Shihan Williams was born in Concord, North Carolina in May 1959. He graduated from Concord High School in 1977 and went on the earn his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from the University of Maryland. He subsequently earned a Master of Science in Education from Troy State University and a PhD in Business in 2002.
He began his martial arts training in 1971 and received his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do in 1973.In 1982 he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan as a young Marine and began his journey in Shorin Ryu. He lived and trained in Okinawa for 13 of the last 30 years under the tutelage of Grand Master Fusei Kise of Shorin Ryu Kenshinkan, Kyoshi Ed Gingras and Akamine Yoshimatsu of Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu and Hanshi Seifuku Nitta in Shorin Ryu.
In 1999 he was granted permission from Grand Master Kise to begin the “Zen Sekai Bujitsu Kyokai” or Universal Martial Arts Association. He has served as the President and Founder since its inception.
Today his organization has members in over 25 States of the United States and 20 countries around the world.
He continues his training by traveling to Okinawa every 18 months and by sponsoring Okinawan teachers to come to the USA and teach at member schools and special events such as the UMAA Summer camp and the Hall of Fame.
He strives to make the UMAA a special group of friends that enjoy training, sharing and learning with each other. In this association “the smilarities of our styles and concepts are important not the differences”.
Shihan Williams is the United States Director for the Okinawa Kensei Do-Ko Kai headed by Hanshi Seifuku Nitta and overseen by Hanshi Seiki Toma in Okinawa, Japan until his death in October 2007. He received his Menkyo Kaiden from Hanshi Seifuku Nitta in 2007.
He is also the Founder of the Premier Martial Arts of Havelock and Jacksonville, NC where his black belts currently teach over 200 students. His legacy of Shorin Ryu is carried on by his son, Ryuji, as the Chief Instructor at the schools he founded years ago.
As a Disabled American Veteran Shihan Williams retired from active teaching in 2004 when he retired from the United States Marine Corps.He is a retired USMC Chief Warrant Officer-4 and served as a Hand to Hand Combat Instructor, Close Combat Instructor and Marine Corps Martial Arts Black Belt Instructor while on active duty.
Currently he volunteers all over the United States and mentors martial artists on subjects such as martial arts business, karate history, applications of kata, kobudo and tuite.
Below is a list of some of his martial arts rankings and accomplishments.
Black Belts in:
- Menkyo Kaiden – 20 September 2007 – Shorin Ryu – Hanshi Seifuku Nitta.
- Hachidan (8th Degree Black Belt)- Sept. 2007-Shorin Ryu Karate.
- Hachidan (8th Degree Black Belt) – May 2011 – Okinawa Kobudo.
- Kyoshi Title awarded 1 January 2007 in Shorin Ryu Karate and Kobudo.
- Shihan Title and Certificate awarded 17 July 2004 Matsumura Shorin Ryu.
- Master Instructor Certificate (Shihan) – Shorin Ryu May 2003
- Godan (5th Degree Black Belt) Tuite Jitsu
- Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) – Motobu-Ha Shito Ryu Karate Kobudo
- Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) – Matsukaze Ryu Jujitsu