/ Fariborz Azhakh

/Sensei Fariborz's Biography

FariborzAzhakh at TKC - Martial Art Classes in Woodland Hills, CA

Every black belt remembers the time when martial arts became a passion. It happened to me at age eight. My brother took me to see a Bruce Lee movie, and to this day I can close my eyes and feel the emotion that overwhelmed me as I watched the screen. At that moment I totally fell in love with the power of martial arts, but it would be many years before I found the physical and spiritual paths to black belt. Once I began that journey, however, the martial arts and the art of teaching became central element of my life.

Bruce Lee gave me inspiration, but the following years were filled with frustration because there were no martial art schools near my home. I finally realized my dreams when I moved to California and had the great fortune to enter Steve Sexton's Hapkido school in Canoga Park. Through Steve's selfless guidance I achieved black belt in 1981 and I became an assistant instructor at the school. In those early years I viewed instructing as a sideline while I remained focused on my personal training. With time and maturity I grew nearer to the spiritual and philosophical center of the martial arts and I began to realize the tremendous personal rewards of teaching. After some months of uncertainty, I decided to completely redefine and reshape my life, and at Steve Sexton's urging, I took on the role of school owner and became a professional instructor of Hapkido.

I named my school "Team Karate Center" because I became devoted to the idea that the instructors and the students should work together, as a team, so that each student can find and create their "individual art" within the traditions of Hapkido. I believe that no matter what individual qualities a student has - natural talents or special challenges - there is profound value in the martial arts for everyone. Consequently, the elementary principles at our school are centered on the teamwork required for all of us - teacher, instructor, student and parent (for our younger students) - to identify and advance this value.

Currently, the school follows a multi-cultural approach that is grounded in function and usefulness. In the basic program we focus on traditional physical skills, and we stress the development of individual responsibility and core character strengths. Advanced students are introduced to an extension of Hapkido that I call Blend. From the very early years my training was based on the concept of "thinking outside the box." I evolved Blend, in this way, to move from style-based techniques to versatile, range-based frameworks. This combines Hapkido with certain aspects of Brazilian and Japanese Jujitsu, American Boxing, Wing Chun and the Filipino arts.

Over the past 20 years my physical and spiritual advancements have been influenced by many remarkable people. I have had the cherished privilege of studying with Grand Master Ji Han Jae. I am, and will always be, indebted to Master Steve Sexton and I continue to extend my personal growth with the generosity of David Meyers (grappling) and Ron Balicki (Filipino martial arts: trapping, stick and knife techniques).

As a teacher, I have always viewed learning as a fun and rewarding experience. I look to this philosophy, within the discipline and tradition of Hapkido, to inspire and motivate the students and the assistant instructors at our school, and I offer the multi-faceted challenge of Blend to give advanced students a contemporary martial art that is filled with unique insight and reward.

"The martial arts training process is a powerful life-defining interpersonal experience that gets to the heart of the matter. It is your opportunity to alter your capacities to accomplish and to stand powerfully as the gift that you are and the difference that you make."

/Sensei Fariborz on National TV

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/ Comments ...

