About Me

A little about me… My name is Bill Stewart. My initiation into Kyokushin was in late 1980 with Sensei J.R. (Swanny) Swanson. I started leading and instructing classes as a brown belt in 1984. I graded to shodan in 1986 and nidan in 1989. From 1986-1991 I was an instructor at Swanson’s School of Karate in Orlando, Florida. In 1991 I formed my own dojo, Florida Kyokushin Karate.

During my years in IKO (1980-1996) I was able to travel and train with a number of well-known Kyokushin instructors including Saiko Shihan Shigeru Oyama, Shihan Bobby Lowe, Shihan Yasuhiko Oyama, Shihan Keiji Kanemura, and Shihan Akiyoshi Matsui.

In 1996, two years after Sosai Masutatsu Oyama (the founder of Kyokushin) passed away, USA-IFK Kyokushin was founded by Shihan Mike Monaco. My sensei had retired from teaching for health reasons (he passed away in 2005). After discussing the options with him I made the decision that Florida Kyokushin Karate would join USA-IFKK. I traveled to Canada where I attended my first seminar with Hanshi Steve Arneil the following year in 1997. That further cemented my decision as the correct one. During those early years, I took every opportunity to train with the new organization, making multiple trips to New York. I trained with Shihan Mike Monaco, and extensively with Sensei (now Shihan) Bill Richards. I attended every US seminar with Hanshi Arneil from his first trip in 1997 until 2001. Following 9/11 I made the difficult decision to close my dojo and return to active military service.

I’m now a retired Master-at-Arms (Military Police) from the United States Navy. During my time in the military, I was certified as a Non-Lethal Weapons Instructor and taught the use of force, baton, OC Spray, unarmed self-defense, and the use of PPCT (Pressure Point Control Tactics). I also received training in Marine Corp Martial Arts and Army Combatives in preparation for worldwide deployment. Outside of Kyokushin, my deep and lifelong interest in martial arts has led to training in Tai-Jitsu, Kobudo, small-circle jiujitsu, and arnis, and recently I began formal training in BJJ. I have always considered Kyokushin to be my core art though, and other training as something that contributes to being a more well-rounded martial artist.

After spending a good portion of the previous two decades outside the United States, I returned to my home state of Texas in 2021. After coming home I re-connected with USA-IFKK. I travel regularly in order to continue my own Kyokushin training. In 2022 I decided to teach on a limited basis and launched Texas Kyokushin Karate. Training will be a combination of online and at my home dojo in Bryan, Texas. Currently, I am accepting a limited number of private and semi-private students by application. Those who are in the local area may apply by sending me an email at texaskyokushin@gmail.com Please include a brief introduction about yourself, any martial arts history, and why you wish to train in Kyokushin.

Enough about me though! Let me share a little about what I plan to write about on this blog… I have a few decades of teaching experience and have had the opportunity to train with some of the top instructors in Kyokushin. I’ve always considered myself to be a student first. Hopefully, people will find some of the things I’ve learned along the way interesting.

This blog will be a reflection of my own journey. It’s ups and downs as I have traveled through life. I’ll share my thoughts about everything from philosophy, to fitness and training. I hope that people will find some value. I’m always open to reading others’ thoughts as well, so please feel free to comment. I’m still learning after all! 🙂

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