Manuel Taningco is the founder and grandmaster at TAMA Martial Arts Center in the Dayton Metropolitan area. Grandmaster Taningco is an 8th Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate Jiujitsu with 42 yeas of teaching Martial Arts. The 40 years of teaching are all in the Dayton Miami Valley area.

Manuel Taningco was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. He was first trained by his older brother (a member of famous BAHALANA Gang) who passed down the ideas of self-protection and self preservation in the streets of Sampaloc, Manila in 1964. This was the beginning of his training in Filipino combative arts and in Shotokan Karate. Manuel Taningco was nurtured and encouraged by his older brother, Alex, a retired Master Sergeant of U.S. Air Force, to continue training in the martial arts in the mid 60’s and Manuel Taningco continued on when he moved to United States in 1968. Manuel Taningco founded TAMA in 1976 to integrate martial arts training in a unique way offering something not found in the Miami Valley. His vision and his purpose in life was to share his knowledge. His goal was to establish a martial arts institute that offers more than one style in a college-style setting. He pioneered a children’s program, the multi discipline martial arts classes, and the mixed martial arts. He is responsible for bringing in the martial arts discipline of Kenpo Karate Jiujitsu, Filipino Kali/Eskrima, Jeet Kune Do, Traditional Chinese Tien Shan Pai Martial Arts, Aikijutsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and Indonesian Silat. Each style, in a college style setting, has its own curriculum and qualified, competent, certified, compassionate Black Belt instructors that he taught over the years.

Grandmaster Taningco was honored by Chuck Norris in 1982, 83, 84 for teaching his UFAF Black Belts three years in a row. Taningco has been inducted in many Martial Arts Hall of Fame as “Grandmaster of the Year”, “ Instructor of the year” and “Man of the Year”. Taningco has helped 4 other studios own their martial arts schools in the Dayton Miami Valley area. He pioneered the “Summer Camp Martial Arts” and After School Martial Arts in the area.

TAMA is an acronym for Taningco Academy of Martial Arts. It is the center of martial arts excellence and high standards in martial arts training for adults, juniors and children that emphasize to instill confidence, discipline, core values, build character, and learning valuable life skills to pave way for success in life.


Manuel Taningco objective was to establish a very effective martial arts curriculum both in application and focus, and discipline in body, mind and spirit. He also wants to instill total confidence in each student and to instill honor, integrity and respect through martial arts training. He also wants to effectively integrate different martial arts for close quarter combative tactical self-defense system.


To be the best you can be. A champion in life.

Martial Arts Education:

  • · Sensei Taningco achieved his Black belt from Master Gasper in combined arts of Shaolin Kenpo Jujitsu in 1973 at Holloman Air Force Base. Currently 8th Degree Black belt
  • He also had studied Tang Soo Do from Darrell King (Holloman Air Force Base-1973/74)
  • Tae Kwon Do from Grandmaster Soo Yang Cha (1974 to 1975)
  • Tien Shan Pai Kung fu and Chin Na (similar to Jujitsu)/Tai-chi/Chinese weaponries from Grandmaster Huang Chien Liang (1979 to present) Achieved Discipleship in 1980 and active student to the present.
  • Filipino Kali Pekiti Tirsia (edge weapon/close quarter/weapon impact tactical combat) from Grandmaster Leo Gaje (1979 to present)
  • Mixed Martial arts (Filipino Kali/Eskrima, Boxing, Muay thai kickboxing, Dumog, and Silat) from Dan Inosanto (sparring partner of the late legendary Bruce Lee) from 1980 to 1987
  • Penjak Silat Indonesian Martial arts, studied under Herman Suwanda 1995-96
  • Doce Pares Filipino system/close quarter combat from Grandmaster Cacoy Canete (who also served in WWII) (1980 to present)
  • Danzan Ryu Jujitsu from the late Professor Ancho (who also taught in West Point and served in Vietnam) (1984 to 1986)
  • Aikijutsu from Sensei Bernie Lau (who also was an undercover cop for 19 years) (1986 to 1990) Taningco was the only non law enforcement student to achieve SANDAN
  • Muay Thai Kickboxing from Vut Kamnark (1998 to present) Certified Instructor
  • Chi Gung, Kendo and Iaido from Sung Baek (1994 to 1996)


  • Founded Tama Ryu Kenpo Jujitsu (Tama Martial Arts Center)
  • Founded Willow Tactical Combative System, Tama CQC
  • 65th Generation Disciple of Tien Shan Pai Kung-fu
  • 8th Degree Black Belt (Professor) in Shaolin Kenpo Jujitsu
  • 6th Degree Black Belt (Master) Doce Pares Eskrido System
  • 3rd Degree Black Belt in Icho-ryu Aikijutsu
  • Master License in Pekiti Tirsia (First Generation/USA)
  • Certified Instructor under United World Muay Thai Association
  • Honorary Black Belt in Hakkoryu Jujitsu and Danzan Ryu Jujitsu


  • 3 Time Chuck Norris (UFAF) Award in Self-defense and weapons training 82′, 83′, 84′
  • 3 Time United States Karate Assoc. International Champion 77′, 78′, 79′
  • Full Contact Stick/Fighting Champion (Lightwt. Division) Great Gorge, New Jersey 80′
  • Inducted by United States Police Defensive Tactical Hall of Fame as “Martial Arts
    Practitioner” in 1987
  • Inducted by National Martial Arts Federation Martial arts Hall of Fame as “Instructor of
    The Year” in 1989
  • Inducted by the Martial Arts Gallery of Fame “Golden Achievement Award” in 199
  •  Inducted by the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame 1986
  • Inducted by the Filipino Martial Arts Hall of Fame as “Grandmaster of the year” in 1999
  • Won the Tally Award 1999 given to Gil Claveria/Tama for the most outstanding program

