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About Ocala Karate Dojo

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KARATE is an Okinawan Japanese form of Self Defense centuries old and rich in tradition.


The Ocala Karate dojo has been the area leader in martial arts in Marion County for over 3 decades.


If you have questions feel free to contact us directly, know we will always do our best to answer these honestly and openly. We look forward to hearing from you.







Bill Woodard's first Marion County Karate Dojo opened in Belleview in 1985, because of his passion for the Martial arts, and success in competition. It has been known world wide for excellence ever since.


Now more than 3 decades later we moved from our College Rd. facility and are now located at the easy to get to from anywhere at 2333 E Fort King St.


Bill Woodard's Karate Dojo is better than ever.


Voted one of the Best of the Best, in our instruction and training, also voted Best of the Best with our After School Program by readers choice Ocala Magazine year after year.


Bill Woodard's Ocala Karate Dojo:

Awarded top 20 Clubs in the USA by the USA AAU National Committee for the 5th consecutive year. Has received proclamations and awards from:

The President of the United States, The Governor of Florida, the Mayor of Ocala, Dept. of Juvenile Justice, City of Ocala, and most of the schools in Marion County (private and public) just to mention a few.


Karate Dojo has Received the Mary Sue Rich Award from City of Ocala for Cultural Awareness and Racial Harmony.



Mayor Gerald Ergle Presents Proclamation from City

of Ocala to Bill Woodard at City Council Meeting 2005





Our Philosophy

When you enter our Dojo, a world of stress release, pleasure, and calm awaits. We are here to help you with your goals of self improvement, and to take away all the pressure of everyday life.

At the Dojo we transform back for one hour leaving our problems, and excess baggage at the door. Here we learn to react without thought to trust our emotions and reflexes. To be with complete confidence and at peace with ourselves.

At our Dojo, we are dedicated to giving you the most complete and highest quality martial arts training available anywhere, Body, Mind and Spirit working together. Feel GREAT!! mentally and physically.

We use the ancient Sempai - Kohai system which means the senior has the responsibility to assist the junior as they were assisted by their seniors. There are no ego in Traditional training only karate-ka working in harmony.

This way you are never left alone. It's like having your own personal trainer beside you every step of the way.


Kyoshi Bill Woodard "Martial Arts Champion"

Over 200 State, National, World Titles

Motobu Ha Shito Ryu Karate Do


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 titles of Kyoshi,and Hanshi from Soke Kozo Kuniba. 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)


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 dialect or written Kanji)






Soke Shogo Kuniba


His Tradition continues through us


Soke Shogo Kuniba

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:

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.


Hanshi Bill Woodard with Soke Kozo Kuniba

2009 photo of Soke Presenting Hanshi Woodard with Kyoshi Title in Karate, & Shihan Title in Weapons


Our Private Lessons or 3 month Self-Defense Course will help prepare for the unexpected. In an ever increasing world of violence the need for self-defense gows on a daily basis. Everyone deserves a fighting chance.
Call us today...

In the Karate Dojo Youth Class we teach Authentic Karate. This is not a sport, our classes all contain Self-Defense and Awareness. The Children are taught to be aware of situations that could be dangerous. Child Lures, as well as dealing with bullies are gone over repeatedly so they are instilled as a reaction.
 Fighting is not the answer. Confidence is. We reinforce discipline through protocol. When discipline is forced on someone, they sometimes reject it, but protocol is expected therefore accepted.  


Family values and Tradition are reinforced with a structured curriculum. Repetition is the key to learning. Even students that have problems with attention find they can accomplish their goals, and feel a great sence of pride in themselves by doing so. Our method of positive reinforcement in place of correction has proven to have great results.


Stop in and see why Ocala Karate Dojo is known for excellence


Our Premier After School Program is second to none. For those that only want the Best for their children. The Ocala Karate Dojo is not a Day Care, but an alternative to Day Care with personal attention in a safe, secure facility with professional instruction in authentic martial arts and it's traditional values.

We understand Karate is not for everyone or every child, for those not interested in our Karate Program in our After-School we offer our Fun & Fitness program.



Hanshi Woodard and his staff of personally trained Black Belts guide each student with patience and understanding instilling each with confidence and a sense of worth that will last a life time.




After school karate


Attention to detail ,striving for excellence in the after school class

After School Program


Our goal is to bring out the best in each student, small details have great results


Great Results anyone can accomplish


Just believe in yourself



Our teaching is from experiencing what we teach.



