OUR COMPANY, INSTRUCTORS and STUDENTS
CELEBRATING OVER 20 YEARS IN BUSINESS
We're a small family business, not a corporate chain
& Kickboxing and
A family owned businesss. (818) 881-8200. It was originally started (as "Zacharatos Karate")
in 1992, by (now) husband and wife team Mr. and Mrs. Zacharatos.
By being a family business and not a corporate chain, you'll have consistant instructors, check out the news page to see fun stories and pics of students that have been with them for over 20 years!
will see, they are fighters in every sense of the word.
choice, Mr. & Mrs. Zacharatos have had to prove themselves
as champions in business as well. Since they started their company,
they have been challenged time and time again, but always manage to land
on their feet no matter what is thrown at them. For starters, their
first location in Woodland Hills California, custom designed by Mrs. Zacharatos,
was lost completely when the shopping center their studio was located
in burned down, and after being located there for only 9 months. Although
devastated by that loss, (and compounded by the fact that Mrs. Zacharatos
was scheduled for surgery to repair a broken nose sustained while sparring
only weeks before), within a few weeks after the fire, they opened their
second location in Tarzana California. This location was also lost due
to the Northridge earthquake, after being located there for only 10 months.
Not being the kind to give up, they opened their third location (also
in Tarzana), and were there for about five years. But that location was
lost too when a new landlord took over the building and nearly doubled
their rent. (soon after, that new landlord ultimately lost the building!)
all these losses by being strong, and believing that everything usually
has a way of working out for the best, even if it is not apparent right
away. It took time to rebuild their business every time they had to relocate,
but with a loyal following and hard work, they came back bigger and better
each time. Given that all their locations were like second homes, and
after all the losses they sustained, it was time to make a change. They
moved their business to the Calabasas Tennis & Swim center in 1999, and
after a rough start, business is booming better than ever!
When faced with challenges and adversity, you can either fight harder or give up and quit. It's in those hard times you find out what you are made of. If you choose to fight for what you believe in, it makes you stronger, and better prepared to deal with difficulties you may face in the future, and quitting was not in our nature. Inspite
of all the hardships over the years, it has been very rewarding for Mr.
and Mrs. Zacharatos to see the positive impact that the Martial Arts and
Kickboxing has had on their students, and to look back at the now adult
students who have become good friends, many who began training with them
as children, and later brought in their own children to train with them!
Students can make use of the Tennis & Swim Center's facility when
they sign up for classes with Zacharatos Karate & Kickboxing and Soccer.
They can use the shower and locker room facilites, and there is great
parking. For a nominal fee they can use the pool, and there is day care
for the kids. Call the center directly for more information on programs
other than Karate & Kickboxing and Soccer, at (818) 222-2782. ( For
more information on our Karate/kickboxing classes, visit "schedule" page,
for more info on the latest Soccer classes which start at age 4 and up,
visit the Soccer page. For directions, visit "Contact")
and Mrs Zacharatos
using escrima stick weapons below
of Master Zacharatos and Jamie BenAziz-Zacharatos
Photographed in 2006, with one of Jamie's paintings "Mirage"
from her Abstract Series showing behind them.
of the Zacharatos Family
(photo composite designed by Jamie BenAziz-Zacharatos)
see more karate family photos on News page
MASTER GERASSIMOS THEODORE ZACHARATOS, Seventh Dan
(formerly known as Mark Zacharatos) (you can call him Zach, or "Z" or Mr. Calabasas!)
Master Zacharatos, Chief instructor of " Zacharatos Karate
& Kickboxing and Soccer", has been teaching karate, kickboxng,
and boxing, and training fighters, for over 25 years. As an instructor, he
has found the right balance between discipline and having fun. He is also
known for giving his students nicknames that seem to stay with them for
His nickname as a fighter was "Z BOMB" for his stright right knock out punch!
