Upper West Side Kenshikai Karate
928 Columbus Ave.
New York, NY 10025
Shuseki-Shihan (Highest Master) William Oliver was my instructor for over 13 years. I first met him as an awkward teenager when I walked into his first dojo at 99th street and Broadway. It wasn't until later that I learned more of Shuseki-Shihan's history and the impact that he had on the martial arts world.
Shuseki-Shihan began his training with Kaicho Nakamura at the first Kyokushin dojo in Brooklyn. Even as a young teenager he was a standout talent. Although much smaller then many of the other students there, he became known as one of the fiercest fighters in the dojo.
Shuseki-Shihan began competing around the country and was considered one of the hardest matchups around. On more then one occasion, opponents would elect to not compete when they were told that they had drawn him. These accomplishments culminated in him becoming a two time world champion, fighting in Madison Square Garden numerous times, being featured on ABC's Wide World of Sports and representing the United States in the first world tournament in 1976.
It was at this tournament that Shuseki-Shihan became world known. The Japanese found his fighting style revolutionary. He became an icon of Japanese karate and was featured in a comic book and a movie entitled 'Fighting Kings'.
Regardless of these many accomplishments, Shuseki-Shihan was always a teacher first. He could always be found in his dojo, teaching practically every class there was. As a beginning white belt, you would be taught by Shuseki-Shihan.
Every Friday, he would have the Friday Night Fight class, where fighters from all over would come to attend. This was known everywhere as one of the most demanding classes anywhere. More was learned in six months there, then 5 years elsewhere.
To this day, people come to see the dojo and students of Shuseki-Shihan. I have met quite a few Japanese tourists who have come up to pay respects to the school of Shuseki-Shihan Oliver. All of our instructors were direct students of Shuseki-Shihan and are always happy to exchange stories of their teacher.
I will always feel that my time with Shuseki-Shihan was too short and shall honor his memory the only way I know how, by continuing his teachings.
Sensei Matthew Fremon
Upper West Side Kenshikai