Daniel aged 5 training
under his father
Humble beginnings : Daniel Isaac began martial arts training in Barnes School, Devlali at the age of 5. He trained in a style called "Oriental Martial Arts" also known as Ishudo which is a blend of striking, grappling and submission martial arts techniques founded by his father the late great grandmaster Solomon Isaac. Between 1985 and 1990 Daniel won every major full contact karate and taekwondo event in his weight category in India.In 1992 he was already the 5 time National Champion in Kickboxing. He also has won a series of martial arts events and championships both nationally and internationally including the World Kickboxing Championship title sanctioned by the World Kickboxing Council in the flyweight category. In June 1994 Daniel was the sole gold medalist from India at the WAKO Kickboxing Olympics of Hersoness held in Crimea. He is India's FIRST ever World Champion in kickboxing. He has trained thousands of martial arts students all over India including the officers and recruits of the Indian army and air force stations. He retired undefeated as an amateur kickboxer in 1995.

Daniel Isaac featured in Black Belt magazine[USA] , March 1995 issue

Daniel teaching at a seminar in the UK 2004
Martial arts journey : He has travelled the lengths and breadths of the world to teach at Martial Arts and Self Defence seminars,especially catering to the young brigade. He has conducted training for women,children and professional fighters. Many of his national and international seminars and are still talked about .Although a martial arts master in his own right , Daniel still considers himself a student of the martial arts and considers his late father as lifelong mentor and inspiration , and Master Sken and his muay thai instructor. Daniel travelled to Stockport Manchester UK many times to train in Muay Thai as a personal student of Master Sken , considered by many as the Muay Thai ambassador for the sport / art. In 2007 Daniel was invited to Tehran Iran where he conducted a kickboxing seminar for 100 male and 100 female martial arts black belts.

Christianity and philosophy – Daniel is an ordained Christian pastor , he has worked as an evangelist and tv preacher for many years. He produced and directed a short film called ‘Strangers’ and produced an entire season of episodes of the evangelical tv show Sanjeevani on Miraclenet tv and Jeevan ka Jal on CMM [ owned by aastha channel]. Daniel established a non profit organization called Faith fellowship church and travelled to the US and preached in Dallas Texas in 2009. Daniel always regards God to be the one who has made him all that he is today. He believes and still talks about how he was ‘raised from the dead’ in 1994 when an allergic reaction went horribly bad. In his ministry Daniel believes that he is ‘called’ to be a a Teacher , an evangelist and a pastor specializing in the Deliverance ministry [ Exorcism and the Spirit world]. In 2009 Daniel discontinued he work as full time Christian pastor and stepped out of an active Christian evangelical ministry. He believes that he has evolved in his spirituality and is much closer to God now as he practices his beliefs while doing a secular job as a martial arts Instructor, He believes in the one true God yet disassociates himself from mainstream religion or cultic group. He is still invited by many religious groups and churches to share his belief and faith. Daniel continues to be one of the founder members of Faith Fellowship Church as well as the Church of the Living Water [ founded by his parents ]. After moving to the United States in June 2016 Daniel and his family joined the Ferguson Church of the Nazarene as members.

Entry into MMA : Daniels father Solomon Isaac first received an invitation from Art Davie [ original owner of the UFC ] in 1993 to send a representative from India as a participant at UFC 1. During those days it was not easy to avail of a US visa for Indian nationals and although Shivaji Godse was selected to represent India at UFC 1 , he was unable to ever travel to the US or compete in the UFC. In the year 2000 Daniel began promoting Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) by organizing many national and international amateur MMA championships. He had established "Tigers Gym" which was India's first MMA training facility. He was successful in drawing crowds for his seminars and for his practical approach to self defence for the masses. Under Tigers Gym his fighters represented India in muay thai , kickboxing , sambo , pankration and amateur / pro mma between 2000 and 2007.

Featured on Television : Daniel has been featured on numerous TV news and sports channels including CNN IBN , Star Sports , Star plus , Zee tv , Star Majha etc . In 2008 HDNet in the United states featured a episode with fight highlights from “Clash of the Champions India” many of Daniels fighters were featured in the highlight reel action televised worldwide. In April 2011 Daniel along with MTV Roadies producer Rajiv Lakshman created a pilot episode of a fight based tv show called “Elaan E Jung” which pitted fighters of different martial arts styles to compete against each other with different rules for each round. The show was presented to Colors channel but was shelved and did not make it to a telecast. In 2009 Daniel worked with CPL London in "Alex Reid : Fight of his life" TV series which was telecasted all over Europe on the bravo channel. Daniel trained Alex Reid in an Indian version of mma on the tv show. In Aug 2012 Daniel was featured on SFL Challengers, Indias first MMA reality tv show as head MMA trainer. The series was a pioneering tv show which brought about much awareness for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts in India.

MMA Federation and sports involvement : In the year 2004 Daniel helped establish the All India Mixed Martial Arts Association which continues to be the largest and only sanctioning body for the sport of MMA in the country. The AIMMAA under a panel of National chief delegates and Daniels guidance is the only sports body in India to sanction and organize mma events under direct permission of the "Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports ,Govt of India".

Teaching MMA in Nasik and Mumbai : Apart from Tigers Gym in Nasik, Daniel was the head mma coach along with Alan Fenandes as the head BJJ coach for Evolution MMA Mumbai from 2008 till 2013.

Sony Six team with Daniel
along with Sunder Aaron
[ Sony Pix India head 2009-2011 ]
Work with Sony India prior to UFC deal: Many do not know that Daniel worked with Sony Entertainment Network [http://www.setindia.com/in-en] from feb 2010 to feb 2011 to develop and promote MMA in India under the promotional banner of RFC [ Raw fighting championships].

