The MATA Certification Course
This is designed to provide martial arts instructors with universally recognized teaching methods. These modules were written by leading authorities in various fields such as Child Psychology and Motivation who are also black belts with years of martial arts experience.

Module 1The Principles of an Authoritative Instructor
Unit 1Introduction: The Principles of an Authoritative Instructor
Unit 2Lesson 1: Four Keys to Giving Clear Directions
Unit 3Lesson 2: Setting And Maintaining a Standard for Conduct
Unit 4Lesson 3: No Competition
Unit 5Lesson 4: No Rescues
Unit 6Lesson 5: False Praise
Unit 7Lesson 6: Name Question or Question Name?
Unit 8Lesson 7: Concise Language
Unit 9Lesson 8: Know and Use Your Tools
Unit 10Lesson 9: Levels of Intervention
Unit 11EXAM: The Principles of an Authoritative Instructor
Module 2How Students Learn-The Science of Teaching
Unit 1How Students Learn
Unit 2Lesson 1: The Three Stages Of Learning
Unit 3Lesson 2: Skill Explanations and Demonstrations
Unit 4Lesson 3: Other Factors for Demonstrating
Unit 5Lesson 4: Perfect Practice
Unit 6Lesson 5: What to Teach and When to Teach It
Unit 7Lesson 6: Class Structure
Unit 8Lesson 7: Teaching for Transfer
Unit 9Lesson 8: Feedback
Unit 10Lesson 9: Instructor Feedback -- Skill Correction
Unit 11Lesson 10: Instructor Feedback — Motivating Students
Unit 12Lesson 11: Feedback: Self-Correct
Unit 13Lesson 12: How to Vary the Degree of Difficulty
Unit 14References
Unit 15EXAM: Module 2–How Students Learn
Module 3Curriculum Design
Unit 1How to Structure Your Curriculum: Introduction
Unit 2Lesson 1 - Value Delivery
Unit 3Lesson 2 - Managing Expectations
Unit 4Lesson 3 - The Pyramid of Rank
Unit 5Lesson 4 - Defining What You Want for Your Students
Unit 6Lesson 5 - Less is Best
Unit 7EXAM: Module 3–How to Structure Curriculum
Module 4How to Increase Student Retention
Unit 1How to Increase Student Retention
Unit 2Lesson 1: The Dungeon Dojo
Unit 3Lesson 2: People Are Busy
Unit 4Lesson 3: Why Students Get Bored
Unit 5EXAM: Module 4–How to Increase Retention
Module 5Principles of a Good Warm-Up
Unit 1How to Conduct a Proper Warm-Up
Unit 2Lesson 1: What Is "Warming Up"?
Unit 3Lesson 2: Purpose of Warming Up
Unit 4Lesson 3: Stretching
Unit 5Lesson 4: Calisthenics
Unit 6Lesson 5: Customizing Warm-Ups
Unit 7Lesson 6: Warm-Up Guidelines
Unit 8EXAM: Module 5–Proper Warmup
Module 6How to Teach Calisthenics Safely
Unit 1Proper Execution of Calisthenics
Unit 2Lesson 1: Warm-Up Phase of Class and Calisthenics
Unit 3Lesson 2: Specificity and Progressive Overload
Unit 4Lesson 3: Safety Issues in Calisthenics
Unit 5Lesson 4: Key Points About Proper Use Of Calisthenics
Unit 6EXAM: M6–How to Teach Calisthenics
Module 7Proper Execution of Flexibility Exercises
Unit 1Proper Execution of Flexibility Exercises
Unit 2Lesson 1: What is Flexibility?
Unit 3Lesson 2: Factors Limiting Flexibility
Unit 4Lesson 3: Types of Stretching
Unit 5Lesson 4: Stretching Guidelines
Unit 6Lesson 5: Flexibility Exercises
Unit 7Summary and References
Unit 8EXAM: M7–Flexibility
Module 8How to Conduct Cool Downs Safely
Unit 1How to Conduct a Proper Cool-Down
Unit 2Lesson 1: What Is a Cool-Down?
