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We want to help everyone stay fit and healthy. On this page we'll display health tips, and Dojo News, along with informative articles related to the Martial Arts.

Certification and the Martial Arts Instructor:
Many Martial Arts Instructors claim to be a Black Belt in this and a Black Belt in that in fact I have seen some claim they are a certified Black Belt in several different systems such as Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Weapons, Self Defense, and the list goes on. All this and they are only 24 years old. Wow!! if you do the math you will find they were training invetro to accomplish all they claim. In fact the study of a legitimate Martial Art takes many years to accomplish proficiency. Many make up their own certificates or claim they are certified in their own system they developed themselves. The true test is in their history and their accomplishments. What have these type of instructors really accomplished. Have they been a successful competitor on a National circuit (not in their own schools) Have they ever really accomplished anything except the listing in the yellow pages. Most have not. Today in the Martial Arts Rank levels are given out like Christmas Candy at the Parade. All one has to do is send in the money or show up and they are a Master. Now you must ask yourself is this what you wish to spend your hard earned money for? These type of instructors know very little about the muscular system or how to protect one's own body from self injury because of incorrect training. If you are interested in training in a self defense system check the back ground of the instructor of your choice and make sure they are what they claim. Many can promise, but few can live up to them.
Bill Woodard
7th Degree Black Belt
Certified in Japan and Okinawa
In Karate, Kobudo, Iaido, Goshin (Combat Self Defense)
44 years Martial Arts experience

Not all Martial Arts Schools are equal.
It is an unfortunate fact that there are martial arts instructors out there that take advantage of their students. I have had on several occasions students of other instructors that went to their classes one day only to find the school closed down, and the instructor gone for one reason or another. The student is out the time and money invested.
In a struggling economy small business owners find themselves in a position of compromise. They find their dream slipping away and have little choice but to close the doors.
This is why it is important to choose your martial arts school wisely. Not just for convenience, or location but for longevity. A little home work may  save a lot of heart ache latter on.

What is the difference between Karate & Tae Kwon Do?
I receive several calls asking the difference between Karate and Tae kwon do.
Karate is a martial arts rich in tradition and roots that can be traced back centuries. The history of the legends of karate is well documented.
Many questions I am asked are concerning the term KARATE. It seems many use this as a generic term to consolidate all martial arts. Which in fact the word Karate is two words meaning empty hand in Japanese ( Kara - empty and te - hand)
You will never find a Karate School using Tae Kwon Do sinage only Tae Kwon Do schools using Karate sinage. Not all Tae Kwon Do instructors use this tactic, those that call their art what it really is are more than likely the instructors that will teach properly and are not there to just take advantage of their students.
All Martial Arts are not the same.
At Karate Dojo we teach Authentic Karate unaltered and untarnished.
Below is an part of an article from the Dragon times martial arts publication.

Historical Appraisal:   Tae Kwon Do:
Many, perhaps most of those who practice tae kwon do believe that they are training in a powerful martial art with ancient Korean roots based on profound tenets of Asian philosophy. These beliefs add considerably to the personal value of training in tae kwon do.
The following is an excerpt from the Dragon Times article by Robert E. Dohrenwend, Ph.D.
All governments manipulate the truth. Dictators suppress the truth and falsify history so that their own actions will appear to best advantage their people.
The development of tae kwon do took place under a series of three such rigidly dictatorial regimes in South Korea (Rhee Syngman's dictatorship 1948-1960, Hee's military dictatorship, 1961-1979, and Chon Doo Hwan's military dictatorship 1980-1988). Tae kwon do is a recent South Korean invention, and much of the distortion in tae kwon do's developmental history as a martial art is due to the political and social influence exercised during the 40 years that these three dictators were in power within South Korea.
During the early 1950's the South Korean government interfered with karate in Korea with the intent of converting it into a major new competitive sport, one that the Koreans cold dominate and which would bring international recognition and prestige to Korea. This new martial art/sport was to be 100% indigenous, to tracing its history to the origins of the Korean people. In their roux to give their brand new martial sport a spurious pedigree reaching back into the dim mists of antiquity, the fact that there were no early indigenous Korean martial arts seem to have been regarded as irrelevant. The pitiful sham history that resulted has had evil effects on tae kwon do, both in its development as a sport and for its validity as a martial art.
A Korean government publication states "Tae kwon do is a self-defense martial that has developed in Korea for over 2,000 years."  RUBBISH!
Fact is that Tae kwon Do is the youngest of all the Asian martial arts. Its history begins with the opening of the Chunb do Kwan dojang in Seoul in 1944. Five more kwans (schools or styles) were subsequently founded during the period 1944 to 1946. The six original Korean instructors had been students at Japanese universities and /or soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army, and learned karate in Japan, returning to Korea having earned Dan (black belt) rank. The students in the six early kwans studied Japanese kata and wore gis, the art was karate with an increasingly Korean flavor.
During the 1950's the Korean government, as represented by General Choi Hong Hi (second degree black belt in Japanese Shotokan) made several attempts to unify and standardize the kwans under a variety of names, tae kwon do being Choi's choice.  The original founders of the kwans and their top students were squeezed by the government pressure to alter their instructional methods and technical content to conform to a new national martial art/sport.
Thus Tae Kwon Do.


