Soke Mark Murdock, Head of the Casarez Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu System

January 1, 2018 Soke John H. Casarez passed the Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu system to Grandmaster Mark Murdock and Master Allen Wilson. The system was renamed Casarez Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu in honor of its founder. In August 2019, Soke John Casarez attended his last WHFSC event to announce his retirement to all the WHFSC board members. He also announced that Grandmaster Murdock would be the head of the Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu system. He also stated that he was promoting Grandmaster Murdock to 10th Dan. Grandmaster Murdock will be in charge of all decisions and all operations for the system. On March 15, 2019, Professor Casarez had 70 years of martial arts. Soke Casarez officially retired at age 86 but still enjoys showing a few techniques time to time. This man is a legend in the martial arts. It's a great privilege to have trained under him for nearly 45 years. Grandmaster Wilson is also an inheritor and Soke of Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu and Grandmaster member on the Casarez Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu Board of Black Belts.

Soke Murdock has named Senior Master Micky Metz, Master's Crystal Wagner, John Allen, Wayne Williams as his current Soke-Dai. Sarah Kuhaneck is a Soke-Dai candidate.

Soke Mark Murdock, 10th Dan

Soke Mark Murdock's Martial Arts Background

About myself and my background,

I’ve been active in Martial Arts for nearly 44 years. I started learning martial arts early in 1979 from Professor Casarez unofficially and from some of my friends that were Professor Casarez's students. I then officially started full time at his dojo in 1982. I studied Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu, Judo, Aikido and Karate under Professor John H. Casarez, Founder of Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu for 44 years and the last time I trained with him was in July 2023 at his home. Even though he is in poor health, he tries to teach me when I’m in town.

During the mid-1980’s Professor Casarez invited a few guest instructors at his school. Bob Frazier taught Aikido and Okinawan Karate. The late Grandmaster Robert “Bob” Edwards taught some Judo. Lester Cohen and Mike Parsons taught Filipino martial arts and JKD two nights a week. This is where I got most of my Filipino and JKD experience. I have gained more Filipino and JKD experience while at the WHFSC event seminars and experience in many other martial art styles while training at the seminars.

In 1996, I trained with Doshi Richard Van Donk in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (Ninjutsu). I have trained under him since then. I also trained under the late Shihan Ed Martin Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu 2005 through 2008. In 2019, I achieved my Shidoshi 5th Dan in the Bujinkan under Doshi Richard Van Donk. I also trained at the Stephen Hayes’s Chapel Hill Quest Center 1996 thorough 2002. I was equivalent to a Shodan in Tai Shin Do but never ranked as I had a Shodan in the Bujinkan. I have also trained with Stephen Hayes, Bud Maelstrom, Jack Hoban, and with Masaaki Hatsumi in 2000 at the Atlanta Tai-Kai.

In 2006, I became a Soke-Dai of Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu and a master member of the WHFSC. In 2019, I became a Grandmaster member of the WHFSC. During the 2019 WHFSC event, awards banquet Professor Casarez announced his retirement from martial arts after a long 70-year career. This was due in part because of two strokes and declining health. I became a Soke of Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu and head of the Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu system. I was awarded a 10th Dan in front of all the attending masters and grandmasters at the WHFSC banquet. I received this recognition a few years early because of My Sensei's health issues. He told me he wanted to pass the system to me early in case he would have another stroke and pass. I was made the new head of the system. As the new Soke, I added Casarez to the name of the system in its founder’s honor. The new name of the system under me is Casarez Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu.

