MATA Professional Martial Arts Instructor Certification Program

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 1 The Principles of an Authoritative Instructor
Module and exam requiring 75% to pass.
Unit 1 Introduction: The Principles of an Authoritative Instructor
Unit 2 Lesson 1: Four Keys to Giving Clear Directions
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Setting And Maintaining a Standard for Conduct
Unit 4 Lesson 3: No Competition
Unit 5 Lesson 4: No Rescues
Unit 6 Lesson 5: False Praise
Unit 7 Lesson 6: Name Question or Question Name?
Unit 8 Lesson 7: Concise Language
Unit 9 Lesson 8: Know and Use Your Tools
Unit 10 Lesson 9: Levels of Intervention
Unit 11 EXAM: The Principles of an Authoritative Instructor
Module 2 How Students Learn-The Science of Teaching
One of the reasons the Martial Arts Teacher’s Certification program is so popular is that we present both the academic support and the real world translation into working with students on a daily basis. We’ll give you the science, but we’ll only test you on the practical application in more layman terms.
Unit 1 How Students Learn
Unit 2 Lesson 1: The Three Stages Of Learning
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Skill Explanations and Demonstrations
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Other Factors for Demonstrating
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Perfect Practice
Unit 6 Lesson 5: What to Teach and When to Teach It
Unit 7 Lesson 6: Class Structure
Unit 8 Lesson 7: Teaching for Transfer
Unit 9 Lesson 8: Feedback
Unit 10 Lesson 9: Instructor Feedback -- Skill Correction
Unit 11 Lesson 10: Instructor Feedback — Motivating Students
Unit 12 Lesson 11: Feedback: Self-Correct
Unit 13 Lesson 12: How to Vary the Degree of Difficulty
Unit 14 References
Unit 15 EXAM: Module 2–How Students Learn
Module 3 Curriculum Design
Learn how to structure your curriculum to spur student interest and avoid overwhelming beginners or boring advanced students.
Unit 1 How to Structure Your Curriculum: Introduction
Unit 2 Lesson 1 - Value Delivery
Unit 3 Lesson 2 - Managing Expectations
Unit 4 Lesson 3 - The Pyramid of Rank
Unit 5 Lesson 4 - Defining What You Want for Your Students
Unit 6 Lesson 5 - Less is Best
Unit 7 EXAM: Module 3–How to Structure Curriculum
Module 4 How to Increase Student Retention
How to Increase Student Retention
Unit 1 How to Increase Student Retention
Unit 2 Lesson 1: The Dungeon Dojo
Unit 3 Lesson 2: People Are Busy
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Why Students Get Bored
Unit 5 EXAM: Module 4–How to Increase Retention
Module 5 Principles of a Good Warm-Up
Anyone who has ever participated in physical activities class or just any type of martial arts lesson, has heard the phrase, "You've got to warm up before you exercise." But what does "warming up" mean? What types of warm-ups are best? How can you tailor a warm-up to best suit the martial art you teach? How long should a warm-up last? Is warming up really that important? Is stretching the same as warming up? This module will address these questions to enable you to incorporate the best warm-up routine for your students.
Unit 1 How to Conduct a Proper Warm-Up
Unit 2 Lesson 1: What Is "Warming Up"?
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Purpose of Warming Up
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Stretching
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Calisthenics
Unit 6 Lesson 5: Customizing Warm-Ups
Unit 7 Lesson 6: Warm-Up Guidelines
Unit 8 EXAM: Module 5–Proper Warmup
Module 6 How to Teach Calisthenics Safely
Muscular strength and muscular endurance are important to withstand the resistance offered by opponents. Participants must also develop flexibility so that they can bend and twist with ease when executing martial arts movements.
Unit 1 Proper Execution of Calisthenics
Unit 2 Lesson 1: Warm-Up Phase of Class and Calisthenics
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Specificity and Progressive Overload
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Safety Issues in Calisthenics
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Key Points About Proper Use Of Calisthenics
Unit 6 EXAM: M6–How to Teach Calisthenics
Module 7 Proper Execution of Flexibility Exercises
For many years, in addition to martial artists, the subject of flexibility has been the focus of athletes, coaches, and the academic and scientific community. Research studies in the area of flexibility involve such topics as: injury avoidance, flexibility hypertrophy (increase) and atrophy (decrease), muscular fitness, and flexibility exercise.
