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.

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Have you ever had a white belt class so packed that you were limited to knees and elbows because extended techniques would hit other students? I have.

I recall counting 52 white belts in my adult class on a Tuesday night. Easily 40% were referrals. How did I get so many friends and family of current students in the school? Easy.

When a new student enrolled, I handed him or her a 30-day pass to give to a friend. It worked like a charm. Students are excited when they join and tell their friends.

This way, they had something to share with their friends and family as well. One student often became two students.

Today, the average person on Facebook has 200 friends on their account. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get in front of those 200 friends and family? Now you can.

When new students enroll into your trial program, have them text your KEYWORD to 95577. In less than 30-seconds this will blast your offer to all of their friends and family on social media.

Your new members instantly broadcast that they are trying your studio.

When that student enrolls into your regular program, have them blast it out again.

All their friends and family have to do is to show the pass on their phone when they come into your school and they are good to go.

When they enroll into your trial program, have them text your KEYWORD to 95577 and repeat the cycle when they enroll as well.

Every five new students you get to post your DGP on Facebook equals 1,000 friends and family.

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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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