About Us2018-11-01T09:05:19+00:00


MAFF was founded in 2002 by Grandmaster Dave Wheaton, his wife Master Mel, and their sons Master Austin & Master Garret.  They had previously lived in Hawaii – where they owned and operated a school for many years.  The boys attended college in Santa Barbara, and together the four of them managed to teach all of the classes and run the business.  Within a year, MAFF had established itself as a great place for fitness and martial arts training, and to date more than 10,000 Santa Barbarians have walked through the doors to experience a great workout.

The business is still family owned and operated today.  In fact, Mel & Dave’s 3 grandkids are growing up training in the same tradition, and are already talking about teaching one day as well.  When you walk into MAFF, you become a part of the family.  We hope to see you soon!


MAFF has been consistently voted “Best Martial Arts School” in Santa Barbara since it’s founding and has also won “Best Weight Loss Program” and “Best Summer Camp.”

In 2013, Martial Arts Family Fitness was recognized on a national level by the Martial Arts Hall of Honors as “USA Dojo of the Year.”


Grandmaster Dave
Grandmaster DaveCo-Founder/Instructor
Teaching and training in the Martial Arts for over 50 years, Grandmaster Dave Wheaton is a revered Instructor, Mentor, and Coach to thousands of students across the country. His unique approach to mind/body training empowers his students to discover excellence within themselves and tap into their greatest potential.

Grandmaster Dave developed Dynamic Circle Hapkido, a formidable system of self-defense that trains students to instinctively respond with the appropriate measure of force required.

Grandmaster Dave holds a 9th Dan Black Belt in Hapkido and a 7th Dan in Taekwondo and was awarded the Golden Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 by the World Karate Union Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Master Mel
Master MelCo-Founder/Instructor

Master Melodee Meyer is a Fitness Kickboxing Instructor and 5th Dan Black Belt recently inducted into the Karate Union Hall of Fame. She is also a Best-selling Author, Speaker, and a Bodylove Coach that specializes in nutrition, fitness, and personal empowerment.

Master Mel received her Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology, is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Personal Fitness Trainer. She developed an award-winning fitness program called KUT (Kickboxers Ultimate Training), and is the creator of Clean KUT Nutrition (CleanKUT.com).  You can find Master Mel on iTunes with her radio podcast, “Kick Up Your Life with Master Mel”, or pick up her new best-selling book on Amazon, “Black Belt Power” which is an inspirational collection of stories by extraordinary Martial Artists.

Master Austin
Master AustinM.A. & Fitness Instructor

Master Austin has been training and teaching under his step-father, Grandmaster Dave for over 20 years and is currently the Martial Arts Program Director at MAFF.  He teaches most of the Youth and Adult Martial Arts classes. Even as a Black Belt in Taekwondo, and a 5th Degree Black Belt in Hapkido, Master Austin seeks the “white belt mindset” – continually developing himself as a Martial Artist and a person.  Master Austin is a husband, a father of 3, and has a great way with students of all ages.

Sensei Amanda
Sensei AmandaFitness Instructor

As a 2nd Degree Black Belt and Certified Kickboxing Instructor, Sensei Amanda loves teaching Kickboxing and Resistance Training classes at MAFF.  She is a health nut, an awesome mom (of a Black Belt!), and is currently pursuing her bachelors in business.  Aside from being a great instructor, Sensei Amanda works as the Student Services Director at MAFF where she helps students accomplish their goals.

Master Bill
Master BillMartial Arts Instructor
Master Bill Keiran is happily married to his wife of twenty-eight years, Cindy, and operates his own successful HVAC consulting business in Santa Barbara, California. A father of two, Master Bill has been training in martial arts for over twenty years. He is a 5th Degree Black Belt, a Master Instructor at Martial Arts Family Fitness, and has several professional fitness certifications.
Sensei Alex
Sensei AlexMartial Arts Instructor

Sensei Alex is president of Diversity Consulting Group, an advocacy and strategic communications consultancy where he assists Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and small businesses.  Sensei Alex is currently a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Dynamic Circle Hapkido, as well as a Full Instructor in Jeet Kune Do.  He is a California native and resides in Santa Barbara with his wife and son.

Master Mike
Master MikeMartial Arts Instructor

Master Mike Hieshima is president and chairman of the nation’s top retail brokerage network, ChainLinks Retail Advisors and is a 27-year veteran of retail commercial real estate with The Shopping Center Group. Master Mike is a 5th Degree Black Belt in Dynamic Circle Hapkido and loves training at MAFF with his 2 Black Belt daughters as well as his mother – also a Black Belt.

Sensei Sarah
Sensei SarahMartial Arts & Fitness Instructor

Sensei Sarah started Martial Arts when she was 11 years old. She currently has a 3rd degree black belt in American Tang Soo Do, a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Dynamic Circle Hapkido, and has even been certified to teach Krav Maga.  As a Fitness Instructor at MAFF, Sensei Sarah is a joy to be around and really knows how to get her class sweating!  She is also a dental hygienist, and the president of the Kurt Caselli Foundation.  She hopes her story can inspire others and show them how amazing martial arts truly is.

Sensei Rachael
Sensei RachaelMartial Arts & Fitness Instructor
Sensei Rachael started training at Martial Arts Family Fitness since she was just 7 years old! She is a now a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Dynamic Circle Hapkido, one of our valued Certified Kickboxing Instructors, and the Instructor for Youth White Belts.  If she’s not teaching a class or working at the Student Service Desk, you can find Sensei Rachael hiking in the Santa Barbara mountains of her hometown or traveling the world with her loved ones.
Sensei Michelle
Sensei MichelleMartial Arts Instructor

Sensei Michelle is a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Dynamic Circle Hapkido, and teaches our Beginning Sparring class.  She’s an inspirational Martial Artist with a warm and genuine personality.  Sensei Michelle is an accomplished Investment Consultant, loves Kickboxing, wine tasting, and reading a good book.

Sensei Ray
Sensei RayMartial Arts Instructor

Raymond Janik is the Clinical Training Administrator for Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara. When he’s not working, he is Kickboxing, training in Black Belt class, scuba diving, and or on some epic world travel adventure with his wife.  Sensei Ray is an Assistant Instructor at MAFF and is a great example of service on and off the mat.

Sensei Kicke
Sensei KickeMartial Arts & Fitness
Sensei Enrique (or “Kicke”) is an outgoing and friendly Instructor who has been training Dynamic Circle Hapkido, striving to get his Black Belt in the next year.  He teaches both Fitness Kickboxing and Resistance Bands, and is an Assistant Instructor in the Kids Martial Arts program at MAFF. He loves challenging his students to work hard and enjoys leaving each with a big smile on their face.  When he is not training at MAFF, Sensei Kicke´ enjoys weightlifting, walking the beach with his soulmate, and spending time with family
Ms. Kat
Ms. KatFitness Instructor

Ms. Kat genuinely loves both people and fitness which makes her an amazing Kickboxing Instructor.  You’ll always leave her class sweating and smiling!  Outside of the dojo, Ms. Kat is extremely active in the fitness community and works as a Private Investigator.

Select The Program That Works For You

With A variety of programs, there’s something for everyone!