This past weekend, I had the privilege of hosting the fifth Buffalo Niagara Martial Arts Festival. It’s an event we’ve cherished over the years, which had to take a brief break due to COVID but has now returned stronger than ever. For two consecutive years, we’ve seen a wonderful turnout, with over fifty attendees this year.


We were thrilled to feature the legendary Bill “Superfoot” Wallace as this year’s headliner. Bill is not just a long-time friend but also a frequent collaborator. His extraordinary blend of combat sports knowledge, coupled with his engaging personality and humor, creates a uniquely fun and effective workout experience.


The roster of instructors this year was particularly stellar:

– GM Bill “Superfoot” Wallace (Superfoot Systems)

– GM Datu Tim Hartman (that’s me, with Filipino Martial Arts)

– GM Rudy Duncan (Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu)

– Prof. Gerry DiSanto (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)

– Master Terry Dow (Superfoot Systems)

– Shihan Bill Reynolds (Okinawan Martial Arts)

– Sensei Rob Guida (American Kenpo)

– Master Todd Patterson (MMA)

– Hanshi Thomas Hillman (Modern Kenpo)

– Shihan Dillon Pinkham (Muliwai)

– Sifu Mark Cardona (Kung Fu)


The festival kicked off on Friday with a touching memorial video for our fallen comrade, the late Grandmaster Robert Heisner, a pioneering martial artist from our area who sadly passed away last week.


Bill Wallace then took the floor, demonstrating his renowned punching and kicking skills and unmatched flexibility, even in his early seventies. His session, rich with insights from his point competing and undefeated world kickboxing champion career, set a high standard for the weekend.


The celebration continued on Saturday, again starting with a tribute to Mr. Heisner. It was heartwarming to see the strong teaching team and enthusiastic participants. Mr. Wallace shared his love for the event and the warm, friendly people of the Buffalo area, underscoring its reputation as the City of Good Neighbors.


Highlighting local talent, we demonstrated Buffalo’s often underrated martial arts scene. The unity and energy of local instructors under one banner truly made this event special.


The event wrapped up with two significant presentations. Professor DiSanto awarded a long-time student and accomplished grappler, Primo Luciano, a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And to my surprise, I was awarded my blue belt, a milestone after years of integrating BJJ into my martial arts journey.


We concluded with our traditional gathering, enjoying pizza, sharing stories, and capturing memories. The positive feedback from attendees about the event and the quality of our staff was incredibly affirming.


I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival on March 21st and 22nd, 2025. Check us out on Facebook, Instagram, or our website at for updates.


A huge thank you to everyone who participated. Your support means the world.



Tim Hartman

Head Instructor, Horizon Martial Arts

CEO and Technical Director, World Modern Arnis Alliance