Champions for Change Award – Part 3 – A journey to Remember.

031As the recipient of the Champions for Change Award, I will continue to raise awareness and to help many more children in need by organizing few more charitable events.

For those interested to watch the Champions for Change Award ceremony, a four minutes video clip is available on my YouTube Channel:

And as I promised, at each blog where I speak about charity for children, I will recognize few of the many supporters, which helped me to rise funds on my charitable event:  Mario-Fit Fighting for Kids. More than $4,000 were donated to help children in desperate needs for food and medicine. You can find them all on my charity event page:

But I was not the only one awarded with this prestigious recognition ‘Champion for Change Award’. In total, fifteen persons around the world received this honour for their commitment and devotion to help other people in need. And I am proud to be part of this community of individuals who show compassion and care for others.

And this is not all. Story[1]In fact on Saturday August 17, 2013 Dr. Oz was the master of ceremony for the Champions for Change 5K Run. He was leading the track where Olympic athletes, USANA Health Sciences staff and associates and many other supporters in Salt Lake City, raised an additional $175,000 for the True Health Foundation and Children’s Hunger Fund.

These funds will be used at 100% to help many more kids around the world.  And you can have my word when I say that children will benefit at 100% from these funds. I saw what Children’s Hunger Fund did with many orphans in Romania, and this is telling me a lot.But as I already mention, my award is the merit of many enthusiasts who supported my charitable event Mario-Fit Fighting for Kids.
Snapshot 1 (04-09-2013 9-32 PM)And today, as part of my recognition  I would like to applaud Mr. Sandeep Gil  from British Columbia that last year on November 20, 2013, organized a Krav Maga Israeli self defense seminar,  at his Burnaby Karate Academy.

At only three days from the 2012 BC Karate Provincial Championship, (at which I participated to raise funds) Mr. Sandeep invited me to instruct some of his students in realistic self defense. I was pleased to see his top provincial and national champions attending my self defense seminar.  Among them Arash Beytoei, Matt Bickel, Derek Chan, Matt Ly, Cody Martin, Jusleen Virk, , and  Cedomir Vasic, just to mention a few. More than $500 were raised by donations only, and offered entirely for helping many children in desperate need for food and medicine. Thank you all for donating to such a good cause. You also deserve the Champions for Change Award.

??????????Now, in partnership with Joshua Hensman – a youth worker with the city of Vancouver – we created the Vancouver Martial Arts Academy, with the intention to motivate our kids to a healthy lifestyle through martial arts.

Additionally to our instructions on Sport Karate for Competition for Long Term Athletic Development and Krav Maga Israeli Combat System for realistic self defense, we created also a fitness and nutrition program to be adopted by every associate and club members as part of a healthy lifestyle choice.

Krav_Maga 16And now we are positioned to organize even more anti-bullying and Krav Maga Israeli self defense seminars for children and their families at our Hillcrest location. And again, as usual donations raised will go 100% toward helping children in desperate need.

This is our promise and our commitment for 2013-2014.
And to achieve even more, our focus is to associate with other martial arts groups and sport organizations, willing to support charitable events for children, and  enthusiastic to promote health and physical fitness to their members.
Updated information will be available soon on our websites and Facebook pages:

More information about our fitness, nutrition and self defense programs, including our commitment to a healthy lifestyle choices can be soon founded on our Facebook Pages: MarioFit and Vancouver Martial Arts Academy as well as on our websites:  – healthy lifestyle, and nutritional tips – martial arts and self defense programs – fitness and health

Until next week, be healthy and fit for life

Champions For Change Award – part 2

033As I mention on my previous blog dated on August 10, 2013, me and my wife Daniela were on our way to receive the Champions for Change Award, at the Energy Solution Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. A four minute recorded video clip about this ceremony can be seen on my YouTube Channel:

Mario COMPETITION dAY 030As any of you probably know, I decided at the age of 50, to fight in the 2012 Karate BC Provincial Championships, not only to prove that a Healthy Lifestyle including regular exercise and proper  nutrition can make a competitive athlete at any age, but mostly for a good cause  to help many children with their needs.