He is a Seventh Degree Blackbelt in AmericanTang Soo Do style karate, and
a former professional kickboxer, who was rated top ten in the world during
his entire professional fighting career from 1977-1982, where he was known
for his knockout straight right punch. His pro kickboxing titles include:
the WKA North American light heavyweight kickboxing championship title
1979, and the PKA middleweight California State Championship kickboxing
He began training in Boxing when he was a child, and began training in
karate when he was a teenager, one of his instructors was Chuck Norris.
After he received his first blackbelt at the age of 20, he began training
and then competing in kickboxing (known then as full contact karate).
While he was fighting professionally, Master Zacharatos began teaching
karate. Growing up in Belgium, he was also a semi-pro "All Star"
soccer player. As a young adult, he was deciding whether to pursue Soccer
or Kickboxing professionally, and chose Kickboxing. (currently, he has
gone back to soccer, teaching workshops to kids and adults--see "soccer"
page for more info)
going into business with his wife and opening their first studio together,
Master Zacharatos was chief instructor at Sherman Oaks Karate for
about 15 years, that is where is met his wife who was a student there
at the time. In addition to competing as a professional kickboxer, for
many years Master Zacharatos also competed in karate tournaments, in both
individual fighting and in team fighting competitions. For 5 consecutive
years in the 1980's, he was a member of the "Sherman Oaks Raiders"
five man blackbelt team. Their team remained undefeated for more than
a decade at the world known Ed Parker's International Karate Championships.
During the 5 years Master Zacharatos was on the team, they beat the favored
to win "Budwiser" team that included Billy Blanks.
He has done stunt work in martial arts movies, and appeared in many martial
arts magazines and magazine covers. He has also done some bodyguarding
and security work. Additionally, he is currently a professional
kickboxing and MMA referee and judge for the California State Athletic Commission.
He is a former semi professional "all star" soccer player and
is a licensed Soccer coach. He is fluent in French and English.
Zacharatos Professional kickboxing/MMA Referee for the California State Athletic
His real name is, Gerassimos Theodore Zacharatos.
As a fighter he was known as, Marc Zacharatos.
To his friends and family, he's known as Zach or just "Z"
--there may be a quiz on his names later!
JAMIE BENAZIZ-ZACHARATOS (Third dan)
Ms Jamie BenAziz-Zacharatos, also an instructor of Zacharatos Karate &
Kickboxing and Soccer, has been teaching Karate & Kickboxing for
about 20 years. She is also the weapons instructor, teaching Escrima sticks, Bo Staff, & Nunchaku. She is a Third Degree Blackbelt in American Tang Soo
Do style Karate, and also works as a free lance graphic and fine artist, a businesswoman, and
has a daughter (Nico) with her husband, Master Zacharatos. (but she doesn't call him "master") Her nickname given years ago is G.I. Jane! It's actually the only nickname not given out by Master Z, but by a friend and former kickboxing student, Dr. Mason Devon.
Unlike her husband, Master Zacharatos, whose entire life revolves around
karate and Kickboxing, she started her martial arts training later in
life, demonstrating how one can benefit and achieve their martial arts
goals at any time in their lives, even if they have another career. She
designed all of their Karate/Kickboxing studios, as well as negotiated
the leases. She designed the "Zacharatos" logo, and website,
and her art website: designsbyjamie.com,
and also wrote/produced/directed the "Zacharatos"
television commercials which can also be viewed on this website and on YouTube (the soccer commercial is on the soccer page, and the karate commercial is on the news page) She most recently introduced the Zacharatos YouTube Channel on February 1, 2015. Check out her weapons class highlight video here: Weapons Class Highlights One 2019 This video features mother and daughter blackbelts Nico and Jamie!
