Michael Goodyear is known as the “quiet guy”. That demeanor masks an accomplished martial artist, and a fierce fighter, but those of you who’ve been in the ring with him already know that. Those that haven’t experienced him yet, boy howdy are you in for a surprise!
Michael began training under Sensei Bailey Russell at the Cecil Community College Dojo in 1979. What impressed him the most as a new student was how real the fighting was, yet everyone had fun and there were few injuries. Michael was promoted to Sho-dan in December, 1982.
In 1983, Sensei Russell’s job schedule necessitated turning the dojo over to a capable blackbelt. That was Michael. He maintained the dojo at the community college until his retirement from regular teaching in 2015. As a sensei, he has guided several students to black belt: Kym Stanley, Richard Muhs, Rodney Manuel, Paul Heath, Glenn Fanning, and Nicki Pell. His advice for students is, “Practice. From practice comes speed; from speed comes power. Have fun in karate, for it, and life, is too short.”
As a student himself, Michael has progressed through the black belt ranks and currently is Nana-Dan (7th degree black belt).
A carpenter by trade, Michael was hired by the DuPont Corporation in 1987. He continues to work for DuPont as a millwright. Over the years, Mike has fashioned handsome tuifa for himself and several members of the OI. The tuifa is also his trademark weapon for kata competition.
Michael’s humility and dedication to perfecting his abilities continues to inspire others. “When I think of Mike Goodyear, the words “gentle giant” comes to mind,” said Barry Smith. “Mike is always courteous, polite, quiet and awesome. He is the type of person that steps into the ring and you think you got it made, prior to the judge’s hand dropping. All of a sudden the “quiet man” unloads his deceptive hand speed and powerful kicks all over your body. By the time you figure out what has just taken place, it’s over. You turn and walk away wondering who this person was in Mike’s body. You wonder where Mike went, and then you look across the room and you see the man smiling at you and motioning to you that your friend is still there. He is a gentleman, a fine friend and a fantastic sensei. I am proud to be in his corner.”
Juan Lopez puts it this way, “Mike Goodyear’s strongest quality is that of silence…an invaluable weapon in winning any fight — because the assailant will never know what’s truly in your heart. If you practice this virtue — like Mike does all the time — you will end up growing in wisdom… by always pondering things first in your heart. That is why Isshin-Ryu is called the way to the ‘One-heart.’”
Sensei Goodyear is a devoted father to his sons, Dylan and Wyatt.