James E. Whitley III was born in Washington DC. From a very early age James always had a love and appreciation for the arts. Originally, he wanted to become a comic book artist and James’ early years were spent drawing and coming up with worlds of action and fantasy.  

 When James was fourteen he discovered martial arts. At that time he was diagnosed as clinically obese and was being medicated for depression. After studying for only a short time he lost 66 pounds, stopped taking medication, and was promoted to be an assistant instructor before the age of sixteen. After seeing how much martial arts impacted his life, James dedicated himself to furthering his skills by practicing four to six hours a day and teaching others.  

James is an International Kung Fu Grand Champion in forms, fighting and weapons. James has studied martial arts for over twenty years and has been featured in prominent media outlets including: Kung Fu Magazine, Inside Kung Fu and New Martial Hero Magazine. In 2007, he was invited to teach and perform among some of the most famous Kung Fu Grand Masters at Sao Paulo Brazil’s International Martial Arts Grand Master’s Demonstration, and over the years has been honored to teach and demonstrate for thousands and tour internationally.

 In 2007 James gave his life to Christ and since then he has dedicated his life to use his love for the arts to shine a light for the gospel. James has a heart and passion to see people grow spiritually and come to a saving a knowledge of Jesus Christ.

 In addition to his passion for martial arts, James has also been acting since the age of 14 when he starred in his first short film. Since then he has been acting in various projects and worked as the Children's Ministry Large Group Director at Mclean Bible Church where he acted, directed, wrote scripts, and trained and developed actors. He has worked as an actor in the Mid-Atlantic region starring in various roles and has showcased his art in various venues and shows. In 2011 James married the love of his life and now has three daughters and two sons.

 James continues to perform and currently teaches privately.  He is a co-founder of Grandmaster Studio, along with his Kung Fu brother and business partner Philippe Prosper.