My training background:
During the last 28 years attending the WHFSC events I have learned a lot from various WHFSC Grandmasters and Masters, I have trained in many martial arts seminars including Dan "The Beast" Severn, Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, the late Remy and Ernesto Preses, Al Dacascos (actor Mark Dacascos) father, Jeff Speakman, Bobby Toboada, the late Professor Wally Jay two seminars, Dennis Hanover Krav-Maga Isreal, Frank Dux, Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, Dana Abbott, Don "The Dragon Wilson, Michael DePasquale, Jr. and Sr., I have trained with many more too many to mention. I will be in the American Martial Arts Alliance 2nd Edition of the Who's Who in the Martial Arts Cynthia Rothrock Tribute Book, an Amazon #1 Best-Seller coming later in the Fall. I met Chuck Norris in 2022 and the cast of Cobra-Kai (Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and Martin Kove) in 2019. I have trained with many other high level martial artist in my career. I also have experience in many other martial art styles. Therefore, I have varied experience in Filipino Martial Arts, Aikido, Karate, Judo, Kung Fu, Ninjutsu, Muay Tai, Russian Martial Arts, Small Circle Ju-Jitsu and many other styles of martial arts besides the Casarez Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu style, I have a great amount of extra martial arts experience because of the WHFSC events. I’ve also studied some in the art of Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu under the late Okamoto Sensei from Japan during his May 2006 USA seminar.

My teaching background. I lived in Southeast Ohio from the time of my birth until April 1994, when I moved to the Raleigh, North Carolina, area. I then started private tutoring a few students. On May 26, 1996, I started my own martial arts school, Southern School of Martial Arts, in Willow Springs, NC. Now in the McGee's Crossroads area of Benson, NC. We just celebrated our 27th anniversary in 2023. I brought Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu to NC. in April, 1994. SSMA was the first and only school in North Carolina to teach the original Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu. In October 2001, I researched, developed and created a martial arts system just for children called Kobushi-Do (The Little Warrior Way). This is my children’s Jr. Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu system. In March 2003, I created my own Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu Ninjutsu school, Rivers Edge Bujinkan Dojo. I then officially offered classes in Ninjutsu in 2003. I developed a pre-school program for ages 3 to 5 called Little Ninja in 2017. I created a program for instructors to be certified as assistant instructor first and then by Instructor level 1 through 4 and as Master Instructor after level 4.

Recognitions, memberships and awards:
I'm a member of the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, World Head of Family Sokeship Council’s International Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Cosmopolitan Florida Martial Arts Hall of Fame, USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. I became a Master member of the World Head of Family Sokeship Council’s Masters Division in September, 2006. I became a Grandmaster member of the World Head of Family Sokeship Council in September 2019. The last award awarded from the WHFSC was the Golden Life Achievement over 40 years in the martial arts award on May 27, 2023. I have received many other awards and recognitions from this council in the past as well.

My teaching background:
Here are a few of the many groups I have taught: Several military personnel from Fort Liberty and Camp Lejeune. Nash County EMS, Wake County EMS paramedics and administrative staff, Bay Leaf Fire Department firefighters, fire department and rescue squads in Southeast Ohio, Northwestern West Virginia and Central North Carolina. I have also privately tutored military personnel: West Virginia State Police officers, Raleigh and Durham police officers, North Carolina Highway Patrol Officers, EMTs and Wake Forest firefighters. I also conducted a self-defense awareness class for students with special needs at West Lake Middle School in Wake County in January 1997 and a series of classes of Women’s Self Defense and Self Defense for older adults and Persons with disabilities. In 2008, I created the EMS Worker Self Defense program. I did an online version of the program for Davidson College and Robeson College in 2011 and 2013. I’m currently in the early stages of designing a program for police officers with the help of the Dean of Public Safety and BLET Instructor Jon Gregory at Wake Technical College in Raleigh, NC. This program is to train officers to use less lethal force and use more martial arts and small joint manipulation to control a situation. I continually try to teach and help the community with programs based on self-defense.

In 2023 I was inducted into the Alliance Martial Arts Hall of Honors and was featured in the Cynthia Rothrock Tribute book. I was also made a Level 5 Police Tactics Instructor of the Police Tactics Instructors of America through Danny Lane. I also was added to the UFAF Krav Maga association and the UFAF (United Fighting Arts of America) both under GM Chuck Norris.

My current belt ranking.

Soke, 10th Degree Black Belt Casarez Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu, and Head of the Casarez Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu System.

Shidoshi, 5th Degree Black Belt Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, Ninjutsu,

Yondan, 4th Degree Black Belt, Judo,

Sandan, 3rd Degree Black Belt Aikido,

Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt Karate,

Shodan equivalent experience in Kali, Eskrima JKD

Police Tactics Instructors of America: Level 6 Instructor

Krav Maga Instructor