Teaching martial arts for a living can be frustrating, especially if you’re in your second or third decade. Sometimes it can feel like the martial arts are passing you by. What were once proud principles and methods are dated and “old school.” It’s funny that we used to be proud to perpetuate “old school.” Today, it can be a sign that your hair is as grey as your belt.

As someone who’s been teaching teachers since the early 90s, I’ve tried to stay ahead of the curve. From curriculum to certification, I take my role in the martial arts seriously. However, there is one area that I completely blew it and ignored for over 20-years. When I first heard of after-school martial arts, my immediate thought was that it was babysitting and the sign of a sellout.

You could say that I took an “old school” stance. What the heck does tutoring kids have to do with martial arts? I am happy to tell you that I have learned the answer. Babysitting and tutoring have nothing to do with martial arts, and neither has anything to do with a compliant after-school martial arts program.

That’s excellent news for those of us who still enjoy teaching, but would rather teach one class a day instead of four or five.

That’s also the news that I presented to Florida State Senators last week. I wanted to help legislators understand that what we do is nothing new. We’ve been teaching martial arts for decades, and we do not need their regulations.

If I were to open a school today, I would make it an after-school program teaching Empower Kickboxing and COBRA-Defense. Why Empower Kickboxing? Because it was created to be one all-rank class that challenges all students. COBRA offers single day seminars and ten-week academies that are easy to teach and profitable. I can set them up anytime. I’m not locked into a 30 – 40 class a week endless ordeal.

Typical Martial Arts School Schedule
* Arrive at school by noon.
* Teach back-to-back classes from 4 pm to 9 pm. Get home around 9:30 pm.
* Teach a morning class or conduct exams on Saturday.
* Tuition average of $129 per month or $1,548 per year (if the student stays that long)
* 65 students needed to pay for 12-months to gross $100,000.

Typical After-School Martial Arts School Schedule
* Arrive at school 2 pm.
* Teach one class from 4 pm to 5 pm. Get home around 6:30 pm.
* Closed on Saturdays.
* Tuition $79 per WEEK or $4,108 per year. ($2,560 more per student)
* 24 students needed to gross $100,000.
* 65 students would gross over $260,000.

Let’s see. Do you want 65 students creating over a quarter million dollars or $100,000 for four times the work?

WARNING
Any decent marketer can show you how to start and enroll students in an after-school program. It’s not hard because families NEED to put their kids into an after-school program, so it’s an easy sell compared to regular martial arts classes which are a luxury. That part is not rocket science.

However, keeping your after-school compliant and open is what you are paying for in a program like TASMA. If the authorities shut you down, that can be a disaster as we’ve seen recently here in Tampa Bay.

It’s the experience and skill to make sure you stay compliant and open for business that you want in your corner.

That’s why I’m proud for MATA to partner with the “Godfather of After-School Martial Arts,” Jim King. Mr. King has been helping owners for over 20-years stay compliant and profitable. Jim King is as old school as any of us, but here is the beauty of his Transported After School Martial Arts (TASMA). It worked 25 years ago, and it will work 25 years from now. Parents will always need after-school programs. They do not need standard martial arts programs.

We’ve recorded a series of videos where Jim King himself explains how the TASMA program works and why it’s different from the “fly by night” opportunists peddling after school as a get rich quick scheme.

You can see the videos at AfterSchoolKing.com


John Graden
John Graden

John Graden is widely credited with leading the martial arts school business into the modern age. He is the founder of the first successful professional association and trade journal. MA Success editor John Corcoran first called him a “visionary” in 1995. Martial Arts World magazine dubbed him, The Teacher of Teachers. Mr. Graden’s leadership was recognized in many mainstream media outlets including a cover story on the Wall Street Journal, documentaries on A&E Network, and as a guest on the Dr. Oz Show and many others.

