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.


Corporations are paying thousands for Active Shooter training because they can get sued by employees for not providing them. Would you have any idea how to teach one if you got the call?

Families want Self-Defense, Anti-Bully, Anti-Abduction, and Teen Safety programs without belts, bowing or long term programs.

When marketing your self-defense program, you want to present a professional image that helps people get comfortable with you. In other words, ditch the tank top, karate uniform, or the assault rifle.  Instead, wear a collared shirt and make yourself presentable.

While there are plenty of self-defense systems, no one comes close to helping licensees make real money with self-defense than COBRA-Defense.

COBRA is a Self-Defense Business System. People from all walks of life have joined COBRA and made it their full-time profession, even without a facility.

In order to be able to maintain the ability to service all COBRA schools, the initial investment for the license will increase from $399 to $949 on September 1st.

If you are serious about creating a solid, profitable self-defense business, join COBRA at before the price increase. Current members will not be affected by the change.

COBRA Videos

Victoria Payne – Non-martial artist. She is a Concealed Weapon instructor who researched self-defense systems for two-years before choosing COBRA.

Glenn Stevens – Australia, Regional Director

Joe Robaina – Miami, Florida, Regional Director

Matt Dipietro – St. Pete, Florida,



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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