Grand Master Bill Ryusaki is one of the true pioneers of Kenpo in the United States.
Bill Ryusaki was born in Kamuela on the big island of Hawaii. Bill’s father, Torazo Ryusaki, held black belts in both Judo and Shotokan Karate, and required all his seven sons (he also had four daughters) to train in two martial arts. At the age of 8, Bill Ryusaki began training in Judo. While his brothers chose Kendo (Japanese sword fighting) and Aikido, Bill selected Judo and Kenpo Karate, and was taught by William Chow, Bill Chun Sr., and Marino Tiwanak.
After coming to the mainland in the late 1950's, he started training with Ed Parker in his garage. He also trained with Ed Tabian, a student of Ed Parker's. He then trained with John Leoning (a black belt under Adriano D. Emperado), the first Kajukenbo instructor on the mainland, in 1957. GM Bill Ryusaki received his black belt in Kajukenbo/Kenpo from John Leoning in 1961.
Bill has appeared in numerous films as an actor and stuntman, including
work with Bruce Lee on the “Green Hornet”, and in “Hawaii
5-0”, “Wild, Wild West”, and with
David Carradine in “Kung Fu” (remember the assassin
sent over from China?). Other credits include “Knots Landing”,
“China Beach”, “Planet of the Apes”,
“Above the Law” with Steven Seagal, “Rambo
- First Blood Part II”, “Karate Kid II”,
“Showdown in Little Tokyo”, “Robocop
II”, “Black Rain”, “Double
Impact” (where he shot it out with Jean Claude Van Damme),
“Welcome to Paradise”, and “Universal
Soldier” (one of the men rapelling down the face of the
dam was Bill!). You may also have recognized Bill getting his nose
punched in by Bridget Fonda in “Point of No Return”
. Bill also appeared in "Beverly Hills Ninja" with
Being the head of his own system, Grandmaster Ryusaki holds a 10th-degree (Ju-dan) blackbelt in Hawaiian Kenpo Karate, and a 7th degree blackbelt in Judo.