| Shihan William Collazo Jr.
6th Degree Black Belt (ROku -Dan)
Collazo (b. July 26, 1972) began his martial arts training at age five, studying Uechi-Ryu for almost two years. At seven, he
began his training in Nisei Goju-Ryu with Sensei Bill Wendell and Sensei Robert Escoto. He has been a student of Hanshi
Wendell since that time. Throughout the years, he trained for extended periods of time with Shihan Frank Ruiz, as well as
cross-trained with well-known teachers of other arts, notably Master Moses Powell and Master Rex Lee. Collazo
competed extensively in open competition from age 8 through 16, winning numerous state and national titles in weapons,
form and fighting. He competed for the world title at the U.S. Karate Association’s World Championships in 1984, and was
the only competitor, child or adult, to win the title in all three divisions. He earned his Sho-dan at age 17, and a year later
competed in the A.A.U. Junior Olympic Games of 1991, winning a gold, a silver, and a bronze medal. Collazo has since
earned degrees from Cornell University (B.A. in Asian Studies and Religious Studies, ‘94) and Washington University (M.A.
in East Asian Studies, ‘00). His studies have focused on Zen philosophy and its relevance to the martial arts. He also lived
in Hiroshima, Japan for two years (1995-1997) where he practiced Shito-Ryu and began his training with Sensei Masafumi
Matsuki in the art of kendo, in which he currently holds a Yon-dan. While in Japan, Collazo had the honor of being invited
to participate in the 8th and 9th Annual International Seminars on Budo Culture held at the International Budo University in
Chiba Prefecture. In 2003 he was given his Yon-dan, 4th degree black belt, and title Renshi. He is the current Chief
Instructor of Mushin Ryu Martial Arts. He has been honored by the Gold Coast Martial Arts Hall of Fame and the World
Head of Family Sokeship Council.
In 2008 he received his Go-Dan, 5th Degree Black Belt, in Mushin Goju Ryu.
A Few Words About Hanshi Wendell
One may say that the history of martial arts has been one of unrelenting change and adaptation. This handbook includes
a brief testament to that history as it describes how karate developed through time and across cultures. All the countries
involved in the evolution of this art have had its innovators. These were special people, incredibly insightful in their
thinking and impressively effective in their practice.
After a single practice session with Hanshi Wendell, you immediately realize that he bears the torch of this tradition of
innovation. Having been a student of his since about the age of seven, I have witnessed firsthand how he has changed
his training methods according to his personal development as a martial artist. Through meditation and practice, he has
constantly pushed further to understand the true meaning of technique and the correlation between mind and body. His
insights on physical techniques are grounded consistently in mental discipline. There are very few instructors and so-
called “masters” in the world today that can adapt kata techniques and apply them effectively in kumite.
While Mushin Goju Ryu is still a young karate system by most standards, it is the product of a long tradition of evolution,
via Nisei Goju Ryu, that led to what Shihan Ruiz referred to as “the strongest system in the world.” His innovative ideas
live on through Hanshi Wendell’s practice and teachings. To come in contact with these teachings is to change the way
you view martial arts training and particularly, how that training is applied to your everyday life. Hanshi Wendell is an
inspiration to his students, setting the example of the modern martial artist who lives the art and does not simply talk about
It is out of the deepest respect and sincerity that I write of my sensei’s character and ability. I invite anyone who wishes to
learn a new way of living through “The Martial Way” to train with Hanshi Wendell.
William Collazo Jr.
Chief Instructor, Mushin Goju Ryu
5th Degree Black Belt