The MATA Professional
Martial Arts Instructor
Certification Program

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official manual for martial arts instructor certification

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Brian Tracy, Brian Tracy International,

"The martial arts have played an important part of my life. Indeed, I attribute much of my success to the confidence and indomitable spirit I learned as a martial arts student when I was a young man. Character is important and few activities have the life enhancing, character building qualities of the martial arts."

"The MATA Instructor Certification Course is the right program at the right time. It was created with one purpose in mind, to make sure the interaction between the instructor and student was as safe and professional as possible. 

In a fragmented, diverse field such as the martial arts, this is a daunting task and he pulled it off. I was proud to be a board member of the program and continue to support the idea.

Simply put, all the business skills in the world can’t make up for poor teaching. If you are going to be a martial arts professional, be the best. 

From the success of NAPMA and the ACMA to his Martial Arts Teachers’ Association, John Graden has met his challenges head on with the integrity and character of a fighter, a champion."

black belt represents old way of being qualified to teach. It's not enough now..

Why a Black Belt is No Longer Enough

On average, it takes about 3-4 years to earn a black belt. Very little of that time is spent on the science of teaching and learning.

The MATA Instructor Certification Program provides teachers an effective process to create and maintain a productive classroom environment.

Not All Certifications Are Created Equal

Most certifications are style and skill based or a course created by a single person.

The MATA Certification was authored by 18 different veteran black belts who are also experts in their respective fields such as law, psychology, pedagogy, movement science, motivation, and communication.

martial arts instructor teaching a seated class

Learn Online at Your Own Pace

young black belt taking martial arts certification course

The entire course and final exam are online for your convenience.

Course Preview–Module 1

The Principles of an Authoritative Instructor

Unit 1 Introduction: The Principles of an Authoritative Instructor

Unit 1: Four Keys to Giving Clear Directions to Students

Unit 2: Setting And Maintaining a Standard for Conduct

Unit 3: No Competition for Attention

Unit 4: No Rescues from Weak Answers

Unit 5: The Damage of False Praise

Unit 6: Is it, Name Question or Question Name?

Unit 7: Using Concise Language Patterns

Unit 8: Know and Use All of Your Tools

Unit 9: How to Calibrate Your Levels of Intervention

Unit 10: Module Exam. 75% required to pass.

FAQ-General Certification Questions 1

Earning a black belt typically means you’ve passed a test that demonstrates that you can remember and execute the techniques of your martial arts style. A black belt does not mean that you have been trained in how to teach that style or any other. Teaching is both an art and science that most martial arts instructors are never taught.
You take the course at your pace 100% online for maximum convenience.
If you do not pass you can take as many exam retakes as you need for free.
We are proud of the fact that all material and exams have been created by a team of contributors holding the highest academic and martial arts accreditations.
All successful graduates receive a beautiful, professionally designed 11 x 17 certificate that you can proudly display along with window decals and a badge you can display on your website.

FAQ-General Certification Questions 2

Earning a certification accredited by the Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA) shows you are committed to professional development as an instructor. You elevate yourself above the average “Black Belt Excellence” school. You establish your credentials You deepen your understanding of instruction and leadership You stay fresh and inspired You show your students that you “walk the talk” of excellence.
Your certification will remain active for two calendar years from the date you pass the exam.
Our Instructor Certification Exam is delivered during the course. As you complete each Module, you will have to successfully pass that Modules’ exam. Once you’ve finished all modules and exams, you have completed the MATA Instructor Certification program and you qualify to receive your certification.
We are pleased to provide our clients with free instant test grading, test results and certification.
Upon successful completion, we’ll send you your 11 x 17 certificate along with some other items that will help you display your certification in your school and online.

"MATA is a professional and quality organization. I wanted my Instructors and myself to be certified by the best."

