Hi! I’m James.

I started Martial Arts Headquarters as a resource for new and experienced Martial Artists. A lot of sites focus on one or maybe two styles of Martial Arts and I wanted to build a bigger resource for people just like me, who love different styles of Martial Arts.

Here, you’ll find articles about multiple types of Martial Arts. I’ve trained in different styles and disciplines over the years and want to share my experience with others. Below you’ll find a

Martial Arts I’ve Trained In

  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • Muay Thai – Apprentice Instructor under Ajarn Chai Sirisute
  • Wing Chun
  • Kali – Escrima
  • Jeet June Do – Jun Fan Gung Fu
  • Tae Kwon Do

Some of those I’ve trained in for longer than others and I left out things that I only trained in for a few months. A good example of that would be CSW, Savate, and USA Boxing. While I did train in those, I wasn’t “ranked” in either. Most of the training was through seminars and not consistent classes.

My Martial Arts History

We’re going to have to go way back on this one…

I was six when The Karate Kid movie came out and I wanted to be Ralph Macchio. I’m pretty sure my parents got sick of me talking about wanting to take Karate at seven and signed me up to a Tae Kwon Do school. I was hooked right from the start. My Master — Joo Nam Lee — had just moved to Atlanta from Korea and his school was pretty new. I studied and competed in Tae Kwon Do until I was 15. As a kid, I had a number of accomplishments in the sport. I went to the Junior Olympics twice(qualified 5 times), won Georgia State Tournaments multiple times, and earned my 2nd Degree Black belt.

(Fun fact: If you’re under 15 you’re technically a Junior Black Belt until you turn 15. No testing is needed to move to Black Belt from Junior Black Belt. You automatically move to the Black Belt and stay at whatever Dan you were at.)

I ended up quitting Tae Kwon Do as a teenager because I thought I was much cooler than I actually was.

Fast forward a few years to 2003 and I started to catch the Martial Arts bug.

I had a friend tell me about a Martial Arts called the Francis Fong Academy. They taught Wing Chun, Muay Thai, Kali, Jeet Kune Do, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I wasn’t familiar with any of that outside of Jeet Kune Do. I thought it sounded interesting and I was working right down the street from the place at the time. So I decided to go after work one day and see what he was talking about.

Right after watching the first class I was hooked.

I started training Wing Chun, Muay Thai, and Kali. Mostly, because that’s what worked with my schedule. As time went on I started to pick up some Jeet Kune Do and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I eventually earned my Apprentice Instructorship from Ajarn Chai Sirisute in Muay Thai and a Brown Belt and Apprentice Instructorship in Wing Chun from Sifu Francis Fong.

James with Ajarn Chai after the TBA Instructors Test.
After my TBA Instructor Test with Ajarn Chai

From 2011 until 2016 I taught the 8:30pm-9:30pm Muay Thai Classes Wednesday evenings and the occasional Saturday class at the Francis Fong Academy in Johns Creek, Georgia. If you’re ever in the area, go check them out. Great people and a great place to train.

Me feeding the pads for a Muay Thai Instructor test.
Feeding the pads for a TBA instructor test

As I got older and my family got bigger, I had to stop teaching class. I lived an hour away from the Academy and had an hour commute to get to work at 6am every morning. Teaching an 8:30pm-9:30pm class just wasn’t going to work with my schedule.

In early 2017 I signed my son up from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Straight Blast Gym in Buford Georgia. I got a chance to meet the coaches and really loved the atmosphere they created.

Watching my son on the mats really showed me how much I missed training. After talking with his coach I found out that they had a 6am Jiu Jitsu class. I had already been going to a Crossfit box in the morning and it was a no brainer for me to stop going to Crossfit and jump right back in to Jiu Jitsu.

IBJJF blue belt match
IBJJF match at blue belt

So, here we are today. I train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 3-4 days per week and try to make it to a Muay Thai class a few times per month. I’m am fascinated and love all types of Martial Arts.

I look forward to sharing all kinds of martial arts knowledge with you.