(Kyoshi Shihan)

In 1956 while assigned to the Third Marine Division in Yokuska, Japan, Mr. Craig received his initiation into the martial arts. He began his career of study with the art of karate under Master Gogen Yamaguchi of the Goju School. It was during this initial period of study that he developed an intense personal interest in the philosophical, cultural and historical foundations of a discipline that can be most closely described by the term 'art'. However, its substance has no true equivalent in western culture, His interest in this foundation has contributed most significantly to his continuation of study and advancement.

Transferred to Okinawa in 1958, Mr. Craig was afforded the opportunity to study under Sensei Z. Shimabuku. In Okinawa Mr. Craig furthered his study of Karate and began a study of Okinawan weapons, a style of weaponry historically unique to that island.

Upon discharge from the U.S. Marine Corp, Mr. Craig enrolled at Arlington State University. Taking a B.S., degree in business, he then moved to Houston, where, for the last two decades, he has channeled his interests into several of the disciplines which comprise the classic Martial Arts of Japan.

As self-defense instructor for the Houston Police Department, Mr. Craig has received commendations from the Houston S.W.A.T Division for distinguished meritorious service..

He is the author of Iai-Jutsu : The Art of Japanese Swordsmanship and Iai-jitsu : Center of the Circle both out of print but still available in some shops and collections. Mr. Craig's books currently in print are IAI The Art of Drawing the Sword also Japan's Ultimate Martial Art: Ju Jutsu Before 1882, and Heart of Kendo, SHIHAN-Te The Bunkai of Karate Kata and novels .

Mr. Craig received the highest recognition in his career in 1973, when he was awarded the title of Renshi Shihan or 'Master Teacher'. Shihan is the historical title of the army of the feudal warlords and has been retained as a term of great respect in modern Japan. The title has been bestowed on very few Westerners.

In 2001 during a trip to Japan Renshi Shihan Craig received a Shogo Title promotion to "Kyoshi" An advanced teaching title and rank used in the traditional martial arts and ways. A Kyoshi Shihan is considered equal to a Sixth to Eighth Dan.

The Houston Budokan Dojo officially closed in 2017 when Renshi Shihan Craig retired to travel and devote more time to his writings. After his retirement, Mr. Craig has continued to be active in the martial arts community around the world.

  • Mr. Craig holds the following Martial Art Belts:

    • 7th Degree Black Belt Kendo (Sword Arts)
    • 7th Degree Black Belt Junse Goshln (Jujitsu)
    • 6th Degree Black Belt Shito Ryu (Karate)
    • 6th Degree Black Belt IaiDo (Sword Arts)
    • 5th Degree Black Belt Shorin Ryu (Karate)
    • 5th Degree Black Belt Kobudo (Ancient Weapons)
    • 5th Degree Black Belt Bo Jitsu (Stick Arts)
    • 4th Degree Black Belt Jo Do Osae Alkido (Stick Arts)
    • 4th Degree Black Belt Judo U.S.J.A. & Kodokan
    • 4th Degree Black Belt Osae Junse Aikido

    Mr. Craig belongs to the following organizations:

    • Southwest Karate Black Belt Association
    • The All Okinawan Karate Association
    • Director of the Black Belt Circle Society, Ryukyus, Japan
    • Life member U.S. Judo Association
    • Goshin Budo (Junsa) Ju-Jits Union
    • Hokushin Itto Chiba Ryu Kendo Dojo Osaka Japan
    • United States Kendo Federation
    • All Japan Karate Association
    • All Japan Kendo Association
    • Aikido Association
    • Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai

  • Mr.Craig's other awards and titles include::

    • 1968 Texas Open Karate Champion
    • 1968 Texas Weapons Champion
    • 1973 Ranked 4th in the United States (Weapons)
    • 1973 Received outstanding instructors Award SKKU
    • 1973 to 1978 Texas Representative for Seishin-Kai Karate Union
    • 1973 Participated in 2nd World Kendo Games
    • 1974 to 1978 United States V.P. for Seishin-Kai Karate union
    • 1974 Received the title 'Renshi Shihan'
    • 1976 Uiographical-Marquis Who's Who, Inc.
    • 1975 to 1978 Houston Police SWAT Self-Defense Instructor
    • 1979 lst place So. U.S. Open Kendo Championships
    • 1979 President of Hokushin Style of Kendo U.S.A. branch
    • 1979 Participated in 4th World Kendo Games (Japan)
    • 1980 2nd Place So. U.S. Kendo Championships
    • 1981 Who's Who Karate Hall of Fame
    • 1982 Participated in 5th World Kendo Championships (Brazil)
    • 1982 Who's Who in Karate by Dale Brooks
    • 1984 Team captain 3rd U.S. Kendo Championships
    • 1990 Coached So. U.S.A. Kendo team to International Competition
    • 1992 Coached So. U.S.A. Kendo team to National Championships
    • 1993 Couched Judo team to National Championships
    • 1994 Coached Judo team to National Championships
    • 1994 Coached Budokan Inc. Kendo team to Texas Team Championships
    • 1998 Coached Kata National Judo Team
    • 2000 Coached National Judo Championships
    • 2000 Coached Southern U.S. Kendo & Iaedo Tournament
    • 2001 Coached Pan American Judo Union Senior Championships
    • 2001 Coached National Karate Federation Championships
    • 2001 Coached The Nabeshima Kendo Cup Championships
    • 2001 Received title promotion to 'Kyoshi Shihan' (Advanced Master Teacher)