Champions are Inspired


After School Fun and Fitness


Fun & Fitness

After School Program at the Ocala Karate Dojo is directed by Master Instructor Bill Woodard a 40 year veteran of the Martial Arts. This program was established in 1990 along with the summer camp program and has received numberous awards.


The Students are held to the highest possible standard, with courtesy and manners expected by both instructors and students. We work with the parents to assist in meeting and continued improvement in all areas of academic and athletic growth.


Each Student is taught as an individual, so peer pressure is never an issue.


Confidence is instilled from the very first Class.





At the Ocala Dojo Classes begin and end with Courtesy, and with patience as our motto all students learn to strive and accept nothing less than excellence.

Authentic Karate is not a sport, our classes all contain Self-Defense and Awareness. The Children are taught to be aware of situations that could be dangerous. Child Lures, as well as dealing with bullies are gone over repeatedly so they are instilled as a reaction.

For those that wish to test their skills in competition our competition training class is world class with decades of champions, taught by champions.


Florida State Champion Recognition




Do you know who is influencing your Child!




Limited Enrollment to provide the personal attention that allows each child to excell in academics and athletics.







Youth from the age of 4 will learn the original Martial Arts as taught in Japan and Okinawa. All this in a fun and exciting day of training and learning. Train like a Jr. Ninja and Jr. Samurai. Full Days and half days. This is not a baby camp or day care we practice authentic martial arts, self-defense, child lure awareness and more.


Call Now to register and reserve your place. Limited enrollment. 352 237-9076





Master Instructor Bill Woodard 8th Dan Black Belt


Hanshi Bill Woodard works with each student personally.



Kyoshi Bill Woodard has 4 decades of experience in assisting students of all
ages, with many different special needs. Such as Autism, ADD & ADHD,
Muscular Dystrophy, Teyretz Syndrome, Sleep Apnea, Vision Impaired (100%), and Hearing Impaired (100%).

It requires an extreme amount of patience to assist students with special
needs. Kyoshi Bill Woodard has acquired this talent from hands on
experience. If you have a loved one with special needs contact us for a
personal evaluation with Kyoshi Woodard. He has assisted so many in our
community to have the confidence and self motivation to deal with their
situations helping them grow and develop without the feeling of helplessness.


*It is of the utmost importance to stress that family support is needed in all situations. To miss classes will only cause the student to become frustrated and feel that success is not a goal within their grasp.

Our Weapons: Kobudo and Iaido

"Ryu Kyu Kobudo" The original Kobudo of Okinawa


Kobudo is the art of using ancient farming and fishing implements as weapons. The peaceful Okinawan people were forced to use these in defending themselves aginst Pirates and the invading Japanese.



Kyoshi Bill Woodard joined the Tesshinkan in 1999


Hanshi Tamayose's first USA student



Kyoshi Bill Woodard & Hanshi Hidemi Tamayose

Kyoshi Woodard joined the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Tesshinkan August 1999

Kyoshi Woodard with Kyoshi Takamiagi


Bo vs. Bo Kumite in Okinawa City Dojo



Kyoshi Woodard brings Masters from Japan and Okinawa to train with his students at the Ocala Karate Dojo. Here Hanshi Tamayose President of the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Tesshinkan presents Kyoshi Woodard with Nidan Certificate at the Ocala Karate Dojo



Hanshi Tamayose and Kyoshi Woodard


Kyoshi Woodard receives Kobudo certification in Okinawa Budokan







Tiara Shinken father of Ryu Kyu Kobudo

Instructor to Soke Shogo Kuniba & Hanshi Eisuke Akamine


Taira Shinken called "The Father of Modern Kobudo" was born Maezato Shinken on June 12th, 1897 on the island of Kumejima (Kume Island) off of Japan. Tradition has it that Master Shinken was introduced to kobudo by his grandfather Kanegawa Gimu (1862-1921) . 

 During Master Shinken's studies with Master Funakoshi they traveled extensively in the Kanto area promoting and demonstrating karate at several universities. In constant desire to learn more Taira Shinken asked Master Funakoshi to introduce him to a friend and colleague of Master Funakoshi's  that he met in Osaka years earlier, named Master Kenwa Mabuni(founder of Shito Ryu Karate Do). . As a result of this help from Master Funakoshi young Master Shinken did become a student of Master Mabuni ,who was the first person to introduce Kobudo to the mainland of Japan. Many of Master Mabuni's students also later supported Master Shinken. Such as Sakagami Ryusho, Master Mabuni's Son, Kunishi Yasuhiro, Kuniba Shogo (Soke Kozo's father), and Hayashi Teruo, as well as both Eizo and Tatsuo Shimabuku. It was these men that were responsible for the spread of Master Shinken's Kobudo throughout the world.



