The concept for the Southern Martial Arts Championships has its origin based on a series of tournaments being held in the Delta during the mid-to-late Seventies. Grandmaster D.J. Sias, who was chief instructor on a local university campus, hosted a series of tournaments known as the Delta Championships. These tournaments were relocated to Greenwood, and were renamed the Fist of Fury Series.

The Delta Championships and Fist of Fury tournament series attracted a variety of the best martial arts schools, and competitors from the entire southern region. These schools, competitors, and promoters brought with them ideas and concepts that were instrumental in laying the groudnwork for the Southern Martial Arts Championships, or SMAC.

Some of the most notable names from the early days were:

From Tennessee, the Kang Rhee Shcool and its affiliates. Master Rhee is best known as the Memphis instructor of Elvis Presley.

Earnie Smith, the director of the "Battle of Memphis", and "Tri-State Championships".

From Arkansas, Cedric "Bull" Rodgers, and "Big" John Clayton

From Alabama, Harry Lawson's School of Taekwon-Do, and Jon Lee, President of the Alabama Karate Association.

From Louisiana, Ben Pryor, and Don LaFields.

The influences from the immediate area included martial arts pioneers such as Larry Dreher's school of Isshin-Ryu, and Jerry Kattawars School of Shotokan. The major influences in Taekwon-Do came from Master Lee H. Parks, and his Brother Eui, of Mississippi State University.

One of the most notable pioneers in tournament promoting was Oliver Miller and Miller's Taekwon-Do. Mr. Miller's tournaments played host to a diverse mixture of styles, and became one of the most popular tournament circuits in the area.

In 1983, a meeting was held in Central Mississippi to discuss the formation of an organization that would provide fair, safe and wholesome competition for all tournament participants. Those present at the first meeting were Master Dennis McCown (Columbus Shotokan), Ray Reed (Starkville Tang Soo Do), Jim Ray (Chief instructor, Mississippi State University), and Grandmaster D.J. Sias (Greenwood Taekwon-Do).

For the next six years, other organizations were examined, and input from various instructors of all styles was gathered. In 1989, a final meeting was held in Greenwood, MS with Grandmaster Sias as host. From this meeting, consisting of a wide range of instructors, four instructors emerged as the first SMAC Board of Directors; Rufus Ross (Water Valley Taekwon-do Association), Robert Lyles (Lyle's Taekwon-Do), Master Don Gober (Gober's Shotokan Karate and Fitness), and Grandmaster D.J. Sias (Greenwood Taekwon-Do).

Later that year, SMAC held its first fully sanctioned tournament with astounding success introducing such innovations as the Spectator Cash Bonanza, the Black Belt Cash Bash, and State Championship Jackets awarded in over 30 seperate categories.

Since those early days, the Southern Martial Arts Championships have grown to be the most prestigous tournament circuit in the southern region of the country.

As SMAC moves into the future and continues strong as it has for the past 40 years, we would like to give thanks to the many instructors and competitors for their continued support of the "Southern Martial Arts Championships".