Why Choose Mathena Academy?

Because the Mathena Academy of Self-Defense focuses on empowering our students to take back their lives and walk in confidence, beginning with the very first class! Why wait until you’re a black belt to begin learning real self-defense? You need it now!

Because at MASD we teach what works for the individual, not what fits the style! If it doesn’t work for you, why should you practice it? We will help you find what works best for you so you can step out of the crowd!

Because we’re the best! We don’t need trophies to prove it. We don’t fight for titles. We don’t go looking for fights. We defend ourselves if need be, and we do it well. It’s better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in a war.

Call now to schedule your first self-defense class with Mathena Academy of Self-Defense! (601)616-2942

An internationally certified 2nd Degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. Sensei Mathena is a local author and security consultant for Peavey Electronics Corporation. He is a U.S. Army veteran and a longstanding member of Cornerstone Church in Meridian, MS. Mr. Mathena has been teaching Karate and self-defense in the Meridian area for more than 15 years. He lives in Collinsville with his wife and two children.

Sensei Mathena earned his black belt in 2007 from Master Michael C. Mason, 6th Dan. Since that time, Sensei Mathena has accomplished the following achievements:

  • 2nd Dan (Nidan/2nd Degree Black Belt) in Shotokan Karate
  • 2nd Dan (Nidan/2nd Degree Black Belt) in American Freestyle Kempo
  • 18 years martial arts training & experience (1997 to present)
  • Training in Shotokan Karate, Judo, Kenpo, Jujutsu, Han Mu Do, Aikido, Krav Maga, Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT), Strategic Self-defense Grappling Techniques (SSGT), and Modern Army Combatives
  • Certified Instructor in Modern Army Combatives, U.S. Army, Fort Benning, 2009
  • Certified Specialist in Martial Arts Conditioning, International Sports Sciences Association, 2009
  • Certified Self Defense Instructor, American Sports and Fitness Association, 2013
  • International Okinawan Goshukan-Ryu Karate Association member since 2015
  • Southern Kobujutsu Association member since 2015
  • Lead Instructor
    Sensei David J. Mathena


    "My experience in Karate with Mr. Mathena was indescribable! Exceptional doesn't even begin to sum up the skill, patience, and dedication that I felt that I and siblings were receiving while taking classes! From day 1 to the very last day, I was excited to go to class because I knew that at the end of the day, we would leave much better and stronger than we came. If I were to ever take classes again, it would be with Mr. Mathena! I strongly recommend him for anyone who wants to learn Karate the right way!" - Ebony Luhers

    "The class is based on tradition and discipline. There are also a lot of exercises practiced through really fun games. Every day is something new and challenging." - Samantha McMullen

    "...You did a great job teaching self defense for our Anonymously Yours Project classes for victims and their kids. I saw first hand how you lifted others up from victim to victorious! I know you will do much much more for others with [Mathena Academy of Self-Defense] also. Thanks for all you do for so many. Good hearted men like you are gems for sure" - Tina Patterson

    "Your motivation... The discipline and what we're learning, I really like the techniques of karate. Its way different than boxing; it's an art and it's very effective in all of life." - Carmello Genusa

    Prices and Schedule

    You Have Choices!

    Classes are held at Cornerstone Church, 6102 Hwy 39N Meridian, MS 39305.
    Get directions here.

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    Learning Resources

    Below you will find some valuable learning aids which will help you progress with greater ease. Be sure to download and read the MASD Student Handbook first. It is very important that all students familiarize themselves with the material within.

    Logo designed and donated by Arnold Kelly

    MASD Student Handbook

    The essential text for students of the Mathena Academy of Self-Defense!

    Self Protection: The Art of Preventative Self-Defense

    Authored by Dave Mathena

    The Karate Life Blog

    Sensei Mathena's various thoughts on the state of the martial arts and other things.