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The Bay Area Martial Arts Podcast

Nov 14, 2017

Today, Wade Pitts interviews James Hidalgo — owner of Infinite TKD, a Martial Arts studio based in the Marina District in San Francisco. James has been training Martial Arts for over 20 years, has competed on a professional level, and started his own school here, just 8 short years ago.


James got into Martial Arts fairly simply; he was nine years old and his sister was putting her kids into Martial Arts and had asked if he wanted to try it out as well. After a couple of weeks, his sister’s kids quit, but he stayed — and never stopped going. Since then, James has trained in Boxing, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Olympic Taekwondo, Wrestling, and Muay Thai. At one point he also joined the Marine Corps and joined a school while serving as a Marine and trained for the duration of his career there. After the Marine Corps, he decided to officially pursue the sport and moved to San Francisco where he was taken under the wing of Herb Perez, the 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist, who showed him the ‘Martial Arts way.’ He took a lot of inspiration from Herb and to this day, tries to model the way he trains and teaches from him. Currently, he is trying to earn his black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, though his passion still lies with Olympic Taekwondo.


In this episode, Wade and James talk about James’s history in the Martial Arts, how he opened his studio, how he currently runs his studio, as well as outline some of the children and adult programs. James Hidalgo also talks about his current expansion — the next big step for him and his Martial Arts studio — an exclusive that he discusses for the first time on this show. James also has a profound answer for how martial arts has affected his personal and professional life that you’re going to want to stick around for.


Key Takeaways:

[1:35] Wade welcomes James Hidalgo to the podcast and James tells us about his background in the Martial Arts.

[5:55] Discipline of Martial Arts; ‘Sharpening your knife.’

[8:48] James’ history of Martial Arts before starting his own school.

[13:51] The years James was competing and his favourite competitions in his Martial Arts career.

[14:52] What led to James opening up his own Martial Arts school?

[16:10] The children programs James’ Martial Art school offers and their mascot — a gorilla.

[17:40] The adult’s program at James’ Martial Art school is fitness based.

[19:32] The expansion James is planning for his school — an exclusive to this podcast.

[21:09] The school’s primary focus on six Martial Arts: Boxing, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Olympic Taekwondo, Wrestling, and Thai.

[21:58] How James’s school stays true to the styles they represent; ‘Infinite.’

[24:06] Where James sees Taekwondo, and Martial Arts in general, headed.

[25:34] James’s view on how Martial Arts has progressed and some of his philosophies on how he runs his school.

[31:40] The two scholarships James’s school runs.

[34:20] How Martial Arts has impacted James personal and professional life.

[36:51] How to get ahold of James and learn more about the studio.

[38:23] The UFC fight last night: James thoughts on GSP vs. Bisping.


James Hidalgo’s Links:

Infinite Martial Arts


Mentioned in this Episode:

Herb Perez




“Everybody is like a knife … we can all cut through basic things — but, there’s some of us … that sharpen our knives to cut certain things.” — James Hidalgo


“Once you learn to defend yourself, you walk around with a simple confidence [as if to say], ‘It might hurt a little bit, but I could get away.’” — James Hidalgo


“Every kid that comes in we automatically teach them about ‘stranger danger’ … and bully awareness … The whole school knows that this is the most important thing to focus on.”

— James Hidalgo