Unit 1 Proper Execution of Flexibility Exercises
Unit 2 Lesson 1: What is Flexibility?
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Factors Limiting Flexibility
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Types of Stretching
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Stretching Guidelines
Unit 6 Lesson 5: Flexibility Exercises
Unit 7 Summary and References
Unit 8 EXAM: M7–Flexibility
Module 8 How to Conduct Cool Downs Safely
The cool-down is just as important as the warm-up. Abruptly halting vigorous activity causes pooling of the blood, sluggish circulation and slow removal of waste products. It may also contribute to cramping, soreness, or more serious problems such as fainting.
Unit 1 How to Conduct a Proper Cool-Down
Unit 2 Lesson 1: What Is a Cool-Down?
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Modifications
Unit 4 Lesson 3 Cool-Down Guidelines
Unit 5 EXAM: M8–Cool Downs
Module 9 How to Avoid Over-Training
Preparing martial arts students for improved performance requires systematic and methodical planning of their training. Training may be defined as "a process of stimuli that is goal-oriented and planned to enhance athletic performance."
Unit 1 Introduction: General Adaptation Syndrome
Unit 2 Lesson 1: The Three Stages Of The General Adaptation Syndrome
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Training Principles
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Training Principles
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Recovery and Detraining Effects: Recovery
Unit 6 Lesson 5: Detraining Effects
Unit 7 Lesson 6: Detraining Effects on Instructors
Unit 8 Lesson 7: Ways to Help Offset Long-Term Detraining Effects
Unit 9 EXAM: M9–Over-Training
Module 10 How to Avoid Injury When Teaching Kicks
Kicking is often especially difficult to learn without pain or even injury, although it does not need to be.
Unit 1 How to Teach Kicking Safely
Unit 2 Lesson 1: Kicking Injuries
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Training Methods to Minimize Injury
Unit 4 Lesson 3 Advanced Kicking Techniques
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Summary and References
Unit 6 EXAM: M10–Kicking Safely
Module 11 How to Teach Sparring
In most schools, sparring is one of the leading causes of drop out among students. Even when the school sticks to the relative stop-and-go safety of point karate, students still drop out.
Unit 1 How to Teach Sparring
Unit 2 Lesson 1: Limited Sparring Drills
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Graduating to Head Contact
Unit 4 EXAM: M11–How to Teach Sparring
Module 12 Teaching According to Age Groups
Teaching according to developmental levels can make the martial art learning experience more pleasurable and effective for all students.
Unit 1 Age Specific Teaching
Unit 2 Lesson 1: How Children Process Information
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Specific Age Groups: Preschoolers (Ages 4-6)
Unit 4 Lesson 3: School Age (Ages 7-12)
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Adolescent (Ages 13-17)
Unit 6 Lesson 5: Adults (Ages 18+)
Unit 7 Lesson 6: Piaget's Stages Of Cognitive Development
Unit 8 Lesson 7: Kohlberg's Stages Of Moral Development
Unit 9 Lesson 8: Memory
Unit 10 Lesson 9: Tips for Teaching
Unit 11 Lesson 10: Learning Styles
Unit 12 Summary and References
Unit 13 EXAM: M12–Teaching Age Groups
Module 13 How to Create a Healthy Martial Arts Hierarchy
We can think of the martial arts school as a small society, an organized group of people devoted to a particular end. And it seems that, more often than not, this martial society is organized along hierarchical principles. "Hierarchy" refers to a way of classifying or dividing groups into units of higher and lower status.
Unit 1 What is a Healthy Martial Arts Hierarchy?
Unit 2 Lesson 1: Pitfalls and Abuses
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Evaluating the Reasons for Hierarchy
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Why Hierarchy?
Unit 5 Lesson 4: The Problem with Superficial Responses
Unit 6 Lesson 5: Tradition, Accomplishment and Functionality Revisited
Unit 7 Lesson 6: A Healthy Hierarchy
Unit 8 Lesson 7: Order and Safety.
