Meet Our
Head Instructor

Matt McDaniel – Head Instructor

My first class was in 1987 at Hickman Mills High School in South KC. While it was only a 3 month long program, I still remember how the instructor made me feel when I pushed myself. The pride I felt at being called out for gaining a new skill sticks with me today and fuels how I teach! 

Since 1991 I’ve been training in martial arts consistently gaining a 3rd degree Black Belt in Shito-Ryu and a 5th degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. I remember the day I decided I wanted to be a martial arts instructor. I wanted to lead and make others feel the same way I did. Confident in who I am. Knowing that through hard work I could pursue any dream!

No matter how long I get to teach someone, my hope is that they gain something from their time at Next Level, just like I did as a kid way back when.

How We Got Here (our history)


Next Level Martial Arts has been bringing our style of coaching to kids, teens, and adults of Overland Park.

Our staff are dedicated to their students improvement in both mindset, and their ability and understanding of self defense.  We continue their training in advanced teaching methods, self defense techniques and strategies, and in coaching the mindset of our students. All Instructors have undergone our 9 month long Instructor Certification Course where they learn how to be a model of behaviors of success, compassion, and strength.

Building the why…

As parents we tell kids to do the right thing, clean their rooms, stand up to bullies, do your homework. And sometimes, this is lost on kids. Not because a parent is saying or doing the wrong thing at all! It’s just part of being a kid and being a parent. We are your partners! Instead of just telling kids that they should do something (chores, homework, being kind), we build up their own “WHY”. Why do they want to work hard in karate? They see others getting accolades and cheers from their hard work. They see this, they feel this, they want this. Now they have a reason, that comes from only themselves, to out work themselves and others! In turn, this motivates them outside of karate school as well because we want to recognize them for those achievements as well!

Total package training

We want our students to understand how and why of strategy and tactics. With training in both stand up and ground defense/offense, students are introduced to a system that allows them to develop into a martial artist that can adjust to their situation and adapt new skills into their repertoire. Competence and confidence in those skills are gained and built upon as the student develops.

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