/ what people say about Fariborz

I like his classes and the way he teach us, He has a lot of experience in Martial Arts and he wants us to be the best.  
Without a doubt, one of the most influential people that I have met so far in my lifes journey. First and foremost, a phenomenal teacher, sensei and guide. His 35+ years of experience in the Martial Arts world shows on the mat - his wealth of knowledge he bestows upon us with all the different arts and his passion for self-defense, especially for the women with his weaponry techniques are invaluable. His work with his students and instructors at TKC, his work in the martial arts community and our community/city as a whole is SO INSPIRATIONAL. We are always surprised by his actions and he is consistently out doing himself. He stays current in the fitness industry and provides his students all the tools they need to succeed in a way that allows the student to grow to he or shes highest potential. He is devoted to TKC and truly cares about each and every one of his students.  
My hero & legend is Mr. Fariborz. I respect him for his believe & dedication in Martial art. I remember when we celebrated his 30th TKC anniversary , I was so proud of Mr. Fariborz to have his studio for so many years & teach Martial art to new students. Almost everybody in Los Angeles knows him respectfully.  
Master Fariborz I admire Sensei Fariborz who was brave and innovative enough to champion his own style of Hapkido Blend and philosophy of martial arts. He was able to bring together one of the most amazing collection of masters from different martial arts background to build a system that works by using different "tools" for different situations. By having these different influences in our dojo, it gives us an opportunity to figure out what martial arts style matches our instincts best. Some students may lean towards kickboxing, some may find themselves drawn towards grappling and others may gravitate towards MMA or traditional Hapkido? This system allows each of use to find our instinctive passion and continue to grow as martial arts. I admire his passion around building a strong and happy martial arts community along with his leadership SWAT classes that focuses on developing thinking outside the box and leadership characteristics that transcend martial arts and seeps into every aspect of one life. I personally believe this training is even more important than the martial arts he is teaching. The martial art is one tool that helps build the necessary discipline and commitment one needs to walk down a more enlightened path.  
Master Fariborz. His indomitable spirit. His refusal to take "no" for an answer. Master Fariborz has used the word "no" as a challenge his entire life, not an impediment. "No" is not a brick wall to him to go crashing into, stopping all progress. "No" is a brick wall to go over, around, or under to get to the other side and continue on with his journey, using his steely eyed focus to guide him. He came to the United States as an immigrant, speaking only Farsi, or some English with a heavy Persian accent. So what does he do? He masters English and drops the accent all together. In other words, he assimilates. With an innate and deep rooted hunger for knowledge, he seeks out people that can help him with...well, anything that can help him achieve his goals. I swear, if Bruce Lee were alive today, Master Fariborz would find a way to get Bruce Lee to visit TKC, AND put on a clinic or a class or video chat or something. Master Fariborz would get to Bruce Lee through Master Fariborzs incredible web of Martial Arts contacts. And those contacts were built and cemented by making deposits into peoples emotional bank accounts. In other words, Master Fariborz asks a lot because he gives a lot. For a personal example of what I mean, I tried to quit on my 2nd Degree Black Belt team. I said "no" to Master Fariborz. Like I said, Sensei does not take "no" for an answer. Well to make a long story short, I am back with my team. How in the hell did that happen? All of my reasons for quitting are still there, yet here I am, back testing again??? I swear, that mans indomitable spirit is powerful and contagious. I owe Master Fariborz a great deal, and I plan on squaring the books with him someday, somehow.  
He introduced me to karate. He has watched me through many of my struggles in class, spiritual, mental and physical. He is very patient and always believed that I could do it. He waited until I believed that I could do it. There are so many ways students learn. Mr. Fariborz figured out how I learned. He figured out I was a visual learner. Thank you Mr. Fariborz.  
Mr. Fariborz is an inspiration to me because he is a friend, a role model, a teacher, and a father to me. He teaches me to be a good and kind student. He also teaches me to soon become a great teacher and a leader in the near future. He has been a father to me for ten years and he will continue to be a father to me.  
Mr. Fariborz is inspiring because he is a sixth degree black belt, which means that he had to go through many years of training and hard work. I admire him because he shows his facial expressions when he wants them to be seen; thats control. When we are learning new curriculum he teaches it very well and has a great attitude towards everyone. He helps everyone reach his or her goal. I am very honored to be his student and attend his classes five days a week.  
