Mark Aycock is an individual with a rare combination of qualities—a talented martial artist, a gifted teacher, a loving father, a good friend, and an inspiration to many, many people. During his days as a competitor, Mark was known not only for his competitive skills, but for his outstanding attitude. He was always positive, always personable, and always ready to give 100 percent to whatever he was doing.
Mark’s first influence in the martial arts was his father, Jim Aycock, who earned a black belt in Judo at the Kodokan School of Judo in Hokaido, Japan, while in the Army during the early 1950s. Jim Aycock was one of the first Judo instructors in Tennessee during the mid-1950s and ‘60s and trained some of the early U.S. Isshinryu Karate practitioners such as Maurice Msarsa in Judo techniques. Mark was a young child at the time, and his father stopped teaching in the early 1970s due to onset of a serious asthma condition.
Mark was destined to become an Isshinryu practitioner. At age 11 he saw an amazing man perform a Karate demonstration at his elementary school, and then was later fascinated once again by this same man’s performance at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp. The seed was planted, and after graduating from high school at 17, Mark began training under this man, Mr. Allen Wheeler, at his dojo in Powell, Tennessee and has achieved the rank of 8th degree black belt.
Mark retired from competition in the mid 1990s. He is blessed with much success; some of his accomplishments include 2-time Okinawan Karate Union Competitor of the Year, 6-time Tennessee Karate Champion, United States Sport Ju-Jitsu Fighting Team, and Top Ten Karate Fighter North America which lead to 25 Grand Championships.
Mark has modeled and has appeared in several martial arts magazines and publications. He has worked as an actor, both locally and in Hollywood, California, appearing in commercials, theater, and short films, and as a guest on radio and TV talk shows.