Born in detroit, Michigan, July,1954, Shihan O'Neil began his martial arts career at age 11 in Tae Kwon Do, a few years later he moved to northern Michigan (city of Alpena) and began training in Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu karate where he obtained black belt status, whereon he opened a full time dojo, he continued this 'till 1984 and at that time decided to move to Florida where most of his family now lived. Once there he found himself involved with a Moo Duk Kwon organization and partners in another commercial dojo. This lasted seven years, at which point he realized he missed Shorin-Ryu and started his own school teaching that once again. Then in 1996 he had an opportunity to workout with a Goju style class based at Florida International University, and after a few workouts was offered a position as Adjunt Professor & Head Martial Arts instructor at their northern campus and as Assistant Instructor at their Southern Campus. He did this for fifteen semesters until learning of his ailing father condition turning for the worst, at which time decided to leave Miami and move to Northern Florida near his farther so he could help with things, he now resides in Zephyrhills, Florida where he bought a house, and is working for the Dept. of Juvenile Justice, and plans to open a dojo in the near future.
Ranking; Shihan O'Neil's first three black belts were in Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu and Moo Duk Kwon Tang Soo Do. He earned his yondan (4th), godan (5th), and his rokudan (6th) degrees in World Sansei Goju-Ryu, also he was conferred the rank of 6th dan in Shorin-Ryu by the Okinawan Karate Federation, and finally as a founding member invested the rank of 6th dan in Ronin Goju-Ryu Kai.
Instructors & Lineage;
1. Tom Marsico, direct student of Ernest Estrada.
2. Toby Heberly, direct student of Ernest Estrada.
3. Ernest Estrada, direct student of Shugoro Nakazato, director of Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu Nakazato Shorinkan Karate-Do Association.
4. Todd Jones, direct student of Richard Chun, director of the United States Tae Kwon Do Association.
5. Manny Saavedra, founder of Sansei Goju-Ryu and direct student of Peter Urban, father of American Goju-Ryu Karate and founder of U.S.A.Goju. Also student of Frank Ruiz founder of Ni Sei Goju Ryu Karate Do in New York.
6. Carlos Montalvo, founder of Ronin Goju-Ryu Kai and student of (see Hanshi Montalvo's bio in this site) Hanshi Manuel Saavedra.
Training; Shihan O'Neil has also had training with these people ranging from a seminar to extended months
1. Bill ( Superfoot) Wallace
2. Joe Lewis
3. Takeshi Hayama direct student of Hideo
4. Shojiro Jibiki director and Soke of Kenshokai
5. Ken Tallack, director of Canadian division of
Dai Nippon Butokukai international.
6. Barry Tierney, direct student of Bo Sayoc,
director of Sayoc Fighting System
7. Jack Kelly, cheif instructor of the Canadian
Jiu Jitsu Association.
8. Comet Rowsen, Judo instructor at the Kodokan,
Other systems & styles Shihan O'Neil has had some training in;
1. Thai fist
2. Thai boxing
4. Krav maga
7. Wing Chung
Education; Associate of Arts degree from Alpena Community College, Alpena, Michigan.
Awards & Certificates;
1. Certificate of appreciation for being an outstanding instructor from Florida International University, College of Education.
2. Plaque of appreciation from U.S. Customs Service Warrant Entry & Tactial Team for training seminars.
3. Certificate of appreciation for his time and dedication to the D.A.R.E program.
Travel; Shihan O'Neil has also traveled to several countries for the specific purpose of training in the martial arts, they include,Thailand, Japan, Korea, and Venezuela.
Currently Shihan Robert "Bob" O'Neil works with the State of Florida in a Juvenile Correctional Facility. He trains in Karate 4 to 5 days a week and is one of the Organization's consultant in Okinawan and Japan History, Karate, Naha-Te, Shuri-Te and ancient techniques.
He lives in the central area Florida as a True Warrior, when in time of peace, he sets his sword aside to study the ancient Sutras, but always aware of his surroundings...