donn draeger

After this Marine-turned-martial-arts-researcher delved into the Japanese martial arts and ways, he worked to help people around the world get access to them via instruction and authoritative written material.

Donn F. Draeger's personal life remains a mystery, if not actually mysterious. It's fairly well-established that he was once married, possibly to a fellow Marine, and that the couple had a son before the union ended, but to date nothing more is known of that part of his life. Lady friends came and went, but not one remained long after she realized that his ultimate devotion in life was to martial arts training and study. Focused like a laser, he was too self-directed for permanent or, apparently, even long-term relationships.

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Learn how this iconic martial arts researcher was introduced to judo, jujitsu, kendo, iaido and other budo and bujutsu — and how he immersed himself in each discipline.

On October 20, 1982, the martial arts world lost one of its most dynamic and charismatic figures. Donn F. Draeger, USMC (retired), budo kyoshi (full professor of Japanese martial arts and ways) and ranked martial artist in perhaps a dozen combative systems, passed away from cancer at age 60 in his home state of Wisconsin.

Draeger is remembered today chiefly as the author of more than 30 books and numerous articles about the Asian martial arts, as well as for being one of the best-qualified and most experienced Western exponents of the combative arts.

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