Dion Dangzalan (“Mr. D”) – is the founder of the Kaijin-Ryu Karate system.
He has been studying karate since the age of 6, under the tutelage of Sensei Terry Dunphy and his brother, Todd Dunphy. He attained his black belt at the age of 14 in the Zen Bei Butoku Kai International Organization, which follows the Shorinji Ryu style of traditional karate. He also studied Shotokan karate under his father, Simon, and trained with the members of the original Santa Cruz Karate Club. Other styles of karate Mr. D has trained in includes Machida Karate, Enshin Karate and Kyokushin. He is also trained in Judo, American Jiujitsu, American Boxing, Muay Thai, Pankration and MMA.
Mr. D competed in both kata (traditional forms) and kumite (full contact and point fighting) in his younger years, but now has a passion for “applicable” or “practical” karate, which is applying kata movements to real life self defense and sport scenarios. He is skilled in a variety of traditional weapons, such as bo, jo, nunchaku, tonfa and sai. His last competitive fight was in February 2023 at the Surf City Open. While Mr. D loves to compete, he prefers to set that aside and focus on teaching and coaching young, up-and-coming Budoka.
Besides running the karate program at Kaijin MMA, he is a karate instructor and student at Sanford’s Martial Arts under Hanshi Rod Sanford and his son, Sensei Sean Sanford.