Wentz’s Karate in Battle Mountain welcomed internationally noted instructor Shihan Allen Woodman, who presented a HoJoJutsu seminar and private sessions to students.
Woodman is the leading authority on the traditional Japanese martial art of defensive HoJoJutsu or “the binding art” where one can learn to subdue and detain opponents using only a rope or cord.
Woodman has achieved the Japanese rank of a 6th-degree black belt with the honorary title of Shihan Sensei, and holds many other martial arts certifications and ranks. Woodman, trained overseas, is in the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, is a karate and stick-fighting champion, and has written several books. Woodman is trained in many styles of martial arts, such as Kyokushin Karate and Wing Chun Kung Fu, including direct tutelage under the late Sosai Mas Oyama and Yip Chun, son of Yip Man. Woodman reportedly has trained some of the world’s most elite personal bodyguards as well as holding the profession for a time himself.
Woodman stated he has appeared in over 80 films and television shows, and is known for his work on “Mortal Kombat” (1995), “Rumble in the Bronx” (1995) with Jackie Chan, and “Batman & Robin” (1997), among others. He is also in the number-one television show in China, “Seven Days.” Woodman said he has a movie coming up with Art Camacho in Las Vegas at the end of September called “96 Hours,” and is also one of the producers of the film, and the stunt and fight coordinator.
Woodman currently teaches at the Las Vegas Film and Stunt Academy, which he started five months ago, and is also an instructor at the Counter Terrorism Training School.
During instruction with the students, Woodman talked about the Japanese concept of “mushin,” the Zen mental state of “one mind,” where the mind is in a state of flow. Martial artists train to achieve the mushin state of mind during practice, so that a flawless execution of moves can be accomplished, and they strive to attain the same level of complete awareness in other aspects of their lives. In his book “My Karate: A Personal Journey,” Woodman states, “My learning never stops, because there is always more to learn in martial arts. It is an endless cycle of study and refinement.”
Woodman discussed his latest book, “Real Self Defense for Women,” which took him five years to write and was released only three months ago. “I called it “real” self-defense because it is based on reality, and the majority of defense is knowledge; understanding how it happens, where it happens. Of the top 10 countries for violence against women, the U.S. is number one,” said Woodman.
Woodman said he will be coming back to Wentz’s Karate from Las Vegas as much as he can to help. “They have a really great heart and they have really good students; it’s a nice, clean dojo, and they are really great people,” said Woodman.
Woodman and Wentz met through the tournament circuit a few years ago and they have been talking about sharing some of the work Woodman does with the dojo and students here in Battle Mountain.
Professor Wentz, a 5-time World Champion, has 44 years of martial arts experience and holds a 6th degree black belt in American Karate, a 2nd degree in Tae Kwon Do Mu Duk Kwon, and gives lessons in American Karate, kickboxing, sports karate, self-defense, competition team, empty hand forms and weapons.
Assistant Instructor Juanita Terry, a 5-time World Champion and a Grand Champion, holds a 1st degree black belt. Terry stated, “The regular students are here on an average of one and a half to six hours a day training.”
Sensei Terry, who sees martial arts as therapy for self-confidence, self-protection, physical therapy and a healthy lifestyle, said, “We are showing the kids there is a whole different way to view the world – to meet new people, make friends from everywhere around the world, and share knowledge. What an experience.”
Terry stated new changes will be coming into effect, and that Woodman gave them some good ideas for their school.
The walls of the dojo are covered in an impressive array of trophies from the USA International World Championships, the Compete International Martial Arts Championships, the Shark City National Martial Arts Championships, and the League World Martial Arts Championship Series.
Among Wentz’s students are Mathew DeCambra, a five-time World Champion in point fighting, continuous fighting and Kata, and his brother Ryan DeCambra, a three-time World Champion in point fighting, Kata and self-defense; Marisa Aten, a World Champion in Kata; and Soffie Kurkowski, a World Champion.
Terry and Wentz are proud of their students, and showing their trophies, Wentz said, “The kids work hard every year for these. We have a 98% winning streak. The two [DeCambra] boys are undefeated right now for the USA Nationals. We just brought home 12 first places from the Silver State Championships. The kids are amazing.”
Wentz said, “We take all ages of students from 4 and up. Classes are all year around, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and then Tuesdays and Thursdays are Team Kick, our competition practice.”
Terry said, “As we get more students, we’ll put in more classes.”
The dojo is located at 255 E. Second Street in Battle Mountain. For more information, contact Wentz’s Karate at 707-362-4480.