Tiger Schulmann’s

A Martial Arts Journey

From its inception, Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts has stood out for blending traditional disciplines with the most effective techniques from various fighting disciplines to create an unparalleled self defense system. 

Daniel “Tiger” Schulmann’s personal martial arts journey began with a foundation in several disciplines. He initially trained in the Mas Oyama Kyokushin system. Kyokushin is a full-contact style of karate based on stand-up fighting and is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline, and hard training. Daniel also competed on his school’s wrestling team and learned the fundamentals of boxing. Through his training in multiple disciplines, he realized that each art form had its own advantages and disadvantages. By mixing them together he could build a more complete fighting style. 

The original curriculum included Kata (literal meaning of which is “form” and is a choreographed pattern of martial arts movements) to teach students standing defense and various close range attacks, as well as Kumite,or Free Sparring. But unlike Mas Oyama’s system, Tiger boldly integrated wrestling takedowns, takedown defense, and kickboxing, creating a more comprehensive and practical training approach.

The evolution continued with a pivotal moment in 1994 when Tiger Schulmann, inspired by the first UFC event, recognized the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for ground fighting. He embarked on extensive No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu training under renowned coach John Lewis. This training eventually led to a revised curriculum that replaced inefficient aspects of the traditional karate system.

In 1999, the Tiger Schulmann’s Fight Team was established. A competitive fight team provided an opportunity to rigorously test the effectiveness of the martial arts system at the highest levels. The team achieved extraordinary success, producing champions across various combat sports disciplines. Notable accomplishments include Bellator’s inaugural MMA welterweight champion, numerous UFC fighters, several boxing, and kickboxing champions and multiple NAGA ( North American Grappling Association) School of the Year Awards. The TIger Schulmann’s Martial Art continues to evolve today. Always looking to deliver the most effective martial arts techniques and training methodologies.

40 Years of Leading the Way in Martial Arts Training

  • January 1, 1974
  • January 1, 1976
  • January 1, 1978
  • January 1, 1979
  • 1979 - 1984
  • January 1, 1982
  • Tiger Schulmann Black Belt

    Daniel "Tiger" Schulmann  Receives his Black Belt from Master Shigeru Oyama
  • Ron Schulmann Black Belt

    Ron Schulmann receives his Black Belt from Master Shigeru Oyama
  • First Classes

    Brothers Tiger & Ron Schulmann start teaching martial arts classes to friends and acquaintances in their father’s motel
  • Tokyo World Open

    Tiger Schulmann represents the US in the “World Open Knockdown Championships” in Tokyo, Japan. He is the youngest & lightest competitor in an open weight and age competition.
  • Champion

    Tiger Schulmann reigns as the North American Open Mas Oyama Knockdown Karate Champion for six consecutive years.
  • First School

    Brothers Tiger & Ron Schulmann open thier 1st school in a store front location called the Quakertown Karate Club

A Martial Arts Training Revolution

In 1978, Daniel “Tiger” Schulmann and his brother Ron, both Kyokushin Karate Black Belts under Master Shigeru Oyama, began teaching martial arts in their father’s motel. What started as a humble club evolved into Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts Schools, known for their professional operation and inclusive environment.

In the early 80s, most martial arts schools were run by instructors who saw training as the second job. The Schulmanns recognized the need for a full-time business model dedicated to martial arts instruction. AS the business expanded to multiple schools, the brothers realized the need to implement a standardized curriculum across schools. They also developed an instructorship program to maintain quality instruction across locations. Their focus wasn’t JUST teaching martial arts techniques, their business focused on creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, fostering personal growth, discipline, and fitness.

In the early 80’s most martial arts schools were not professionally operated. Typically, instructors had “day jobs” and would only briefly train students in the early evenings. Daniel and Ron Schulmann saw the opportunity to create a business centered around martial arts instructions. Offering opportunities to students of all ages and skill levels.   Their focus wasn’t JUST teaching martial arts techniques, their business focused on creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, fostering personal growth, discipline, and fitness. 

As the number of locations continued to grow, The Challenge of Champions tournament was introduced to allow students organization-wide to come together in a tournament. This is now considered the largest mixed martial arts tournament in the United States. Standout competitors from the COC soon joined forces to form the Tiger Schulamann’s Fight Team in 1999   showcasing the most skilled  TSMA students in the highest levels of combat sports.

The growing number of schools also allowed for the development of an organization-wide tournament, called the Challenge of Champions.  With the first one taking place in 1996, it is now considered the largest mixed martial arts tournament in the United States.  With so many students competing at such a high level, eventually led to the development of the Tiger Schulmann’s Fight Team in 1999.  The team has a long list of notable athletes who have competed and won at the highest levels of combat sports (see the list here).

Today, with 50+ schools and over 300,000 students, Tiger Schulmann continues to innovate. Specialized programs cater to various segments, including law enforcement training, women’s self-defense, and anti-bullying initiatives. 2023 saw the launch of TSMA’s biggest charity event Swing for the Stars, which gives students with special needs a chance to compete against professional fighters.

As Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts celebrates its 40+ year journey, it remains dedicated to evolving and excelling in martial arts training.

With 50+ schools and over 300,000 students trained, Tiger Schulmann’s continues to evolve in all aspects.  

As Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts reaches the 40-year milestone, it stands not only as a testament to past achievements but as a promise to fearlessly continue evolving in the pursuit of excellence. 

See the Journey

The timeline