Unit 3Lesson 2: Modifications
Unit 4Lesson 3 Cool-Down Guidelines
Unit 5EXAM: M8–Cool Downs
Module 9How to Avoid Over-Training
Unit 1Introduction: General Adaptation Syndrome
Unit 2Lesson 1: The Three Stages Of The General Adaptation Syndrome
Unit 3Lesson 2: Training Principles
Unit 4Lesson 3: Training Principles
Unit 5Lesson 4: Recovery and Detraining Effects: Recovery
Unit 6Lesson 5: Detraining Effects
Unit 7Lesson 6: Detraining Effects on Instructors
Unit 8Lesson 7: Ways to Help Offset Long-Term Detraining Effects
Unit 9EXAM: M9–Over-Training
Module 10How to Avoid Injury When Teaching Kicks
Unit 1How to Teach Kicking Safely
Unit 2Lesson 1: Kicking Injuries
Unit 3Lesson 2: Training Methods to Minimize Injury
Unit 4Lesson 3 Advanced Kicking Techniques
Unit 5Lesson 4: Summary and References
Unit 6EXAM: M10–Kicking Safely
Module 11How to Teach Sparring
Unit 1How to Teach Sparring
Unit 2Lesson 1: Limited Sparring Drills
Unit 3Lesson 2: Graduating to Head Contact
Unit 4EXAM: M11–How to Teach Sparring
Module 12Teaching According to Age Groups
Unit 1Age Specific Teaching
Unit 2Lesson 1: How Children Process Information
Unit 3Lesson 2: Specific Age Groups: Preschoolers (Ages 4-6)
Unit 4Lesson 3: School Age (Ages 7-12)
Unit 5Lesson 4: Adolescent (Ages 13-17)
Unit 6Lesson 5: Adults (Ages 18+)
Unit 7Lesson 6: Piaget's Stages Of Cognitive Development
Unit 8Lesson 7: Kohlberg's Stages Of Moral Development
Unit 9Lesson 8: Memory
Unit 10Lesson 9: Tips for Teaching
Unit 11Lesson 10: Learning Styles
Unit 12Summary and References
Unit 13EXAM: M12–Teaching Age Groups
Module 13How to Create a Healthy Martial Arts Hierarchy
Unit 1What is a Healthy Martial Arts Hierarchy?
Unit 2Lesson 1: Pitfalls and Abuses
Unit 3Lesson 2: Evaluating the Reasons for Hierarchy
Unit 4Lesson 3: Why Hierarchy?
Unit 5Lesson 4: The Problem with Superficial Responses
Unit 6Lesson 5: Tradition, Accomplishment and Functionality Revisited
Unit 7Lesson 6: A Healthy Hierarchy
Unit 8Lesson 7: Order and Safety.
Unit 9Lesson 8: Keeping Cool
Unit 10Lesson 9: Remaining Open
Unit 11Lesson 10: Pushing the Limit
Unit 12Lesson 11: Tips For the Instructor
Unit 13Lesson 12: Conclusion
Unit 14EXAM: M13–Hierarchy
Module 14The Importance Of Motivation And Charisma
Unit 1The Power Of Motivation And Charisma
Unit 2Lesson 1: The Law of Attraction
Unit 3Lesson 2: The Power of Purpose
Unit 4Lesson 3: The Power of Self-Confidence
Unit 5Lesson 4: The Power of Enthusiasm
Unit 6Lesson 5: The Power of Excellence
Unit 7Lesson 6: The Power of Preparation
Unit 8Lesson 7: The Power of Self-Reliance
Unit 9Lesson 8: The Power of Image
Unit 10Lesson 9: The Power of Character
Unit 11Lesson 10: The Power of Self-Discipline
Unit 12Lesson 11: The Power of Extraordinary Performance
Unit 13Summary
Unit 14EXAM: M14–Charismatic Leadership
Module 15Considerations in Praise, Discipline, and Class Control
Unit 1Lesson 1: What Is Discipline?
Unit 2Lesson 2: What Is the Role of Discipline in the Martial Arts School?
