Growing up in Brazil, the son of a renowned karate master, Riviera resident Lyoto Machida was destined to become a karate champion himself. And that is exactly what he did. A professional mixed martial arts fighter, Lyoto is a superstar of the UFC (United Fighting Championship).
Known as “the dragon,” Lyoto is the 1st UFC fighter to win a perfect record and is noted for his semi-orthodox fighting style, known as Machida Karate. This style of karate places its emphasis on self-defense while improving fitness and developing fighting skills.
Lyoto learned the art of karate starting at the age of three under the tutelage of his father, and earned his black belt at the age of 13. He began training in sumo at the age of eight and Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing at sixteen. Lyoto’s father, Yoshizo Machida, is a world-renowned Japanese-born Shotokan Karate sensei, who taught all three of his sons the art of karate when they were very young. He has two karate schools in Brazil where he has taught hundreds of students.
Now, Lyoto and his brother, Chinzo, who is also an acclaimed karate competitor, have opened a Machida Karate Academy right here in the South Bay. The Academy offers a variety of classes for all ages and skill levels.
“Machida Karate teaches the disciplines of respect and confidence, skills that are useful in every area of life,” said Lyoto. “The underlying philosophy in our style of teaching is to improve your body and mind while learning self-defense. It’s easy to learn and applicable in realistic situations.”
Classes offered at the Academy include the Machida Little Dragon Program for ages four to six, the Youth Samurai Program for ages seven to 14, a Fundamental Program for teen and adult students new to karate, and an Advanced Program for more experienced students.
Lyoto, his wife, Fabyola, and their two young sons moved to the Hollywood Rivera from Brazil five years ago.
“We love living here,” said Lyoto. “It’s such a nice neighborhood where we know each other but there’s also privacy and peace and quiet.”
To sign up for classes or learn more about the Machida Karate Academy, go to www.machidakarate.com or call 424- 347-7255. The Academy is located at 24333 Narbonne Avenue in Lomita.