Top 10 Self Defense Schools Awards

The Self Defense Schools Directory Presented by World Martial Arts Magazine was established to rate and rank the very best martial arts self defense schools in the country.

For the purpose of this website we define Self-Defense as the action by which a person protects himself from any bodily harm arising out of an encounters or attacks from other person either by protecting him or by blocking the opponents advancement by a counter attack.

The schools listed below were judged on their ability to teach people to protect themselves from violent attackers in realistic situations. That is much different than teaching a martial sport to compete against another individual under a specific set of rules.

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Below you will find the Top 1o Self Defense Martial Arts Schools in the country in random order.


the self defense institute

Shihan John Petrone – The Self Defense Institute

Shihan John Petrone says: If you want art…BUY A BRUSH!

While The Defense Institute offers a variety of fitness and competitive programs for all age groups, its reputation is built on its “Adult Street Tactics” Program.  Shihan John Petrone (Vee-Arnis-Jitsu) brought this unique program with him, as he relocated from NYC to Colorado Springs.

Here he met and teamed up with Shihan Eric LaLone (Bushido Sei Shin) to open their school.  Vee-Arnis-Jitsu is a true concept based system that incorporates techniques from a variety of martial arts around a series of 10 concepts that make martial arts truly street applicable regardless of size, strength, and gender.

The training teaches the students to become the aggressor in street situations and force the attacker into a defensive position giving the student the time he or she needs to use a learned technique, deploy a weapon, or simply get away from the situation.

As the demand for their training grew an Instructor Certification Program, named D.I.C.T.A.T.E. (Defense Institute’s Control Tactics And Threat Elimination), became necessary.  Originally developed in conjunction with US Special Operations Units it was then modified to be able to be utilized by law enforcement agencies and civilians.  The program includes certification in Impact/Edged Weapons, Weapon Defense, and Hand to Hand Combat.  To date over 100 military units, law enforcement agencies, private security firms, and martial arts school owners have received this training and the word continues to spread.  The future looks bright at The Defense Institute.

Defense Institute
2370 S. Academy Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80916
Ph: 719-392-1380 Visit them online at


master darren norris

Master Darren Norris of Hendersonville, NC

The Aikido, Hapkido and Yusool of Hendersonville self defense school is owned by Master Darren Norris, the US Representative for the Korean Hapkido Federation.

Master Norris is also a columnist for “World Martial Arts Magazine” and was featured in the movie documentary, “The Warrior’s Quest”. This school also won the “Traditional School of the Year” Award from the “World Martial Arts Magazine” Hall of Fame and performs annually at the Action Film Fest.

This school specializes in teaching self defense to all ages and offers a variety of programs. Their Aikido program is exceptional and features the Pre World Word II Aikido, not the soft stuff you see at most schools. This is original Aikido, fast and brutal.

They also offer classes in Aikido’s sister art, Hapkido which is famous for its effectiveness in real world self defense situations. Master Darren Norris is one of only 50 masters in the United States authorized to teach under the prestigious Korean Hapkido Federation.

Be sure to “Like” them on facebook and visit their school website. You can also follow him at

They are located in the community of Horseshoe, NC. Just 20 minutes from Ashville. Call them today at 828-388-0635 for more information.


world martial arts magazine cover

The American Dragon Martial Arts Academies in Winter Garden, Florida. Owned by 16 times World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee, Grand Master Richard Hackworth.Hackworth is the host of the “World Martial Arts TV and Radio Shows” and Head Coach of the World Champions “World Martial Arts Show Team”. This school has also been rated as one of the Top Ten Martial Arts Schools in the World by the Korean Martial Arts Instructors Association in Seoul, South Korea. They also have locations in Clermont, Orlando, and Sunrise, Florida. Their international locations are in Cali, Colombia and Cheonan, South Korea.Visit their website for complete details. You can see their website at: Ph: 321-443-8077. You can LIKE them on Facebook. or follow at***********************************************************************

self defense classes orlando florida

Grand Master Fred Parks, Host of the World Martial Arts TV Show

TangSooDo Korean Karate of Orlando, Florida. Owned by Grand Master Fred Parks, the International Representative to the Korea TangSooDo MooDukKwan Society.

He is the co-host of the “World Martial Arts TV and Radio Shows” and writer for “Martial Force Magazine”.  In 2007, Grand Master Parks won “The Golden Mic Award” for excellence in Radio broadcasting for his work on the “World Martial Arts Radio Show”.

He has won numerous awards for his TangSooDo Karate Self Defense segments on the TV show. Being the father of two girls he has a personal interest in teaching self defense to children and women. You can reach the TangSooDo Korean Karate of Orlando Florida school by phone at: Ph: 352-638-8143.


Atlanta self defense schools Conyers georgia

Grand Master Gregory Glover in Atlanta, Georgia

US Martial Arts Academy. This Self Defense school just outside of Atlanta, Georgia in the Conyers area teaches the Korean martial arts of Taekwondo and Hapkido.

It is owned by Grand Master Gregory Glover who is well known as the Head Coach of the US National Taekwondo Association Team.

Grand Master Glover is frequently featured on the “World Martial Arts TV and Radio Shows” and has appeared as a cover story on “World Martial Arts Magazine”.

He is host of the Annual US National Taekwondo Association Training Camp held every June in Atlanta.

You can reach his self defense school in the Atlanta area by calling Ph: 917-929-0078. This school offers a free self defense class to get you started. Don’t forget to click to “LIKE” him on Facebook.


self defense classes sunrise florida

Grand Master Gary Pointer host of the “World Martial Arts Radio Show”

YuSool Korean Jujitsu and Hapkido Academy. This Sunrise, Florida based self defense school specializes in teaching Korean self defense martial arts.

It is owned by Korean Martial Arts Instructors Association  “World Grand Masters Counsel” Member, Grand Master Gary Pointer.

He is the US Representative for the Korea YuSool Association from Seoul, South Korea. Grand Master Pointer has nearly 40 years of martial arts training experience and 20 years as a certified self defense and martial arts teacher.

Call 954-559-6497 to schedule a free trial lesson. Be sure to “Like” him on facebook at YuSool Korean Jujitsu.


master chris edwards

Self Defense Expert & World Champion Chris Edwards

Body Martial Arts Self Defense School is the most popular martial arts school in Chattanooga, TN. The owner is Master Chris Edwards, world record holder for most concrete blocks broken with a single strike.

The exciting martial arts self defense programs include Taekwondo, Hapkido, Jujitsu and Kung Fu for all ages.

Master Chris Edwards is the Tennessee State Representative for the Korean Martial Arts Instructors Association and the US National Taekwondo Association. Master Edwards is one of the stars of the World Martial Arts TV Show. Meet Master Edwards in person at the school. Call 423-710-3206 to schedule your free trial course today or visit his website at or follow him at


8.  Frank Sanchez

9. Gary Dill

10. James Hogwood

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