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USA Insider Race to Survive: Alaska

Who Is The Ninja Hakim Isler From 'Race to Survive: Alaska'?

Isler has the reality TV edge when it comes to "Race to Survive: Alaska" having appeared on other shows like "Naked and Afraid."

By Tara Bennett
Race To Survive Alaska's Hakim Isler

With Monday's premiere of "Race to Survive: Alaska," USA Network's intense competition reality series, audiences are now getting a look at the eight teams in action. In particular, one face in the pack may have caught the eye of daytime TV viewers or fans of other survival series, "Naked and Afraid," "Naked and Afraid XL" and "Kicking & Screaming," because Hakim Isler has made the rounds of them all.

RELATED: Meet The Teams On 'Race To Survive: Alaska'

How to Watch

Catch up with Race to Survive: Alaska on the USA Network app.

As a combat veteran with the nickname "Black MacGyver," Isler is a familiar face doing the talk show rounds as an expert sharing tips with civilians about how to get more prepared in their daily lives. In this clip from a recent "Clarkson" visit, he praised the inherent every day preparedness of moms, and then revealed that the average diaper bag is actually a starter survivalist's emergency bag, if you look closely:

On "Race to Survive: Alaska" the 45-year-old Isler is competing with his teammate Justice Norman, and is all business trying to navigate the six legs of the race trying to win that $500,000 prize. This makes sense considering he's a non-nonsense combat veteran who was once deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and served as a Psychological Operations Sergeant in the Special Operations Forces of the Army.

Today, Isler is the founder of The DOJYM at Elevo Dynamics in Fayetteville, NC and co-founder of Spirit Quest, whose goal is to assist at-risk youth. He's also founder and director of the non-profit SOIL Foundation, a wilderness therapy and retreat dedicated to helping our veterans and youth cope and recover from emotional challenges.

Did we mention that he's also a legit ninja? He's earned a 5th Degree Black Belt in To-Shin Do (Ninja Self Defense) and trained under Black Belt Hall of Famer and author Stephen K. Hayes. He also has a First Degree Black Belt in Manog, an FCS Kali and a First Degree Black Belt in Tiger Kali. He's also appeared on Discovery Channel’s “Unsolved History” to speak about the history of the ninja.

Isler's strategy for "Race to Survive: Alaska" is to use his Army Special Operations experience, especially the survival training, and his prior reality TV experience to excel in the wilds of Alaska with Norman. On "Naked and Afraid," he appeared in Season 3 where he had to live off the land for 21 days. In the only season of "Naked & Afraid XL," he did the same for twice the amount of time — 40 days — which means he should be amply prepared for what Alaska is going to throw at him. 

The first episode of “Race To Survive: Alaska” is on USA Network. And you can catch other survival content on Peacock now. 

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