WELCOME MAT HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
WELCOME MAT JUDO JUJITSU SAMBO
A TRIBUTE TO TWO OF KANSAS CITY'S GREAT SENSEIS
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us…if it is teaching, let him teach.” Romans 12:6
Two of the most outstanding martial arts instructors ever in the Kansas City area and the two primary judo instructors of Steve Scott are Jerry Swett and Prof. Ken Regennitter. If it had not been for the technically sound and excellent coaching provided by these two men, Welcome Mat may not have ever come about. Steve Scott's first judo sensei was Jerry Swett. Jerry was also a well-respected aikido instructor. Jerry received his 2nd grade black belt in judo from the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, Japan and trained and received his 3rd grade black belt in aikido in Japan under Gozo Shioda. Jerry also studied aikido and trained at the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan under Morihei Uyeshiba, the founder of aikido. Ken Regennitter was Steve Scott's second judo coach and trained Steve in Kodenkan (now called Danzan-ryu) Jujitsu. It was Ken Regennitter who urged Steve to try the Russian sport of sambo, so through Ken's influence, Steve Scott sought out coaching in the sport of sambo and brought it to Kansas City. Ken was a big supporter of Welcome Mat in its early years, even loaning the first mat (a 10 foot by 10 foot green canvas horse hair mat) ever used at our club to Steve Scott. Ken was a 7th grade black belt in Kodenkan Jujitsu and a 3rd grade black belt in Kodokan Judo. He is respected as being one of the leading Kodenkan Jujitsu instructors ever in the United States. The rough and tumble workouts at his small dojo in Merriam, Kansas are some of the fondest memories many young men have and it is certainly the case with Steve Scott, who remembers them and continues to keep that spirit of hard training alive. These two great coaches, Jerry Swett and Prof. Ken Regennitter, profoundly influenced judo, jujitsu and sambo by their positive influence on Steve Scott, who went on to start the Welcome Mat Judo, Jujitsu and Sambo Club in 1969.
The photo at lower left shows Jerry Swett teaching aikido to two students sometime in the 1970s. (Thanks to Greg Lindquist for the photo.) The photo at lower right is Prof. Ken Regennitter taken in the early 1980s at a Welcome Mat banquet. These two outstanding men influence everyone who studies at Welcome Mat. The solid skills and ethical standards these two men taught are alive and well at Welcome Mat.
The Welcome Mat Judo Club was started in September, 1969 by Steve Scott. Steve was a senior in high school at the time and had received his Shodan (1st Grade Black Belt) earlier in 1969 from Ken Regennitter, his coach.
Initially, the club was located at the Marlborough Community Center in Kansas City's south side, the club was named the Marlborough Judo Club for the first few years of its existence. Sometime in the early 1970s, Steve named the club to the Welcome Mat Judo Club to reflect the fact that everyone was welcome.
The club grew rapidly through the years with thousands of people of all ages taking part. Through its history, the goals of the club have been to teach judo as a method of physical education and recreation, teach good character development and teach judo and jujitsu as a method of sport and self-defense.
Over the years, Welcome Mat has been successful in all levels of competition in judo, sambo, sport jujitsu and sumo. Welcome Mat athletes have represented the United States at many international judo, sambo, sport jujitsu and sumo tournaments including the World Judo Championships, World Sambo Championships and World Amateur Sumo Championships.
Our club motto is; "Success is an ongoing process." We believe that success isn't a thing to be achieved one time. It's something that must be worked on daily to maintain.