Martial Arts Instructor News and Articles

John Graden

John Graden

Executive Director

John Graden led the martial arts into the modern era by creating the first professional association, trade journal & instructors certification program.

In this 13th episode, The Truth About the Martial Arts Business is that martial arts schools have to be responsible and careful of the intentions of their students.

Hi, I’m John Graden, we are in the middle of a massive disruption of law and order. Gun sales are through the roof, and Google searches for self-defense have spiked off the charts. People want to feel safe and secure.

Now that the pandemic has leveled off, anti-fa has taken over sections of big cities and is wreaking violent havoc on innocent Americans.

Undercover recordings of the terrorist group Anti-Fa reveal them teaching their members how to gouge eyes, strike the liver and put innocent people into rear-naked chokes.

These are dangerous techniques taught by unscrupulous martial arts instructors who are teaching how to abuse and misuse these skills.

Martial arts instructor, Melody Shuman discovered that one of the pilots that flew into the World Trade center on 911 had trained in her school in the months leading up to the attack.

One year after 911, I interviewed new york city police commissioner Bernard Kerik. He was protecting Mayor Rudy Giuliani throughout that fateful day.

Mr Kerik is also a 5th-degree black belt and credits much of his success to his martial arts training. He also has an excellent biography describing his amazing story.

He lays out some guidelines for martial arts schools to look out for students who may be abusing their training. I conducted this interview in a hotel lobby in Orlando about a year after the attack.

Next, we often hear the Japanese word kaizen thrown around as a commitment to continuous improvement. Are we seeing kaizen in traditional schools?

AntiFa video teaching eye gouge to followers.

Books by Bernard Kerik

Books by John Graden

  1. The Truth About the Martial Arts Business
  2. Who Killed Walt Bone
  3. The Impostor Syndrome

Be Part of the Show!

Submit a comment or question and Mr. Graden will play it and respond on the next episode.

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Proud to host some of the greatest teachers and leaders in and outside the martial arts world.

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The Martial Arts Teacher of Teachers John Graden is the host of The Truth About the Martial Arts Business and founder of NAPMA and the Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA).

Featured Guests

Tony Robbins
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Tony Robbins

Master Motivator

A black belt under the late Jhoon Rhee, Tony Robbins views martial arts as an excellent way to improve your life or a poor excuse not to.

Joe Lewis
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Joe Lewis

Master Martial Artist

Dubbed the “Muhammad Ali” of sport karateJoe Lewis won more titles in his 17-year fighting career than any other tournament fighter. 

Brian Tracy
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Brian Tracy

Master Teacher

Brian Tracy is a mentor of John Graden’s. Brian credits much of his self-discipline and drive to the principles he learned as a martial arts student and instructor.

Bernard Kerik
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Bernard Kerik

Master Leadership

The police commissioner during the 9/11 attacks, Bernard Kerik began his taekwondo training at 14 and has traveled the world to improve his skills.

The Truth About the Martial Arts Business Podcast

Learn the hard truth about the martial arts business from the man who led the industry into the modern era.

Join the martial arts Teacher of Teachers, John Graden as he explores important and controversial questions about martial arts instructors, schools and the business.

In this hard hitting podcast, he pulls back the curtain to reveal The Truth About the Martial Arts Business.

John Graden challenges conventional tradition and the mindless acceptance of some of the outlandish theories associated with the martial arts.

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John Graden

Widely credited with leading the martial arts school business into the modern age, John Graden was first called a visionary by MASuccess editor, John Corcoran. Also a world champion kickboxer, John was dubbed the martial arts Teacher of Teachers by Martial Arts World magazine.

John is also the author of many of the best selling books on martial arts business and personal development.

Now the Executive Director of the Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA), John’s bold leadership has landed him on the Dr. Oz Show, the Wall Street Journal, the A&E Network and many more international media platforms along with many small podcasts that only his wife listened to.

A Tampa Bay, FL resident, John Graden is married with two children.

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The Martial Arts Teachers Association (MATA)

MATA is a professional association for martial arts school owners and instructors. It offers the leading course on martial arts instructor certification (MATACertification) and rank advancement (MATARank).

Members have access to a massive library of professionally designed marketing materials in the Marketing Downloads section.

Other sections include:

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Notice Tyson’s hand is by his face, not his hip.

His chin is down instead of up.

His shoulder is up instead of pulled back.

His body is sideways to his opponent instead of squared off.

His legs are under his body not spread apart like he was riding a horse.

With this kind of form, he would fail his orange belt exam in most schools. 

How does that make any sense?

Sensei Tyson?

If Mike Tyson or a world champion kickboxer came to your school to teach your black belts. What do you think he would work on? Double punches, square blocks, and keeping your chin up?

I’m pretty sure he would emphasize head movement, how to snap your punches and a defense that does NOT include pulling your punch back to your hip.

I’m sure the students would learn advanced applications to adjust for different fighters. Notice I said advanced applications, not advanced strikes.

When you focus on application, you can apply that to almost any technique.

For instance, if the drill is about how to fight a taller fighter, the answer is more about footwork to stay on the outside until you can secure quick access. My brothers are 6′ 3″ and 6′ 4″ so I know something about fighting a taller opponent.

Drills that teach that application do not require complexity. They require simplicity.

The more complex a skill becomes, the less chance it can be used. Have you ever seen a double punch? Only in kata and here:

If you eliminated all kata and traditional skills, you could devote that time to drills and conditioning that would give your students a true advantage in sparring or self-defense.

Imagine teaching fewer skills that are easy to teach and learn than traditional skills and kata.

You could spend more time on the application of those skills rather than stepping up and down the classroom and holding blocks and punches out in the air, which leaves you wide open for a counterattack.

Rather than spending student’s time with the complexity and frustration of spending years perfecting the bad habits of pulling their hand back to their hip, keeping their chin up, aiming and holding a punch in the air, and blocking with power while stepping forward, your retention will improve. Your student quality will improve. Your curriculum consistency will improve.

This is the core of our white to black belt curriculum Empower Kickboxing.

It’s an old saying, but true. “Less is best.”

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