IJTF #A-237-9-4 Grandmaster Jeff Helaney began his martial arts journey in 1969 when his late father, Wallace G. Helaney, took him took to his first “official” martial arts class with GM S.K. Shin (d) During the seventies he studied Judo, TaeKwon-Do, and Sports Karate with GM Shin, Master Fred VanAckren, and Master Steve Johnson. It was with Johnson that Helaney received his 1st through 3rd Black Belts. In the early 1980’s Helaney began teaching martial arts at two now defunct ACS Martial Arts Schools. During this time he was studying both TaeKwon-Do and Combatique with Johnson. In 1984 he added Hapkido to his lists of interests. His introduction to the art was with his first instructor, GM S.K. Shin at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. It was, also, during this time that he began working as a law enforcement officer. Over the next few years his martial arts training would take a decidedly real world twist as he became a psycho-motor skills design instructor through JSTA, a police defensive tactics instructor, and firearms instructor. His biggest regret during this time was that his study of traditional arts suffered slightly due to an erratic work schedule.
Late in 1989, Helaney moved from the Omaha area to northeast Ohio to take a new law enforcement position. Once in Ohio he opened the Alliance Chung Do Kwan TaeKwon-Do Club, a non-profit 501 C (7). This club started off providing free martial arts and defensive tactics training to law enforcement officers and their families. Helaney saw it as a stop gap measure for law enforcement officers train because their agencies that were often underfunded. By 1993, Helaney had expanded the club to allow all community members to train for little or no cost based on a sliding income scale. Helaney was continuing his own martial arts education during this time under GM Eward Sell (d), Master Don Meyer (d), GM Emeric “Sonny” Scarsella (d), Dr. Nicholas Gerassimakis, and GM John Pelligrini.
In 1996 Helaney opened up the Kick Drugs Out of Alliance (KDOA)
program in concert with the police department and the city school district. The unique drug education martial arts program that started out at one small elementary school quickly grew to encompass two public school and one private school districts. Classes were held at 3 different locations during this time, attendance peaked at several locations with over 100 children at a time. Helaney ran KDOA from 1996 to 2005.
Under his guidance the program received several citations from the Ohio House of Representatives, the Ohio Department of Education (Partnering in Progress Award), and a letter from a former United States President. Helaney personally received a significant amount of recognition from the program. He was inducted into a number of martial arts halls of fame, was presented with Sadaki Nakabayashi Award for Commuinty Service, and was named Budo Magazine‘s Grandmaster of the Year in 2003.
In 2005 Helaney retired from law enforcement after over 20 years of active service due to injuries. Shortly there after he moved back to Omaha to take a job as the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention Director for the 5 counties in and around the Omaha area. While sitting on a committee for the Partnership for a Drug Free America Helaney came in contact with Louie Warren, former Director of the Metropolitan YMCA. The YMCA had opened a new location and was in need of martial arts instruction at the location. He approached Helaney about possibly taking over the program. After much discussion with his family, he relented and began teaching again. For the first time he was no longer the primary instructor of an undertaking, but rather a mentor to the instructors that would do the ‘heavy lifting’ at the program.
The program grew experientially and began bursting at the seams. Helaney and his wife responded by opening up Omaha Blue Waves Martial Arts. The new school opened as a stand alone facility in 2010. Within two years it became a Best of Omaha winner and has maintained that status ever since.
In 2012 at the urging of a number of friends, students, and colleagues across the country, Helaney started the United States Kido Federation. This group is devoted to the promotion of Korean style martial arts as the grow and develop in the United States. The program focuses on providing training, educational opportunities, and growth for its membership. In order to provide stellar service to the membership and fulfill its organization imperative of creating unity in the martial arts, the USKF has created liaisons with a number of the major Korean martial arts organizations and primary partnerships with the International Jun Tong TaeKwon-Do Federation and the World TaeSool Association.
In 2014, Grandmaster Helaney received the highest honor available in traditional TaeKwon-Do and was awarded his 9th Dan.
Current Ranks Held
9th Dan TaeKwon-Do – International Jun Tong TaeKwon-Do Federation
5th Dan Hapkido – World Tae Sool Association
5th Degree Black Belt Sports Karate – ACS Martial Arts
2nd Degree Black Belt Poekoelan – Green Dragon Pentjak-Silat
Certifications and Memberships
International Sport Science Association, Personal Fitness Trainer
Institute of Korean Natural Health, Doctor of Science Oriental Medicine
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Member
Training Center for the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine – Medboo, OM/Acupuncture Certificates A-G
North American Hombu Hakko-Ryu Jujitsu Federation – KoKoDo Shiatsu Basic Certification
AAMA Board Certification #66402412
State of Nebraska Licensed Massage Therapist
Martial Arts Positions Held:
2016 to Present – International Jun Tong TaeKwon-Do Federation: Advisory Board
2012 to Present – United States Kido Federation: President
2012 to Present – World Organization of Martial Arts Athletes: Regional Director
2011 to Present – Omaha Blue Waves Martial Arts: Co-Owner
2008 to 2011 – Midwest Martial Arts League, Public Relations and Tournaments Director/Executive Vice-President
2007 to Present – TaeKwonDo Times Magazine, Staff Correspondent (part-time)
2005 to Present – Private Consulting and Seminars
2004 to Present – Five Elements Massage, Martial Arts, and Oriental Health Center, LLC: Co-Owner
1998 to 2005 – Kick Drugs Out of Alliance Program: Program Director
1993 to 2005 – Alliance Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do Club: President
1999 to 2005 – International TaeKwon-Do Union: Ohio State Director
2003 to 2005 – World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio: Member
1994 to 1995 – Police Martial Arts Association, Canada: Ohio State Representative
Recognition and Awards:
2005 – Budo Magazine’s Hall of Fame: Grand Master of the Year – TaeKwon-Do
2004 – Ohio Department of Education: Partnering in Progress Award
2004 – Professional Karate Commission’s Ohio Black Belt Hall of Fame: Inductee
2004 – Ne-De-U-Kan-Tae Federation: Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts
2003 – World Wide Martial Arts Hall of Fame: Master Instructor of the Year Award
2003 – World Martial Arts Hall of Fame: Induction Award, honorary title and degree Professor of Martial Arts (Ph.D./MA) awarded, and appointment to Hall of Fame Board.
2002 – North American Black Belt Hall of Fame: Most Distinguished Martial Artist of the Year
2002 – Action Martial Arts Magazine: Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts and 2002/2003 Trading Card
2002 – World Wide Martial Arts Hall of Fame: Outstanding Organization of the Year for Kick Drugs Out of Alliance Program
2001 – World Wide Martial Arts Hall of Fame: Master Instructor of the Year
2001 – Team Power Master’s Hall of Fame: Inspiration Award
2001 – North American Black Belt Hall of Fame: Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts
2001 – Alliance Board of Education: Commendation for Excellence in Education
2001 – National Exchange Club, Alliance Chapter: Police Officer of the Year, Service to Youth
2000 – USA Karate Federation and US Jujitsu Federation Hall of Fame: Sadaki Nakabayashi Award for Community Service
1998 – United Martial Artists Association Black Belt Hall of Fame: Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts