Coach Don Paul Bales is a veteran martial-arts instructor with 30 years of training and teaching experience. His training began in traditional Korean and Japanese striking styles in 1985. After only five years of training, he was recognized as the Black Belt Instructor of the Year by his association’s senior leadership for both his competitive and coaching abilities. In addition to the martial arts specific training he has received, Coach Bales has also received hundreds of hours of instructor development training during his service in the military and law enforcement. While a member of the US Army, then Sgt. Bales was the top graduate of the Primary Leadership Development Course. Similarly, while serving as a police sergeant, he was also a top graduate of the prestigious School for Law Enforcement Supervision. Coach Bales was one of two graduates whose course paper was selected for publishing in the Criminal Justice Institute Jour nal. The paper, “Fitness in Law Enforcement”, focuses on the same principles he teaches to his martial arts students. Coach Bales also authored a state recognized 40 hour Law Enforcement Combatives program, which he taught for many years at the regional Police Academy. This program is still taught to this day. Additionally, he has developed and taught private security training programs used by bouncers and body guards to safely and effectively perform their duties.
Upon leaving active duty military service in 2001, Coach Bales turned his attention fully from teaching Traditional Martial Arts to teaching Modern Martial Arts. By 2006, his original competition team, Fort Smith Fight Club, produced its first Champion. On May 20th, 2006, Bernie Schultz became the Oklahoma Extreme Fighting Middleweight MMA State Champion. Since that time, Championship MMA has become the home of numerous Champions in multiple weight class, including Bud Bogan, Dan Kasper, Trace Kizzia, and Niko Koliastasis.
While a proud member of Erik Paulson’s Combat Submission Wrestling Worldwide MMA Association, he received his coaching certification is 2011. Since them, Coach Bales has also become a proud member of Duke Roufus’s, Roufusport Kickboxing Association. Both of these Master Instructors are world renowned for their coaching and teaching abilities, each having produced and worked with dozens of world champions. Their fighting methods and teaching philosophies form the backbone of the curriculum taught at Championship MMA, bolstered by other excellent training methods and techniques Coach Bales has learned from the many other outstanding coaches he’s learned from over his three decades of training and teaching. These great teachers include locally known and respected Master Instructors, Sensei Greg Cross, and Sabumnim Tim Grant, as well as other world renowned teachers Ajurn Chai Sirisute (Muay Thai Kickboxing Master Instructor), and Sensei Greg Nelson (produce r of multiple UFC World Champions). With a lifelong passion for training and teaching, Coach Bales has the knowledge, skill, and abilities to help Championship MMA students and fighters achieve their personal and competitive goals.