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.

8 Types of Video That Can Help Your School Stand Out

In case you haven’t noticed, video is huge for marketing. Studies show that 3x as many people will watch a video rather than read the same information.

Since virtually every school website uses the same stock images and promises the same benefits, video is where you can make a strong personal connection that is virtually impossible to do with text and/or images.

Here are eight videos to include on your website and Social Media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, to help grow your martial arts school.

1. Promo Videos
Short videos that are less than 30-seconds for Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

Sample Promo

2. School Highlight Videos
Everyone has a video camera with them. Each year, ask your students to submit their best clips to you. Combine those with your own and edit a one-minute highlight video that you can share on social media and your website.

These samples are from many moons ago but they have energy. Imagine a highlight reel for every year of your school’s existence.
Sample 1992
Sample 1988

3. You Teaching
Rather than just advertise your trial program, why not show highlights from an actual class? You don’t have to post the entire class, but edit together a 3-minute series of segments that best convey what your school stands for and how it is delivered.

4. Testimonials
Shoot these from the chest up. Make sure there is no ambient sound unless you have a lapel mic on the speaker. Then, it works if there is action around the testimonial as long as the audio is strong.

Edit the full video into short sound bites. Let the subject know that they can do a retake if they feel they stumbled. Some people get really nervous in front of the camera.

  • Here are some questions.
  • Why did you choose our school?
  • What improvements have you seen since starting here?
  • What was the biggest surprise for you once you began training here?
  • How would you describe our school to someone who was looking for a martial arts school?

Sample USA Karate
Sample Tim McCahan After-School Sports

Here are some tips on creating a good testimonial video.

5. Media Coverage
Every school needs to have a PR strategy to keep you in the news. Media coverage is like an implied endorsement. Have a Media section on your site that is a gallery of your media hits.

You can also take advantage of the powerful, “As Seen On” line. Even if you didn’t get on the news broadcast, maybe your press release got picked up by Fox News Tampa. You can then use the Fox News Tampa logo with a link to your article. This positions you as an expert.

How to Get Major Media Outlets to Run Your Articles

6. FAQ
What are the common questions and concerns people have about joining? Answer them in person via video. This helps create a connection and personalize the experience.

7. Overview of Your Program
Without going into detail, you can create a fast-paced, exciting rundown of your various programs. This helps people to visualize the program in ways that text and images can’t.

8. Your Bio
This can backfire if you go deep into your personal martial arts lineage. Which do you think the average visitor to your website will understand easier? You earned your Shidan or you completed and passed the Martial Arts Teachers Association Instructor Certification Program?
Sample John Graden Bio
Sample John Graden Bio 2
How to Write a Bio

Don’t be afraid to use humor. It never hurts to bring a smile to someone’s face.

Here are more tips to improve your video marketing.

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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