As a free lance artist for more than 25 years, she has done commissioned
paintings for public buildings as well as for private homes and offices,
designed logos, interior design and faux painting, and has also sold her
"art to wear" t-shirt line to major department stores. More
recently she has done photo retouching, movie posters, and website
design with computer graphics, and had an art exhibit showing her most
recent works. The unique combination of the fine art and the martial arts,
attracted the most attention with her abstract weapon paintings, as featured
in "Women and Guns" magazine. By including these unusual subjects matters in her art such as, martial arts, kickboxing and weapons, she saw it bring an interest in art to a new audience--students interested in the sport, and then in her art which depicts it. She has also appeared in several
local newspapers and magazines. For more on her art, you can check out her art website
working in sports, business, and in the arts, she has found a balance
physically, mentally, and creatively.
SPOTLIGHT ON SOME
OF OUR OUTSTANDING ADVANCED STUDENTS
BRIAN " QUICKDRAW" PAZERA, Now Dr. Brian!
Brian started training with Zacharatos Karate & Kickboxing when
he was just 12 years old. He stuck with it, and by the age of 17,
had competed in numerous kickboxing competitions as an amateur fighter,
where he was known for his spinning bottom fists and powerful high kicks, he also has a rare insticntive and natural ability as a fighter as well. He also earned a championship belt. During that time he was competitng, he finished
high school one year early, and simultaneously completed one year of college.
He was also working his way up the ranks in Karate, and stopped at red belt. He is a fine example
of how the focus and confidence gained at a young age by training in kickboxing
and the martial arts has changed his life and enabled him to continue
to achieve goals in other areas of his life. He is also accomplished in
wood work, and archery
Currently, he is married, and is now a chiropractor! He studied for many years to graduate Chiropractor school, and has an office in North Hollywood Calif (818) 980-5141, and is known as Dr. Brian!
For a while he got back to training with us in Kickboxing, but hasn't had time lately, but we're hoping one day he'll one finish training for his blackbelt as well. We're so proud of what he as achieved! His website is http://www.drbrianpazeradc.com
SPOTLIGHT ON SOME OF OUR JUNIOR
MS NICOLETTE SAPPHIRE ZACHARATOS (a.k.a. NINJA NICO) (Second dan)
Our daughter received her junior blackbelt at only 8 1/2 years old, she started training at 4 1/2. She's always been somewhat of a tomboy and very athletic when she was younger.
Since she was 5 years old, she's been also training with a tennis coach, and studying French and Piano, she took dance classes since she was 3, loves to swim and absolutely loves surfing, and still loves summer camp (now that she's older, she's a C.I.T. in camp).
But with all that, we make sure she has plenty of time to just be a kid and play. Like most kids, she loves her IPhone, and has lots of get togethers with her many friends (some friends she's known since kindergarten, and she always makes new friends too)
We think it's very important to balance extra activities with plenty of down time too, and with as little stress as possible at this age. You only get one chance to be a kid. Slow and steady wins the race, even though Nico does alot of things, there is no pressure about the pace of her progress, and most of her extra activites are only once a week, which allows her the time needed to do great in school as well. If adults don't do well under stress and pressure, kids won't either, so we're very mindful of that. It's amazing what one can achieve just by being consistant over time and not quitting. Half of accomplishing goals is just showing up to practice. We tell our students, and our daughter, you don't have to be "the" best, just always do "your" best. (We practice what we preach)
Nico graduated middle school with Honors June 2016, and made the high school tennis team in 2016, 2017, & made varsity in 2018 & 2019, and continues to play tennis.
She maintained a 4.0 all through High School. Nico was part of the Historic Class of 2020 during the pandemic, and graduated with 4.2 GPA and is looking forward to college as a communications Major!