    1 Response to "The Old School on After-School"

    • Robert Ungar

      I Am Interested In Starting A Martial Arts Kids After School-Day Camp Program

      I am possibly willing to work on a volunteer, commission only, or hourly basis. I am possibly even willing to invest money in a business. I am interested in starting a kids after school-day camp program which seems to be very lucrative for the martial arts studios which do it. My name is Robert Ungar, my home landline telephone number is 949-770-1207 which is only able to receive voice calls and not text messages, and I am a Live Scan fingerprinted background checked, kind, caring, reliable, honest kid’s teacher, kid’s aide, kid’s program director, kid’s program leader, kid’s childcare worker, kid’s tutor, kid’s mentor, and kid’s sitter with good references. I am DOJ, FBI, and California Department of Social Services Live Scan cleared. My California Department of Social Services Community Care License number is 7515004489. My license is currently active. You can telephone the California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division Caregiver Background Check Bureau at 888-422-5669 to verify my license status. I have 14 child development equivalent units. I am therefore a California, Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing, Title 22 child care center certified, fully qualified school-age teacher. My certification document link to verify this is on my website. I am also First Aid, CPR, AED certified. From February 2017 to October 2017, I worked at Dynamic Martial Arts in Irvine, CA as their After School-Day Camp Director. From January 2016 to July 2016, I worked at Christ Lutheran Preschool and Child Care Center. From October 2015 to January 2016, I worked at The Childs-pace Foundation, Inc. From September 2014 to December 2014, I worked as an afterschool Program Leader for Think Together, Inc. at an elementary school in Santa Ana. From March 2004 to October 2014, I worked in children and youth ministries at my church. My church is Vineyard Church of Anaheim. From September 2013 to August 2014, I worked with KidWorks Community Development Corporation, located in Santa Ana, which has a licensed preschool and afterschool programs for elementary through high school kids.

      I was the After School-Day Camp Director at Dynamic Martial Arts. It is a martial arts studio and also has an after school-day camp program for elementary kids up through age 13.
      For the After School-Day Camp Director Position, my duties and responsibilities were the following:
      *Report directly to the Owner of Dynamic Martial Arts as my only manager.
      *Head, setup, manage, and run the Dynamic Martial Arts After School-Day Camp Department and Program.
      *Hire, fire, train, and motivate all the company After School-Day Camp
      Department Staff.
      *Oversee and run the marketing and sales for the After School-Day Camp Program.
      *Establish and enforce After School-Day Camp Program rules, policies, and procedures at all times.
      *Handle parent or guardian questions and/or problems.
      *Communicate regularly with parents or guardians about their children’s progress and updates about the After School-Day Camp Program.
      * Supervise children in groups and individually.
      * Lead and manage children in a wide range of educational and recreational activities such as homework help, tutoring, computer room activities, arts and crafts, sports, table games, board games, and other indoor and outdoor games.
      *Read books to the children.
      *Develop relationships with the children.
      *Talk with children about a lot of things of interest to them.
      * Do group and one-on-one tutoring.
      * Do group and one-on-one mentoring.
      *Design, manage, and run academic, recreational enrichment activities, and field trips for the children.
      *Design, manage, and run character building activities for the children.
      *Run the snack and meal grace prayer times, gratitude sharing times, and announcement times.
      *Pickup children from their schools.
      *Escort children to various locations within the Dynamic Martial Arts facilities.
      *Transport, escort, and supervise children during field trips.
      *Maintain children attendance records.
      *When children are leaving, making sure designated staff sign children out properly and that children leave only with designated staff.
      *Assist in serving meals and snacks to the children.
      *Help children develop physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.
      *Help children cope with daily social interaction.
      *Help children learn appropriate social behaviors.
      *Mediate conflicts presented by children.
      *Help maintain safe physical, mental, spiritual, and social environment for children at all times.
      *Help make sure at least one staff member at all times knows the physical location of the children.
      I left Dynamic Martial Arts because the Owner and I mutually agree we have very different views on how to run a business. We mutually agreed to part ways on a friendly basis.