In the category of sports:

  • Coached Golden Glove fighters in Miami Valley from 1979-1981
  • Coached Toughman fighters in Miami Valley from 1982-Present
  • Certified State of Ohio by National Police Defensive Tactical Instructor since 1987
  • Ohio State Coach Junior Olympic Karate Team in 1988, and 1989
  • USA Team Coach for the World Kung Fu (Kuoshu) Championship in Taiwan in 1994
    The USA Team winning 3rd place out of 40 countries
  • 2 time US Open Superstar Kung fu champion in 1979 and 1980
  • Guest Instructor in All American Jujitsu at Wright Patterson Air force Base in 80 and 84
    Hosted by Sensei Dennis Palumbo of Hakkoryu Jujitsu
  • World Champion in Kumite held at St.Petersburg, Russia in 1993 with 7 countries
    Won the Team competition for the USA team.
  • Won the prestigious award given by the “Black Belt Magazine” studio of the month 1992
  •  Awarded by Colonel Sokol’s of 75th Security Forces Vice Wing Base Commander, Hill AFB, Utah
  • Awarded by Maj. Ballinger of 75th Security Forces Squadron (Commander of SF) Hill AFB, Utah
  • National Winner of Top Martial Arts School Award given by EFC (Educational Funding
    Company) in 1989
  • Winning the Best Muay Thai Kickboxing Team in Ohio recognized by United World
    Muay Thai Association) in 2003
  • Conducted Close Quarter Combat Seminars in USA and Europe since 1977
  • Given Seminars at Wright Patterson Air Force Base personnel from 1980 to 1984 in Close Quarter Combative Arts under leadership of CO Dennis Palumbo
  • Successfully given seminars in Executive Self Protection and Women’s Rape Prevention in Miami Valley Area (to area colleges, corporations and surrounding communities)
  • Helped established other area Martial Arts schools in Miami Valley successfully
  • Installed and Pioneered the Martial arts Camp for YMCA
  • Pioneered teaching at the Elementary Schools systems since 1976
  • Coached European Team (Estonia) to number 1 spot in their country under Juri Post
  • Pioneered the Mixed Martial arts in Miami Valley since 1976
  • Built the Largest Martial Arts Studio in Tri State Area 1988 from ground zero (7,000 sq.ft)
  • Published “The Wings of Thought” in 1987 and 4 other publications
  • Produced Video Martial arts instructions in Filipino Martial Arts in 2000
  • Participated in 3 Hollywood Movies as the “bad guy” stuntman. 1994-1995
  • Trained Undefeated fighters Christian Toleque, Neal Rowe, Ann Martin and Robert Walker Jr. , Joe Schilling
  • Taught area Dayton SWAT TEAM and Kettering SWAT TEAM.
  • Conducted Police Defensive Tactical Seminars from 1980 to present
  • Promoted and Produced Tama National Open Karate/Kung Fu Championships, Tama Martial Arts Invitational Championships, Battle of Dayton Championships, Warriors Midwest Muay Thai Kickboxing Championships
  • Kick-A-Thon raised money for Jerry’s Kid’s for MDA
  • Endorsed by Dayton Daily Newspaper on the subject of Self-protection dated 1/23/93
  • Donated part of the space of the building for shipping donation goods to the troops in

Gulf War Era

  • Pioneered the Children Program from 4 to 6 years of age
  • Created the Martial Arts Local T.V. show in 1999
  • Volunteered Teaching in Learning Center for Senior Citizens at University of Dayton
  • Trained Black Belt Students to become Professional Tama Instructors
  • International Referee Certification
  • Recognized and awarded a scroll by the late Professor Ramon Ancho of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu
  • Sultan Crystal Award given by Grandmaster Leo Gaje, Jr. 1988
  • Certificate of Appreciation given by United States Kuoshu Federation for helping coordinate the 1999 championship held in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Dayton Police Athletic League recognized Master Taningco for his dedication
  • Chief Referee for Arnold Schwarzenegger Martial Arts Festival, Columbus, Ohio 1998
  • Taught Woman’s Self-defense Program at University of Dayton 1993-1995
  • Oversee after school Program in All Kettering Elementary Schools 2001-2003
  • Silver Medalist in Tai Chi, Weapons Form in International Competition Shanghai, China 1994
  • DESC Boss’s Day Special Guest Speaker 1986
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs Award for Woman’s Self Defense Program 9-30-99
  • Special Award from Sergeant First Class Jackson (of U.S. Army) A willingness and unselfish desire to serve the U.S. Armed Forces August 8, 2004
  • Writing, developing, and creating books and instructional videos in the subject of CLOSE QUARTER COMBAT, EDGED WEAPON TACTICAL RESPONSE TECHNIQUES and EFFECTIVE SPEED HANDCUFFING TECHNIQUES 2004
  • U.S. Armed Forces Training

Master Manuel R. Taningco Founder/Master Instructor of Tama Martial Arts Center which was Established in 1976. The school is located at 1753 Woodman Dr. Dayton, Ohio 45420 and the school can be reached at 937-254-7035.

For more information about Manuel Taningco and TAMA Martial Arts Center visit their website at and their listing on the Martial Arts Schools and Businesses Directory by clicking on the image on the left.