Over the years, She has become very accomplished in piano, ukulele and electric guitar, writing her own songs, jam sessions with friends, and discovered her love of performing! She loves hip hop jazz dancing and did dance recitals in Malibu for 12 years, still loves to surf, and paint (must have inherited some of her mom's art skills!) See Nico's tennis highlight video (1.46 min): Nicolette Sapphire Zacharatos Tennis Highlights Two 2019 . Also, see Nico's Original Music Highlight Video (4.44min): Nicolette Sapphire Zacharatos Original Jazz Blues Highlight Video 2019 Check out her most recent Music Mondays Fashion Fridays Instagram @__itsnicoo
On December 14, 2011, Nico, along with 3 other junior blackbelts, were awarded their 2nd degree blackbelts! As the test date got closer, the training got more intense, and Nico trained with us everyday for the last two months before the test.
For their 2nd degree blackbelt tests, in addition to demonstrating complex blackbelt katas, they demonstrated their new weapons skills with the nunchucks, bow staff and escrima sticks taught by our own Mr. Giancarlo! (currently the weapons class is being taught by Jamie BenAziz-Zacharatos)
By chancc, they had to train in the freezing cold and rain (under a tent) where our weapons class is held. Braving the harsh elements is not a normal part of our blackbelt training, but the weather was extreme during their last several two hour long practices in the weeks before their test, it sort of added to the mystic of it all! They never complained, and really stepped up and improved so much during the last few weeks of their intense training! But what she may not have realized at the time, starting her training at a young age, set Nico on the right course for her future, to have the discipline to train hard in anything, music, sports, and academics!
NICO SECOND DEGREE BLACKBELT
(with many accomplishments at her young age)
|Mother & Daughter Blackbelts!
Nico Zacharatos (2nd degree Blackbelt), & Jamie BenAziz-Zacharatos (3rd degree Blackbelt)
Check out their weapons class video: Weapons class Highlight video One 2019
SOME BLASTS FROM THE PAST . . .
Nico starting her extracurriculars at 5 years old, in Karate, Tennis, Piano, & Dance, then more recently the Electric Guitar, (she also studied with a French tutor at 5 years old for over 10 years, before continuing her French studies all through High School)
stuck with everything, and took it to the next level: after studying piano for many years, she started to write and perform her music. After training for many years in tennis, she started competing and made Varsity on the tennis team.
|The historic class of 2020 during the pandemic, all senior events were cancelled, with some alternatives. Graduated with 4.2 GPA and awards! Looking forward to college!
Out of Challenging times, good things can come!
"You will be happy life said, but first I'll make you strong!"
| Nico's live performance of her original music
SECOND DEGREE BLACKBELTS, THE NEXT GENERATION! MATTIAS, DEAN MATTES, JUPIN, NICO ZACHARATOS
It's not too often that young junior blackbelts continue on their training after being awarded their first degree blackbelt, but these exceptional elementary and middle school kids did just that! (before them, only Mark Anthony and Kayla continued on to Second dan from Junior Blackbelt)
They are also high achievers in many areas such as music, the arts, languages, sports, and school, and they displayed the qualities we look for in Blackbelts--- hard work, the right attitude of inner strength, going the extra mile to do their best rather than doing just enough to get by. Martial arts is a way of life, this is something they will carry with them throughout their lives.
*Mr. Dean Mattes assisted us with our classes until he went to college, including with our weapons class, he continued to train for his 3rd degree blackbelt.
|I thought these photos I took of our Junior Blackbelts, when they were training for their Second degree blackbelts, looked like they were ready for a shoot out at the OK corral! They just looked so cool!
Pictured instructors in back row: Mrs Zacharatos, Master Zacharatos and Mr. Giancarlo,
Front row: Mr. Mattias, Ms. Nico, Ms. Jupin, and Mr. Dean,
who were awarded their Second Degree Blackbelts on December 14, 2011
|As a "Zacharatos" Blackbelt in Tang Soo Do, Mr. Ewan McColl currently assists us in teaching our karate classes, and continues his own training as well.
He has been training with us in Martial Arts for many years, and is a terrific role model to our younger students who look up to him. He also participated in our Martial Arts Weapons video on our YouTube Channel.
Like many of our blackbelts, Ewan is also a high achiever.