This was prior to UFC striking a deal with Sony India for UFC telecasts on the Sony Six channel. Bollywood actor Suneil Shetty was to lead the show as the face of MMA in India and a series of meetings locked a TV deal with MSM [ Sony TV], a few weeks prior to the launch of the RFC in India the UFC struck a deal with MSM resulting in the closing of RFC and the on-ground MMA India project, the new marriage between UFC and MSM brought Sony Six to India featuring regular UFC content.

Asian MMA – Between 2000 and 2011 Daniel worked with numerous mma promotions in Asia , Europe and the middle east as a consultant / manager for Indian fighters including Legend Fighting Championships Hong Kong , Martial Combat [ on Star Sports] ADFC , Art of War FC and One Fighting Championships Singapore prior to signing with SFL

Celebrity trainer – Daniel has conducted training sessions for many personalities in the corporate and film world in Mumbai , Kushal Punjabi [ model and tv actor] , Faruk Kabir [ actor / director] , Rajeev Lakshman [ from the hit tv series MTV Roadies] , Yash Birla [ business tycoon] , Raj Kundra [ business tycoon] are some of the names who have trained with Daniel.

Women empowerment : In January 2013 Daniel supported by Raj Kundra and Super Fight League organized a series of self defence seminars all over Mumbai designed for women empowerment. The initiative was supported by The Shilpa Shetty foundation and DNA [ leading print media in India]

SFl Fitness: Between 2013 and 2014 Daniel , Lorelei [ wife ] and Alan Fenandes completely designed and setup the SFL fitness bootcamp in Nasik , this bootcamp would house and train fighters who were given scheduled bouts at the SFL fight nights in Mumbai , this one of a kind MMA training facility invited international MMA trainers like Dennis Hallman , Any Wang , Edgar Noordanus , Dejan Tesic and Marcos Santa Cruz Oliveira to prepare the Indian fighters during the peak season.

Super Fight league: Jan 2012 till aug 2013 Daniel headed India operations as COO of the Super Fight League and from 2013-2014 was the company CEO :

  • The Super Fight League selected Daniel Isaac as COO because of his decade of expertise and experience in promoting Mixed Martial Arts.
  • As CEO of the SFL Daniel was one of the highest paid MMA specialists in India.
  • Daniel successfully organized fifteen SFL broadcasts as CEO of the SFL which were televised on asias largest Sports broadcaster, Star Sports.
  • Daniel was interviewed on TV and has served as commentator and mma specialist on nineteen SFL shows/ tv broadcasts which was aired on Colors, Zoom and Neo Prime TV Networks.
In June 2014 Daniel resigned from the SFL as CEO , he resumed his position as National commissioner of the All India Mixed Martial Arts Association yet continued supporting the SFL whereas event sanctions are concerned as event commissioner.

Work with the Fitness fraternity : in the years 2014 and 2015 Daniel worked with BodyPower India Expo as head of the MMA feature, he organized events for Sport MMA, Amateur full contact MMA, Grappling and Pro MMA events.

Historic MMA event : In 2015 Daniel worked with Super Fight League and as MMA consultant and matchmaker for the historic India vs Pakistan SFL show held in Dubai.

Daniel with the organizers and chief guests at SFL Dubai – India vs Pakistan
Daniel with Matt Hughes
Daniel with Raj Kundra Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Mary Kom

Daniel receiving award from Shaikh Khalid Bahrain along with AIMMAA officials
Work in the Middle East: In 2015 Daniel was invited to the Kingdom of Bahrain on three separate occasions:
  1. To conduct training programs for MMA officials
  2. To work as consultant towards the formation of the Bahrain MMA Federation
  3. To get the Bahrain MMA Federation affiliated and fully recognized by the IMMAF
  4. To work as mma consultant on three events hosted by the Bahrain MMA Federation to select the Bahraini National MMA team to compete at the 2015 World MMA Championships. Daniel was invited for the above work by Shaikh Khaled Bin Hamad Al Khalifa [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_bin_Hamad_Al_Khalifa ] and Shaikh Nasser [ Minister of Sports] and received an appreciation award from Shaikh Khaled for his work.

Traditional martial artsand Ishudo : after his fathers passing in dec 2011 Daniel became the head of family for the martial art of Ishudo as founded by Grandmaster Isaac, he is the head of the World Ishudo Association which is an entity in itself and has an international presence.

IMMAF : In July 2015 Daniel was nominated for board member elections at the historic AGM held in Las Vegas, a detailed interview with him was featured on the IMMAF website, Daniel represented India at this event and was the head of Team India to participate at the World Amateur MMA Championships 2015 at the UFC fan expo.

Daniel with Bas Rutten
Daniel with Lou Lauria of the UFC

Work with the Police and Military in India : Daniel began his work training the Indian military in martial arts immediately after winning the kickboxing gold medal in Crimea, he first taught the officers and recruits at the ADGM [ guided missile centre ] at the Artillery Centre Nasik Road in 1995 and later trained the recruits of the 116 Battalion TA Para regiment in Devlali. In April 2014 Daniel was part of a joint team which conducted martial arts training to the police training headquarters in Mumbai and Nashik. All UAC [ Unarmed Combat ] training for the police and military is based on the Ishudo system as founded by Daniel’s dad, the late Grandmaster Solomon Isaac who himself served the Indian Navy and trained the police and armed forces from the 1970’s till the late 1990’s.

Work in the USA: In June 2016 Daniel and his family moved to the United States. He and his wife currently own and operate 'Tigers Gym USA' as well as 'Fighting Fit International'. Daniel can be reached at: tigersgym@gmail.com