Tony Martinez began his karate training at the age of 14 under Fumio Demura Sensei, but funds at home got tight and he had to drop out after about six months. That brief exposure had instilled his love for karate and he had no idea then that he would pursue martial arts instruction for the remainder of his life.
In 1969 he joined the US Marine Corps. Not only did it enable him to see different parts of the world, but it also exposed him to numerous karate styles and their teachers. Once again he could continue his training, in Okinawa, in the Philippines, in Panama and in Southeast Asia.
After the experience of Southeast Asia, in 1971 he was assigned to Camp Pendleton in Oceanside California where he continued training in Shu Do Kan Karate under Sensei John Broderick. His Sho Dan and Ni Dan grades cost him numerous bruises and sprains as Broderick Sensei was of the old school, he trained with him until 1974 when the Marine Corps transferred him to Massachusetts. Here he discovered Isshin Ryu Karate in which he eventually gained Yon Dan. He trained with Sensei's Chester Holubecki, Chris Stevenson and Lewis Lizzote.
He left the Marine Corps in 1976 and stayed in Massachusetts to pursue his education. He continued with IsshinRyu and in 1979, he met Sensei Noriyasu Kudo, who became his sensei. Kudo Sensei proved to be one of the best teachers of karate he ever had the opportunity of training with. After training for six years which included teaching five days a week for four years, he awarded Tony with his Godan rank.
In that same year they started practicing Ashihara Karate and in 1986, Kancho Ashihara personally came to train and test their progress. He was honored with the San Dan Grade. He joined the US Air Force Reserve in 1984 and in 1988 they offered him a full time position as a recruiting supervisor. He was transferred to San Antonio Texas and opened a small dojo with a select group of students training and teaching three days a week. After three years he was transferred to Denver, Colorado where he continued his training with Shihan Joko Ninomiya, who had since formed Enshin Karate. For the next three years he made full use of that opportunity by training, questioning and learning as much as he could of Enshin karate. In 1994, someone got the bright idea of transferring him to Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. Making use of the local base gymnasium, he ran a small dojo. Finally in 1998, he retired from the U S Air Force.
Two years before his retirement, he had put Enshin Karate aside. He continued to train and teach on his own trying to figure out what to do with himself and what direction he needed to go. In February of 2000, along comes Hoosain Narker, whom he had met and trained with years earlier. During that time period, they had corresponded on an adhoc basis and when he saw what Hoosain Narker was doing for Ashihara Karate, he offered his immediate assistance. At age 50, now in the third part of his life, he realizes that this is the direction he needed to go. A new challenge faces him!
Other than his karate, he is also the National Sales Director for AccuChecker Software.