“I’d like to be remembered as a gentleman who practiced a pure form of Isshinryu Karate…”

William H. Duessel
1927 – 2014


William Duessel – Inducted in 2000 to the Isshin-ryu Hall of Fame

William H. Duessel has spent his life pursuing the development and growth of Isshinryu karate. He is the highest-ranking I.W.K.A. (Isshinryu World Karate Association) instructor in the United States. He received his 1st degree black belt directly from Tatsuo Shimabuku, the founder of Isshinryu karate. In 1990 Kichero Shimabuku, son of Master Shimabuku and President of the I.W.K.A., awarded him his 9th degree black belt and labeled him “Mr. Isshinryu Karate.”

Master Duessel began training in the late 50’s in Jujitsu and Shoto-kan karate. Shortly thereafter, he began training in Isshin-Ryu with Harry G. Smith in 1962, and received his Black Belt from Master Tatsuo Shimabuku in 1964. He opened a dojo in Pittsburgh, PA and had approximately 500 students.

Master Duessel has promoted Isshin-Ryu wherever and whenever possible. He is head of the Isshin-Ryu World Karate Association (IWKA) in the United States under Master Kichero Shimabuku.

He has trained many top Isshin-Ryu Karate-Ka who have continued the Isshin-Ryu tradition by opening and maintaining schools around the country. Through the years, Master Duessel has taught hundreds of students through his dojo, seminars and demonstrations. He produced two video tapes on Isshin-Ryu containing all eight empty hand kata and three Sai and three Bo kata.

Over the years he has always kept an open mind and respectful bow to all Isshin-Ryu organizations. He has always set an outstanding example and has been an inspiration to all.