Tom Callos began studying the martial arts in Reno, Nevada in 1971 at age 11 under Taekwondo instructor Lou Grasso; earning his first-degree black belt in 1979. In 1980 he moved to San Jose, California to become a student of Master Ernie Reyes, Sr. In 1982 Tom opened the Reno branch of West Coast TKD, the first outside of California. He was a top ten Regional Forms competitor (Karate Illustrated magazine), a four-time Nevada State Welterweight TKD champion, and a competitor in two US National Championships. He won a 4th place in forms at the Battle of Atlanta in the hard-style Korean forms division and took a 2nd place in forms at the European Karate Championships held in Argos, Greece in 1988.
Beginning in 1980, Tom had the pleasure to train and perform with the original West Coast Demo Team. The team consisted of Ernie Reyes, Sr. and Jr. (then eight years old), Margie Betke, George Chung, Soo Gin Lee, Gary Nakahama, Dayton Pang, Belinda Davis, Scott Coker and, beginning in 1982, Cynthia Rothrock. As a member of the West Coast Demo team Tom performed with many of the greatest martial artists of our time, including Billy Blanks, Eric Lee, Fumio Demura, Tadashi Yamashita, Jean Frennete, Karen Turner and many others.
Tom was part of the Ernie Reyes Acting & Stunt Team and worked in the ABC TV series SideKicks and Disney's Secret Bodyguard. He also appeared in the film Surf Ninjas and did martial arts choreography on the set of Waterworld.
After attending a business seminar in 1986 with Master Jhoon Rhee, Tom's schools quickly grew from 80 students to 250 in a year. In 1992 more than 800 students participated in his school's classes each week. He was invited to serve on the Board of Directors for Educational Funding Company and came to be known for his beginner's introductory lessons and skill in teaching children.
In 1995 Tom sold his (2) schools and took a 7-year writer's sabbatical on the Big Island of Hawaii. He began contributing articles to most of the major martial arts magazines and eventually joined the staff of the National Association of Professional Martial Artists (NAPMA) as a columnist and video-instructor. He has been a contributor to Shape magazine, Women's Sports & Fitness, Women Outside, Filipinas, Cooking Light, Storie, and Modern Maturity. At the beginning of 1999, Tom married Kathy Harris of Hawaii, and along with their three children, moved to Lotus, California. In 2001 Tom started Tom Callos Enterprises and began collaboration with the Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA) where he oversees the content and design of MAIA's monthly "SuccessKit" consulting and school management program.
Among Tom's creations are the Tom Callos Introductory Lesson (used by EFC), the NAPMA Children's Curriculum, "Way of the Phone," The Random Acts of Kindness Program, and the Six Tasks Character Development Program (SixTasks.com View Site).
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11/30/2008 11:53:28 AM | Genius and madness aren"t so far apart, and Master Callos walks the line between the two with grace. If you can execute 5% of the ideas that Tom generates, you"ll be on your way to becoming a leader in your community. Thanks, coach!
11/28/2008 9:15:29 AM | I teach Karate at an after school program in New York, and one of
the goals is to help the children to build a habit of doing better
everyday by doing their best daily. By remembering how they did the day
before would help them to improve what all of them do daily.
Gilvan DosSantos Gentil
11/28/2008 8:32:25 AM | Tom: keep me informed on your movement. I have always had my students be active in making the community better. (Body/spirit/community). Too many schools are mind and technique only....and thus the students are not totally prepared for the street, and do not give back to their towns. Any way I can help...let me know.
11/27/2008 12:55:44 PM | Great site, As a shotokan teacher you dedication and passion is an inspiration to all.
11/27/2008 11:13:02 AM | Well, Happy Thanksgiving to you all too! Thank you Master Fariborz for the glowing kindness, thank you to Jen and Jeff for your enthusiasm. Thank you too to every school owner/teacher/and student who has taken the Ultimate Black Belt Test --or taken ideas from it. Thank you for, what...now 38 years of fun?! Thank you!
11/27/2008 10:56:37 AM | I have considered Tom my mentor for the past ten years and I am lucky to be a member of his UBBT Team 6. The innovative and interesting ideas he continues to come up with never cease to inspire and motivate me. While it is not Thanksgiving in Canada, I am truly grateful for everything Tom has brought into my life. Thanks Tom.
11/27/2008 10:28:40 AM | I have been fortunate to be a member of UBBT Team 4, and now Team 6. I can"t tell you how profoundly Tom has changed the way that I view martial arts, and the teaching of the arts. He is truly a visionary, and we are so proud to have him as our Coach. Running a business is always challenging, but he has brought a new sense of purpose and contribution to teaching the arts that we love. Thank you Tom!
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