DEMAS History

2000 - my Garage and Back Yard

2002 - Larger Back Yard in San Jose

 

2003 - 5th Street, San Jose (the 'Bat Cave') 

 

 

 

 

2004 - Goble Lane, San Jose

2005 - 650 Nuttman Street, Santa Clara

2009 - 3233 De La Cruz, Unit F, Santa Clara

2015 - Present 3266 De La Cruz, Santa Clara

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In July 2000 I was testing and applying for a position in Fire Departments around the Bay area. I had just been called back for a second interview with the California Department of Forestry (CDF). I was excited to have the opportunity to do what I had been taking classes in and was looking forward to being a firefighter again.

That is when one of my wife’s friends asked if I would teach her son sword fighting. It was at this time that I had to decide if I wanted to be a Sword Fighter or a Fire Fighter. It was a more difficult decision than I thought it would be, because I loved playing with swords, and I met some of my best friends while sword fighting. However, the excitement of fire fighting was amazing.

In July of 2000 I started teaching Jon Garces in my backyard, and after a little while he brought his friend John Dietzel to join him in class. For a couple of years, we would work in my back yard and garage studying longsword.

In 2002 I was able to rent space in San Jose in the back of a fruit packaging plant on 5th street. They cut a hole in the back wall of the building to put in a door. This was my first ‘door’ and the first full time European martial arts school in the United States. Our school was a 3000 sq ft room that smelled of pineapple, onions, and guano because of the bats. This became known as the ‘bat cave’ and we were in this building for about 2 years. I moved out of this building after I had to call 911 for the second time.

When we moved out of there, we moved into a space on a street off Monterey St near Tully Rd, in San Jose, called Goble Lane. We were there on Goble Lane for about 1 year when I was informed that I needed to move because the property had been sold and they were going to build condos. So, I began looking for the next home for DEMAS.

From Goble Lane we moved to Santa Clara into a warehouse space on Nuttman Street. We were in this building for about two years, and then we outgrew the space so I rented the building next to it and we tore down the wall between the two spaces so we could double our space. When we doubled our space, we broke through the wall with battle axes and maces. As one does. We went from 1200 sq ft training space to a 2400 sq ft space. We were on Nuttman until we outgrew that space, and it was time to move again.

In 2009 we moved to a space on De La Cruz, still in Santa Clara, that was a little bigger but was on the main road and had better frontage and signage. This was the nicest building we had ever been in and was the first time we were able to have two training rooms as well as a library in the school. The De La Cruz space allowed us to open our training to more people and bring in more students because we were on a main road. We were in this location for six years and were happy here, but we had to move because we outgrew this space.

It was here that we started operating more diverse classes than just sword work and we began teaching workshops like the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Class and began working with airsoft classes and workshops with guest instructors. As we began doing more of these classes, we realized that there was a market for more and we needed more space for other opportunities.

With this realization I started looking around for a larger space that we could operate an airsoft field in. And when I was looking, I was able to find a space across the street that we moved to.  In December of 2015 we moved across the street to the largest building we had ever had. We moved from a 3200 sq foot building to an 8700 sq ft building.

This allowed us to plan and begin another phase of operations with DEMAS and we started the DSOC Killhouse (Davenriche Special Operations Command). When we opened for Air Soft games in 2015, our field was the only inside airsoft field between Fort Ord and Antioch. Our airsoft field opens once a month for a weekend of games and is still one of only two indoor airsoft fields in the area. The biggest difference between what our larger space offered, and any other space is that we have created a field that has modular walls that allow us to change the setup of the field every month so that there is never the same field for each game and the players always have a new layout to play games in.

This new location also allows us to rent out the building for corporate events, parties, and film productions. We have been able to film scenes for movies and choreographed for TV shows and work with companies like Event Yoda so that we could do corporate training and birthday parties.

In 2020 we were shut down along with the rest of the world. Because of all the wonderful members of our school we were able to keep our doors open and not lose our space.

We are so much more than a martial arts school. We are a family and I’m so excited to have the chance to celebrate a milestone of 21 years of teaching with each and every one of you!

21st Birthday Party Flyer