TRAINERS & INSTRUCTORS
SIFU COURTNEY D. WHITE
Hello! My name is Sifu Courtney White and I have a relentless passion for the Martial Arts. This passion has driven me in my pursuit for what I consider "Martial Arts Excellence". Following this path has allowed me to experience a variety of training in many different systems and earn certifications from some of the most talented martial artists in the world.
The search for excellence began in Miami, Florida about 15 years ago when I became a student in October of 1994 at Unified Martial Arts Academy under Sifu Dwight Woods. During my time at the UMAA, I was heavily involved in many martial art seminars from varying systems. All these systems which I attended helped to further my diversity, and education. Some of the guest seminar instructors were: Guru Cass Magda, (who has greatly influenced me in the art of Pentjak Silat Bukti Negara), Sifu Francis Fong, (of the Wing Chun Federation) and Master Ajarn Surachai Sirisute, (President of the Thai Boxing Association of the USA). After 6 years of training at the UMAA with Sifu Dwight, I was honored by being awarded with the title "Apprentice Instructor" in Bruce Lee’s Jun Fan / Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Kali / Eskrima under Guru Dan Inosanto.
Soon after my Instructor certification, I decided to establish residency in Los Angeles, California to further my studies with Guru Dan Inosanto. Guru Dan is considered to be the head authority in continuing the legacy of Bruce Lee’s Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do. This was my primary interest when I moved to California; but while studying at the Inosanto Academy, Guru Dan introduced me to one of his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors, Renato Magno a fourth degree black belt practicioner.
Guru Dan himself still continues to train in many different forms and systems of martial arts as they are all related and after being exposed to some different systems of ground fighting and grappling, I quickly developed an interest in them and began to research and train heavily in these areas.
I was amazed and impressed at the knowledge that Sensei Magno shared with his students, and shortly thereafter I found myself training at his school in Santa Monica, CA.
A year later... while still training at the Santa Monica school, I was invited to a class that Sensei Magno was teaching at the Machado Academy in Torrence, CA. & on that same day, in addition to being promoted to the rank of blue belt I had the pleasure of meeting Higan and Roger Machado (who were Guru Dan's Instructors in the art of Brazilian Jui-Jitsu or BJJ). As soon as class ended, I was already trying to figure out a way to become a student of the Machado Academy as well. During the rest of my time in California I studied in Los Angeles with Guru Dan, in Santa Monica with Renato, and in Torrence with the Machados. Sensei Paulson, also a student of Guru Dan's, taught shooto-wrestling at the Inosanto Academy. Coincidently, while training in the art of Brazilian Jui-jitsu, I also began to study the art of shoot-wrestling under the Shooto World Light Heavyweight Champion Erik Paulson.
Sensei Paulson gave me this analogy : "Shoot-Wrestling and Brazilian Jui-jitsu complement each other, Jiu-jitsu is like playing chess and Shooto is like playing speed chess with the timer being involved." It was at this time while studying Shooto, BJJ and CSW that I met and became good friends with Jonathan and Jason Eusabio. They began to teach me the art of STX or Savate-Thai-Blend. STX is a kick-boxing art developed by Nicholi Sagniac, Damon Carro, Chad Stehelski and Erik Paulson, who now are well known in Hollywood for their martial art stunt-choreography talent.
After three more years of training with Sensei Paulson, I attained the title of Representative Instructor, which I still currently hold. Soon after that, (being homesick) I moved back to Miami to spend time with my family. Still wanting to continue my training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I decided to join Pedro Valente's School, & the Gracie Miami School of Self-defense. There after 2 more years of study, I was promoted to the rank of purple belt.
Today I hold a brown belt under Daniel Valverde.
In 2010, I wanted to integrate more urban combative's to our programs. After my research, I found Atienza Kali and the rest is history. It is now one of our main programs in our school. Atienza Kali has been very influential to my training and our approach on how we deliver our martial arts systems. I currently hold an Associate Instructor level 4 rank in Atienza Kali. I am currently a range safety officer and continue training in firearm combatives.
In 2017, the Lord blessed me with the great opportunity to develop
the hand to hand training manual for the Special Forces and military of the Colombian National Police. We were contracted by the US Embassy in Bogota Colombia, thru one of their branches called the INL. For the last 2 years, My team and I were on contract in certain regions in Colombia such as Ibague, Bogota, and Sibate. We await further training dates from the Embassy for 2020.
Using the experience I gained from studying martial arts for the past 25 years, I started formulating my ideas hoping to envision an institute of higher learning where I could teach others the great knowledge that I had learned. That institute would be called Hybrid Martial Arts Academy. It would be an Academy devoted to teaching the five aspects of martial arts which I feel are important. These aspects Self-defense, Sport, Military-Tactics, Health & Fitness and the Art/Cultural traditions.
It is my belief that God has allowed me to come this far with a compassionate desire for teaching, training and empowering individuals through the martial arts. I feel that it is also my destiny to influence individuals through the martial arts that I teach them, so that they may have a better understanding of themselves, the world around them, and use the knowledge I give them to help them move towards a more fulfilling life, with me as their guide through their journey in martial arts.
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SIHING LEONEL R. SANCHEZ
Hello! My name is Leo Sanchez. I am from Panama, Rep. of Panama. I’ve loved sports for as long as I can remember, but I first identified with living the path of a warrior during my high school football years. This new identity led me to pursue martial arts training while attending college in Miami, Florida in 2002.
Originally martial arts was a means for physical fitness and self-improvement, but 3 years later, it became a part of me. (I literally committed it to ink, as you can see in my tattoo.) I grew to embody the concepts, not just the techniques, and committed myself to following Bruce Lee’s Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do philosophy of “Using no way as the way, having no limitation as the limitation” and to be simple, direct, and practical. Through his philosophy, I recognized the interconnectedness and similarities between all martial arts.
No one system is the best, but rather the person and their character that uses the system, as a tool to express themselves is what truly matters.
I rely on the wisdom I’ve gained through my martial arts training as a code of conduct by which to live my life, learn from others, and contribute to the martial arts community at large.
Martial arts maintains wellness in many aspects of my life such as the spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual and environmental dimensions.
I find myself continuously humbled by my teachers and strive to keep always learning.When I recognized I possess the talent to teach, I understood that it is my responsibility to share my knowledge with the community. I truly enjoy watching others improve and sharing the knowledge that’s been passed onto me.
My passion for martial arts and fitness led me to work as an AFAA certified personal fitness trainer since December of 2008.
I have been an active duty service member with the United States Marine Corps as a helicopter mechanic since January 2010. I serve my fellow Marines as a Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor at Marine Corps Air Station – Miramar and earned my credentials through a rigorous course at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot – San Diego through the martial arts center of excellence (MACE) as a 1st Degree Black Belt Instructor.
Presently, I’m a current member of the Thai Boxing Association of the U.S.A. and a student at the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts in Marina Del Rey, California. I continue to train / practice with several studios, academies, and training centers between San Diego, Los Angeles, CA and Miami, FL to continue growing, learning…and teaching.
Schedule your 45 minute Introductory Lesson.