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.

In today’s texting and e-mail world, the mostly forgotten, good old-fashioned physical “thank you” card has more impact than ever.

Sending a card with a little gift is even more powerful. I do this with every new client as well as with people who give me their cards at trade shows.

You may be thinking, “I don’t have the time to shop for a card, find a gift, write the card, and mail it. Neither do I. That’s why I automate the process. I use a company called http://www.SendOutCards.com (SOC).

All I do is enter the person’s contact information and set what card to send and when to send it.

For instance, I meet someone who gives me his card. I ask when his birthday is, and write it on the back. I’ll send him a “Nice to Meet You” card with the push of a button and then automatically send him cards on major holidays and on his birthday.

In some cases, I’ll include a small gift that I order and pay for right in my SOC dashboard. The gifts are FAR less expensive than they cost in a store, plus everything is just a click away. It’s a great time saver.

I search the media and use SOC to send notes of congratulations to people in my ideal client demographic for getting media cover- age or relate my note to their story.

A personalized card with a reference to the article is a great first impression.

Sending a thank-you note with a gift to the media outlet that covered you is an excellent way to stay on their radar.

SOC is inexpensive and super convenient. You can upload your own images or choose from their huge library of cards for all occa- sions. You can even upload your own handwriting so it looks like you wrote the message by hand along with your signature.

SOC is a multi-level-marketing company; you have to be referred to use the service (my user id is 151106). Unlike most MLM compa- nies, the cards you buy from SOC are actually WAY less expensive than the cards you would buy in a regular store.

SOC is a great service that every small business owner could benefit from.

Send cards to everyone you meet and keep the list growing. Also, send them early during holidays. If your clients get cards on Dec. 23, they may throw them away Dec. 26. If they get them early, the cards may sit out on the mantel for weeks. Which keeps you on the radar all the longer.

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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