And thank you for all my supporters who helped me to achieve my fundraising goals. I already mention them in my previous blogs and I will mention them whenever I post again about charitable events. You can always check it out on my charitable event page at:

My decision to be of assistance to the Children’s Hunger Fund came earlier, when I founded out that the organization had helped thousands of orphan kids in my country of origin, Romania.

photo - CopyAs proud as I was receiving this prize, I was not the only one awarded with this prestigious recognition. In total, fifteen persons around the world received this honor for their commitment and devotion to help other people in need. And I am proud to be part of this community of individuals who show compassion and care toward others.

But before revealing them, and some of their commitments, I need to make a correction to my previous blog statement related to Dr. Oz as the master of ceremonies for the Champions for Change Award.

Due to his busy schedule Dr. Oz only shows up only on Saturday August 17, to lead the 5K – Champions for Change Run and help raise additional funds for  people in need.


In fact, I and my wife Daniela together with Dave Wentz – the Usana’s president – and hundreds of other devoted  associates and professional Olympic athletes supported this event.

Aug 16th - Usana 003Aug 16th - Usana 016

Aug 16th - Usana 020Among some celebrity athletes I meet were Liz Hubert, a well-known professional tennis player, Jennifer Azzi – the head coach of the women’s basketball team at the University of San Francisco and José Antonio Rivera, a former world boxing champion known as “El Gallo”. (left)

Thru this event, USANA Health Sciences donated to the True Health Foundation an additional $175,000 for helping other desperate needy kids.

??????????And our choice to help other people doesn’t stop here. Together with my partner Joshua Hensman, a youth worker with the City of Vancouver, we founded the Vancouver Martial Arts Academy, at the Hillcrest Community Centre in Vancouver, BC.

Our athletic association is devoted to attract many children to our martial arts and self defense programs, with the intention to educate and motivate them to stay healthy and fit for life. Our martial arts approach to fitness and healthy lifestyle is modeled after the Health Corps Foundation, created by Dr. Oz, in an attempt to prevent childhood obesity in US.

11b686_d9e16196a4576a0b791da1357228d134_png_srz_361_185_75_22_0_50_1_20_0Our focus for now will be primarily on the province of British Columbia and Canada where we intend to create many youth leaders that will reach their schools and their communities with our message of fitness and health.

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 8.43.54 AM

And as part of our commitment to helps others, we will regularly have seminars on nutrition and self defense for children and their families, and we will donate funds to help other people in need. And we are looking for more partners to join us in our endeavour to reach into our communities with our message of health and wellbeing.

So, if you are committed, don’t hesitate to contact me or Josh.

As promised at the beginning of my blog, below are the other worldwide recognized Champions for Change and their commitments:

Champions-for-Change-Awards - Copy

  • Dr. Monica Lewis from New Zealand – a counsellor specialized in chronic and hormonal illnesses, who give her time freely to help others and educate as many people as she can about health.
  • Dr. Bart Moore – a Physician Nutrition Specialist and a Diplomat of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and his wife Janet Moore – who are one of the top ten donors to the True Health Foundation, committed to support people in need.
  • Maria Conchita Vargas from Mexico – who donated every month for the past three years, essential vitamins to an orphanage in Ciudad Juarez, helping many kids in need.
  • Heather & Chris Hartridge from Canada, a couple on their late fifties who have decided to ride their bikes from Kamloops, BC to Salt Lake City in an attempt to inspire more people to get fit, stay healthy and be able to overcome any obstacles.
  • Maria Josefina Castro Amarillas & Gustavo Ament from Mexico, one of the most committed couples to sharing the message of a better world, to one child and one family at a time.
  • MyungRan Han from Korea, who had been in poor health, but dramatically, improved her health through USANA, and now she has become a health missionary and one of the biggest donor to the True Health Foundation.
  • Christian De Guzman a certified public accountant from Philippines, who proved to have a sincere compassion with the needy not only with his immediate and extended family but also to people in random.
  • Vajira & Rita Amarasinghe from Australia, – who helped many people in their communities with medicine, food, tuitions for education and the release of many people’s increased financial pressure.
  • Luisa Drigo from Ontario, Canada – who generated sales for more than 1000 essential vitamins for kids and together with her husband, supported numerous charities organizing their events and activities.
  • Jeannie Thai from US – who reached out to many different communities and organizations to help children and recently to a Benefit Concert, she raised funds for the True Health Foundation to help needy people around the world.
  • Majid & Kahnoush Mokhbery from US, – who constantly support True Health Foundation at each of their monthly events and gave a check at convention for the amount they have earned this year.
  • Janet Bernstein from US – inspired the international recycling partnership between the True Health Foundation and USANA Green by recycling bar wrappers for over a year and donating the proceeds.
  • Jim and Dian Fawver from US – one of the top ten donors to the True Health Foundation, are passionate about helping people achieve true health, by providing successful, free fitness coaching.
  • Bibiana and Peter Pau from Canada, – are tireless fundraisers, for Children’s Hunger Fund and the True Health Foundation, and compassionate leaders on every event in their communities.

