2018 Martial Arts Teacher of the Year

2018 Martial Arts Teacher of the Year

Former Concrete Company Manager Grateful for COBRA and MATA

It’s a classic American success story. Sidney Burns of Bedford, VA, has grown from a karate crazed 8-year old to a master instructor with a well-established school and a year-old COBRA-Defense location that has rocketed out of the starting box.

Like many martial arts professionals, Master Burns started out teaching in a YMCA until 2012 when he opened Blue Ridge Martial Arts in Bedford, VA.

Sidney says that the best thing about his business is that he feels as though he hasn’t worked a day at it.

When he compares his current position to his days as General Manager of a concrete company, he can’t help but smile. But, he knows he didn’t get to where he’s at alone. Standing right beside him in full support is his wife of 29-years, Lisa and chief instructor, Lorna Coyle.

martial arts instructor certification

Sidney Burns and Lorna Coyle

Master Burns joined MATA in 2016 and quickly completed the MATA Certification course along with his staff. He says, “MATA is a quality, professional organization. I wanted my instructors and myself to be certified by the best. It’s just easier to follow the MATA program than to jump around chasing fads.”

He also discovered COBRA through MATA and quickly saw an opportunity to lock in the territory. According to Burns, “As with most martial arts schools, we struggled to enroll adult students. COBRA is an awesome program that fills that gap.”

His focused efforts with his COBRA school are already paying high dividends with group and high-end private classes.

Many MATA member schools teach COBRA as part of their school’s programs, but Sidney chose to open a separate location for COBRA. He said, “COBRA is so attractive to adults, that we wanted to expand to a larger town to reach more people. COBRA was surprisingly easy to implement. It gives you all the tools and support from headquarters for us to make that transition.”

As he looks back to his humble beginnings at the Y, he has learned some important lessons. He says to, “Be careful who you listen to and surround yourself with high achievers. Helping others see their potential is a tremendous honor. There is no better profession than teaching martial arts and self-defense.”

Sidney and Lisa Burns have made it a point to be a positive source of support for the community as well. From working with a suicide prevention group to sitting on the board of Bedford Christian Services, they are committed to leveraging their unique skills and talents to help make Bedford, VA a better place for all. It seems to be paying off.

Congratulations to Master Sidney Burns and the entire Blue Ridge Martial Arts team.

Visit BlueRidgeMA.com

8 Signs to Help You Reevaluate What You Teach and Call Self-Defense

I began teaching professionally in 1974 and for the next 30-years, like every other martial arts instructor, I advertised and believed I was teaching self-defense. That changed when, in 2006, I was watching my kids in a karate class at Chris Sutton’s school.

Though his assistants usually ran the class, one day Chris stepped in and taught a ten-minute anti-abduction segment. My jaw hit the floor. I turned to my wife and said, “I could not have taught 1-minute of that. That’s the best self-defense I’ve ever seen.” It still is. She was equally impressed. She enrolled in the COBRA-Defense Academy and is now an instructor with over 100 hours of training.

Chris modeled the COBRA-Defense system after his training in multiple police academies and training as a street cop, sheriff, and maximum security prison guard.

Your self-defense program needs to be based on a real field training designed to protect against violent criminals on a daily basis. There is a massive gap between self-defense and what is taught in martial arts schools.

Eight Signs That You Need to Reevaluate What You Teach and Call Self-Defense:

    1. If you rehearse fight scenes for demos.
    2. If you teach kids that they can defeat a grown man with the standard kick and punch format.
    3. If you do not have weapon disarms as part of your curriculum.
    4. If a technique requires the attacker to hold his punch in a paused manner in order to conduct the defense.
    5. If an escape requires multiple fine motor movements instead of gross motor movements.
    6. If you do not conduct scenario training such as ATM robberies or home invasions.
    7. If it does not include command presence and tactical communication.
    8. If you have never received training from a platform that is used in real life confrontation against violence and criminals as it’s defined purpose.

Find out about COBRA at SelfDefenseBusiness.com

Download the free COBRA app.

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