Payneful Self Defense

Payneful Self Defense

5.0 (37)
1 hire on
1 employee
1 years in business

About this pro

I have been teaching self defense professionally since 1986. My passion is to teach and pass on the knowledge and experience that I have spent most of my life obtaining.  After serving in the US Army as a combat medic, I opened Academy for the Martial Arts in San Antonio, TX in 1986. 

I moved to Hawaii in 2017 and lived there for three years and now live in Springfield, VA. I am a certified  International Taekwondo Master instructor. (Kukkiwon-Taekwondo Headquarters in Korea)  I have training in BJJ, Hapkido, Krav Maga and more. I have experience working with kids, teens, adults and have helped over 20,000 students during my career. Practical and fun, I teach self defense techniques that have proven to be life saving as well as confidence and life skills that can last a life time. From my experience, most schools teach a sport. I have done that with great success, but....if you want to learn self defense and don't plan on competing in tournaments, it's important to know that there is a huge difference in training. Working with the Rape Crisis Center for 2 years as an advocate councelor really motivated me to learn and teach practical, real world self defense. Bad guys don't care to much for the rules of the game.

Google "Michael Payne TKD/Martial Arts" as well as YouTube.

My passion is to pass on the knowledge and experience that I have obatained over most of my life. I have seen first hand the difference that learning martial arts/self defense has made in the lives of my students. The confidence, self esteem, life skills and so much more are awesome things to witness grow and develop in students. The positive lessons learned translate into all other areas of life. I love this job.

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West Springfield, VA 22152
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37 Reviews


  • Austin. Acosta

    Master Payne was incredibly knowledgeable and very relatable. His explanations on how to perform certain self defense movements were easy to understand. I highly recommend signing up and taking a class. You will leave there feeling more confident and more capable than before!

  • Megan Lambert

    Mr. Payne is an amazing self defense coach. He taught me as a child and I learned so much more than just how to defend myself. Perseverance, self respect and self discipline is at the heart of everything he teaches. He had a huge hand in making me who I am today. I can’t wait for my kids to take classes with him!

  • Micah Jewett

    The vast knowledge he has about what actually works in threatening situations. He backs his teaching up not only with examples, but with funny personal experiences.

  • Lauren Jolly

    I trained under Mr. Payne from the ages of 8-10. As a 23 year old woman, I still think of the things he’s taught me. From self defense techniques, to remembering not to fold your thumb inside of your hand while punching, his lessons have stuck with me for over a decade. Mr. Payne is a kind, strong and wise instructor. if i lived near him, i would still love to attend his classes. i cannot recommend him enough!

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I work with students at their level. Everyone is different. It's my job to figure out the key that opens up every students potential.