Grand Master Jeff Helaney, IX Dan
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 the first decade of the 21st Century GM Helaney’s life would begin to change rapidly. His interest in Oriental Medicine would lead him to obtain multiple degrees and certifications in these multi-mellennia old disciplines. It was, also, the decade his personal career changed. 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.
Photo taken after promotion of GM Jeffrey Helaney to 9th Dan in TaeKwon-Do on April 26, 2014 Omaha, NE Left to Right: GM Patrick M. Hickey, President Kwanmukan; GM Brandon Richards, Kukkiwon Advisory Board; GM Troy Trudeau, President World TaeSool Association; GM Jeff Helaney, President United States Kido Federation; GM James James Paul Rosenbach, President RWTG; GM Robert Dunn, President International Jun Tong Taekwondo Federation; GM Rodney Kauffman Past President Ne-De-U-Kan-Tae Federation.
9th Dan Promotion Video Produced by GM Helaney’s Students and Family
Quick Stats at a Glance
Current Martial Arts 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
Licenses, Certifications, Honors,Professional Memberships
- State of Nebraska Licensed Massage Therapist – License #3474
- American Alternative Medical Association – Board Certification #66402412
- International Sport Science Association, PFT #371114
- Institute of Korean Natural Health, Doctor of Science Oriental Medicine
- 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
- American Massage Therapy Association – Professional Member
- American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine – Professional Member
- International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Retired Member
Martial Arts Positions Held:
- 2019 to Present – World Tae Sool Association/Tae Sool Won: Advisory Board
- 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 2012 – 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:
- 2019 – Who is Really Who in the Martial Arts/AMAA: Hall of Honors “Who’s Who Legends” award recipient
- 2019 – Who is Really Who in the Martial Arts: Masters and Pioneers by Jessie Bowen (Grandmasters of the Martial Arts/pages 167-169)
- 2005 – Budo Magazine’s Hall of Fame: GrandMaster 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