/WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT FARIBORZ AZHAKH




I know you get many thanks daily; regardless I want to add my own.
The past two months have been significant to me (I can only imagine how I will feel and think in the coming years!) and it is all because I finally took the plunge and came to you. I am beyond grateful that you still have this studio and are teaching. I feel as if I would be lost in a way right now as I would not have gone to another studio or trusted another person to help me.
I accomplished the tangible goals in my life that I wanted, a BA in political science, MA in international relations, and PhD in international politics. I traveled a little, mostly for school. I have two healthy, amazing, strong, determined girls. I am a stay at home mom by choice (and much to my husbands dismay and even anger as he would like not to be the only one financially responsible for us). I have wonderful friends. But I lost me along the way.
The last two years were especially hard dealing with post partum depression that was very serious and very frightening. And since getting better I needed a significant change in my life not just to lose this weight that I am holding on to as a self punishment, but to help me move past my history and figure out how to be who I want to be.
I am slowly finding me and it is really only when I walk into your studio. I never thought a mat could mean so much to me. Yet when I sit down to stretch it is as if I am where I need to be and everything falls into place. I am pushed physically, mentally, and emotionally to face what I do not want to face in order to get where I want to be on the mat, and in my life.
Thank you so much for what you have built and for the providing the opportunity for people like me to be a part of it.
With sincerest gratitude.
           

Hi Fariborz,
I just sent you a friend request and wanted to personally say hi as well. I am Dave Wheatons step son, and Head Instructor at his school in Santa Barbara. I am a 4th Dan in Hapkido and a 1st Dan in Tae Kwon Do.

I came across your Hapkido Blend dvd series at the MA Supershow this year, and I was blown away! I was telling Dave about it and he suggested that I tell you personally, so here I go..

The way that you have broken things down has caused a series of explosions in my mind and I can not thank you enough. Id like to think I am always evolving as an instructor and becoming better, but ever since watching the first DVD where you break down "the game" and the 4 ways to play it, I have noticed a renewed passion in working with new students and preframing their learning. In the last few months, I have noticed my White Belts setting a new standard because of their focus and total involvement in learning.

I have never trained under anyone else, and as a Master in our art, I have been feeling like I have nothing new to bring to the school - especially when teaching Black Belt classes. That is another reason why I wanted to explore your blend and see what might come out of it. The result has been a new hunger in me to learn, an inspiration I have not had since being a Blue Belt.

So, I hope you do not mind but I consider myself a student of yours and if you are ever having a seminar or anything, I would love to come down, be involved, or help out in anyway that I can.

Thanks so much for your time!
           Austin Curtis

I have a personal victory to share with you. At the ripe age of 46, I decided to finally join SAG. I’d qualified back in 2005 but then did not join. I should have. The initiation fees just about doubled since then! There is a movie that both Jacqui and I are in. Jacqui actually makes her feature film debut in it. The vast majority of my work has been non-union or SAG waiver. But SAG, to many actors, including myself, is a fundamental mark of professionalism as an actor. One of the effects of going back through “The 7 Habits” had me start focusing more on what is really important, what I will stand for, what sort of legacy beyond father and husband will I leave behind?

It had been 5 years I would say, at least, since I’d last worked. I’d become ambivalent since I just had a commercial agent and was not getting any feature or TV work. And the commercial work was not coming or just not really acting work. But that it also the nature of commercials, it’s all about the product, not the character. As a stage trained actor, this became a great source of discouragement. When I found TKC, I was ready to focus my passion on something else. And you got it. TKC got it. And life has been good ever since.

But when I finished up the Black Belt, I knew two things. One I wanted to keep training at TKC. Two, I wanted to tackle another challenge. In addition to the marathon. Something creative. First, I thought, “I’ll play the drums!” You know, I had a set when I was a kid. I could see it know. Maybe start a band. But then, my kids kept telling me to go back and do another play or movie. They also say I talk too much so maybe that was it. And I admit I was also missing it.

Like the Law of Attraction, a friend of our extended family, and one who had become a friend of mine, asked me to do a role in his next film. That has set a series of other events in place and my career is picking up a little steam. Out of nowhere. So, that brought me back to thinking about SAG.

I felt like it was time to make a bold move. One of the things I want to leave behind is a body of work. The stage is wonderful but film lives forever. If I am going to live in this town, I am not going to let myself down by ignoring this gift God gave me. Why he gave it to me and not someone else, I have no idea. But I am learning to be more grateful for the gift and to honor it. So that is what I did today. That is my victory.

Thank You!
           Paul F

Hello sir,

I would like to start by thanking you for the incredible impact you have had on my life. Team Karate Centers has been a huge part of my growing up and I consider the studio a home away from home. Specifically, testing for my black belt was the most incredible experience I have ever had; I would not trade it for anything. I have learned so much from you and the other fantastic teachers at TKC, you have truly shaped who I am as a person today. As I have begun moving into the next phase of my life, with my 18th birthday and college quickly approaching, a lot of commitments have presented themselves to me. Unfortunately, this has meant putting martial arts behind other priorities. It is for this reason that I have made the decision to withdraw from testing for second degree in 2013. I am disappointed to miss out on the fantastic experience that is the black belt testing process, but I cannot allow myself to go through with testing if I am not willing to give it my all. Just like you always say, the reason that black belts quit is that they feel they did not do their best and therefore do not deserve it. I would much rather have a first degree black belt that I am confident I earned than a second degree black belt I faked my way into. I plan to continue training at TKC as much as I reasonably can and I look forward to watching this years candidates go through the testing process.

In addition to my training, I want to do right by my experience teaching as well. I have learned so much in the past months from my teaching it blows me away. I have seen what an enormous impact I can have on some of the students, even if I only teach them twice a week for forty-five minutes. I wish I could continue teaching, but starting in May my time will be very pressed. I may be able to teach on a more limited basis, and I am happy to work with you to determine a schedule that suits both of our needs. Thank you again for the truly life changing experiences you have made available to me at Team Karate Centers.

Respectfully,


           Zach Rose

Thank you for making Team Karate Centers a great community. Every class, every day, every time I walk in to those welcoming doors there is a lesson to be learned, intentional and unintentional.
On the test Saturday, which is always a fantastic SWAT learning experience, I learned where the hot water was made in the studio. It is an honor to make you tea, sir. (It smells really good!)
Forever and always
           Maya Kimia

Today, we took the kids for a hike. At the top of the trail, Zainab said she wanted a moment to enjoy the view and the nature. Then, to our surprise, she clambered up to the top of the hill to a meadow off the trail and sat down and began her silent meditation exercise. Her explanation was that karate is not just something that is practiced on the mat, but throughout all parts of life. I was so proud of her and how she has matured through TKC. I just wanted to say thank you.
           Dr. Jamali

Dear Mr. Fariborz,

Out of the 21 years of my life, 17 years were spent in a sacred haven known to me as, Team Karate Centers – and my heart has forever remained on the mat.

Time and time again, I have encountered how TKCs principals have permeated through my personal, academic, and social encounters, and have helped me rise against challenges and succeed. As I now approach the end of my undergraduate career, I face having to make the decision of a career path. This quarter, I have had the opportunity to intern in Washington DC through a program from school. I am a Public Affairs Intern in the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, in the Office of Public Engagement. It has truly been a unique experience learning and being inspired day in and day out as well as working on projects to engage stakeholders in enrolling through the Small Business Health Options Program, which is under the Affordable Care Act.

Less than a month ago I was given a project to work on, yet I was at a stump for about four days on how I could go about revamping the work I was given. On the fifth day, an image clouded my mind. There were dots on a white board and your voice asking us to connect them together. When no one came up with an answer, you said, “Think outside of the box.” And that is exactly what I did for this project!

The lesson I learned from you, at the age of 15 in a martial arts studio in Woodland Hills, I was able to put into practice here in the Federal Government. After its submission to my director, I was given great feedback and the opportunity to continue as a paid intern. Hence, the studies I have learned at TKC have now filtered into my professional life as well.

I am grateful that I was able to be a student at TKC early in my life and that I have had the gift of learning from you.

I look forward to reconnecting in the near future!

Much love,

Bahar
           Bahar Basseri

My son did Tae Kwon Do with a Grand Master in Houston. He didn't start quite so young he was 7 or 8. He is now a 2nd degree black belt. I cdiret his martial arts training in part for the remarkable amount of self-discipline he has. He graduated college with honors and will finish medical school this coming May. I hope your child stays with it through the upper levels.
           Adriana Wegner

Jake is completing a "brag sheet" in order to get letters of recommendation from his high school teachers. He has to pick three words to describe himself. Here is one of them:

Humble: My humility has enabled me to strike a balance between my enthusiasm for my own perspective and my respect for the insight of those with far more experience and knowledge. In pursuit of my black belt in karate, I was mentored by a sensei whose physical strength and technical prowess far exceeded my own. On a karate mat or in a boxing ring, he easily defeated me, but his perspective on the world has impacted me more than his physical strength. Because of him, my technical abilities as a fighter have given me the confidence to face volatile situations with strength of character, rather than physical strength. I have learned to be true to myself and to value my integrity in even the most challenging circumstances.
           Jake

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
My attention on school has been at an all time high for the past few months. For a recent essay in my English class, we were asked to write a draft of an essay for our future College Application. My entire essay was about the impact Team Karate Centers, and you, have had in my life. I thought you might enjoy reading it. The essay is below.
Love,
Jake Kornack

UC Personal Statement #2

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
An atmosphere of fighting does not sound ideal for a child"s developing mind, yet I evolved physically and mentally into the person I am today in pursuit of a black belt in martial arts. At the age of ten, I entered a dojo - a karate studio - for the first time. Kyoshi Fariborz, the owner of the studio, knelt down and spoke to me as if he were speaking to an adult. The atmosphere of the studio captured me. The methodical chaos of hundreds of students alternately practicing with weapons, sparring, and studying creeds and history of the martial arts initially intimidated me, but, eventually, this dojo would become my sanctuary.
In the months that followed, I invested all of my energy in karate. The moves became natural, as my body grew stronger and more agile. I felt myself transforming from a chubby little boy into a fit young man. One unforgettable day, Fariborz invited me to join the adult class. At the age of 12, I would be the youngest person in the class. Fariborzs recognition of my hard work inspired me to increase my effort. Four years passed, and I finally earned the red-black belt, the belt that symbolized the beginning of a yearlong testing process for black belt.
That September, I walked down a candle-lit path toward Fariborz, who would tie a black belt around my waste. As I approached Fariborz, he took off his own worn black belt and wrapped it around my waste. Tears streamed down my face as I realized that Fariborz had chosen to honor me with his own belt.
As I reflected on my journey to becoming a black belt, I realized that it had changed my life, imbuing me with confidence and determination. I wanted to help others experience this transformation, so I volunteered as an instructor at the studio, teaching karate routinely after school. I enjoyed the opportunity to work with kids who struggled to learn particular moves and integral concepts of honesty and integrity. A few students I worked with had an autism spectrum disorder which presented unique challenges because of their difficulty communicating or participating in a class. As I worked with them, I saw the impact of my effort, as students who had struggled to make eye contact looked directly at me, and others who had been disruptive in class began participating alongside their peers.
Last year, after I became a second degree black belt, I began an internship at Center for Autism and Related Disorders, determined to learn applied behavioral analysis (ABA), which is used to increase positive behaviors and decrease negative behaviors in children with autism. The more I learn about ABA, the more I realize that the karate studio offers the ideal atmosphere for a child with autism who requires consistent boundaries and reinforcement to succeed. When a child with autism makes eye contact with me for the first time, my life comes into focus.
Fariborz gave me the gift of confidence by challenging me mentally and physically and by creating an atmosphere in which I learned that I can face any challenge with honor, dignity, and compassion, learning as much from my mistakes as I do from my successes. Karate has prepared me for the challenges that I will face in college and throughout my life.
           Jake Kornack

Hi Fariborz,
I have an interesting story for you. Many years ago, you will remember my daughters Stephania and Hilary were enrolled in your classes. Both had attained the level of green belt when, sadly, we had to drop the lessons. But Stephania entered 6th grade a few months later. One day, as she was exiting a classroom, a boy just behind her said about her girlfriend, who was out of earshot, "That so-and-so is a little b----!" Stephania turned around, looked up at the boy (who was about a head taller than she) and said "Don not you call my friend a b----!" He said, well, you are a little b---- too. Stephania palm slapped him (a wonderful roundhouse right to the face), knocked him down and left a hand print on his face. The bully broke into tears and went running to the teacher. Funny thing. She was never again challenged after that.... I think your classes are wonderful for instilling confidence and great life principles in our children. Keep up the good work.....
By the way, now Stephania is 28 years old, a newlywed, just became a registered nurse and is practicing in the Pediatric ICU at Loma Linda Medical Center in Loma Linda, California.
           Mix Family

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Nima has been a member of TKC for the past 4 years. From Mrs. Linda’s junior classes to Mr. Ash’s class and now he has the honor to be trained by Mr. Fariborz.
TKC is not just another Karate center, it’s like a 2nd home to Nima. He feels comfortable , relaxed and welcome there.
TKC helped me to raise Nima responsible, reasonable, respectful, caring and very sociable. TKC also helped him to be a strong and confident. He learned by being consistent he can achieve anything!
TKC MMA classes thought me what a stronger person I am and also learned to be in peace with myself, not to forget that I look and feel great.
To sum it up, Elie’s family love TKC and will be a part of it for a long time.

