MASTER RIO ALTAIE
Tang Soo Do
Tarzana Karate was established in 1974 by Sixth
Dan Black Belt Master Dennis Ichikawa (who trained under Master
Chuck Norris). In 1995 Master Terry McMeekin (Master Ichikawas'
highest-ranking student) took over Tarzana Karate. Eventually Master
Rio Altaie became chief instructor in 1996.
A Black Belt School since
• International Tang Soo Moo Duk Association
• International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation
• International Combat Hapkido Federation
• Original Headquarters
of the American Tang Soo Do Alliance
Master Rio Altaie is a 4th degree (Dan) Black
Belt in Tang Soo Do, 2nd degree in Hapkido and has been certified
by Grand Master Hwang Kee, the founder of Korean Tang Soo Do in
Seoul, Korea. [Letter from Grand Master Hwang Kee to Master Rio
Mr. Altaie has been certified as a self-defense
instructor by Carlson Gracie Jr. and in Cardio Kick Boxing by NAPMA.
He has been a practitioner for over fifteen years and also holds
ranks in Tae Kwon Do and Jiu-Jitsu.
also is the founder and chief certifying official of the bureau of Arbitrators,
Referees and Judges (BARJ). During his time as a teacher and a student, he
has learned what makes a successful martial art program: a fun, non-threatening
environment with an emphasis on positive character traits and good, strong
self-defense techniques. Mr. Altaie is delighted to share his knowledge and
love of martial arts, and looks forward to working with you!
Born on the 29th
of September 1966 in Baghdad, Iraq, Asia.
Started martial arts at 16 years of age,
and after coming to the United States in 1985 started training in
Tang Soo Do under the instruction of Mr. Mike Bissle, Kim Bissle
and Booby Burbigde, in Monterey, CA. After moving to L.A. in 1987,
Mr. Altaie trained and obtained his Red belt in Tae Kwan Do. Then
he went back to Tang Soo Do at the Glendale YMCA under Mr. Distefano
and Mr. Troy, then transferred to the Eagle Rock Studio undr Master
Terry McMeekin where he earned his Black Belt in 1989 from the American
Tang Soo Do Alliance with Master Dennis Ichikawa.
his 1st Dan in Tang Soo Do, Mr. Altaie
got involved in Hapkido at CSULA with Mr. Mark Baily where he earned
his blue belt. At the same time he headed the Glendale YMCA program.
After Mr. Altaie tested for his 2nd Dan Master McMeekin offered
him to manage the Eagle Rock studio. Three years after that, the
two bought out Tarzana Karate, the first studio of the ATSDA. By
that time Mr. Altaie was already a 3rd Dan Black Belt.
In 1995 four members
of the alliance (Mr. Ercolono, Mr. Silva and Miss Von Monahoff) headed
by Mr. Altaie traveled to Seoul, Korea,
to train in original Tang Soo Do and to get certified by Grand Master
Hwang Kee, the founder of the style. Mr. Altaie also trained in
Hapkido and Tae Kwan Do with Korean Masters.
In 1996 he took over
the Tarzana Karate program as Chief Instructor
and got more involved with Kickboxing
and Jiu-Jitsu. Some of the kickboxers he worked with are Don the
Dragon Wilson, Pete Sugar foot Cunningham and Kathy Long, with the
Machado Brothers and Carlson Gracie Jr. in Jiu-Jitsu.
In 1998 Mr.
Altaie tested for his 2nd Dan in Hapkido
with the ICHF under Grand Master John Pilligrini after working with
great Masters in Hapkido that included Dr. Il-Young Kim, the president
of the Hapkido-Federation. The same year Mr. Altaie finally met
with Mr. Chuck Norris in Chicago during the "Kick Drugs
out of America" tribute.
- 4th Dan in Tang Soo Do2nd Dan in Hapkido
- Certified Self Defense Instructor in
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Carlson Gracie Jr.
- Certified by Grand Master Hwang Kee
President of Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan
- Certified by Chuch Norris founder of
American Tang Soo Do
- Certified by Don "The Dragon" Wilson
- Certified by NAPMA Cardio Kickboxing
- Certified Instructor in Combat Hapkido
by GM Pilligrini President of the ICHF
- Certified by Dr. Il-Young Kim President
of the Hapkido Federation
- Certified Referee for the referees,
judges and arbitators association (BARJ)
- Certified also by: Jhoon Rhee, Kathy
Long, Bill Wallace, Eric Lee and Larry Lam among others
- BS in Electrical Engineering
- BS in Computer Science
- AA in Theater Arts
- Co-Captain of Team ASE with Mr. Jason
- Co-Author of Tang Soo Do Manual for
Beginners with Mr. Frankie McConnell
- Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver
- Certified Sky Diver