My life has truly begun to change for the better, and SWAT has been a major part of what has helped to keep me focused and on track with working towards accomplishing my goals and being the best individual I can be, not just for myself, but for other as well.
The lessons I have learned in SWAT are truly something EVERYONE needs to learn. I will really miss the feeling of the messages "sinking in" and getting chills in almost every class, if not a few times in a single class.
Now that SWAT classes have come to an end, it is time to put my newly acquired knowledge and skills to work, both in and out of the training center. I will 100% take advantage of this wonderful opportunity again in the future, and I encourage EVERYONE to also take advantage of it! SWAT has truly been a gift.
Thank you Mr. Fariborz.
           Lacey Kicker

My daughter and I have been students at TKC since beginning of 2006. We both tested for and received our 1st degree black belts in September of 2009. As I progressed in ranks from white belt to black, I would always imagine what it would be like to assist or even teach some classes myself, once I had high enough ranking. Then I found out about the SWAT program, which I thought was just a basic training for students interested in assisting and teaching. I knew that signing up for the SWAT program meant committing for 12 weeks of classes on Saturdays and putting extra hours at the studio with assisting some of the classes. So, I was always hesitant to sign up because of my familys hectic weekends. Finally, January of 2011 seemed like a good opportunity to enlist in the program since my family had no set plans for the next few months. My daughter, Nicolette, also was interested and very eager to join. SWAT proved to be much more than I had thought. I have to admit that the main reason for wanting to sign up for SWAT was my belief that the program would help me get over my fear and anxiety of public speaking and teach me to exude more self-confidence and control when confronted with a group of people. I wanted to gain these abilities not only for my personal life but also to help me with advancing my professional career. I believed SWAT would be a great program to test myself because I would see some of the SWAT graduates at the studio on a daily basis. Some of these graduates had started at TKC around the same time I had, and they were team mates for the 1st degree black belt. I saw how the program had transformed these students (some teen-agers) into more confident, responsible, and respectful individuals and overall better persons. I am almost finished with the program and will be taking the final test soon.
I have to admit that I never thought that the program would encompass so much that, on the surface, has very little to do with teaching martial arts and a great deal to do with improving oneself as an individual and as a productive and positive member of the society. The many lessons taught in the program, if applied and practiced regularly, teach not only self-confidence, public presentation, and how to run a great martial arts class, but higher qualities of patience, understanding, compassion, respect, time-management, and how to WIN. I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to go through the program, and even happier that my 11-year-old daughter got the chance to do it as well. I am certain that whatever we take away from this class, no matter how small, we will be better for it.
           Greg Alvandian

SWAT has been a wonderful experience. From the very beginning Master Fariborz takes the SWAT participants in his able hands and carefully leads them through a series of lessons designed to foster not only leadership qualities in the dojo, but greater confidence, teaching abilities, and personal integrity in the broader world beyond the studio walls. Taking SWAT is a must, not only for those who wish to become assistant instructors or full instructors at TKC, but for anyone who wishes to learn how to more dynamically participate in the thrilling game called Life.
           Michaelbrent Collins

I am currently enrolled in TKC's SWAT (Special Winning Attitude Team) program. The philosophy shared and lessons taught in this 12 week class are truly valuable and beneficial not only on the mat as a student and/or instructor; but can also be applied in one's personal and professional life. Kyoshi graciously and generously shares his wisdom about life and the martial arts learned from his own experiences and education interspersed with the knowledge and learnings of other influential people that have touched the martial arts world. The lessons are inspiring and enlightening - basic teachings based on common sense, honest values and morals.
For anyone looking to become more involved within TKC or simply looking for some guidance to every day life, I highly recommend participating in this program. The rewards speak for themselves.
Much respect,

Each Saturday I enjoy observing the SWAT class. It is a great opportunity for me to hear Mr. Fariborz share the latest martial arts teaching techniques. His Special Winning Attitude Team program has grown from back in 1996 when I first began learning how to assist the Instructors. I have seen the benefits of SWAT with training members assisting me in my classes. They have been effective and their skills improve each week. And they enjoy it! More importantly, the students have enjoyed working with them, as a group and one-on-one. I think that what makes the SWAT training program at TKC so effective is that Mr. Fariborz has produced it through several sources. He has an extensive personal library of instructional books from which he has gained information vital to the martial arts instructor. He has one of the highest-ranking Hapkido Instructors, his own Instructor Master Sexton as well as fighting legend Benny " The Jet " Urquidez teaching regularly at The Studio and also sharing their insights with him on the teaching of The Art. Guest Instructors continue to teach seminars for the benefit of our students as well as contribute their example of martial arts instruction. And we recently hosted Master Dave Kovar's Instructors' all-day seminar which brought over 50 instructors from Southern California and beyond. Many of Master Kovar's extensive teaching techniques are included in SWAT. All of this comes down to a martial arts academy which follows the concept of Constant and Never-Ending Improvement. TKC evolves, both physically with the new Back Mat area having been recently reengineered, and in the minds of our Instructors and future Instructors who are presented the latest in teaching success. I get to listen, take notes, and add to what Kyoshi has graciously shared with me over the years. And if feels great to see The Future Of TKC sitting there before me. The benefits of the TKC SWAT training program are clear. I encourage any TKC student who has thought even for a moment of one day becoming a TKC Instructor to approach the front desk about SWAT and learn if it might be something they should consider. For me, learning has never been so gratifying.
           Bill Null

Fariborz rocks! He taught my son Sebastian who later went on to become an awesome Varsity Sabre fencer for the YALE FENCING team. The skills he learned in martial arts made him an even better fencer. Martial arts should be on everyone"s list for personal growth of mind, body, spirit...Shout out for good health and happiness to all the generous teachers who spend their time and dedication with our children...

