Bill Osterholt (NC)
My lifelong journey in the Martial Arts
Echoing Frank Hargrove, GM, “ I am a karate instructor”, which in fact… is all I ever wanted to be.
Like many others from my generation, I was thrilled and in awe of the martial arts in the media: The Avengers, Bond, Wild Wild West, The Man from Uncle, and of course, Green Hornet. I was not aware that you could actually study these fascinating moves. I began my journey. I am not special, not the toughest, not the most talented, I train, compete, and share: I am a karate instructor.
• Observed USKA Grand Nationals 1968 with competitors Thomas LaPuppet, Mike Stone, Scorpian Burrage, Flem Evans, and Shorty Mills
• 1970 attended introductory 6 months in Tae Kwon Do and Judo (Yudo) conducted by Kwang Seek Hyun 9th degree GM Instructor –Chicago
• 1971- walked into Duk Gun Kwon 9th degree GM Instructor’s dojang in Berkley, Ill. I asked to try a class-no $25 dollars. What if I don’t like it? -Don’t come back. I don’t have $25 dollars. – Go get it and come back. I went and cut some grass and went back.
• 1975- 1st active student at new dojang Franklin Park, Ill. Assisted in remodeling and student teaching classes. Kwon’s Tae Kwon Do celebrated 40 years in 2020.
• 1975 – 1st Dan in Tae Kwon Do – Duk Gun Kwon, GM
• Moved to Greensboro, North Carolina – began training in American Karate System
• 1976 – began instructing Greensboro KI classes
• 1978 – 1st Dan in Karate – Karate testing board – Nyoki Motoyama, Duck Roberts, Jim Wall, J. Wellendorf
• 1983 earned teaching certificate 3rd Dan in karate
• 1982-1990 Instructor of Enrichment programs for Greensboro PTA and NC School of the Deaf
• 1984 earned teaching certificate Ku Ki Won 3rd Dan Tae Kwon Do
• 1985 Conducted Child Awareness children’s safety class sponsored by McDonalds Corporation
• 1986 promoted to 4th Dan testing board: Duk Gun Kwon, GM Instructor, and Lawrence McSwain, GM Instructor
• 1986 State Secretary of TKD
• 1987 Coordinator for TKD at the United States Olympic Festival
Festival ’87 in Raleigh, North Carolina
• State Games Coordinator in 1988-1990.
• 1991 he was promoted to the rank of 6th degree Master Instructor by Duk Gun Kwon, GM
• 1991 appointed Karate coach at Oak Ridge Military Academy
• 1997 promoted to 7th Dan – American Karate System
• 2003 Demonstration of Rank for 8th Dan American Karate System
• 2015 promoted to 8th Dan GM Instructor Tae Kwon Do, by Duk Gun Kwon GM – USNTF
• 2017 Legendary Competitor Award – Mid Eastern Karate Association – Hamilton Perkins
• 2020 Legends of Carolina
Bill Osterholt has competed in Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Judo competition, winning over 200 awards, including overall Kata champion for North Carolina in 1982.
Bill Osterholt was on the staff of Jefferson Day School in Winston-Salem. JDS specialized in children with learning differences. He taught the martial arts and social studies at JDS from 1999 to 2010.
Bill has promoted over 110 students to black belt ranks, 24 to 2nd degree, 7 to 3rd degree, 5 to 4th, 2 to 5th and a 6th degrees. All black belts are instructed to teach as part of their training, and seven of the black belts have opened their own classes.
Deciding to return to school, he enrolled full time in 2010 as a 55 year old freshman. Bill Osterholt has earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Lenoir-Rhyne University – 2017, BA in history from Guilford College w/minors in religious studies and education -2015, and AA from GTCC where he studied astronomy, history, literature, and religion- 2015.
The Greensboro Karate Institute’s American Karate System is a modern art taught with today’s practitioners in mind but focuses on traditional values. This includes practicing the physical aspects of Kata,-pre-arranged forms, Waza-self-defense sets, and free-sparring- Kumite. Karate is also the practice of Kime focus uniting the physical movement, breath, and complete concentration towards a positive goal with a persistent attitude.
All my life I have strived to be a good karate-ka. I chose to dedicate myself to be a karate instructor. To teach is to have the desire that your students learn and surpass you in your art. I have been blessed by the commitment of my students.
I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man,
It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.
I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.” Dean Alfange
This is what it means to be an American