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Master Instructor Bill Adams

Vital Statistics: Born May 1st, 1954 in Lackawanna, N.Y. USA.
Citizenship: U.S.A.
6' 2" tall, 220 lbs. , Hair: dark brown. Eyes: Blues
Married to Jessica Del Valle Adams Step-Daughters: Cassie, Kristy. (step) Grandkids: Kristy:Katilina, Bella, & Brody. Cassie- Michael James & 1 on the way!

Starting Martial Arts

Bill Adams has been studying martial arts since 1967. His primary instructor, the late George Insley, inspired him to a high level of skill in Isshin-Ryu Karate. This Okinawan system of karate is noted for it's explosiveness, focus and vertical punch. Kobudo, weaponry including bo, sai and tonfa, is a major part of that system. At the brown and black belt level, Mr. Adams received extensive training with Mr. Angi Uezu, the son-in-law of Isshin-Ryu's founder, Tatsuo Shimabuku..

In 1975, he was scheduled to train in Okinawa with Tatsuo Shimabuku. Because of Shimabuku's death in May, Mr. Adams
spent the summer training with one of karate's earliest pioneers in Japan, 10th dan, Yasuhiro Konishi, who was 83 at the time. Founder of Shindo Junen Ryu, and a direct student of Gichin Funakoshi, he was of Samurai lineage and politically connected. It was O' Sensei Konishi that certified Mr. Funakoshi as being allowed to teach Karate in Japan.
Also during this period, Bill began to teach part-time from 1975, teaching various classes with his teacher's blessings. In 1977, Mr Adams began the Karate Can Am, a karate tournament that ran for 14 years, and brought some of the nation's
best talent to Western New York! He also started to increase the size and number of his classes.

In 1979, he began teaching as a full-time professional. Opening first a school in East Aurora, then moving that to nearby
Cheektowaga in 1985. His second school in Blasdell opened in 1984. Both schools have grown steadily, and now boast over 200 active between the two schools. The newest location is in Elma.

Bill Adams Accomplishments

  • 7th dan from World Kobudo Federation in 2000.
  • 3rd Dan in Judo. Certified 6th Degree Black Belt by Isshin Ryu World Karate Association.
  • Won Fighting Grand Champion of the Isshin Ryu World Championship in 1988.
  • Won over 900 awards in regional, national and international events, including the North American Championships, Diamond Nationals, NBL Super Grands, Canadian Nationals, etc.
  • Member of the 1993 US National Tai Chi Team to China.
  • Produced Tai Chi video in 1997. Since produced many video/dvds at the studio housed in Bill Adams' Martial Arts in Elma.
  • He is featured performer for Rising Sun Video's popular release Mastering Okinawan Bo, and co-produced, directed and edited a video for a major drug company (Berlex), Serenity in Action, a guide to Taiji and Qigong for those with Multiple Sclerosis, or other muscular disorders. Other titles include: Chi for You, Chi-time, Chi-time @ School.
  • Vice President of Qi Concept Productions. Info and Products may be found at
  • Produced and Directed the Karate Can-Am Tournament for 14 years. Currently, the NY State Director for Professional Karate Circuit (PKC)
  • Organized and Developed Bill Adams' Martial Arts & Fitness Center, 3211 Transit Road in Elma, N.Y. Over 12,000 sq. ft., 3 major training areas (matted, hardwood, & carpet), locker and shower rooms, video editing suite, etc. Full-time programs include: Isshhin-ryu karate, Kendo, Taiji quan, Shorinji Kempo. Sayoc Kali, Jazzercise.
  • Co-authored numerous articles in respected medical journals including: Physiotherapy, Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, etc.
  • Over 40 years training in Martial Arts, 30 as a full-time professional. Taught seminars to trained martial artists, medical professionals, and the general public.

Continued Development

In Isshin-Ryu Karate, Mr. Adams has received the 7th degree Black Belt and won the Grand Champion Award at the
Isshin-Ryu World Championship in 1988. He also spent a short time training with Kichiro Shimabuku, the son of the style's founder.

