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"Martial artists aren't born. They're made."


Water's Edge Martial Arts, conveniently located off 690 at Bridge Street, is the only certified martial arts school in the Syracuse, NY area that is authorized to offer Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do,  Filipino Martial Arts as well as the Indonesian Art of Silat.
Our specialty is street defense combatives as well as competition based training. WEMA instructors have decades of experience ranging across multiple martial arts systems, and fitness instruction, each with their own specialties. Join Water's Edge Martial Arts in Syracuse and unlock your hidden potential.

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Sifu Jason Wallace

Every school needs a head instructor, and Water’s Edge Martial Arts is lucky to have the very talented Sifu Jason Wallace. Sifu Jason Wallace began his training back in 1990 as a college student. Although he’s dabbled in other styles, Jeet Kune Do and Kali / Escrima is where his heart lies. For twenty years, he has had the privilege of learning under the expert tutelage of Sigung Eric Winfree. Well-known within martial arts circles, Sifu Jason has been an invited guest Instructor at Renaissance Martial Arts Festival in Rochester NY, and the Saratoga Martial Arts Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY. Outside of martial arts, Sifu Jason spent twenty-four years working in law enforcement and college security. Protecting people is in his blood. And he is up for the task of creating the next generation of protectors. While Sifu Jason has many skills, his emphasize tends to revolve around the real world application of JKD and Kali techniques, situational awareness, and personal safety, and security.

Sifu Montell Lyles, Jr

Dedicated to the craft of martial arts, Sifu Montell Lyles, Jr has been studying Jeet Kune Do and Kali/Escrima since 2010. Starting as a teen, Sifu Montell soaked up any and all lessons like a sponge. Before long, he was enrolling in martial arts competitions in the CNY area and beyond. Competitions he quicky realized were in his blood and he helped start a winning competition team through his previous school under the guidance of Sigung Eric Winfree. Competing with his team in over 20 competitions, Sifu Montell himself has come in first place at almost all of them, such as his first place win at the 2016 North American Grappling Association competition in the expert grappling division. To diversify his style, Sifu Montell has trained with instructors from various martial arts and is proficient in Jun Fan Gung Fu (JKD), Filipino Martial Arts, Pencak Silat, jiujitsu, various other Kung Fu styles, and weapons’ arts. As a Syracuse Police officer, he has a keen understanding of the importance of street based combat and realistic self-defense tactics having to use techniques himself in the field. As a result, his goal is to train students in a way that does not create unrealistic expectations from impractical martial arts techniques. His emphasis is on making sure that anyone that trains with him performs at their best in in any formal organized martial arts competition and more critically, if finding themselves in a dicey situation, can get home safe.

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Sifu Lisa Kim

Bruce Lee’s dedication to both strength training and conditioning to bring out the best fighter within has strongly influenced Sifu Lisa Kim’s martial arts journey. As a result, she excels in raising the fitness level of every student that steps onto her mats. She will help you achieve your fitness goals and get you in shape. Each Sifu has a different area that is their focus. Sifu Lisa’s is street combat defenses. Due to her doctorate in criminology, Sifu Lisa brings a unique understanding of the motivations behind both offenders and victims. Her teaching approach therefore revolves around efficient, effective strategies to get you home safe. She firmly believes all people can benefit from studying martial arts, not just physically but psychologically as well. There is nothing better than feeling confident that you can handle yourself, especially as a woman. And she wants all students to experience that peace of mind. Sifu Lisa began studying Jeet Kune Do in 2010. As a child, she always wanted to become an expert in martial arts. Life did not make that easy. Everything seemed to get in the way. As a mom of three, it has at times been a difficult balancing act to get to this point. But for Sifu Lisa, the struggle has been well worth it. And she aims to make it worth it for all students who walk through the Water’s Edge Martial Arts doors.

Sigung Eric Winfree

For over forty years, Sigung Eric Winfree has been studying martial arts. As one of the few full instructors of Jeet Kune Do in Central New York, Sigung Eric was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Francis Fong Instructor Association in 2016, he was promoted to Senior Instructor under Guro Kevin Seaman, one of just 4 in the world. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his expertise in martial arts. After retiring from professional fighting (with an very impressive record of 36-3), Sifu Eric developed his own street combative system that has been successfully tested in numerous real world encounters. He has trained security personnel, police officers, parole officers, military personnel as well as teachers, housewives, just about everyone. Sigung Eric concentrates on the spiritual side of the martial arts in his goal is to help fellow martial artists reach enlightenment and has brought several martial artists to the instructor level. The mark of a good instructor is his or her students. Sifu Eric’s students have been with him for decades. And have excelled under his careful guidance. In addition to developing his own personal defense weapon and a Women’s Self Defense Program that is highly regarded within the martial arts community, he has also been a fight choreographer. In a world that is based on flashy images, Sifu Eric is the real deal. Awards/Recognitions: Hudson Valley Martial Arts Festival Appreciation Award (2011) Great Grandmaster Aaron Banks Hall of Fame Award (2012) World Class Karate Appreciation Award (2016) Saratoga Springs Appreciation Award (2016) Associations: Syracuse Martial Arts Masters Consortium Francis Fong Instructors Association

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Sifu Hoang Nguyễn

Ever since Sifu Hoang Nguyen was a kid, he had this burning desire to dive into the world of martial arts. Growing up, he often felt like the smallest guy in the room, especially when surrounded by bigger kids. But at the age of twelve, he got the chance to join Guru Eric Winfree's summer martial arts program for kids. From that moment, he was hooked, and he's never looked back. Sifu Hoang didn't just dabble; he dove headfirst into martial arts, determined to become the best version of himself. With the guidance of his fellow martial artist and Guru Eric, he transformed into a faster, more agile, and stronger version of himself. He even went on to represent his school in various competitions, nailing a first-place win in his very first competition in the Syracuse area. Sifu Hoang is proficient in Jeet Kune Do, Filipino Martial Arts, and wrestling/grappling. But what makes him stand out is his hunger for learning. He's always on the lookout for new techniques to level up his already impressive skill set. Through martial arts, Sifu Hoang didn't just toughen up; he grew up. He's immensely grateful for the incredible people he's met on this wild journey. Today, Sifu Hoang is on a mission to help those who might be feeling a bit unsure of themselves. He knows what it's like to be the little guy and lacking the belief in yourself, and he's here to guide others, just as he was once shown the way.

Adrian Joseph

Adrian Joseph embarked on his Muay Thai journey in 2014 through the UB's Combined Martial Arts Club and quickly developed a deep passion for the sport. His dedication took him to renowned training centers around the world, including Yak Yai Muay Thai in Phuket, Manop Gym in Chiang Mai, Looknongsaeng Gym in Bangkok, and Bangkok Boxing in Atlanta. Beyond training, Adrian has also imparted his knowledge by teaching in Syracuse. In early 2023, he spent five months in Thailand, marking his prowess with an international record of 3-0, all victories secured by KO/TKO. He is excited to share his professional experience and techniques.

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Chad Donzella

Sifu Chad Donzella has martial arts running through his veins. With 23 years of training under Guro Dan Donzella, he has mastered a unique style of Silat that blends Indonesian and Chinese elements. This Donzella style focuses on swift and effective techniques for both armed and unarmed combat. In addition to his extensive training with Guro Dan, Sifu Chad was privileged to study under Master Rudy Duncan at Duncan Martial Arts. Despite his impressive title and experience, he humbly prefers to be called simply Chad.

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