      I was the School-Age Lead Teacher and a Preschool Aide at Christ Lutheran Preschool and Child Care Center. It is a California Title 22 Licensed preschool and afterschool program for elementary kids up through age 13. For the School-Age Lead Teacher Position, my duties and responsibilities were the following:
      *Abide by and help enforce Christ Lutheran Preschool and Childcare Center rules, policies, and procedures at all times.
      *Assist Director in modifying, managing, and running the School-Age Program.
      *Assist Director in training and supervising School-Age Program teachers, aides, and volunteers.
      *Assist Director in handling parent or guardian questions and/or problems.
      * Supervise children in groups and individually.
      *Willingness to lead and supervise school-age children by oneself when there are 14 or less school-age children present at Christ Lutheran.
      * Lead and manage children in a wide range of educational and recreational activities such as homework help, tutoring, computer room activities, arts and crafts, sports, table games, board games, and other indoor and outdoor games.
      *Read books to the children.
      *Develop relationships with the children.
      *Talk with children about a lot of things of interest to them.
      * Do one-on-one tutoring.
      * Do one-on-one mentoring.
      *Design, manage, and run academic and recreational enrichment activities for the children.
      *Design, manage, and run character building activities for the children.
      *Run the snack grace prayer times and gratitude and announcement times.
      *Run chapel time in the absence of the Pastor.
      *Pickup children from school.
      *Escort children to various locations within the Christ Lutheran facilities.
      *Maintain children attendance records.
      *Assist in serving meals and snacks to the children.
      *When children are leaving, making sure designated caregivers sign children out properly and that children leave only with designated caregivers.
      *Help children develop physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.
      *Help children cope with daily social interaction.
      *Help children learn appropriate social behaviors.
      *Mediate conflicts presented by children.
      *Help maintain safe physical, mental, spiritual, and social environment for children at all times.
      *Help make sure at least one staff member at all times knows the physical location of the children.
      For the Preschool Aide position, my duties and responsibilities were the following:
      *Assist preschoolers in practicing math, reading, spelling, writing, drawing, and other academic disciplines.
      *Assist preschoolers with arts and crafts.
      *Read books to the preschoolers.
      *Play indoor and outdoor games with the preschoolers.
      *Develop relationships with the preschoolers.
      *Talk with preschoolers about a lot of things of interest to them.
      *Do crowd control and make sure preschoolers follow the school rules.
      *Assist preschoolers with hand washing.
      *Help preschoolers cope with daily social interaction.
      *Help preschoolers learn appropriate social behaviors.
      *Mediate conflicts presented by preschoolers.
      Unfortunately because of their declining student enrollment, they did not need as much staff help as time went on. Therefore, they reduced their staff including eliminating my School-Age Lead Teacher position and my Preschool Aide position. I was therefore laid-off and will greatly miss working at Christ Lutheran!

      Childs-pace is California Title 22 Licensed preschool and afterschool program for elementary kids. At Childs-pace, I worked and had on the job training hours in classroom management training, helping the children with homework, which included reading and math, indoor and outdoor activities leading various board games such as Monopoly, Apples to Apples, Lego building, hide and seek, freeze tag, ball tag, dodge ball and basketball, child social skills and child conflict resolution skills, and child safety rules working with the elementary students. I left Childs-pace because I got a better opportunity with a lot more responsibilities working with kids.

      I managed my own class of about 25 elementary school students in the afterschool program for Think Together at an elementary school in Santa Ana. I helped the students with homework, enrichment lessons, and physical education. I was responsible for and supervised them during the whole time they were in the afterschool program. I have been Live Scan fingerprinted background checked with Think Together. Think Together lost their contract with the Santa Ana Unified School District for the afterschool program and therefore laid off about 60% of their workforce in Orange County including me.

      One of my major jobs in children and youth ministries at Vineyard Church of Anaheim was leading a small group of kids. I really like being a small group leader because I encourage, teach, and pray with kids on a direct, group, personal, and one on one basis. In small groups, we talk about what we have been learning in large group, get to know one another, and pray for one another. The small group leader is a mentor and tutor for the kids. I also helped with teaching and games in large group. I got to teach kids about God and the Bible and watched them grow in their relationships with God. I also managed other volunteers. I have been Live Scan fingerprinted background checked for working in these ministries at my church. During the time I volunteered with the kids at my church, my church membership has go down greatly in size and therefore has greatly reduced the number of kids that attend the kids ministry. Because of this, there are now too many volunteers, and I have decided to take a break from volunteering in this ministry. When there is again more of a need, I plan on going back to this ministry.

