon

John Jeter

John Jeter began training with Mr. Beckham in July of 2008. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from USC and is an Insurance and Financial Services Agent for State Farm. John is married and has three children.

Sho-Dan Instructors (1st Degree Black Belts)

John Petritch

Information coming soon

Byron Jones

Information coming soon

Perry Hill

Information coming soon

Kevin Wright

Information coming soon

Marc Veale

Information coming soon

Rick Sorrells

Information coming soon