Founder, Soke GM John H. Casarez officially retired on December 31, 2017 from running his system. He’s been teaching a little bit since then but is very limited on what he can teach due to his health issues. On August 31, 2019 Soke Casarez completely retired from teaching martial arts at the age of 82. He officially retired in the presence of all the Masters and Grandmasters at this years 2019 World Head of Family Sokeship Council event. The Sokeship of the system was transferred to it’s Soke-Dai on September 1, 2019.
His system was been renamed Casarez Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu, “The Working Way” by his Soke-Dai, Grandmaster Mark Murdock and Master Allen Wilson. The system will remain under his Soke-Dai Mark Murdock and Allen Wilson. Soke Casarez will still be an adviser to the the system heads. In March 2019 Soke Casarez had an astounding 70 years in Martial Arts.
Grandmaster, Soke John H. Casarez, Founder of the Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu System
10th Degree Black Belt Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu
6th Degree Black Belt Judo
3rd Degree Black Belt Aikido
2nd Degree Black Belt Karate
1st Degree Black Belt in Chuck Norris System
1st Degree Black Belt Ninjutsu
In 2010 had the opportunity to sit down with Soke Casarez and talk with him about his beginning in the martial arts and how he began his system, Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu. He shared a lot of great information with me and I am happy to share this with you.
Enjoy, Grandmaster Mark Murdock.
Founder Grandmaster Casarez began his training in the martial arts in 1948. Soke Casarez became interested in martial arts at the age of 11. His brother sent a Charles Atlas add in from a magazine. “This is the add that shows a muscular man kicking sand into the face of a small man on the beach, while he was sitting with his girl.” Soke Casarez says he received an envelope with all types of martial arts magazines. Soke began to read and practice the Martial Arts techniques in the books and at the age of 12, Soke Casarez began to train in Hakko-ryu Ju-Jitsu under the late, Ju-Jitsu Sensei Tracy Cook and Judo Sensei Don Hutchinson. Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu has it’s roots from Hakko-Ryu Ju-Jitsu and Judo. Soke Casarez has modified, changed and added to his art since then and his art is now loosely related to traditional Hakko-Ryu Ju-Jitsu.
Soke has taught many students in his 70 years in the martial arts including:
Huntington, WV. Police Department under 3 Police Chiefs.
Cabell County Sheriff’s Department under two Sheriffs.
South Point, OH. Police Department under 2 Police Chiefs. He also served as a Police Officer there for 5 years.
He also trained the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Chesapeake, OH. Police Department and the Ironton Police Department.
He also trained some of the Marshall University R.O.T.C. Reserve Officer’s Training Corps., The US Army Special Forces Reserve Company of Huntington, WV., The US Air Force Civil Air Patrol Wing of Huntington, WV.
Soke Casarez also trained Frank Newman, Instructor to the Huntington, WV. State Police Unit in the use of specialized police tactics techniques.
He also taught FBI agents, several Summit Prison correction officers. Soke Casarez still holds free seminars for these groups.
Soke Casarez taught several years at the Huntington YMCA back in the early eighties. He still does a few class there on occasion.
Soke has over 70 years in the martial arts an holds the rank of Grandmaster, 10th Dan in Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu. Soke Casarez obtained his 10th Degree Black Belt in 1993. Soke Casarez also holds several other black belts, 6th Degree black belt in Judo-achieved 1983, 2nd Degree black belt in Aikido-achieved 1974, 2nd Degree black belt in Karate-achieved 1983, 1st Degree black belt in Chuck Norris System-achieved 1980 and 1st Degree black belt in Ninjutsu-awarded 2004.
Soke Casarez was honored by The World Head Of Family Sokeship Council and was the 51st Grandmaster member on the council and was inducted into the WHFSC Hall of Fame in 1993. Soke Casarez is also a member of three other Halls of Fame, The World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, The USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame and the Cosmopolitan Florida Hall of Fame.
