“The American Dragon” Master Shane Miller
Shane Miller was born in 1973 in Orlando, FL to a lower middle-class family. When he started school, he was a very shy and quiet child with few friends. He was very intimidated by other children and began to be bullied around the 1st Grade. He asked his mother if he could attend karate classes to learn to better protect himself. So at the age of 9 he began his journey. First, he spent around 3 months studying Shotokan Karate at in a local community program offered at the local Junior High School qualifying to test for his orange belt. Young Shane left that school for fear of the sparring requirement to receive the belt.
Next through a friend of the family he met Mr. Dave Ridener 1st Degree Black belt a man in his early 30’s who was teaching Taekwondo at his house three days a week. Mr. Ridener was an engineer at Lockheed Martian a very intelligent man with a love for Taekwondo and teaching children. Shane would go on to study Taekwondo with Mr. Ridener for the better part of a decade. He studied Tae Kwon Do with Mr. Ridener the first time as a member of the East Orlando School of TaeKwondo ( 04/82-09/85) where he earned his Brown belt (4th Guep) in June of 1984 a belt he would where for the next 6 ½ Years. During that first decade of training he would also study Isshinryu as a Member National Isshinryu Academy where he was accepted as a Brown Belt (10/85-4/86) while Mr. Ridener’s school was located in a different city. Mr. Ridener reopened in the Orlando Area in May of 1986 with Shane as his first student and started assisting Mr. Ridener with classes a few months later.
A few years later Shane now Mr. Miller would go on to establish a Christian Martial Arts Program that included Training classes and a Youth Demo team that traveled and expanded the gospel of Jesus Christ through Music, Drama, Gymnastics and of course Martial Arts. He then went on to test for what he thought was the ultimate measure of martial artist. He received his Black Belt in Taekwondo in December of 1991 from Grandmaster Edward B. Sell 8th Degree Black Belt w/ Mr. Ridener in attendance. He taught as a staff instructor for the Taekwondo Rangers 10/89-7/93. He also performed with the Crossfire demo team throughout this time as well. In the fall of 1993 he once again joined forces with his old mentor and instructor Mr. Dave Ridener as a Member Rideners Martial Arts Institutes 08/93-05/95 becoming a full time martial arts instructor for the first time Mr. Miller Earned his 2nd Degree Black Belt in October of 1993. He began teaching Taekwondo for the Orange County Public School system at two locations one in College Park, the other in Metrowest. He would also run a 3rd Martial Arts School for the City of Orlando at the Dover Shores Community Center. Mr. Miller was now in charge of the training over 100 students in the Orlando Area. During this time, he began his Judo/ Yudo Training. This continued till June of 1995 when a new opportunity arrived. Mr. Miller started to attend the University of Central Florida to seek a Bachelors Degree in Elementary and Physical Education.
Mr. Miller at the same time joined the American Dragon Martial Arts Academy in May of 1995 under the instruction of Master Richard Hackworth. The same year in August he tested for his 3rd Degree Black Belt in front of the Vice President of the KTA (Korea Taekwondo Association) and the 2nd highest ranking Grandmaster in Chungdokwan Taekwondo visiting from Korea. He then joined the Hapkido Class as a white belt and began to study this dynamic martial art, in class regular class setting 3 days a week 3 classes a day. During this time, he also taught Taekwondo 3 Days a week in a school of over 100 students. Around this same time Mr. Miller was accepted into the KMAIA (Korean Martial Arts Instructors Association) Internship Program a two-year program for Americans to receive their Instructors License. Master Richard Hackworth would become Mr. Miller’s: instructor, mentor, business partner and friend for the better part of the next two decades. In May of 1996 at the invitation of Grandmaster Phil Porter and Master John Chambers was recognized as a 1st Degree Black Belt in Yudo/Judo. Then in January 1997 Mr. Miller would receive his black belt in Hapkido from Korea. Now a black belt in 3 Martial Arts at the young age of 22. This year he also started to teach Kardio Kick Fit Aerobics to classes of 20-50 participants teaching up to 13 Classes per week between 3 different fitness centers. While at the same time serving as a staff instructor at American Dragon Martial Academy. Early in 1998 he graduated Professional Wrestling School a childhood dream and made his Pro debut as “The American Dragon” winning the WWA (World Wrestling Association) World Martial Arts Championship. He would go on to become Master Shane Miller one of the youngest Americans to ever receive a 4th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo in Sept of 1998 from the Korea Taekwondo Association at the age of 24. Then he traveled to the Republic of Korea to train the following month studying Hapkido, Taekwondo and Yudo in the Dojangs in Korea. During this trip he also served as the US National Team Coach for the National Junior and Senior Taekwondo Championships in Korea. Upon his return to the States, he became the director of Training for Action Star Studios Inc. (WWA) Professional Wrestling School. Master Miller ended 1998 as Taekwondo Master of the Year recognized by the KMAIA. The following year in September 1999 Master Miller earned his Second Master Title a 4th Degree Black Belt in Hapkido.
