Dr. Richard H. Iglesias was born in New York on March 30, 1947. He graduated from Dewitt Clinton High School in 1964. During his high school tenure he was on the Gymnastic Team. He also trained and practiced Judo throughout his high school years. In 1966, Richard enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. His first year he served on the USS Sandoval Battleship (with the 6th fleet) and traveled the Mediterranean. Dr. Iglesias’ second year in the Marine Corps (1967-1968), he served in Vietnam. Richard was stationed in Khe Sanh with the 1st Battalion 26th Marines, 3rd Marine Division during the TET Offensive.

After getting discharged he went to Business School and obtained an Associate Degree. Dr. Iglesias then went to St. Francis College as a Business Major, but switched his major to the newly developed Physical Education program. He graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree (in Physical Education). After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree, Richard then studied at New York University (N.Y.U.). Shortly after, he obtained a Master’s of Science Degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Neuromuscular Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation.

When Dr. Iglesias graduated from N.Y.U., he got hired by Lehman High School in the Bronx to teach Health and Physical Education courses. Unfortunately, due to the New York City (N.Y.C.) Budget Crisis, he was released from the position. Immediately after the layoff, Richard was hired by the Veterans Administration (V.A.) Medical Center. He was employed as the Corrective Exercise Therapist for Spinal Cord Injury Service.

After six to seven years, Richard decided to further his education and applied to Chiropractic College. Dr. Iglesias graduated in May (1986) from Life University and started in private practice January 1st of 1987. Three years into his practice he was one of 40 Chiropractors to attend a sports medicine course at the Lenin Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow, USSR. Five years later, Richard entered the Tristate College of Acupuncture and in 1999 graduated with a Master’s of Science degree in Acupuncture.

A Lifetime of Martial Arts:

Richard started his Martial Arts Training with the art of Judo in 1962. At that time in N.Y.C., the majority of the students training in Marital Arts were adults. These adults were primarily ex-servicemen. He used to train at Wagner Recreation Center on Saturdays and at St. John’s Recreation Center on Sundays. During these times Japanese instructors were teaching in private Judo clubs. Richard’s parents could not afford the tuition for him to study at these clubs, so he had to settle for training at the recreation centers.

Ironically, all the top competitors in N.Y.C. that trained at private judo clubs would go to Wagner on Saturdays and St. John’s on Sundays to Randori (Free-Style Sparring). Even though, Dr. Iglesias did not have a Chief Sensei as in a traditional setting, he was taught his techniques by learning from the practitioners who had mastered their own favorite competitive techniques. For example, if one competitor was great at the technique Uchimata, Richard learned that technique from that competitor. If another competitor was great at the technique Sei-Otoshi or the technique Tai-Otoshi, Richard learned that technique with him. If there were other competitors that were excellent in groundwork, Richard would train and study with those competitors. He immersed himself around master technicians and learned his techniques from each of these competitors respectively. These competitors were learning Judo at Jerome Mackey’s Judo Inc. Schools, the Tremont School of Judo & Jiu-Jitsu, the American Buddhist Academy, George Yoshidas’ Judo Club and/or the Judo Twins Judo Club.

As a young teenager, training judo with these ex-servicemen was rough and tough. Although, Richard never won at shiais (contest) against these top level competitors, the training and knowledge was priceless. Later on in his Judo career, Dr. Iglesias was fortunate to then further his training at the American Buddhist Academy, George Yoshidas’ Judo Club and Oishis’ Judo Club.

Richard’s love for Martial Arts is extremely profound. The dojo’s environment provided a small community of friends, which helped him cope with his return from Vietnam. It is quite evident that the Martial Arts and the comradery that Richard gained from the dojo’s atmosphere were in fact a form of therapy. As soon as he returned stateside (Treasure Island, San Francisco) to be processed for discharge, Richard began training every night at Gosei’s Yamaguchi Gojukai Dojo. After being discharged, Dr. Iglesias returned home and immediately continued his Martial Arts training. Richard’s instant return to Martial Arts was like second nature; as if he had never stopped training. Strangely enough, he returned to San Francisco a month later to represent New York in the first World Gojukai Karate Championship in 1968.

Dr. Iglesias has studied Martial Arts for over fifty years. The following is a list of his accomplishments and specific ranks in various Marital Arts:

• Black Belt (Level 10) in the Hayastan MMA
• 5th Degree Black Belt (Godan) in Judo
• Certified Instructor for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
• 7th Degree Black Belt in Goju-Ryu Karate
• N.Y. State Certified Physical Education Teacher