Grand Master Joe Cayer is a 9th degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and has practiced the martial arts for 45 years. He achieved his 2nd degree black belt in Krav Maga (IKI), his 5th degree in Kajukenbo, and 5th degree in Iaido Jutsu (Way of the Sword). Recently he achieved his black belt in Combat Jujitsu under Master Michael DePasquale, Jr.
Sensei served as a Police Officer with the Fort Walton Beach Police Department and is a certified Law Enforcement Combat Tactics Instructor. In 2003 Joe won the 7th Irish Cup Grand Championship in the Randori division with Soke Don Madden with Team America.
In 2007, Joe was awarded The President’s Bronze Volunteer Service Award by President George Bush for his years of volunteering to his community and the local Police Department and Sheriff’s Office.
General Manager, Kohai
Shannon was promoted to the title of Kohai on March 27, 2018. He has been training under Grand Master Cayer since April 2016 and became the General Manager of Emerald Coast Martial Arts Academy in August 2017.
Shannon is a proud father of two sons, Simon and Isaac. Both Simon and Isaac have trained under Grand Master Cayer and hold belts in Shotokan karate. Shannon is a Medically Retired U.S. Navy Veteran. He earned his B.A. in Business Administration and Multi-Media & Graphic Design from McMurry University in Abilene, TX.
His martial arts journey started as a young child. Shannon has earned belts in Kemscrima Doh, Taekwondo, Shotokan, IKI Krav Maga, Iaido, and Filipino Martial Arts. Along with his duties as General Manager, Shannon is also an Assistant Instructor in IKI Krav Maga, Filipino Martial Arts, and Black Belt Club weapons training at Emerald Coast Martial Arts Academy (ECMA).
Tai Chi Instructor
Sharon began training Yang style Tai Chi Chuan and QiGong in 2016 under Sifu Henry Patterson at ECMA and continues private lessons with Sifu Patterson in South Walton County. Sharon trains under the Honey Badger Martial Arts System of Tai Chi Chuan.
She began her training in Iaido under Grand Master Cayer in 2017. Sharon currently holds a blue belt and continues to train while assisting in ECMA management, marketing ECMA programs, and business development.
Sharon received her BSBA from University of Southern Mississippi and her MBA from University of West Florida. Her 34-year career took Sharon from manufacturing, healthcare administration, and the University of West Florida’s SBDC as a Certified Business Consultant where she assisted over 1,000 small business owners in business development before retiring in 2017.