Shihan Mark Parra is the Founder, Director & Chief Instructor of The House of Champions, Academy of Martial Arts in San Fernando Valley.
There is over thirty years of Martial Arts experience in his blood and Black Belts in four different styles and disciplines. His first experience with the Arts was watching Bruce Lee as Kato in the television series “The Green Hornet”. His second encounter was with Benny “The Jet” Urquidez and his family. Click here for more on Sensei Mark & Benny ‘the Jet’ Urquidez. In 1978, Mark trained with the Urquidez Brothers at the North Valley ’s YMCA, a journey that will last a lifetime. Mark is one of only a few elite Black Belts ever bestowed upon by The Jet Center and the Urquidez Family. Ten years later Mark became the Director of the Martial Arts Program at the Jet Center in Van Nuys, California before closing its doors in 1994. A year later Mark opened the HOUSE OF CHAMPIONS. Five years later in 2000, a spectacular 6,500 square feet facility opened to the public. Mark has received the Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and contribution to the Martial Arts, presented by Grand Master Cecil Peoples.
Mark continues to further his knowledge through ongoing studies under Arjukenpo Grand Master Vince Palumbo of Adelaide, South Australia and by Grand Master Anthony Kleeman of Grand Master Cacoy Canete’s “Doce Pares” Filipino Fighting Arts of Cebu, Philippines.
As a Los Angeles personal trainer his private clients range from Film, TV, Radio and Music Industries, such as Nicollette Sheridan and Eva Longoria of “Desperate Housewives”, Ellen K of “KIIS FM”, Dave Mustaine of Megadeath World Tour 1991 – 1992 and Paula Trickey of “Pacific Blue”. Over a twenty year span, Mark has worked in Hollywood appearing in many films such as “HP Love Crafts “The Unnamable”, TV’s “The Young & The Restless” and KZLA’s radio interview on “Gangs in L.A. ”. Mark is also a trained actor who is currently involved in many projects including “13 Dead Men”, “Soft Target”, “Spin” and “Dream Girls”.
As a public service to his San Fernando Valley community, Mark and The House of Champions continue to make headlines. Mark and The House of Champions have been featured in The Los Angeles Daily News and International Martial Arts publications around the world. The House has appeared on L.A. ’s UPN News for Mark’s charitable work with children and adults who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), on FOX’s Good Day LA for his work against gang violence in Los Angeles and students with special needs. Currently, The House of Champions “Make a Difference Program” is enhancing the lives of children with autism.
Mark has worked and trained with many professional and amateur fighters, both in boxing and kickboxing: World Kickboxing Champion Peter “Sugarfoot” Cunningham, Danny “Hard As” Steel, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Mia “The Knockout” St. John , Hector Lopez and more.
Working with children is by far Mark’s true passion. “I am very proud of the quality of young people I get to work with here at The House of Champions. I can’t begin to tell you how gratifying it is to see a young person blossom through The Martial Arts: by getting better grades, staying focused, becoming more respectful at home and at school, and by learning to help others in need. That’s why we do what we do! This Academy has amazing instructors with some of the top resumes in the world. If we didn’t have a heart for changing and improving people’s lives, we wouldn’t be here.”
“Our main goal and reason for existence is not only to create champions of the ring, but champions of the heart.”