What Makes HIMA THE 4-State's Premier Martial Arts Institute? 

HIMA just might be the place for you if you're the kind of person who seeks more than just self-defense and / or physical fitness from his or her martial arts training.

What makes us believe we are the premier martial arts institute in the four-state area?

Our pursuit of "higher learning."

Our "vehicle of personal development."

Our proven system.

Our high performance martial arts.

Our focus on principles. 

Our actionable philosophy.

It is these things and much more that fuels our belief!

Higher Learning

It is our belief that we are the four-state region's only martial arts institute of higher learning.

Our educational emphasis is drawn from my extensive pursuit of higher learning.

What makes HIMA an institute of higher learning?

The many things we share with academic institutions of higher learning!

For starters, colleges and universities provide education to students in an effort to aid personal growth and development and to prepare students for the "real" world.

HIMA is no different!

While the subject matter is different, the education we provide serves to accomplish the very same objectives - personal growth and development AND real-world preparation!

We truly believe that our education can transform lives!

The Ultimate Personal Development Vehicle

At HIMA, it is our steadfast belief that few "vehicles" compare to martial arts in terms of personal development.

In fact, we contend that our high performance martial arts are the ultimate personal development vehicle.

We make this proclamation because our martial arts training has the potential to develop the whole individual - mind, body and spirit.

With this all-encompassing development in mind, a quote that I've seen associated with the United States Marine Corps seems very fitting, "If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you!"

Our martial arts training programs, whether Phase or Cultural, will challenge you mentally, physically and spiritually.

Examples of mental challenges include:

  • learning new terminology and words in different languages;
  • understanding various concepts and theories; 
  • being able to maintain focus during various training drills; and 
  • more.  

Examples of physical challenges include:

  • learning new techniques; 
  • overcoming coordination challenges that are common when many parts are moving at the same time; 
  • developing the ability to wield two weapons at the same time; and 
  • more.

Examples of spiritual challenges include:

  • showing the heart to fight through the fatigue and muscle-burning that accompanies certain drills and exercises; 
  • displaying the determination to complete the assigned number of repetitions of an exercise despite having grave difficulty; 
  • proving your mettle by maintaining a deep stance during the performance of all of your jurus; and 
  • more.

Our Proven System

HIMA is a Magda Institute affiliate and member of the Magda Institute Association, which has schools in the United States, England, Germany, and Italy.

HIMA's proven system is the result of its Magda Institute affiliation.

The system that we use was established in 1988. Since that time, it has been revised numerous times thanks to continual research, training, and adjustments to various aspects of the system - all with an emphasis on improvement.

We are truly blessed to deliver this tried-and-true system.

Our students are truly blessed to experience this time-tested system.

This system has been producing high quality martial artists and even higher quality human beings since 1988.

As a HIMA student, our proven system will provide you with a high quality education that not only re-defines your practice of martial arts, but also transcends the martial arts and inspires you to achieve excellence in other areas of your life as well.

High Performance Martial Arts

Our high performance martial arts - Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Muay Thai, Silat, and Wing Chun - greatly contribute to the success of our proven system.

What do I mean by high performance martial arts?

To us, high performance martial arts are arts that:

  • provide a comprehensive martial education - striking, trapping, grappling, weapons, etc.

  • focus on quality over quantity - Muay Thai is an excellent example as it has uses relatively few techniques, when compared to other arts, but is extremely effective
  • principles, NOT techniques rule - principles provide solutions; techniques do not always work; principles help you understand why something didn't work and how to improve efficiency

  • contain concepts, philosophies, or theories that transcend the art - when we can apply martial learning to life, we have transcended the art

  • provide a framework for evaluating other arts - the structure, application, and principles of high performance martial arts allow students to assess other arts and their techniques

Principles RULE!

Principles are a constant here at HIMA.

First, and foremost, we consider ourselves educators.

A true educator doesn't just want a student to know something, they want a student to understand it.

That is also what we want - for our students to understand.

As an example, let's consider an outside straight arm bar - a technique we may execute in Kali when applying a lock against a weapon-wielding opponent.

A student who "knows" this technique will be able to apply it, but the execution may produce very inconsistent results due to "understanding" deficiencies.

On the other hand, a student who "understands" this technique will be able to apply it with far more consistent results.

While there are many factors that influence results, such as setup, timing, placement, etc. - principles are key to "understanding."

For instance, a student who truly understands the "Opposite Levers" principle will produce far more consistent results than one who does not.

This is why principles RULE!

Actionable Philosophy

An "apple-a-day" philosophy is how my teacher, Sifu Cass Magda, explains what he  terms, the "principle of accumulation." 

He typically uses "jurus" as the example.  These are short, predominantly hand-oriented, forms from the Indonesian martial art of Pentjak Silat

These forms lay the foundation for the "handwork" of the system. 

In order to build a strong foundation, practitioners are encouraged to perform "jurus" for 5-10 minutes every day.

Waiting until the last day of the month and performing "jurus" for 150-300 minutes will not produce the same result and does not conform to the "principle of accumulation," despite the total training time being equal.

The importance of daily  performance cannot be overstated as this practice fosters the development of a very positive habit - a habit that will allow the Silat practitioner to accumulate knowledge, skills and abilities gradually over time.

An "apple-a-day" is an excellent philosophy to produce accomplishment in any undertaking because positive habits are the keys to success in any endeavor, including martial arts and life!

The daily discipline of engaging in this positive habit goes a long way in developing the needed behavioral and mental focus to become better at anything, including martial arts.

Have you had your "apple" today?

Now Is The Time

If you've made it this far, it's likely your interest is pretty high.

So now is the time to seize this potentially life-changing opportunity.

If you don't believe it can be life-changing, you can read an example of just how life-changing it can be (coming soon).

While your life may not change like mine did, you will certainly learn some techniques.

More importantly, however, you will learn principles, tactics and strategies.  

You will experience philosophy in action.

Your "change opportunity" can be a very a fruitful journey!

So, you should get started NOW!

Schedule a Class

If you're still hesitant, then you should more fully explore our site.

Be sure to check out all of the HIMA links (below) for detailed information on our Institute.

Also check out all of our hub pages (left hand column or below).

HIMA Links

An Investment in Yourself

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Hub Page Links

MI Association
Jeet Kune Do

Muay Thai

Wing Chun


Service Area

Given our prime location, we are in an ideal position to serve the 4-state area of West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Here is a partial list of some of the cities and towns we serve:

  • Berkeley County, WV: Marlowe, Falling Waters, Martinsburg, and Hedgesville

  • Jefferson County, WV: Bolivar, Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, Ranson, and Shepherdstown

  • Washington County, MD: Williamsport, Hagerstown, Clear Spring, Funkstown, Sharpsburg, Keedysville, Boonsboro, Smithsburg, and Hancock
  • Frederick County, MD: Braddock Heights, Middletown, and Frederick

  • Franklin County, PA: Greencastle, Chambersburg, and Waynesboro

  • Frederick County, VA: Winchester

  • Morgan County, WV: Berkeley Springs

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