Martial Arts Instructor News and Articles

John Graden

John Graden

Executive Director

John Graden led the martial arts into the modern era by creating the first professional association, trade journal & instructors certification program.

If you want your school to stand out and integrate deeper into your community, you must become a master of hosting, promoting, and teaching great seminars year-round. This is one of the early steps I take clients through in our coaching program. 

Why events? Because they work. A well promoted and presented seminar or interactive workshop creates buzz for your school like nothing else. Events can attract high-quality traffic into your school including community leaders, friends of your current students, and even the media. They also generate school pride.

With the targeting power of Facebook, it’s never been easier to promote events in your school. In some cases, you will be the instructor, in others, it’s best to have a special guest instructor. Why? Because guest instructors create excitement among your student body and the media.

For instance, on October 15th, I’m teaching an Anti-Bullying Seminar in St. Pete for one of our coaching clients. He could teach it, but by promoting me as the teacher it makes the event seem more exciting. We’re promoting the event in his school and on Facebook to all former students and prospects plus people who “look like” them in his zip codes. That’s the power of Facebook. We’re enrolling people every day.

Looking at a calendar, it’s not hard to plan to host and teach a seminar every six weeks or so. Look for National Days, Weeks, and Months that you can tie your event to.

Here are some examples for the first four months of 2017.

 

January – Free Fitness Kickboxing Workout Day

Help people kick off the New Year.

 

February 8th – National Boy Scouts Day

Host a special self-defense seminar for Boy and Girl Scouts

 

March – National Nutrition Month

Invite some local nutritionist, weight loss, chiropractic clinics etc.. to come in and make short presentations. Have a best tasting healthy recipe contest. 

 

April – Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Promote an anti-sexual assault seminar. Bring in a local counselor or someone to add some weight to the presentation.

Walk America. Get your students participating in Walk America.

Notice Tyson’s hand is by his face, not his hip.

His chin is down instead of up.

His shoulder is up instead of pulled back.

His body is sideways to his opponent instead of squared off.

His legs are under his body not spread apart like he was riding a horse.

With this kind of form, he would fail his orange belt exam in most schools. 

How does that make any sense?

Sensei Tyson?

If Mike Tyson or a world champion kickboxer came to your school to teach your black belts. What do you think he would work on? Double punches, square blocks, and keeping your chin up?

I’m pretty sure he would emphasize head movement, how to snap your punches and a defense that does NOT include pulling your punch back to your hip.

I’m sure the students would learn advanced applications to adjust for different fighters. Notice I said advanced applications, not advanced strikes.

When you focus on application, you can apply that to almost any technique.

For instance, if the drill is about how to fight a taller fighter, the answer is more about footwork to stay on the outside until you can secure quick access. My brothers are 6′ 3″ and 6′ 4″ so I know something about fighting a taller opponent.

Drills that teach that application do not require complexity. They require simplicity.

The more complex a skill becomes, the less chance it can be used. Have you ever seen a double punch? Only in kata and here:

If you eliminated all kata and traditional skills, you could devote that time to drills and conditioning that would give your students a true advantage in sparring or self-defense.

Imagine teaching fewer skills that are easy to teach and learn than traditional skills and kata.

You could spend more time on the application of those skills rather than stepping up and down the classroom and holding blocks and punches out in the air, which leaves you wide open for a counterattack.

Rather than spending student’s time with the complexity and frustration of spending years perfecting the bad habits of pulling their hand back to their hip, keeping their chin up, aiming and holding a punch in the air, and blocking with power while stepping forward, your retention will improve. Your student quality will improve. Your curriculum consistency will improve.

This is the core of our white to black belt curriculum Empower Kickboxing.

It’s an old saying, but true. “Less is best.”

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