Sensei Mark Lathom
Sensei Mark Lathom
Like most 80’s children, Mark’s interest in the martial arts began with The Karate Kid. Soon after, he was enrolled in a Tae Kwon Do class at the local fire station in his home state of New Jersey. In 1988, at the age of 6, he and his family moved to San Diego. He took several other martial arts classes commonly taken by other children, including Karate at the Kearny Mesa Recreation Center and later, two years of Tang Soo Do with his best friend from cub scouts, taught by Master Will Deak and Assistant Sean Andrews.
In 2003, at the age of 21, Mark started studying Aikido under Martin Katz Sensei at Ryushinkan Dojo at the Stanley Park Recreation Center, where Sensei Katz has taught Aikido for over 40 years. Mark currently holds a 2nd degree black belt, earned in 2014 from the Aikido Association of America. He has taught weapons and children’s classes since earning his blue belt in 2007 and has attended seminars all over the world – most notably with Frank Doran Shihan and Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan.
After meeting Professor Roy Dean at the Aikido Bridge Seminar, Mark started studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Dean at Jiai Aikido. This is where he met his current instructor, Sensei Phillip Palmejar, who took over the class after Professor Dean received his black belt and moved to Bend, Oregon. In 2009, Mark earned his blue belt, testing under Professor Roy Harris at a P5 Seminar. Mark has competed several times in the local Grappling X tournaments and in 2009 at the IBJJF Nationals. Mark has been one of the original students since the days of P5’s birth and was awarded his instructor bars in 2017.
In 2011, P5 Academy began teaching Filipino Martial Arts classes, much to Mark’s delight. Mark has been studying FMA with Sensei Palmejar and has become proficient in several armed and empty handed styles of Kali and Eskrima. Mark has competed in several events, such as The Way of The Stick and Blade, as well as San Diego’s Underground Lightsaber Fighter events held at Balboa Park. Fun fact: Mark is related to New Jersey boxing legend Mickey “the Toy Bulldog” Walker on his father’s side.