The Annual Conference:

Teaching the Teacher

Whether you're new to teaching or a seasoned pro, school owner or part-time assistant, the Teaching the Teacher conference is for you. Our conference presenters are women of high skill and deep experience. Like our membership itself, they represent a wide range of martial arts styles, and hold a common desire to share what they know for the betterment of all.

The Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors invites you to take part in this very special opportunity, to:

  • Network with other women who love and teach martial arts.
  • Learn from successful instructors and school owners with decades of experience.
  • Improve your best practices for sustaining your school and adding value for your students.
  • Share your expertise, and support other women in the martial arts and self-defense communities.
  • Relax and be the student instead of the teacher!
  • Applaud your colleagues receiving Rank Promotion or Recognition, or entering the Hall of Fame.

Location, Location, Location!

The conference is held in the first quarter of each year, at varied locations in the U.S.... but always in a hotel setting with classroom space, workout space, excellent and reasonably-priced accommodations, and warm weather!

February 26-28, 2021
at the Holiday Inn Austin Town Lake

Austin, Texas

Holiday Inn Austin Town Lake

“It was so fun to get to attend this year. I learned so much and am implementing as we speak. It was great to make more connections and get to know folks more in this intimate environment.
Even if I can’t make it, I am going to make sure to send student teachers every year!"
-Sifu Michele Miller

2020 AWMAI Conference Classes (updated 10.30.19)

Key: LD = Lecture/Discussion; MC = Moving Classroom; WO = Workout; EMWO = Early Morning Workout

  • Sensei Deb Cupples: Which of the Seven Dwarfs are in Your Class Today? (LD)
  • Master Terri Giamartino: Inexpensive Monthly Events to Retain & Expand Your Student Base (LD)
  • Master Didi Goodman: Creativity within Structure: A Method for Teaching Applications (MC); Moderator: Ethics in the Dojo - Navigating Tradition, Avoiding Abuse (Panel)
  • Grandmaster Sunny Graff: “Yes, and"-ing Martial Arts & Self Defense (Opening); Choreographing Fight Scenes for a Powerful Demo (WO)
  • Shifu/Sensei Koré Grate: Qigong in the Morning (EMWO)
  • Shihan Sheila Haddad: Training for Life: Healthy Bodies in Motion (MC)
  • Sensei Deb Lee: Question Everything: Exploring Martial Effectiveness & Modifying Techniques (MC); "Congratulations on your black belt, and *poof* you are an instructor. Now what?” (LD)
  • Shihan Dara Masi: How to Apply For, Design Your Class and Teach at Multi-Art Seminars (LD); The 10 (or 100) Most Important Things to Know to Produce an Event (LD)
  • Sensei Janet Nelson: Self -Care and the “Sensei Psychologist” (MC)
  • Jay O’Shea: A Beautiful Paradox in Action: Creating Martial Arts that Foster Confidence,
    Cooperation and Community (LD)
  • Grandmaster Odette Russell: Clothing Used for Self-Defense (MC)
  • Sylvia Smart: Indonesian Breathing-Kumbong (EMWO)
  • Sijeh Sarah Sponzo: Start Your Day with a Short Circuit (EMWO)
  • Shihan Diane Wallander: Modifying Martial Arts Techniques for Self Defense Seminars (WO)
  • Sensei Jamie Zimron: Longevity in Training: Back & Hip Care (EMWO); Enhancing Teaching Through Practical Anatomy, Geometry and Sacred Geometry (WO)

Teaching the Teacher: Be a Presenter

AnaAWMAI actively seeks dynamic presenters for our annual conference. Share your knowledge, skills, experience and vision with a talented group of colleagues! Past topics have included:
  • Skill building for instructors
  • Creating an instructor training program
  • The challenges and joys of teaching children
  • Inventive warm-ups for all ages
  • Sales and marketing tactics to use (or avoid)
  • Taking your student body from 10 to 100 and beyond
  • The ins and outs of opening a school
  • Applying the principles of motor learning
  • Creating dynamic demonstrations
  • Social dynamics within the classroom
  • Recognizing abilities and differences

Classes may take the form of lecture/discussion, or “moving classroom,” where participants practice while they learn.

Applications for the 2020 conference are closed.

Curious about past sessions? Here is a list of past class titles.


The Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors is a non-profit organization. ©2020 All rights reserved.
Mail: AWMAI, PO Box 4309, Davis CA 95617
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