Shihan Sensei Louis D. Casamassa - Grandmaster / Founder 10th Degree
He is the man responsible for all that is within Red Dragon. Without his vision and drive the
organization we all know would not have come to be. Thousands of lives have been impacted as a result if his creativity and passion. I t all started in the early 1960’s when, as a young Marine stationed in Japan, he began training in karate. His early training was under the guidance of his military police partner at the time, Sensei Nagano. This training was an all-day event and was soon followed by his evening training in Judo under Sensei Yagome. As one of the early Americans exposed to martial arts training he found that learning multiple styles of martial arts complemented each other. He was one of the very first Americans promoted to black belt in Judo and that promotion came under the founder of Judo’s son. In those days training in multiple arts was all but unheard of making his journey a unique one. A pioneer of mixing martial arts he did not stop at karate and judo. He continued to train in many different styles earning black belts in multiple disciplines. So that others would not need to
travel the same path he began to combine the styles forming American Karate, later to be called Red Dragon Karate. Today his pioneering journey has resulted in the most diverse and practical martial art systems in the world.
Shihan Chris Casamassa - President / CEO - 9th Degree
Literally born into the martial arts, he is the eldest son of Red Dragons Grand Master and founder. Trained by his father and exposed to other grand masters throughout his life has given him a unique perspective on the changes and direction that the martial arts are moving in today. As a young man he also became involved in acting and has been part of many block buster movies highlighting martial arts such as Batman, Mortal Combat, and Blade. Also active as world class competitor in the sport martial arts circuit he won several titles establishing himself as a world class martial artist and athlete. As the current Chief Executive Officer of Red Dragon and the heir to the Red Dragon Legacy he helps guide and set the path of Red Dragon for the next generations of martial artists. Acting as the Head Instructor of the Glendora studio he continues to lead by example teaching and training the next generation of leaders in his schools every week. The stage has been set for the next generation of Casamassa’s with his son and daughter both very active in training and preparing to take their part in the family legacy.
Shihan Mike Jablonski - Vice President / Chief Referee
As the Chief Instructor for Red Dragon and the right hand of our founder he has been a pivotal
influence in the evolution of Red Dragon Karate. The Azusa dojo is his studio and has continued to produce some fantastic martial artists since the1980’s. Before dedicating his life to the martial arts, he was an efficiency expert and that attention to detail is seen in his students and his approach to teaching. He had extensive experience in western boxing and had already grown accustomed to victory in the ring before starting his eastern martial arts training. When Red Dragon came out west, he was riding shotgun on the road trip with Shi-Han Sensei. As the longest standing student of Red Dragons founder he has been a part of all of the changes and development for over forty years. He has helped the martial arts step out from the shadows of mysticism and broadened the understanding of the arts with his enlightened approach. A student of his reflected, “Just when you think that Shi- Han has run out of teaching surprises he blasts you with enough to keep you busy for years.” Always
looking to improve training methods he has developed a martial arts training program that is both traditional and revolutionary. He has trained world champions and competition teams that have created lasting impressions within the martial arts community.
Shihan Tom Cosgrove - Vice President/ Finance and Operations
He began his training in 1976 under the instruction of Red Dragons founder Shi-Han Sensei Louis D. Casamassa. He was the first trainee that Shi-Han Sensei prepared to run a dojo while at the same time teaching him the art of Red Dragon. His passion for the martial arts along with an almost eidetic memory for kata’s helped him excel in his training. In 1982 he became the head instructor of the Upland dojo. One of his unique qualities is his ability to read and analyze a student and to then teach them how to improve their overall skill. Not only does he tower over most of the people at Red Dragon events, being 6’ 4” tall before hair products, he has also set the bar high for others winning numerous martial arts and civic awards for his contribution to the arts and community as a whole. One of his long-time students remarked, “Shi- Han takes real joy in watching as his students develop and grow not just as martial artists but through their understanding of the Code of The Dragon as people.” As a traditional style martial artist with strong ties to Red Dragons roots in Judo and several full contact fighting champions he has become a beacon to those along the warriors path. Married and having the pleasure of raising twin daughters and now elevated to the rank of Shi-Paw (Shi-Han Grandpa) his family has much to be proud of in their patriarch.
Shihan Mohammad Jahn-Vash - Vice President/ Competitions & Seminars
Coming to America from Persia as young man he sought a path that would allow him to chase the American Dream and to channel his passion and energy, Red Dragon does both. Under the training of Shi-Han Sensei he developed into a true master of the martial arts. Fueled with a love of competition he pushed himself and now pushes students to exceed their expectations. Whether he is breaking giant stacks of bricks or creating exciting new tournament forms he is always pushing to see if he can create something new and unique. Never one to settle for “good enough”, he is on a constant pursuit to ensure that his studio produces the best martial artists possible. As the promoter of the largest and most prestigious sport karate competition on the west coast, COMPETE Nationals, he has established himself in the martial arts community as a leader and visionary in the modern martial arts competition arena. Not surprising his three children have become champions in their own right under their father’s instruction. He is the head instructor of the Diamond Bar dojo, where he and his wife help champions hone their skills. His exterior often appears hard, stern, and intense to outsiders. His students know that his commitment and passion for their growth is matched only by the warmth and concern he has for their well-being.
ShiHan Deanna Bivins, 7th Degree
A charismatic and positive person she stands as an example of the confidence that martial arts helps instill. Creative and artistic she demonstrates a colorful approach to teaching and group demonstrations. In an area dominated by men she has shown that gender is not a factor when it comes to skill or quality. As a young woman she found in Red Dragon a way to push herself and empower others to push barriers. Traveling around the world competing she established herself as an expert in the competition circuit. Palm Desert is the dojo where she is the head instructor and the only female studio owner at this time. Her non-judgmental approach to teaching allows students to grow and develop at their own pace in a safe and friendly environment. Experienced working with students that have both physical and mental learning challenges, she has excelled in exposing them to the arts and growing as individuals. Students that are a part of her studio find that they have joined an extended family that is filled with support and brotherhood. It is clear to see from the loyalty of her student how she has touched their lives and the gift that she has shared with them.
