JoAnn Wabisca is a master martial artist and teacher. She became one of the first women in the United States to receive the coveted rank of “Silver Glove” (Black Belt Equivalent) in Boxe Francaise Savate. Shortly afterward she was voted the first female president of the American Federation of Boxe Francaise Savate.
JoAnn earned instructor’s certification in Muay Thai and in Jeet Kune Do (under Bruce Lee’s direct student Sifu Jerry Poteet and his wife Sifu Fran Joseph). Even after suffering a debilitating knee injury which led to a complete ACL replacement, in 2003 she won the US Championship in Boxe Francaise Savate Assaut, which later led to competition in the World Cup of Boxe Francaise Savate in Plovdiv, Bulgaria where she claimed a world title after fighting 5 times in less than 24 hours!
An expert in fitness, in 2005 JoAnn also won the California State Title as a “Figure” competitor which is a form of body building where form and symmetry of the body is emphasized.
Ms. JoAnn Wabisca is a unique woman who embodies the essence of diversity, unity and health. Born of Métis Cree descent in British Columbia, Canada, JoAnn’s life path of social consciousness began early as she watched her Uncles work tirelessly in her community and on nearby Native Reservations.
As an entrepreneur Ms. Wabisca founded “Design Illusions Inc.” in 1980 and later “JMW”, companies that placed make-up and hair designers with film and television productions. JoAnn worked with top stars for many A-list feature films and television series like “Major League”, “At Play in the Fields of the Lord”, “Distant Thunder”, “Shattered”, “Shoot To Kill”, “Long Hot Summer”, “Rags to Riches” and “Wise Guy,” to name a few. She was the managing president of these companies for 11 years.
While still deeply involved in her Hollywood career, JoAnn felt compelled to honor her Native American heritage. In 1991 Ms. Wabisca founded and obtained funding for “Cheyano Designs” where she became a fashion designer of contemporary Native American couture. She built a manufacturing facility on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana and opened a New York showroom. Her clothing line sold in stores across New York, Santa Fe, Aspen, Los Angeles and London. Her success was documented Forbes, Vogue and The New York Times, among other publications.
Since 1997 Ms. Wabisca and her husband Ed Monaghan founded and managed Combative Arts Academy a multiple discipline martial arts school in West Hollywood. In 2007 they opened a second facility, Ekata Martial Arts & Fitness in Valencia, California. In 2014 the facility expanded to a 12,500 square foot multiple disciplinary movement and fitness center that has been featured in the LA Times and ABC News.