Alan Tafoya is a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation. He is a descendant of Apache Chief Mangus Colorado, known as Red Sleeves, a knife fighter who wore long sleeves to cover the scars on his arms. Alan’s grandmother was Red Sleeve’s granddaughter. Because of his ancestry, Alan feels that he has inherited an instinctual skill as a knife fighter. Although Tafoya has been perfecting his martial arts skills since the age of 11, he feels that his expertise in knife fighting is rooted in instinct. Tafoya speaks of martial arts as an art form, not as a tool for violence. ”It is an art of self-discovery. It is a combative art; it is the warrior’s way of art.” His incredible skill was evidenced by his wins at both the 1999 & 2000 Soldier of Fortune Combat Knife Fighting Tournaments. The film, Dancing on the Edge, documents his experiences preparing for and winning the tournaments. He remains undefeated as champion.
The versatile Tafoya is now working with production companies to attract more films to his home state of New Mexico. As an actor, Tafoya has appeared in Unspeakable, as a prison guard; Arrest and Trial, as a DEA agent; and in Groom Lake, Maniacts and The Ghost of Mars. For a full listing, see Filmography.
Tafoya also writies music and performs his own songs. He is preparing to release a compact disc with the working title of Moments Locked in Time. For more on Alan’s music, see Music.
Alan is the father of four children. He maintains strong ties to his family and tribal community. He advises Indian youths to set realistic goals. He tells them not to let anything get in their way, not to let anyone tell them that they can’t do something.