My Martial Arts History
by Jim Graden
My Martial arts journey is more about the extraordinary people, who taught and influenced me, than my own personal accomplishments. I was fortunate to have people like Walt Bone, national forms and fighting champion and Joe Lewis, who I give credit for making me a World martial arts Champion, come into my life. I truly believe “you are who you hang around with” and I was able to hang around the best!
Dr. Kroll and I
I have had the privilege of being coached by and teammates with some of the very best in the world of martial arts, including World Champions, Jeff Smith and Bill “Super Foot’ Wallace, who both coached me on the United Stated Karate teams. Joe Lewis, Bill Wallace and Jeff Smith are considered the fathers of American martial arts and became the first true World Kickboxing Champions.
These kinds of influences, combined with my fifteen years plus experience creating effective fitness programming, brings me to what I feel is the pinnacle of my career, the creation of Jim Graden’s Martial Arts System featuring Joe Lewis fighting strategies.
This martial arts system is the culmination of all of my experiences. I have taken everything I know that works, as a fighter, inside the ring from being a World Kickboxing Champion. Plus what works in the streets from my many years of teaching and training with Police officers and Military personal.
“From the Beginning”
My first instructors were national forms and fighting champion Walt Bone and Hank Farrah…
Forms, also known as Kata, are an artistic expression of martial arts. Walt was a stickler for detail in forms and all aspects of his martial arts teaching. He was unique in his willingness to embrace modern fighting concepts, but at the same time honor the tradition and history of the martial arts.
He was also a good friend of my future instructor, Joe Lewis, who is, in my opinion, the foremost expert in modern strategies and advance fighting theories.