The Unified Martial Art Academy was founded on the island of Barbados in September of 1985 by martial art pioneer Dwight D. Woods as the official centre for the instruction of Jeet Kune Do, the art and philosophy of martial art legend Bruce Lee. His desire was to develop a facility that would offer the highest standard of martial art instruction whilst catering to the specific needs of the individual.
Having received his accreditation in Li Jun Fan (Bruce Lee) Martial Arts and Filipino Martial Arts by world renowned Daniel Inosanto, protégé and premier disciple of sijo Lee, Woods embarked on a personal mission to introduce and educate the Barbadian public to Lee’s non-classical approach to martial arts training. Woods recognized that the philosophy of Jeet Kune Do served not only as a tool of liberation from the ‘traditionalist’ mindset commonly found in martial arts, but also acted as a guide to self actualization. His desire to share this revelation with others prompted him to establish the UMAA as an institute of higher learning with the expressed purpose of assisting individuals in achieving their fullest potential in life whilst using martial arts as a vehicle for personal growth and development.
Over the past twenty years the Academy has held true to these ideals and in so doing has established itself as the premier martial art facility on the island. Like any other institute of learning it has kept abreast of the most progressive teaching and training methods in its field so as to create the best learning environment possible for its students.
In more recent years its programs and curricula have expanded to encompass the changing demands and diverse needs of its clientele. It can now boast of programs that cater to a wider cross section of our society, satisfying all their health, fitness and self-defence needs. These include martial art programs for children such as our Lil’ Dragons’ classes for ages 3-6 years and our Young Dragons’ classes for ages 7-13yrs.
Power Cables and Fitness Kickboxing programs have also been added to offer an enjoyable and exciting alternative to weight training and aerobics. More recent additions to its martial arts programs include Capoeira, Aikido and Combat Grappling. The Academy’s Flexibility & Suppleness classes are also growing in popularity with its more mature (and stressed out) clients. Additionally, the Academy is also actively involved in the promotion of full contact martial sports such as kickboxing, mixed martial arts and submission grappling. Indeed, it has produced several local champions as well as world rated kickboxers, among them Nicole ‘the Iron Maiden’ Scott, Charles ‘the Punisher’ Rudder and Kirk ‘Thunderfoot’ Bovell.
The Academy holds several local and international affiliations, and as a member school of the Inosanto International Martial Arts Instructors Association, it is recognized by martial art schools and associations in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Caribbean.