by; Bill Woodard
College Rd. Karate Dojo
I have been involved and teaching the martial arts for over 30 years. In this time I have seen and heard of many different formulas for teaching and training children. At a recent conference held in Orlando one subject came up I have known for many years.

Martial Arts can be beneficial in the growth and development of our kids.
Not all martial arts are helpful nor should be taught to children. Anyone interested in enrolling your child in a class of this type should do a certain amount of research first. You should make sure the instruction you subject your child to is on a professional level by a qualified and certified Instructor and not just one that looks pretty by someone that once studied the art and then reinvented it to suit their economic needs.
Today many qualified Psychologist are referring their patience to Martial Arts Classes.

At a recent presentation at the North American Professional Martial Arts World Conference DR Ruth Peters informed the industry that when she treats ADHD children she prescribes Martial Arts Classes.
Dr. Ruth Peters has specialized in treating children, adolescents and families for over 20 years. Her focus has been upon teaching parents how to control their difficult children, as well as how to motivate kids to reach their academic potential.
  One of the solutions she attempts when working with ADHD or children with other behavioral problems is to send them to a martial arts school. "It's one of the first things I do rather than fill them up with Ritalyn" the Dr. says.
This is why the right type of martial arts instructor is so important. It is important to teach these children focus, how to manage their anger and how to develop self-discipline.
 By learning focus and self-discipline they hopefully will not be "in your face kids". They will learn their boundaries and will not be the subject or brunt of bullies because you've taught them to be good people.
 Just teaching the child to say "yes sir" or yes mam" in the karate school means little, if they do not learn to generalize and use the same behavior at home or at school.
Who are these kids Dr. Ruth Peters is sending to martial arts instructors? They are Attention Deficit kids and uncooperative kids. Everyone knows an ADHD kid or uncooperative child. We see them at school, in the store, and at playgrounds. About 10-15 percent of our population has been diagnosed with having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). There are more boys than girls diagnosed with ADHD. The range goes from 4 to 1 up to 8 to 1.
 Does Martial Arts Work? Dr. Peters seems to think it works about 50% of the time. She states it works only when the instructors personality is that of compassion and kid smart. Knowing Kid's human nature-or have firm, strict rules, can actually damage a child's composure and self-esteem. The instructor must be able to set goals for the child to attain. This will allow them to see they can accomplish what they set out to and give them a respect not only for their teacher but also for their parents.
The conference was very enlightening and reassuring that what I have been teaching all of these years and have known to work has finally been brought into the medical society. I have worked with many of our local Psychologist, and Psycho therapist with exactly what Dr. Peters is now presenting to the Martial Arts Communities all over the country.
Beth Robinson, MS.  submitted the following letter to our facility here in Ocala.
To Karate Dojo:,
I have provided individual and family counseling in Marion County since 1998 at Adult and Child Counseling Center. I also supervise a group home of teenaged girls for the Children's Home Society. I have found over the years that structured physical activity helps children with ADHD channel their energy in a positive constructive direction and improve self-esteem. Martial Arts, in particular teach children with impulse problems to use physical restraint of self and others. My personal experience lies with the difference Bill Woodard and the Karate Dojo has made in my life through my son who is 7 years old. The attitude and self-esteem change has been dramatic. Until he began Karate a year ago my son had very little motivation to pay attention to detail. He would not try new things because he was afraid of failing. Now, he displays perseverance, looks forward to a challenge and demonstrates a much greater respect for authority. This is due to Mr. Woodard's tremendous patience, calm even temper and example of excellence he sets for all of the participants, especially children at his center. I highly recommend his Karate Dojo,
Beth Robinson, MS.
My personal method of teaching my students with the Hyperactive or impulsive behavior is to use intermittent reinforcement. I have found this works well as we do not spend to much time on any one exercise or training lesson, we may return to the lesson in a few minutes but it gives the students mind a chance to focus on another task. In this way they will learn by repetition and feel the sense of accomplishment. Once they have accomplished a goal there should be some sort of a praise for their effort. This starts the feeling of I can and therefore boosts their self-esteem. You must understand that when teaching a child with behavioral problems they do not intend to ignore or not listen to you their minds are busy, they may hear you in the background but do not grasp concepts. My feelings is to use incentives before punishment. I will use facial expression, or gentle verbal disapproval. Then try to use the praise again when they are doing well or listening.
These disorders do not correct themselves overnight they must be reinforced at home as well. Our children grow up so quickly and should be enjoyed while we still have them at home. Martial Arts is a great family activity. It will set the stage for many memories and provides a great feeling of togetherness no other sport can match.
Karate is also a wonderful exercise that can be performed in a group or solo. The amount of cardio is limited only to the enthusiasm one puts into the routine. Karate is second only to swimming in the amount of calories burned off by a single workout.
Bill Woodard owns and operates the Ocala Karate Dojo
which has been serving the families of Marion County for the
past 18 years. He invites everyone to stop and visit his facility at
 2611 SW College Rd. Ocala, FL. Or call for information 352 237 9076