           Nahid

Dear Mr. Fariboz,
TKC has taught me how to focus and concentrate as well as given me self confidence. The teachers are awesome and very informative and helpful in reaching my goals. I've made some great friends and lifelong memories through attending classes there.
           Jason Rockmael

The benefits of the TKC curriculum are vast and multilayered.
From the basic knowledge of the mixed martial arts and technique to the spiritual aspects of the self ( spanning confidence, perseverance , conquering fear, respect and honor) to the world of self defense - this relating to all ages kids and adults.
My family and I have grown physically, mentally and spiritually and consider TKC our second home. All the instructors and sensais are so welcoming, helpful and genuine that you feel like you are a part of a special connected community. And I believe that we all have a common goal in mind to enhance, strengthen and protect our families while living a healthy lifestyle. Thank you sir.
           Michelle Z.

TKC is not just a karate studio, it is part of my family and friends. Everyone there knows one another. Aside from teaching my son respect for martial art as well as his elders , they teach him honor , commitment and not to ever give up. My son has been attending for three years now, at nine he will get his black belt which by no means comes easy to anyone , unless they have really earned it.
I guess if I had to sum it up in one word , that be " community ".
           Mrs. Sayeri

Greetings Sensei Fariborz,
I want to tell you about how TKC has become a huge part of our Families life.
When Reilly turned four years old, her Mom and I suggested that she try karate, she was already doing ballet and gymnastics. Oh I can not tell you how much she did NOT want to go to try it out, she was too young still to articulate why she did not want to go, just that she did not want to.
After two or three months, she finally agreed to take one class. On that day, Reilly met Sensei Linda and her life changed forever. Linda made her feel comfortable and by the end of the first class, Reilly signed up for twice a week. Within 2 months, Reilly changed to three times a week and so on. Our baby was in the first group of Little Ninjas to go from white belt all the way through to achieve her black belt. We can never thank Linda enough for this.
Reilly had two of her birthday parties back to back at TKC and wanted a third. Everyone has become like family there that Reillys relatives all live on the east coast so she wanted her TKC family to share her parties.
The next week, Reilly started all over again with the bigger kids, we thought she may get intimidated, she did not. Reilly does get emotional if she does not do things right, or gets hurt, we let her cry, and the TKC staff helped her through those times., eventually you invited her to become part of your SWAT team, Reilly showed up every time, ready to do what was necessary, this included her learning to type you notes on her computer as to her progress. Eventually she passed and one of the proudest moments of her life is when she got to wear her blue uniform and help out on the mat.Reilly loves being able to asset in the classes and wears her uniform with pride each time.
Then, Reilly took private lessons from you on Saturdays and your teaching ability helped her realize why she was doing the things she was asked, instead of just doing them. We watched Reilly grow from this experience and when she jumped from the youth class to the Teen class at 8 years old, she was ready to take on the world. Of course there have been ups and downs and setbacks to go with the advances, but when Jason tested Reilly for her red belt and gave her the nickname "Mighty Mouse" for her abilities at such a young 9 years old and 62 pounds, she got it.I think the last five years came together that night and Reilly is staggeringly focused on achieving her black belt this October.
We all are grateful to You, Linda, Faramarz and all of the instructors that have helped Reilly get to where she is today as a martial artist and a person.
Thank you

In case you could not tell, Reillys proud father.
           Scott Leibow

Dear Fariborz,
Training at TKC has been a eye opening experience as a martial artist. I have benefited from teachings of many different cultures. Whether it is traditional, street, kick boxing, grappling, or just a cardio workout. Team Karate Centers offers it all. For me, being able to train with an "outside the box" mental state is great and I can not put a price on that. I recommend TKC to all ages and styles.
Thank you for all that you do, and keeping the paths clear and open.
Much respect,
           Walter Doll

Mr. Fariborz,
I wanted to share with you that July 3, 2001 was the very first day I stepped onto the mat at TKC, so today is my 10th year anniversary! I will never forget that day. Yalda and I took class with Miss Erin and Miss Heather, who was a black belt candidate at the time. My life has never been the same from that day on, and I cannot thank you enough for the positive influence and change that you and your teaching has had in my life. I thank you for all the experiences that you have provided me and lessons that you have taught me that have made me into the person I am today. Throughout the years, I"ve seen instructors come and go, students come and go, pieces of new curriculum come and go, but one thing has always remained constant...and that is the feeling that I have when I walk into the studio. It is a feeling of happiness because I always know that I can step into TKC and feel loved and respected, and I know that I can always come to you when I need help, support, or advice. TKC is not my "second" home, it IS my home. And the people I"ve made relationships with at TKC are not "like" my family, they ARE a part of my family. You"ve changed my life in an incredible way and I hope to change others lives in the positive way that you"ve changed mine. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the inspiration you have been and continue to be in my life and others lives all around the world.
Have a wonderful vacation, and I"ll see you next week!
Love,
Sally
           Sally B.

April 26, 2011
Fariborz empowers me to become a better person with challenges, honesty, and time. In conversations on and off the mat he shares insights that challenge my perspective and spur me to grapple with new questions. As I form my own responses to these questions, inevitably I reach a new depth of insight that informs my life-experience. In class he teases me, which motivates me to try harder and reminds me that our relationship goes beyond the teacher-student dynamic.
Fariborzs honesty keeps me accountable. When we talk about how to improve my life, he offers suggestions that raise my standards and orient me in the direction I want to go. Also he calls me on my shortcomings in a way that makes me feel cared for rather than judged. This requires a level of strength and compassion that is hard to find in a mentor, let alone a friend.
As a present father, husband, and master instructor, there are endless demands on Fariborz time. Yet he always sets aside time for me when I ask to speak with him. This makes me feel respected and valued as a person, which reinforces my sense of self-worth.
Fariborz is a friend and mentor who models a behavior that I try to apply in my own life.

           Robert

The past three years of my life have been very challenging. In February 2008, my grandmother passed away, my parents decided to separate after thirty-seven years of marriage, and my boyfriend of five years was diagnosed with cancer. I withdrew from school and work to be his full-time care-giver. I was his personal nurse at home and slept at the hospital every time he had to stay, which turned out to be more than 50% of the time over the course of two years. I gave up my life to take care of him and lost a lot of myself along the way. In January of 2010, he passed away after a long and hard fight. It was not only devastating, but it was extremely disappointing to me. I have always been taught that hard work, perseverance, and patience will pay off. This was not the case with his illness. In April of this year, I was introduced to Team Karate Center by Ammar Rahim, a long time friend of mine and of my boyfriend. He knew I needed to regain a sense of who I am and believed that the practice of martial arts and the people involved with TKC were something that could help me. He was more than correct. I not only have regained a sense of myself and of my worth through the practice of martial arts at Team Karate Center, but I have gained a new found respect for the practice and the people who are a part of it. The feeling that I get after a training session is pure happiness. And happiness is something that I have been accustomed to blocking out because of my fears that something will inevitably go wrong. At Team Karate Center I dont experience this blockage in my life; I feel I can and will succeed. I am creating a new life for myself with new goals, new strengths (and weaknesses), new friends and a new outlook on life. After the Black Belt Spectacular, It became evident just how deeply Team Karate Center had transformed my outlook, my feelings and my fears. I was overwhelmed by emotion during the ceremony; the commitment, the love, the family that I was becoming a part of. I know I have what it takes to succeed in my journey towards black belt excellence and I hope that this is evident to you as well. I am excited at a level that I have not allowed myself to feel in a very long time. I know that this is something I am good at and is good for me.
           Lacey

Mr. Fariborz,
I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me over the past 13 years. What you wrote in that letter was so incredibly sweet and I deeply appreciate it. I cannot believe it has been 13 years! I was just about Arias age when I first came into the studio and now I will be going off to college! I promise that I will always be around and I know that I can absolutely trust you with anything. The studio is where I grew up and it will always serve as a second home to me. Thank you again for EVERYTHING. I definitely would not be the person that I am today without many of the influences you have placed upon me. I love you too and look forward to sharing my new college experiences with you.
Thank you again,
           Miranda

Okay, back in business. Thank you sir. I am really enjoying the SWAT content - not only for it"s applications within TKC but as it applies to life. I am in virtually every aspect of my life starting anew right now, and I"m finding that it helps with new relationships and new beginnings as well as those I"ve had for years. Thank you for everything you"ve given me over the years.
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
There are so many times in our lives when we are unsure of our surroundings, our decisions and ourselves. Sometimes I barely recognize myself; but I know that I can always depend on you to snap me out of it. Youve never judged me or my story, youve never pitied me or my plight. Youve always given yourself freely. The lessons that I have learned from you are more than just martial arts they are life lessons. Somehow each of your personal stories relate to me and my life on some level. I am always in awe of the occasional glimpses you allow us to see from your training.I loe learning from you with you. Please know that I will wear my Black Belt with pride, but the fact the I am a Fariborz Azhakh certified Black belt is the cherry on the top! I will honor your name and the TKC legacy that you have built. I will do my best to live by the code. You can always depend on me and I will stand by your side. I will defend YOU, TKC and your family as if they were my own because I feel in my heart that they are. Bruce Lee said Its not what you give, its the way you give it. I hope I can GIVE to you the way you have GIVEN to me.
Thank You! Looking forward to the journey to 2nd!
           

Thank you so much for helping me through my Black Belt Journey. I loved the gymnastics, forms, twirling line, and working with the kalis. I didnt like the push-ups, but I promise to keep trying. It was very nice working with my Budo Warrior team. They are all very nice people. My body is a lot stronger and I have more confidence. I appreciate everything I learned from you and the instructors. Thanks again for making my journey so special. I will never forget you and Team Karate Center.
           

Thank you for helping me grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually over the last two years. The lesson that I have learned, both on and off the mat, have helped me dramatically change the life course of my life. It has been an amazing experience and I look forward to continuing on with the journey!
           

Well here it is I have finally done it! After watching my loved ones go through it (twice), I have finally took me turn. Being a Black Belt Candidate has been just what I had hoped for and often more that I imagined. Fun, challenging, and usually frustrating, I have learned some valuable lessons about myself and about relationships with others. I hope that throughout my candidacy you have felt my sincere commitment to this journey, to going beyond my limits, and to doing it all out. Thank you is not nearly enough. I look forward to continuing my life on the path toward Black Belt Excellence.
           Sharon K.

Words really can not express how I feel or what I want to say. The past 3 years I have spent at TKC have been awesome. I have learned so much and met so many amazing people. I have surpassed limits that I never thought I could break through. Although times my demeanor or body language might not show it, I have the utmost respect for you and everyone at TKC as well. You may not remember the first time we met, but I have not forgotten it. Right then I did not see what was going to happen to me at TKC, but now I realize how much it has changes me and made me into a better person. You have positively changed so many lives and I only hope to change a few in the same way. Thank you for all you have done for me and all you will do for me.
           

Thank you for all you have taught me about karate and life lessons I especially want to thank you for opening Team Karate Center and for hiring such great instructors, because I have learned so much. I have so many amazing memories from Team Karate Center. Some of my favorites have been all of the guest instructors come and teach us moves from other places. All of the workouts and running during karate has also helped me with basketball. I have had a lot of fun these last 3 years. I have made a lot of new friends and met some amazing people. Thank you again for giving me a chance to become a Black Belt.
           

I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to achieve my black belt. I have learned so much from you. The last four years have been a lot of fun and Ive learned a lot about myself and about self-discipline and self-motivation. You have always found the best instructors, from Mr. Reza to Miss Erin to Mr. Ashnot to mention yourself! I like the way you run TKC. When I started TKC I said what a great place it is. People are so kind and helpful there. So I am so grateful to have so many friends at TKC, thank you so much. You are a great Master.
           

Thank you encouraging me to pursue my dreams.
Thank you for being patient with me and allowing me to move through my karate experience with confidence.
           

Thank you for all you have done you have taught me so much and I will carry all I have learned with me for the rest of my life. This is the experience of a life time and none of this would have been possible without you. Thanks so much for the wonderful opportunity and all your inspiration.
           

Thank you so much for all you do. You gave me a second chance I never thought I would get.
           

I can remember when I was little and first started in Mighty Mites. I would watch you and think, I want to be like him when I grow up. You are one of my greatest role models and I aspire to be like you. Thank you so much for creating a wonderful environment to grow up in. I cant imagine my life without your guidance. You have made am a better person and I cant thank you enough. Mr. Fariborz you have me who I am today.
           

Getting my second degree black belt was important to me because I wanted to learn more black belt forms and more about martial arts and push myself to the next level. I feel like I have respect for people who have higher levels of experience and I wanted that for myself. I learned that martial arts is more then what I thought it would be, like in the beginning the punching and kicking and overall physical part was important to me and now we learn stuff that I really love like single and double sword form and cane form knife strikes and many other things I practice. I have helped teach classes and enjoyed that too and made a lot of good friends at TKC I would like to thank some people such as my family and especially my parents for bringing me to class for so many years on time and all the time. I would like to thank Mr. Farmarz giving me all of my stuff when I needed it. I would like to thank Mr. Fariborz.
           

