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Eric wolford

shidoshi - 7th dan

senior instructor & Dai dojo-cho

Eric began his journey into the martial arts at the age of 19 at the legendary Tiger’s Den Shotokan Karate Dojo under Shihan Bobby Kramer.  He studied off and on over the years until Sensei Kramer moved his dojo out of Columbus.  Taking a break from martial arts in the late 90’s to pursue family and a music career, he landed with Grandmaster Charles Wright of Real World Karate and Self Defense.  He received his Shodan (black belt) in Shorinryu Matsubayashi Ryu Karate in 2009 from Master Wright, as well as his Sandan (3rd Degree) in 2014.  He still continues to train with Master Wright.  While cross-training, he also received his Shodan from Grandmaster Robert “Hawk” Hawkins of the Bantu Karate Federation in 2010 and his Nidan (2nd Degree) in 2012. 


In 2010, he was introduced to Soke Masaaki Hatsumi’s Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, based in Japan.  Eric currently holds the rank of Nanadan (7th Degree) from Dai Shihan Arnaud Cousergue and holds a Shidoshi license to teach within the Bujinkan.   He is a member of the Shiro Kuma Bujinkan Dojo and the Bujinkan Shidoshikai (Instructors Guild). 

Eric is the senior instructor here at the Kazoku Dojo where he teaches primarily Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu as well as modern applications of those principles and techniques.


Eric is also the senior instructor at, which is a Firearms and Tactics school for Civilian Defense since 2005.  He teaches Pistol, Carbine and Shotgun courses to empower civilians as well as Ohio Concealed Carry.  He has certifications in pistol and shotgun from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.  He is an NRA Firearms Instructor and Range Safety Officer in good standing (NRA Instructor #153267152)    Eric has attended several gunfighting courses and competitions.


Eric also works for a local security company where he offers personal and executive protection as well as armed security for high profile clients and companies.


Eric enjoys spending his spare time with his family and grandchildren at their home in Canal Winchester, Ohio.




Sensei Tim has been involved in the fitness and martial arts world for most of his adult life.  He was the fitness manager of the Westerville Athletic Club for several years where he was a personal trainer and responsible for many facets of fitness for many clients.

He was a member of Fitness Trend's Buster Douglas Boxing Club.  At that time, he was a verified personal trainer and an Ace Trainer certified by Dr. Ellington Darden on Nautilus.

He went on to study for several years under Sifu Jeff Nayers in Wah Lum Tam ui Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu.

Through the early to mid 2000's, Sensei Tim was training in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) at Higher Power MMA in Lancaster, Ohio where he fought several amatuer bouts, winning more than he lost.


In 2018, Sensei Tim decided to start training under his long-time friend, Shidoshi Eric Wolford of the Kazoku Dojo in Canal Winchester, Ohio.  This would be his introduction to his true passion, Japanese Combat Arts and the Bujinkan where he currently holds his Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) and a Shidoshi-ho license to teach as an assistant teacher.

He is also a member of the Shiro Kuma Bujinkan Dojo and the Bujinkan Shidoshikai (Instructors Guild). 

Sensei Tim is also certified in CPR and Advanced Sport First Aid.




Sensei James was born in Brooklyn, NY and developed a love for the martial arts at an early age.  As he got older, he started to hear his community calling him to serve.  After several years training in Ninjutsu, Sensei James answered the call and became a New York City Police Officer.

Sensei James served his community with pride and distinction in a career that spanned 25 years.  In that 25 years, he had seen it all.  Including that fateful day in September that we all saw on our television screens.  Sensei James saw it unfold in person.

After serving his community with integrity and honor, he retired and moved to Pickerington, Ohio.  Looking to reignite his passion for the Martial Arts, Sensei James visited several prominent Dojos in the central Ohio area.  After several unfruitful visits and careful consideration, he walked through the doors of the Kazoku Dojo, headed up by Shidoshi Eric Wolford where he committed himself and continues to this day.

Sensei James holds the rank of Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) in The Kazoku Dojo's Japanese Combat Arts and the Bujinkan.

He is the Kazoku Dojo's Dojo-cho (Manager)



little ninja Coach

Sensei Mariah is a graduate of Canal Winchester High School. 


She is a Black Belt in the Kazoku Dojo and is a Rockstar with kids.  

She is responsible for the Little Ninjas Level 1 and 2.

Sensei Mariah speaks some spanish and has been trained in CPR and First Aid.




Lisa oversees the day to day operation of the Kazoku Dojo.  She is responsible for scheduling classes and coordinating Dojo events.

Her other roles include but are not limited to Community Liaison and Human Services Coordinator.

She handles all accounting, applications and finance issues.


ralph portier

In memoriam  10/22/50-12/30/21

instructor - Taiho Jutsu

Chief Portier has been instructing Subject Control classes at local career centers in Groveport and Newark for more than 20 years and continues to be an active Ohio Peace Officer instructor.


Chief Portier received his Shodan (Black Belt) in Taiho Jutsu - Shotakan Ryu from Hanshi Daniel Hect in 2016.  In 2016, he was inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame Black Belt Association for his continued contribution to the world of Martial Arts and is in good standing.  Chief Portier also received his Shodan (Black Belt) in Japan Karate Do by Shihan Chris Stets in 2017. 


He is also a Shodan (Black Belt) and Sensei here at the Kazoku Dojo.


He has instructed personal self defense classes since the early 2000’s which include a Women’s Self Defense program in Central Ohio, The Fairfield County Emergency Response Team and has participated in “Take Back the Night”.   Chief Portier, has been a first responder in three fields - fire, EMS, and police since 1971 and is currently a commissioned police officer here in Ohio.


Chief Portier is passionate about his “Dying in Blue” program.  A program which creates and maintains awareness for all first responders and their families and the dangers of the trauma they see each day.  He continues to travel throughout different agencies to help other first responders, often several times per week.  

Sadly, Sensei Portier succumbed to his battle with Pancreatic Cancer.  He will truly be missed.

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