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Greatmats National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Contest

Greatmats Seeking Nominations for National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year

Grandmaster Bryant Harrell named 2016 Greatmats National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year!

Read about Grandmaster Harrell and runner up Ken Blumreich!!!


The 2016 Greatmats National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year finalists have been named!
The 2016 finalists for the Greatmats National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year are: Ken Blumreich of AKF Athens Martial Arts in Athens, Georgia, and Bryant Harrell of Real World Combat Academy at High Point Neighborhood Family Center in Clearwater, Florida.

More than 1,300 votes were cast in the inaugural year of the contest, which is part of the 2nd Annual Greatmats National Award Series. The Greatmats National Award Series is designed to recognize instructors, trainers and coaches who have made a positive difference in their communities and the lives of their students. Greatmats will name the winner on Dec. 30, 2016.

Ken Blumreich
Athens, GA

Bryant Harrell
Clearwater, FL

Congratulations to all who were nominated for their demonstration of service, integrity and quality in their instruction practices as well as their involvement in their communities!


Voting is live through Nov. 30, 2016!
Visit Greatmats Facebook page to vote for this year's National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year. Find the photo gallery ballot associated with the National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Contest and click like on the photo of the Martial Arts Instructor you'd like to win. Each ''like'' counts as one vote. Only likes to the original post count as votes. Feel free to share a photo or the gallery ballot with friends and family and encourage them to vote, but remind them to like the original post to make sure their votes count. The two martial arts instructors with the most 'like' votes will be named finalists. From that point, Greatmats will choose the winner (scroll down to see prizes) based on demonstration of service, integrity and quality.

Thanks to those who nominated a special martial arts instructor and good luck to those nominated!

2016 Nominees
If you have nominated someone and do not see them on this list, please review the ''How to Nominate'' section on this page and make sure you have completed all steps or email

Matt Stewart
Three Dragons Martial Arts Academy, Orlando, Florida

Eric Swick
Dragons Den Mixed Martial Arts, Grafton, West Virginia

Spencer Nolan
Gracie Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona

Ken Blumreich
AKF Athens Martial Arts, Athens, Georgia

Matt Larsen
Matt Larsen's Combat Fitness Academy, Springfield, Virginia

Bryant Harrell
High Point Neighborhood Family Center, Clearwater, Florida

Johnny Edwards
Hickory Grove PHC Jiu Jitsu, Candor NC

Doug Bedsaul
Downtown Martial Arts Academy, Starkville, Mississippi

Jae McIntosh
No Limit Jiu Jitsu, Starkville, Mississippi

Ian Jensen
Lake Country Martial Arts, Hartland, Wisconsin

Michael Tull
Champion Karate, Karate, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Jeremy Booth
Wolfpack Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Hamilton, Alabama

Larry Martin
Rhode Island Shotokan Karate, Providence, Rhode Island

Melvin Stewart
Westmoreland Family YMCA, Montross, Virginia

Aaron Wayne-Duke
Galesburg Academy of Martial Arts, Galesburg, Illinois


Want to honor a martial arts instructor for his/her outstanding achievements, unique style or humanitarian efforts? Then nominate him/her for the 2016 National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award, sponsored by Greatmats. The award, part of Greatmats National Award Series, is designed to recognize martial arts instructors who have made a difference in the lives of their students and community through the virtues of service, integrity and quality.

Learn more about Greatmats National Award Series.

How to Nominate
To nominate the trainer for this award, email the following information to before Nov. 1, 2016. Nominators will not be identified.

1. Instructor's Name
2. Name and Location of the Martial Arts Academy (Must be located in the USA)
3. A brief description of why you are nominating this instructor, including how he/she meets the criteria of high-level service, integrity and quality.
4. A photo and/or video of the Instructor

How the winner is chosen:
1. Voting will take place on Greatmats' Facebook Page from Nov. 16 through Nov. 30, 2016. The two martial arts instructors with the most votes will be named finalists.

2. Greatmats will judge the two finalists to determine the winner based on:
A. Demonstration of Service
B. Demonstration of Integrity
C. Demonstration of Quality

Grand Prize
1. $250 in Greatmats Products (or $150 Cash Option) for the Academy
2. Instructor/academy profile to be released with the announcement of the winner on Dec. 30, 2016.
3. National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Certificate
4. Greatmats Coffee Mug

Greatmats is a national martial arts flooring leader based in Milltown, Wisconsin, since 1999. Identified as one of the top 3,000 fastest growing companies in the USA three times since 2008, Greatmats has earned an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and 9.5 TrustPilot rating. Greatmats gives back to its local community by donating 5% of its annual profits to local non-profit organizations. It also supports green initiatives through the use of solar energy at its Wisconsin headquarters and by offering a large variety of products made from recycled and renewable resources.

View all of Greatmats' martial arts flooring at

This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

All media submissions, including text, photos and videos become property of Greatmats.

For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.