As a Boy Scout, he is working toward Eagle Scout, and is currently a "Life Scout" which is the level just before Eagle Scout.
He is also active in Theater in high school, and takes challenging AP classes. His goal after college is to become a history teacher.
With all his endeavors, he is dedicated, works hard, and we know he'll be successful in achieving any goal he sets out to accomplish.
Mr DEAN MATTES (3rd Dan)
Mr. Dean Mattes started training with us when he was very young, and was awarded is 3rd degree blackbelt on October 29, 2014. His 1st degree Junior Blackbelt was awarded June 9, 2009, and his second degree blackbelt on December 14, 2011 as shown above. Ever since Mr. Giancarlo went to college, Mr. Mattes has been assisting us in our junior karate classes. He is currently in high school, and we may lose him when he goes to college too! But for now and the next few years, we are so happy to have Mr. Mattes. He has really grown and matured as an assistant instructor, and just like Mr. Giancarlo, he can demonstrate very high flying jumping kicks!
A little update on
Mr. Dean: He has graduated high school in 2016, and now he's moving on from being our assistant, he's going to college and has a full time job, so time to pass the torch again on to our next assistant, Mr. Ewan McColl, but like all our students, we'll stay in touch, and he just lives down the street from us!
Mr Dean Awarded is 3rd Degree Blackbelt October 29, 2014
Pictured here with Master Z and Jamie
MS KATIE MARIN (first dan)
Katie started training with "Zacharatos Karate & Kickboxing and
Soccer" when she was only 5 years old. She demonstrated such
talent and such a good attitude and willingness to learn, that an exception
was made to our rule at the time of not allowing students to begin karate
until the age of 6. She achieved her junior blackbelt when she was 11
years old, and sailed through three one inch thick boards stacked together
as is required for her test. With many first place trophies in karate
competitions, she was known for her awesome spinning back kicks. Katie
is a straight "A" student in school, and she excels in many other sports
in addition to karate--she was the star player in her basketball team,
and played tennis competitively in High School, including tournaments at
the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center, and later taught tennis for a while. She is a wonderful role model
for young students of "Zacharatos Karate & Kickboxing and Soccer",
especially for young girls. Katie has since finished school, and loves to travel, she now works for the airlines!
MR ADI SAYAS (first
Adi started training with "Zacharatos
Karate & Kickboxing and Soccer" when he was 7 years old. He
received his junior blackbelt when he was 13 years old. This talented
student and competitor was known for his speed and agility while sparring.
Adi was an excellent student in school, while still making the time commitment to train in karate, and loved to participate in many
other sports as well. He rollerblades, jet skis, cycles, swims and plays tennis.
Adi is also an accomplished pianist. After achieving his junior
blackbelt, he enjoyed teaching the younger beginning students in karate for a while before he went off to college.
SHANE BICK (first dan)
Shane started training with 'Zacharatos
Karate & Kickboxing and Soccer" when he was only 5 years
old, and received his Junior Blackbelt at the age of 11. On his blackbelt
test, he showed a maturity beyond his years, by maintaining his composure
and focus throughout his test, as well as skill and power. It looks like
he follows in Master Zacharatos' footsteps by excelling in numerous sports!
While taking the time to train in the martial arts, Shane also played
soccer for the AYSO for about 5 years, and even assisted Master Zacharatos
with the soccer classes that he teaches in Calabasas. Shane
played in an oraganized Basketball league at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas
Community Center. He also played for the Calabasas Raiders, a local
Football league, and will be attending college in the fall. We can
see that Shane can accomplish whatever he puts his mind to, because he
has proven that he works hard and follows through to achieve his goals.
What he has displayed through his martial arts, shows us that whatever
he decides to do in future, he has what it takes to succeed. We are proud
to include him as one of our junior blackbelts.
