COBRA December 2015December 2016 Featured Instructor : Matt DiPietro with MA Fitness

Matt runs MA Fitness in St.Pete Florida which specializes in self-defense and fitness kickboxing. Matt has no traditional martial arts back ground and limited martial arts experience. He spear heads his adult training with the COBRA Self-Defense program and the longer term program the COBRA Fighting Systems.

Success Without Excuses: 

Self sabotage and excuses are a large part of many business owners portfolio especially in the membership /MA/ Fitness industry. You rarely hear someone who is struggling in business say ” Well I guess I am not good at the business end of things, I am responsibly .” It usually is someone or something else that is to blame for not succeeding.

It’s extremely refreshing to see a business who is very successful despite being faced with all the excuses some might use as to why they are not succeeding .

Excuses don’t exist for Matt and MA Fitness.  His school is in an industrial plaza which is blocked by an interstate over pass and Matt’s school shares a wall with a Cross Fit center. That’s right, they are right next to each other yet MA Fitness is always packed.  Did we mention there is no air conditioning in MA Fitness?  The building is an industrial lot which wasn’t equipped for AC when they started and yet they are still packing out classes.  Giant rotating fans keep it comfortable while classes are in session.

MA Fitness has no kids classes either.  Their student body is all adults which many instructs see as more rewarding and definitely more profitable.

So let’s recap. Hard to find location, no air condition, competition right next door, no traditional martial arts back ground, no kids classes and yet very successful.

matt5Matt and his staff have been very successful in business despite what some would lean on as a reason to not succeed. Matt is also a brand new father, which as we know, is also a full time job itself. This is all the more reason to succeed in business.

Matt’s school , staff and classes carry an enormous amount of goal oriented energy  with no over the top egos and in a non-traditional martial arts manner. MA Fitness and Matt  have a great formula for success and we cover their story in this edition.

This COBRA Instructor is a true leader and innovator. Now let’s take a trip to St. Pete Florida to meet the areas Go to self-defense and fitness professional ,Matt DiPietro.


  1. When and how did you start training in the self-defense / Martial Arts industry/ fitness industry.


matt7My experience in the martial arts is brief. However, I believe the lack of years spent training in it has been made up by the sheer volume of training I have been a part of since finding a home in the martial arts industry. After joining the staff at MA Fitness and training under Jim Graden in 2011 I began teaching fitness kickboxing classes as well as assisting in the youth martial arts program. I then found COBRA in 2013 and the training I received through the program really changed my outlook on martial arts and self defense.




The unique combination of training that I now have through my university degree in Public Health, vast experience in sports training and now martial arts/COBRA self defense has really helped me work with people in a way that helps them find success which is very rewarding.

  1. How has Cobra added value to your training/business?

well5Since we specialize in kickboxing conditioning and sport/race training we were only able to gain access to so many places and of course fitness places are seen as very common. COBRA began to get us into many more venues immediately after we made it a big part of our school. We get media coverage on the nightly news, were invited to host demonstrations at women’s centers and much more.

We would have never had those opportunities otherwise. The academies also draw in a large population that we could never reach just by marketing “kickboxing”.

MA Fitness In The News with COBRA-DEFENSE

  1. What are your training/business goals for the next 3 years?

matt1Over the course of the next 3 years I expect to have my current school close to 500 members and have a new facility open by year 3. I am working to also make more use of the active shooter response program in 2016 by offering 3-5 active shooter response training seminars for schools, churches and office complexes. On a personal level I really enjoy pushing my body to new limits and have begun training more in the realm of American Ninja Warrior obstacle training. I plan on running competitively in some obstacle races to test my abilities as I train.




4.What do you enjoy most about being a Self-Defense Instructor?

matt6I really enjoy finding that unique academy atmosphere with each new start date. Each one is completely different from the next and you get to learn a lot of people’s stories of why they sought out self defense training. Working with those who have been attacked and have scars of some trauma is extremely rewarding when you see them become brave in a scenario and their face says it all. Great stuff there.


  1. If you only had 5 minutes to train someone what would be the most valuable survival skills you would teach them?

That’s tough. In 5 minutes I would explain how a bad guy hunts and to control their time and place whenever possible but also give them some serious offensive weapons like the c-strike and thumb punch so they have some techniques at their disposal.


  1. Describe your school , it’s location and all the programs you/ your staff teach.

matt10MA Fitness is located in St Petersburg, FL and we specialize in conditioning using kickboxing, running and a myriad of strength training techniques. We offer monthly kickboxing packages so people can take part in training through the classes that our group of instructors teach and see results. One unique option we bring to the table is the ability to use heart rate monitoring in our classes so participants can see their how their heart rate changes through out the work out and pick it up when they need to reach certain heart rate levels. We also offer 10 week fitness courses that include nutrition planning, fitness testing, and personal coaching to see huge changes in 10 weeks. The classes we offer are Kickboxing, Warrior Workout (1 hour of non-stop craziness), Adventure Training, Kids MMA, Strength Training and of course COBRA Academy and COBRA Fighting Systems.


  1. If someone interested in joining as a Cobra Instructor / School what would you tell them?

matt-8Just do it! If you’re on the fence about COBRA look no further than the hundreds of reviews from participants and current instructors. People realize when they are getting fed BS and I have never had a person go through the COBRA system and call it worthless. It’s the real deal and the program is constantly being added to for even more value in your owners section for better ways to market as well as the Anti-bully course, Active Shooter course, and cobra fighting system to keep students that you have and gain new ones.




To Contact Matt & MA fitness:

727-392- 9218

4400 34th St N, St Petersburg, FL 33714


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