Courtesy of Marcus Gonsalves
Isaac Razo, left, battles Dan Fletcher in a karate match to win the Arizona championship in February.
“If it wasn’t for my dad, I would’ve never got into it. It was all because of him and what he did,” Isaac Razo said.
Louie “The Force” Razo, 63, also known as the Bulldog, was a pioneer in mixed martial arts, but also for his young son. Little did he know, his son would become a four-sport athlete, a champion and DragonDo black belt fighter.
“At a young age, I understood my father was one of the pioneers of what you see today in mixed martial arts,” Isaac Razo, 31, said proudly. “In the early 70’s, he was fighting full contact — bare knuckles, no mouth piece. Back in those days, there were no laws or regulations. You didn’t have to wear protection, You just line up and go. I saw that a young age, around seven, and I wanted to be a part of that.”
It’s safe to say, Razo is a big part of it now. Razo specializes in point karate — he won a championship recently in Phoenix- full-contact karate and kickboxing. Razo will make his debut in the boxing circuit this summer as his fourth sport.
One of the qualities that Razo admired most about his father was his demeanor out of the ring. Razo credits his dad’s personable persona as a role model that he puts into practice every day.
“He was tenacious and he was aggressive in the ring, but the nicest guy in real life,” Razo said.
For the last seven years, Razo has offered a helping hand for others to give back to his community and abroad. Razo offers lessons in hand-to-hand combat, self-defense training, along with general fitness. Age isn’t a problem, whether in high school, college or above, all individuals are welcome into Razo’s home gym.
It’s a service that many in the city of Madera benefit from, including two-time motocross champion, Eddie Clements, 54. Clements first started with Razo in 2011 and still trains with him today. He even dedicated his success on the track to Razo’s tutelage.
“He’s responsible for my two motocross championships,” Clements said. “He does his research and he formulates around your sport. He’s very good at what he does, he teaches people for what they need.”
Clements explained that Razo cares a lot about his trainees, wven sending text after text messages urging Clements to work out.
“That guy, he’s hardcore,” Clements said. “Honestly, I wouldn’t train without him. He’s a great motivator and he keeps pushing, god bless him.”
Although it’s through word of mouth, Razo gives back to his community in a way that he feels comfortable in. For Razo, fighting for himself and helping his fellow Maderans is equally pleasing.
“A lot of people fight for the glory, money or trophies, but I do it because I enjoy it,” Razo said on his motivation. “I feel like we battle physically, spiritually and emotionally. I don’t want to just compete in the ring for glory, I want to share it with others. So, others can protect themselves with self-defense in real life.
“It’s one thing to get in there and win a championship – you know – punching away at somebody, but it’s a lot more satisfying when you can share techniques that can save somebodies life. It’s much more meaningful for me to pass it on.”
Razo has also ventured further to offer his services.
“I used to go to Monterrey and train ranked officers who were back and forth from Afghanistan and Iraq,” Razo said. “Currently, I just got off the phone with someone and I’m actually going to head to the East Coast soon to do a seminar for some people that work for the Pentagon.”
Whether Razo is in the ring following the footsteps of his father or out in the community making his own way, there’s no obstacle tough enough for him.