Louis Casamassa Death, Obituary – It is with a heavy heart and a great deal of regret that I must share the news that my instructor in martial arts has passed away. On February 20, 2023, Louis D. Casamassa, Grand Master of Martial Arts and Founder of Red Dragon Karate, passed away while calmly resting in his sleep. I began my training with him at the age of 16 in the early months of 1978, after having been in the United States for one month. He is the individual who has had the most impact on my life. Nobody else comes close to matching his level of originality and brilliance when it comes to fusing together a variety of styles.
Because of his open mind and his conviction that there is no single method that is superior to all others, I am now able to determine which method is the most effective for a certain scenario and for a given performance. Without his direction, I never would have had the opportunity to become the promoter of one of the most important NASKA events. I wouldn’t have the incredible job that I have, which allows me to spend time with my family and has a good impact on the lives of others in both my town and around the world. I came to the United States in order to attend medical school at UCLA before the revolution in Iran.
He was a trailblazer and a founding member of the American Karate organization. Since 1965, he has been studying Japanese karate shotokan, samurai sword, Okinawan weapons, Kobudo, and Chinese weapons, and he has a black belt in judo from the Kodokan. As the original mixed martial artist, he is known for his expertise of all of these disciplines. My experiences traveling and meeting numerous experts and grandmasters in the field of martial arts have increased the level of respect I have for him, and I regard his expertise and inventiveness more highly with each passing month and year.
Following the revolution, none of my plans were viable anymore. Due to circumstances involving my family, my father was let go from his position in the military, and my mother was forced to close her business, I was unable to complete my education. My Shihan was instrumental in securing my residency and setting me on the path toward being a martial arts instructor and competitor. He sent me to train and learn how to run a martial arts studio at Shihan Thomas Cosgrove’s school, which was one of his top students’ schools and very successful.