Soke Shogo Kuniba

Father to Soke Kozo Kuniba


The Late Shogo Kuniba was a direct student of Tiara Shinken (modern day founder of Kobudo), and one of the original Japanese Shihan under the Hozon Shin Ko Kai. Kyoshi Woodard began his Ryu Kyu Kobudo training in this system. Later known as Ryu Kyu Kobudo Kuniba Ha, also known as Ryu Kyu Kobudo Tiara Ha.

 The Kuniba family linage can be traced back as direct decendents of the first family of royalty of Okinawa with the Okinawan pronunciation of Kuniba as Kokuba.










Eisuke Akamine


Hozon Shin Ko Kai


Eisuke Akamine was the direct successor to the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Hozon Shin Ko Kai system of Tiara Shinken (modern day founder of Kobudo). This is the first complete Kobudo Systems to ever be developed. Comprising of weapons such as: Bo (staff), Nunchaku (flail), Tekko (knuckle duster), Sai (trencheon), Tonfa (grinding handle), Eku (boat oar), Kama (sicle).


He was the instructor of  Hanshi Hidemi Tamayose. 









Hidemi Tamayose "Kaicho"   President of the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Tesshinkan in Okinawa was a direct student of Akamine Sensei. Upon the death of Akamine Sensei, Hanshi Tamayose  formed the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Tesshinkan to preserve the system taught to him by his long time instructor. Tamayose Sensei now serves as the instructor to Kyoshi Bill Woodard and certifies his students Kobudo in Okinawa.








Kyoshi Bill Woodard with Hanshi Hidemi Tamayose

Kyoshi Woodard became a member of the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Tesshinkan shortly after it was formed in May 1999. He was promoted to Nidan in this system by Hanshi Tamayose in 2002.







Soke Kozo Kuniba from Japan presents Kyoshi Bill Woodard with Rokudan and Shihan licenses in Kobudo


Kyoshi Bill Woodard receives his 6th Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Ryu Kyu Kobudo and the title of  Shihan issued by Soke Kozo Kuniba of the Kuniba Kai after testing 2/08/09 at the Ocala Karate Dojo in front of members from as far away as Virginia. He received his 5th Degree Black Belt in this system in 1991.

 He also holds a 5th Degree Black Belt in Ryu Kyu Kobudo Tesshinkan issued by Hanshi Hidemi Tamayose. Kyoshi Woodard became a member of the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Hozon Shin Ko Kai in 1997, and the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Tesshinkan in August of 1999 shortly after it was formed to help preserve these ancient arts.





 Mugai Ryu Iaido:


The art of Drawing and Cutting with the Samurai Sword.


The Dojo also offers the rare art of Mugai Ryu Iaido. We offer the finest hand made swords.

All Students in this class begin with the Boken (wooden sword) then move on to the Katana.

Kyoshi Woodard's Students have won many competition with the sword including Gold Medals at the AAU State Championships.



Kyoshi Woodard Performs Giriage




 The Ocala Karate Dojo is the Area's Leader in Authentic Martial Arts, and has been serving Marion County for over 3 decades. Teaching Authentic Karate, Kobudo (Okinawan Weapons), Iaido and Iaijutsu (Sword Arts) in the Traditional manner . The Instructors are certified, and  have trained in Japan and Okinawa.

Classes are available for Men, Women, and Children. There is even a Class for Families to enjoy Together.

At the Ocala Karate Dojo you will find all classes beginning and ending with Courtesy.

With Patience as our motto and the values and morals that are associated with centuries of tradition. 

Hanshi Bill Woodard will guide you through a transformation that will make you feel great about yourself with new confidence and attitude.


Our teaching success is from Encouragement and Example.

Kuniba Kai International


Motobu Ha Shito Ryu Karate Do



The Ocala Karate Dojo is the World Headquarters for the National Karate Kobudo Federation and a representative for the Kuniba Kai International of Japan, and  Ryu Kyu Kobudo  Tesshinkan of Okinawa.



National Karate & Kobudo Federation Patch

"Ryu Kyu Kobudo Linage"

Yabiku Moden(1878-1945)
A karate student of Itosu Anko. He studied Yamani type bojutsu under Chinen Sanda, who himself learned Kobudo from his own father, Chinen Pechin, who had trained under Tode Sakagawa, a student of Kusanku.