Ever since the moment I stepped into TKC, my whole life has changed I in a number of ways. It is hard for me to express my gratitude for everything youve done for me because there is no amount of words to show my appreciation. You are my instructor, my brother, and my coach. As my instructor, youve taught me not only self-defense but also how to deal with real life situations. As my brother, youve always been there for me. You always have your office door open for me to share my good news along with my bad news; and whenever I need advice, I now to go to you because you always give me your time and focus. As my coach youve taught me how to be stronger in my decisions, and youve helped me learn how to deal with any problems that I have in a calm and collected way.
Mr. Fariborz, you made my childhood dreams come true. Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to take karate and get my black belt. When I saw my first Bruce Lee movie, I knew karate was exactly what I wanted to do. I was already dedicated to achieve my black belt in martial arts. I never had a chance to fulfill this dream when I was a child because the situations and circumstances going on in my life at the time didnt allow me to. When I had my own children, I knew I it was too late for me to follow my dream, so I wanted them to follow my dream and take karate. I took them too many places before we found TKC and we just fell in live with the environment there. Besides the outstanding martial arts tha t TKC offered, I was particular interested in the family oriented atmosphere it provided. After a few weeks, Mr. Farmarz saw me always sitting and watching my kids, and he told me that I should join. I contemplated on his proposition for no longer than a second, and I took advantage of his proposal to attain my childhood dream.
And now, here I am, on my journey to second degree black belt. True, there have been many obstacles throughout the journey, but I have always found strength and encouragement from my TKC family to overcome these obstacles. Thank you Mr. Fariborz for providing me with this wonderful studio and second family. I appreciate everything youve ever done for me.
           

Mr. Fariborz, you have inspired me. Through all my years at the karate studio you have taught me so much and asked for so little, you have helped guide me spiritually and emotionally, and as I move on to my second degree black belt. I know that I wouldnt have gotten this far at another studio, because you motivated me, and encouraged me to keep going.
           Gabriel G.

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
I want to thank you for being a great master instructor. You have taught me to set goals for myself and I have. Since I have set goals for myself I have my whole life planned out. I know where I am going to go, and I know what I am going to be. You made a huge difference in my life and without you I dont know where I would be today. I pretty much grew up in the studio and I love every moment that I am there. Thank you for creating somewhere where I can leave the stress of school and everything else behind me. You are someone that I have always looked up to have been the best role model for me. I am inspired to be like you one day, successful and generous.
Love,
           

Dear Kyoshi,
I reached my goal of becoming a second degree black belt through this 6 month journey, and Im excited and proud. Nonetheless, I realize I couldnt have done it without you. I want to thank you for your support and patience while my team and I went through this journey. I know it was not easy, but I hope you know how much I appreciated it. Its because of you that I was ab le to reach this goal.
Sincerely,
           

Mr. Fariborz
Mr. Fariborz from the red belt test you had said that you would kick my butt on my next test. Now that I am here, I see what you meant then, and you were right. Mr. Fariborz you are a wonderful master. You are very strict and at the same time very fair with everyone. You are also very funny. If you remember at the Thai restaurant that we all went to after the class, your fortune cookie said, Stop looking for your luck, he is sitting next to you. You looked at me and said, Arya, you are my luck? and we started laughing. You are someone who I look up to in my life.
Thank you
Arya
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Thank you for your help and support through my unforgettable Black Belt Journey. ITs been a wonderful experience. The people in my group have made a great impression on me, as well as you, that I will never forget. Again, thank you so much!
All my love,
Caitlin
           

Mr. Fariborz,
I am so glad to have had this experience. Throughout my training you have taught me many things. Things I am sure I would not have learned without karate. You have been more than a teacher to me. You have been a friend and for that I am ever so grateful. I cant wait to continue my training after black belt!
Sincerely yours,
Nader
           

Mr. Fariborz,
It was such an honor to be taught by you these past 5 years. I am so lucky to have had an instructor like you who has taught me so much. I look forward to sharing my journey to 2nd degree Black Belt with you as well! Your student,
(Little Tuck)

           Naseem

Dear Master Fariborz,
This has been quite an experience, no doubt. You have showed me life in different perspectives and karate in fascinating ways since I was 6. This journey really has been such a great thing in my life, with you being there every step of the way. You have been not only a great instructor, but an amazing friend and mentor. It seems like just yesterday I walked into your studio and began striving for my black belt. You must have some memory of those days, and now it amazes me where I am right now. Thank you for helping me pass my exam, and then preparing me for the next. I am so shocked how much improvement I have made with your empowerment behind me every step of the way. Words cannot express the way I feel thinking about this, you have been there all of my life. I am finally ready to test, and it brings tears to my eyes. You inspire me, and I will definitely continue karate. From the bottom of my heart with sincerity; thank you!
Love,
Kimberly
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Where do I begin? When I walked into TKC four and a half years ago I never imagined that I would some day get my black belt. Yet you always seemed to know that I would. Even when Vito was sick and we did not come for a while, when we came back you seemed to know that we would get our black belts. I consider you not only my mentor in Hapkido but I also consider you a member of my family. You will never realize how much you have influenced our lives as well as so many others. Thank you for all that you do.
You always ask what our experience has been. Well I think about it everyday and everyday it changes. My emotions have run from euphoric to frustrated to anger to relief. I would not have changed any of it for the world. My overall experience has been one of enlightenment. I feel that all of the little experiences have made me a more rounded person. My eyes have been opened to so many things, situations and people that I know I will never be the same person again. Thank you for each and every one of those experiences.
I am so glad that we received our Black Belts during your 20th Anniversary. It is an honor. This entire experience has been more than I would have ever expected. I am honored to be in this candidates class with so many exceptional people. I plan on repaying you someday for at least part of what you have given to us. I will continue with my training and am already looking forward to testing for my second degree. I also look forward to continuing helping out in classes. I truly enjoy it. Thank you again for creating such a wonderful place and for many of us a second family and home. We love you!!!
Love,
Michelle
           

Dear Master Fariborz:
Merely saying thank you to you for your expertise, enthusiasm, patience, direction and example to me as your student over the last five years, does not encompass what a truly amazing journey you have let me on towards Black Belt Excellence. At my age, a person is relatively set in their ways and opinions about themselves and the world around them. MY education, profession and its benefits, such as extensive travel to many different countries, made me believe I had a good and cross-cultural understanding of many things. However, my martial arts training with you has caused profound and permanent changes in my outlook, perspective and demeanor in all facets of my life, majorally for the good. Both my family and I feel that my martial arts training has made me a more patient, understanding and mature individual, none of which I thought would result from my training when I began with you in 1997.
Above all, I never dreamed I could have so much fun while working so hard (and being in one or another type of constant pain!). I look forward to continuing this journey with you, and I look forward to both its expected and unexpected results. Warmest personal regards,
Paul M
Fariborz,
I had this nice little prose written for you about being a great man and all but I decided to scrap it for something a little more mundane. If someone asked me to tell them what its like to know you, I would reply that it was filled with the bests and worsts of everything. Because either way (whether it was the best or worst), it shows that you live a vibrant life that you didnt take for granted.
-Paul
           Paul M.

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Ive been given the opportunity to write a note to you commemorating your 20th anniversary as a black belt, the twentieth year of TKC, and my journey to black belt.
Of course I want to thank you and tell you that without your support and encouragement I never would be at this point in my martial arts training. I also want to say that if I had done everything you told me to do when you told me to do it my journey would have been a lot easier. But I never thought Id get this far. I just thought that my physical limitations, and especially lack of gymnastic aptitude would keep me at brown or red. I always felt so overwhelmed by the amount of material that I had to master. But here I am at the threshold of my black belt. Its the little things that you would say about how everyone cant be a high kicker or that after black you can focus on what your strengths are that kept me going.
Your interest in my son Sam has been wonderful and I know he (if he doesnt already) will realize how much of an influence you have been, and will continue to be, in his life. I am looking forward to continuing my journey with Sam, you, and the TKC staff. Donna appreciates your dedication and influence as well.
After I read your new book Im sure I will understand more of the history of TKC, as well as the trials of running a martial arts school as a successful business. As I drive around the city I see other martial arts schools; many of them small and dark, and usually not open where TKC is big, bright, clean, and open even when there arent classes scheduled. Ive seen schools open and close a few months later; yet TKC has been growing for 20 years. It is obvious that principles, and your passion for martial arts have guided you to this milestone and will undoubtedly serve you through the next 20 years. I hope to be there too.
All my respect, best wishes, congratulations, and mostly,
Love,
Frank A
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
You have given me the opportunity to experience so many things at TKC. Where do I begin to say thank you?
Bruce Lee once said, Martial Arts is a way of expressing ones self honestly. I really did not know what that meant when I first heard it. But now I believe I do, because of what you have taught me over the years and especially in these last six months. You have shown me the honest way of expressing myself and to not fake it.
When I began taking classes at your studio the vibe was different as compared to my prior experience at another studio. It felt like one big happy family at TKC, and you could explain how to do a certain kick or a hold better than any instructor I have ever had (amazing talent). The philosophy lessons you interjected into each and every class was and still is changing me into a better person. I strongly believe that if I had never met you, I would have missed out on a true growing experience. Basically I was a blind man that can now see. THANK YOU for opening my eyes.
Happy 20th Anniversary!
Youre the man!
Love,
Corey
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Thank you for helping me on my journey. You mean a lot to me in my life. I still remember when I used to jump and flip in the blue harness just you and me. You have helped motivate me and supported me all the way through. I cant wait to have you snap my black belt around my waist. You have a special place in my heart.
Love,
Breana (Bree)
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
I just want to thank you for everything. I started karate about five long years ago and I cant remember life before Team Karate Centers. I have loads of pictures with instructors and all of my different belts and I can remember each instant with each person and you guys have really left and imprinting mark in my memory. While I reminisce about the various experiences youve put me through over the years, especially of late, Im awed at how much work and how much care with which youve always done everything; and thats rare. I want to thank you for your attitude its great and for all the training and knowledge youve smashed into my brain. Thanks again.
Your student,
Riane
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
You have always been the greatest master anyone could ever hope for, and I want to thank you for that. I have known you for 7 years straight, and I dont know what I would do without you.
Today, I got my 2nd degree black belt, and without you, that would have never come true. You have taught me how to focus and defend myself. Thank you Mr. Fariborz.
Love,
Mathilde
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
I want to thank you for trying to make this last six months a wonderful experience for me. I am proud to say that you have succeeded.
The new experiences from this test compared to my first test were ones that compelled me to finish this test without dropping out. Thankfully this test was better than I expected.
The support and concern you showed me during my injuries helped me keep my confidence up in completing this test.
I also want to acknowledge the immense amount of time and thought you put into this group. I am glad to see that your heart was very much with this group and I appreciate that.
Now I will cherish my second-degree black belt forever with fond everlasting memories.
Lastly, I want to congratulate you on twenty successful years of Team Karate Centers. Wishing you the best of luck in the many more successful years to come.
Sincerely,

           Jennifer L.

Mr. Fariborz,
I dont know where to start because there are so many things I would like to say. Ever since I can remember you have been there to hear my problems and to figure out a way to solve them. So many times I have been challenged by you to continue and to try my best. I have received so much from this journey. You have been such a great role model with all the wisdom that you have to share. I remember once I tried going to another Hapkido studio. I took one class and never went back. For some reason I felt that I would not be able to adjust and knew that the best place for me was at TKC. I want to thank you for being such a great friend and mentor. Sincerely,
Walter
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
I would like to thank you for all you have done for the Quests and Dragons. I would also personally want to thank you for what you provided for me. This has been a phenomenal experience and journey that I will never forget. I have learned so much on all levels. The experiences you provided for us allowed me to see what else was out there in the world. The museums we went to gave me some knowledge of the past. The rock climbing was simultaneously exciting and challenging. Each of these experiences holds a place in my memory.
The memories of my first degree are paralleling my current experiences with my second degree. I am grateful to you for these experiences and memories. The environment you create with the Dragons and Quests together and unified is very encouraging when we work together to make this possible.
Your understanding and patience has allowed me to pursue my goal at the same time keeping my commitments I have outside of karate. It wasnt the best timing because of college planning. It presented me with many challenges and difficulties but I am glad I did it. I would like to thank you again for all your time, dedication, and consideration. I look forward to continuing my training and achieving excellence.
With much gratitude,
Janelle
           

Dearest Mr. Fariborz,
Congratulations on your 20th year of Black Belt and many other accomplishments. Congratulations on your successful martial arts school. A school filled with positive people and energy. In this school I have met many acquaintances, friends, and most importantly, a newfound family.
I want to thank you for all opportunities and advices you have presented to me. I am very fortunate to be a part of staff and a student as well. I look forward to learning more and sharing my knowledge to others.
Once again congratulations and many thanks. Good luck and best wishes for the future.
Sincerely,
Trixie
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz
I wanted to thank you for creating such a wonderful experience for me and my fellow candidates. This journey has been fun, painful, and hard. I think that the best experience that you created for me was the third pre-test. When I walked onto the dark candle light mat it was a totally different feeling. The sight of the candles reflecting off the mirror it was breathtaking. And when we had to run those fifteen laps around the studio barefoot, that was something else. And I hope that my second degree test will be full of even better surprises and experiences.
Sincerely,
Ashly
           

