Todd Dunphy: Martial Arts Master – From Gangsters to God

Todd Dunphy

Legendary Martial Arts Champion Todd Dunphy began training in martial arts at the young age of 12 years old. Nixon was President, and violence was in the air. It was 1972, and a young Todd Dunphy was living in Santa Cruz, California, training in Karate with his brother Terry, who handed down some of his secret training in the Marines to his little brother, Serving as his role model.

Todd Dunphy was not yet old enough to join the Marines too, but he followed in his brother’s footsteps as best as he could. The young lad joined military school, ready to become a better fighter.

Todd Dunphy: Martial Arts Master - From Gangsters to God 1
Image: Todd Dunphy, 2017.

Fight Night

Flash forward years later: An adult Todd Dunphy got caught up in the wrong crowd, yet still addicted to the adrenaline rush of a good fight. Drinking, doing drugs, and partying constantly, yet still training daily in martial arts, every night was ‘Fight Night’ in his Martial Arts Dojo.

Yet when that was over, he’d then head to the local bar, do shots, and get in bar fights and street fights in his local Santa Cruz area, and beyond.

The Kray Brothers: England’s Most Notorious Gangsters

The hard-living took its toll on Dunphy. He went from a bar brawler and street fighter, to a prison fighter, doing hard time not once – but twice during his life behind bars for fighting and dealing in millions of dollars worth of drugs. First, back in 1996 in London, England’s notorious Maidstone Prison held the early Karate Champion, where he met none other than Reginald “Reggie” Kray, of the notorious “Kray Brothers” Gang, the most notorious gangster England had ever seen. Reggie Kray was the subject of a major motion picture starring Gary Kemp. For months, the Celebrity Gangster and rising Karate Star boxed together, dined together, and become good friends.


During his last stint in the slammer before his release in 2014, the Feds reportedly offered Todd Dunphy a plea bargain – Give up his houses and bank accounts and go free, or do hard time. He says he chose the time, but admits the Feds still snagged a lot of his loose cash – nearly a half a million dollars.

Warrior for Christ: Mel Novak

It was soon after one of these long days in prison, where the Certified Bad Boy met Mel Novak. Mel Novak tours the country for his famous Prison Ministries, preaching to convicts behind bars about how to quit playing in the devil’s playground, stop the drugs and boozing, and devote their life to Christ. Mel Novak also happened to be a movie star and Martial Arts Legend in his own right, who fought Bruce Lee in the motion picture “The Game of Death” and others.

Born Again

Realizing his way was not working, Martial Arts Master Todd Dunphy went from gangsters – to God, as he decided to take a chance on Mel’s teachings. After all, he had little to lose. It was settled.

Todd become a Born Again Christian, and has not touched any drugs or alcohol for years. He went back to training – this time in Kata Karate, letting this further adrenaline rush replace dope, booze, and cocaine. He was finally a free man, physically, and spiritually. He had found God. He stopped street fighting, and – since he was no longer visiting bars, quit the bar brawls as well. He then decided to begin entering some Tournaments – a lot of them.

Championship Record Holder

In fact, Todd Dunphy went on to reportedly enter more championships than most anyone on the planet. He entered 28 tournaments last year in 2016, competing every other weekend. He admits, “Traveling and doing as many tournaments as I can, and competing, this is my new drug. I don’t drink any more, and I don’t smoke. I don’t do stupid stuff any more. It’s not to cheap to compete, but I can afford to do it. It keeps me grounded and makes me happy.”

Todd Dunphy competes in Empty Hand Kata, Traditional Weapons, and an Open Division where he is able to make up his own sequences. He competes in many Divisions, the TaeKwonDo Division, and between 4 to 5 different age groups, competing in 18 divisions in the USA championships alone.

TaeKwonDo Champion

With scars on all of his knuckles, Todd states that he is well conditioned. He also knows some other styles including Tai Chi, and a little bit of Kenpo and Kick Boxing. Todd says he likes the Japanese basic styles the best, with their strong, low solid stances. He also likes TaeKwonDo for its flashy, long, extended, beautiful kicks, “I incorporate TaeKwonDo to do kicks with solid, strong Japanese stances,” Todd admits. Adding, “What style is better for fighting to me, really depends on how a person trains and how good they are versus how good their opponent is in another style,” suggesting that skill beats style, any day.

Karate Champion

Actor, Model, Professional Fighter, and World Karate Champion, Todd Dunphy is the only adult male to earn 6 Gold Medals in the history of the WKC, World Championships. A Traditional Kata Champion, Traditional Weapons Champion, and Multiple World Champion winner from Tournaments in Ireland, Florida, Portugal, USA, and beyond, Todd Dunphy is a 20 times Gold Medal holder for the USA World Championship.

With an incredible 45 gold Medal victories at the World Championships, he has competed in 38 Divisions in the USA this year alone, with 20 competitions last year, 57 in the Long Beach International, and in over 100 Divisions in 4 Tournaments in the past 12 months alone.

Todd Dunphy holds a black Belt in TaeKwonDo, a 5th Degree Black Belt in Dux Ryu Ninjutsu, and a 7th Degree Black Belt in Karate. Never one to give up, Todd Dunphy says, “I want to tell my story to young kids out there. I want them to see me, and how I did it, how I turned my life around. Drugs are not the answer. If you want to be a winner, you have to be strong, in your body, mind, and spirit. I want to spread that message to the world.”

Todd Dunphy: Actor and Martial Arts Master

Todd Dunphy, also a leading actor, performs in a fight choreography scene in the video here below:

For more information about Todd Dunphy, visit the Official Website at:

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