About Jeff Hughes

If you’re looking for a life change I can help you.  Improve your health and fitness, sleeping through the night, getting rid of headaches and stomaches etc.   I am here to help you achieve all your goals.

In 1974 I took my first martial arts class at the age of 7.

Unlike most youngsters taking martial arts classes, I did it for necessity, not just for fun. I lived in a rough neighborhood in Vacaville, CA. My mom convinced the sensei to let me take the class even though I was too young for his school. The rest is history; I’ve been loving and training martial arts ever since.

Through the years I trained Kajukenbo, Kuk Sool Won, and Hapkido until in 1992 when I discovered traditional Chinese Kung Fu.

My Kung Fu Sifu was a former Marine Ranger and the training was BRUTAL. I trained 8 hours a day, 6 days a week; it was like my full-time job. Some of my tests were up to 2 days long: 1 hour “horse stance;” 10 mile runs; breaking bricks; demonstrating over 150 forms; and fighting 1 hour straight with other black belts.

I opened my own school in Austin in 1995.

I have helped many people achieve the title of Black Belt. I led many of my students to national and international competitions where they have won all types of awards as well as personal achievements like weight loss, fitness, personal betterment and inner peace.

I noticed some areas not being addressed in a lot of traditional Kung Fu training in the US these days: no real ground fighting; not enough take-downs and takedown defences; and no realistic striking game. Many kung fu teachers are limited in what they have to offer. They get caught up with the past; not growing or relavent with the times. But there are constantly new ideas; we live in a time where we can’t and we don’t have to be limited to a region and a narrow lineage of knowledge.

I went on to earn a black belt in Hawaiian Kempo and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and became an advanced Olympic Lifting coach through the USAW to improve my Iron Mantis program.

We have the internet; we know what athletes have achieved in the Olympics.  There are techniques and skills from all around the world that I have taken the time to incorporate into the Iron Mantis.  Many times these other systems have helped me reverse engineer my Kung Fu.

After training for 40 years and teaching thousands of people for 20 years, I have created an amazing system that will help you make the life changes you have been looking for.




I have been certified as

  • Sifu in 7-Star Praying Mantis Kung Fu under Grandmaster Raymond Fogg and the Kung Fu Exchange.
  • Black belt in Hawaiian Kempo under Grandmaster John Hackleman and The Pit.
  • Black belt Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under 4th degree Professor Luigi Mondelli, American Top Team / Kore BJJ.
  • Advanced USA Weightlifting Coach.  Athlete of Senior Coach Lance Hooton.
  • Instructor in Tai Chi under Master Horacio Lopez.


If you’re ready to learn, I’m ready to teach you.

I am based out of Austin, Texas but travel to martial arts schools throughout the U.S. and abroad.  I am here to help you achieved all your goals, I look forward to working with you.  – Jeff Hughes



chiuleunraymondnelson“I have personally known Sifu Jeff Hughes for quite a number of years. Mr. Hughes is a very professional Martial Arts instructor and fitness Guru. I am very impressed with the way that he carries himself as an Instructor and, the way that he instructs.

Sifu Hughes is a Student of the Late Chiu Leun (Seven Star Praying Mantis) and, he is also well versed in other forms of Martial arts plus, Chinese herbology. His self-defense techniques are effective and valuable in today’s environment.

It is an honor to personally know Sifu Hughes as a Martial Arts instructor and friend.”

~ Grandmaster Raymond Nelson, 7-Star Praying Mantis


image1-3“Over my years in the Chinese Marital Arts, I have met many young martial artists, a select few go on to become instructors, and on a rare occasion I have witnessed a handful that become proficient, knowledgeable, to be considered a Master.  Jeff Hughes is one of that elite Chinese Martial Artist to achieve such accolade.”


~ Sifu Dave Pickens, Board Chairman United States Amateur Athletic Union



I’ve know Master Jeff Hughes for over 20 years. He has been a strong practitioner of the martial arts since he was a kid. He has trained for decades in Kung-fu, Karate and Kempo. Plus over 10 years in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has incorporated all these skills into his own system of self-defense as well as his own training program to prepare sport fighters. There are many martial artists out there, but real masters are getting to be a rare breed. Master Hughes stands in that group of real masters.

– Sifu Pablo J. Zamora