Master Hendrix
7th Degree Black Belt

EMA Founder


Master Hendrix is the Founder  and  Owner of Essential Martial Arts.  He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in both Broadcast Journalism and Interpersonal Communications.  He founded Essential Martial Arts in 1996 (known then simply as Hendrix Tae Kwon Do); he now owns three Essential Martial Arts schools throughout Guilford County and has taught thousands upon thousands of classes. He over sees the direction and training of all Essential Martial Arts' Instructors.  Additionally, he has students who own and operate schools in: California, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina & Virginia.  Master Hendrix is a published author and his column "The Essentials" is currently featured in each issue of the international martial arts magazine "TaeKwonDo Times" (sold at Barnes and Noble).  Recently Master Hendrix was chosen to be featured on the cover of TaeKwonDo Times as well. 

  Master Hendrix holds the rank of 7th Dan Black Belt, he is currently the highest ranking American born active instructor in the Unified ITF with black belt number A-7-2. (A=American, 7=7th Degree, 2=2nd promoted to this rank.  A-7-1 is no longer active in the U-ITF).  Additionally, Master Hendrix is an Internationally certified Instructor with the Unified ITF - Cerificate # A-18, class A.  The Unified ITF is a very special Taekwon-Do association as it is founded by Grand Master K.S. Hwang who was one of only five men ever promoted to Grand Master by the late General Choi Hong Hi, the founder of Taekwon-Do.  GM Hwang's black belt number from General Choi is (K-9-1)

Master Hendrix also holds the rank of 4th Degree Master in HapKiDo and is the World  HapKiDo Association's Easten United States Director.  Master Hendrix was originally a HapKiDo student of the late Grand Master Bong Soo Han.  Master Hendrix earned his 2nd Degree Black Belt from GM Han and had permission to test for 3rd Degree before Grand Master Han's passing.  Master Han's three original senior students tested and promoted Master Hendrix to HapKiDo 3rd Degree black belt.  Master Hendrix conducts several HapKiDo seminars annually.

With over 10 years of experience in Philippine Martial Arts, Master Hendrix holds the rank of Full Instructor in Contemporary Jeet Kune Do and Philippine Martial Arts under legendary Sigung Paul Vunak who is the founder of the world famous  "Progressive Fighting Systems" Jeet Kune Do and Philippine Martial Arts Association.  Additionally, Master Hendrix is one of the few individuals who also holds a Full Instructorship in Sigung Vunak's prestigous Descendants of the Masters Program.  Sigung Vunak is a second generation student from the incomperable Bruce Lee - the found of Jeet Kune Do and is a direct student of Bruce Lee's top student and training partner - Dan Inosanto.  Master Hendrix is the former Vice President for Sigung Vunak's Contemporary Jeet Kune Do organization.

Additionally, Master Hendrix and his wife Master Ellen Hendrix are each one of only four individuals in the world ever promoted to CERTIFIED TRAINER in Dr. Keith Jeffery's Easy Tai Chi.  Certified Trainers are an elite group of Easy Tai Chi MASTER INSTRUCTORS promoted at the discretion of Easy Tai Chi Founder Dr. Keith Jeffery. . The Easy Tai Chi system is a beautiful and simple blend of traditional Yang and Chen family styles of Tai Chi along with QiGong energy drills and elements of Pakua and Yoga!  Master Hendrix is also certified in Dr. Jeffery's 4 Minute Fitness (Qi Gong) system and he and his wife Master Ellen Hendrix  are also two of only a handful of Tai Chi players which Dr. Jeffery has given permission to certify other Easy Tai Chi and 4 Minute Fitness Leaders.  

In an effort to completely round out his martial arts knowledge Master Hendrix is a Level 3 Certified Catch Wrestler under legendary Catch Wrestler and Coach Billy Robinson.  Hendrix also holds a level 2 (of 2) Judo certification under Judo World Champion and Olympian Mike Swain.  Additionally, Master Hendrix spent several years actively training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/Submission grappling and then continued to train in the fundamentals of Brazilian JiuJitsu through Sigung Paul Vunak's Contemporary Jeet Kune Do System.  

In his free time, Master Hendrix is a competitive endurance runner and racer specializing in the 13.1 mile half marathon distance as well as Duathalon style triathalons. 


Current Training & Certifications:


• 7th Dan Taekwon-Do - Unifed-International Taekwon-Do Federation (U-ITF - Certified # A-7-2)
• Certified International Taekwon-Do Instructor (U-ITF - Certificate # A-18 Class. A)
• The highest ranking American born Master in the Unified International Taekwon-Do Federation
• Direct Student of Grand Master K.S. Hwang (U-ITF Founder) who was special Assistant to the Late founder of Taekwon-Do and the founder of the International Taekwon-Do Federation - General Choi Hong Hi.  GM Hwang was the 2nd of 5 men ever promoted to 9th Degree Grand Master by General Choi !