He studied saijutsu under Sanda Kanagusukua a master from the Shuri region, and a bodyguard to king Sho Tai. He also studied kobudo under Tawata Pechin Shinkazu, a student of Bushi Matsumura known for his skill with bo and sai.

In 1935, he set up a dojo in Gumma Prefecture on mainland Japan, introducing Okinawan Kobudo to the Japanese. It was here he was known to teach all that were interested in the art of weapons, as it was starting to diminish. This was where Master Taira Shinken met him.

In 1911, Master Moden founded the Ryukyu Kobujutsu Research Association on Okinawa; an organization dedicated to the preservation of kobudo kata. This organization existed until his death during the Second World War.

TAIRA SHINKEN:(1897-1970) 
Modern Day Founder of Kobudo (Ryu Kyu Kobudo)

Taira Shinken was born Maezato Shinken on the 12th June 1897, in the village of Nakazato'on the island of Kumejima. Officially recorded as Maezato Shinken,he often used his mother's maiden name 'Taira'.

He graduated from Nakazato Elementary school and later worked at a mine in Minami Jima.

At the age of 25 he travelled to Japan intent on studing Judo. In Tokyo he met Funakoshi Gichin. He was so impressed with Funakoshi in 1922 he became a live student and remained for eight years. he became Funakoshi Sensei's assistant instructor and one of his closest students.

In 1929, with Funakoshi's recommendation, he entered Yabiku Moden's dojo to study Ryukyu Kobudo. Here he mastered the Bo, Sai, Tonfa, Nunchaku, and Eku.

1932, he was granted permission to open a dojo, teaching karate and kobudo. In 1933 he received his formal teaching license in Ryukyu Kobudo from Yabiku Sensei.

In 1934,Taira Shinken began receiving instruction form Mabuni Kenwa where he expanded his knowledge of kata and technique of the bo and sai under Mabuni Sensei's watchful eye. He remained a student of Mabuni until 1940 when he returned to Okinawa.


During his time teaching in Gunma Prefecture that Taira allegedly developed the Mariji sai and ifs accompanying kata. The mariji sai has had a long history in China and Okinawa, and Taira's inspiration for the weapon apparantly came after visiting a Buddhist temple to pray for success of his newly opened dojo. It was there that he saw a large manji which to Taira resembled a Kobudo weapon. This inspired Taria to create a weapon from its shape, and the kata Jigan no sai. .

In 1940 Tiara returned to Okinawa and after the death of Yabiku Sensei.

1941, Tiara establised the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko-Kai, the association for the promotion and preservation of Ryukyu Kobudo in Naha. It is based on the organizition of Yabiku Sensei's Ryukyu Kobujutsu Kenkyu Kai.

The Hozon Shinkokai included instruction in the use of nine different weapons and their respective kata's. early 1960's he published the first book on Ryukyu Kobudo in Japanese entitled "Ryukyu Kobudo Taiken" which helped greatly to popularize the art in Okinawa.

Later in the 1960's he formalized and strengthed his association by appointing his students to different positions in the Shinko Kai and established testing and licensing standards for his students.

In 1963, The Kokusai Karate-do Kobudo Renmei was formed with Higa Seiko as the chairman and Taira Shinken as the vice chairman.

In 1964 he was recognised as a master teacher of Kobudo by the All Japan Kobudo Federation and awarded his Hanshi certification.


After Taira Shinken's death, Akamine Eisuke, took over the postion as chairman of the Ryukyu Hozon Shinko Kai. In an attempt to expand Ryukyu Kobudo, Akamine Sensie opened his own dojo in 1971, naming it the Shinbu Kan. This was followed by other students of Taira Shinken also opening their own dojos.

Akamine Eisuke (1925 - 1999):

Shinken Taira primarily taught at the garden of Eisuke Akamine's home in Tomigusuku, but the training was often interrupted by rains which were common to the Islands, it was decided that a Dojo be built to facilitate continuous training. The garden formally became a Dojo in 1970 it was also in this Dojo that Shinken Taira awarded to Eisuke Akamine his Shihan certificate.

In 1970, before his death, Shinken Taira renamed the organization he founded in 1959 in Naha Shi Okinawa to Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai in an effort to preserve his lifelong research and development of Ryukyu Kobudo and appointed his top student Eisuke Akamine as it's second President. Eisuke Akamine dedicated the rest of his life towards the goal of his predecessor. He named his Dojo "Shin bu Kan" taking the name from "Shin" ken Taira in honor of his Sensei. To this day, the Dojo, now a modern three story building, still stand in its original location.

