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Woodman pays visit to Iron Tiger Dojo
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Renshi Sensei Allen Woodman, one of the top martial artists in the world, paid a visit to the Iron Tiger Dojo in Ephrata June 16.
Woodman, a fifth degree black belt who has studied martial arts for 40 years and has taught around the world, including Japan, was on hand to conduct a six-hour clinic with local students at the Ephrata facility run by area martial artist Kenneth Leisey.
"It went very well," Leisey said when asked if the seminar was a success. "The kids had a great time, and I think they are even more excited about karate than they were before."
Woodman, who in addition to his teachings also dabbled in the movies, acting in several films. But he found teaching was his calling and now travels throughout the country and world conducting his seminars.
In Ephrata, the seminar included: an introduction to karate; basic understanding and fundamental movements of karate; basic punching, striking and kicking techniques; Kata Bunkai Techniques (internal kata secrets) including practical application; special Hombu Dojo Training methods; and deflection techniques and kicking defenses.
During a break in the latter part of the seminar, Woodman said he gets a kick out of working with kids.
"The kids are awesome," he said. "They really are. I remember when I was a kid, and although I’m kind of a strict teacher, I like to make it fun for them."
"You get self confidence with karate, which is awesome," he continued. "It teaches them the aspect of exercising, it gives them confidence, motivation and discipline, which is one of the biggest things."
Leisey added, "Karate is fun, but it’s also giving them skills that they need– discipline, courtesy and respect. Those three things in general are the most important things in studying the martial arts."
Woodman, whose dad was in the navy, spent his early childhood years in Japan where he was introduced to karate at an early age. He moved back to the States for awhile before heading back to Japan in 1998 where he stayed until the earthquake in March of 2011 destroyed his apartment and everything in it.
"I lost everything," he said.
Woodman returned to the U.S., settling in Doylestown where he became coordinator of a martial arts studio. He also began to do his traveling seminars, and writing books. The accomplished author has written nine books thus far, focusing on what he has learned through his teachings throughout his life.
"I really enjoy the writing process," he said. "I’ve got about 20 books in my head right now."
Leisey, who hopes to do more projects with Woodman in the future, said he felt honored he would take time out of his busy schedule to help him get his school off the ground.
"I’m in his organization and he’s been helping me with my school," he said. "He’s a great guy and has helped me quite a bit. He gives me a lot of advice because he knows… he’s done it."
Classes are now forming at Iron Tiger Dojo. If interested in taking one of the classes offered, give Leisey a call at 271-3671. More WOODMAN, page B-2