young adult self defense image

Phone: (727) 279-0505

The Standard for
Martial Arts Instructor Certification

martial arts instructor certification 5 star review

It takes more than a black belt to be an effective and inspiring martial arts instructor.

While earning a black belt is an impressive achievement, it doesn’t mean you can effectively teach a varity of students.

MATA Instructor Certification goes beyond black belt. It will improve your ability to teach professionally.

Earning your MATA Instructor Certification certification inspires students by showcasing your commitment to excellence, expertise and never-ending improvement (Kaizen).

MATA Instructor Certification is an investment in your growth and the growth of your students. 

The Contributors and Board of Directors

The MATA Certification was authored by 22 different veteran black belts who are also experts in their respective fields such as psychology, pedagogy, movement science, motivation, and communication.

John Corcoran was a mentor of John Graden and helped him to organize, write, and publish the first, MATA Instructor Certification Manual.

John Corcoran

MATA Certification Author and Board Member

“All the business skills in the world can’t make up for poor teaching. If you’re going to be at Martial Arts Professional, be the best. You’d be hard-pressed not to have a better example than John Graden.”

Brian Tracy

MATA Certification Author and Board Member,

“John Graden is the man responsible for some of the most successful Professional Martial Arts Organizations in the world.”

Black Belt Magazine

July 2004

Joe Lewis was a huge supporter of the Certification program from the start. He inducted John Graden into his prestigious Honor Roll in 2009. He also nominated him for the Martial Arts History Hall of Fame.

Joe Lewis

MATA Certification Author and Board Member

Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy is a renowned motivational speaker and author known for his expertise in personal and professional development.

Scot Conway, Esquire

Scot Conway is an attorney at law in California and the founder of Guardian tempo Christian Martial Arts.

Dr. Willie Pieter, Ph.D.

Dr. Willie Pieter set up the certification program for Taekwondo instructors in the Netherlands in 1980.

That received government recognition.

His background is in the ICF and the WTF taekwondo organizations.

Dr. Darenda Schubert

Dr. Schubert is his license psychologist with a special in child and family issues.

An active Martial Artist she has served on the board for Martial Arts Fitness Center, Inc.

Dr. Joseph Estwanick

Dr. Estwanick it has vast experience as a Boxing safety consultant and ringside position for boxing and MMA contest for decades..

Sharon B, Spaulding, M.A

Sharon Spaulding 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.

Joe Lewis

Joe Lewis is a legend in the history of American karate. He began his training in 1968 and earned to Blackbelt within seven months. A world champion many times over, Joe Lewis passed away in 2012. His contributions and inspiration live on.

John Corcoran

John Corcoran (1948-2019) was a highly regarded martial arts journalist and historian.

Dr. John Donahue, Ph.D.

Dr. Donahue holds a doctorate in Anthropology with a research concentration in the cultural aspects of Japanese martial arts.

Dr. Gianine Rosenblum, Ph.D.

Received her master’s and doctorate in psychology from Rutgers university has been practicing martial arts since 1990.

Tom Thompson, M.A.

Tom Thompson holds a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree in kinesiology from the University of North Texas.

Mr. Thompson has been operating the Alpha Fitness Center in Dallas and has been trained in martial arts since 1970.

Tim Rochford

Tim Rochford owns Empower Jim’s in the Chicago area. He is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the National Strength And Conditioning Association (NSCA).

John Graden
“John Graden is the man responsible for some of the most successful Professional Martial Arts Organizations in the world.”

Black Belt Magazine, July 2004

Dr. Ann Boyce, Ph.D.

Boyce is an associate professor of pedagogy at the University of Virginia. Attack on the blacktop. Dr. Boyce has studied martial arts for over 40 years.

Dr. Michael Maliszewski Ph.D.

Dr. Maliszewski has a Ph.D. in psychology and created the largest behavioral medicine program in the world in Chicago. He travels the world studying Martial Arts of various styles.