website: http://ocalakarate.com
email Kyoshi Bill Woodard at: Dojo@ocalakarate.com

Tip: Walk a Mile a Day
or do one Kata.

It is important to exercise everyday. Kata is a great way for people of all ages to stay in shape. It can be done in your living room or in your yard. It requires no equiptment but your senses.

Yudansha Testing

Yudansha (Black Belt) Testing is only held twice a year spring and fall.

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In my many years of Martial Arts involvement I have seen many types of training. From the hard traditional to the outlandish american. When choosing the correct school it is important to understand ALL MARTIAL ARTS ARE NOT EQUAL!
The background of the instructor plays an important roll in what type of instruction you will receive at a facility.
An Instructor well educated in an art will have ample material to teach the student. Classes will be well organized, and never out of control. There will be structure without military type training. You will never find a qualified instructor playing games during a formal class setting. This is only found when instruction lacks education. Dodge ball and other games are a poor substitute for body shifting and awareness drills. If you visit this type of school take your money and run!
The martial arts have been clouded in the past several years with everyone wanting to jump on the band wagon with their own versions of the arts.
The USA is full of Grand Masters calling themselves everything from 10 degree to claims of inventing their own systems as Bruce Lee did.
Fact is a legitimate instructor will still be a student as the learning process is never ending. Only those full of ego will call themselves GRAND MASTER.
I have trained in Japan and Okinawa with legends of the Martial Arts and have never found one instructor to call themselves Master.
A good martial arts school will be receptive to questions from the instructors and staff. They will know about the complete history of what they teach and why. They will be willing to assist with the needs of the student. The class will be neat and organized. The instructor will have all credentials available and willing to provide additional information about their education and background as well.
Bill Woodard "Shihan"
President of the National Karate & Kobudo Federation
Ocala Karate Dojo (Headquarters)

Karate Dojo * 2611 S.W. College Rd. Ocala, Florida