Dear Master Fariborz,
This note is both easy and difficult to write at the same time. It is easy because I am excited and eager to tell you how much you and TKC mean to me. IT is difficult because mere words cannot adequately express the depth of my feelings. If you were here right now, Id give you as hug and let that sum up my feelings. But since youre not here Id like to start by giving you a warm and hearty congratulations on your 20th anniversary of TKC. Your success and the success of TKC is a testament to the man you are. You work so hard, and the long hours you put in at TKC are not unnoticed by me. I hope that this note gives you back just a little of what you put into TKC. And, I wish you continued success with TKC and with life.
On a more selfish note, my greatest wish regarding Hapkido is to have been able to train with you 20+ years ago as you progressed from white belt to black belt. I have a feeling we would have had a lot of fun together.
As I mentioned in my bio, I believe the best teachers are born with the talent for teaching. I think you were born with that gift. You possess the natural ability to combine humor, seriousness, motivational skills, reward and punishment in exactly the right combinations. You and TKC provide the environment that allows the seed of excellence to sprout, to grow and to flourish. I feel incredibly lucky to have found TKC for myself and for my son, Nicky.
I also want to express how much I have enjoyed my journey from white belt to black belt. From the balance in the curriculum between the Art elements and the Martial elements, to your philosophy of setting students up for success instead of failure, my experience at TKC has been ideal. I could not have asked for anything better, and I owe it all to you. You started the school, you developed the curriculum, you selected the instructors and you set the tone for TKC. I carry your On (Japanese) and will fulfill my Giri to you.
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me, my son, and my fellow Dragons. I look forward to training with you and TKC for the next 20 years and to celebrating TKCs 40th anniversary with you.
Strength and Honor!
Love,
Ken
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
I really dont know where to begin! It seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the bench reading my People magazine and waiting for Brandon to finish his class. I still remember the look on your face when you walked past me. It was Youre already here, so why not start taking classes yourself? I always wanted to take Hapkido but never thought Id have the time for classes let alone get my Black Belt!
Thank you for supporting me and supplying all the resources that I needed to take the journey. You are so gracious and generous with your time. You let us take in the glory while you step aside and watch. You have taught me that youre never too old to be a better person. I am a different person, a more forgiving person. I try to help people when ever I see they are in need, thanks to your Random acts of kindness (and you thought we werent listening). Ive felt an array of emotions while on my journey. Happiness, frustration, victory, defeat, exhilaration, and serenity. All of which I would accept into my life again because they were a part of this unforgettable journey that you have invited me to take.
I would like to congratulate you on twenty tremendously successful years! You have accomplished so much and have made such an impact on so many peoples lives, including mine. Thank you!
Love,

           Jacqueline

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Thank you for the life changing experience. Mostly thank you for your guidance. You have made good and bad experiences for me, but nonetheless experiences. I will never forget this experience, hopefully it will change me for the better (I think its started to already). The bad experiences I remember the most, so that I will get better and learn from them. My journey to getting my black belt seemed so far away six months ago, but now its this Saturday. I will take the great outlook with me because life is full of surprises and you never know whats coming. 3 years ago my black belt seemed like Id never get here, but Im here now, and thats because of you. My attitude has definitely changed, when I started I thought karate was all about the moves, but thanks to you, you have shown thats only a tiny portion of it that is very insignificant, its all about what you make of right now! Thank you so much for everything.
Sincerely,
Derek Schultz
           

Mr. Fariborz
Let me start by thanking you for your patience. I recognize that I have been a student that by my very nature, questions everything, especially authority. You have been amazingly patient through my cycle: wanting to be a fighter overnight, my over confidence that 2-3 years of training inexplicitly gave me, and my constant search for the secret of all Martial Arts. Yes, I will continue seeking, but the seeking will be a pursuit of my inner-self and not a magical system found on the outside.
I look forward to being invited into the game. Thank you!
Strength and Honor
Brooke Thomas
           

Dear Fariborz,
It has been quite a year with many different experiences. They were all very useful and interesting. I have learned a lot about myself in the past year, and you have given me many new tools to use, when dealing with other people and difficult situations, which I am very grateful for. Im also forever grateful to you for giving Nick and I the opportunity to take this journey together.
Love

           Bolette

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Wow! I cant believe I got this far. I dont think I could have done it without you. You were always there for me, you told me secrets, and definitely brought up my confidence level. You also gave me tips, like to EAT. During my journey to Black Belt I have learned so much about you and myself. It was great! I love it. This was one of the best journeys ever thanks to you! I have improved so much! Thanks!
Love
Tara Ali
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Thank you for all of the help and motivation to get through this test. It has been an amazing experience. Without you, I would not have been able to make it this far. You are truly an inspiration to me. With all the concepts you have taught me, I have changed. You had been with me all the way. You not only helped the team and I, you have been more dedicated than any of us. You have been to our pre-tests at 6:00 in the morning, you are there for Saturday classes at 7:00A.M., and you were even at the beach at 6:15 to set up. We do not do this testing every year, but you do. I have never seen someone with so much dedication and devotion to help other people. In my first degree test, I did not really understand what you were going through to help us, but now I do. Thank you for helping me and giving me an opportunity to go for my second degree black belt.
Alphonse Housepian
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Id like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have given me; your friendship, your teachings, your love as a father. Youre my mentor in every way. Thank you
Love always,
Michelle
           

Fariborz
My sincerest gratitude for unconditionally believing in me and giving me the courage not only to finish, but in particular, to START this journey. I only hope that I can impact someones life if only a fraction of how you continue to influence mine. I am truly blessed to have crossed your path INDEED!
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
You have been a major part of my life since I started to take karate. You have always pushed me physically and mentally and I am a better person because of you. I would like to thank you for everything that you have done for me. My fondest memory of you was when you took me out to lunch. I cant remember what belt I was, but I do remember that you said that if I could memorize something then you would take me out to lunch. Another fond memory is at one of my birthday parties at the karate studio when we cut the cake with a sword. Thank you for being a big part of my life and I hope you will continue to be in the future.
Thank you for everything,
Jonathon
           

Mr. Fariborz,
Not long ago I was asked Who was the teacher that had the greatest impact on me? They were surprised at my response. I believe that every person I meet is my greatest teacher, every experience offers and opportunity to learn, and through each individual I have the gift of a new perspective.
Many of my teachers have affected me greatly but mostly as a student. I have learned to play better, work harder, laugh more, worry less, listen hard, speak from my heart, and to never stop learning. For that influence I am grateful as it challenges me each and every day to be the best person I can be.
Few of my teachers have influenced me as a teacher. Although my interaction with you has been short lived, this has been my experience. I have learned to provide a path and not give a map, present possibilities - not expectations, and to create room to grow where time is not a factor. For this influence I am grateful as it challenges me each and every day to be the best influence I can be. This impact, like a pebble in a pond, ripples outward in larger and larger circles. To influence someone as a person my greatly benefit that individual. However to influence someone as a teacher, provides the opportunity to influence each student the affect. Thank you.
Love,
Heather Eubanks
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz;
Unfortunately I didnt have a picture of us together. For the 7 years that I have been in TKC as a student, I have always wondered what goes through your mind. At this moment, Im wondering what you would remember me by; the girlie girl, the French girl? I know what I would remember you by; the wisest, and best teacher and friend that I have ever known in my 14 years of my life. Thank you for always being there for me. I will miss you.
Love:
Alisha Gori
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Thank you Mr. Fariborz for when I first came, you accepted me for what I was, but also saw what I could become. Thank you for teaching me strength in my body is strength in my mind. It is with this strength that I have3 overcome. And it is with this strength that I have dared to dream bigger dreams.
Eternally Grateful,
Rebecca Crall
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Ever since the first class when I learned how to do a front kick, I have loved Karate. From Yellow belt to black belt, you have always helped me learn everything with a smile. I always have a fun time in our private class because you are an awesome teacher. This Black Belt experience has changed my life. I have learned a lot about myself and what it means to have Black Belt Excellence. What I enjoyed most about this experience is having an outstanding teacher. You have always told me to go for my dreams and I have. Also, you have told me that cant is not a word. I always thought that I could not do certain things, but I have learned I have to try. I am now able to do the kicking line and all my forms. You are a wonderful instructor. Thank you so much for everything you have taught me. Not only the kicks, but the lessons you have taught me will help me in life. Thank you!
Love,

           Danielle G.


           

Achieving goals is the happiest time in my life. The 2 that stand out is getting my black belt in 1995, with the positive support of Mr. Fariborz and the staff. Actually that was the first time I cried in about 20 years. Also to pet a tiger, cheetah, and leopard was another goal that I have had and did. But making new friends everyday at the school and is a family that does care. Also the third pretest where it was time to come out of my shell for the better and to grow. Mr. Fariborz, fantastic teacher, great friend, a special person who I am happy to know and be a student under.
Craig Newman
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Thank you for everything you have done for me. I love to come to class to learn new things. I hope to see you in the years to come. You have been a great teacher.
Love,
Venus
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
I am thankful for the 5 wonderful years that you have been my teacher. You have been an inspiration for me. Thank you for everything.
With love,

           Visha V.

Dear Master Fariborz,
Truly this is a moment I shall forever hold dear,
This is an event, which took me more than a year.
My family and I have respected you and so have others,
I hope you do the same great job for my brothers.
I started your karate at age 5. Ever since then my grandparents had to drag me to karate. When I started pre-testing for my first degree I started loving karate. I had experiences in my life, but starting karate and meeting my team was the greatest. That might have sounded lame but I meant it, I love you guys.
From
Vadim Lincoln.
           

Dear Mr. Fariborz:
I remember vividly the day I walked into your studio and you spoke to me about heroes. I understood what you were referring to, but it left me feeling misunderstood. I was not looking for a hero Ive never really had one of those (until September 11, anyways). Yet I came to Team Karate Center with a desire to receive guidance from one whose ideas and values I could believe in, and to achieve a greater understanding of this martial art. Little did I know that I would also get a greater understanding, acceptance, and respect for myself. You and your staff have helped me accomplish this.
I have learned that Karate is so much more than a punch you must question the punch, re-invent the punch, and imagine beyond the punch. You once said to us that you felt blessed. I too feel blessed. I am very grateful for your time and energy through the last year, and I will take what Ive learned and Pay it forward to those who touch my life. Thank you.
Micky Blythe
           

Master Fariborz,
I still remember the first day I met you. It was an awesome introductory class that got me hooked on martial arts. I still remember the day - March 16, 1998 - that was the day that changed the way I act and think today. I always loved playing basketball but the reason I decided not to play is because of the pressures of letting your team down. So I turned to martial arts because this was something that I could do individually. I wouldnt have to worry about hitting the final shot at the buzzer. With Martial Arts all failures are your own fault, and all victories are your own accomplishments.
It was partially your fault for addicting me to martial arts. You made it so fun and interesting that I want to thank you. So now I eat, sleep, drink, and think martial arts all the time. It has been a wonderful journey so far. This wasnt my first black belt exam and its not going to be the last. What makes getting up at 4:45 a.m. for the pretest worth is the different experience every time. Every Black Belt exam is different and that keeps everything interesting. I honestly feel that so far in my martial arts career black belt classes have been the best. I love this sport and I am going to keep doing it.
Jason
           

Dear Fariborz,
We have known each other for a very long time and I am still here challenging you daily. Well, almost daily. I am the pain that just will not go away. Torture did not work so you thought that if you helped me along in the direction of my Black Belt that would do it. Well I am still here and I want to thank you for pushing me along and giving me the confidence. You have been a great teacher and an inspiration. I have gotten more out of this journey than you will ever know. Thank you for being a friend, teacher and mentor. Martial arts have been a big part of my life and I have you to thank. I have been to other studios and I keep coming back. Lucky you. Haha. Even though I know I am a pain, I want you to know how much you are appreciated. Thank you again.
Your friend always,
Love,
           Anna T.

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Thank you for being my teacher. You have not only taught me how to defend myself, but also how to be a better person.
With greatest respect,
           Michael G.

Fariborz, thank you for all of the time that you put into helping the Candidates towards our Black Belt Excellence. You are right; the journey is much more fulfilling than the finish.
           

I wanted to share this with you.Our phone rang today and it turned out that Ava was hired as a stunt double for a television show that she has to do karate for an actress that is her age and weight and sofourth..Ava does not do entertainement work or acting but it turned out that her having a black belt in karate brought this opportunity to her.When I think about this I automatically think of you and feel that you have brought many good things to our family.
           

