Saeed BadieiI was born in Tehran, Iran in 1965. I lived in a family of 11, including my 9 siblings. As the last child, I was heavily influenced by my brothers, who taught me to wrestle, box and play soccer.
When I was 14, my fourth oldest brother encouraged me to take up martial arts, then known as Kung fu TO,A, a system developed by master Ebrahim Mirzai. He was a Persian army official that studied in China. Upon his return, he spread his art through our country rapidly.
I started my journey in martial arts under one of his disciples, master Farzin Raji. That was the base system I continued for 3 years before it was banned by the regime due to the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Shortly after, I had no choice but to choose a system that was approved by the regime, Kyokushin Karate, under master Hossain Shirzad. I continued my training in Kyokushin Karate until leaving my country for good in 1985, and then trained under master Ingo Freier in Berlin, Germany.
Due to a severe injury to my right shoulder, I had to stop training for several weeks. After recovering, I met master Felix Preotama, who became my Taekwondo instructor. In 1990, I received my first black belt in Taekwondo and competed in T.K.D tournaments for 4 years.
In 1991, after West and East Germany reunited, I moved to Los Angeles and met master Fariborz Azhakh. He became my Hapkido coach for the next 10 years. I studied the art of Hapkido and received my 5th degree black belt.
During this time, I was introduced to Sifu Ron Bakicki, my first Kali influence. From that point on, my research, study, and training focused on Filipino martial arts until I joined the academy of Guru Dan Inosanto in 2012. With his guidance, I was be able to study Kali, Silat, Muay Thai, Jun Fan Kung Fu, and with Sensei Yori Nakamura, I also studied the art of Shooto at the academy.
Now, with my dear friend Professor Bob Hodgkin, I have the opportunity to continue research, study, training, and teaching at his Lihi Jiu Jitsu Academy.