Grandmaster Mark Murdock
9th Degree Black Belt in Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu
Shidoshi-Ho, 4th Degree (5th Degree Candidate) in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu Ninjutsu,
3rd Degree in Judo and 2nd Degree in Aikido. 1st Degree or higher equivalent in Escrima, JKD, Karate.
On June 3, 2017 Soke Casarez tested me for my 9th degree black belt and I achieved the status of Grandmaster in our system, Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu. It was a great honor to be tested by Soke Casarez himself for this prestigious belt rank.
Here's the story how I started in martial arts. I became interested in martial arts in the summer of 1979. While I was working at a grocery store in Chesapeake, Ohio. There was this guy (Sensei Casarez, 6th degree black belt at that time) that came into the store and was showing all kinds of really cool martial arts techniques to the manager or anyone who wanted to see them. He could control my 6'4" manager with a couple of fingers. I thought that was just magical. I said to myself I have to learn that. At that time I started to have Sensei Casarez, a 6th Degree Black Belt show me different techniques. I wanted to go to his school and officially enroll as a student but could not afford tuition on my $3.35 per hour wage. I then started training with a couple of friends who were students of Grandmaster Casarez. I learned a lot from them but still wasn't satisfied. I wanted more techniques and more training, more than they could offer me. Finally a couple years later I began training on a regular basis with Soke Casarez and have been for 35 years now. In 1987 I began to assist Soke Casarez in teaching. In April 1994 I moved to the Raleigh , NC. area brought Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu to North Carolina. I began privately training and tutoring students from April 1994 thought may 1996. In May 1996 I founded Southern School of Martial Arts. On. May 16, 2016 Southern School of Martial Arts celebrated it's 20th anniversary.
In October, 2001 I created a special Children's Martial Art called Kobushi-Do, "The Little Warrior Way". This children's martial art specializes in children's self defense in a fun and entertaining way. In July 2017 I created a program for small children ages 3 through early 6 years old. This programs works on developing motor skills, balance and hand and eye coordination while preparing them to learn martial arts techniques.
I currently have a 4th degree black belt in Bujinkan Ninjutsu (5th degree candidate). I teach that style in addition to Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu. In 1996 is when I officially started training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (Ninjutsu). I started under the guidance of Shihan Richard Van Donk. I also trained once or twice a week at the Quest Center in Chapel Hill. I trained in Stephen K. Hayes's Toshin-Do style of Ninjutsu. In 2000 at the Atlanta Tai-Kai I tested for my 1st degree black belt in Ninjutsu. This was one of Maasaki Hatsumi's American Tai-Kai's. In 2003 I received my 3rd degree black belt and became an instructor of the Bujinkan Ninjutsu style. I also trained a couple of years with Shihan Ed Martin from PA. In 1988 I became a board member of the Manabi-Masho black belt board of directors. In May 2006 I became a member of the World Head of Family Sokeship Council's Masters Division. I will become a member of the World Head of Family Sokeship Council's Grandmaster Council in September 2017. I'm a member of four Halls of Fame; The World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, The World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame, The USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame and the Florida Cosmopolitan Hall of Fame. Below are some of the awards I have received from these Halls of Fame. Ju-Jitsu Man of the Year on several occasions. Instructor of the Year on several occasions. Master Instructor of the Year on several occasions. On September 2, 2017, I was awarded the Silver Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Head of Family Sokeship Council. I was also made a member of the WHFSC Grandmasters Council as well.
On June 3, 2017 I became a Grandmaster in the art of Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu. I've trained many students in the last 35 years. I've trained students from Southeast Ohio, Western West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, Southern Virginia, Eastern North Carolina and Northern and Central South Carolina. I've trained several organizations over my teaching career. Listed below are the groups and departments that I've taught in the past: