Profile of Presenters
Master John Ellis – 6th degree
Master Ellis is a martial artist with more than 35 years of training and practice in Moo Hap Sool (Taekwondo and Hapkido), and more than 30 years of experience in teaching people to strengthen the connections between body, mind and spirit. He teaches martial arts to toddlers, youth, adults, senior citizens, athletes, the physically challenged, and children on the spectrum. He has more than 40 years of meditation practice in Christian, Zen, Vipassana and New Thought traditions.
He is a career journalist who has written about martial arts, mediation and health. Master Ellis founded Ananda Martial Arts & Fitness Academy in Oakland, where he teaches traditional martial arts, self-defense and Five Realms Meditative Movement. Master Ellis began his martial arts training in 1985 with Grandmaster James McMurray—a former Army Special Forces Veteran—at the House of Discipline in Texas, where he studied Taekwondo, Hapkido, traditional weapons, self-defense, yoga and meditation. Ellis earned a spot on the school’s demonstration and competition team, the Thundercats, and competed often in the Texas All Open Karate tournament circuit.
In 1988 Mr. Ellis earned his 1st Dan Taekwondo, a teaching certificate, and a school charter. That same year at Northwestern University he began teaching self-defense classes at the request of fellow female students, which expanded into martial arts classes. At Northwestern he also studied Jujutsu with Master John J. Lewis, Ph.D., an Army Special Forces Veteran and a former State Trooper.
Mr. Ellis moved to California in 1997 and began training and teaching with Master Kenneth A. Pitts at Pitts Martial Arts Academy. At PMAA Mr. Ellis taught Taekwondo in the children and adult programs, and studied Capoeira. He also served as Vice President of the Taekwondo Division of the Unified World Martial Arts Federation founded by Professor Joe Halbuna (Kajukenbo) and Professor Wally Jay (Small Circle Jujutsu). In 2010 renamed his school Ananda Martial Arts & Fitness Academy, and reopened full-time to the public. In 2013 Grandmaster McMurray promoted Master Ellis to his current rank of 6th Dan in Moo Hap Sool (Taekwondo and Hapkido) in the House of Discipline Martial Arts Group