Clearwater Martial Arts and
Fitness Academy

April Smith has been training in martial arts for over 20 years.  She started as a young girl training in American Kenpo Karate.  She acquired a black belt at the age of 15.  She has competed in local, state, national and international competition, often times fighting competitors above her weight class.  She has several years experience training in ju-jitsu, kali, and weapons. 

     Rick Wiersch is the Chief instructor for Clearwater Martial Arts.  He has the official title of Lakan Guro in Filipino Martial Arts under the Philippine Martial Arts Institute. Official Director of Marcial Tirada Kali Florida and representing FCS Kali Clearwater. He holds a 5th degree black belt in Karate.  In addition to that, he has black belts in Taekwondo, Ju-jitsu, and Ninjitsu.  He also holds rank in BJJ and Kenpo.  He has trained in Iaido, Kendo, Tai Chi, and Yoga.  His certifications include:  A.C.E.P.S. coach, B.E.S.T. training, Pinellas Juvenille Welfare Board, Homeland Security, and qualified rifle and handgun expert.
​     Rick Wiersch is a former martial arts instructor and karate club president of Lakeland College in Cleveland, Ohio. ​
​      Rick Wiersch was trained in Kwanmuzendokai founded by George E. Anderson who was president of the USA Karate Federation.  He oversaw the introduction of karate into the Pan-American Games and the formation of the Pan-American Union of karate organizations.
      Rick Wiersch also holds certified rank under Dr. Tetsuya Higuchi.  Captain Higuchi retired after 27 years of distinguished service with the 40 thousand-member Tokyo police force, where for 20 years he had been the head martial arts instructor.  He was formally head of the Kidotai (Japanese SWAT police) and was often called upon to provide security for Emperor Hirohito, Prime Minister Nakasone, Queen Elizabeth, President Jimmy Carter, and many other dignitaries.  Rick Wiersch has dedicated his life to martial arts training and gives his all to his students.



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Officer John Zegzdryn is a 27 year law enforcement veteran.  He has his masters degree in criminal justice.  His training includes police sniper, firearms instructor, submachine gun instructor, S.W.A.T, shotgun, pistol, and rifle armor.  His military background includes service in The USMC 1980-1984, Recon, Rifle Expert, and Pistol Expert.






Guro Paula Ifft has several years of experience teaching for Clearwater Martial Arts. She is an amazing, patient instructor! She teaches at the JMAC location on Saturday mornings.
Guro Kenny Ifft teaches at the Bellaire Rec Center on Monday evenings. He has several years of experience working with students.