Kaizen Tactical Combatives based out of Reedsburg (Sauk County) is now offering classes in Mauston, WI (Juneau County). Since May 2018, Kaizen has become a recognized studio offering legitimate and practical, reality based martial arts studio offering non-traditional martial arts training.

My name is Nathan, and I’m the owner/trainer at Kaizen. I founded Kaizen Tactical Combatives on the principle of offering a truly unique approach to learning martial arts. At Kaizen, I don’t waste my students time or money learning meaningless form after form after form (katas). We don’t compete for trophies or practice “point sparring”, which is a horrible approach to learning actual fighting and self-defense. And most of all, we don’t focus on belt ranks, titles, or fancy kicks and poses. I did all that nonsense when I was kid, and I earned Black Belt after Black Belt… None of that did any good in actually knowing how to fight or defend myself, despite what I believed at the time. Being a black belt does NOT mean you know how to fight.

I realize my outright and open discussion on my opinions of traditional martial arts may insult or offend those who still believe their black belt holds any value or will keep them safe in an actual fight or assault… but quite honestly… I just don’t care. I’m not afraid to say, if belt rank, trophies, fancy uniforms and Hollywood style kicks are what you’re looking for, then Kaizen is NOT the studio for you.

At Kaizen, we train as we fight, and fight as we train. Students learn the ability to adapt, improvise, and overcome. Rather than memorizing forms and doing fancy poses, we simply learn reality based martial arts, focusing more on the quality of skill and the understanding to utilize their training in an actual conflict. I develop my student’s muscle memory and instincts to adapt, improvise, and overcome.


I opened my Reedsburg Studio in May, 2018. I returned to Wisconsin after living in Florida for five years, and settled in this area due to my involvement at Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue. My goal was to be as close to them as possible, and still run my business Kaizen, as well as my other business “I Am Cinema”. My Reedsburg Studio has proven not everyone cares about black belts, trophies, or fancy kicks. The type of students who train with me are only interested in their ability to actually fight and defend themselves. An attacker doesn’t care what belt you have, or what style you study… neither do we. As an instructor I refuse to ever sell out or water down my curriculum in exchange for massive classes so large, that students no longer received individual attention. I was once a part of a studio like that many, many years ago, and it disgusted me. The word “McDojo” is an understatement to describe that place. Fast forward to present day… I now only teach skills and concepts I truly believe in, because they are simplistic in design, and provide absolute freedom for each individual to discover their own fist. My reason for opening a sub-studio in Mauston is based upon two facts… the need for a business to earn income, and my need as an instructor to offer quality instruction and personal attention. Let me offer an explanation of the two:

BUSINESS NEEDS: As a business owner, I need to earn a living just like everyone else. As a martial arts instructor, the way I survive is by the number of memberships enrolled at my studio. Now, if my only goal was money, then I would focus on making each of my classes as large as possible. The more members I have, the more my business earns. But here-in lies the downfall. A class full of 30, 40, or 50 students means my students don’t receive personal attention, and the quality of my instruction declines, as well my reputation. Sure, the business would be making great money, but it would also be producing “cookie cutter” students unable to actually defend themselves. While some instructors crave money more than quality, it is something I refuse to do.

QUALITY INSTRUCTION: Offering classes at a different location allows my business to earn additional income, without sacrificing the quality of training I provide. I purposefully maintain a limited enrollment, so that each and every student receives the very best of my attention and guidance. I honestly don’t care if another group or organization has more students than me. Good for them. They may even brag about how good the instructor is with their kids, but being a nice guy doesn’t mean you’re teaching anything of value in actual self defense application.

My only concern is maintaining quality over quantity. My reputation is far more important than the numbers of students I have. I’d rather be the studio with a few amazing students, versus hundreds of unqualified and mislead black belts. Sadly for them, it’s not the students fault. It’s like Mr. Miyagi said “No such thing as bad student… only bad teacher”. Yes, I realize he’s a fictional character, but the statement is very true.

While I love being so very close to the Big Cat Rescue, I wanted to offer Mauston residents a quality martial arts program that isn’t focused on draining their bank accounts selling them worthless black belts. Since opening in Reedsburg, there have been dozens of families contacting me from the Mauston area seeking the training I provide, however the distance and winding back roads have made this option an unrealistic approach for them.

Just as I continue to offer the best instruction I can provide for people in the Reedsburg area, I wanted to offer the same for individuals and families in the Mauston area. By offering classes in both towns, I can maintain smaller class sizes with limited enrollment, while allowing my business to sustain the income needed to things we all need to do, like pay bills, pay rent, buy food, and everything else. With Kaizen now offering classes in Mauston, these individuals and families will receive the same benefits and quality instruction as I offer to my current studio.

This is additionally why I have another business “I Am Cinema”. My passion for film and acting lead to years of experience working on actual Hollywood Films, to later becoming a professional photographer and cinematographer myself. By following my passion as an artist, I generate an income while doing what I love. This other business allows me to justify and maintain smaller class sizes, and still offer the quality I insist on, which verifies my reputation. I’m very excited to finally offer classes in Mauston. Reedsburg will always be my main location, and I love being a part of this community, and now I can offer Mauston residents the same exceptional training I offer here.

To contact me, visit this link: KAIZEN

In addition to Kaizen, you’ll see two other very important facets of my life on this site; One being “Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue & Educational Center”, and the other being “I Am Cinema”. Feel free to visit these links to learn more about my other business and volunteer work.

Thanks for visiting!

Nathan Grey