Sensei Greg Williams



Sensei Greg Williams

"From white belt to black belt you shape the tool, at black belt you start to learn how to use it." -Unknown

In the mid 1980's Sensei Greg Williams was a young child. With shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the martial arts movies of that time, he became of a fan of the genre, much to the chagrin of his parents.

As a way to ween their young son off of the martial arts genre, they enrolled him into Coszacks when he was only in first grade. Unfortunately for his parents, he did not grow tired of martial arts. He actually enjoyed them more and so began his journey into karate.

Beginning first with a seminar taught, by then Sensei Hardwick, Sensei Greg moved to the main club being taught at The Armory. With him being a child still, the skills, discipline, and all the other peculiarities that make up a martial artist, he slowly progressed. For his first few promotions, it took him nearly a year between each promotion to advance.

When the club moved to a new location, Sensei Greg followed them. First to the American Legion building, and then to the YMCA. Throughout this time, he witnessed several black belt promotions.

While the black belt promotions are a testament of skill, in part, they are also a testament of fortitude and mental strength. For those that have never had a chance to watch a black belt promotion, they are a test that is seemingly cruel to the one taking the promotion.

Even after seeing these black belt promotions, Sensei Greg continued to be a part of Coszacks. Eventually, he was told he was ready to test for his black belt.

Roughly seven years after he had started, Greg Williams was about ready to end a journey and begin a new one. In the summer of 1995, just prior to starting 8th grade, Sensei Greg took and earned his black belt. He was, for a time, the youngest black belt in Coszacks history.

As was told to him many years later by a student at the time, who also later earned his black belt, that prior to the black belt promotion, he had seemed not to be “qualified” to become a black belt. After the promotion had started, as Sensei Greg displayed himself, this other black belt realized that he was wrong and that Sensei Greg was ready to be a Coszacks black belt.

Having spent the majority of his childhood in karate, and having now earned his black belt, Sensei Greg began to try different things in school. From sports to arts, Sensei Greg slowly drew away from the club that was his home for so long. When Sensei Greg finally graduated from high school in 2000, he then went on to attempt to get a degree from a college in Columbus.

Things did not work out for Sensei Greg the way he planned. He was living away from Zanesville at the time, and slowly began to make a life for himself. For the most part, he had mentally given up karate. But in the back of his mind there was still a yearning.

After several years of being someone without a plan for his future, Sensei Greg finally found a career that he believed would suit him. Early in the year of 2009, Sensei Greg's desire to start back in karate finally came to fruition. He had finally come back home to Coszacks.

Getting back into karate was hard in ways for Sensei Greg. He had to dedicate himself to polishing his skills that had become rusty with lack of use. The body that had not performed karate for the better part of a decade had to get re-accustomed to movements that were slowly coming back to him.

With his sabbatical from the club, Sensei Greg had changed in ways that would become beneficial to him. New appreciation of discipline that he had not previously comprehended, understanding of his nature, and many other changes in him had led him to become a more complete martial artist. In October of 2010, Sensei Greg was finally awarded his second degree of being a black belt.

Now that he is back with Coszacks, Sensei Greg continues to refine his own skills in karate and those of the students he helps to teach. As one author put it, not the exact quote,

“After a point there is very little that someone else can teach you. To further your skills any farther, you need to teach someone else.”
This has become a philosophy that Sensei Greg truly believes. It is also one that he wishes all students of Coszacks get the chance to learn.





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