Dr. Don Korzekwa Ph.D.

Dr. Korzekwa is a licensed psychologist and a black belt living in Texas.

Sarah Chung, M.A.

Sarah Chang has a masters of arts in human kinetics with a specialization in sport psychology performance enhancement at the University of Ottawa. Sarah Chang has been a world class Taekwondo competitor since 1987.

Many school owners assume that their staff understand what proper and professional conduct is.

The MATA Instructor Certification program makes it very clear what bounderies need to be adhered to by everyone in a leadership position.

A young black belt may be getting more praise and respect than he’d ever dreamed of and leverages that to date students.

That is one of many examples of dangerous decisions that the certification course will help to avoid.

nervous looking female student

Our Martial Arts Instructor Certification Program walks you through the potential liabilites in running a modern day martial arts school.

karate kid has eyes closed during drill

Most untrained instructors simply mimic their own instructors communication and physical patterns. The could easily be a case of the blind leading the blind.

Charismatic, confident leadership is not part a black belt test but it’s a crucial skill to learn as an instructor.

MATA Certified instructors learn effective communication skills so they can articulate their lessons clearly by using age-specific persuasive language that resonates with students.

MATA Certification amplifies a martial arts instructor’s effectiveness by demonstrating their commitment to excellence.

It’s more than just what happens on the floor your must be aware of.

A martial arts school potentially faces a lawsuit if the instructors fail to adhere to proper safety protocols or neglects its duty of care towards its students.

If a student is injured due to inadequate supervision or faulty equipment, the school is open to being sued.

Other reasons include allegations of physical or emotional abuse. 

karate kid has eyes closed during drill

To give you an idea of what’s covered, here are 12 of the 25 Modules

Communication Skills

Learn what words and phrases help and those that hinder.

martial arts instructor certification picture

Curriculum Structure

How to increase retention, skill, and motivation.

martial arts instructor certification award

Age Specific Teaching

How children process info different than adults.

martial arts instructor certification jp muller

Reducing Liability

How to avoid negligence and lawsuits.

martial arts instructor certification jp muller

Principles of a Safe Warmup

Avoid injury and turn your warmup into a skill-building lesson.

martial arts instructor certification

How to Teach Sparring

Teach sparring so that it increases student retention.

martial arts instructor certification course certificate

Discipline and Class Control

Learn how to be respected, influential, and admired.

martial arts instructor certification course certificate

Working with Parents

How to respond to concerns and keep parents on your side.

martial arts instructor certification course certificate

How to Use Assistant Instructors

Avoid being sued for owner liability. 

martial arts instructor certification course certificate for kainlen pier

Teaching ADHD Students

Strategies to help these special needs students.

martial arts instructor certification course certificate

Sexual Harassment Liability

How to stop disasters waiting to happen.

martial arts instructor certification course certificate

Proper Use of Injury Waivers

What should it cover? Who signs it and gets copies?

Course Modules


Happy Graduates

martial arts instructor certification support by chuck norris
Fox News article on martial arts instructors certification

The certification press release on Justin Faiferlick of Fort Dodge, IA was picked up by 30+ major media sites.


  1. Enroll in the course.
  2. Review the course content.
  3. Take the test. (You must score 75% to pass. If you do not pass, you may retake the test at no cost.)
  4. Contact us upon completion.
  5. We will mail your Certificate(s).
  6. We craft a Press Release for you to send to your local media.
  7. We post that Press Release about your Certification on major media websites with high-authority back links back to your websites (optional).

How to Enroll

staff get martial arts instructor certified
  • Full access to the MATA Certification Program.
  • Beautiful 11 x 17 Graduation Certificate.
  • Digital Graduation Certificate for your Website and Social Media.
  • Press Release written and submitted to media outlets announcing certification.
  • One Year MATA-Pro Membership ($97-value. Include Recertification)
  • Get Your Staff Certified for $100 off.