Martial arts, eskimos, and Mr. Jereme Boucher


Science and Living – North Penn’s Mr. Jereme Boucher has lived a life well beyond the science classroom. (Photo by Riley Roach)

TOWAMENCIN –  During the day, Mr. Jereme Boucher teaches his students just as any teacher would. Unlike a lot of the teachers in the building, Boucher has a second set of students. These students are  inside a martial arts gym.

“Yeah, I teach it. I love it. Last night we were teaching stick fighting. Tomorrow night I’ll be judging a tournament and then next week I’ll be kickboxing in the ring,” Boucher said.

How could a biochemist that teaches biology and chemistry also have training in martial arts? For Boucher, he accumulated a lot of training in martial arts because of his parents, and he started to love it.

“My parents signed me up for martial arts when I was 5, you know like half of America did taekwondo as a kid and everything else. I actually did love it. But then it didn’t do me any good. They always say you’ve got confidence when you can defend yourself, but I couldn’t,” Boucher explained, “When the children’s taekwondo class didn’t work, I started trying to search for what martial arts did. I kept up with it and now I am 32 years into martial arts and have gotten into actual combative stuff like the stuff that the Israeli military does, kickboxing, competitions, and everything else MMA.” 

Boucher soon realized that the training he has within the realm of martial arts is far too extensive to only teach teens. Different from what he does at the high school, Boucher teaches all ages, experience levels, and job types.

“The police and military have a job where there’s a lot of stuff involved that I can’t do at all. I’m not a soldier or a cop and never have been, but one aspect of their job I have dedicated 35 years of my life to studying. So, you know that that one aspect that hands-on protecting yourself, fighting somebody, stopping somebody, I can help them with that, and that that’s what I’ve done,” Boucher explained.

Having an eclectic bunch of people that he comes in contact with through working at the gym, Boucher has to be able to adjust and provide for any person that comes in.

“I think that’s another one that’s a load of fun to do. It’s really different and I have to tailor it. You know, if I’m doing self-defense with you and a group of your friends, that’s very different than if I’m from working with police officers because they have a different objective,” Boucher explained.

Along with working with a lot of different people, Boucher is able to work in a lot of different environments. Even on his own, camping and surviving in the outdoors are his favorite things to do when school is out.

“It’s cool if you can go out and make what you need to survive and be out there alone for a week. That’s awesome. And I still, every year try to get at least one solo trip and then every year my father and I try to take a canoe trip. My father’s 73 and he still gets in the canoe and pitches tents. That’s really cool. But yeah, I will go out and it was fun because I’ve never been lonely. I can be out there for weeks and not feel lonely and just enjoy it,” Boucher said.

The person in Boucher’s life who sparked his love for the outdoors was his father. Boucher explained how he wouldn’t have gotten as much into camping if it wasn’t for him.

My father, I respect a great deal. I have an awesome life and I lucked out. I have two really good parents with love and respect and not everyone got that lucky enough. So I’m really, really thankful for that.

— Mr. Jereme Boucher

“My father, I respect a great deal. I have an awesome life and I lucked out. I have two really good parents with love and respect and not everyone got that lucky enough. So I’m really, really thankful for that. My father only had one person in his whole life that he said was a real true friend. That gentleman did work up in Alaska with Eskimos,” Boucher said.

Since Boucehr respected his father so much, he wanted to meet anyone who was close to him, even if they were miles and miles away.

“I turned 18, graduated high school, and basically called him and was like, ‘Hey, can I come up?’ I wanted to meet the guy my father respected. I respect my father. I wanted to meet who he respected. So, I basically volunteered to go up and work for them for the summer and just go, live up there. I got money together, got a flight, went up, and ended up staying there. It was awesome,” Boucher said.

Boucher’s experience in Alaska working with Eskimos made him realize the importance of taking every chance you get to have an adventure. 

“Do something if you’re going to take a gap year. Go do something and have an adventure. People a lot of times look at me like ‘How many lives have you lived’ or ‘How many crazy things have you done?’ Or ‘You tell all these stories in class’ and like, the truth is not much. I haven’t done anything. I have massive regrets for all the opportunities that I missed or I was too afraid to take,” Boucher explained.

If there is one takeaway from his experiences, it’s that you have to be adventurous and try not to miss out on something you may regret.

“You’ll never experience anything quite like it again. You know what I mean? You’ll never regret it. You’ll never look back and be like, ‘Oh man, I can’t believe I had that adventure, that sucked,’” Boucher said.