Unit 3Lesson 3: Key Elements for Encouraging Discipline in a Martial Arts Class
Unit 4Lesson 4: Using Praise and Reward to Encourage Discipline
Unit 5Lesson 5: Using Reinforcement Effectively
Unit 6Lesson 6: The Difference Between Praise and Encouragement
Unit 7Lesson 7: Encouraging Disciplined Behavior
Unit 8Lesson 8 What to Do
Unit 9Lesson 9 Four Keys to Giving Clear Directions
Unit 10Lesson 10: Helping Students Internalize Discipline
Unit 11Lesson 11: What Is Punishment?
Unit 12Lesson 12: How Effective Is Punishment?
Unit 13Lesson 13: When Is Punishment Useful?
Unit 14Lesson 14: Acceptable Forms of Punishment
Unit 15Lesson 15: Unacceptable Forms of Punishment in the Martial Arts Class
Unit 16Lesson 16: Using Punishment Effectively
Unit 17Lesson 17: Keys to Effective Punishment and References
Unit 18EXAM: M15–Praise and Punishment
Module 16How to Teach Life Skills
Unit 1Teaching Life Skills
Unit 2Lesson 1: Be a Role Model
Unit 3Lesson 2: The Difference between Showing and Telling
Unit 4Lesson 3: The Mistake of Telling the Wrong Stories
Unit 5Lesson 4: How to Teach Life Skills
Unit 6Lesson 5: Formulating Character-Trait Lessons
Unit 7Lesson 6: Teaching Character Traits to Adults
Unit 8Lesson 7: Is It Even My Job?
Unit 9Lesson 8: The Case for Morality
Unit 10EXAM: M16–Teaching Life Skills
Module 17Teaching Children With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Unit 1Teaching Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder
Unit 2Lesson 1: ADHD Definition
Unit 3Lesson 2: Symptoms of ADHD
Unit 4Lesson 3: Diagnosis and Treatment
Unit 5Lesson 4: Prognosis
Unit 6Lesson 5: Teaching Strategies
Unit 7Lesson 6: Four Basic Teaching Strategies For ADHD Children
Unit 8EXAM: M17–Teaching ADHD Students
Module 18Working with Parents
Unit 1Working with the Parents Of Students
Unit 2Lesson 1: Establishing the Relationship
Unit 3Lesson 2: Responding to Questions and Concerns
Unit 4Lesson 3: Gathering Relevant Information
Unit 5Lesson 4: Responding to Expectations Related to Problem Behaviors
Unit 6Lesson 5: Maintaining the Relationship
Unit 7Lesson 6: The Rarely Seen Parents
Unit 8Lesson 7: The Highly Involved Parents
Unit 9Lesson 8: Concerns about Belt-Rank Promotion
Unit 10Lesson 9: Creating Opportunities for Communication
Unit 11Lesson 10: Summary
Unit 12EXAM: M18–Working with Parents
Module 19How to Teach Self-Defense Safely
Unit 1Lesson 1 - How to Teach Self-Defense Safely
Unit 2Lesson 1 - Considerations for Student Safety
Unit 3Lesson 2 - The Rules of Engagement
Unit 4Lesson 3 - Equipment Safety for Students and Bad Guys
Unit 5Lesson 4 - Dealing with Body Types
Unit 6Lesson 5 - Dealing with Personalities
Unit 7Lesson 7 - Monitor Class for Safety
Unit 8Lesson 6 - Rules of Engagement
Unit 9Lesson 8 - Active Adrenaline, Tone, and Intensity
Unit 10Lesson 9 - The Word for Stop!
