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Daniel Medina was born in Brooklyn, New York. Having spent most of his childhood in
New York and occasionally Puerto Rico, Dan witnessed many of his friends turn down the
wrong path. He was not willing to accept this fate, so at the young age of 17, he joined the
U.S. Navy and set out to see the world.
Dan’s military career spanned 22 years and offered
him the excitement and knowledge he longed for.
During that time he was able to circle the globe 2 ½
times and took every opportunity to explore different
countries and cultures. It was early in Dan Medina’s
military career that he was introduced to the world of
Martial Arts. The U.S. Navy trained him in Combat
Judo and the Navy Seal Quick Kill methods. This only
served to wet his appetite for the combat martial arts.
In 1974 Puerto Rico
was a hot-spot for racial
tension and terrorism which
spawned constant violent
eruptions. The U.S. Navy
was called in to assist with
Dan Medina found himself in the
middle of this violent time. In 1978
Medina was stationed in the
Philippines – The wild west of the
orient. Marshall Law was still in effect
and trouble was never far away. As a
member of the office of the Provost Marshall
he was assigned to the Philippine
Constabulary, now known as the Philippine
National Police. The training the Navy provided
for this tour of duty was good but Daniel wanted
to continue his training. It was during this time
that he was introduced to Escrima, and other Filipino martial arts. His training could not come
fast or fierce enough for the young Dan Medina as he was putting his skills to the test on a daily
basis. Enforcing curfews and subduing violent political agitators were constant occurrences.
Duty was dangerous and Dan’s extensive training in joint locks and choke holds was invaluable.
One of the many duties Dan Medina performed was the retrieval of A.W.L. soldiers who had
chosen the life of drug dealing and racketeering over their commitment to the military. Dan’s
assignment was to bring them back, which was no small duty since these new entrepreneurs
were heavily armed and often surrounded by well paid bodyguards. Medina always got his
man, although sometimes they weren't conscious when he returned them to their post.
During his tour of duty in the Philippines, Master Medina studied Karate under Master Reynaldo
Gingco in Olongapo City and joined the Black Masters Sphinx Karate Clan of the
After achieving his black belt, he went on to study Escrima and Kali. These deadly arts have
recently enjoyed some tournament exposure here in the U.S., but in the Philippines they are not
considered a sport but rather a way to survive. Often these skills which were taught at an early
age were used in real fighting situations. The Filipino people have an extensive martial arts
arsenal including many variations of Escrima, Arnis, and Kali;The famous Balisong knife, latiko
(the whip), bagakay (wooden dart), espada y daga (sword and dagger), sagasa (kickboxing),
sinawali (single and double stick style), Dumog (grappling and submission holds), joint lock
styles, and much more.
After returning to the United States, Medina continued his Escrima training under the watchful
eyes of famous Grand Master Narrie Babao, the first full contact weapons champion of the U.S.
Four years later, Dan Medina was transferred to Hawaii and as luck would have it, Grand
Master Babao sent the eager student with a reccomendation to train with the Great Grand
Master Braulio Pedoy. The direct lineage of Derobio Escrima continues thru Master Medina.
Dan Medina has also had the honor of learning from the best and is proud to name Masters
Ricardo Mendoza, Manny M. de Leon, Phillip Pabalinas and Shihan Ray Barrera as just
a few of his illustrious teachers.
Maestro Medina has exchanged ideas and techniques with the likes of Snookie Sanchez,
Richard Bustillo, William and Paul DeThouers, Jimmy Tacosa, Ron and Russell Harris,
Dan Inosanto and many others.
Master Medina’s quest for knowledge has taken him to Thailand, Singapore, China,
Hawaii and Hong Kong. He currently holds black belt rankings in Black Masters Sphinx
Karate, Kyo Kushin Kai, Kun Tao, Swanda Kobudo, Sagasa, Aikido and of course his
Derobio in which he is the Regional High Chief Instructor.
Because of his contributions to the martial arts, he has received an Honorary Doctorate in
Philosophy and was inducted into the International Karate and Kickboxing Hall of Fame in
August of 2001. Master Medina has used his extensive martial arts background to train many
police departments, flight attendants and pilots after 9/11, and large anti-terrorist organizations
including the Department of Energy.
In November of 2009, Dan Medina was inducted into the U.S.A. Black Belt Hall of Fame then
in January 2010 inducted into the Action Martial Arts Magazine’s Hall of Honors.
In March 2010 he was named Escrima Instructor of the Year by the World Head of Family
Additionally, in March of 2011, Maestro Medina was recognized and Inducted as the newest
member of the W.H.F.S.C. Hall of Fame as founder and Grand Master of the Majapai
Dan Medina’s accomplishments go beyond what we have listed here but this will give you an
understanding of who you are choosing as your instructor.
On March 15th, 2009 Dan Medina was promoted to 6th degree Red & White Belt by the
founder of The World Empire of Sphinx Martial Arts and Arnis 63 Generals Federation
International, Master Jimmy B. Galez. Medina was also appointed Sphinx Vice President
of Florida, USA
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