Mr. Fariborz is one of the best karate teachers I have ever seen. He really sticks to trying to teach you, unlike other teachers who just give up on you if you are hard to teach. He also actually cares about how you are doing, unlike others. If you have a problem with something about the class, just tell him, and he will try to fix it. He has been teaching for a long time, and made a Black Belt out of a lot of people.  
Sensei Fariborz is an inspiration to me because he is always confident. He shows respect and is kindness to his students, his teachers and anyone else whom he meets. Sensei Fariborz has a studio with many people but he always seems to be on top of things, everything is always smooth. His classes are the best and his teachings, technics, and logic are things that I will always remember.  
My second TKC hero is Mr Fariborz because in the 4 years I have been practicing karate he has pushed me so that I can be better. But now that is the Black Belt Qualification time of year we have started to perfect our forms and combinations more so that we can make it through qualification. I still remember when I was a blue testing for Brown and he gave me three options to receive my Brown Belt. The first option was for the instructor to tell me if I passed; if not I had to remain a Blue Belt. Mr. Fariborz told me not to go with that option because I would only have a 50% chance of getting my Brown Belt. The second option was to receive the Brown Belt, but not be able to wear it until I proved to myself and Mr. Fariborz that I was ready. The third option was if I thought I was not ready for Brown Belt I could stay in the Blue Belt class. I had a hard time deciding between 2 or 3 but I finally agreed on Option 2 because I did not want to be behind in my journey. My friends tested with me and I thought I could handle being in a Brown Belt class. It made me feel good that Mr. Fariborz believed in me to make the right decision.  
Sensei Fariborz is a major inspiration to me. His goal to better people and improve lives is what everyone should do in their lives. He is the best example of a father that I have ever seen. My father has not been a good role model and even encouraged me to party and drink. (buying me my first fake ID at 15). He did not want me to go to college, but wanted me to be a rockstar, but then took credit for my achievement at my graduation. He never invested any effort in bettering my life. Watching Sensei Fariborz with his children and seeing how dedicated of a father he is makes me feel happy that there are great dads out there. His journals for his children for everyday of their lives is genius. I will do this for my children as well... Something that they can cherish long after I am gone.
I used to drink a lot and the fact that It was obvious to others was made clear to me by Sensei Fariborz. Once he told me, I made an immediate change and have not looked back. Sensei Fariborz has helped in ways no one (not even himself) would know. He pushes me to be better, do better and do more without even saying anything. I am honored to be his student.
Mr Fariborz is my TKC hero because his amazing studio is helping me to train in becoming a black belt. I was intimidated by Mr Fariborz in the beginning but, now I know that he knows a lot about becoming a great martial artist and is easy to talk to. He has helped me through all of the red belt curriculum. He is very patient! Mr Fariborz shows that he really cares that we learn forms, weapons, kicks, and punches correctly. He also makes sure we know that karate is not about beating someone up but it is about self defense and confidence! Mr Fariborz is a great example for all his students.  
Fariborz Azhakh is the main reason I continued karate because I always saw him helping and teaching others an always hoped when I am older to be just like him. I always tell myself when I can be like him my life would feel complete. Master Fariborz Azhakh is the person inside and outside of Team Karate Centers who I look up to and think about every minute of everyday. I would like to thank him for all the hard work he has done for me.  
Mr. Fariborz is also one of the most kindest person I have ever met. Mr. Fariborz was always there for me for anything. To any curriculum i needed to learn at that time, any personal problems i ever had he was always there. Mr. Fariborz truly made me look at things a different way. He has made me who I am today. I did not know the true meaning of respect before i met him. We so many talks on what I needed to do at TKC. At that young age i felt like everything he was telling me was about something i did wrong or doing wrong. At some points I would get very frustrated because I would feel like it was too much, but looking back it I could not be more glad that he did that. Because of that I am who I am. I am a lot more confident in my self than what I was and my respect level increased. I know I am still very young but i feel a lot older than what I am because of what Mr. Fariborz helped me with. Also Mr. Fariborz is a very giving person. He gives, gives, and gives but never expects anything in return and I look up to hip because of that and for many other ways. Thank you Mr. Fariborz for helping me with whatever i need help with, being a mentor having someone to look up to, and having someone to talk to. You were a father figure to me when i needed one and you still are. Thank you Sir!  