Master Frank Adams, 6th Degree
A quite and controlled man with an almost whimsical manner, he has been an ever- present part of Red Dragon events for decades. Most know him as “the trophy guy” or “video man” but the reality is that he was a powerful presence in the tournament circuit before he opened his studio. As head instructor of the Apple Valley school in the high desert he has been helping students on their journey through the martial arts for many years. As Red Dragons official videographer, he has combined his martial arts enthusiasm with his electronic passion. A man of few words, but a very warm and inviting personality he enjoys seeing the impact his teaching has on the students fortunate enough to train under him. With his wife as his right hand, the high desert residents have a place where wisdom, experience, and compassion help guide them on their path to Black Belt. His children have grown and moved out into the world taking his teachings with them, just as his students today continue to do. He has worn many hats in his journey through life, but the one that suits him best is that of Sensei.
Master Ned Reber, 6th Degree
A focused perfectionist that never learned failure was a possibility he focuses his energy on helping his students discover that their limits are only set by themselves. He began his training in the late 70’s and has been involved in martial arts ever since. Having been a part of military and paramilitary organizations throughout his life is evident in his teaching structure and focus. Earning his Black Sash in Kun Tao along with his Black Belt in Judo is a reflection of his understating of its importance in self-defense applications. As a police officer in the East Los Angeles area and dealing with counter terrorism activities overseas he has had a first-hand opportunity to see how the skills he shares can impact the outcome of an altercation. Head instructor of the Etiwanda and Alta Loma dojos he shares his teachings with the next generation of instructors. His wife and five children are often seen at the various Red Dragon events caught up in the whirlwind of different aspects that he is involved in with Red Dragon.
Master Joe Class, 5th Degree
Possessing the determination of a pit bull and the heart of a lion he has spent his entire adult life dedicated to sharing the art of Red Dragon with his students. Strong willed and determined he has pushed through many challenges and obstacles to continue his journey in the arts. As head instructor of the Ontario dojo he has found a place that is his true home. He spends most of his time teaching private lessons to ensure each student reaches their potential and meet his strict standards. Having trained and fought in the kickboxing circuit he now enjoys working with those who have a passion for full contact fighting as their trainer and coach. Understanding the struggles that often face families he has shown creative and diverse ways of helping students overcome those struggles and become part of Red Dragon. His family is an active part of his studio and he can often be found with his youngest son perched at his side during training. As a fan of mixed martial arts his classes reflect this enthusiasm for the sport aspect with forays into ground fighting and combination drills at the center of classes.
Master William Anderson, 5th Degree
In January of 1997, Sensei William Anderson began his training at Red Dragon Karate. Three and a half years later, he was promoted to Black Belt. Before Sensei William was full time instructor, he worked as an engineer. He realized that karate was something he could not live without and began to take it more seriously. He became the general manager at Chino Hills in July of 2003 and became the owner of the studio in 2008. Sensei William describes karate as being a fulfillment beyond anything he has ever experienced before. During his journey to Black Belt, he had talented instructors including Shi-Han Chris Casamassa, Sensei Roland Osborne, Sensei Scott Holt and Mr. Steve Fisher. With all this knowledge he started one of the first MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Clubs in Red Dragon at the Chino Hills studio. Sensei William is very thankful for Red Dragon Karate as a system and an organization. He is especially thankful for the insight and foresight that inspired Shi-Han Sensei Lou Casamassa to create a style of martial arts that is so powerful and universal. Sensei William still finds free time in his schedule for video games, “You have probably been fragged by me if you play Call of Duty.”
Sensei Shelly Debin-Toland, 4th Degree
Her involvement as a “dojo mom” quickly evolved into being the front counter manager for the
Glendora dojo. Soon Shi-Han Casamassa convinced her that she should be training, not watching from the sidelines. Early in her training she was diagnosed with Lupus and found physical training to be very challenging. She found the saying “What the mind can see and believe, the body can Achieve” was very true in relation to her training. Actively fight training with Master Steve Fisher on a regular basis showed her she could do the things she’d been told were not possible. While demonstrating her passion for the arts she won several champion and grand champion titles. Defying her doctor’s beliefs and exhibiting her rebellious nature she pushed onward and upward in Red Dragon. Coming from a business ownership and management background, that included a fitness center for over a decade, her passion for the martial arts from its early stages focused on enhancing the operations of Red Dragon studios. Now serving in several executive positions within the Red Dragon organization she has found that with the help of Red Dragon Karate limits are simply goals to be surpassed. Her husband, two children, and granddaughter can all be proud of the example she has set.
Sensei Shane Toland, 4th Degree
He began his training like many of his generation as a young boy excited by the dynamic martial arts seen in today’s television and movies. Starting his training in 200 he has literally grown up in the dojo. This current perspective has shown him first-hand how Red Dragon can shape the future of a student as it had done for him. Active in several sports growing up outside of the martial arts including hockey and surfing he enjoys a very active lifestyle that is clear when he takes the floor teaching classes. Under the training and guidance of Shi-Han Casamassa he quickly excelled and became an owner of the La Verne studio, heralding the arrival of the next generation of martial artists. Whether it is getting his pilot’s license or next certification as a scuba diver he is constantly checking off personal goals the same way he teaches his students to do the same. His youthful teaching approach coupled with a young man’s life spread before him is a synergistic union. He is poised to inspire the next generation as he was inspired, to pursue their dreams.