Sidney Burns, Blue Ridge Martial Arts

martial arts certified instructors from blue ridge va

The Contributors

Contributors 1

Associate Professor of Pedagogy at the University of Virginia. A TKD black belt, Dr. Boyce has been studying martial arts for nearly 40 years. Contributed Modules Module 1: How To Teach Martial Arts Skills
Master of Arts in Human Kinetics with a specialization in Sport Psychology – Performance Enhancement at the University of Ottawa. Ms. Chung has been a world class TKD competitor since 1987. Contributed Modules Module 4: How to Conduct a Proper Warm Up Module 7: How to Conduct a Proper Cool Down
Sharon Spalding is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise Specialist. In 1995, she designed the fitness program for the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership. Contributed Modules Module 5: The Proper Execution Of Calisthenics
The author of many bestselling books on personal and professional success, Brian Tracy is one of the world’s premier speakers on the topics of leadership and success. He began training in the martial arts in 1964 in Montreal and has trained under six world champions in his career. Contributed Modules Module 13: The Power Of Motivation And Charisma in the Martial Arts Instructor
Tim Niiler’s masters thesis involved the study of the landing mechanics in wushu jump kicks. Contributed Modules Module 9: How To Teach Kicking Safely
Dr. Schubert is a licensed psychologist with a special in child and family issues. An active martial artist, she also served on the board for Martial Arts Fitness Center, Inc Contributed Modules Module 11: Age Specific Teaching Module 12: Preschoolers to Adults: Teaching to Meet their Needs Module 16: Teaching Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder
Tom Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Science Degree in Kinesiology from the University of North Texas. Mr. Thompson also operated the Alpha Fitness Center in Dallas and has been training in martial arts since 1970. Contributed Modules Module 6: Proper Execution Of Flexibility Exercises
Scot Conway is an attorney at law in California and the founder of Guardian Kempo Christian Martial Arts. Contributed Modules Module 15: Teaching Character Skills Module 18: A Crash Course in Law Module 19: Avoiding Negligence Module 20: The Use and Maintenance of Safety Equipment Module 21: The Proper Use of Student Instructors Module 22: How to Avoid Sexual Harassment Liability Module 23: School Layout to Minimize Risk Module 24: The Importance of Water for Student Safety Module 25: The Proper Use of Release Forms

Contributors 2

American martial arts historian, John Corcoran was the editor for the original ACMA manual and Martial Arts Professional magazine. Read John's article on the importance of instructor certification and training.
Joe Lewis is a legend in the history of American Karate. He began his training in 1968 and earned two black belts within 7 months. A world champion many times over, Joe Lewis passed away in 2012. His contributions live on.
Founder of NAPMA, MATA, and the ACMA. 8th dan protege’ of Joe Lewis Contributed Modules Module(s): 2. How to Structure Curriculum 3. How To Reduce Student Drop Out 11: How To Teach Sparring
A former street cop, sheriff, and maximum security prison guard, Chris Sutton is the founder of the COBRA-Defense system. He holds many black belts under renown instructors including Joe Lewis and Jim Graden.
Dr. Donohue holds a doctorat in anthropology with a research concentration in the cultural aspects of Japanese martial arts. Contributed Modules Module 12: What Is A Healthy Martial Arts Hierarchy? Module 17: Working with the Parents Of Students
Dr. Gianine Rosenblum received her masters and doctorate in psychology from Rutgers University and has been practicing martial arts since 1990. Contributed Modules Module 14: Discipline, Praise and Punishment in the Martial Arts School Module 28: Psychological Issues In Teaching Self-defense To Women
Don Korzekwa is a Licensed Psychologist and black belt living in Texas. Contributed Modules Module 19: Working With the Parents of Students
Dr. Willy Pieter set up the certification program for TKD instructors in the Netherlands in 1980, which received government recognition. His background is in the ITF and the WTF. Contributed Modules General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) and the Martial Arts

MATA Certification Course Modules

  1. How Students Learn
  2. How to Structure Curriculum
  3. How to Reduce Student Drop Out
  4. How to Conduct a Proper Warm Up
  5. Proper Execution of Calisthenics copy
  6. Proper Execution of Flexibility Exercises copy
  7. How to Conduct a Proper CoolDown
  8. How to Teach Sparring so Your Students Won't Quit
  9. General Adaptation Syndrome
  10. Age Specific Teaching
  11. How to Teach Kicking Safely
  12. What is a Healthy Martial Arts Hierarchy?
  13. The Power Of Motivation And Charisma In The Martial Arts Instructor
  14. Discipline, Praise And Punishment In The Martial Arts School
  15. Teaching Character Skills
  16. Teaching Children with Attention Deficit: Hyperactive Disorder

17. A Crash Course in Law

18. The Law of Self-Defense

19. Avoiding Negligence

20. The Proper Use of Student Instructors

21. Use and Maintenance of Safety Equipment

22. How to Avoid Sexual Harassment Liability

23. School Layout to Minimize Risk

24. The Importance of Hydration

25. Use and Maintenance Safety Gear

26. The Proper Use of Release Forms

Sample Release Form

27. Considerations for Teaching Self-Defense

28. Psychological Issues In Teaching Self-Defense To Women

MATA Professional Code of Ethics

MATA Certification Registration Options

FREE Access for MATA Members

SFIC is rewarding certification with a $100 insurance credit for the instructor's school.

  • Courtesy of Sports Fitness Insurance Corp. (SFIC)
  • Take the Course and Exam for free
  • Does NOT qualify you as a MATA Certified Instructor
  • Does NOT Allow you to promote yourself as a MATA Certified Instructor

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  • $297 includes One Year of MATA
  • 11 x 17 MATA Instructor Certificate
  • MATA Instructor Certificate Web Badge
  • Promote yourself as a MATA Certified Instructor
  • Includes Annual MATA Membership (Renews at $199 annually)

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