Motobu Ha Shito Ryu Karate Do
Hanshi Bill Woodard 3 time Florida State Champion, 2 time National Champion, 1 time World Champion Forms, Kumite, Weapon
Hanshi Bill Woodard has been practicing Motobu Ha Shito Ryu (pronounced Sheetoh Ryu) since 1979. The System has a long and rich history with Tradition and Values that make up Traditional martial arts. He holds a master instructor licenses from Japan, and received the honorable title of Kyoshi from Soke Kozo Kuniba at a ceremony held at the Ocala Karate Dojo in October of 2009. This is registered in Japan by the Motobu Ha Shito Ryu Kuniba Kai Int., the Japan Karate Federation (JKF), and the World Karate Federation (WKF). Receiving his 8th degree Black Belt and coveted title of Hanshi from Soke in September of 2015.
The System of Motobu Ha Shito Ryu is an Okinawan /Japanese style that consists of Hard and Soft techniques with balanced hand and foot strikes.
The System is from the Kuniba family heritage. (pronounced or spelled Kokuba in Okinawan dilect or written Kanji).
Soke Shogo Kuniba
Soke Shogo Kuniba. His Tradition continues through us
The Kuniba or Kokuba family, was also part of the last royal family of Okinawa, the Sho Shi family. Soke Shogo Kuniba and Shojin Nagamine are the only Okinawan martial arts masters who are directly related to the Okinawan royalty.
Today, the Kokuba family is the most important family in Okinawa. Kosei Kokuba (father of Shogo) was born in Naha City, Okinawa in 1901, the youngest son of a samurai family descended from the Sho-Shi royal family of Okinawa. Not only born of the royal family and a samurai, Sensei Kokuba believed in the old traditions for samurai training. He trained his only son, Kosho (later called Shogo, father to Kozo), in the true samurai tradition. Sensei Kokuba continued to train and teach until he became ill in 1956. After his death in 1959, young Kosho (Shogo) became the third Soke of the Ryu-Kyu Motobu-Ha Karate-Do of Choki Motobu.
Soke Shogo Kuniba’s mother’s family was also of the samurai class. Soke Kuniba lost his battle with cancer in 1992. Now the tradition continues through his sons Kozo and Kosuke as well as sensei from dojo around the world. We here at the Ocala Karate Dojo are proud to be part of, and preserve this tradition.
Soke Kozo Kuniba:
Soke Kozo Kuniba. www.kunibakai.org
Born on June 8th 1960, Kozo Kuniba began his karate training in 1965 under Sensei Masao Tateishi. He achieved the rank of shodan in 1969. He competed successfully in all Japan tournaments throughout the early 1970s winning or placing in the top three in kata and kumite on many occasions. As he matured in rank and responsibility, he made the decision to come to the US and train with his father, the late great Shogo Kuniba, in 1986.
He now continues the family tradition and Martial Arts of his father as the Soke or head of the system of Motobu Ha Shito Ryu Karate Do.