Salaam Mr. Fariborz: I hope you and your family are doing well. You are in my prayers everyday. I pray for your success to reach stars and sky. I just wanted to tell you that you are a hero not only in my life but many people and many more coming in futur. I am in a very fast roller coaster of life, but because of Allah"s unlimited blessing and my Black Belt I feel very strong. I really see things with a different eye. My Black Belt is like a sheild for my soul for my heart when others wants to hurt me or if I feel any weakness. I know you love all your students I hope I would be one who like. I practice my martial arts every moment of my life. I feel different this is a new experience and a wonderful one.I feel very fortunate to be part of TKC family. What I have been getting from TKC is not payable I pray that I could do something , Ya Khitmat. Inshallh. This email is just to appreciate what you have given me. May Allah SWT bless you and evey person in TKC.
With lots of respect

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!

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.

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
Wow, where has time gone?!? I miss you so much. Reading your e-mail brought back so many great memories. As you've heard, I'm pursuing my dream of becoming a physician at Johns Hopkins. Moving away from home has given me the opportunity to really reflect on everything that I have done in life. It pushes me to analyze my decisions--for better of for worse. Over the past 5 years, I have felt like something has been missing in my heart. Hearing from you, as I live across the country with no family here, made me realize how I have allowed my pursuit of excellence interfere with the most important things in life--the little things!
Do you remember an e-mail I sent you when I started my undergraduate years at UCLA? I wrote to you about my first major medical experience. The most interesting thing was that I was the patient watching a team of doctor's decide how to treat me. I felt a level of vulnerability, but also confidence that I was in good hands. That experience further ignited my passion to become a physician and I have not lost sight of that goal ever since. However, let me explain why I now feel that there has been a dark cloud hanging over my path.
I worked so hard for four years at UCLA and did not allow anything to discourage me from continuing my education. Unfortunately though, I now feel that I never "stopped to smell the roses." One of the first major sacrifices that I made was halting my martial arts training at the studio. I believed, at that time, that there was not enough time to study and actively be involved in the many community service activities that I was a part of. Unknowingly, I cut out a piece of my heart with that decision.
The martial arts, undoubtedly, gave me the discipline and strength to get where I am today. Ironically, it was the first to go! I still receive the TKC newsletters and usually delete them, thinking that there can't be much important information in them and that they will only serve as a constant reminder of what I gave up. However, I read the last one you sent and looked at the 2001 Black Belt Graduates. My goodness!! Looking at all those people making such a huge leap is amazing! I read a few of the bios and couldn't help but begin to cry. I realized the true physical and, most importantly, emotional value of the promotion to the Black Belt rank. I noticed the younger students the most, as they make their way to 1st and 2nd degree Black Belts. It reminded me of my tests and the grueling mix of emotions I felt as I rose in the ranks. Earning my 3rd degree was just icing on the cake. I feel that my most influential exam was my 1st degree exam. We spent close to 14 hours in the studio that day! After that exam, I felt the highest level of satisfaction. It helped me realize how great it is to work for so many years at a seemingly distant goal and finally achieve it.
As weird as it may sound, I miss that exam day and can only look back on it as a memory. I now wish that I could be there to talk to each and every one of this year's graduates and hear their stories. If I could tell them all one thing, it would be NEVER forget the experiences, friendships, and emotions that their training at the studio has afforded them.
I am now beginning a new chapter in my life as a medical student. There are no words to describe how amazing it is to watch the world's best doctors in action everyday. Knowing that I will soon join their ranks is the new driving force in my life. There is one major difference though; I have now learned to appreciate every new day, new experience, and new relationship. I truly believe in the saying, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life...and it could be your last." Unfortunately, here in Baltimore, I see many young lives end everyday as a result of violent crime. Our ER has multiple patients come in with gunshot wounds and stab wounds every night. I can't allow myself to just accept these acts of violence and move on. I have become actively involved in a community revitalization project here to help get kids off the streets. I am working to impart the knowledge and discipline that you gave me to these children. I plan to hold free martial arts classes for the neighborhood children in hopes of providing them with similar opportunity that I had when I was younger and becoming their mentor for life.
I am thankful for our relationship, Mr. Fariborz. I feel that we have an eternal connection. Even as time passes and we don't hear from each other, we are always able to pick up right where we left off. Please don't let this time be like the others. I want to maintain contact with you. I look forward to hearing from you soon. I will be back in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. I hope to see you then. Take care.
           Amir A. Ghaferi

This has been a very positive and useful experience for Max. Thanks for being so patient with him.
           Greg Randall

Dear Mr. Fariborz,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all that you have done for Devyn. I am certain you are aware of how much she loves your studio, staff and Karate and how committed she is to the program.
Your kindness and generosity is a true gift and I hope you know how much it is valued. I know your investment in Devyn will benefit us all. Thank you so very much.
With admiration, appreciation and respect and love.
           Sheryl Flaherty

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

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.
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.
           Corey Polakov


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

Mom, Woodland Hills, CA

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