Sifu Helana began her Martial Arts Training with Sifu Neil Cauliffe in 1989, while earning her Degree in Pediatric Nursing.
Since then, she has earned instructorship in the Jun Fan Martial Arts, Phillipino Kali and Muay Thai Kickboxing. She also holds a Third Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, as well as instructor status in Savate French Kickboxing. Top this off with the level of advanced communicator in the Toastmasters Organization, Sifu Helana understands the principles of living the Martial Arts Lifestyle: Discipline, Focus, Commitment, Perseverance, and knows how to develop these attributes in people.
She has been teaching the life changing benefits of Martial Arts to children, adults and families since 1995, and leads the Leadership program here at American Dragon Martial Arts Academy.
With over 40 years of Martial Arts expertise, Sifu Neil Cauliffe has trained with some of the best Instructors of Martial Arts in the world.
Starting his studies in New York City in 1970 with Kenpo Karate, his ongoing training has covered many Martial Arts from around the globe. From training Savate in Paris France, to the Indonesian Arts of Silat, along with Muay Thai Kickboxing and the multiple Phillippino Arts of Kali and Escrima.
Sifu Neil is also one of only a handful of people who have been awarded Full Instructorship Certification in Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do under Dan Inosanto, the man personally picked by Bruce Lee to continue the lineage of his art.
Sifu Cauliffe’s vast knowledge, caring attitude and personality and dynamic floor presence make him an instructor worth seeking out. He leads the Adult Program here at American Dragon Martial Arts Academy.
Mrs. Christman started her training in 1998 at the encouragement of her husband and 3 children, who were all taking classes. After much resistance, she agreed to start her training, and has never looked back.
She now holds a 4th Degree Black Belt, and has graduated the Leadership Program, and Instructor Training Program here at American Dragon Martial Arts Academy. She has been teaching here for over 10 years.
Her Husband and three children also hold Black Belts with American Dragon. This experience gives her a very powerful understanding of teaching, and how our program works for families.
We recognize how much influence that martial arts instructors can have, so we are careful in selecting our instructors. For example, we always hire from within our student body, and consequently, our employment interview process is 3 or 4 years in the making. We do our best to hire only those individuals that personally live up to a high moral code, a code of integrity, courtesy, patience, perseverance, and compassion. And of course, they have to be outstanding martial artists.
For us, martial arts is so much more than kicking and punching; it is a method of guiding people to a healthier and more successful life. The physical benefits include much higher energy levels, weight loss and physical fitness, as well as your ability to protect yourself and your family. The mental changes include sharper focus, stress relief, and a sense of confidence and well being.
Although we instruct both the physical and mental aspects of martial arts, we initially put strong emphasis on the mental aspects. In fact, that is one of the reasons we challenge all of our students at the end of every class to live up to the principles of Black Belt, which includes modesty, courtesy, integrity, perseverance and courage.
This only works if our instructors truly model the values that we teach. This is why we’re so careful in selecting our instructors.
At American Dragon Martial Arts Academy, we consider it our responsibility and a privilege to help our students develop skills that will help them in every aspect of their lives.