John Graden is an author, athlete, publisher and pioneering martial arts visionary, and is recognized as an important martial arts leader in this decade.

His efforts as a “teacher of teachers” have had a profound impact on the manner in which thousands of martial arts schools are operated worldwide. A former member of many world champion U.S. kickboxing teams, Mr. Graden’s two top selling books, Black Belt Management and How To Open and Operate A Successful Martial Arts School, are considered the quintessential references for martial arts school owners.

In late 1994, Mr. Graden founded the National Association of Professional Martial Artists. Dedicated specifically to strengthening the professional skills of martial arts school owners, NAPMA mushroomed to over 2,000 members worldwide making it the largest martial arts professional association in the world.

The Truth About the Martial Arts Business by John GradenIn 1995, he strengthened his position as a martial arts teacher of teachers by launching Martial Arts Professional magazine, the martial arts trade journal. Graden sold both NAPMA and MAPro in 2004.

In an effort to present universal instructor education to the martial arts industry, Graden created the American Council on Martial Arts in 1997. The ACMA is the first widely supported instructor certification program and is administered by the world renown Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas. The manual, co-authored by Graden, for the ACMA has been adapted as a textbook in colleges and universities.

Graden is a 7th degree black belt under Lewis and is the youngest man ever named to the Joe Lewis Honor Roll, the highest honor in the Joe Lewis Fighting System.

Graden’s focus now is on his Martial Arts Teachers’ Association. The worldwide headquarters of MATA is at and offers a massive library of articles, information, reports, videos, audios, ads, newsletters, forms, letters and networking to martial arts instructors worldwide.

Rank: 8th Dan
Instructor: Joe Lewis
Founder – Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (2004)
Founder – National Association of Professional Martial Artists (1994)
Founder – Martial Arts Professional Magazine (1995)
Founder – American Council on Martial Arts (1997)
Author – Black Belt Management: How to Open and Operate a Successful Martial Arts School

Graden is married with two children and lives in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Mr. Graden can be reached at or by calling 727-232-0410.