Marty's passion for martial arts began with high school wrestling and continued to grow over the next 20 + years. Through the years he has trained in various systems including Shorin Ryu Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kenpo and Jeet Kune Do. He currently holds the rank of 2nd degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate and in 2011, after completing a thorough instructor training program, he became the first certified Gracie Combatives/Jiu Jitsu instructor in NC directly from the Gracie Academy in Torrance, CA. Marty is also a certified apprentice instructor in Progressive Fighting Systems/ Contemporary Jeet Kune Do (PFS) under Paul Vunak.
Although not overly competition-focused, he competed in the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) Georgia State Championships where he took first place in his division.
Marty has an MSN degree with a specialization in education; and when not teaching Jiu Jitsu, he works as a Clinical Educator- working with people who have Multiple Sclerosis. He is also board certified in Psychiatric & Mental Health nursing.
Rooted strongly in the notion of self-growth, Marty strives to continuously learn, grow and develop as a person and Martial Artist. As a former Stress Management Counselor and Life Coach, he takes great joy in helping those around him reach their full potential. His predominate goal and focus is to train and empower people with self-defense and personal protection skills to enable them to be more confident and comfortable in their everyday lives.
Jeff Howard GST Instructor
Jeff is a certified instructor of Gracie Survival Tactics, a program designed for law enforcement and military by the Gracie Jiu Jitsu academy. While he prefers to focus on real-world self-defense, Jeff has competed in sportive weapon and fighting events, and was a 2009 North American Grappling Association champion in his division. Jeff also holds a black belt in Chinese Kenpo, as well as over 15 years of experience in Wing Chun Kung Fu. He has broadened his horizons by studying various forms of sword work, including Olympic Fencing, Historical Fencing and Broadsword. Along with teaching, he continues his progression through the Gracie Jiu Jitsu system.