My TKC hero is Mr. Fariborz. He teaches my classes now and is the one who is getting me ready for this test. He pushed me harder than anyone else that Ive worked with. After every class with him I feel that I have improved at least a little bit. I always have a good class even if I dont improve. He also helped my endurance whether its doing all push-ups and sit-ups to help my muscles or by working on conditioning. One class we worked so hard, my hair was so wet that I could make it into a mohawk! He has also inspired me to write some of the things I wrote in my essays because he sets such a great example of what hard work can achieve.  
Mr.Fariborz is my favorite instructor because he is willing to give his time to help people who need help with anything.If it was not for him I would not be ready for any of my tests.He is my inspiration because I know one day I will be like him.He helps me so much and I am thankful to have him as an instructor.  
There is so much to say, but I will be brief. Sensei Fariborz has held a high standard for me since the first day he became my instructor, and he has given me numerous and generous opportunities to excel and progress in my martial arts career. I have seldom met a teacher of his dedication and intensity, and yet he is also one of the most warm-hearted and philosophical people I know. He is a role model in every sense of the phrase.  
Mr. Fariborz has said on many occasions that TKC is meant to be a second home for his students, no matter how long it has been since they were last at the studio. That is what it is like for me every time. The energy I feel when I walk in the door makes me smile. And my friends are there. Ive told people that I think TKC students tend to be good, honest, hard working people doing their best to make a positive difference in the world. And I really respect people like that. Those people inspire me too! As the saying goes, Show me a mans friends and I will show you the man. Mr Fariborz is the architect of all of this and has been at it non stop for 30 years now. That is why he inspires me.  
Mr. Fariborz preach often, use words only when necessary, that is Mr. Fariborz to me. He has never been very open and friendly with me, but his presence, his teachings, his patience with my son, his example have taught me so much about life. His work has inspired me to improve my life and not to accept mediocrity. He is an inspiration to me because he has accomplished so much in his young life,, because he is patient and because he makes learning so easy. Because the footsteps he leaves are firmly planted wherever he walks.  
My Living Hero #3 is my Sensei Mr. Fariborz - for providing us with a second home where we feel safe and have an incredible opportunity to gown physically, emotionally and mentally beyond our wildest dreams. On the first day I visited TKC with my son Arthur, the thing that struck me the most was the sight of an instructor hugging a young student. There was no fear of touching a younger person of the opposite sex. I thought this is the place I want my son be at. A safe and loving environment. It is now eleven years later. So much has happened in our lives and Master Fariborz has always being there with his shy smile, his constant acceptance of who we are and what we can do, without judgement, but constantly pushing us to do better, teaching us new skills every day. But much more than the skills, are the life lessons I have learned by vicariously living at TKC. Also, the numerous martial artists he had introduced to us and who have taught us such diverse styles from all over the world. It is through Sensei Fariborzs teachings that I credit my self-worth, self-esteem, my higher ethical degree of care at work and in every facet or my and my familys life. From making my bed in the morning, to spending quality time with my kids, for making the education of my sons my top priority, for being the best friend I can be and for making others successes my successes. For teaching all that I know without caring if I lost my job because I have taught someone more than I know. For doing what is right when no one is watching. For implanting in me the knowledge and I have only myself to be accountable to. Only I know in my heart if I am doing what is right, if I am doing what I need to do to. Only I know if I am honest, loyal and truthful to myself and to others.  
I did not interact (at least not enough) with Sensei Fariborz till I got my Red belt.
I was cautious not to say or do anything to offend him. It was the initial nervousness but after attending the first couple of classes, I feel at home interacting with Sensei. I try to observe and absorb from Sensei when I can. When we line up for the class, at times I have sensed that he is not happy when people lined up on the mat are still talking, but he keeps his calm and composure. He would not even talk about it during/ after the class. I try to do the same when driving on the road and my kids drive me crazy.
When he teaches the class and if he senses that I am doing that particular technique well, he would give more tips on how to do it better. So it is not a cookie cutter class with Sensei. It is a progressive class without anyone even realizing it. Sometimes I feel that I have missed his classes during the earlier belts.
