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Grow Your Martial Arts School

Since 1993, MATA has been the must-have membership for martial arts school owners. Get all the tools, connections, and answers you need to succeed.

The Martial Arts Teacher of Teachers

“On his path of inspiration, motivation, and unparalleled success, John Graden has had a profound impact on the manner in which thousands of martial arts are operated worldwide.” — Martial Arts World magazine


Black belts working hard to create a great living for their families so they can focus on their passion for changing lives through their schools.

Earn more income

Learn how to create the revenue that you deserve for your hard work and the life-long benefits you provide your students.

Enroll more students

We’ll show you the programs to offer to move a stranger to a student and a student to a black belt and staff instructors.

Become the "go to" school

Learn how to become the school people think of and talk about when “martial arts” are mentioned in your town or area.

Recent MATA Certification Graduates

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

“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

I am continually looking for ways to improve my teaching knowledge and the MATA Instructor’s Certification is one of the finest and most updated courses an instructor can take. I was impressed by the honesty of the content and detailed explanations of the various issues surrounding the teaching of Martial Arts these days.

“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

“Getting feedback on video from Mr. Graden was eye-opening. It was really helpful.”

Richard Brugger, Martial Arts for Life


How to Get Your Seminar Sponsored

How to Get Your Seminar Sponsored

While promoting free seminars can be good for creating awareness and traffic, it’s even better if you can get paid for it. Here is an example of how I got a local non-profit to sponsor a COBRA-Defense Children’s Abduction Prevention (CAP) seminar that I taught at...

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The Ugliest Fitness Apparel

The Ugliest Fitness Apparel

Video 1. Watch a nice BBC profile on a very pretty girl in a very ugly outfit. Video 2. Listen to a short audio clip from Sean Hannity as he describes his MMA training to Bill O'Reilly, who teases him about his "little white outfit." Question: What do you think?...

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Father Sues Karate School

Father Sues Karate School

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - A father alleges his son's leg was broken in a karate class in Feb. 2018 is suing the school. A father sued the school and his son's training partner, alleging they "negligently" caused his son's injury. The suit, filed in state Supreme Court,...

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Student Blinded by Injury Sues Instructor and Facility

Student Blinded by Injury Sues Instructor and Facility

A beginner student called by an instructor to participate in a sword demonstration instead got an accidental blade through the eye that pierced his skull and left him blind, paralyzed and brain-damaged, according to a $9 million lawsuit filed against the teacher and...

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A Lesson in Guns for Self-Defense

A Lesson in Guns for Self-Defense

https://vimeo.com/369583155 Live demo from COBRA-Defense Real Estate Agent Safety Seminar by Chris Sutton Here is a live demonstration of the realities of using a gun for self-defense. NOTE: The entire Real Estate Safety Seminar is available in the MATA Store. We see...

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How to Teach Sparring

How to Teach Sparring

This is a sample lesson from our MATA Certification Program. By John Graden From 1984 until about 1989, I was training three times a week in a dark, dirty boxing gym with retired world heavyweight kickboxing champion Joe Lewis. The only reason we would miss the...

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How to Target Market for New Students in 2019

How to Target Market for New Students in 2019

The Stairway to New Students

When you are marketing your martial arts school, it’s important to understand that each person who visits your website or watches your videos will have a different level of awareness relating to your school.

The best way to understand these different levels of awareness is to think of them as a stairway to new students. 

At the bottom, you have people who are unaware of you or the benefits of your school.

Need/Desire Aware
They realize that they need the benefits of your school, but they have taken no action.

Solution Aware
They understand their need/desire and are aware there are several ways for them to satisfy that need.

Your Solution Aware
They have seen or heard about your school and how it compares to your competitors.

Ready to Join
These people are aware of your school and ready to join if you have a good new student system.

When you think about marketing as this staircase, it helps you calibrate your marketing to what stage of the staircase the prospect is on. The goal of your marketing is to move people up the staircase and increase their level of awareness of your school.

Take them on a journey from being unaware or your school to recognizing their need/desire of a martial arts school, to realizing that there are many schools available. Then realizing that your school is the best choice and finally joining your school. 

At each level of the stairway, match your messaging to speak to the people at that level and help them transition up to the next level. 

One of the best ways to deliver your message at every level of this stairway to new students is to use video.

The Easiest Way to Generate Media Coverage in 2019

The media is blitzed all day long with people seeking exposure on their platform. One method that will jump you to the top, or at least near it, is to get out in your community and help with a local fundraising effort.

Whether it’s a need of a member’s family or a local charity, your school can contribute funds or hands-on help.

Take photos, write a paragraph or two about the event and fundraising efforts and send it in to your local media list (You do have a list right?).

Send media releases via email to your list prior to the event. Follow up with a phone call. You may even offer to take video and images to send if the reporter can’t make it.

Most of the time, the media will publish the event information, photo, school name, and charity as a part of a local news snippet. These are often used as a way for the media to share a ‘feel-good’ story or fill a slow news day.

See also:

The New Rules for Pitching the Media

How to Become the Martial Arts Star in Your Town

How To Get Media Coverage

End of the Year To-Dos for Your Martial Arts Website

Here are some last-minute 2018 to-dos.