In 2000 he would move to Dyersburg, TN and teach martial arts and Pro Wrestling. While there he wrestled for the midsouth territory as a wrestler for the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance). While there he won the NWA Midsouth Jr. Heavyweight Title and was even invited to try out for the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Developmental School in Memphis, TN by wrestling Legend Tracey Smothers. But by the start of 2001 he would return to Orlando, FL and become the General Manager of a health club location. Master Miller then ran a successful fitness center called Paramount Health Clubs, running day to day operations, teaching aerobics, martial arts, and pro wrestling. In 2002 he would move to Lord’s Gym an upstart Christian Fitness Center in a neighboring town of Clermont as the Evening Manager. While there he once again helped run day to day operations, taught aerobics and martial arts classes for adults and children. He quickly built the program up to over 60 students. During this time another wonderful thing happened he met the love of his life, a gift from God one Jamie Bryant a beautiful woman who would become his wife in August of 2002. In the summer of 2002 Master Miller was appointed Vice President of the USNTA (United National Taekwondo Association) the United States National Governing Body for the Art of Taekwondo recognized by the KMAIA and the Korean National Government. In 2003 Master Miller’s life would change in several significant ways. He received his 5th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo from the USNTA. Also “the American Dragon” Shane Miller would revive his wrestling career wining the NWA World Martial Arts Championship a record 6 Times from 2003 through 2010. In 2012 He was recognized as the Pro Wrestling Fit World Martial Arts Champion a title he held till the close of the company in 2014.
Then he took a challenging position at World Karate Martial Arts a school owned by Ernie Pellesco as the Chief Instructor of a martial arts studio with over 200 active students. He would go on to teach up to eight classes per day, teaching six days a week. World Karate stretched his ability to teach and motivate students to a whole new level. This school was an independent Sport Karate school and he found himself adding traditional Taekwondo, Hapkido, and Yudo techniques in wherever he could. He also started to teach Club Boxing along with Kardio Kickfit an aerobic training program that includes heavy bag techniques. In his time at World Karate he would also teach a Physical Education class at Oakshire Elementary School grades 1-5 for three months in the morning ending in a performance for their parents. Master Shane and Jamie Miller would welcome their first-born child Josiah Jack Miller into the world. Now 14 years of age Josiah Miller is a 1st Degree Blackbelt in Taekwondo and Yudo as well as a red belt in Hapkido. He hopes one day to follow in his dads’ footsteps and become a martial arts instructor. He also bought his home in Orlando in 2003 putting his roots down in the city beautiful deciding to make the city he was born in his permanent home. In October 2004 he would continue his martial arts dream opening his own school in cooperation with Winter Park Health and Fitness. At the same time, he would go on to become a field Surveyor for the Walt Disney World Company helping build the magic.
In 2005 he would return to the Christian Martial Arts program that he founded in 1989 now called the Way CTU (Christian Taekwondo University) to be a guest instructor. He enjoyed working with his former students now Black Belt Instructors themselves learn a little more about Taekwondo and other martial arts. Then that year his student Master Kevin Kugler the chief Instructor died of Brain Cancer and a memorial Tournament was organized in his honor Master Kugler a great student and friend will be missed. Master Miller would also receive his 3rd Master Ranking this time in the art of Yudo. He received his 4th Degree Black Belt in Yudo from the R.O.K. (Republic of Korea) Yudo Association.
Master Miller in 2006 decided it was time to open his own martial arts studio location. He decided to dedicate the time and energy to the project hiring one of his students who was now a Master to teach at his school Master Chris Courington. Master Courington and Master Miller along with the help of Grandmaster Hackworth ran a thriving studio for over two years. Also, in June 2006 Master Miller was appointed to the World Masters Council the youngest member to ever be appointed to this prestigious council. Then during this time in November of 2006 Master and Jamie Miller had their second child Jerico Shane Miller. Jerico now 10 years old is a advanced practitioner in Taekwondo and Yudo. Jerico loves sparring standing up or grappling on the ground maybe a future champion in this one. But with the downturn in the economy the school closed in early 2008. Grandmaster Hackworth would go on to open a school in the Clermont area where Master Miller would teach on occasion as a guest instructor. In 2008 Master Miller went on to join the group fitness staff at L.A. Fitness teaching 2-3 times each week. He became a certified group fitness instructor with AFAA and taught several group fitness formats including Kickboxing, Boot Camp, Body Works, and Club Box. Shane Miller would continue to teach for LA Fitness till the end of 2011 helping adults reach their fitness goals. During this time, he continued to be a frequent guest instructor at the Clermont American Dragon Martial Arts Academy.
