Hi, I’m Kimber Hill Tyree. I have 6th-degree black belt in Karate and I also teach Kickboxing.
If I look familiar, it’s probably because I developed the Lil’ Dragons program taught in approximately 2000 schools worldwide. I also created MAIA’s PreSkill Children’s curriculum, and I am a Master Trainer in Martial Arts for Peace.
Like many people my age, my first exposure to martial arts was the original Karate Kid. And although I wanted to sign up for karate lessons after seeing that movie, it just wasn’t in my family’s budget at the time.
Funny story: My first martial arts instructors were actually a couple of kids that I was babysitting. They were taking taekwondo lessons, and so every time I was watching them, they’d teach me a new skill.
I started my formal martial arts training in 1990, and have trained with multiple instructors in many styles. I founded my first school in 1994, and since 2012 I have owned Championship Martial Arts in DeLand, Florida, where I currently teach 220 students.
I developed the Lil’ Dragons program because I wanted to teach my daughter when she was just three years old, but there wasn’t much in the way of a curriculum developed for students under the age of eight. So I developed a curriculum that incorporates many of the principles of AMI Montessori.
If you’ve ever seen the look on a young child’s face as they master a skill or break a board, you’ll understand why I find the process so sacred, and why I enjoy teaching these young students so much.
I strongly believe in the power of martial arts to develop my students — mentally, physically, socially and emotionally. I also believe that it’s key to address my students’ concerns(confidence, safety, focus, control) rather than teaching a specific style.
Bottom line: my focus is on using the martial arts training as a tool for my students to live their lives powerfully and create a life they love.
Another thing you should know about me: as a result of a serious water sports accident in 2013, I needed extensive surgeries and intensive physical therapy just to learn to walk again. As a result of this experience, I have not only found greater respect for my students who are dealing with physical challenges, but my ability to overcome my physical limitations has in turn inspired others to work through their own setbacks in life.
No matter what you’re dealing with, that reason for your training will evolve as things change in your life. There will always be an obstacle.
I truly believe that anything and everything can be dealt with through martial arts training. How you earn your black belt is dealing with all of the things that happen along the way. By applying what you learn ‘on the mat,’ you will transform every aspect of your life.