Mark Russo is a 7th degree senior master black belt in Amerikick Martial Arts, a 6th degree black belt in American Kenpo, a 3rd degree black belt in Modern Arnis, a black belt in Tang Soo Do and TaeKwon Do, a black sash in Chines Wushu. Mark has studied, certified and trained with some of the most famous martial artists including Ed Parker, Joe Lewis, Remy Presas, Wally Jay, George Dillman, Dr. Muag Gyi, Dennis Tosten, Lei Pei Yun, Joe Palanzo, Louis Diaz, Bob Leiker and Phil Maldonado.
Mark began his martial arts training in Tang Soo Do at age 10 under Tong In Chang. Five years later he added Tracy Kenpo to his training under Master Dennis Tosten at the famous American Karate Studios in Northeast Philadelphia. Mark became an assistant instructor at the Cottman Ave school and then the manager of the Willowgrove location. In 1991 he opened his own Amerikick Franchise location in Juniata Park. Five years later Mark moved to New Jersey and opened the Amerikick Marlton New Jersey location. Mark, along with his partner Mike Recinto, opened Amerikick Medford New Jersey and Amerikick Northeast Philadelphia.
Mark is a former top rated competitor in forms, weapons and sparring. He holds numerous national titles and 5 NBL world titles in sport karate. He was coach of the year in 1999 and 2000 with Team Smash International, one of the best karate teams in the National Black Belt League. He then joined his team with Bob Leikers Team to form Team IDC boasting some the best sport karate competitors in the world. Team IDC became team of the year. Team IDC eventually became the current Amerikick World Compeition Team.
Mark is a tournament promoter having promoted the Amerikick Internationals since 1995. It was the largest tournament in the NBL until 2003 when it joined the World Sport Karate Federation and then eventually NASKA. The tournament is one of the largest on the East Coast and is currently a World Rated event on the NASKA circuit. He co-promotes with Bob Leiker. Mark is also a member of the NASKA board of directors and a top rated judge and referee.
Mark is a former stuntman and member of SAG. He worked on many feature films including “12 Monkeys”, “I.Q.” and “The Power Within”. Mark has also produced and directed several short films and documentaries.
Mark is married to his beautiful wife Leighann and father to his daughter Annabella. He is currently the Executive Vice President of the Amerikick Martial Arts Association and the regional director of the South Jersey Amerikick Schools. He is the co-founder of Amerikic Source a full service martial arts consulting firm. He has graudated over 100 students to black belt with his highest students including Justin Smith, Mike Recinto, Chris Millares, Nick Perdunn and Mark Gallagher. Mark has trained numerous students who have attained national and world champion levels including: Chris Millares, Nick Perdunn, Justin Smith, Kevin Schlueter, MaryKate Cochran, Kevin Cannon, Andrew Ford, Amanda Chen, Anthony DiFilippo.