Hello Master Fariborz!
I finally had a chance to write you! I started my semester immediately when I got back, so its been pretty hectic, But it was worth it to be in California with you guys!
I wanted to THANK YOU for allowing me to come out to TKC and train. Also for helping me with having a place to stay! :) THANK YOU SO MUCH!
I had ANOTHER great time over there. The hospitality and kindness thats at TKC is amazing! Literally not one day went by when many students/instructors were making sure that I had a place to stay, was fed and even a few offering to take me out and see California. I enjoyed the classes i was able to take and hopefully next time i wont get injured, so i can take many more :)
I feel very priviliged to have experienced all this and i definitely have many more awesome memories. This time around, I had the opportunity of meeting many more students and getting to know much more the ones i already knew. Love them all!
Its amazing the masters and high rankings, as well as yourself, that i was able to meet and get to know as well. I hope all the students understand how lucky they are to have this daily! Martial Arts has become my life and when i see all these masters and high ranks, it motivates me even more to get to that level that i look forward to achieving one day and make my teachers proud. As well as passing it on to my students and future students AND changing more lives as you and the others have.
The Black Belt Spectacular was amazing once again this year. All the candidates did GREAT ! Theres quite a few all stars that amazed me in Team Makoto, especially when they actually got to show their skills in the kicking lines. ALL WERE AWESOME and showed some sharp skills. Also im glad that i decided to demo,, even though I had to go after Edward Mercer!! (he is amazing),,, but definitley enjoyed it. Also the creativity in the demos were awesome this year too.
I look forward to hopefully getting my 2nd degree next time :) and adding many more memories and experiences!
THANKS AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING!!
Much respect,
           Cyndie Benitez

Hi Mr. Fariborz,
I would like to thank you again for the great family that you have created at TKC. The Spectacular today was wonderful, I can hardly believe that it has only been one year since I met you and half of the friends that received their respective degrees today. From the moment we entered the school today at 8:00am to the time I left around 5:30 today, not only was I super impressed by all the candidates I am now more than ever really looking forward to my own BB Spectacular.
Our kids David and Andrea both woke up today super excited to see as David put it "my teacher Mr. Ash in action" and then Andrea said "black belt spectacular yeah!!!!!" this was at 6:30am this morning, I can"t tell you how wonderful it feels to see our two kids so excited to see other people"s victories, and in the same turn have them have so many great role models to look up to. They both dream about being part of the demo team for Mr. Ash, they both talk about being intructors like Ms. Miranda, Ms. Deena , Mr. Jake, Ms. Linda and Mr. Ash to name a few of their favorites.
Everything about today was just as you said in class a few days ago, "this is your demo" and it is so evident that you are producing quality Hapkido/Blend Black Belts, it is so evident that you pour your heart and soul into today and for me being your student I can only say that I am humbled once again. I look forward to this next year of my journey.
Thank you again for this amazing studio, for your all your many, many, hours of work, for all the personal touches and experiences that you allow us to share, for sharing your great instructors with us, and for believing that someone like me can also achieve this great goal of becoming a black belt.
Sincerely
           Veronica

Granted I"ve been quite ill since last Wednesday evening and I refused to stay home and miss my son"s Black Belt dinner and Spectacular - but, we were coming to class tonight until I checked the website and found out the studio was closed for Yom Kippur. I was actually sending you good energy Kyoshi; I was happy you had the day off after such a successful and well organized Spectacular on Saturday. I was imagining you spending the day relaxing with your family. I happened to check my e-mail late and saw a message about class but it was already 7:30 pm. Nick and I were both disappointed - I was actually quite pleased Nick showed interest in going to class..but, we ended up spending the evening laughing together and me practicing quietly how to treat my son just a bit differently so he could feel "different" in my eyes now that he is a Black Belt.
Thank you for allowing me to tie my son"s belt on Saturday, Kyoshi. It meant the world to me and I think him as well. And no I did not plan to kiop when I tied it - I was so full of energy and love and pride for my son at that moment it all just flowed out! I had told him that while many friends of his had their bar mitzvahs this year, getting his Black Belt was his rite of passage, his first stepping stone on his journey to manhood. Because of his many varied interests, he may not continue at TKC, yet, I am not as saddened at the thought as I had been. It was huge for him to complete this journey - he"s only 13. He may come back to it later. But for now, we share something no one can ever take away from us. We are both TKC Black Belts - the bond that created and the understanding we both share of what it takes to become a Black Belt is pure gift. No matter where our journeys take us, regardless of his parents divorce, Nick and I will forever be linked because of TKC and you, Kyoshi. You are an amazing healer of broken spirits/hearts/minds/families. All I can say is thank you for allowing me this one thing I alone will share with Nicholas no matter what. Thank You!
           Teresa

Dear Mr. Fariborz, I was so overwhlemed at the Spectacular on Saturday. When I saw you, I wanted to break into tears, run up and give you a big hug because I realized how much I"ve missed you, but you were always surrounded by people, and immersed in conversation... and it was other people"s big day so I stood back. I do miss you and TKC, and I don"t think I realized how long I"ve been away until I showed up and people looked so shocked to see me, or asked "what are you doing here?" To me it is still home, and in my mind I have not gone away. I have been dealing with "urgent and important" matters so often now, but not a day goes by that I don"t think of driving up the 101 to TKC because it is important... but it hasn"t been urgent. So I just want to tell you how much I care, and I want to visit soon and go light on the email, because while emailing is convenient, I know you are bombarded with emails every day, and sometimes it can seem impersonal, so I would rather talk to you in person. Please be patient with me and my absence. I hope you know how much I value everything you give. I can"t say it enough. Thank you, and much love, Jill
           Jill

Master Fariborz:
I wanted to send you a note to thank you for the very special time I have been afforded at TKC. I did NOT give you a flower, because a) I figured you would probably get enough to begin your own flower shop, and b) I wanted to send a more personal - and longer-lasting - letter of appreciation.
You are an imposing person. This is coming from a person who has actually had people try to KILL him (not figuratively - literally) on more than one occasion. You can, on occasion, be downright scary.
But that, I think, is a testament to your individual sense of self worth, your martial arts prowess, and your own awareness of your place in the universe. You are imposing in much the same way mountains are imposing: they are there, they are planted, and there is not one darn thing you can do about it. And if you are stupid enough to try to "beat" a mountain, you will surely lose. A person may climb a mountain and enjoy the scenery, but taking it on in single combat? An exercise in futile stupidity.
At the same time, however, you have shown me great kindness. You have given me an opportunity to practice an art that has come to mean a great deal to me. You have allowed me to come into your office and bother you with my repeated questions on issues that I was not clear about. You have indulged my sense of humor - even during classes, when I would joke with you.
Most of all, you have invited me to become part of your TKC family. This is something you do for everyone, I know, but that actually makes it something of more worth, doesn"t it? You are open to all, and offer sanctuary and safety to those who choose to make TKC a kind of second home.
I personally have never felt the need for a second home: my first one is more than I can handle as it is . But in the two years I have been at TKC, I can only count a handful of times that I have felt anything less than respected, appreciated, and loved.
The attitudes of an organization do tend to "flow down" from the top. And so I must assume that at least some of the reason for this fact is the result of your work.
So thank you, sir. I have appreciated becoming a Certified Black Belt at TKC. I hope I have done TKC - and you - proud in return, and I look forward to pursuing my second degree with you as well.
With much love and appreciation,
           Michaelbrent

Kyoshi: I wish to share with you an experience I had at yesterday"s Spectacular. Sometime during the Kicking Line portion, a lady came up to me and said she had something she must tell me. She then told me that I was a very sharing person. And that I was kind. She said she was Zack"s Grandmother, but with the music so loud I wasn"t sure. She said she so appreciated how I work with the kids. I thanked her, but told her I try to be appropriately strict while making the classes fun at the same time. She looked me in the eye the whole time, making sure she made her points heard, but said them in a nice way. She liked the way I could make corrections without being harsh. It all made me feel really good, like I had just been acknowledged at one of my Pre-Tests past. I told her my training at TKC has directed how I handle the kids, but she focused on me. This brief conversation came out of nowhere and was totally unexpected. It made the special day even more special for me. It was a very personal experience, as was the tone in her voice, so I want to keep this letter between you and I. If I can make one slight improvement to a student"s kick, whether they are young or old, or get a smile when I show them how to circle and check in their Success Journal, then I have had a successful and productive day. Once again, thank you for opening the door. Respectfully, Bill
           Bill Null


           Omid

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you trying to make a better person of me. Teaching me the "art" portion of Martial Arts is truly doing just that.
It is not easy living up to an expectation, but I suppose, as you have pointed out, that the only person I need to be accountable to is myself. Thanks for teaching me so much.
           Janet E

When I joined the studio as a student I had several motivations. I wanted to find a common ground between my boys and myself. I also thought it would be a compliment to the running I was doing for personal fitness. I never imagined how much MORE it was going to be on so many levels. Yes I"ve found an amazing connection with my boys through martial arts. But the running is now a compliment to my training at the studio. But even more, my biggest surprise is the explosion in growth I"ve had mentally and spiritually. This lesson hits it spot on when it discusses the unity of body and mind. The lack of development of one certainly hinders the other.
The mat, my "little life" has revealed so much of who I am. It"s like I"ve been introduced to ME over and over again. I really can"t imagine a life without a commitment to my physical well being anymore.
Thank you for another amazing lesson.
           A.K.

Wow. What a great experience to see my kids test for their belts. They looked so focused and mature. Thank you for creating such an amazing school.
           David B

Ouse sir and a Happy New year to you and your family. I just wanted to say thank you for 2 things, the first is the influence you"ve had on me these past 2 years. When times got tough I found myself repeating things that you said in your seminars. And the second is the challenge you put forth. That was at just the right time and I"ve been having a burst of energy lately, so being offered a challenge helped me direct the energy in the right direction instead of being all over the place and now I"ll hit the ground running even harder this year. My goal will be to get my full split in all 3 directions. Have a GREAT year sir and I look forward eagerly to the next time I have the privilege of learning from you.
           Chris Fagan

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Thank you for thinking of us...and how marvelous, although you beat me to it, that you thought of sharing all that you are grateful for. I appreciated your sharing.
Last night I decided that I was going to send you an email this morning telling you how grateful I am for the privledge of having my children spend so many years with you and friends at TKC. So here I am "back at you" in the same spirtit. "It is the gift that keeps on giving" and "no batteries required". Thank you from my heart.
Last night, I had to suddenly stop for a pedestrian who was rushing out of Borders, not looking. No matter who it is, I am very disciplined about stopping, not to mention it"s the law. As the man passed my car without a care I noticed he had a young TKC student in tow who I hadn"t seen. I didn"t know them, but a big grin came over my face and I said to myself, "ah, family"! Every member of a family is different, but we"re all bound by a common thread and for better or worse it"s better to be connected. I was glad it was me to stop and protect them than another car who could have easliy hit them. Nothing much to this story, but it"s not just karate that we get from you Mr. Fariborz. God knows with all that warm and fuzzy stuff that goes on at that studio, I have yet to see my kids actually fight!!!!!
           Leanne H

Fariborz, you have no idea how much I use the elements I learned from TKC in my daily life both creatively and practically; from think outside the box, the quadrant of something someone else sees that you dont. Just wanted you to know that just because I do not practice the physical martial arts, I continue to carry the spiritual martial arts....cheers.
           Micky Blythe

Dear Mr. Fariborz:


Please allow me to share with you the impact that karate, specifically, the TKC experience, has made on my son's and on our family's lives. As you may know, at eighteen months, my son was diagnosed with being in the Autism spectrum. At that time, twelve years ago, I was told by various medical professionals that my son was never going to live independently, never have meaningful relationships, never go to college, never get married. As you can imagine, we were shocked and devastated. In the middle of endless tears and sleepless nights, I read everything about Autism I could get my hands into. The more I discovered through observing my son's behaviors and reading about it, the worst I felt. Fortunately, I am not the type to accept the unacceptable. Without even thinking about what we had in front of us, my son and I embarked in "the experience of our lives". I researched and found out about innumerous therapies, some of them with no empirical evidence that it actually worked. I also found a couple of God-sent therapists willing to try whatever I wanted. We tried everything, from sensory integration, behavioral modification, floor plan, pivotal response, speech and language, occupational therapy, art, megadoses of Vit B, you name it. We "played" 24-7. I say 24-7, because I played special music for him while he was sleeping. Today he is 14 years old and completely hooked on classical music, specially Mozart and Gregorian chants, and so am I. Throughout these past twelve years, he has improved exponentially and has gradually "graduated" from various therapies.

After six years of Occupation Therapy (OT) and much improvement, and in my quest to give him a "normal life", I decided to look for a lifelong sport that would fulfill his needs for sensory integration including proprioceptive input. We tried and realized that team sports was not the way to go. We would find him in the outfield inspecting tinny bugs, appreciating perfectly formed glass leaves, looking to see animal shapes in the clouds, or counting stars in the skies above. After some research, I decided on karate. I had always admired the art and my older son had attended another academy. A mother of another special child told me about TKC. I brought my son in for a first session and was impressed. I found the place so conducive to my desire to give my son a loving and nurturing environment. I was amazed when I saw the instructors actually hugging the kids. Young and adults were so friendly with teach other, being so attentive, listening, smiling, hugging and kissing as if they were long term friends. Now I know that many of them are long time friends, because once we came we also stayed and we feel that we are among friends.

Appeasing my fears, my son was not treated any differently than they treated typical kids. I was glad that they had not noticed that he had special needs. At least I don't think they did. But if they noticed anything peculiar, they respected his individuality and our privacy. He has been allowed to work at his own pace. My son has worked extremely hard over the years and is now reaping the benefits of this work. He is in a magnet school, still needs help with academics but he is succeeding. Of course, I know that his willingness and all therapies together are responsible for his progress as a whole. However, I am completely convinced that
In karate he learned to focus and pay attention
In karate he learned to trust people around him
In karate he learned the difference between a friend and a stranger
In karate he learned consistency
In karate he learned discipline
In karate he is learning to want to succeed and move forward
At TKC he feels save and loved.
I feel that he is safe and loved at TKC.

Now, mom needs help with her kicks and he is showing her how. He tells me "but mom, it has been such along time since I did these, I don't think I remember how". Can you hear his pride in his voice?

Mr. Fariborz, your creation has made a huge impact in our lives, I hope you know that. God bless you and your family.

