Our Philosophy:

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 persistence,courtesy, integrity, Discipline 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.

What makes us different:

What makes American Dragon Martial Arts Academy different from other Martial Art Schools is our Leadership Program. Our students become “Black Belt Leaders” in school, the community, home, and in life. The majority of our Juniors are A students in school, on the honor roll, and are leading some kind of club, project, or group at school. They all didn’t start that way when they came in for classes. They learned to develop themselves into Leaders with consistent, focused, and structured training that we teach in our Leadership classes. Our Leadership program is proven, time and time again, to create true Leaders.

  • Our family friendly environment helps our students to become stronger Mentally, Physically, Emotionally and Socially.
  • Smaller class sizes, so your child can get more individual attention. This allows us to know each and every student and monitor progress more closely. They are not lost in a large class setting.
  • Our Leadership Program gives your child the Mindset and the Skillset to become Leaders of their peers and in the community.
  • Our lineage. We are one of only 3 schools in the state of Florida certified to teach Jeet Kune Do, the art and philosophy of Bruce Lee himself. Our Chief instructor, Sifu Neil Cauliffe is trained directly under Sifu Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lees partner and Protégée.

These are just a few things that Make American Dragon Martial Arts Academy a place worth looking into.


Our Team

Sifu Helana Cauliffe

Sifu Helana began her Martial Arts Training with Sifu Neil Cauliffe in 1989, while earning her Degree in Pediatric Nursing,
Since then, while working as a Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse, 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, and creating the “Raising Fearless Kids in an uncertain world” program. 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.
Sifu Helana understands the principles of living the Martial Arts Lifestyle: Discipline, Focus, Commitment, Perseverance, and knows how to develop these attributes in people.

Sifu Neil Cauliffe

With over 48 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. Sharon Christman

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 14 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.

Zack Thompson

Mr. Thompson’s parents brought him into our Academy when he was 7 years old to help him with ADHD. Though quite the challenging student in the beginning, he has persisted with his classes and learned to control himself Mentally, Emotionally, Physically and Socially. He developed a high level of focus, his grades improved in school, he has earned not one, but TWO Black Belts, as well as graduating our Leadership Program, STORM Team (Special Team of Role Models), and Instructor Training Program. Mr. Thompson is now 23 years old, and is one of our best instructors, who understands the challenges some of these kids can have, and knows from experience how to help them succeed.

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