I interviewed Bernard Kerik, the NYC Police Commissioner in 2002 when the 9/11 attack on America was still an open wound.

In addition to describing he and Mayor Giguliani scrambbling for their lives, he discusses the role martial arts schools can play in the fight against terrorism.

Transcript Questions
Here are the questions he answers.

Graden: At our convention one of our instructors talked about how one of the terrorists actually trained to her school and his goal was to learn knife fighting, but he only wanted on the offensive techniques not the defense of techniques. They basically ran him off. How can a school owner prevent what they teach from being abused like that?

Graden: There’s a tremendous amount of responsibility with information. A couple more things, because we wrap up. You were involved in anti-terrorism in the Middle East. Was there anything that gave you a hint that an attack of such magnitude could be pulled off as we saw on 911?

Graden: You and the mayor were scrambling to find a safe haven to set up a headquarters.

What was going through your head?

Graden: What was the most difficult part of that day for you?

Graden: In your time in Rikers and as an undercover cop, you must have thought, prior to 911, that you had seen the most “depraved, violent people on this earth.

Was there anything in your career that would have prepared you for what you saw that day?

Graden: What is the last year taught you about the American people?

Graden: With your background leading up to that day, in what ways has 911 changed you?

Graden: Were there times during that day, you felt in fear for your own life?


John Graden
John Graden

John Graden is widely credited with leading the martial arts school business into the modern age. He is the founder of the first successful professional association and trade journal. MA Success editor John Corcoran first called him a “visionary” in 1995. Martial Arts World magazine dubbed him, The Teacher of Teachers. 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 and many others.

    1 Response to "Bernard Kerik Interview by John Graden months after the 9/11 attacks on America."

    • CrinosKarate

      Hi John,
      Former Commissioner Kerik is a 100% correct, Martial Arts School have a Duty and Responsibility to question something that doesn’t seem right.

      5 to 6 years ago two Middle Eastern gentleman approx: ages 20 to 30, signed up for classes. One was laid back (lets call him One) and the other (lets call him Two) had these crazy eyes and anxious to start and also paid for a month of lessons. First class was basics: Punches / Kicks / Blocks.

      One – had a pretty good handle on the basics, which showed he’d trained before.

      Two – was totally clues – we worked on punches the entire class. When he was punching his eyes were popping and he had this physco look on his face.

      They both came back for the next class and we continued what was covered in the 1st. Two was a little calmer that day.

      The following week.

      One – Dropped out

      Two continued – we moved up to kicks and the week after blocks. At the end of the last class that week. Two’s gi top opened and he had a large Red Circle tattooed covering his stomach and chest.

      I inquired about it and he denied he had one. Bing Bing Bing the bell’s are going off.. So that night I called a parent of a student whose is NYPD and had some Terrorist exposure. I explained to him what I saw and he said he’d call me back the next day. The next day he pointed me to a site and I found the same tat or similar.

      I then texted another parent, whose in the FBI and I filled him in. He put me in contact with another FBI agent, who came with a second agent to the dojo to talk to me. I described the tat and provided them with names, addresses and contact info and they left.

      About a month or two later I found out I was right, they were investigated and picked up. I never heard anything about it again.

      Sil Crino
      Crino’s Martial Arts a Family Run School

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