Meet our Senseis
Sensei Matt Shapiro – Chief Instructor
I am the chief instructor at the North Mission Viejo Studio. I started in the marital arts when I lived on a little Island in the carribean. Once i moved back to the United States, I started training with USSD. I have been studying martial arts since 1998, and have been an instructor with United Studios of Self Defense since 2004. I went to high school locally at Trabuco Hills High and attended UNLV (University of Nevada Las Vegas), where I went to school for Business/Marketing. It has been very rewarding to teach the martial arts for not only the physical aspect ,but the mental aspect as well. It has helped me in everyday life and I get to see it help others as well in a positive way.
Taylor Foote – Assistant Instructor
My name is Taylor Christian Foote; I was born in Anaheim Hills, CA. When I was 4 years old I moved to Ashford, Kent in England. I lived there for 11 years until I was 15, then I moved back to Orange County.
I started martial arts with a year of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with my dad. When I learned about United studios of Self Defense and how they taught Kempo, I checked the studio out and immediately knew I wanted to start training there. I fell on love with the martial arts through their program and eventually the opportunity was presented to me to start teaching and moving towards running a dojo being my full time job.
I love teaching the martial arts to my students because it’s not only about self defense and getting physically in shape. It’s about discipline and making you a better human being. Martial arts have taught me how to be more confident in everything I do, as well as developing a hard work ethic. I used to be a very anxious person and lacked confidence. But since I began my training at USSD, I have learned to develop self confidence and reassurance in my ability to be successful. These are traits I want to instill to all the students I work with.
Shehan Liyanage – Assistant Instructor