MS KAYLA MASON (SECOND DAN)
Ms Kayla Mason started training with us at the age of about 6. At 13, she was awarded her junior blackbelt on March 3, 2008. She had an amazing test, and broke boards in a way that very few juniors can do. She broke two stacked with one elbow strike alone! She had focus, control and concentration throughout her entire test. She is also a straight A student, and a competitve swimmer. If she can succeed this much at only age 13, who knows all that she'll acomplish as she grows up! We are so proud to count her as one of our "Zacharatos" blackbelts! What a wonderful example for young children to look up to!
Kayla was awarded her 2nd degree blackbelt on June 7, 2009, way to go Kayla! She plans to train for her 3rd degree one day, and recently graduated college with a degree in engineering!
We know she'll do great things.
Ms Kayla Mason pictured with Master and Mrs Zacharatos
*FOR ALL OF THE MOST RECENT JUNIOR AND ADULT BLACKBELT ANNOUNCEMENTS, SEE NEWS PAGE!!
SPOTLIGHT ON SOME OF OUR ADULT
MR GIANCARLO HAMNER (third dan)
Giancarlo started training with us many years ago when he was only 6 years old, In fact, Brian Pazera ( pictured above) was one of his assistant teachers.
He began his training together with Shane Bick, one of our junior blackbelts, and also trained with Kayla Mason and Gabriella Flores, two more of our junior blackbelts.
Giancarlo got to second degree red belt when his family moved out of Calabasas, and he had to stop training with us.
But being very motivated, and having a passion for the martial arts, he continued training by starting over in a different style near his new home, and achieved his junior blackbelt, and then continued on to get his adult second and third degree blackbelt in that style, and also studied weapons. He's currently teaching our popular weapons class for our advanced students and junior blackbelt students.
Unlike many junior blackbelts who quit training once they get their blackbelt, when Giancarlo was 16 years of age, and just about as tall as Master Zacharatos, he wanted to finish getting his adult blackbelt with Master Zacharatos, in our style that he started with, Tang Soo Do, and he did just that. He was awarded his first degree adult blackbelt in our style on January 31, 2010, by Master Zacharatos, and was awarded his second degree on June 8, 2011. He continues to expand his martial arts knowledge by training in Boxing and MMA techniques with Master Zacharatos.
While training, he also assisted Master Zacharatos and Mrs. Zacharatos with their classes when he was about age 16 to 18 yrs old, until his college schedule conflicted with his teaching for them.
Very few of our students hold blackbelts in more that one style, currently only Ralph Johnson and Giancarlo are our only two students to have achieved this, it shows an unwavering dedication to the Martial Arts.
Giancarlo was always a hard worker, highly motivated, and independant, even as a child.
Nicknamed "TROOPER" as a child by Master Zacharatos because of his achievements in the eagle scouts when he was young, he was awarded his Eagle Scout. He is a great example to our young students. -- being able to do high, flashy, jumping, acrobatic, kicks doesn't hurt either! He brought a great energy to all our classes.
As a teen, he became a certified rescue diver with many dive certifications to qualify him as a pre-EMT, some include emergency responder, CPR, and advanced oxygen provider, and worked toward his Dive Master rating. He worked each summer in Catilina teaching diving.
He has a passion for Jaguar cars, and loves to buy, restore, and sell these exotic cars as a hobby, as long as he keeps one for himself too, not bad for a teenager!
At 22 yrs old (in 2015) he still has a Jaguar
While attending college, he started is own in home tutoring business for a while. He also was working for the Boy Scouts while he was college.
In 2012 he showed his artistic side, and exhibited his framed photographs at the Artist Alley at the Calabasas tennis and Swim Center, What can't he do!
Check out his amazing martial arts weapons demo he performed back in 2011 on our Zacharatos YouTube Channel: Giancarlo Extreme Martial Arts Demo
He graduated college in 2015, studied finance and business, and at just 22yrs old started his new job in finance advisor in early 2016!
