About the Founder of The Martial Arts Teachers Association

Few have had more impact on the martial arts school business than John Graden.

About MATA

The Martial Arts Teachers' Association (MATA), is a professional association for martial arts school owners, instructors, and anyone seeking to become a martial arts professional. MATA's primary focus is to help owners attract more students and keep them longer with effective, integrity based marketing followed up with superior instruction. MATA is proud to present the MATA Instructor Certification program. The MATA Certification course presents universally accepted teaching methodes regardless of style. The program was written by 20+ martial arts experts who are also experts in the fields of psychology, personal performace, physiology and many other fields that contribute to excellent teaching skills.

About John Graden

John Graden and his brothers are all world kickboxing champions, which proves that everyone and his brother can earn a martial arts title. 

However, not everyone can create the first professional associationtrade journal, and universal instructor certification program like John did in the early 1990s. 

Widely credited with leading the martial arts school business into the modern age, John was first called a visionary by MASuccess editor, John Corcoran and 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 renegade leadership style 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 resident, John Graden is married with two children.

Mr. Graden’s leadership was recognized in many mainstream media outlets including a cover story on the Wall Street Journal, documentaries on A&E Network, and as a guest on the Dr. Oz Show.

Mr. Graden is Not a Paper Tiger

For those of you who think he is all about the business, his WAKO World Championships with the USA Team and legacy as a Joe Lewis protege might change your mind. In fact, Black Belt magazine did a cover story on Mr. Graden and his brother Jim’s relationship with the late legend. The story was called, “Passing the Torch” and it was Joe Lewis saying that when he passes on, he was passing the torch to the Graden’s.

John Graden’s Career Timeline

2017 – Stop Any Bullying: A Family Plan For Prevention and Taking Action

2016 – Author, The Martial Arts Teachers’ Certification Manual

2015 – Author, Who Killed Walt Bone?

2014 – Founder, Empower Kickboxing

2012 – Founder, Empower Boxing

2011 – Author, The Art of Marketing Without Marketing

2008 – Author, The Impostor Syndrome

2004 – Founder, Martial Arts Teachers’ Association

2003 – Author, The Truth About the Martial Arts Business

1998 – Author, How to Open and Operate a Successful Martial Arts School

1996 – Founder, The American Council on Martial Arts (ACMA)

1995 – Founder – Martial Arts Professional Magazine

1993 – Founder – National Association of Professional Martial Artists

1987 – Host and Producer of the USA Karate TV show in Tampa Bay, FL

1986 – Opened USA Karate 1985 – Fighter, Coach, and Official for many World Champion WAKO USA Teams

Named to 10 Most Influential Leaders

Cover Story Wall Street Journal

As a Guest on the Dr. Oz Show

Click to enlarge

Building Bridges

Cover Story with Joe Lewis