- Yehoshua Sofer is also the name of a victim of the June 2010 West Bank shooting.
He was born in 1958 as Nigel Wilson into a Breslover Hasidim family in Jamaica. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1963 where he studied Tang Soo Do, receiving a black belt by 1968, aged ten. He studied Kuk Sool Won from 1974, advancing to 6th dan, and worked as a trainer and bodyguard during the 1970s and 1980s.
He moved to Israel in 1989, and in 1993, he recorded a minor Israeli hip hop hit in Hebrew, חומוס מטמטם Humus Metamtem ("Humus Makes You Stupid"). In 2000, he ran a Kuk Sool Won school at the International Convention, Jerusalem.
In 2002, he founded the Abir Warrior Arts Association of Israel, teaching his own style of "Abir-Qesheth Hebrew Warrior Arts" (אבי״ר-קשת אומנות לחימה עברית) in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, claiming an unbroken tradition dating to Israelite antiquity preserved by an underground school of "Bani Abir" in Habban, Yemen, and styling himself Aluf Abir אלוף אבי״ר "Grandmaster of Abir". The word אביר abir in Modern Hebrew means "knight", interpreted as an acronym אבי״ר, for אדוננו, בוראנו, יוצרנו, רופאנו ("Our Lord, our Creator, our Maker, our Healer").
The school's logo spells the word in the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet as 𐤀𐤁𐤉𐤓; the letter shapes are significant because of Abir's "Aleph-Beth Fighting System" where "Abir practitioners learn to assume the forms of the twenty-two Hebrew letters in all of their seven types of combat applications." The addition qeshet קשת means "bow, arch" and refers to a method of "always striking with an arched limb in a looping, elliptical, or circular manner". Although Sofer advocates his style as a "kosher" martial art, people from all walks of life and religious commitment are welcome to train. The style does incorporate prayer and the reading of texts because "Abir is a religious practice which includes Torah studies," but it does not mandate what a practitioner's personal choices are outside of the dojo.
- Sofer, Yehoshua, et al. "The History of Abir". Abir Hebrew Warrior Arts. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- The Flying Breslav Chasid, The Jerusalem Report, 24 April 2000.
- Asking: Yehoshua Sofer, Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine, May 2010.