Dear Sensei Fariborz,
I pick you to be my hero. I pick you because I like that you are my teacher. The way you teach is amazing. I like it because you break things down. For example, if we are doing a rear arm lock, and somebody does not get it, you take it step by step.I like the way that you have a sense of humor. Everything is boring just doing something without humor. The time where somebody has a bad hair day, or somebody walks into the studio in the morning, and they are not awake, you put fun into it.
Everytime I come to class, the mat is full of happy, controlled kids. At class I love coming and getting a good work out with my friends. You are encouraging to the team if they are not confident about a skill. They improve with the help you give them. I notice that you send out emails in an appropriate manner.
You are a TKC hero.
Mr.Fariborz is my top inspiration.He sometimes can be tough to learn under but he is super skilled in martial arts can be super funny and nice ,like Jared.He pushes us over our limits and motivates us.There is so much more but I can not type them all down.  
My biggest inspiration at TKC Sensei Fariborz for expanding on everything I learned and teaching me so much more. If he wasn?t my Sensei, I would not be half as good as I am today.  
Yes, Mr. faribroz, probably you. You are arguably one of the BEST teachers. Just like Mr. bill but you are one of my newer teachers that I have really been taught by and you ARE and are, one of the best teachers. You not only do the necessary, you help us a lot with it so we could get to the fun stuff!  
Mr. Fariborz. You told us that we could not pick you as our hero at TCK, but you have made such an impact on my life that I had to pick you for something. I am sorry about not being able to get the video to you, but I saved the letter that I wrote down with the same words. "you saved my life. I respect you. You are one of the greatest man alive. You have made me look at myself in a different way and fix my bad habits and activities. You own my home away from home. I love you like a relative. I ca not explain my connection towards you but it is strong and heartfelt." That is what I would say when anybody asks me who is my hero.  
For my TKC Hero Essay 2 I chose Sensei Fariborz
I chose him for many reasons. The first is that he inspired me to become part of the BBC. He is like my sister Erin. He can be a laugh even though he teaches us how to defend ourselves physically and mentally. This is also the reason I chose to become apart of TKC.
During the red belt test Sensei really inspired me when he asked if we think we deserve our red belts. It was a question that was asking do you think you are ready for your black belt journey?. I do not believe any question other than "do you deserve it" is that emotional.
Throughout the years that I have been here he has taught me many things and made me think hard about myself. He has defended me emotionally and mentally. He has helped us through our lives and now into the real journey. This is why Sensei Fariborz is my TKC hero.
Another instructor who highly inspires me at TKC is Sensei Fariborz. He has achieved so much in his life so far and what stands out is that he wants to share it with others. I have noticed in classes that when he learns something new from another type of martial art, he likes to share his discovery with us. He does not have the mentality that if he has this knowledge he will keep it to himself. Knowledge should be shared with others. I am grateful that he is our sensei and that he wants to share his knowledge with all of his students. I also admire his patience with his students.  
Other than being a great sensei, teaching us skills and philosophy, Sensei Fariborz inspires me with his high values and big heart. He continually finds ways to give back to the community; by funds raisers, raising awareness, and by creating a safe haven for so many people to call home. Sensei Fariborz has the ability to unite so many leaders in the martial art field together and create something bigger. He is always updated, and widens his vision. Sensei Fariborz created a legacy that is still growing in our studio and out. I am grateful and proud to be part of TKC family, and to have my kids to be part of it.  
My TKC hero is Sensei Fariborz Azhakh. He is my hero because he thought me how to do everything. I knew him from green belt. He teaches me how to do all the weapon strikes. He also told everyone the names of the people on those pictures. He is one of the people on the pictures. He is also going to be at the mud run tomorrow. I ca not wait till tomorrow. He also told us about the essays. He is also fair with everyone. He also has confidence and he is brave. He also saved someone falling down from a tree and saved him.  
Sensei Fariborz is an inspiration because he is the best in karate, he works very hard and teaches us everything, and he always gives me individual help when I needed it.  
My third hero at TKC is Sensei Fariborz. Sensei Fariborz is an amazing leader. He not only teaches us, he teaches the instructors. He makes sure the instructors are well educated, so that when it is time for them to work with the students they are well prepared. He is a very nice man, they really wants you to master your art so that you can also teach others about karate. He wants us to work hard and earn our black belt. Every time I am in a group he is able to come work with all of us to make sure we are all well prepared for our exam. He wants us to be successful and it shows in our classes.  
