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“Keichu is unique. Closely-related to American boxing and French Savate, Keichu mixes in a little Judo, a cup of Jiu-Jitsu, a pinch of Kung-Fu, a tablespoon of Karate and a gallon of street-wise Cajun fist-fighting.” – Soke Karl W. Marx
The Character of a GrandMaster
Keichu-Do Cajun Karate GrandMaster Eldrige Conley has dedicated his life to the principle that when it comes to achieving excellence, there is no substitute for discipline, hard work and razor-sharp focus.
“Self-Defense is not a part-time, when you have time, kind of pastime.” Soke Karl W. Marx, Sr., founder, Keichu-Do
Grandmaster Conley last competition November 2000.
His life demonstrates the power of his guiding principle in action, and is marked by noteworthy accomplishments as:
A student, of Keichu-Do, philosophy, criminal law and music
A leader, who served his country honorably and well
A teacher, of Keichu-Do, Judo and self-defense, whose students achieve great things
A highly-decorated student of the founder of Keichu-Do, Soke Karl W. Marx, for 45+ years
Karl W. Marx Hall of Fame inductee, 1994
Keichu-Do 8th degree black belt (the highest available) awarded, 2009
Retired as a Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army in 2005, after 30 years of honorable service
Pictured above is Grandmaster Conley with his son E.J. Conley and his wife Laurie Conley.
A Dedicated Student
GrandMaster Conley has been a dedicated student in school, and in life, from a very early age, and he continues to learn and grow to this day as a GrandMaster and a person. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Martial Arts, as well as degrees in criminal law and music, plays the cello, and often performs at Troy University.
He has spent over 40+ years studying Keichu-Do Cajun Karate with its founder, Soke Karl W. Marx, Sr. From the very beginning in 1969, when he hitchhiked 12 miles each way just to have the opportunity to learn Keichu-Do, to his induction into the Karl W. Marx Hall of Fame in 1994, to his promotion in 2009 to 8th degree black belt, the highest level available in Keichu-Do, GrandMaster Conley has been driven to achieve excellence as a student of Keichu-Do. His achievements speak for themselves. Soke Karl W. Marx passed away in 2013 leaving Grand Master Conley the highest promoted black belt by the founder of Keichu-Do Karate. He has from 1969 to present in Keichu-Do karate.
Grandmaster Conley pictured above with Don (The Dragon) Wilson (left).
A Devoted Teacher
GrandMaster Conley has been a teacher of Keichu-Do and self-defense for as long as he has known something someone else could benefit from. His passion for teaching others and encouraging their achievement has been an integral part of both his military work and his off-duty time. He started a total of 11 schools of Keichu-Do over the years, and his students’ successes have been noteworthy:
GrandMaster Conley’s track record of success as a teacher dates back to 1978, when his students started regularly placing in the top 3 in competitions
3 students won first place in the Blue Grass National Karate Championship one year, and one student won first place the following year
5 students were ranked # 1 in the Regional Sport Karate Circuit (R.S.K.C.) for 3 years
GrandMaster Conley trained and mentored Patrick Paolozzi, now a teacher himself, and the first German to study Keichu, the first to attend World, Nationals, and the owner of the only Keichu-Do schools in Germany
His and his wife Laurie’s son, EJ Conley, rated #1 in A.K. A. Chicago, IL 1994-1997, is a 4-time world Championship winner in New Orleans, LA, and a 3-time Grand Champion winner in Dothan, AL and Panama, City, FL
Grandmaster Conley pictured above with his student Patrick Paolozzi, while visiting Germany in May 2004 as a Special host for the German Benefiz-Open Championships
A Disciplined Soldier
“Defending one’s self is a habit.” — Soke Karl W. Marx
GrandMaster Conley applied the same discipline, hard work and focus to his military service career, and his record reflects steady growth and achievement. He enlisted in 1975 as an infantryman, and over the years, he completed Flight Operations and Military Police training, served as a Drill Sergeant, and eventually attended the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, the highest level of professional development for enlisted soldiers. He retired as a Command Sergeant Major in 2005 after 30 years of honorable service to his country.
Timeline of GrandMaster Conley’s Achievements as a Student of Keichu-Do
1969: Began Keichu-Do study in Alexandria, LA with Soke Karl W. Marx
1971: Started his first Karate Club at Grambling University as a brown belt
1976: received his 2nd degree black belt from a 6th degree black belt in All Okinawan Kempo Karate
Ranked #2 in the American Karate Association (A.K.A.) for 2 years Chicago, IL
1987: promoted to 5th degree black belt by Soke Karl W. Marx
1993: promoted to 6th degree black belt by Soke Karl W. Marx, inducted into the Karl W. Marx Keichu-Do Hall of Fame
2002: promoted to 7th degree black belt by Soke Karl W. Marx
2009: promoted to 8th degree black belt, the highest in Keichu-Do, by Soke Karl W. Marx
2017 promoted to 9th degree black belt by Soke Michael McGann
Locations and Start Dates of GrandMaster Conley’s 12 Keichu-Do Schools