      At the KidWorks licensed preschool and afterschool program for elementary through high school organization, I was an aide in preschool and the afterschool programs. I spent time with the preschoolers in a small group setting talking about what we have been learning in the large group, talking with them about a lot of other things in general, helping them with the crafts, playing games with them inside and outside, and reading books to them. I also sat with the preschoolers during large group, helping make sure they are paying attention to the staff teachers, and helping reinforce and explain what is going on during this time. The preschoolers are also fed a meal, and I sat with and assisted the kids with sitting at the tables, serving themselves, and eating. I assisted the preschoolers with washing their hands. I also assisted the preschoolers during field trips. I did a lot of crowd control and made sure the kids followed the rules in preschool. In the afterschool programs, I lead my own, small, table groups of elementary school kids. I was responsible for these kids the whole time they are in the classrooms. They are in the classrooms the whole time they are at the programs expect once a week when they go outside for physical education for about 30 minutes which I also assisted with. Because of facility room limitations, they have to split the time the kids are at the afterschool programs by school grade groups. Therefore, I led a couple of different small, table groups at different times during the afternoons. In my small groups, I tutored, mentored, talked with, played board games with, and assisted the kids with their regular school homework, including reading and writing and math, and the after school organization enrichment program exercises. If there were not enough volunteers, I sometimes assisted kids from other tables with their regular school homework, the after school organization enrichment program exercises, talked with, and played board games with them. I assisted the staff members who are over the rooms I helped with crowd control, leading lines of kids when we are walking kids through this organization’s facilities, making sure the kids followed the rules, and making sure the kids listened while the room staff teachers were talking including during while they were teaching the enrichment lessons. The enrichment lessons included science, spirituality and leadership, nutrition and fitness, college and career preparation, and arts and crafts. I helped everyday of the after school program regular classes. I had the same small groups everyday. I also assisted with their non-school day programs. I also spent time with the kids and talked with them while they are waiting to get picked-up by their parents after the program. I was the only volunteer that came everyday, and I therefore volunteered more hours than any other volunteer in this whole organization. I have been picked by this organization and have received honoree award certificates for being one of the top, best volunteers in this organization. I have been Live Scan fingerprinted background checked for working at this organization. I left KidWorks because I got the job as an afterschool Program Leader employee for Think Together which gave me more responsibilities than being a volunteer, and it slightly supplemented my income.

      I let kids know they are loved and valued by other people and me. I want to help and encourage kids to grow in their gifts and abilities to help them reach their full potentials. I want to always be a very good role model for kids, hang out with them, encourage them, listen to them, talk with them, do outdoor and/or indoor activities with them, and help with them with their school work. Kids care more about how much you care about them than how much you know. You have to earn their trust and respect and be a good friend to them to be effective with them. I have really liked and been successful in working with kids. This has been one of the best blessings of my life. I have no points on my driving record, and I have never had any misdemeanors or felonies in my life. I have never been in trouble with the law. I have never done drugs or smoked in my life. I do not drink alcohol. I pay my bills on time, have good credit, and have no loans or debts. I keep my things clean and tidy and have good hygiene. I had worked in computer and other electronic equipment service sales for 29 years heading up sales and marketing departments and programs for small companies. My last job title in this industry was “Chief Sales and Marketing Officer” which ended in 2012. I have done very well in investing my money. Therefore, I have enough money to be retired from my sales career even at my present age of 57. I just want to slightly supplement my investment income. People tell me that I am very youthful for my age, I am in very good health, and I exercise a lot. You can call me at my home landline telephone number 949-770-1207 which is only able to receive voice calls and not text messages. If I am not there when you call, please leave me a message with all your best telephone numbers and best times to reach you, so I can call you back at your convenience. Thank you for your time, and I will really forward to hearing from you. Thanks, and you take care.

      Robert Ungar

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