Master Pilch

Mr. Pilch has been practicing Hapkido since 1986 when he moved to Ames to attend
Iowa State and study martial arts with Master Yong Chin Pak. He earned his first degree black belt in March of 1990.  Most recently, Mr. Pilch was the first Iowa State 5th degree hapkido black belt, promoted to Master in the fall of 2005.   Mr. Pilch has also practiced Systema, Judo, Kumdo, and Taekwondo, as well as exposing himself to many different styles of martial arts. In 1991, he began the Hapkido program ata private martial arts school and subsequently moved the program to the Riverfront YMCA in 1997 to allow more students access to the program.


While at Iowa State, Mr. Pilch earned an outstanding student award for Hapkido in1989. He was elected Hapkido Club President 1989-90, and club education/self-defense chair 1990-91. At the 1990 Martial Arts Banquet, Mr. Pilch was presented with Hapkido Leader of the Year Award. In 1991, Mr. Pilch graduated from Iowa State with a degree in political science.  Mr. PIlch was selected the Outstanding Alumni of the Year by the State of Iowa Black Belt Association in February 2006.


Outside of the do-jang, Mr. Pilch is a sgt for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.   In this position, Mr. Pilch is a state certified defensive tactics instructor and firearms instructor, training fellow law enforcement officers in street combat skills necessary for survival.  Mr. Pilch often works with the public, conducting self-defense seminars through the Sheriff’s Office and through Des Moines Hapkido. The seminars include people of all ages, ranging in class size from five to over 100. He has been a member of the Polk County Sheriff Department’s Special OperationsTeams, and is trained in CPR, as well as general first aid.  “Living the martial way,” is Mr. Pilch’s personal martial arts philosophy. “I encourage everyone to experience as much training as possible, don’t limit yourself to just one art. I’ve benefited from the many friends I have in different arts, not only at Iowa State but across the country, and I continue to learn from them.”