On my next blog Champions for Change Award part 3, I will continue with more information about my visit to Salt Lake City, and to the USANA Health Sciences manufacturing facility, as well as my involvement with Children’s Hunger Fund, True health Foundation and Health Corps Organization.

More information about our fitness, nutrition and self defense programs, including our commitment to a healthy lifestyle choices can be soon founded on our websites:  – healthy lifestyle, and nutritional tips – martial arts and self defense programs – fitness and health

Until then be healthy and fit for life

Champions For Change Award

Mario COMPETITION dAY 030Yes, it is official.
I am the recipient of the Champions for Change Award, a prize given to me for my 2012 MarioFit Fighting For Kids Charitable event, for the benefits of many children in need.

This event hosted at the Energy Solution Centre in Salt Lake City between August 15 and August 17, 2013, is part of the USANA Health Sciences International Conference, where Dr. Mehmet Oz – two-time Emmy® Award-winning and the host of the “The Dr. Oz Show” – will serve as the master of ceremonies for this event.
DrOz_Dave_DrWentz[1]In addition, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and his charitable society HealthCorps® have joined forces with USANA Health Sciences on the mission of fighting teenage obesity, which is a pressing health issues not only in North America but also in the world. And I am honored to be part of this events.
About MarioFit Fighting For Kids
“Hunger hurts. It brings disease. It kills. Especially if you’re a child. Without a well-balanced diet, children can develop nutrition-based disorders, which harm the body and mind. Their small bodies struggle to absorb the essential nutrients they need to grow, and in some cases, survive”
mariofitfightingforkids-charity-bc-children-245x300[1]After witnessing a friend’s son with leukemia go through successful treatment with British Columbia Children Hospital, and considering that Children’s Hunger Fund restore health to thousands of Romanian orphans for many years, as well as other needy kids around the world, in 2012 I decided to contribute and to give back with everything I had.

By competing at the age of 50, in the prestigious 2012 British Columbia Karate Championship (Nov. 17th and 18th) I made a commitment to prove that a healthy lifestyle can make a competitive athlete at any age.  However, my major goal was in fact to raise awareness for causes very close to my heart; to help children in desperate need of food and for further research in childhood diseases. Therefore, I decided to make this championship a fundraising event for the benefits of many children in need.
More About Me
Karate 5 Romania 1984 training with Catalin NeaguOnce upon of time, I was one of the top karate athletes in Romania and I grew up as an eyewitness to the effects of malnutrition. In addition, I became increasingly concerned about the effects on children.

I made my life’s mission to learn all I can about living a healthy lifestyle and to teach others by personal example. I studied firm to become a certified fitness professional, a registered sport and holistic nutritionist, and a certified coach for sports.