The next stage in Master Miller’s martial arts career would take him to the Orlando Taekwondo Academy to meet a kindred spirit in Instructor Eric Link. Master Miller met Mr. Eric in passing at Elementary school open house and took to his love for Taekwondo. Master Miller asked if he could come check out his school and Mr. Eric invited him to come. Master Miller went on to create a partnership to bring the martial arts of Hapkido, Yudo and Yusul to his school location (8/11-5/17). Master Miller has taught Taekwondo, Hapkido, Yudo, and Yusul at Orlando Taekwondo as a part of the staff and a helper and a mentor to the other black belts and instructors. In 2012 Master Miller now about to celebrate his 30th year in the martial arts was informed by his longtime instructor and mentor Grandmaster Richard Hackworth he was eligible for his 6th Degree Black belt in Taekwondo. He would go on to test for 6th Degree alongside his business partner Mr. Eric Link for his 4th Degree Black belt. The Orlando Taekwondo Academy now had two Masters on Staff. Master Eric heading up the Afterschool, Summer Camp programs and children’s classes and Master Miller heading up the Adult Programs in Hapkido, Yudo, and Yusul.
Also, during this time Master Miller along with longtime friend and mentor Grandmaster Richard Hackworth would open a new American Dragon Martial Arts Academy location in Ocoee in May 2012. He would teach Taekwondo, Hapkido, Yudo, Yusul, and Pro Wrestling (5/12-5/15). Master Miller is still a frequent guest at the Ocoee school. American Dragon Martial Arts Academies now has Martial arts schools on the east side of Orlando (Winter Park, FL) and on the west side of Orlando (in Ocoee, FL). He would also Test for his 5th Degree Black belt in the martial art of Yusul in Feb. 2013, this will be his 4th Master Rank in the Korean Martial Arts. In March 2015 he completed his goal of Testing for his 6th Dan in Hapkido making him one of the highest ranking Hapkido Masters in the U.S.
In July 2015 Master Miller took the steps to open a new martial arts location in Winter Park, FL alongside his student and training partner Master Chris Courington, teaching classes in Taekwondo, Hapkido, Yudo, and Yusul Also as of Sept 2015 his wife Jamie has joined him in his martial arts journey currently preparing for her blue belt in Taekwondo. He intends to have the #1 martial arts school in America and will take the necessary steps to fulfill that dream. Master Miller now about to celebrate his 36th year in the martial arts and is currently preparing for his 7th Degree Black belt testing in Taekwondo (USNTA) and Tangsoodo (Korea MooDukKwan TangSooDo Society).
Master Miller’s professional associations past and present include the following in no particular order: the KMAIA (the Korean Martial Arts Instructor’s Association, KTA (Korea Taekwondo Association), WTF (the World Taekwondo Federation), the Korea Chungdokwan Association, the Korea TangSooDo MooDukkwan Society, Korea Hapkido Federation HanMooKwan, National JungDoKwan Association, United States National Taekwondo Association (USNTA), Korea Hapkido Federation HaeMuKwan, Korean Hapkido Federation, U.S. ChungDoKwan Association, ROK Yudo Association, Korea Yusul Association, NWA (National Wrestling Alliance), NWA CWFL (NWA Championship Wrestling from Florida), NWA Korea, Pro Wrestling Fit, NHA (National Hapkido Association) AFFA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America),TKDR (Taekwondo Rangers, Crossfire Demonstration Team, Parkway Baptist Church, Aloma Baptist Church, American Dragon Martial Arts Academies, Orlando Taekwondo, World Karate Martial Arts, World Wrestling Association, Action Star Studios, WCMAF (World Christian Martial Arts Federation), Kukkiwon, United States Yudo Association, International Yudo Federation Orlando City Recreation Department, Orange County Public Schools, PWF World Martial Arts Champion, NWA Martial Arts Champion (6X), WWA Martial Arts Champion, WWA United States Champion, NWA Southern Jr. Heavyweight Champion.
Grand Master Miller’s most recent accomplish was to be appointed at the Demonstration Team Coach for the USA Hapkido Union.
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