Joel Buchholtz began his martial arts training at the age of eleven studying Ju-Jitsu until was fifteen at which time he began studying Judo until he was eighteen. He began karate studies under Master Don Nagle and continued as Master Nagle's student throughout the years. He also enjoyed the opportunity to train under Grand Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, Kichiro Shimabuku, and Angi Uezu.
Master Buchholtz opened his first dojo in Bayonne, New Jersey in 1967, and is still active teaching at the same address today. He is affiliated with the MDA, MS, and ARC. In 1972, he established the Bayonne Sports Medic Clinic. He holds a BS, MA, and MS in Exercise Physiology, and served as a Fire Fight for seventeen years.
Joel has been active in martial arts most of his life. He was inducted into the WPKO Hall of Fame in 1988. He received the Spirit of Isshin-Ryu Award in 1986, and the Samurai Spirit Award in 1989. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the United Isshin-Ryu Karate Federation.