Grand Master Tom Garriga
Grandmaster Tom Garriga is the primary founder of the composite combat system Wu Ji Quan Fa (WJQF) which translates to “5 Foundations Martial Method” (5FMM) from Mandarin Chinese. Tom has a world class wealth of knowledge and nearly 60 years of continuous experience in the martial arts, beginning his training back in 1956 and continuing on to present day.
Tom is the owner of Tang Wei Martial Arts where he has continuously taught combat oriented martial arts to civilian, military, law enforcement and corrections personnel for nearly 30 years. Tom is also the founder and Grandmaster over the Tang Wei Martial Arts Association (TWMAA) which is an association of dozens of advanced level combative arts instructors, students and affiliates who have worked with Tom through his long career in the martial arts.
From several experiences in his youth and from his time as a Marine in the Vietnam era, Tom has always focused his martial arts training away from sport application and towards the realistic, no rules combat environment. Prior to the modern popularity of mixed martial arts training, Tom was a pioneer in studying extensively across as many disciplines as he could find.
Tom has always believed in thoroughly learning the martial systems he studied, but in staying away from a traditional martial arts perspective, choosing rather to strip away the unessential and keep what would work under realistic fighting conditions. He was most influenced by his training in a rare closed door family heirloom system called Ge Jian Pai, which was a mixed combat system that had been compiling information from all available sources as Tom was seeking to do, but which had been doing so for several hundred years.
To mention a few of the accomplishments Tom has had in the martial arts, he has earned a 5th Step Mastery ranking in Ge Jian Pai, a 9th degree Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate as one of the 1st generation black belts under Grandmaster Ed Parker, as well as earning a 2nd degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate.
In his journey to integrating as many martial arts as he could access, Tom also has trained extensively in grappling arts including Nakai Jujitsu, Tomiki Aikido, and Kotokan Judo. He studied swordsmanship and weapons fighting through the Tenshin Katori Shintoryu School of swordsmanship. He was a contemporary of Bruce Lee’s when Bruce was creating his mixed martial system Jeet Kune Do and exchanged training with Bruce Lee on numerous occasions. Tom also studied Western Boxing, British Cane Fighting and US Marine Core Close Quarters Battle (CQB) hand to hand and knife fighting.
Tom has tremendous teaching experience with over 50 years career teaching experience. Tom has worked extensively with civilian, military and law enforcement personnel. He has provided Defensive Tactics (DT), Baton Tactics, Weapons Defense and Arrest Control Tactics (ACT) to Law Enforcement and Correctional Personnel. Tom also served as a hand to hand instructor for the US Marine Corp
Tom created Positive Control Systems (PCS) and designed several highly successful crisis intervention programs between 1994 and 2008 which were widely incorporated by several State and private agencies across the western United States. While owning and operating PCS Tom provided training to 80 different Agencies across 14 States, teaching skill sets such as control tactics, crisis intervention communication, defensive tactics, and hostage negotiation.
Outside of training Law Enforcement, Military and Correctional personnel, Tom’s primary passion for teaching is in training civilians to be their own and their families’ first line of defense. Tom has trained thousands of men and women of all ages and all walks of life in personal defense. Those who know Tom best have heard him mention many times the great satisfaction he has received from numerous student reports that what they learned allowed them to protect themselves and/or family members from violent assaults. Even more satisfying for him are the many students who report that the discipline and way of life they learned through the martial arts has served them day in and day out in their personal lives, allowing them to be better family members and to achieve personal goals.
Seeming to age differently than everyone else and having a seemingly inexhaustible work ethic, Tom continues to work in his 70s and currently works as a Production Manager for a Firearms Manufacturer. Tom’s previous work experience is diverse and ranges from working as a Body Guard and as a team member on Personal Protection Details for CEOs, teaching Oriental Philosophy for Westminster College, working as a Sales Manager in Real Estate to working in construction and carpentry.
Tom is an avid believer in the principle of learning throughout one’s life and as such he has enjoyed a diverse academic study. Tom studied accounting at Glendale College and later attended the University of Utah focusing studies on Business Law, Physics, Anatomy, Psychology and Philosophy. Tom has extensive knowledge and experience in eastern and western philosophy, spirituality and self-development as well as training methods for health and longevity.
Tom is devoted to family and community and avidly believes that real security in society has to start in the homes of individuals. He works to prepare students and clientele for the reality of criminal assaults which almost always happen too fast for outside help to arrive in time. One of his core values is to spread the vision of what he calls Warriorship, which is living your life on purpose, being a contributor and building one’s community, neither taking advantage of others nor allowing others to take advantage of you.