When a recent car accident forced me to quit competing in martial arts, I tried to find ways to cope with my disabilities, and still to be active and healthy. My periodization program for fitness and sports helped me to redesign my rehabilitation exercises into a sport specific program. And to challenge my fitness, I decided to compete in the 2012 British Columbia Karate Championship. Moreover, to keep my motivation high, I attached this event to MarioFit Fighting for Kids charitable event – a dream to help kids that I have had it since I  lived in Romania.
Now that I am the winner of Champions for Change Award, I would like again to show appreciation to all those who have contributed to my cause and help many children in desperate need, in particular, to those listed on our Sponsor/Supporter page of the event website:

teccrab inc.However, a special recognition I would like to present to teccrab inc – an online marketing services provider, which motivate me and offered their services as the main sponsor for the event online and on MarioFit Facebook Page.

SamStosur_Banner[1]The Champions for Change is also a joint initiative between Women Tennis Association and USANA Health Sciences, as WTA star players will present donations to the USANA True Health Foundation to help with needs of many children around the world.

As many athletes and celebrities are getting involved into more charitable event, I am even more motivated to continue my mission to help children in need.
For those who don’t know yet, I am a USANA Health Sciences associate and for years I saw that USANA played an integral role in the fight against hunger. Through Children’s Hunger Fund, USANA has given more than $18 million in cash and vitamins for kids Usanimals, in donations.

Now, the new USANA True Health Foundation in partnership with Dr. Oz and his HealtCorps Foundation, will venture to expand its offerings to Children’s Hunger Fund as well as HealthCorps foundation, for the benefits of many children in need.

Vancouver Martial Arts Academy

013As my vision and mission to help children with a healthier lifestyle expanded, recently with my new partner Josh Hensman (a new sport karate champion) we instituted the Vancouver Martial Arts Academy – an athletic centre for kids – promoting healthy lifestyle through Sport Karate and proper nutrition. So please visit our website and get inspired.
More information about fitness, nutrition and healthy lifestyle, will be soon posted also on our general website:  and
Until then, join the MarioFit Facebook Page, to stay in touch with all the events to come.

Please associate with me and Josh in this effort to help, to bless and to give back the way we can, helping many kids to have a better life.

Krav Maga Classes for Children in Need

I would like to show gratitude to all those who have contributed to BC Children’s Hospital or Children’s Hunger Fund in helping children in need. In particular to those who are listed on our Sponsor/Supporter page of the event website:

I know many of you are keen to continue donating and I am thankful that Simon Kaebe from teccrab online services inc. will extend his management on my website and the fundraising pages to the end of this year (2012).

Last week, I was very excited to have the opportunity to lead a seminar on Krav Maga at Burnaby Karate Academy by the request of Mr. Sandeep Gill. At this class, I taught specific martial arts condition for top karate students. Again, the fundraising doesn’t simply stop at the competition. I am extending it to other aspects of my life – such as teaching krav maga (Israeli Self Defense) classes.

Thank you to the many top champions and medalists who attended such as Derek Chan, Matt Bickel, Arash Beytoei, Cedomir Vasic, Kyle Macmillan, and many others. At this seminar, we are proud to have raised $410 to help Children’s Hunger Fund towards children without homes or food.

Furthermore, as a Full Force Padded coach with KidPower International, I will soon be instructing a kid/parent anti-bullying and self defense workshop at Mr. Gill’s dojo. His goal is to not only help his students gain more confidence, but to assist in helping more children through Children’s Hunger Fund!

If you are part of a club and are interested, I would be thrilled to give self-defense and martial arts conditioning seminar for your club members! These seminars will be based on individual personal donations for either BC Children’s Hospital or Children’s Hunger Fund.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time by phone 604 -725-9002 or e-mail:, to learn more or have any questions.





MarioFit Fighting For Kids Event Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day! Catch me in action tomorrow afternoon at the 2012 Karate BC Provincial Championship! I will be fighting in two categories: +84 kg and Open Weight. 

Where? BCIT gym at 3700 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby (MAP)

When? Sunday, November 18th, 2012

For more information, check out my Facebook event HERE.

Please continue to help raise awareness in helping children in need and donate to the two charities I am supporting!

Thank you for all the support and see you tomorrow!



