Sunday, June 5, 2022

2022 Master Rank Candidates

 Meet the 2022 Master Rank Candidates

*Listed in alphabetical order, by last name



Frank Aguilar

Studio: K.W. Karate Center, El Centro, CA

Instructor: Clara Melendez

Years Training: 20  

Regional Chair: Kenneth Herrera – Region 1

Mr. Frank Aguilar has been training in the martial arts since 1978 and earned black belt in 1981.  In 1983, he opened his own studio and promoted many students to black belt over 10 years.  

         His skills allowed him opportunities to teach personnel in many US and Mexico law enforcement organizations. As a retired Captain Security Officer, he received many exceptional commendations from the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Protective Service, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization, and the U.S. Army for his outstanding work. He has been a volunteer advocate for the Special Olympics and anti-child abuse organizations. He has been training and teaching at K.W. Karate Centers since 2006.

Mr. Aguilar feels his most meaningful accomplishment in the martial arts community include training and coaching students to reach their black belts and lead them to their own personal achievements, winning multiple titles including Competitor of the Year in the National Black Belt League, being inducted to the Hall of Fame in the Tournament Promoter’s Association, winning 4 World Championships at the ITC, and becoming a certified Krav Maga instructor. 

Helping the younger generation to achieve their full potential in martial arts gives him great pride. Mr. Aguilar has remained motivated through the years because he wants to continue inspiring students to achieve their martial goals by being a competitor himself and always working to reach his own goals.



Paul Andrew Andricopulos

Studio: Karate GGYM, Henderson, NV

Instructor: Joe Gemma

Years Training: 15 ½ 

Regional Chair: Joe Gemma – Region 2

Paul Andricopulos briefly studied judo at age 10 and Tae Kwon Do at age 11.  Neither held his interest for long.  Almost 3 decades later, he started training in the Chuck Norris System, in January 2007, to help his then 9-year-old son stay engaged in class and because it reminded him of his childhood experiences.  Fast forward more than 15 years later, and Paul finds himself fully engaged in the martial arts through UFAF, regularly competing in local tournaments and at the ITC.  He is a Level 2 Certified UFAF Krav Maga instructor, a part-time instructor at the Karate GGYM in Henderson, Nevada, and an auxiliary member of the Region 2 Board.  Mr. Adricopulos recently retired as a certified city planner after 22 years at the City of Henderson and looks forward to being able to spend more time teaching in the martial arts.

When asked about his most meaningful accomplishment in the martial arts community, he gave this reply, “When I achieved the rank of fourth degree, I was invited to become an auxiliary member of the Region 2 Board and participate during black belt tests in the Spring and Fall.  In addition to routinely instructing students in class and participating on color-belt rank advancement boards, I found participating at this level to be a great way to further help guide students in their personal martial arts journey and to give back to the organization that has given so much to me.”  Paul said he has said motivated through his many years of training because his overriding personal goal has been one of continual self-improvement: physically, mentally, and spiritually.  His journey in martial arts with the Chuck Norris System provided an outlet for him to find ways to be a better person in all these ways, and whenever he doubted his resolve or his abilities, he would remind himself of his goal, and that he is still a work in progress.  


Robert Fulbright

Studio: Chip Wright Champion Karate, Medford, OR

Instructor: Chip Wright

Years Training: 43 Years 

Regional Chair: Kenny Herrera – Region 1

I began my martial arts training with Mr. Wright at 11 years old and received my 1stdegree black belt from Mr. Norris in 1984 at 16.  I’ve won state, national, international, and world championships in katas, point and full-contact fighting. I have a B.S. Kinesiology, M.S. Kinesiology, and PhD Human Anatomy & Physiology. I am a Professor of Kinesiology, Health & Nutrition at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, CA.  My wife, Renee and I have two daughters, London (9) and Aurora (7). 

My most meaningful accomplishment in the martial arts community has been teaching martial arts classes at MiraCosta College for the past 15 years and approximately 900 students over these years. 

I have kept steady in the martial arts throughout the many years because of Mr. Norris’s and Mr. Wright’s dedication, leadership, and example have kept me going and motivated over my 43 years of martial arts training. 


 

Albert Hernandez

Studio: Gateway Martial Arts Academy, Tucson, AZ

Instructor: Kevin Hibbs

Years Training: 16 Years 

Regional Chair: Howard Munding – Region 5

Albert Hernandez began his martial arts journey at the age of 7, under Master Kevin Hibbs. He was unsure if he liked karate because he planned to stop at blue belt (which was his favorite color) to pursue other sports. But overtime he realized martial arts was one of his passions and he proceeded to advance through the ranks. Albert currently teaches under Master Kevin Hibbs at the Gateway Martial Arts Academy. In addition to teaching and being a student of the Chuck Norris System, he enjoys competing on the NASKA and AZMARRS circuits and has won multiple UFAF ITC titles in point fighting and traditional kata.  He feels his most meaningful accomplishment was earning his first degree black belt in the Cuck Norris System. 

