2019 Tools and Hacks from John Graden

Link Tracking

The pix.me short url is a tracking url that you can use for remarketing. It also shows you how many clicks the link has.


Book Writing

Kindle Spy is a tool to research the best niches to write for on Amazon.

KindleSpy – The Ultimate Amazon Spy Tool

Rocket gives you real data that shows you exactly what Amazon book buyers type into Amazon, as well as how many people search for these things every month.

Kindle Rocket

This calculator gives you an idea of how many books are sold per day on any ebook title on amazon. You just input the sales rank of the book and the calculator tells you how many books per day are sold at that rank.

This is great for researching categories.

Kindle Calculator

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free writing with Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant. I use this everyday.


This site has invaluable tools and information to help self-published authors to get more reviews and sell more books.

Authors Marketing Club


Two free DVDS.

  1. When to Use Deadly Force
    1. Discover The Laws Governing Use Of Deadly Force
  2. Situational Awareness
    1. Transform Yourself From Potential Victim to Vigilant Defender

Delta Defense LLC / USCCA


Facebook Page Optimizer


Watch your website visitors in real time or on recordings. This is INVALUABLE!!!


Woodpecker is my favorite tool for For cold email outreach and inbound lead nurturing.


Personalized Video Email


Great way of using a specified phone number for your business instead of your cell phone. This redirects to your cell phone and alerts you on many platforms when you get a call. It then records it and transcribes

Best of all, it’s FREE.


Stay on top of breaking news

Google Trends

CUSTOM Websites




Discounted COBRA Websites


The NFL of Self-Defense Business Organizations

The NFL of Self-Defense Business Organizations

The NFL of Self-Defense Business Organizations

In February of this year, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) debuted and then closed up shop last month. Why? The product was inferior to the NFL or College Football. My wife called the AAF flag football.

Most self-defense organizations are just like the AAF.  Typically, they just offer some kind of certification. They don’t teach you how to market self-defense to generate income.

That’s why I look at COBRA-Defense as the NFL of the self-defense business. COBRA provides licensees with all they need to market and teach 12 different seminars include:

  1. How to Market and Teach an Active Shooter Response Plan.
  2. How to Market and Teach Real Estate Agent Safety.
  3. How to Market and Teach Young Adults.
  4. How to Market and Teach a Bully Prevention Plan.
  5. How to Market to the Affluent (Annual $25k teaching one private a week).

There are plenty more but gives you an idea of the stellar support and training COBRA provides.

Google for self-defense, active shooter response plan, real estate agent self-defense and odds are, depending on where you live, that you will see COBRA in the search engine results.

COBRA is hosting its first 2 Day COBRA Mastermind Business Training in Miami Fl June 7th & 8th. This event is restricted to COBRA Licensees.

MATA members can join COBRA and get a $400 discount off the license. Find out more at SelfDefenseBusiness.com


Escape the Jail Cell of Style

Escape the Jail Cell of Style

Escape the Jail Cell of Style


I recently posted this “Fighting Form” from our Empower Kickboxing program on Facebook. I designed the forms in the late 1990s to replace the traditional TKD forms I practiced and taught since 1974.

While the video didn’t quite go “viral,” it did stimulate over 100 comments and a number of “debates.”

I loved kata. I won more trophies in kata than fighting. I was the first center judge for the WAKO World Kata Championships in Berlin in 1986-ish. I was the US Open Korean Forms Champion in 1982. Just like my instructor Walt Bone, I was a kata guy.

However, after opening and running my school for a few years, I had a few revelations that I’d like to share with you.

Traditional kata creates confusion and contradiction.

1. It makes zero sense to teach my students to pull their hand to their hip during basics and kata in the first half of the class only to yell at them to put their hands up during mitt work and sparring. 

2. It makes zero sense to make students memorize and perform a clunky series of skills in stances that are way too deep and static only to yell at them to keep their legs under them and move during mitt work and sparring.

3. Each form and skill has an Asian name that students had to remember. For instance, one brown belt form was named Kwan Gae after the 15th Empower of some Korean dynasty. What do I care?

Why was I teaching Korean history in class? If I was going to teach history it would be American history. Remember, we won the war.

I wanted forms that taught the skills of sparring and self-defense.

Today, we can see what really works in self-defense because YouTube has hundreds of thousands of security and iPhone videos of real self-defense. 

Do you know what I’ve never seen in a real self-defense video? I’ve never seen an attacker in a deep stance holding his arm out with his other hand on his hip.

Why on earth would I spend time teaching what is clearly decades old impractical theory? 

Some will argue that the deadly skills of self-defense are hidden in the kata. Maybe they are, but people do not pay tuition to learn tedious forms in the hopes that one day they might figure out how it really works or, even worse, doesn’t work.

Think about it. Of all the skills that can be taught in a martial arts class, why would you pigeon hole yourself into the limiting jail cell of a style? 