With all my love,


           Gizelda

Take the time: He takes the time to go over and over curriculum. Without rushing through it he is still able to cover a lot of things in those 45 minutes. Looks everyone in the eye, one at a time. Always looking around to make sure he has their attention. And they get a great workout from him as well.
           Student

Love when he teaches. You can see it in his eyes that he really loves what he is doing. He too has an amazing spirit. and energy.
           Student

Great instructor. I have enjoyed taking his classes for about a month and in that short time, I have picked up many little details for forms and for techniques.
           Student

Very smart, knowledgeable, and friendly. Great instructor.
           Student

Very wise, a great role model, awesome teacher, and knowledgable instructor. He has guided me to make many improvements to my life and to become a much more confident and happy individual.
           Student

Mr. Fariborz has created a wonderful gift for all of us in TKC, and yet he still enjoys sharing his knowledge with students of all levels. It is apparent in his classes that he takes the study of martial arts seriously, but understands that we all bring different skills and talents to the mat.
           Student

TKC has been such a wonderful place for me to learn and grow, not just as a martial artist but as a person.
The mind body spirit connection is in full bloom here. I've met such warm and wonderful people and studied with some of the world's greatest martial artist. The guest instructors and seminars are amazing, and within the course of an average week, the variety of classes offered by TKC staff offers so much diversity of technique! It is the only studio I know where I can learn so many different styles all under one roof.
And while the technical training is outstanding, the emphasis is always on peace. That's like a zen koan I am still trying to understand, but it's true: all these fighters are the most loving people!
I am so grateful to have discovered TKC, and I don't know if I would have continued in this art if I had gone to any other school.
The personal attention, the vibrant community and the excellent training altogether make this a truly special school.
           Jill

Philosophical: He does not stop at teaching, but extends his classes to the bigger picture. He is about making the martial experience one worthy of being called "martial" in the first place. He does not want his students to just wear a pretty Belt of whatever rank color they currently hold. Rather he motivates them to demand more of themselves. To bring out the potential they have. His students learn they can do more than they believed.....and then go and do it.
           Student

Sensei Fariborz is an excellent and challenging teacher. Helps you see beyond the moves and into the practical application of each move.
           Student

Beyond The Mat: Sensei Fariborz sees the training as preparation for life outside TKC. Learn that Front Kick properly and extend that knowledge to other aspects of ones life, whether Jr. or Adult. Teaches "Learning How To Learn." It is applying how we learn in here to learning out there.
           Student

Quiet Power: Though quick and strong on the mat whether grappling or executing one of his famous sweeps during a demo, he too is humble. He has the energy of youth but is modest (quiet) about his skills. Always happy to help out with classes. Keeps his students on their toes with constant activity.
           Parent

Wonderful instructor. helps me if he sees that i need improvement
           Student

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
On Saturday, September 27, 2008, my husband and I witness a powerful and unforgettable experience, which I would like to share with you. When we stood next to you at the ceremony, I had tears of joy and happiness. My heart was pounding, my legs and feet were tingling and shivering as I watched my three kids walk down the candle-lit path. Although they each walked down that path individually for there 1st and 2nd degrees, this time, receiving their 3rd degree was different because they were able to share the experience together. I saw the love and support they shared, especially when they were able to tie each others belt at the end. I now know that this is a bond that they will share for the rest of their lives. I am so thankful to be able to be a part of this event because it has really opened my eyes and shown me that my kids have grown up to be such well-rounded and respectful kids.

I remember the first day, Norman and I took the three kids to your studio. You said, "They are good, but Jimmie is better because of his flexibility." Back then, Jason was 14, Jennifer was 12 and Jimmie was 9. We started them with a foundation but you took them and gave them guidance. You shared your knowledge and gave them strength and courage. Today, Jason is 25, Jennifer is 22, and Jimmie is 19.

During the dinner, many in the studio came up to my husband and me and gave us many praises and great compliments. They all said, "What wonderful kids you have and how proud you must be as parents. They are such fine kids on and off the mat." Although we took all of the credit, we know that we knew that part of it had to do with you and your teachings. You continued to push them and challenge them to set and achieve their goals and to never give up. You gave them courage to face the outside world and played a huge part in molding them into who they are today. We are so pleased that our kids have become such caring, responsible, trust worthy, and respectful people, thanks to your guidance. We are forever grateful to you, your past and present instructors and your fine studio.

Lastly, we, as parents are proud and thankful to you. You have acknowledged Jason with such high regards and respects. It was truly an honor to witness this during the ceremony. It is difficult for us to express our thoughts and emotions in words. I know Jason will cherish this honor forever.

We are so fortunate to have you, your lovely Nina, and the children in our lives. We hope you will continue on with your teachings and we wish you nothing but the best in the years to come.


With Love,

Sally and Norman


           Lau Family

Dear Mr. Fariborz
I know I have told you "thank you" for so many things. This time I just feel like thank you isn't enough although I am not sure what it is. You and your studio have infiltrated our lives and turned our world upside down!! Positively of course. When Matthew walked into the studio 2 1/2 years ago he was a shy, quiet and anxious boy. He has now just received his black belt and is strong, outgoing, self confident, and an incredible young man. In her letter, Ms. Allison reminded Matthew of when (in the beginning) he sat in my car and refused to come into the studio, crying and screaming. After many attempts of trying to encourage him I enlisted Dru's help. Matthew knew her from school. She was finally able to cajole him into the studio, and onto the mat. There were several moments of those moments in the beginning. They have now turned into moments where Matthew can't get enough of the studio. As he tells his friends "it's my second home." Don't get me wrong we still have moments of crying or meltdowns but not about karate. And when he does have those moments he is able to turn to inner strength he has gained, and work through it. That is truly a gift you and all of your instructors have given to our family. I look forward to our family's continued journey at TKC.

With much love & gratitude,

Norine


           N

Dear Mr. Fariborz, The memories are numerous too many to list here. At the risk of sounding like a goodbye (which I assure you is not my intent) I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the opportunities and experiences you have provided. Through my training at TKC I have been able to re-awaken talent I forgot I possessed as well as learning new skills that one transferable to many other parts of my life. You provided me access to the instructor training program, which was usually the highlight of my karate week and you were and are respectful of my intrusive work and commuting schedule, which often created a challenge to be at TKC during normal class and teaching hours. Most of all, thank you for the open-door/open-mat policy that you articulated to me the morning I came in to tell you of my plans. I seem to be finding that the straight path I think I am on tends to circle back in circles that build on each other. So, no matter what I do with my time and my life, I can look forward to the familiarity of TKC
           K

Dear Mr.Fariborz,
This past weekend, I had the privilege of witnessing my son, Jake, become a Black Belt. In this letter, I hope to convey the gratitude I feel toward you for all you have done to help Jake achieve this monumental goal and for the way you helped him achieve it.

Jake is the youngest of our three children. Even when I had only two children, though, I would dream about a third child, a boy, so when Jake was born, I felt as though I had already known him for many years, almost as though I had been waiting for him. He was not as easy as my older two children. He wanted to be with me every minute. He couldn't fall asleep without playing with my hair and watching my face. He felt insecure in new situations, and rambunctious boys made him cling to me even more. Each time we signed him up for a sport, he wanted to quit because the coach spoke rudely or the boys were mean. I worried about him, but I also realized he was unusually smart and that he'd probably find his own way to succeed. Eventually, I figured out that Jake did best when I let him lead. That was definitely different for me!

When Jake told us that he wanted to learn karate, we were excited that he was showing interest in a sport, but that was about as much as we thought about it. We knew about you from Nikki Watkinson, who is our oldest son's godmother, so we signed Jake up at TKC. In the beginning, Jake was older than a lot of the kids in his karate class, and this made him uncomfortable. You noticed this right away, though, and moved him to the teen class. Pretty soon, Jake asked us not to come into the karate studio during his class. He just wanted to be dropped off and picked up. That was definitely different for Jake!
In the beginning, we thought TKC would be a great place for Jake to challenge himself physically. I didn't know then how many opportunities Jake would find to grow at TKC. What a gift you have created! Over the fast four years, Jake's experiences at TKC have been truly transformative. When he started taking SWAT, Jake began to understand the depth of your words during those lessons influenced him profoundly. Jake has always been a thinker, but you have made him think more deeply. Jake has always been a hard worker, but you made him understand the importance of experiencing the journey, not just reaching the goal. I will always remember when you talked about making progress instead of attaining perfection. Jake had spent weeks worried about his red belt test, and your words put everything into perspective…immediately.

On Saturday, when you bestowed your own black belt on Jake, I was deeply moved. I felt that I was watching a moment that was always meant to be, if that makes sense. It was just the most natural thing in the world, even though it was always the most special thing that's ever happened to Jake. Just as Jake was always part of my destiny, I think that you were always part of his. I'm grateful that he met you so early in his life and that he has a gift of learning from you and getting to know you these past four years. I know his life will always be better because you have been part of it.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Julie K


           Julie

Dear Mr. Fariborz:

I am writing you to thank you. I have just returned a couple of hours ago form Taipei, Taiwan where I tested for some of the lessons that I have learned at your school.

You once said that you do not test when you are ready, but when is time to test. As you may know Taiwan was hit with a 7.3 earthquake the night of Monday.

We, two co-workers and myself, arrived at Taipei on Saturday for a 2 week business trip visiting several suppliers. Monday night at 2:00 AM I was awakened by the earthquake. On the 14 floor of the hotel, without lights and holding on the doorframe of my room. I sincerely was waiting for the building to collapse.

To my surprise I felt no fear nor panic while the entire floor was shaking violently, this lack of fear is a lesson about myself that I will need to understand.

When the movement stopped, my first reaction was to run downstairs and outside, but as I was leaving my room there were two ladies across the hall that were clearly dazed, scared and without a clue on what to do. I knew that at any moment my knees would start shaking (I am far from being a brave man) and if I stopped I would probably not be able to help myself, let alone them.

Why I did it is another lesson that I would have to explore, but I helped them to find the flashlights under the night bed, told them to put shoes on, get their passport and walk to the stairs. When they were ready to leave, I realized that I did not have any of the things that I had advised them to take, so I returned to my room and collected the Items.

I knocked on my friend’s door and when they did not answer I figured they would already be gone, and fortunately that was the case. Upon exiting the hotel, I joined a group of people across the street. Among them were my partners, as we talked about our reactions, I realized that the two ladies actually helped me to maintain my thoughts calm and clear.

One lesson that I did learn is that the best way for me to beat fear in a crisis is not to turn my back on someone if I can help them, somehow I will be helping myself. As we stood under the rain I began to use your teaching, the few that I was able to learn.

One was truth to myself, because my two partners were not considering leaving Taipei until the business trip was over or until their bosses told them to leave. In my list of priorities leaving Taipei as soon as possible was number #1, without a doubt. I believe that when you teach me that I am not what I do, (I am not an engineer, this is what I do), you prepared me for this test, and I was ready. The reasons for me to stay when such high risks are in place were based on the things that I do, what the outside world expected me to de, not related to things that I would be doing if I had six months to live.

Around me other people were trying to get answers to the question: “Should I leave or stay to finish my business deals?”

They were looking for answers outside themselves, not exercising their “RIGHT TO CHOOSE”, I was calm and happy that I did not have to struggle with my decision. My partners were trying to find in the dark for reasons to leave but not sure to take the decision by themselves. One of them went back inside for a quick call to the US to ask what to do.

One hour later he was still talking on the phone with his boss, because his boss was telling him what to do, his boss was giving him over the phone a list of suppliers t o call to find out if they would be able to ship things on the due to the earthquake, and this was going on in the middle of the aftershocks.

My other partner also called his boss to get a feeling if it was OK to leave. The earthquake happened at about 2:00 AM, and by 7:15 AM I was on an airplane flying out of Taipei, my two partners still struggling with their thoughts were seated in the row behind me. During this ordeal, I have witnessed compassion, fear, the power of “First things first”, and so many thing that I will not be able to understand and learn from them until some time, probably a long time.

One thing I am sure, the things that I did and the decisions I took were definitely based on your teachings, do not ask me which ones, but I trusted my instinct and you were fundamental in helping me develop them.

Nevertheless, the feeling of relief that I felt upon exiting that hotel did not last long, it lasted until I learned of the number dead and injured, I prayed for them.

On a final note, the epicenter of the earthquake was in a city called Nantou; we had planned to fly to Nantou at 8:00 AM.

It will take years to digest all of the lessons presented to me Monday night.

For now, I am thankful for the gift of life and what I have done with it.

Respectfully

Adrian


           Adrian

LAW OFFICES OF
MARK E. PANUNZIO, P.A.
ATTORNEY AT LAW

May 6th, 2008

Dear Master Fariborz:

It is with great anticipation that I await your arrival at our black belt graduation ceremonies in October. I still recall your knife fighting class you gave when you were in town last. Over the years when Mater Sensei speaks of you and his years of study, his passion motivates me not only through the respect in his voice but the emotion in his eyes. I just received my black belt candidacy rank last week and am due to earn my black belt in your presence in October (unless Sensei comes to his senses J).

Looking back on previous readings I had done on your career, three words were highlighted; the teacher, the blend, and the team. I hold these three concepts close in my training and in fact some of my favorite times in class are when I get to conduct the exercises or provide some other type of assistance to fellow junior students. I too find great satisfaction in teaching others not only Martial Arts but in all aspects of a positive outlook on life.
Sincerely,
Mark E. Panunzio


           Mark E. Panunzio

Good day Mr. Fariborz.