         Mr. Hernandez was kept steady in the martial arts throughout the years because he refused to settle from complacency.  He is always pushing himself to become a better martial artist whether it be through teaching, competing or through being a student.  He believes it important to have an open mind because there is always something you can learn and there is always something to improve.


Riley Donald Hackett

Studio: Chip Wright Champion Karate, Medford, OR

Instructor: Chip Wright

Years Training: 16 Years 

Regional Chair: Jeremy Pasimio – Region 3

I started training at 8 years old at Chip Wright’s Champion Karate. My journey to blackbelt was not a string of successes. I failed my red belt test five times and my first degree blackbelt test once, before being awarded my black belt under Chip Wright. 

I have spent many years competing in the NBL and the ITC. Like my journey to blackbelt, I didn’t find success in competitions immediately. I failed more times than I succeeded. I won 8 titles in the NBL and after 9 years attending ITC finally won the Norris Cup. I can count my wins, but I couldn’t even begin to count the times that I fell just short of reaching my goal. It was not the accomplishment that made me who I am. It was the continual pursuance of growth in the face of defeat. 

In any given moment of difficulty there is an opportunity to step forwards into growth or retreat into safety. This journey taught me how to consistently step forwards into growth, in every facet of my life. Training in martial arts brought me from a young, uncoordinated, overweight kid to the person I have become today. Training has empowered me to find who I am, and face what life has for me while being fully present. There is power in finding one’s self and martial arts was the catalyst to a deeper understanding of who I am.  

My most meaningful accomplishment in the martial arts community has been achieving my 1st degree blackbelt in 2012 and winning the Norris Cup in 2019.  I’ve kept steady in the martial arts throughout the because of my desire to learn and an obsessiveness with progress, the connection within the martial arts community and seeing the growth of my students.

I would like to give a special thank you to: 

Chip Wright - for being my mentor and instructor, and for helping shape the person I have become. 

Brenda Kizzire - for consistently showing up in my life both inside and outside of my training. For exemplifying how to be fully present. 

Shantell Dawson - for being a part of my training during my formative years as a martial artist. 

To my family and friends for the love and support they have shown me throughout my life. 


 

Andy Gonzalez (Raul Andres Gonzalez)

Studio: Gateway Martial Arts Academy, Tucson, AZ

Instructor: Kevin Hibbs & Jorge Alonzo

Years Training: 22 Years 

Regional Chair: Howard Munding – Region 5

At the age of 6 years old Andy begged his parents to take karate lessons. They found a studio in Tucson, Arizona teaching a style of karate founded by Chuck Norris. At the time Andy had no idea what that meant, but being a fan of film and television, he soon found out.

In school he had the opportunity to study theatre at a university level where he became a certified stage combatant by the Society of American Fight Directors in hand-to-hand combat, broadsword, and rapier & dagger. Andy has taught stage combat and choreographed several shows in the Tucson school and theatre scene, and when time permits, he enjoys any opportunity to be on stage exercising his “acting chops” (pun intended). During the day Andy works as a paralegal specializing in personal injury and criminal litigation and he holds an ISSA Personal Training Certification specializing in strength & conditioning. Andy spends most evenings training or coaching at Gateway Martial Arts Academy where he hopes to inspire the next generation of Martial Artists to be athletic, creative, and disciplined.

Andy feels his most meaningful accomplishment in the martial arts community is being able to present himself as a master candidate to Grandmaster Chuck Norris.  He has made it this far because his wonderful instructors, training buddies and students continue to inspire him to be constant throughout his martial arts journey.


Sandra Nevarez

Studio: DMAT David Martial Arts Team Tijuana, Mexico

Instructor: David Rodriguez

Years Training: 23 Years 

Regional Chair: David Rodriguez – Region 9

I started in martial arts in 1999 at the age of 22, in 2005, 6 years later I achieved my goal and got my black belt. I started competing as a gold belt at the regional level with very good results.  Then I participated in competitions in Las Vegas as a Red and Black belt achieving good results.  Now I am retired from competition but not from my training. I continue actively training and supporting my teacher in class and qualifying exams. I am also a Public Accountant practicing my profession and I am a mother of 2 black belt girls who are also active and in competition.  I have stayed steady in the martial arts throughout the years because it is a sport that I like.  I enjoy it to the fullest because my whole family also practices and it is a way to stay together.


