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.

Rather than a tug-of-war, collaborative selling is more like two of you on the same side of a huge rock, pushing it towards enrollment. If one stops pushing, the process is suspended until you both are at it again. This takes longer than a 15-minute sales pitch.

Martial arts instruction is a relationship business. Getting to know what your student really needs and how he can benefit from your school is an important building block of that relationship. At the same time, to be an effective instructor, you have to build the trust of your student so he will not just believe you but believe in you. The trial lesson is a big first step in accomplishing these important goals.

Twelve-month New Student Agreements collected by a good third-party billing company are best sold with a trial-lesson strategy. With good instruction and student service, a school following this plan should be able to build a solid receivable base that will make the cash flow more consistent and help the owner sleep at night.

After a good trial program, the paper work should be pretty easy. Imagine your prospect on his tiptoes at the precipice of enrolling, and you are behind him. With the most gentle, soft nudge in the back he or she takes the step. The closes above are more like a bulldozer trying to move a building. There is too much resistance, or you wouldn’t have to resort to such nonsense. Promise me that if you use closes like those you will first put on a polyester suit with wide lapels.

Rather than a tug-of-war, collaborative selling is more like two of you on the same side of a huge rock, pushing it towards enrollment. If one stops pushing, the process is suspended until you both are at it again. This takes longer than a 15-minute sales pitch.

Martial arts instruction is a relationship business. Getting to know what your student really needs and how he can benefit from your school is an important building block of that relationship. At the same time, to be an effective instructor, you have to build the trust of your student so he will not just believe you but believe in you. The trial lesson is a big first step in accomplishing these important goals.

Twelve-month New Student Agreements collected by a good third-party billing company are best sold with a trial-lesson strategy. With good instruction and student service, a school following this plan should be able to build a solid receivable base that will make the cash flow more consistent and help the owner sleep at night.

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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