How often have you had a prospect contact you can say, “I want to learn traditional kata.” Never.

When I replaced my TKD forms with these fighting forms, the students loved it and retention skyrocketed. I replaced basic TKD blocks and lunge punches with dynamic boxing and martial arts based combinations that they could apply that night in sparring.

The reason that most of us are so emotionally attached to a style is only because that’s what the school nearest taught. If the school taught a different style, you’d be just as attached. 

Attachment to any style is limiting. It’s limiting in what you learn and what you teach. Style attachment is like a brainwashing experiment reminiscent of The Manchurian Candidate. 

In my first white belt class, my 14-year old brain was ripe for influence when my instructor Walt Bone said, “We teach Tae Kwon Do. It’s the best style because it emphasizes kicking. Your leg is a much longer and stronger weapon than your arm. An attacker has to get past our kicks and then our punches in order to get to us.”

Three years later, a dad of one of the students didn’t think karate worked so he challenged Mr. Bone. Bone put sparring gear on the guy and bowed him in. After an initial clash, the guy tackled Bone. It was not pretty. 

So much for the power of the style. Walt Bone is facing the camera in the dark grey gi. 

Grab a copy of The Dark Side of the Martial Arts at WaltBone.com

How to Piggyback a News Story

How to Piggyback a News Story

Over the weekend, a news story broke about a girl who used a code word to thwart a potential abduction. The media and readers of the story all praised the “brilliant strategy” of a code word and how this “top-notch parenting.”

On Twitter, the hashtag #codeword blew up. So I banged out a blog post entitled, “A Code Word Did NOT Save a 10-Year Old from Abduction.” While code words seem like a good idea, Chris Sutton of COBRA-Defense convinced me otherwise. Never teach a child to engage in conversation with a stranger.

I then searched for the hashtags #codeword on Twitter and Google News. Here I could target high traffic Twitter pages like Good Morning America and Tweet my short headline and a link to my personal blog

The key is that you have to add to the story. You can’t just comment. Bring a different viewpoint from the norm. In this case, the praise for the strategy was almost 100%, so a fresh viewpoint adds to the story. Of course, some people will disagree with me, but I’m used to that.

How You Can Go to Prison for Defending Yourself

How You Can Go to Prison for Defending Yourself

NOTE: Below this article is an Associated Press news piece from May 8, 2018, illustrating this important information.

I was raised on the Clint Eastwood, John Wayne style of fighting.  Haymakers and unwritten rules that you never hit a man when he is down. Even when the kung fu boom hit, the fighters seemed to follow some ideas of honor and integrity while they gouged out a bad guy’s eyeballs. That’s the movies, let’s talk about real life.

Most hand-to-hand fights are actually three to four fights rolled into one. As self-defense or martial arts instructor, you have to understand this.

One of the five components that make up a self-defense plea from prosecution is an imminent threat. If a person says he or she is going to smash your face and starts to move in ways that support that intention, that could be argued as an imminent threat and could allow you to preemptively act first to protect yourself.

That is fight #1. If, with assertive verbal judo, you can talk down the aggressor or put distance between you, then you have won and no one is hurt. Fight one is over and all is well.

If verbal judo and distance don’t work, fight #2 is on. This is where it gets very dangerous for a martial artist, self-defense expert, or any trained fighter. If you are defending yourself, you have the right to “end the threat.” This is really important to understand. If you knock your attacker out and then jump on him ala’ MMA and smash his face, you have just started fight #3 and you may well go to jail for it. The threat is over, yet you continue to fight. Bad move.

Even though the law says that you must stop at the end of the threat, the fact that you are a trained person can be used AGAINST you. Regardless of training, once the threat is over, you must stop.

Fight #3 will probably cost you every penny you have in legal bills and will most likely be fought from a jail cell.

I am not a fan of the UFC effect on martial arts. Go to YouTube and search for street fights etc… and you will see many videos of people stomping and punching the head of a 100% unconscious person. I don’t blame UFC/MMA for that, but their fighters do exactly that all of the time. These fighters are heroes and role models to young kids. This is where they learn to fight.

Learn more about the Law of Self-Defense. Use coupon code MATA10 to get a 10% discount.

Martial arts expert argues he pummeled man in self-defense

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine mixed martial art fighter is losing his argument that he was defending himself when he repeatedly punched an unconscious victim in the head.

Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court upheld Richard Matthews’s conviction of aggravated assault for beating a man outside a bar in 2015. The judges say the evidence doesn’t support his self-defense claim.

A bouncer testified then-45-year-old Matthews spun the victim around and punched him in the face until he fell to the ground. He says Matthews then sat on top of and repeatedly punched the injured victim.

Matthews says he thought the victim was going to grab his wife’s rear end. Matthews says he wanted to make sure the victim didn’t hurt him and stayed down. His attorney didn’t immediately respond to request for comment Tuesday.

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