Profile of Mike Chat

Height: 5′ 11″ (1.8m)
Weight: 175 pounds
Date of Birth: April 30th 1975
Born in: Rayong province, Thailand
Star sign: Taurus; year of the rabbit


  • John Sharkey Jr, Mike’s Shorei-ryu karate teacher since he was a child.
  • The Beijing opera school actors [Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung etc.] whose style Mike based XMA on.

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  • Mike started training when he was 8-years old.
  • Trained in American Freestyle karate for one year.
  • Moved to Shorei-ryu karate under his instructor John Starkey Jr. or ‘Sharkey’.
  • Competed in various prestigious tournaments for about 13 years.


  • Mike was born in the Rayong province of Thailand whilst his parents were on holiday, but was brought up as a Thai-American. Growing up, Mike used to watch martial arts movies with his dad on Sundays, which inspired him to begin training when he was only eight years old. He began competing soon after that, and was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 1992, less than a decade after he began training.
  • Mike then went onto win over fifty prestigious awards, including two gold medals at the 1995 W.A.K.O World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, followed by a total of three gold medals at the I.S.K.A World Championships in 1995 and 1996.
  • As his popularity grew in Europe as well as America, Mike was asked to appear on the front cover of a number of martial arts magazines, including Top Fighter, Karate Infight and Karate Bushido. He also appeared in shows to crowds of 25,000 people all over the world, such as the Budo show 95 in Montreal, Canada, and the Salon de Arts Martiaux et Sports de Combat 97 at Bercy in Paris.
  • It was around this time when Mike formed his top-ranked competition team, Team Chat Elite, and began to perform with them.
  • With such a strong martial arts background and a wealth of experience, Mike was then able to utilise his knowledge to create the XMA brand. He established the XMA headquarters in North Hollywood, and began to use martial arts as a way to promote leadership and life skills in young students.
  • Now, Mike and his XMA students both coach and star in a number of action movies. XMA has become the go-to martial art style for fight scenes in films and is often practiced among stuntmen and women.
  • Mike went on to star in Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue as blue power ranger Chad Lee, as well as feature in a series of commercials. Check out this advert for Rexona that features Mike’s awesome kicking with him looking super cool while he does it!


  • Mike Chat is the founder of a style called Xtreme Martial Arts, or XMA.
  • XMA uses traditional martial arts concepts and blends it perfectly with the showmanship element of martial arts, or as Mike puts it: “the exciting element that we see in TV and film.”
  • The style involves ‘tricking’ or using gymnastics to throw an opponent off.
  • Emphasising performance in martial arts, Mike says, inspires people who watch the choreography from action movies to give martial arts a go for themselves. XMA provides that performance based style that previously “everybody wanted but they couldn’t get.”
  • It is no wonder then, that XMA is actually based on the traditional Chinese Beijing opera schools that trained the famous martial artists of the 80’s kung fu movies, like Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung.
  • The style was showcased at various tournaments around the world and grew so fast that over 650 schools came to represent XMA worldwide in just four years.
  • Mike and his team have trained not only the stunt doubles of Hollywood A-Listers, but also the stars themselves, such as Taylor Lautner for the Twilight films.
  • For those who wish to find out more about XMA, the award-winning documentary XMA: Xtreme Martial Arts has been translated into more than 35 languages, and has been viewed in over 170 countries.

Take a sneak peak behind the scenes of the XMA Hollywood headquarters and training facility:


  • “It’s not what you do as a martial artist, it’s how you do it…that’s what we’re all about.”
  • “The reward is knowing that each student that trains…they get this spark.”
  • “It’s about taking the martial arts and using it as a tool to develop leadership training skills.”
  • “It involves gruelling workouts, but when you love it, it’s nothing but fun!”


XMA Facebook page

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Emily Zarza

Although Emily had spent a year learning Shotokan Karate as a teenager, she spent three months at a martial arts school in the Fujian province of China and discovered her passion for kung fu! She practiced White Crane style, returning for a full year to learn Yang and Sun style Tai Chi as well as Ba Gua and Xing Yi Fist, Bai Ji Fist and weapon forms. Emily spends her free time perfecting her Tai Chi and hopes to teach it one day. Her favourite Kung Fu movie is The Grandmaster, but she also loves Kung Fu Panda, and has seen it more times than she would like to admit!

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