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Erik Ekholm - Jacksonville Martial Arts Instructor

Zone Martial Arts teaches physical defense, mental strength, and life lessons in a family-friendly, safe environment.

At Zone Martial Arts, we teach a combination of Tae Kwon Do, American Boxing, Jui Jitsu, and Krav Maga, but focus on more than martial arts technique and physical defense. Our instructors, led by world champion Tae Kwon Do master, Erik Ekholm, teach old and young how to protect themselves and be confident in an uncertain world. At Zone Martial Arts, we teach life lessons — responsibility, respect, and above all, love and appreciation for family and friends. Zone Martial Arts goes beyond martial arts forms and tournaments. We help our students to strengthen their mental, emotional, and physical fitness. We teach our students the lessons that will protect their mind, body, and spirit — today, and tomorrow.

“Be in the Zone, Stay on Target and Follow Through”
— Erik Ekholm

The Zone Martial Arts Approach

We teach a combination of Tae Kwon Do, American Boxing, Jui Jitsu, and Krav Maga.

Zone Martial Arts teaches Tae Kwon Do for overall defense, with an emphasis on kicking attacks and defense. We add American Boxing for upper body strength, close-in standing defense, and Jui Jitsu for prone defense and grappling. Finally, for grappling and street fighting skills, Master Erik Ekholm (U.S. Army, retired) teaches Krav Maga, a military self-defense developed in the Middle East that combines all these disciplines with realistic fight training to keep our students safe in any situation.

This unique approach to martial arts was developed by Master Erik Ekholm, a 6th degree Black Belt in taekwondo with many years of military training and certification in Krav Maga , Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Kickboxing, and American Boxing. Master Ekholm’s martial arts training started in 1977 in Jacksonville, Florida at the age of 12. He was immediately hooked; the structure and discipline, which was taught in a fun and challenging manner, developed his deep passion for the martial arts.

Among his many accolades, in 1982, Master Ekholm won the U.S Open and the Battle of Atlanta in the Men’s super-lightweight division. In 1989, he took the Gold Medal at the National Collegiate Championships in Olympic Taekwondo. In 1994, Master Eckhom won the World Championship.

While serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Ord, California, Master Ekholm furthered his skills in hand-to-hand combat, learning Krav Maga and other disciplines that later became the building blocks of his first dojo in Southern California. After establishing four martial arts schools in California, Master Ekholm transitioned leadership to his brother and business partners. He married his wife, Melanie, and moved back to Jacksonville, establishing Zone Martial Arts here in Duval County. Finally, Master Ekholm added one last degree to his list — a four year college degree from the University of North Florida.

During his 40 years learning and teaching mixed martial arts, Master Ekholm has helped thousands of students reach their martial art and fitness goals. His passion is helping people benefit from the martial arts while learning life skills and character traits to enrich their lives. He is passionate about teaching kids and adults, and is ready to help you reach your goal……ARE YOU READY?

Ekholm Family

Meet the Ekholm Family

Erik and Melanie have been happily married for 16 years. Melanie is a 2nd degree black belt and homeschool mom. Logan is a junior in high school, a 1st degree black belt, and enjoys playing lacrosse and guitar. Skout is in 8th grade at Providence, plays baseball, guitar, and drums, and is a black belt. Victoria is in 6th grade (Homeschool Classical Conversations), is a diver at Atlantic Coast Diving, and is also a 1st degree black belt. We are members at Chets Creek Church.

Rexi is our Rotteweiler…I mean Labradoodle! Oreo is our Tuxedo Cat, who only likes Victoria, and 15 chickens call our yard home.

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work.”
— Our family verse, 1 Chronicles 28:20