Unit 9 Lesson 8: Keeping Cool
Unit 10 Lesson 9: Remaining Open
Unit 11 Lesson 10: Pushing the Limit
Unit 12 Lesson 11: Tips For the Instructor
Unit 13 Lesson 12: Conclusion
Unit 14 EXAM: M13–Hierarchy
Module 14 The Importance Of Motivation And Charisma
The Webster's Dictionary defines charisma as "A personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure." Charisma is also that special quality of magnetism that each person has and uses to a certain degree. You have a special charisma to the students who look up to you, who respect and admire you: the members of your family and your friends and peers. Whenever and wherever a person feels a positive emotion toward another, he or she imbues that person with charisma.
Unit 1 The Power Of Motivation And Charisma
Unit 2 Lesson 1: The Law of Attraction
Unit 3 Lesson 2: The Power of Purpose
Unit 4 Lesson 3: The Power of Self-Confidence
Unit 5 Lesson 4: The Power of Enthusiasm
Unit 6 Lesson 5: The Power of Excellence
Unit 7 Lesson 6: The Power of Preparation
Unit 8 Lesson 7: The Power of Self-Reliance
Unit 9 Lesson 8: The Power of Image
Unit 10 Lesson 9: The Power of Character
Unit 11 Lesson 10: The Power of Self-Discipline
Unit 12 Lesson 11: The Power of Extraordinary Performance
Unit 13 Summary
Unit 14 EXAM: M14–Charismatic Leadership
Module 15 Considerations in Praise, Discipline, and Class Control
The skills and strategies outlined in this chapter are primarily targeted at promoting discipline in children. However, the general principles are universally applicable and should be applied with students of all ages.
Unit 1 Lesson 1: What Is Discipline?
Unit 2 Lesson 2: What Is the Role of Discipline in the Martial Arts School?
Unit 3 Lesson 3: Key Elements for Encouraging Discipline in a Martial Arts Class
Unit 4 Lesson 4: Using Praise and Reward to Encourage Discipline
Unit 5 Lesson 5: Using Reinforcement Effectively
Unit 6 Lesson 6: The Difference Between Praise and Encouragement
Unit 7 Lesson 7: Encouraging Disciplined Behavior
Unit 8 Lesson 8 What to Do
Unit 9 Lesson 9 Four Keys to Giving Clear Directions
Unit 10 Lesson 10: Helping Students Internalize Discipline
Unit 11 Lesson 11: What Is Punishment?
Unit 12 Lesson 12: How Effective Is Punishment?
Unit 13 Lesson 13: When Is Punishment Useful?
Unit 14 Lesson 14: Acceptable Forms of Punishment
Unit 15 Lesson 15: Unacceptable Forms of Punishment in the Martial Arts Class
Unit 16 Lesson 16: Using Punishment Effectively
Unit 17 Lesson 17: Keys to Effective Punishment and References
Unit 18 EXAM: M15–Praise and Punishment
Module 16 How to Teach Life Skills
As a martial arts instructor, you may become the most influential person in the life of a child, right behind parents (but not always behind). Sunday School teachers only see a child once a week, if the child even attends Sunday School.
Unit 1 Teaching Life Skills
Unit 2 Lesson 1: Be a Role Model
Unit 3 Lesson 2: The Difference between Showing and Telling
Unit 4 Lesson 3: The Mistake of Telling the Wrong Stories
Unit 5 Lesson 4: How to Teach Life Skills
Unit 6 Lesson 5: Formulating Character-Trait Lessons
Unit 7 Lesson 6: Teaching Character Traits to Adults
Unit 8 Lesson 7: Is It Even My Job?
Unit 9 Lesson 8: The Case for Morality
Unit 10 EXAM: M16–Teaching Life Skills
Module 17 Teaching Children With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder that affects approximately 5% of American children (Amen, 1995). "Neurobiology" is the study of the brain and all the nerves.