Tournament competition held a priority for Mr. Adams in the 1970's and 80's. Winning over 800 trophies in international,
national and regional events Mr. Adams was first noted for sparring, later for forms and weapons forms. A member of a champion national fighting team (The All Stars) he traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada.
He was the Grand Champion or placed in such prestigious tournaments as the Bermuda Invitational Grand Championships,
North American Championships, Canadian Nationals and Diamond Nationals. He also beat some of the top competitors of his time, including Billy Blanks in fighting, Chuck Merrimen in forms, and even Cynthia Rothrock and Cezar Borkowski in weapons forms at national events. And for several years running was the top competitor in the NY/New Jersey area of the NASKA ratings.

During this period Mr. Adams had the opportunity to train with such noted instructors as Prof. Wally Jay in Small Circle Jujitsu,
Prof. Remy Presas in Arnis, Phil Porter in Judo, Bill Wallace on kicking skills and Chuck Merrimen in Goju Karate. Plus he developed close relationships with Cezar Borkowski, Peter Gilpin, Terry Maccarrone and Nick Gracenin. These ties lead tofurther achievement in such styles as Shotokan, Taekwondo, Goju-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu and Tai Chi Chuan.

The Search For Internal

Chinese arts have also held a fascination for Mr. Adams. Since 1981, he has put regular personal training time into the art of
Tai Chi Chuan, especially training with Nick Gracenin, a friend and fellow competitor on the tournament circuit, and when possible Nick's teacher, Madam Bow Sim Mark.

At first, Tai Chi was strictly for his own personal statisfaction. In the fall of 1993, Mr. Adams won a position on the U.S.
National Tai Chi Team and in December of that year, competed in Fuzhou, Fu jian Province, China at the International Tai Chi Games. He placed 5th and 6th in forms competitions against competitors from 14 countries. He spent the rest of that month travelling throughout China and training with top Chinese Grandmasters such as Wang Pei Sheng, and top national coaches like Xia Bai Hua. He even spent a day at the famous Shaolin Temple. He has also placed well in the US National Tai Chi Tournament at A Taste of China, and been one of the few Caucasians to regularly asked to demonstrate in the Master's Demonstrations at that event.
Bill Adams, and his staff, teach hundreds of students weekly at his schools, senior centers, and corporate clients.

Current Events

Currently running one school, Mr Adams has let his tournament lapse since 1994, and has instead run smaller events at his
schools. Over the years, Mr Adams has sponsored seminars that have brought in top martial artists in Okinawan, Japanese, Korean and Chinese arts. The list includes: Kichiro Shimabuku, Bill Wallace, Joe Lewis, Charlie Lee, Cezar Borkowski, Joe Lewis, Chuck Merrimen, Prof. Wally Jay, Remy Presas, Dr. Maung Gyi, Nick Gracenin, Sam Masich, Helen Wu, Jianye Jiang, Seikichi Odo (deceased), Tsuyoshi Uechi. And noted and talented nearby instructors like Matt Dorsey, Mick Walsh and Bill Cavalier.
Just since late in 2001, guests have included:
  • Master Duan, an incredible 97 year old Taiji Qigong master, and a physician of Traditional Chinese Medicine from Beijing, China.
  • Will Maier, a student of Grandmaster Hatsumi of Ninjitsu fame.
  • "Super" Dan Anderson, author of American Freestyle Karate, top 10 fighter for 5 years running, in the late 70's to mid-80's.
  • Sam Masich did Tai Chi & Qigong seminars to a packed house!
  • Alain Sailly of France, Master of Goshindo, Co-founder of World Kobudo Federation.

The Future

We own 3211 Transit Road. Our goal is to make this a must visit place for martial arts in Western New York. We have put over $45,000 in improvements since December of 2016, with more going in. Stop by, see and train.