Important Announcements – Extension of Fundraising Event!

Earlier today, Ralph Simon Kaebe, the CEO of teccrab online services inc. and I met to further discuss our future after the competition on Sunday and we have some exciting news to update you!

First off, I just want to say that teccrab did such a great job on creating the entire online marketing platform such as the website, MarioFitFightingForKids and even a better job on advertising in the media.

Simon asked me questions about my feelings and motivation at this moment before the competition. Our discussion evolved around the event and the importance of my participation in raising awareness to living a healthier lifestyle as well as helping children in desperate need.

In addition, the fundraising doesn’t end after the competition this weekend and there are several reasons why. We are very ecstatic to announce that INTERNeX, one of our sponsors, is going to support one of the charities by creating their own fundraising event!  All the funds received will be entirely donated through MarioFit Fighting For Kids to the charities.

Thus, we are extending our fundraising page to the end of the year (2012) after receiving requests from friends and supporters wanting to donate after the competition event!

This event is a small step towards helping children who are suffering, but many still require continuous love and help. Please continue to support these charities Children’s Hunger Fund and BC Children’s Hospital. With your support, they have the ability to reach these children and change their lives.

As well, winning one of the top three places in the 2 divisions I am competing in, +84kg and Open Weight Category, will allow me to qualify as a member of the Karate BC Elite Team. Since the beginning, my ultimate goal is to make this team who will be representing the province of BC at the Karate National Championship in Toronto during March 2013.

If you have time on Sunday afternoon, come to the BCIT Gym in Burnaby and see me in action! These are the the most anticipated categories and the last events of the competition.



My Interview with teccrab online services inc.

Other than training hard at the Denman Fitness Club, my wife and I celebrated our daughter’s 6th birthday at the park with all of her friends.

She is clearly ready to stuff herself with her favourite chocolate cake!

Also, have you seen this interview of myself with teccrab online services inc.?

We filmed this video a few weeks ago that might answer some of your questions. You will get to see clips of myself performing the exercises that I have been mentioning in previous blogs and how important it is to me in competing on Saturday at the 2012 Karate BC Provincial Championship.

Watch the interview below and get to know me more! 




Would You Support me on my Competition Day- Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 17 &18)!

With the competition so close, my mind is running at 100 miles per hour. All that I’ve been working towards will be tested in just 3 short days.

Though, the most important thing of this event is to raise awareness and money for children in need. I hope the message that gets across is that there are many children in the world who are hungry or hurt who are unable to help themselves. With our help, they can thrive in their unfortunate circumstance and make their future a little brighter!

I would also like to take the time to thank the many people who have helped make this event happen: 

1. Thank you to all the sponsors and supporters! As you know, your support means everything to me and has allowed me to make this comeback into the karate world.

  • Sponsors: teccrab online services inc., Denman Fitness Center, Stay Classy, INTERNeX International Exchange, Meta Communities!
  • SupportersVancouver Romanian Association, Vancouver Sports Massage, Thera-Roll, Federatia Romana de Karate, Richmond Olympic Oval, LifeMARK Health, Las Vegas Karate – Do, Dr. Hal Brown Naturopathic Physician, International Martialarts Association, DURA SEAL, USANA Health Sciences, VANPRINT, Canada Trust, Maximus Martial Arts, Arawaza, TACTIX, MAX SANTÉ, IRON LAB, HumanMotion, ULTRA ELECTRIC LTD., Sinclair Travel, Israeli Krav International.

2. Thank you to the organizers– BCIT and KARATE BC – for putting on this event showcasing the best karate talent in BC. This is the biggest challenge for me since all of the athletes in this weight division are much younger and some are also Canada National Champions.

3. Most importantly, thank you to my family, especially my wife Daniela and my mother-in-law, for being giving unlimited support throughout everything and so patient with me!

4. Finally, a huge thank you very much to everyone who has donated to BC Children’s Hospital or Children’s Hunger Fund! Your support, whether big or small will change the lives of many children.  Your contributions will go far beyond simply this event and may mean saving the lives of those who are dying.

