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Dragon Associates Inc. since 1968

Dragon Associates Inc.


Inquiries to
(818) 889-3856
(818) 889-3170

We are open Monday - Saturday
8AM - 8PM Pacific Standard Time


Q. When did your business start and why?

A. We first opened our doors in 1968 in London, England. As martial artists we could not find good quality equipment, or knowledgeable vendors, so we decided to take care of things ourselves. We became agents for R. K. Mizuno, the largest sports equipment manufacturer in the world and never looked back. Remarkably in the last forty five years little has changed. Most martial arts vendors still sell equipment, books, and videos that have little if any value for the genuine martial artist.

Q. How did you get into book publishing?

A. The same way really. The market was flooded with really bad quality books by people who had little knowledge of the martial arts and even less talent. Our first book was Dynamic Power of Karate by Hirokazu Kanazawa and we went on to publish other books with the same author as well as Masafumi Shiomitsu, Keinosuke Enoeda, Takayuki Kubota, and Morio Higaonna. Our latest book, Shotokan Karate a Precise History we view as our greatest achievement and we believe it will be recognized as one the most important books ever to be published on the subject.

Q. So Classical Fighting Arts magazine grew out of your book publishing division?

A. Not really. The expertise did, but CFA has always been independent because the three parts of our company have their own missions and this sometimes generates competition and conflict between them, which we actually view as healthy. For example, an independent reviewer in CFA might say that a product from a competitor is better than our own. If this is true we will respond by producing an even better product, not by trying to censor the writer

I believe that this is the reason that we manage to attract the best martial artists and writers in the world. They know exactly what the situation is, they don’t have to worry about editorial pressure, and are free to write about what they chose, in the way that they choose to.

Q. How about Tsunami Productions?

A. Tsunami are also independent. They are part of the group but make their own decisions. Of course our contacts are shared so if Morio Higaonna is making a video with Tsunami, we will obviously ask him for an interview for CFA, and he did choose Dragon Books to publish his History of Karate - Goju Ryu. This loose knit relationship works very well. If we need support of any kind it is there, but no member of the group has to worry about ‘politics” or anything like that. Our only agenda is the promotion of legitimate martial arts—pure and simple!

Q. What about the future?

A. We have a lot of plans. The circulation of CFA magazine is growing and according to distributor who dominates the martial arts magazine business, we are now the second largest publication in the nation. Pretty amazing when you consider that most newsstands don’t sell us. We are aiming to be the biggest by 2015 and with the level of support we get from our readers it’s entirely possible. People are tired of the nonsense that is published in the “popular” karate press. The martial arts world is growing up and needs magazines aimed at an experienced, knowledgeable, and mature audience.

Dragon Books are still in the traditional book publishing and distribution business but restricting the titles they publish to books they categorize as “exceptional.” This is certainly the case with Harry Cook’s book which will turn the Shotokan world on end before the year is out. Asked to explain the objectives of Dragon Books I would tell you to look at a copy of their special edition of History of Karate - Goju Ryu that was bound in red leather, hand made marbled paper, and 24 carat gold. That book better explains about Dragon that I can. Simply the best authors, the best design, the best printing and binding—the best everything in fact.

Q. What about your personal likes and dislikes?

A. The whole ethos of our company is service to the customer so we don’t allow ourselves the luxury of personal biases. We have no politics, no allegiance to one style or organization. We think positively and try to broaden our reader's education by exposing them to the best of martial arts literature, video, and equipment so they can develop the “eye” that we have developed over the past 45 years.

It’s difficult sometimes to really explain what Dragon Associates Inc. is all about because it’s a state of mind rather than a marketing strategy. We like to think of ourselves as a sort of home grown martial arts company. No hype, just the real thing, high quality, effective, strong, and honest. Do we irritate the “big guys” - you bet, to the extent that they now “cover” our video titles as soon as we publish them. One has even considered publishing a tabloid like Dragon Times, but couldn’t get a distributor to take it!

We look forward and not over our shoulders. We have equipment, videos, and books that that are unique, and we back them with a service no one can match. Can we improve! Of course! We have improved our products, our company, and ourselves every day since we opened in 1968. It’s a habit that’s difficult to break!


As we produce, publish, or manufacture much of what we sell,
we welcome questions of a technical nature on
(818) 889-3856

(818) 889-3170

To place an order using your credit card call the order desk at
(818) 889-3856
(818) 889-3170

(8am-8pm PST Mon-Sat)

Dragon Associates Inc.