Most of our blackbelts, including Giancarlo, are high achievers and are very accomplished at a young age. He displays a maturity beyond his years!
We're so proud to say that most of our students, both junior and adult, stay in touch with us and each other, over the years long after beginning training, creating an exteneded family, all brought together by the martial arts.
Giancarlo with Master Zacharatos
MS MARTITA WILKINSON (first dan)
started training with Master Zacharatos when she was a teenager, and continued
her training at Zacharatos Karate & Kickboxing when Master and Mrs.
Zacharatos started their business. She received her blackbelt in her mid
twenties. She was able to work her way up the ranks to blackbelt while
holding down a full time job, and attending college, including getting
her Phd! She relocated to Ohio to be a professor and got tenure! She is fluent in many languages
including French, Spanish, and English, and Russian. She also likes to
scuba dive, travel, and is a talented artist. She is another example of
how many martial artists are also high achievers in other areas of their
MRS PAULA KIRCHNER (Third dan)
Paula has known Master Z since she was about 11 years old! Both Paula and her sister Martita (pictured above) trained with Master Z at Sherman Oaks Karate. Paula went to red belt at Sherman Oaks Karate and then stopped. In the mean time, Master Z had started his own karate studio with his wife Jamie. Paula got her Masters degree, a career, got married and started a family of her own. She then decided to finish her blackbelt about 20 years after she stopped at red belt! She came back to Zacharatos Karate (we're still here!) and trained consistantly with Master Z. By the time she tested for blackbelt on September 1, 2012, she was so ready, physically, mentally, and emotionally, that she had one of the strongest, cleanest, error free, blackbelt tests ever!
See a few photos below from her amazing test (her brave husband holding the boards!)
Most people get to where they're supposed to be in their own time, and for Paula, testing for her blackbelt 20 years later was the right time! It's never too late, what a great example, and she continued to train with Master Z for her second degree blackbelt, there's no stopping her now! She was awarded her second degree blackbelt on July 20th 2013! (yes, now outranking her sister!)
A few years later, Paula decided 2nd degree just wasn't enough, she learned two new weapons with weapons instructor Jamie BenAziz-Zacharatos, and some amazing new blackbelt forms and kickboxing techniques with Master Zacharatos, and she tested for her 3rd degree blackbelt June 27th, 2018! Now with all the new Marvel and DC Comic Sci fi movies, Paula recognized alot of the weapon techniques in some the movies she saw that she learned for her 3rd degree test, making us all super heros in our own way!
We're so proud to count her as one of our Zacharatos blackbelts.
Paula as a young yellowbelt and bluebelt in 1986 & 1987!
Photos from Paula's Blackbelt test 2012
|Paula still continues to train, and was awarded her 3rd degree blackbelt on June 27, 2018! She worked with weapons instructor Jamie BenAziz-Zacharatos and learned two new weapons, the bow staff and nunchucks, and continued with Escrimas that she learned for her 2nd degree. She worked with Master Zacharatos and learned more kickboxing and boxing techniques, and more amazing blackbelt katas, as well as some tricky basics going backward and forward. This was quite a commitment for this working mother of two, if you want something go after it, and don't let anything stop you!
She brought along her husband and a friend to take a ton of photos and videos of her test, and
Jamie wore her WonderWoman ring for good luck, not that Paula needed luck with all her hard work! (yes, Jamie the sci fi fan has a wonderwoman ring)
|Ewan has demonstrated what it is to be a martial artist, very respectful, works hard, helps out the lower ranks, he's a great example to our students!
We're Proud to call him a Zacharatos Blackbelt! As Master Zacharatos says, now his journey has just begun!
MR. BRADLEY RUTHEERFORD (first dan)
Brad Rutherford began training with Master
Zacharatos when he was a young teen, and continued his training at Zacharatos
Karate & Kickboxing when Mr. and Mrs. Zacharatos started their business.