•HapKiDo  (Korean)

• Earned: 1st & 2nd Degree Black Belt and Certified Instructor Rankings from the Late Grand Master Bong Soo Han who was a student of HapKiDo founder Yong Sul Choi. Master Hendrix was given permission to test for 3rd Degree black belt before GM Han passed away. He was tested by GM Han's Sr. Students shortly after Master Han's passing.
• Currently training directly under Grand Master Tae Jung who is the President of the World HapKiDo Association (WHA)
• 4th Degree Black Belt Master Ranking (World HapKiDo Association. Certificate #204013)
• Certified International HapKiDo Instructor by the World HapKiDo Association (Certificate # 020609)
• Former North Carolina Representative for the World HapKiDo Association.
• Former United States East Coast Director for the World HapKiDo Association.
• Current Eastern United States Director for the World HapKiDo Association.

• Contemporary Jeet Kune Do w/ Filipino Martial Arts

(Eclectic: Chinese, American, Filipino, Thai, Brazilian, European)

• Direct student & Contemporary Jeet Kune Do & Filipino Martial Arts Full Instructor/Sifu under Sigung Paul Vunak 
Note: Sigung Vunak is the founder of the Progressive Fighting System and he is a first generation Jeet Kune Do student under Mas Guro Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee's training partner and highest ranking student).
• Over a decade of training in Philippine Martial Arts
• Full Instructor in Filipino Martial Arts and direct student of Paul Vuank

  • Vice President for Paul Vunak's Contemporary JKD organization 

• Tai Chi & Qigong Exercise Program (Chinese

• Certified Master Instructor in Dr. Keith Jeffery's Easy Tai Chi System (Based on Yang and Chen Style)
• Certified Master Instructor in Dr. Keith Jeffery's 4 Minute Fitness (Qigong)

Grappling (European, American, Brazilian, Japan)

•Level 3 Certified Catch Wrestler through Scientific Wrestling under Coach Billy Robinson.
• Several years of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/Submission grappling experience & assistant teaching (Blue belt awarded by Royce Gracie and has also trained with Jean Jaque Machado, Caique Elias, Robson Mora, Marcel Louzada, Rener Gracie and Erik Paulson)

• Level 1 and Level 2 (of 2) Judo Certified by Olympian Mike Swain 



Master Hendrix Training With Grand Master Hwang



Other Notable Accomplishments:
• 2009 World HapKiDo Association, Representative of the Year   

• 2010 - Promoted to World HapKiDo Association United States East Coast Director

• Published Author in Taekwon-Do Times Magazine
• Action International Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Honors Inductee (Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts) 
• Level 1 and Level 2 Judo Certified by Judo World Champion and Olympian - Mike Swain
• Full Instructor (Certificate # 091121-3) and Lakan Black Belt in Philippine Combatives (09101012) through the Philippine Martial Arts Alliance, trained directly by PMAA founder Mas Guro Julius Melegrito (Master Hendrix is not currently teaching this system)
• Over 10 years of training in Philippine Martial Arts
• 5th Degree Black Belt in KamiBushiShinDo Karate through the U.S. KamiBushiShinKai (Master Hendrix no longer teaches this art) 
• 4th Degree Black Belt in Kobudo Weaponry through the U.S. KamiBushiShinKai (Master Hendrix no longer teaches this art)
• Winner Of Dozens Of Regional Tournament Trophies
Former AAU Regional Taekwon-Do tournament Gold medalist in Advance Black Belt Hyungs.
Former AAU Regional Taekwon-Do tournament Gold medal
In Men's Advanced Black Belt Heavy Weight Sparring
• Former Multi Time NC State Games Gold and Silver Medalist

•Formerly ranked 3rd Nationally In Taekwon-Do Competition (ATA tournament circuit)
• Former 2 time AAU National Taekwon-Do Bronze Medalist 
(Adult Advanced Black Belt Heavy Weight Fighting & Adult Advanced Black Belt Hyung) 
• Former World Taekwon-Do Tournament Silver & Bronze Medalist
• 2003 3rd Place in the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Grappling Classic (Novice Middle Weight No Gi Competition)
• Licensed MMA cornerman by the State of North Carolina
• National & Regional Tournament Judge
• US KBSK Invitational Tournament Director
• Trainer Of Tournament Champions
• Trainer Of Black Belt Instructors & School Owners
• Developer & instructor of numerous specialized defensive based seminars and programs for Special Interest Groups

Master Hendrix and the late Grand Master Bong Soo Han