Akamine Eisuke was born May 1, 1925 in the last years of the Taisho Era. Until his death on January 13, 1999, he lived in the Nesabu section of Tomigusuku, the small village in southern Okinawa. In 1942, at the age of seventeen, he began the study of Yamani Ryu bojutsu (staff art) under Higa Seichiro, Higa Raisuke, Akamine Yohei (no relation) and Higa Jinsanburo.

Akamine Yohei was widely known for his mastery of the bo or kon (staff). From his early teachers, Akamine learned these kata: Soeshi no Kon, Sakugawa no Kon, Shirataru no Kon and Yuniga no Kon. In 1944, Akamine married Higa Seichiro's daughter, Shizuko. Shortly thereafter, at age nineteen, Akamine was drafted into the Japanese army where he served one year in Taiwan. When he returned to Okinawa, he resumed vegetable and sugar cane farming and his study of Yamani Ryu bojutsu.

During his early days as a farmer, Akamine became known for his unorthodox harvesting methods. Rather than using a kama (sickle) or machete to cut down sugar cane, Akamine used his bo.

After the death of Akamine Sensei in 1999, Tamayose Hidemi one of his senior students and the chairman of the board for the Hozon Shin Ko Kai Ryu Kyu Kobudo organization left to form the Tesshinkan Ryu Kyu Kobudo organization to preserve and promote the Kobudo that was taught to him by Akamine Eiskue.

"Tamayose Hidemi"(1949 - )


Tamayose Hidemi was born in Showa 24 (1949) July 14, on Ikema Jima, Miyako, south of Okinawa to a family of eleven children. At sixteen years of age he moved to Okinawa and upon graduating from the University of Okinawa, Tamayose began teaching High School. In 1975 he married his lovely wife Masako, also from Miyako and they are both teachers in Shimajiri Gun (southern) Okinawa where he resides with his wonderful family.

His formal Karate training began in 1967 under Matsubayashi Shorinryu Sensei, Shima Masao in Kanzatobaru, Naha City. In 1975 he changed to Kobayashi Shorinryu under Nakamura Seiyu Sensei who also taught him the weapons of Ryukyu Kobudo.

In 1982 Tamayose began studying directly under Akamine Eisuke Sensei at the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai Hombu in Nesabu, Tomigusuku. As one of the senior students, he was ranked 7th Dan by Akamine Sensei and 8th Dan by the All Okinawan Karate Kobudo Association and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hozon Shinko Kai until the death of Akamine Sensei in 1999. He is currently the Secretary General of the Okinawa Ken KarateDo RengoKai. He was one of the prime organizers of the 1998 Okinawa World Karate Tournament and somehow, this humble man also finds time to be the vice president of the Okinawan (Kodomo Kai) Child Development Association.

In 1995 Tamayose Sensei began teaching Kobudo seminars in Canada and the U.S. and now teaches regular summer clinics there. Plans are currently in progress to teach in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Britain. Travelling with his senior student and interpreter, Canadian born Don Shapland, Tamayose Sensei's purpose is to promote correct Ryukyu Kobudo throughout the world. Tirelessly teaching the syllabus of 23 Kata, Kihon, history and Kumite with perfect form and incredible power, this quiet Okinawan Master is rapidly gaining international acclaim. His shy sincerity and teaching style are perhaps the key to his popularity and respect among his peers in the Okinawan Karate Kobudo community. July 23, 2000, Okinawa hosted the G8 Summit conference and Tamayose Sensei was chosen as one of four Okinawan Masters to demonstrate the cultural arts of Karate and Kobudo for the leaders of the worlds most powerful countries.

The Ryukyu Kobudo system, as we know it today, consists of 36 Kata, gathered and preserved by Taira Sensei. (Unfortunately, some of these kata were not maintained and are now lost.)

Upon Akamine Sensei's death, Tamayose Hidemi, Hatchi Dan, in order to perpetuate Ryukyu Kobudo in the manner he was taught by Akamine Sensei, formed the Tesshinkan Ryukyu Kobudo Association May 22, 1999. The Tesshinkan uses 23 of the main kata, employing Nunchaku, Tekko, Bo, Sai. Tunfa, Eku, Kama and Tinbe/Rochin as the primary weapons in it's grading format.



We are located at:
2333 E fort king st.
Ocala, FL. 34471

Phone: (352) 237-9076

Monday - Friday  3:00pm to 8:00pm

Friday   - Competition practice                 4:30pm to 6:00pm