In 1972, at the age of 12, John Daniels began informal karate lessons at the urging of his father due to his son being picked on by neighborhood gangs. These early lessons were unforgiving and grueling, but John was hooked from day one. He continued his lessons and started high school wrestling.
Mr. Daniel’s burning desire to continue his martial arts training led him to Marty Martinez, who taught Karate and Kendo. His training with Sensei Martinez was arduous, but John’s perseverance paid off when, upon graduation from high school, he was awarded a first-degree black belt in Martinez Karate/Kendo.
Still wanting more, while working at the airport, JD met Professor Leonard Trigg. After seeing Professor Trigg teaching Arnis to some of the airport police, he sought to learn from him. Immediately hooked on Filipino Martial Arts, JD learned from Trigg for 8 years. Professor Trigg exposed JD to Guro Ted Lucay Lucay, Grandmasters Ernesto and Robert Presas, as well as taking him to learn in the PI. During this period, JD also took up amateur boxing with a 12-3 record.
In 1986, JD met Cliff Lenderman who introduced JD to Dan Inosanto. Cliff’s training methods, though considered harsh by some of his students, really pressed upon JD the need for regular sparring in order to fully develop one’s skills as a martial artiest. Cliff also encouraged and helped JD reach his goal to learn from and ultimately be an instructor under Dan Inosanto.
Guro Dan’s example has been a constant inspiration for JD to continually learn and grow as a martial artiest. In 1993, JD began to learn BJJ from Fabio Santos who has remained his teacher and friend. JD learned knife and Jujitsu from Terry Blackeagle and Dave Minden.
After serving 2 years as a staff instructor at Straight Blast Gym, JD began teaching for Al Dacascos and has personally spread the arts to Germany.
Exposed to fencing in 199 by Preston Boyd, a former student of Mr. Lenderman, Mr. Daniels has found the lessons learned from fencing, has given him a deeper understanding and appreciation of JKD/Kali.
Currently, Mr. Daniels conducts seminars and workshops across the state of Oregon.