Michele Helaney is a
self-proclaimed fitness nut. She runs four miles a day,
lifts weights, and still finds time to teach martial arts
about 10 hours a week. A natural athlete Michele began
training in gymnastics and dance at a very early age. She
spent most of her formative years attending competitions
throughout northeast Ohio. As a young adult she danced
professionally and taught pick up classes when she could.
She continued her education in fitness earning a multitude
of certifications in fitness, nutrition, and medicine.
Eventually she earned at a limited medical branch license in
Ohio as a Masso-Therapist.
It wasnít until Michele
met her husband, Master Jeff Helaney, that she became
interested in the martial arts. As a young couple Michele
would attend the classes taught by her husband and watch
intently, but never join in. Late at night or early in the
morning, she would sneak way to begin training on her own.
She already knew her first five forms before ever formally
taking a martial arts class. She recalled the look on her
husbandís face as being one of utter shock when she began
demonstrating forms for him one day.
decided to start martial arts classes there was no stopping
her. She would often workout for 2 or 3 hours a day while
training for her black belt. A perfectionist, Michele would
perform techniques over and over again in front of a mirror
until they reached met her satisfaction. Having such a
driven personality, it would be easy to lose focus on the
true spirit of the martial arts Ö service. Fortunately for
many children she didnít forget.
chance to teach martial arts came through the award winning
Kick Drugs Out of Alliance program in Ohio. This innovative
program combined drug education and martial arts in a unique
blend that helped at risk kids learn focus, discipline, and
community. Her work as a volunteer instructor and
coordinator earned her the recognition from the
Ne-De-U-Ka-Tae Federation and the World Wide Martial Arts
Hall of Fame.
In 2006, Michele
moved to Omaha, Nebraska with her family after her husband
retired from law enforcement due to injuries. It wasnít long
before the urge to teach overcame Michele again. In 2007
Michele formally opened Omaha Blue Waves Martial Arts.
Although her husband acts as the martial arts director in
residence, Michele is the primary instructor and president
of the business. In the short time the business has been
open it has been recognized by Taekwondo Times Magazine as a
School of the Month and the business has raised thousands of
dollars for a local YMCA.
to push the health envelope by working with kids and adults
to find healthy ways to live and grow. Recently, she became
an ARF program coordinator through the Nebraska Department
of Health and Human Services. This state wide program
promotes health and fitness for all ages.