Our Sensei

Derick Wellman

Sensei Derick Wellman, Yondan (pictured left) is the owner of White Dragon Judo Club. He has been studying Judo since 1973. Since then he has thrived as a national and regional competitor and coach in the Saint Louis area. White Dragon Judo was founded by Mr. Wellman as a way to proliferate this dynamic sport to serious students willing to learn.

Mr. Wellman has trained under many fine Judo Sensei including; Chuck Rothman (San Dan), Bonnie Korte (Placed in national competition 11 times and British Champion), Tom Kuhne (Olympic Alternate), George Stanich, and Eiko Shepard (7th Dan).

Mr. Wellman earned a silver medal at the 2001 USJI Nationals (100kg plus masters) , and 2nd place in the USJA 2003 (100kg plus Seniors), 1st place USJA nationals, 2003 (100kg plus masters), 1st place Missouri State Show Me Games in  2005  (100kg ), 2nd place in the 2007 AAU Nationals, Most Outstanding Senior Kata Practitioner, 2005, 5th place in 2009 World Masters (100kg), 4th place in Nage-No-Kata 2011 USA Judo Nationals and 3rd place at AAU 2011 Judo Nationals (Heavy Masters). A bronze medalist in Nage no Kata at the 2012 Senior Nationals. A gold medalist at the 2012 Tohkon Classic. He has placed 40 times in local and regional tournaments.

US Army Veteran.

Assistant Instructors

Demonn L. Smith

Demonn Smith: Youth class instructor, coach and competitor. Demonn started Judo in 1995. He has competed in numerous judo competitions on the senior and master’s national levels. He is a 2007 US Nationals Masters Champion at 100kg. He has a BA in Economics from Truman State University and is a U.S. Army veteran. He received his Nidan in 2013.

Dan Raney

Dan Raney: Sunday Adult Class Instructor. Dan has been practicing Judo for more than 25 years. He broke into the martial art after having a successful high school and collegiate wrestling career. Judo has been a national sport in Dan’s family. All of Dan’s children including his wife have practiced judo at one time or another. Mr. Raney has dedicated a lot of time and service to the martial art. Dan is also a certified regional judo referee. He is the current AAU Freestyle Judo Champion at 100KG. Dan received his Shodan in 2011. USMC veteran.

Dan Dillon 01 (1)

Dan Dillon

Dan Dillion: (left) Assistant Youth Instructor. Has been in judo for 6 years. A US Navy veteran, he received his rank of Shodan in 2015.


Eugene Hamilton

Eugene Hamilton: (left) Adult Class Judo Instructor. Has been studying judo since 2007. Has studied Judo abroad in three countries, with his most current stint being in Australia. Received the rank of Shodan in 2013.