Biography

Dr. Gary H. Amen Ph.D. Soke Grandmaster 10th Degree

Kuk Sa Nim (Grandmaster) Gary Amen, Kwan Jung Nim (Director) of the Korean Moo Duk Kwan Association and President of Fighting Fit Martial Arts

Skilled in both Korean and Japanese styles, Kuk Sa Nim Gary Amen has been in martial arts since 1966.  His main disciplines are Tang Soo Do, Tai Kwan Do, Muay Thai, Aikido, Judo, and Jiu Jitsu.  He was inducted into the Golden Globe Martial Arts Hall of Fame as well as served on the World Family Sokeship Council.

He has had the privilege of being trained by and working alongside many of the great martial art pioneers. He began his instruction in Tang Soo Do under Master Andy Ah Po and Master Fred Kenyon in 1974, a turning point in his life. He attributes what these masters taught catapulted his martial arts to the level it is today.

For example, he was inspired by having watched Master Ah Poh an expert at breaking bricks and boards, to master in himself inner chi to create intrinsic power. He then was inspired by Master Fred Kenyon to break rocks with his bare hands and how to use the skill when he fights hand-to-hand. Another highlight from that time was developing his organizational skills through Master Ah Po hosting a tournament with him and Ron Marchini.

In the early 1980s, he tested in one of Chuck Norris’s first schools, in Lakewood, California. He later had the honor of training some of Chuck Norris’s instructors. He has met and worked with Full contact Kumite Champions, the predecessor of MMA and it is through those acquaintances and those acquaintances he made amongst elite police and military units, like SEALs he trained over the years that he comes to know Hanshi Frank Dux. Amen states “Hanshi Frank Dux is the greatest martial artist I have ever come across since he has done it for real and shared with me his knowledge, I find unmatched by anyone I have ever encountered. He leads by example”

Kuk Sa Nim Gary Amen further states Hanshi Dux inspired him how to blend all his martial art training into one cohesive style as well as become a member of the Black Dragon Fighting Society, committed to what it stands for and why it was founded - fighting racism, inequality and corruption in the martial arts.

From 1990 to 2005, Kuk Sa Nim Gary Amen trained United States Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Green Berets, and police officers and their families at the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado. He trained them in hand-to-hand combat with knives, guns, sticks, clubs, and batons, focusing on taking down an opponent in battle. His training methods are built around simulated weapons, progressing to real weapons as his students’ abilities increased. Consequently, he did many demonstrations for Navy personnel that catapulted him to do demonstrations for Jerry Lewis’s telethons for muscular dystrophy, breaking boards with his pinkie finger.

Now he is the head instructor of his company Fighting Fit Mixed Martial Arts, where he teaches multiple styles blended together. He teaches children as well as adults. He has always enjoyed watching his students grow and prosper. Many of them have won national championships, and their wins honor him. He competed in tournaments himself in the 1970s and into the 1990s, winning many of them, but his first masters taught him what was most important was what you know, not how many medals you have.

Besides teaching martial arts, he also is a personal trainer. He focuses on helping people lose weight and helping them stay fit.

He is committed to passing on to others what martial arts has given him—the gift of respect, humility, honor, and loyalty.