Aaron Abraham Tabares

Studio: Olympus Athletes Karate Studio, Cd. Juarez/Chihuahua, Mex.

Instructor: Rodolfo Varela

Years Training: 25 Years 

Regional Chair: Rodolfo Varela – Region 10

My name is Aar√≥n Abraham Taabres.  When I was 13 years old my father wanted us to practice a sport and he looked for various styles such as lima lima, kung fu, and kick boxing.  Finally, he found a UFAF school (Mr. Mauro Guerrero).  At first it did not attract my attention, but as time passed it became interesting. I left after 2 years as a red belt because of my studies at the university but in 2006 I returned and I found the school of Mr. Rodolfo Varela.  I finally earned my first degree in 2009. It has become a lifestyle.  I am a systems engineer and I have worked at a high school for 15 years.  My most meaningful accomplishment has been earning 1st degree because I did not expect to reach that rank.  What have kept me steady in the martial arts throughout the many years is seeing just how far I can go.




Isaac Ivan Tabares

Studio: Olympus Athletes Karate Studio, Cd. Juarez/Chihuahua, Mex.

Instructor: Rodolfo Varela

Years Training: 25 Years 

Regional Chair: Rodolfo Varela – Region 10

My name is Isaac Ivan Tabares. I am a 39-year-old systems engineer with a master's degree.  I have been training and practicing the Chuck Norris System for 25 years.  I have had good experiences throughout that time both in local tournaments and in the ITC. My most meaningful experience was earning my first-degree black belt.  I’ve remained committed to my training through the past 25 years because like it, and I wish to obtain the maximum degree in United Fighting Arts Federation, as far as my health and age allow.







Enrique Vladimir Vasquez

Studio: Vazquez Karate Studio, Mexico City, Mexico

Instructor: Jorge Alonzo

Years Training: 28 Years 

Regional Chair: Jorge Alonzo – Region 12

I started Tang Soo Do at the age of 9 in 1994 and graduated from UFAF in 1998 at 13 years of age, I managed to win 12 national championships of the International Tang Soo Do Federation. I participated in the Pan American Youth Taekwondo Games in the 2000, obtaining the 2nd placeI certified as 2nd degree in Tae Kwon Do in 2009 before the National Sports Commission of Mexico and was awarded the state sports award in 2010.

 

I was awarded the 4th Degree in the Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do General Korea.  Finally, after a strong injury to my right leg, an operation, and months of recovery, I returned to CNS in 2019.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

2022 ITC Dress Code

 

2022 ITC Dress Code 







UFAF Chuck Norris System Uniform Requirements

- All students must conform to UFAF uniform standards for official events.

- Student uniforms must be all white (red trim – lapel only - for red belts)

- Chuck Norris System Patch on the left lapel and country flag on the upper left arm

- School patch on the upper right arm or right lapel (optional)

- Official “UFAF” back design REQUIRED FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS*

- Student last name required with back design for red/black belts (optional through green belt)

- Belt must represent your standard CNS rank: white, gold, purple, orange, blue, green, red, red w/black stripe, black.

- Stripe belts are also permitted: example green w/stripe. Stripe must run the length of the belt through the middle.

- If you are unsure of anything, or if you are a black belt in another system training in CNS, 

   please ask your instructor or contact memberservices@ufaf.org.


NOTE: The past "Team Chun Kuk Do" competition uniform will still be acceptable to wear for sparring in seminars 

and the tournament.


UFAF Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Uniform

UFAF members competing in the jiu-jitsu (grappling) divisions of the tournament must wear a UFAF BJJ uniform. 

Also, competitors are to wear the belt that represents rank/skill level in jiu-jitsu, NOT the Chuck Norris System.  

UFAF BJJ Uniforms are available through the UFAF Store, get your order in early, allow up to 3 weeks for delivery, 

they ship from Century Martial Arts Customs.


UFAF Member Dress Uniform (for the Gala)*

Men – Solid black slacks (no jeans) with a solid black blazer (black buttons) OR solid black suit, white shirt, and any 

color tie.


Women – Solid black skirt or slacks (no jeans) with a solid black blazer, white shirt or blouse OR solid black dress with 

a solid black blazer.


* Under Black Belt Members -  If you do not have the full dress uniform, please dress as close as possible 

(black pants/skirt, white shirt, tie, etc.)


UFAF badge on the left lapel (available for purchase in the UFAF Store or at the ITC if you don’t have one.)