Unit 1 Teaching Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder
Unit 2 Lesson 1: ADHD Definition
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Symptoms of ADHD
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Diagnosis and Treatment
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Prognosis
Unit 6 Lesson 5: Teaching Strategies
Unit 7 Lesson 6: Four Basic Teaching Strategies For ADHD Children
Unit 8 EXAM: M17–Teaching ADHD Students
Module 18 Working with Parents
As an instructor at a martial arts school, you recognize that working with the parents of your young students is a critical element in your success. Parents have an investment in their children's well-being at several levels, including physical and emotional aspects. Because of this investment, it is important to consider that your relationship with the child as instructor to student, also involves a working relationship with the parents.
Unit 1 Working with the Parents Of Students
Unit 2 Lesson 1: Establishing the Relationship
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Responding to Questions and Concerns
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Gathering Relevant Information
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Responding to Expectations Related to Problem Behaviors
Unit 6 Lesson 5: Maintaining the Relationship
Unit 7 Lesson 6: The Rarely Seen Parents
Unit 8 Lesson 7: The Highly Involved Parents
Unit 9 Lesson 8: Concerns about Belt-Rank Promotion
Unit 10 Lesson 9: Creating Opportunities for Communication
Unit 11 Lesson 10: Summary
Unit 12 EXAM: M18–Working with Parents
Module 19 How to Teach Self-Defense Safely
Teaching students to physically defend themselves in appropriate situations, especially without placing them at risk of injury, can be a key to the overall success of the instructor's program.
Unit 1 Lesson 1 - How to Teach Self-Defense Safely
Unit 2 Lesson 1 - Considerations for Student Safety
Unit 3 Lesson 2 - The Rules of Engagement
Unit 4 Lesson 3 - Equipment Safety for Students and Bad Guys
Unit 5 Lesson 4 - Dealing with Body Types
Unit 6 Lesson 5 - Dealing with Personalities
Unit 7 Lesson 7 - Monitor Class for Safety
Unit 8 Lesson 6 - Rules of Engagement
Unit 9 Lesson 8 - Active Adrenaline, Tone, and Intensity
Unit 10 Lesson 9 - The Word for Stop!
Unit 11 Lesson 10 - Alternate Targets to Reduce Risk of Injury
Unit 12 Lesson 11 - Safety Tips for Firearm Related Drills
Unit 13 EXAM: M19–How To Teach Self-Defense Safely
Module 20 An Overview of Law for a Martial Arts School
This module will deal with: Self-Defense; Defense of Others; Defense of Property; Criminal Liability (assault, murder, manslaughter, robbery, rape, sexual assault); related Tort Liability (assault, battery, false imprisonment, wrongful death); Citizen's Arrest; and a little on Criminal Procedure; Contract Law; Tort Law and Business Law.
Unit 1 Self-Defense and the Law
Unit 2 Lesson 1: The Five Elements of the Law of Self Defense
Unit 3 Lesson 2 - Your Right to Self-Defense
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Defense of Others
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Defense of Property
Unit 6 Lesson 5: Illegal Defense
Unit 7 Lesson 6: Violent Crimes
Unit 8 Lesson 7: Murder and Manslaughter
Unit 9 Lesson 8: Criminal Procedure
Unit 10 Lesson 9: Civil Law: Contract
Unit 11 Lesson 10: Torts
Unit 12 Lesson 11: Battery
Unit 13 Lesson 12: Assault
Unit 14 Lesson 13: Wrongful Death
Unit 15 Lesson 14: False Imprisonment
Unit 16 Lesson 15: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Unit 17 Lesson 16: Defamation
Unit 18 Lesson 17: Misrepresentation
Unit 19 EXAM: M20–An Overview of Law for a Martial Arts School
Module 21 How to Avoid Negligence and Liability
The most likely lawsuit brought against a martial arts school is for negligence. Negligence is simply having a duty to do something that will help maintain the safety of those present, and failing to fulfill that duty. Depending upon the State and the ideological bent of the Court in any given area, negligence may be easier or harder to prove.
Unit 1 Avoiding Negligence
Unit 2 Lesson 1: Avoiding Accidents
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Some Common Training-Area Dangers
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Safety of the Training Equipment
Unit 5 Lesson 4: Safety of the Training Techniques
Unit 6 Lesson 5: The Best Defense Is a Good Defense
Unit 7 Lesson 6: What If It Really Is Your Fault?