Other than donating, you can support me by attending the  2012 Karate BC Provincial Championships.  It is on this Saturday and Sunday, November 17-18 and located at the BCIT gym at 3700 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby (MAP).

Thank you again and I hope to see you Saturday!



Making Shoeboxes as Gifts?

Only 10 days to go until the 2012 Karate BC Championship! How insane is that?

On Sunday, I took a short break from training. My daughters and I joined Meta Communities in creating shoeboxes to be sent to impoverished children around the world.

This program is run by Operations Christmas Child, and since 1993, they have delivered 94 million shoeboxes to children regardless of their gender, race, religion, or age.

We filled 29 boxes with hygiene items, school supplies, toys, and candy. Not only will these boxes be sent to children who will not receive gifts otherwise, we had fun putting together the boxes!

There are many ways of helping children, but most of us do not have the means (or at least we think we do not)  to simply pick up our things and move across the world to help. In truth, there are many children living right in our city that desperately require aid, but we fail to see this need.

I would recommend carefully choosing a charity with causes that you believe in with missions that you can relate to and needs that you are truly passionate in helping.

This is how I came to choosing Children’s Hunger Fund and BC Children’s Hospital to be the charities I support in life and for this event.

As you may know, Children’s Hunger Fund is very close to my heart because of all the good work they have done in my home country, Romania. The neglected orphans were a huge problem during the reign of the communist government, but after the regime fell in 1989, the situation has seen some improvements.

While this still remains a problem, thanks to Children’s Hunger Fund, over 43,000 Romanian orphans receive regular shipments of food, medicine and clothing. This is what I really admired about this nonprofit organization is that they seek to help children before disaster strikes!

For BC Children’s Hospital, they are committed to helping children in our very own community who are suffering from diseases such as leukemia and diabetes. Like Children’s Hunger Fund, they are very active in not just saving lives by curing children, but in preventing illnesses by conducting research into vaccines.

With research being a vital part of their work, they were able to heal my friend’s son, Adrian, when he suffered from leukemia last year. We are very grateful that he can carry on life as normal as any kid his age!

I hope that these causes are as meaningful to you as they are to me. Thank you so much for all the support you have been giving! Without all of you, this journey would not have been possible. With the event being so close, please keep on spreading the word about this event!



Meta Communities – The meaning of Community

Describing my move from Romania to Vancouver as a huge change is an understatement. Having to find a place to live,searching for a new job, learning all the laws and culture, and not knowing anyone to help with the stress was definitely one of the hardest times of my life. I am sure anyone who has had to start their new life somewhere else, in hopes of finding new opportunities and building a better life for their children, has had similar experiences.

After settling in the West End area of Vancouver, I was lucky, in the sense that I found a community that my family and I really connected with. We all live in our own separate little neighbourhoods, but the meaning of community within these neighbourhoods can vary depending where you live.

Sharing a strong sense of common values, beliefs and resources are very important and building a strong foundation to support each other’s needs is even more vital. Simply having a steady income is not enough to survive, but building friendships that you can depend on during tough times is clearly crucial to establishing one’s identity in life.

That’s what Pastor Dennis Wilkinson strives to do in Vancouver’s West End. With Meta Communities, he has created a Christian community based on the definition of “Meta” – which simply means “with.”

Their mission is as follows:

  • With God
    To be with God is to follow his words and believe his story
  • With each other
    To be with each other is to share life as a sent, family of servants
  • With a mission
    The mission is to join God in the restoration of all things

This is the church that I regularly attend with my wife and daughters and they have been so supportive in everything I do including this event – my goal in raising money for children in need and competing in the 2012 BC Karate Championship.

Meta Communities is a community-minded church that welcomes people in all walks of life to discover what living means together. They offer more than just their regular Sunday morning gatherings! Join them for their prayer meetings during the week, ladies’ nights, talks and events for kids to have fun!

If you are in the West End or anywhere in Vancouver, check out Meta Communities for their wonderful events. They have something going on every single week and their door is always open for you!