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.

Tim McCahan is the 2017 Martial Arts Teachers Association Instructor of the Year.

Tim McCahan is the 2017 Martial Arts Teachers Association Instructor of the Year. Tim and his family generate over $400,000 a year running their school in St. Petersburg, FL PART TIME!

Yes. PART TIME! Most school owners grind out 30 – 50 classes a week and barely make rent.

Tim and his family arrive at the school at 2pm and lock up by 6:30pm after teaching just ONE CLASS and they are closed on Saturdays!

Also, while most schools get $100 – $149 per month per student, Tim has 100 families happily paying him $428 per month.

So, how does Tim:

  1. Work less than five hours a day and get Saturdays off?
  2. Generate 3 – 6 times as much tuition as most schools?
  3. Only have to teach one class per weekday?

In 1997, Tim and his wife Debbie made the decision to forego the traditional business model of running a martial arts school. Instead, they became one of the first schools to use a 100% after-school martial arts model.

I know. I know. I know. What does babysitting have to do with martial arts? That’s exactly what I thought back when we profiled Jim in my Martial Arts Professional magazine over a decade ago.

The truth is that after-school martial arts programs are not babysitting because, by law, it can’t be babysitting.

I’m not a mind reader or a psychic, but I bet you a dollar that you already teach a martial arts class after school. Right? Are you getting over $400 a month per student for that class? I didn’t think so.

Read more: Questions to Ask Before Buying into a Martial Arts After-School Program

Do you know why you are not getting that kind of tuition? I’ll tell you. But, I have to warn you. You will never look at your classes or your business the same way again.

Before I tell you, let me add this nugget. When the country goes into a recession, business goes UP for Tim McCahan and after-school programs.

So, are you ready to find out why after-school clients earn 3 – 6 times as much revenue while working part-time with weekends off while teaching just one class per day?

The answer is that to families, after-school martial arts is a necessity whereas your standard evening martial arts classes are a luxury. That’s it.

Kids have to be somewhere after school. The hours between 3 and 6pm are the danger zone. Right now, you already have students that are attending daycare because parents have to work. The parents place the children in the daycare or after-school care out of NECESSITY!

To be clear, Tim’s school is NOT daycare. It’s a structured alternative to daycare that follows the after-school system. After-school kids take a martial arts class every day. They progress in rank and even earn their black belts, just like a regular school.

To be sure, there are some important systems and protocol that TASMA schools have to adhere to, but that’s where after-school has been so successful. All MATA after-school clients are coached on how to remain compliant with state laws.

So congratulations to Tim McCahan on being named the 2017 MATA Instructor of the Year. Along with the advisory board and all of the MATA members, we are impressed with the amazing business you’ve created and greatly appreciate your coaching to help other owners have similar success with the after-school system.

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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