Al Dacascos was Mark's first Sifu (martial arts teacher). Moriko McVey, Mark's natural mother, was also one of Al Dacascos' students.
Malia Bernal, Mark's "second mother," became Mark's second Sifu. She was one of the top ten competitors in the United States, and for five years was rated as the Number One female competitor in weapons, fighting and forms. She was also the first female to grace the cover of "Black Belt" magazine.
Sifu Al went on to become the originator and founder of his own style of martial arts, which is now known as WUN HOP KUEN DO, which has Chinese and Filipino influences. It's a combination fist-arts style that derives from KAJUKENBO (KArate, JUdo Jujitsu, KENpo, and Chinese & Western BOxing), which was developed in Hawaii. You can sign up for classes with Al Dacascos if you're in the Portland, Oregon area:
Mark was literally born into martial arts, specifically the discipline of Wun Hop Kuen Do Kung Fu. However, while winning his first international tournament at the age of only nine, even genetics could not yet determine just how much he would eventually excel.
At 17, Mark traveled to Taiwan, to study with his third Sifu, Muo-Hui Shen. Muo-Hui Shen then taught Chin-Na and Shui Jiao (Chinese Judo), which is where one uses the opponent's clothing to "wrap" the person, thus disabling him/her.
As he'd done throughout his childhood, Mark went on to demonstrate martial arts and compete in tournaments, early on developing an obvious affinity for performing.
Mark is also a student of Professor Jiang Hao-Quan, who teaches various Shao-Lin styles, as well as Chin Na, Shui Jao, and Tai Chi.
He's been a Capoeira student of Amen Santo's, who played his teacher in the movie, "Only the Strong."
The January 1999 issue of "Inside Kung Fu" features Mark on its cover. In the November 1998 issue of "Men's Fitness," there is not only a cover photo of Mark, but a whole section on him.
Martial arts has... "always been a part of my life, and I'll work hard to keep it that way. There have been times when I've hardly trained. There have been a few times when I've needed to take a break and practice other things. But if I'm honest with myself, there's never been a time that I've thought that I'd stop altogether. I was blessed with having three parents, two of whom are, in my humble opinion, amazing martial artists (Al Dacascos and Malia Bernal). I'd like to someday teach and share some of the things they taught and shared with me. Having been their student, and thus learning about hard work and dedication at an early age, really helped prepare me for my life as an actor. The mental and spiritual aspects have helped me as much as the physical training. Actually, I think they've been more important. Thanks, Mom and Pop!"
Magazines, DVDs, Books and Movies
| Featured on the Cover of Magazine
| Inside Karate | 2/1992 |
Feb 1992 Inside Karate Magazine
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Mark Dacascos (Birthday)