The American Self Protection Association, Inc.

Home of America's first Mixed Martial Art Training Method for the Entire Family

Board of Promotions

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The A.S.P.A. Board of Promotions consists of the highest two ranking individuals above Black Belt III that are current members of A.S.P.A. in good standing with the Technical Director and the Board of Directors (for more information please reference the By-Laws of A.S.P.A.).  All the individuals listed below are appointed by the Technical Director to potentially serve on the Board of Promotions, if the next higher ranking individual listed is not available (i.e., a minimum of two individuals from highest to lowest ranking on the list below is required).  If more than two individuals are available for a given promotional exam, then the Board of Promotions may consist of three individuals from the list below.         

(ordered by rank & last name)

Gary A. Cook, 9th Degree Black Belt

Gary A. Cook began training in the combative arts at the age of sixteen in American Jiu- Jitsu, at the Bedford, Ohio YMCA. While a student at Kent State University in 1977, an opportunity came to train at the Stark County Sheriff’s Department under Master T.R. McClanahan, ninth degree of black belt. Training under Master/Lt. McClanahan was in the styles of Shotokan Karate, Song Moo Kwon Tae Kwon Do and Judo.

Mr. Cook graduated from the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy in 1979 and has trained various military, police, private security and parole officers in self-defense, combat and arresting techniques.

Mr. Cook studied under the late Grand Master D. H. Choi, eighth degree of black belt Tae Kwon Do, obtaining a third degree of black belt.

Mr. Cook participated in many tournaments including Judo, Tae Kwon Do and open style. He was Grand Champion of the U. S. Martial Arts Center in 1981.

Instructor Cook taught thousands of students from 1982-1992 as the head instructor at The Martial Arts Center. Eight students received black belts; Ed Rucinski, Linda Kah, Doug Vossler, Chip Closky, Troy Schultz, Pete Metropulos, Vaughn Fink and Scott Stover. Mr. Cook began exclusively training with Dr. Evan Baltazzi in the ASP system in 1991.

Ranks obtained:

9th Degree Black Belt, Life Time Member of the American Self Protection Association.

3rd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, United States Martial Arts Center.

2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, Ku Ki Won, World Tae Kwon Do Federation

1st Degree Black Belt in Judo, United States Judo Association

1st Degree Black Belt in Ju Jitsu, Moo Do Won

Certified Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy Graduate


Personal Information:

President, American Self Protection Association, 2012 to present. President, Appraisers of Northeast Ohio, Real Estate Appraiser, 1983 to present. Past President, Paul Harris Fellow, Nordonia Hills Rotary International.

Peter Metropulos, 6th Degree Black Belt

Cris Mitson, 6th Degree Black Belt

North Idaho Law Enforcement Reserve Academy (Class of 1994)



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