Listed below are the Awards Soke Casarez has be honored with:
1993: Awarded 10th Dan in Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu, Manabi-Masho was recognized by the World Head of Family Sokeship Council, He was also inducted into their Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 1993.
In 1993 after attending a WHFSC event Grandmaster Yamato a representitive of the Imperial Temples of Japan sent Grandmaster Frank E. Sanchez founder of the World Head of Family Sokeship Council a letter officially recognizing the World Head of Family Sokeship Council, in which the Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu system is a part of.
Soke Casarez was awarded Founder of System Award in 1993 by the WHFSC and Judo Man of the Year by the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
International Grandmaster of the year WHFSC 1994,
Golden Lifetime Achievement Award WHFSC 1994,
Grandmaster of the Year WMHF 1995,
3 Pioneer Awards-Life Merit of Excellence WHFSC 1996, 1997, 1998,
Platinum Award Cosmopolitan Florida Hall of Fame 2006,
Pioneer Award 2007 CFHF
3 Platinum Life Achievement Awards WHFSC 1999, 2000, 2001,
Best Martial Arts School in Nation WHFSC 1998,
International Man of The Year WHFSC 1999,
Grandmaster of the Year Award WHFSC 2000,
Patriot Award WHFSC 2002.
Life Achievement Award WHFSC 2001,
Councilman of the Year award WHFSC 2005 and Grandmaster Warrior Award 2010
Living Legend Award USA Martial Arts Hall Fame 2006, Founded in 1974.
Soke Casarez has been awarded other awards by other organizations but are to numerous to mention.
Soke Casarez has attended several seminars over his martial arts career. Listed below are some of the instructors he’s trained with.
Wally Jay-Small Circle Jujitsu, Remi Peresas-Modern Arnis, Stephen K. Hayes-Ninjutsu Bujinkan and Toshin-Do, Manuel Taningo-Stick Fighting, Tony Maynard-Jujitsu, Richard J. Van Donk-Bujinkan Ninjutsu, Gary Dill-JKD, George Noble-Sambo, Katsumi Niikura-Karate, Al Thomas, Joe Hess, Michael DePasquali-Jujitsu, Chuck Norris-Chuck Norris system, Bob Wall-Superfoot system, Dan Severn-UFC champion, Jeff Speakman-Actor, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Grandmaster Ron “The Black Dragon” Van Clief, Frank Dux, Kathy Long and many more to numerous to mention.
Soke Casarez invented the Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu system in the 1968 and began to teach his system at the YMCA in Huntington, WV. Soke Casarez taught Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu at the YMCA for 57 years. In 1978 Soke Casarez opened his own school and it was named Tri-City School of Martial Arts. It was located at the foot of the Huntington 6th Street Bridge in Chesapeake, Ohio. He continued to teach at the YMCA and at his Tri-City School of Martial Arts for several years. He ran Tri-City School of Martial Arts for 41 years and then taught some at the Chesapeake Community center in mid 2019. Manabi-Masho has progressed and evolved throughout the years. In 1994 Manabi-Masho was introduced to North Carolina by Grandmaster Mark Murdock. It’s also being taught in Olive Hill, Kentucky by Master Allen Wilson.
Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu translates as “Lets Learn” The Working Way. Soke Casarez actually created this phrase when he officially began the system in the 1968. The system was originally called “the working way” and very shortly after that named Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu.
Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu was officially recognized in 1993 by the World Head of Family Sokeship Council as a martial arts system. Soke Casarez became the 51st member on the WHFSC Grandmaster’s division.
For the future of Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu, Soke John H. Casarez officially named Grandmaster Mark Murdock as Soke-Dai of Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu system as well as Master Allen Wilson at the WHFSC event in May 2010. In September 2019 Grandmaster Murdock and Master Wilson will officially become Soke of the system.
Soke Casarez said the he wants the Manabi-Masho system continue to grow, add black belts and masters and then continue to spread through out the USA and the world. Soke Casarez, the masters and the black belts of Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu continue to create and perfect the Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu system year by year.