Mr. Fariborz is helping me now to get my second degree black belt. Mr. Fariborz teaches me new skills, helps me with new skills, and helps me with anything I need help with.  
My second living hero is Mr. Fariborz because he is sinser and a caring person. He is a teacher and the best teacher I know out of the ones I have had in school. Hes a great human being and he is the most funny, great, non-demanding humorous person that I know. I know that you probubly think Im joking but I am not lying. 100% best karate teacher ever.  
Mr. Fariborz because he has made a change in karate for me and he has built my self confidence and made me physically and mentally stronger.  
Sensei Fariborz is my TKC hero because he always helps me and he always is patient and is nice to me. He corrects me when I make mistakes and he also notices when I do things right.  
Sensei Fariborz Azhakh, is an Inspiration to me because on his 50th birthday he sparred 50 rounds. that is someone who lives what they teach, and he also is a wonderful instructor, learning from him is wonderful. he makes the curriculum not as hard to understand. also he is a living example of how a martial artist should carry himself.  
Mr. Fariborz He has studied Martial Arts for a long time. He has taught both my dad and my Uncle.  
Mr. Fariborz has taught me so much over the last few years. He knows so much and is extremely skilled in Martial Arts. Sometimes he can be a bit tough, but in the end it is usually worth it because I have learned something new. He pushes everyone towards success with more than just motivation.  
Sensei Fariborz is truly an inspiration to me. The lessons he has taught me on and off the mat have changed my life. I am stronger, healthier, more confident, and empowered because of Sensei Fariborz. I appreciate his encouragement and belief in me. I am so grateful to him for giving his time and energy and expertise to all of us. I cannot even begin to express how glad I am to be part of the TKC family that he began. My kids and I have not had family in California until we found TKC. Now we have a huge family at TKC, thanks to him. I am so thankful to have him as a guide on my journey.  
My third TKC hero is Sensei Fariborz. Not only has he been a great karate teacher to me and always brought out the best in me, he also taught me how to make the best out of a situation. When I was testing for my 1st degree he had a stroke that left the whole left side of his face paralyzed. Yet, he still showed up to the 3rd pretest feeling energetic and happy. During the pretest he also broke his nose and ripped his bicep trying to help one of the candidates. Afterward, he came to class everyday even though he was in so much physical pain.  
Sensei Fariborz inspires me in numerous ways. I admire his knowledge and mastery of various martial arts. Hes taught me martial arts sourced from all over the world. I especially appreciate learning Filipino Martial Arts from Sensei, reconnecting me with my heritage in an unexpected way. I appreciate his watchful eye, from making sure were all stretched properly (you know we all flex our feet as he walks by) to ensuring we execute and train correctly and safely. Most recently, as I am going through this black belt journey, I have a further and new appreciation for Sensei, in how he tries to educate and teach us, and empower us both on and off the mat.  
I remember the first time walking into the TKC studio, how in awe I was and the wonderful feeling of positive energetic energy everywhere. People were very nice, hardworking, concerned about my learning. I always felt at home. Now, years later each time I walk through those doors its magical. The sense of pride, the feeling of belonging, nice hard working instructors and helpers, all concerned for our wellbeing. Today I take the time to thank and honor the person who put all this together years ago.
I see an amazing person in you; A family man who loves his kids and spends time with them, a philanthropist who is driven to making this world a better place, a business man with a high sense of morals, a leader who has great breadth and understanding of human nature, an artist in his field always imaginative/expanding the field of martial arts, a seemingly endless pool of strength and energy willing to give of both to others, a visionary with the sense to know things work in transitional phases and what works for one may not for another, a person people are drawn to for instruction and wisdom, a pupil of knowledge and life always curious and ambitious in both, a person who can sit quietly and contemplate life, and a person who will listen with intent and hope those seeking his guidance.
Sensei Fariborz inspires me because he is an amazing teacher. He has helped me get all the way from orange belt to now. He inspired me to keep working hard to reach my goal.  
Mr. Fariborz is an amazing inspiration. He is an amazing instructor who is always ready to help with practically any issues you can have, he is always in reach and is an all around amazing person.  

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