Grandmaster Eric Hennings
Eric Hennings was born February 27, 1958 in Omaha, Nebraska, where he lived for 5 years. In 1963, his family moved to Detroit, Michigan. Eric grew up in Detroit, enduring the violence of the 60s and 70s. After moving to Texas, he enrolled in a bull riding school and competed on his high school's rodeo team. After graduating from high school, he tried to make a living by competing in rodeos. In 1977 the starving 'Yankee rodeo cowboy' decided to join the Marine Corps. Hennings served 4 years in the active Marine Corps infantry, 2 years in the reserves. Always interested in martial arts, he expanded on his Marine hand-to-hand combat training, studying Jiu-Jitsu and Tae Kwon Do at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. When his active service was finished, he returned to Detroit, MI and resumed his study of Tae Kwon-Do under Master Glenn Klienow and Grand Master Kwang Jo Choi. He and Mr. Kleinow took many trips to Georgia to train with Master Kwang Jo Choi, who had moved there from Detroit. In Georgia they met Mr. Robert Lowrey, who was Master Choi's "right hand man" in Georgia, and he and Hennings became best friends and training partners. Having been out of the military for a few years, Hennings decided to join the reserves. He joined an Army reserve Ranger unit, and was sent to Airborne school and eventually Ranger school. Hennings has served many years as a Team Leader in this unit, now designated a Long Range Surveillance Unit. In 1987, after Master Choi founded Choi Kwang-Do Martial Art International, Master Hennings was tasked with starting up new schools all over the country. He has worked or started schools in Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia. In 1993 he earned a 4th degree Black Belt in Choi Kwang-Do and was appointed Assistant International Technical Director for the organization. In 1994 he became the Chief Instructor at the World Headquarters. Master Lowrey (who was the International Technical Director) and Hennings trained virtually all the instructors and students who came to the World Headquarters from all over the world. Master Hennings was also the Chief Instructor to the military for the Choi Kwang-Do organization. He taught martial arts to U.S. Army Ranger Instructors at Camp Merrill and to Rangers and soldiers at Ft. Benning. Hennings has also taught College credit martial art classes for Upper Iowa University and Kennesaw State University. On May 26, 1997, Master Hennings, along with Master Lowrey, left Choi Kwang-Do, and with 50+ years of martial arts experience between them, co-founded Modern Defense Martial Art. Master Hennings went on to open Modern Defense schools in Atlanta and Marietta (North Atlanta). Georgia. Both are successful schools to this day. At the beginning of 2004, Master Hennings was called to active duty to serve in the Iraq war. After a tour of duty lasting 16 months involving intense combat, Master Hennings returned to the U.S. to a well earned sabbatical. He continues to serve as a friend and adviser to Dynamic Self Defense.
Grandmaster Eric Hennings, Fallujah, Iraq
Master Hennings and Master Glenn Klienow with Grandmaster Choi, Founder of Choi Kwang Do
CKD World Seminar, 1996
5th Degree Black Belt Exhibition, 1997