My name is Ron. My daughter Lauren and I, are new students at your very impressive Martial Arts studio. I just wanted to tell you, that even though we are new, that you, Mr. Faramarz and the rest of your staff, have made us feel as if we were long time veterans of the school. We have been treated with the same kindness and respect as everyone else. We have never felt like "outsiders" and have been seamlessly accepted into your extended family. For this, we are truly humbled. We always feel very comfortable and welcomed in the studio.

Our journey here, began like this...For the first five years of Lauren's life, she was my and my wife's only child. She was our little princesses, whom we doted upon endlessly. She had our full attention, 24/7. Subsequently however, my wife Jodi and I had two more daughters. They are now ages two and one years old. The new babies, obviously require much of our attention now, and Lauren has felt sort of left out. I'm not a psychologist by any means, but I suppose that Lauren started to act out, somewhat negatively, to garner more attention, any attention, that she was so accustomed to before. This started to become problematic, so we sought out advice. We were told to keep her busy with fun activities like sports and such. We enrolled her in dance and gymnastics glasses, but she just didn't take to those activities very enthusiastically. It was a chore to get her to go, so we stopped. I believe she felt like we were just passing her off to someone else so that we could be with her sisters more.

One day, she came home from school and told us that some of her friends and classmates were taking Karate, and that girls could participate in to too. So we talked to the kids parents, our friends Jennifer and Marni. They couldn't stop praising TKC and said it was an awesome place, and that it really helped their children with issues that they had also. They suggested that we should definitely give it a try........ We did.

At first I was apprehensive and Lauren was nervous. But as soon as she put on her uniform and saw Alec, Cole and Jake in theirs, she was hooked. She was so hooked that, one time at work I was given some really good company Dodger tickets. Lauren loves going to the Dodgers games, but the game fell on a Tuesday night. Well of course, Tuesday is Karate day, and guess what? She didn't want to go to the game because she didn't want to miss her karate class! It was then that we knew that this was the place for her. She loves it, and according to Mr. Ash and Miss Sally, Lauren is doing really well, and has already earned her third Black Tip! (my wife tears up with pride whenever Lauren earns a Tip) Now Lauren wants to be like Miss Lilly someday, in the blue SWAT uniform, and help to teach the new kids. This experience has been more that we could have hoped for.

The only drawback was that Lauren was still doing this activity alone, and she wanted to do something with Mom or Dad like before her sisters arrived on the scene. This is where my journey into the Martial Arts begins... I figured that this was something that her and I could do together, two White Belts, working to achieve our first goal of reaching the rank of Orange Belt together. But how could I participate? I'm too old (47), too fat (245 lbs.) and out of shape I thought. My wife asserted that aside from being there with Lauren, that this was something that I needed to do for my health and wellbeing, if I wanted to be around a long time to see our daughters grow up.

So I started working out, walking, bike riding and light weight lifting on my own. Jodi helped me with my diet and, lo and behold, I lost 20 pounds and felt pretty good. I started the process of quitting smoking and yet I still didn't feel ready to take Karate. That's when Marni heard of my dilemma and told me "Why loose more weight to take Karate when you could lose more weight while taking Karate? Why not start now?" So I went on the TKC web sight and started reading the wonderful testimonials of Marni and other people. I came away inspired and convinced that I could do this.

Mr. Faramarz set me up with a uniform and a success journal, and I've been taking classes with Mr. Amir ever since. Is it easy? No. Is it fun? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Do we love it? Most definitely!!! Lauren and I practice our Art and study the Creed and Salutes at home together now. And since she is further along that me, she is in the role of instructor and I her student :) Lauren's disposition and behavior have improved dramatically and she is even doing better in school. I feel re-energized and see the doldrums of middle age melting away. Of course this is all made possible because of Lauren's mom, my wife's, constant support and encouragement. Jodi's workout is taking care of all of us everyday, but I hope in the near future, she can join us too.

Thank you very much Sir, for offering us the place and opportunity to do something really, really special... that is working hard on our new dreams and goals of reaching the exalted level of Black Belts.

Sincerely and respectively,

Ron


           Ron

Master Fariborz has single handedly, been one of the most influential people in my life. My parents first introduced me to him at the age of 4 years old. Ever since then Master Fariborz has helped shape my mind and body into what I am today. His teachings helped keep me out of trouble in my teenage years and even today when people compliment me on my integrity I think as if they are really complimenting him on his. I learned most of my personality traits from him and because of that I have been able to become a successful individual in day to day life.
If you are a parent and you want your child to have a truly unique and positive growth experience then Master Fariborz is someone you want around your child. Now looking at the paths my life could have taken, I am eternally grateful for having THIS experience to learn and grow from.
Master Fariborz, I hope you are well. I will come to visit once my schedule allows. Best wishes to you and your family.

           Christopher G.

Dear Mr. fariborz- I wanted to share this story with you because it made me feel good. Today when all of the children were playing at baseball when their older siblings were playing in the actual baseball game , my Ava started to pick up trash and clean the bleachers area that looked very messy.When I asked my daughter why she would do this she replied"that I am doing an act of kindness for the earth." I got a good feeling and thought to myself how proud of her for even thinking this way. I know she learned this in her training at TKC and it was now rote thinking and something she just does rather then must do.Then , one of the dads came up and gave her a dollar.It was not the money so much (but she did have enough for a churro!) it was the acknowledgement that she made a difference where she could and that in effect she also touched that other person - and then he did an act of kindness too.Thank you for teaching my children to be good citizens as we try to do as well.
           Terri Recchia

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
I have been taking classes with you for awhile now and I feel compelled to share some thoughts with you. We often forget to express appreciation to those that inspire us.
I really enjoy your classes. I'm not sure that I would be on this path toward my black belt without you as my instructor. You are unique. Your love for the martial arts and desire to share your knowledge is very powerful and attracts great respect. You seem to be always in motion, with full dimension and it's naturally motivating.
Perhaps, you cannot always chose your students, but luckily I can chose my instructor (since I have particularly high standards and get bored easily). I look forward to this black belt journey over the next few months and I hope that my experience has a positive impact on you as well. It would be more fun that way.
With thanks,
           Shelley

The information about you, your feelings, and philosophy, is awesome. it is so very true of a true and real martial artist and person. It is very inspiring for me and very hopeful that there are people that feel this way about life and the arts. Thank you.
           Susan Eisenstein

College Leadership Essay
“Each of us is endowed with unique gifts and powerful talents, you just need to discover and fully optimize them.” My karate master, Mr. Fariborz has unique qualities that have opened the door for me not only as a karate student, but as a moral young adult. He is a wonderful mentor and he inspires me to grow and optimize my talents whether it in the karate mat, in school, or in my community.
Firstly, he has helped me find my character and he motivates me to reach for my goals. With each kick he taught me whether it was a basic front kick or a 360 degree jump back kick, he always had a lesson behind them. On the day of my first karate competition, I looked up at the wall of my studio and focused on the word determination as I was performing the double sword form. I remembered back to my first official rank test when Mr. Fariborz told me that no matter what I did, as long as I strived to do my best, I would do my best. At the end of the competition, it didn’t matter what type of medals hung around my neck, only that I strived to do my best, and I succeeded. Through his teachings, Mr. Fariborz has helped shape my personality and my many talents. I can apply his lessons to all aspects of my life. Mr. Fariborz has been an example to me in the way he lives his life with high standards and morals. Mr. Fariborz challenges me pursue my passions whether it is sticking a back hand-spring flip or striving to do my best at school. He also shows me how important it is to balance my time between karate and the community. He gives back to the community by leading charity events and he instills a desire in my hard to give back to the community as well. Even when I am not at the karate studio, I still put his words into action. When I am not at the karate studio, I am putting his words into action: helping the elderly at the Motion Picture Hospital and coaching a kid’s soccer team at a local park. I am driven to be an inspiration to the community and set a good example, just as he has been to me. His compassion toward the community and his students is another of his ideal attributes that has influenced my decision to be a Pediatrician. Every time I fell when I was practicing kicks or forms, he always was by my side with helping me stand back up. He made me dry up my tears and get back in the game. I too want to cheer kids up and make them smile by making them feel better. I want to instill the same comfort in the patients that he instilled within me when he lifted me up.
Mr. Fariborz has opened my eyes to the world of karate, to my community, and to the world of medicine. His compassion and morals have shown me how rewarding it is to work within my community. He has helped me find my talents and utilize them to help my community. Mr. Fariborz has made an outstanding difference in my life and I will continue to spread his principles and ethics.
 


           Dani Goodrich

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
I just want to thank you for an incredible experience this weekend. The entire training session was extremely well-organized and action-packed. Although I am exhausted (I fell asleep in a chair when I got home) I learned a great deal and I am much clearer on what I need to do in order to be ready for the qualification exam.
I especially enjoyed the knife defense class and the Red/Black game, and I was very impressed with everyone - especially the juniors - for the energy and enthusiasm they displayed throughout a very challenging night.
I have enjoyed every moment of my training thus far, and now that the candidate training is beginning I am enjoying it even more.
Thanks so much for everything.
           Rick Binder

Mr fariborz, as my kids call him, has done a remarkable job with the group now comprised only of my 3 kids. I believe that they are the luckiest kids in the world, not only because of what they have and who they are but because of instructors the caliber of MR Fariborz. his patience with an originally scraggly bunch of kids ahs turned them into more confident and physically fit children. My youngest, Ava, is well on her way to being a happkido machine. My oldest, Riley, who sometime is a bit lazy just blossoms in her classes. My son, Reece, a clown even in class has the makings of a decent martial artist. All due to Mr Fariborz, his talent and his patience.
           David A. Ticotin

Dear Mr Friborz, Philip says he works harder but has more fun when you are instructing the class. Observing you working with the kids I would have to give you an A+. Thank you. Sincerely, Phil Sr.
           Philip Stone

Master Fariborz, You have been my role model since I first started my karate when I was three and a half. You were the person who I always looked up to when I did not understand something or when I did not think that I could do something. You have helped me along my journey to black belt and I hope that you will keep encouraging me and helping me step by step until I become the person who I want to become. A wonderful and spirtual martial artist.
           Dru Emiko Morin

I remember the first time Mr. Fariborz taught a class I was taking because Miss Soheila was out sick. When I saw Mr. Fariborz walk onto the mat, I groaned inwardly. I was so intimidated! But he was much less frightening thank I"d expected. Since that first class, I have had the joy of taking classes regularly with Mr. Fariborz and I love them! I learn so much in his classes. Mr. Fariborz is a wonderfully motivating instructor who manages to balance encouragement with new challebges and constructive criticism really well. I am so pleased and honored to be a student of his and of TKC.
           Giselle Peisner

Dear Master Fariborz:
I want to thank you again for a fantastic experience. I know I am not the most demonstrative of your students, nor do I spend as much time at the studio as some students. However, this is in no way reflective of my very strong and positive feelings for you and your program. You have made a profound and life altering impact on me that I can never forget, nor for which I can adequately express my feelings and gratitute in mere words. I intend on doing justice to your efforts by living the principals of Black Belt Excellence for the rest of my life and look forward to continuing my education and enlightenment with you and TKC (and, finally using my private lessons with you).
           Paul M.

This has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. The more time I spend here, the more impressed I am with what Mr. Fariborz has created and the people he has surrounded himself with. I only wish I had done something like this when I was younger.
I look forward to continuing my journey with you.
           Lisa P. Johnson

Dear Sir,
I hope you don’t mind but I want to share my story with you. In 1989 after a horseback riding accident fluid began to build up on my brain, left undiagnosed for three years until found I went to surgery which would forever alter the course of my life and the life of my family. I had what was to be the first of seven surgeries, three times I was found in coma by my then eight-year-old son. In 1993 I was sent to Spaulding hospital for re-hab. I had lost total control of all my muscles and was taking 28 to 40 pills a day some for seizure, some for pain. The doctor there told me to expect six months of hard work. He said “get out of bed and exercise or sit here and pity yourself”. Never one for pity I exercised all day and most of the night.  The nurses were always on the look out for what I was up to.
Two weeks to the day I went home. In the fall of 1995 I was searching for a sport for my son. We visited many karate centers and fund personal best. This is where I knew I wanted my son to train, he also loved its so much he spoke of it all the time. One year into his training I joined, never being good as a spectator I wanted to do and is a part of this village this peace so full of electricity and respect for one an other that thrive her. Just as I was about to test for my yellow belt I had a major seizure. My doctor explained I was loosing weight and getting so much stronger he had not realized I now needed a strong anti seizure medicine to compensate for this new and healthy me. But I remember telling master Rappold I would test for my belt. Having suffered a small stroke losing partial speed and loss of my right side. I joined myself once again exercising day and nights. To every one’s surprise except my own I did test that month. So the martial Arts have saved my life. It’s not only kicking and punching, it’s a state of mind. I’m now 76 lbs. lighter and only take sour seizure pills.
My biggest thrill is to meet people like you. You are truly an inspiring. I also have the pleasure of helping along with my son to teach Master Tracy’s three-year-olds, that is my greatest joy. My son and I are very close he is 12 now and in today’s world it’s so hard to keep our children safe and teach them values. With the help of our friends at personal best our very own village I know he will grow up to be a fine young and respectable man. We’ve read your book twice and our favorite story is “Have we forgotten and Principles of Black Belt in action” . We are indeed fortunate that master Rappold invites such quality people to our seminars. It was a privilege and honor to work with you. Thanks for such a wonderful book. Maybe you’ll remember me I was one of the two moms on Friday night. My son was one of the younger blue belts. Because of the pump in my head I didn’t attend Saturday’s grappling session.
  God Bless
           Sam & George Tchitts