Unit 8 EXAM: M21–How to Avoid Negligence and Liability Course
Module 22 Considerations When Using Assistant Instructors
Probably since Abraham put his servant Eliezer in charge of his 318 trained men in ancient times, senior instructors have put senior students in charge of training junior students. It has been a tradition in martial arts that has endured through the centuries, from master to disciple, and now from head instructor to senior student. The State of California has other ideas, though.
Unit 1 Lesson 1: The $25,000 Volunteers
Unit 2 Lesson 2: Defending Against the State
Unit 3 Lesson 3: Use of Black Belts
Unit 4 Lesson 4: Owner Liability for Instructor Conduct
Unit 5 Lesson 5: Leaving Minors in Charge
Unit 6 Lesson 6: Protecting the Students
Unit 7 Lesson 7: A Note to Student Instructors
Unit 8 Lesson 8: Proper Use of Student Instructors
Unit 9 EXAM: M22–The Proper Use of Student Instructors
Module 23 Sexual Harassment Liability
By Scot A. Conway, Esq. Authors' Note: Certain material within this Module may disturb you, but in order to serve your best interests, it was, in all good conscience, entirely unavoidable. The following contents are, ultimately, solution-oriented. But understandably, sound solutions cannot be proposed unless the problem is presented first. And the problem is the disturbing trend in the martial arts industry involving sex and, to a far lesser extent, sex crimes.
Unit 1 Lesson 1: Introduction
Unit 2 Lesson 2: Problems
Unit 3 Lesson 3: Defining Sexual Harassment
Unit 4 Lesson 4: Sexual Harassment and the Law
Unit 5 Lesson 5: Sexual Battery
Unit 6 Lesson 6: Child Molestation
Unit 7 Lesson 7: Changing-Room Abuses
Unit 8 Lesson 8: Minors
Unit 9 Lesson 9: Disasters Waiting to Happen
Unit 10 Lesson 10: General Guidelines To Avoid Problems
Unit 11 EXAM: M23–How To Avoid Sexual Harassment Liability
Module 24 The Importance of Safety Equipment
Martial arts are innately dangerous, and over the years many students have been hurt learning the arts. Punching makiwara boards or hard heavy bags with bare knuckles had bloodied many hands, and the damage done to the bones and nervous system has made some types of work difficult for old-school martial artists. Working with sharp weapons has cut many of us, and training without proper sparring gear has gotten noses broken, legs fractures and, in more cases than any of us would like, debilitating head injuries.
Unit 1 Lesson 1: The Use and Maintenance of Safety Equipment
Unit 2 Lesson 2: Use of Training Aids and Safety Equipment
Unit 3 Lesson 3: Safety Measures for Unsafe Lessons
Unit 4 Lesson 4: Maintenance of Safety Equipment
Unit 5 Lesson 5: Sparring
Unit 6 EXAM: M24–The Use And Maintenance of Safety Equipment
Module 25 The Proper Use of Injury Waiver Forms
Release Forms are known by several names, including Waivers, Liability Waivers, Assumption of Risk, and others. Whatever the name, it is essentially intended to be a form in which the students and parents agree not to sue the school if something goes wrong.
Unit 1 The Proper Use Of Release Forms
Unit 2 Lesson 1: When to Get a Form Signed
Unit 3 Lesson 2: Who Signs?
Unit 4 Lesson 3: Who Gets Copies?
Unit 5 Lesson 4: What About Loss?
Unit 6 Lesson 5: Content of a Sample Form
Unit 7 Lesson 6: Signatures and Initials
Unit 8 Lesson 7: Authority to Treat
Unit 9 Lesson 8: Advisory of Rights and Responsibilities
Unit 10 Lesson 9: Assumption of Responsibilities and Risk
Unit 11 Lesson 10: Notice of Physical Contact
Unit 12 Lesson 11: Consent to Physical Contact
Unit 13 Lesson 12: Indemnification by Parents
Unit 14 Lesson 13: Arbitration Clause
Unit 15 Lesson 14: Severability
Unit 16 Lesson 15: Durability
Unit 17 Lesson 16: How to Handle the Terror of the Forms
Unit 18 Sample Release Form
Unit 19 EXAM: M25–The Proper Use of Injury Release Forms