Nick Palma was born in Palo Alto, California. He was inspired by Kirk Douglas in “Ulysses” and “The Vikings” staged “Viking” and “Gladiator” bouts in his backyard with his older brother. He was fortunate that some of his mischief, i.e. hopping fences and skipping up and down rooftops, dodging cars and playing in construction sites, did not lead him down the wrong path. His love for physical fitness was his salvation. At thirteen, he was inspired by Bruce Lee’s film, “Enter the Dragon”, and immediately took up the martial arts.
He joined a Choy Li Fut kung fu school. Choy Li Fut emphasizes horse stances and low swift kicks in combination with hand techniques. He also pursued western boxing and grappling skills, which he found to be effective against taller stronger bullies at school. He wanted to become a versatile fighter who could handle himself in different types of conflicts. Eventually, his thirst resulted in two Golden Glove boxing awards and led to other studies including Wing Chun Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Wrestling. Gymnastics, Fencing, and Tai Chi (Yang style).
He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (Human Movement Studies) from San Francisco State University and an Army officer’s commission (2nd Lt.) from the University of San Francisco ROTC program. While in the Army, he earned numerous citations, including two “Iron Mike” awards, and was voted third in his battalion at a leadership camp at Fort Lewis, Washington. As a member of the Second Infantry Division in Korea, he won the 119lb. weight division in boxing at the “Indian Head Olympics” and received his 1st degree black belt at the world Tae Kwon Do center (Kuk Ki Won) in Seoul.
After college and the Army, he moved to southern California and began a career in the movies and martial arts. His movie credits include being the “Action Turtle” (the performer in the suite) for Michaelangelo, in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooz”. He did stunts for “The Last Action Hero,” “Stargate,” “Newsies,” and “The Run Down,” in which he, and five other stunt men for the movie, where nominated for a Taurus Stunt Award for best fight sequence in 2004. He also recently worked on the movie “John Carter.”