Phil Ortiz

As instructor for the New York Budokai, originally founded by Yoshitero Otani Sensei, Sensei Phil Ortiz has studied martial arts for over 50 years. His studies began with Master Visitation in the practice of Vijitsu when he was 15 years old. Continuing his studies, he began to practice Shorin Ryu Karate under Ansei Ueshiro Sensei and Sensei James Wax. Following this he worked with C. Choo Sensei in Kotokan Judo. He then went onto studying Shotokan Karate with Sensei Kurt Blackwood and later with Sensei Samuel Murray. He continued his Judo practice under Sensei Carl Jameson. He began to study Iaido under Otani Sensei in 1972. His study with Sensei would continue until his death in 2004. During this period there were many visiting teachers from Japan including Terutaka Kawabata Sensei instructing in Jigen Ryu and Takeshi Mitsuzuka Sensei in Musoshinden Ryu and Jodo. (Jodo is the practice of the short wooden staff which is used as a defense against the sword.)

Throughout all his years of studying many budo arts he has made frequent trips to Japan refining his practice skills. Consecutively with his Iaido practice and study, Sensei Ortiz began a comprehensive study of Kyudo in 1975. He worked under the tutelage of Shigagi Sensei in NYC and later with Kanjuro Shibata Sensei and Sensei Don Simanski. Presently he is working with Zen Archery under the guidance of Sensei Rick Beal in California.

During his visits to Japan he also had the opportunity to work with the Takeda Kybado (horse archery) near Kamakura. In the United States in Fort Dodge, Iowa, he studied with head archers Kyueki and Misa Tsuyoshi of the Takeda Kyubado.

Currently, Phil Ortiz teaches Iaido as Senior Instructor of the New York Budokai, which is the American representative of Ryushin Shouchi Ryu. Alongside Iaido; Phil Ortiz under the guidance of Rick Beal is also the Senior instructor of the New York Dokokai, which is the represented style of Zen archery in New York.