  1. Check your website’s SSL status. SSL give visitors confidence that your site can be trusted.
    You can check it here. https://www.digicert.com/help/
  2. You can renew it here: https://pxlme.me/mifIY0xW
  3. Claim and optimize your Google My Business site. This is SUPER IMPORTANT! Go to Google.com/business
  4. Find out if you are in the Google 3-pack. (Google lists local searches with a featured 3-pack. These are displayed after paid ads and before organic results. This is the MOST VALUABLE real estate on a local search)

          a. Open a private or incognito browser window.

          b. Google “Martial arts in your town.”

          c. See if you’re in the 3 pack.

If you need help with any of these projects MATA can help. Our MATA websites are beautiful and professional looking. They make a great impression.


Our SEO plans are customizable and can be found here. https://pxlme.me/InSO5PGC

Our Google My Business set up and optimization is here: https://pxlme.me/91UN0KmS

How to Write a Press Release

1. Use a Clear and Informative Headline

With blog posts, you’ll usually implement many different techniques to capture attention. Take a look at this post’s title, for example – it’s descriptive, but we also provide extra information about what you’ll get (i.e. a press release template.) This is great for blog posts, but not so much for a press release given the target reader will need to sort through hundreds of similar emails.
The best way to grab a journalist’s attention is to summarize your press release within its title. Here are a few examples of real press release titles we like:
TV Ears Unveils the First Senior-Friendly HDTV at Consumer Electronics Show.
The Powerline Group Announces New College Scholarship Program For Long Island and National Students.
Day Translations Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary.
Each of these press releases describes exactly what the content will discuss. If you’re used to writing ‘clickbaity’ titles, it’s a habit you need to get out of when writing a press release.
We also recommend you keep post titles relatively short most of the time. This way, they’ll show up in their entirety within the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). However, you should look to include as much detail as you can offer within your titles. It’s a hard balance to get right.

2. Get People’s Attention With Your First Paragraph

It’s an unfortunate truth, but many readers of your content don’t actually do anything of the sort. Studies suggest online readers skim a lot – in other words, they jump from one section to another and are only concerned with the specific information they’re searching for.
In practice, this means you need to make an extra effort to engage readers, especially for your press releases. When you write a press release, you need to provide all of the most pertinent information. There are five key elements to cover:
Who your press release is about.
What the core subject of the press release is.
When the events within the press release will occur.
Where your news, event, or promotion will take place.
Why readers should be interested, or why the press release is newsworthy.
There’s a lot to cover, but you’re helped due to a press release simply containing facts. In contrast, other types of content usually need a narrative of some kind. What’s more, you don’t necessarily have to write in the order we’ve presented. For example, check out this example opener:
New York, Nov. 5, 2018. The Handsome Puppy Shelter will be holding an adoption drive on November 10th, 2018. The initiative is spearheaded by John and Jane Doe, who run the shelter and will organize the event. The drive will take place at the Nepperhan Community Center (342 Warburton Avenue), and it’s a great opportunity if you’re looking to find a forever home for ‘Man’s Best Friend.’
You’ll notice we presented the five points in the best order on this occasion. Each press release is different, so you feel free to play around with the structure. Also, depending on what your news is, it may not be necessary to hit all five of those elements, and they may even be a little abstract. For example, if there isn’t going to a physical event, the ‘where’ is irrelevant. However, you may want to provide company location details to tie the press release to local news outlets.
3. Include Quotes Whenever Possible

Many journalists love quotes because they give social proof and a more personal touch to their stories. Take a look at this snippet from the example near the beginning of this article. You’ll notice part of the second paragraph is a quote from bank President:
“We are proud to celebrate 80 years of business. We’ve been fortunate to have a great team that has served generations of families in north Alabama. We are grateful for the relationships we have with our customers, and the trust they place in us. They have a lot of options these days, so it is not something we take for granted” says Gates Little, President of The Southern Bank Company.
The quote could easily feature in the full news article. Plus, it includes information about where the quote came from, which saves the editor more time on research.
As far as quotes go, you’ll usually want to stick to people from within your business. Preferably, this person will be someone with authority and relevancy, as they’ll need to give some insight about the news you’re trying to share.
4. Add Some Boilerplate Information About Your Business

Unless you’re well-known, the recipients of your press release will have little idea of what your business does. Ideally, your press release’s first paragraph will take care of this somewhat with the ‘who’ element. However, it’s always a good practice to devote part of your press release to giving a basic introduction to your business.
You’ll normally add ‘boilerplate’ information to the end of the press release, and it should be even more factual and formal than your press release’s body copy. For the uninitiated, here’s a quick example of what we mean:
The Handsome Puppy Shelter is a non-profit organization based in Yonkers that rescues dogs from the streets, provides veterinarian assistance, and regularly holds drives to foster adoption. The shelter is run by John and Jane Doe. For more information, visit puppyshelter.com, or email info@puppyshelter.com
The goal here is to provide all of the most basic information for whoever’s tasked with reading the press release. A decent journalist will often still carry out further research, but including this information is still considered good practice.

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