It was a normal Wednesday morning when I arrived at the studio. It has been a long week and it seemed that God had filled my plate with challenges. It was a rough week. I came into the office and checked my e-mail as I usually do. The following is the exact e-mail I received that morning. It seemed that the God, again, wanted me to see the blessing in what I do.
Fariborz Azhakh
11/19/97
Hello there Mr. Fariborz!
This is Amir. It's been a long time since I have spoken to you. I just wanted to take a moment to visit your web page. WOW! It has changed immensely. It's great to see the progress that you have made in the past year and a half that I have not seen you. A NEW BOOK! That is quite an accomplishment. I never knew that you had it in the working. Well...I am now a student at UCLA and holding up pretty well.
Just the other evening I was re-examining my past. I have my third degree black belt certificate on the wall in my room.. I could not believe how long it had been since I had actually stopped to take a look at it. I look so young in the picture. When I look at myself now, I am shocked at the progress I have made in my short 17 years. When I think back on my days in karate, they seem so distant. I can hardly remember the day I began my martial arts training. However, I vividly remember the karate tournament that introduced me to your studio. Fate--it's a powerful force. When I remember the feeling that I had when I first began at your studio, I feel warm inside. Having me watch Maziar and Nima test for there black belts was your way of showing me my goal. Boy did it work!! After watching the two of them test side by side, I knew that that was what I wanted to achieve in the near future. About a year later, I was testing for my black belt along side Bobby (I don't know if you remember him). Maziar and Nima were right there on the panel watching me. What a feeling!! The same intensity that I felt when I started karate at your studio is beginning to fire up within me at college. I am about two weeks away from finishing my first quarter at UCLA. I recently broke my finger and had to go to the Emergency Room here at UCLA. I got to see the Medical students take a look at my finger at together, make a decision on how to treat me. I think that is what sparked the fire within me. Just as Maziar and Nima's black belt test ignited my passion for karate, these medical students also aroused a certain passion within me to practice medicine. I now have the drive to complete college quickly and be on my way to Medical School.
Fate--it struck again.
Thank you Mr. Fariborz.
Yours truly,
Amir Ghaferi
           Amir Ghaferi

Incredible instructor! His efforts and knowledge are truly appreciated and respected.
           Warren Jones, LAPD

I like the fact that even though the classes are group classes, he tailors them to specific needs of the individual student
           Suzanne Poppen

In my opinion, one of the best decisions you made was to spend more time on the mat every day. Your presence on the mat is invaluable. The classes you teach conmbine the right balance of instruction, feedback, humor, seriousness and hard work. How would you feel spending more time with the kids?
           Ken Berke

I don't pretend to be an expert on Karate clubs, but I do consider myself pretty knowledgable about kids and coaching (swim coach for many years). Your program, school, instructors, staff and facility are top notch. I never hesitate to recommend and promote your studio. We feel very blessed to be part of your family.
           Sheryl Flaherty

You are the master. And I love some of your life experience comments and choices you give the kids. They don't get most of them, but I do.
           Sheryl Flaherty

Mr. Azhakh,
It was a pleasure to finally meet you once again at the NAPMA WEST conference this past weekend. I enjoyed emensely playing to "WIN" with internet promotions, and in your 20 new drills workshop. I respect your ethic, intensity, and good hearted approach to the arts.
I look forward to in the future attending your Regional Director sponsored events. I keep my fingers crossed that you receive this email this time around.
Respectfully,

           Peter Johnson
KARATE-DO USA
San Bruno, C

Mr. Fariborz,
First off. Thank you very much for putting the leadership program day all together. I have never been to such a well organized thought out program . I never looked at the clock, that's how much I enjoyed it. Breaking down certain critereria and getting a better understanding of how we think and act was pretty amazing. I beleive that day help me in a way that if I was told to teach a class that I could. I know I need more instruction but, I do know I could fake it untill I make it.
Sparring:
I loved it! I could feel your presence in away that made me think that's how I would like to be( confident, ready for what ever comes). I also have to work on my counter to kicks and punches. Meaning, do more roundhouse defense drills so I can feel more comfortable when I do spar. Also, after sparring I always try to anyalize what I did and should of done. But, it helped alot when you critique me on my punches and why I was not getting in because I was not stepping in. I need to fine that comfort zone where I am relaxed enough to react to what is coming toward me. The whole day was amazing and you Mr. Fariborz and Mr. Robert are very good at speaking where you keep it so fresh. Awesome!!!
Thank you for including me.
Sincerely,
C.P.
           Corey Polakov

Hello Mr. Fariborz,
Personally I think I got alot out of the leadership program. It really made me think about how to deal with people and situations. Sometimes we get very caught up in our forms and kicks that we forget there is so much more involved in being a Black Belt Candidate. Actually everyone, not just BBC can benifit from this program. This is why I so enjoy the way you teach. You make us think, we actually use our brains and we feel from our hearts and our bodies. Also working together as a team was a very possitive learning experience. I heard some juniors and teens talk about their ideas for attitudes and choices that I'd never heard speak before. They felt comfortable doing it and I learned from them. Unfortunately I do know I will have to miss some classes due to summer vacations and that is very unfortunate. You miss so much if you miss just one class! So thumbs up on the Leadership Program!
           Jacqueline Feder

July 10, 20002
Fariborz,
I came across your web site today, and I must say it truly brought back some great memories. My two sons and I studied with you back in the 1987 time frame when you had the studio on Vanowen in Canoga Park. My name is Michael Martin, and my sons were Mark and Kevin. My sons trained directly under you, and I trained under Craig Balcom in the other Woodland Hills studio.
As in our lives, I see that a lot has transpired in yours, too. My hearty congratulations to you for your accomplishments.
I have bookmarked your web site and certainly will keep up with future updates.
Also, I'm not sure that I ever said this before to you while my family lived in that area, but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you passed on to us through training and association. Even though trememdous changes have occurred in my family (divorce, death of Mark, etc.) I want you to know that your influence has remained with Kevin and I to this day. And it also remained with Mark until the day he died. He always talked about California and going back there to finish the training he started but unfortunately never completed.You and others we trained with there will remain in our hearts through the remainder of our lives.
Please send our love and respect to your entire class,

           Michael (Marty) Martin

Dear Master Fariborz:
I wanted to compliment you and TKC on the grading format used for this pretest and for deciding to provide the actual grading/test form to us. The precise nature of how each element of the test was graded makes it very simple to see where a candidate's weakness are per technique and consequently, where improvement should be focused. This feedback is tremendously helpful to me and I am sure to other candidates, as we work towards Black Belt Excellence.
It recently dawned on me that I have never stated one of my most important and cherished experiences about being a candidate--fun! I look forward to classes and practice (well, except blackjack) more than I ever thought I would. I attribute this to the manner in which we are taught and the spirit and demeanor the the TKC staff. I am in the best physical shape of my life, I enjoy the challenge of striving for Black Belt Excellence, I am providecd with mental stimulation totally different than the type I experience proifessionally, I generally feel less stressed and more at peace at home and at work and the teamwork and comraderie of my fellow candidates enriches the entire experience.
Thank you for your hard work and concern for us.
Very best regards,
Paul
           Paul I. Menes, Esq.

Hello Mr. Fariborz,
First I'd like to say what a wonderful experience I had yesterday with the other BBCandidates at the Museum of Tolerance. I am enjoying very much the bonding our group has been going through. It's so nice to get to know my fellow candidates outside of the studio. I am finding out things that I never knew about some candidates! I'm sensing a real comfort level with the group and it's a great feeling! Thank you for making that possible!
           Jacqueline Feder

Mr. Fariborz,
My computer's back up! And since I haven't been able to work out these past few days 'cause of this "weird flu" I got a chance to read through almost every candidate statement and your advice and parting words. VERY INSPIRING !
I read these inspiring words- and all the great things that people have said about your guidance- and I realize that I'm so privileged to be training with you and the staff at TKC. Thank you for your all inclusive view of the martial arts and the black belt experience.
           Frank Accardo

Thanks for a great work out!
Ya know, even though I haven't been in class the past couple of months, I have used many of the things I learned last year, in my work these past few weeks. Especially "Perseverence." I believe this has been the most challenging show I've ever worked on. At first I thought it was the biggest mistake taking the show; now I see there was a reason for me being on it. Just letting you know that your workings are in my life even in your absence.
Thank you!
           Micky Blythe

And as far as your book is concerned. I have always admired your accomplishments Fariborz. My fondest memories of you will always be the old days before your big studio.
Looking at where you are today makes my memories of your earlier beginings that much more special. I rememeber when Dave and I were looking for instuctors (back in 1983 I think). We had already seen quite a few but when I sat down and watched you from the side (at your Vanowen and Topanga studio), I knew that you were going to be different. You had a boyish enthusiasm (just like me) and you were very creative. You were making up things on the fly based on what was happening. You also involved everyone in discovering what the answers were (for them).
These are some of the reasons why I wanted you to be my instructor as opposed to someone else.
Anyway, I will never forget you Fariborz. You gave me something that has become part of who I am and am forever grateful for that. I will always be your friend.
Thanks,

           Mitch Tatro

Master Fariborz,
As I wrote the letters to my family members in the 2002 TKC Black Belt class, I realized that I have not done a very good job of acknowledging that none of their (or my own) accomplishments would have been possible without you and your vision.
You have created a blend of more than Hapkido Karate, you have also included compassion and vision with physical skill and mental strength to create a program of which you can be extremely proud.
A number of us have grown to know you as much more than an instructor of Martial Arts. When we have successfully understood you message, we have received a gift that has enriched our lives and developed our inner spirit.
I admire all the good that you do for those who are less fortunate. Your generosity often goes by without much fanfare but it is not unnoticed. Your example inspired that portion of my personal mission statement that said that I also intended to lead by example.
I hope you have a true appreciation of the many true friendships you have forged.
As you celebrate 20 years of the business of TKC, you should take great pride in knowing that you have improved, enriched and empowered so many.
With love, true respect and appreciation,
           Charlie Wong

Mr. Fariborz, I recently had my annual physical examination. My doctor was amazed at the improvement in my cholesterol levels. My total level went from a little over 200 to under 165 and the mix of my good cholesterol to bad cholesterol was outstanding. I have made some changes in my diet, but the primary difference is the effect of my karate training at TKC. I think we all recognize that we getting a great physical workout but I don't know if everyone appreciates the significant effect it can have on our overall health. For those of us in the TKC Century Club (over age 50) this is especially good news.
           Charles T. Wong, Jr.

Fariborz, I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to get to reading your wonderful book. But all good things are worth waiting for and your book did not disapoint me. As always, you continue to inspire me, as you do so many people. I couldn't put your book down, finishing it in two sittings. And I am left with the familiar feelings of happiness, inspiration, and hope, as I am whenever I see you, read one of the TKC newsletters or think about the studio and my Hapkido experience. I think you have more than enough inspiration and experience for a full-sized book/autobiography should you ever want to pursue such a venture. Your book left me wanting more-as I'm sure it does with most of its readers. I wasn't even going to write to you because I know you've received so MANY words of thanks and praise-what difference could my comments really make? But, then, I thought that that's not what really matters. I am inspired and grateful and my life has changed in a possitive way thanks to you and your staff and you should know that. I strive to do an excellent job at home and work-just as I was taught to pursue excellence in my Black Belt journey and beyond. I am blessed with a wonderful family and home life. At work I sometimes think we might actually be helping people and even saving a few lives. I might not have had this opportunity had it not been for you. You have touched so many lives-don't ever stop. You have truly lived.
Thank you, Fariborz.
Respectfully,

           Laura Stricklin-Barrett

Mr Fariborz is a really great instructor. Before his class I took juniors and that wasn't challenging so I thought about what it said in the video black belt or black belt excellence and I decided black belt excellence and I went to Mr. Fariborz's class and I know for sure ill get mi black belt excellence here! Mr. Fariborz is a really nice instructor to he always gives his students a work out I come out of team karate centers sweating mi face is all red and that didn't happen in joiners. So imp really happy to be in Mr. Fariborz's class
           Alice Berengut

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
My wife bought me your instructional video tapes (Yellow Belt--Black Belt). Watching them have brought back many memories & I see you've added some valuable techniques.
I studied in the mid 70's under Master Jung Bai Lee--later w/Steve Sexton & for years w/Steve's little brother & lifelong friend Craig Sexton.
Additionally, I've studied JuJitu under Professor Brosius, & I've had numerous other instructors in various styles as I tended to move frequently in my youth, and had a voracious appeptite for the martial arts.
I've worked as a bodyguard to businessmen in Northern Nevada & Tahoe. I've worked security in Tahoe's largest nightclub (@ the time)--The "After Dark Nightclub," and I've worked in a Maximum Security Prison & was a member of the Special Tactics Assualt Team (S.T.A.T.)
Based on my experiences & studies in the martial arts for nearly 30 years now...I must say; I'm quite impressed with your teaching style & instructional abilities.
Your students should be very proud & thankful for the opportunity to study under such a talented instructor.
Respectfully,

           Mike Simpton


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Incredible instructor! His efforts and knowledge are truly appreciated and respected.

Warren Jones

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