A natural athlete, Mr. Rutherford was known for his powerful and acrobatic
spinning jump kicks. He acheived his blackbelt at the age of 30. He is
also skilled in kickboxing and tennis. When he was younger, he was a drummer
in a rock and roll band. Now he owns a contracting business. This young
man knows how to work hard and play hard. He loves to travel, and excels
in many other sports, including boating, watersking, snowsking, jetsking,
skydiving, scuba diving, and playing tennis competitively.
(right) RECEIVING HIS BLACKBELT
CERTIFICATE FROM MASTER ZACHARATOS
MR. RICHARD "the Captain" FENTEN (Third dan)
Richard Fenten began training with Master
Zacharatos when he was in his early fortys. He began competing in sparring
in karate tournaments when he was just a beginner, and continued to compete
all the way up the ranks, including today as a blackbelt. In better shape
than most teenagers, he acheived his blackblelt when he was
52 years old in 1997, and is an example of how it is never too late to
start training and acheive your goals in the Martial Arts. Earning
many first and second place trophies, he continued to compete in the black
belt sparring divisions of karate tournaments all over the United States,
and many times against competitors less than half is age! He continued to train at Zacharatos Karate & Kickboxing for many years, learning escrima
stick weapons, and earning his second degree blackbelt in 2004, and his
third degree in 2006. This is a perfect example of how there is never
a good excuse not to train!--Working out keeps you young! (and you can
still have a six pack when your in your 60's!!) Later in life he also continued his academic pursuits. he went back to college and recieved his Masters degree! Another example of how our blackbelts that are high achievers and very accomplished in their lives at any age!
(right) FIRST PLACE BLACKBELT FIGHTING 1999
WITH MASTER. ZACHARATOS
MR. RALPH JOHNSON (first dan in American Tang Soo Do, 3rd dan in Kung fu San Soo)
Ralph Johnson , also known as "Sergeant
Johnson", received his blackbelt in "tang soo do" style
karate from Master Zacharatos over 20 years ago. He continued to train
at Zacharatos Karate & Kickboxing for many years, as did his teenage sons for many years as well. Later, Mr. Johnson
began training in a second style of martial arts, "kung fu san soo"
and is a third degree blackbelt in that style as well. Aside from being one of the
coolest guys in town, he is also one of the original members of the music
group "Earth Wind & Fire" and when he's not touring, he
volunteered his time teaching his much in demand and popular seminars in
self defense at Zacharatos Karate & Kickboxing and Soccer. He
is an amazing example of how one can achieve so much in the martial arts,
even with the most demanding work schedule, by making a commitment and
sticking to it. And he does so with great enthusiasm. Time seems to stand still for him, just go see him peform in concert and you'll see what I mean! More recently in September 2019, the city of LA declared September 21st Earth Wind & Fire day!
OF MR. JOHNSON TEACHING HIS
POPULAR SELF DEFENSE SEMINARS AT
ZACHARATOS KARATE & KICKBOXING
MARK ANTHONY JOHNSON (second dan)
One of Mr. Ralph Johnson's sons, Mr Mark
Anthony, is Zacharatos Karate & Kickboxing and Soccer's first
second generation Blackbelt (his father, above, also received his blackbelt
from Master Zacharatos). Mark Anthony is one of the most naturally talented
Martial Artists, and he combines that talent with hard work and a serious
attitude--an unbeatable combination. He is one of the few capable of
combining being graceful and powerful at the same time. He continued
his training for several years and volunteered as an assistant instructor to Master Zacharatos, until his school, work, and career schedule took over.
He is currently working as an acupuncturist, and is also a community activist, where he has been seen on the television news, he's a natural born public speaker. He is also featured in the "Zacharatos" Karate commercial opening segment with the high jump spinning kick, and his
dad, Ralph Johnson, wrote the background music for the commercial! It's wonderful to see our karate kids grow up to be amazing and accomplished adults!