Unit 11Lesson 10 - Alternate Targets to Reduce Risk of Injury
Unit 12Lesson 11 - Safety Tips for Firearm Related Drills
Unit 13EXAM: M19–How To Teach Self-Defense Safely
Module 20An Overview of Law for a Martial Arts School
Unit 1Self-Defense and the Law
Unit 2Lesson 1: The Five Elements of the Law of Self Defense
Unit 3Lesson 2 - Your Right to Self-Defense
Unit 4Lesson 3: Defense of Others
Unit 5Lesson 4: Defense of Property
Unit 6Lesson 5: Illegal Defense
Unit 7Lesson 6: Violent Crimes
Unit 8Lesson 7: Murder and Manslaughter
Unit 9Lesson 8: Criminal Procedure
Unit 10Lesson 9: Civil Law: Contract
Unit 11Lesson 10: Torts
Unit 12Lesson 11: Battery
Unit 13Lesson 12: Assault
Unit 14Lesson 13: Wrongful Death
Unit 15Lesson 14: False Imprisonment
Unit 16Lesson 15: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Unit 17Lesson 16: Defamation
Unit 18Lesson 17: Misrepresentation
Unit 19EXAM: M20–An Overview of Law for a Martial Arts School
Module 21How to Avoid Negligence and Liability
Unit 1Avoiding Negligence
Unit 2Lesson 1: Avoiding Accidents
Unit 3Lesson 2: Some Common Training-Area Dangers
Unit 4Lesson 3: Safety of the Training Equipment
Unit 5Lesson 4: Safety of the Training Techniques
Unit 6Lesson 5: The Best Defense Is a Good Defense
Unit 7Lesson 6: What If It Really Is Your Fault?
Unit 8EXAM: M21–How to Avoid Negligence and Liability Course
Module 22Considerations When Using Assistant Instructors
Unit 1Lesson 1: The $25,000 Volunteers
Unit 2Lesson 2: Defending Against the State
Unit 3Lesson 3: Use of Black Belts
Unit 4Lesson 4: Owner Liability for Instructor Conduct
Unit 5Lesson 5: Leaving Minors in Charge
Unit 6Lesson 6: Protecting the Students
Unit 7Lesson 7: A Note to Student Instructors
Unit 8Lesson 8: Proper Use of Student Instructors
Unit 9EXAM: M22–The Proper Use of Student Instructors
Module 23Sexual Harassment Liability
Unit 1Lesson 1: Introduction
Unit 2Lesson 2: Problems
Unit 3Lesson 3: Defining Sexual Harassment
Unit 4Lesson 4: Sexual Harassment and the Law
Unit 5Lesson 5: Sexual Battery
Unit 6Lesson 6: Child Molestation
Unit 7Lesson 7: Changing-Room Abuses
Unit 8Lesson 8: Minors
Unit 9Lesson 9: Disasters Waiting to Happen
Unit 10Lesson 10: General Guidelines To Avoid Problems
Unit 11EXAM: M23–How To Avoid Sexual Harassment Liability
Module 24The Importance of Safety Equipment
Unit 1Lesson 1: The Use and Maintenance of Safety Equipment
Unit 2Lesson 2: Use of Training Aids and Safety Equipment
Unit 3Lesson 3: Safety Measures for Unsafe Lessons
Unit 4Lesson 4: Maintenance of Safety Equipment
Unit 5Lesson 5: Sparring
Unit 6EXAM: M24–The Use And Maintenance of Safety Equipment
Module 25The Proper Use of Injury Waiver Forms
Unit 1The Proper Use Of Release Forms
Unit 2Lesson 1: When to Get a Form Signed
Unit 3Lesson 2: Who Signs?
Unit 4Lesson 3: Who Gets Copies?
Unit 5Lesson 4: What About Loss?
Unit 6Lesson 5: Content of a Sample Form
Unit 7Lesson 6: Signatures and Initials
Unit 8Lesson 7: Authority to Treat
Unit 9Lesson 8: Advisory of Rights and Responsibilities
Unit 10Lesson 9: Assumption of Responsibilities and Risk
Unit 11Lesson 10: Notice of Physical Contact
Unit 12Lesson 11: Consent to Physical Contact
Unit 13Lesson 12: Indemnification by Parents
Unit 14Lesson 13: Arbitration Clause
Unit 15Lesson 14: Severability
Unit 16Lesson 15: Durability
Unit 17Lesson 16: How to Handle the Terror of the Forms
Unit 18Sample Release Form
Unit 19EXAM: M25–The Proper Use of Injury Release Forms

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.