Legendary Karate Fighter, Film Star Willie Williams Conducts Local Seminar'

Legendary karate fighter, film star Willie Williams conducts local seminar'Kyokushin Karate World Champion Fighter and film star Willie Williams recently did a special “Kyokushin Karate Training Seminar” at The Jenkins Center in Murfreesboro.
Williams was invited to conduct this seminar by local Kyokushin Karate instructor Kenny Buffaloe. Williams and Buffaloe trained together under world renowned Karate master Shihan Shigeru Oyama of Japan, who recently passed. This made this training seminar even more special and Williams and Buffaloe dedicated it to the memory of their famous teacher.

Williams’ seminar concentrated on Kyokushin full-contact, knockdown fighting techniques exclusive to his successful fighting style in the professional ring. Several area students from Kenny Buffaloe’s Kyokushin Karate class at THE ROCK in Roanoke Rapids participated. Sensei Williams rarely conducts seminars and is famous worldwide as a powerful fighter and champion in Kyokushin full contact fighting and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).

Williams participated in the first Kyokushin World Championships in 1975, making it into the semi-finals, losing a close judges’ decision to European champion Howard Collins of England.

The tournament was the subject of a full-length motion picture called “Fighting Kings (The Strongest Karate)” and Williams was one of the leading stars of the film Four years later, Williams gained third place in the second World Kyokushin Championships in Japan, the first non-Japanese competitor in history to ever place that high.

A new motion picture called “The Strongest & Last True Karate” was made on this championship and starred Williams, focusing on his training and matches in the tournament. It also showcased Williams fight against an 8-foot, 750 pound wild bear in Erie, Pa., that was filmed and included in the movie. After 20 minutes of a life and death struggle, Williams finally defeated the bear and brought him down. This earned him the nickname “The Bear Killer” in Japan where he is still famous to this day. There was even a popular comic book about Willie Williams life in Japan in the 1970's.

In 1980, Williams fought Japan’s top MMA star and Pro-Wrestler Antonio Inoki for the World Heavyweight Martial Arts Championship in Tokyo.

William’s fight against Inoki was voted as the top professional fighting match in Japan in the 20th century in 2003 by professional Japanese fight analysts.

The fight was ruled a draw, but Japanese fight fans had never seen anyone dominate Inoki that way and felt Williams was the true winner of this historical match. The Williams/Inoki match is also the subject of a Japanese documentary movie called “The Fighting Olympics” just recently released on DVD format in Japan. It is also seen on Youtube in the U.S. & Japan.

Williams is originally from North Carolina and came back in 1980 after his fight against Inoki. Williams opened a dojo (training facility) in rural Vance County, and Buffaloe also trained and assisted him there for two and a half years.

In 1990, Williams started competing in the first Japanese MMA promotion called “RINGS — The Professional Fighting Network.” RINGS was the forerunner to PRIDE, U.F.C. and K-1, the three professional fighting organizations that started in 1993. Williams was a pioneer in the development of MMA in Japan as one of it’s first dominant competitors.

Buffaloe was very grateful to Sensei Williams for taking the time to come to Hertford County to work with his area Kyokushin Karate students. It was a special treat to Buffaloe's youth students who received special one on one attention from Williams during the two-hour seminar. Williams also described to them his experience in fighting a wild bear in 1976 and his years as a professional ring fighter in Japan. He also encouraged them to continue training in Kyokushin Karate to realize their goals and dreams for the future.

Williams was very surprised by the spirit and technical abilities of area students and praised Buffaloe for keeping the standards high in classes. Williams plans to launch his international website called "THE BEAR KILLER" in spring 2017. The site will focus on his illustrious career and also feature a forum where Sensei Williams will show his special Kyokushin Karate, Japanese Kickboxing and MMA training methods and fighting techniques from his 30-year experience in the professional ring. Buffaloe will also appear periodically on this new website assisting Williams.