Sad loss of new instructor Keland Simmons
It is with great sadness that we inform the families of American Family Martial Arts of the death of Keland Simmons.
He and his mother, Yolanda Simmons, were killed in a tragic car accident on I-12 in Louisiana on Saturday May 27th. (details here)
Keland was new to our family as a Tiny Tiger and Little Ninja Skillz instructor. He was hired in late April and brought a life long knowledge of martial arts with him. He was a professional MMA fighter and had several wins and championships under his belt. These included 3x Louisiana Amateur MMA Champion; #1 ranked amateur MMA fighter in La (135 lb) and regional championships.
Keland worked in American Family Martial Arts 3-6 year old programs. “He was just starting to get comfortable with the program,” says Master Instructor/Owner Michael Tullier. “Our Skillz program is very different from traditional martial arts but Keland was getting the hang of it and beginning to make it his own.”
The students had come to like him and have fun with him. “I only knew Keland for a short time,” says Jessika Efferson, the AFMA chief Skillz instructor, ” but there are things about him that I am going to greatly miss, his infectious smile, his love for the students he taught, and the way he embraced the new ideas he was being taught. I was supposed to be teaching him how to do things but a lot of days he taught me and those are the things I will never forget.”
A lifelong resident of Louisiana, he held a black belt in Taekwondo from Joe Neely’s Tiger Rock as well as experience in Brazillian JuJitsu, Kickboxing/Muay Tai, Shotokan, boxing, judo and wrestling.
The memorial service for Keland and his mother, Yolanda Simmons, is scheduled for June 9, 11 am at Good Hope Baptist Church in Lafayette, La. A gofund me account as been set up by his uncle: https://www.gofundme.com/keland-and-yolanda-memorial-fund