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New Book by John Graden


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MATA Martial Arts Instructor Certification Course

Module 21-The Proper Use of Student Instructors

by Scot Conway, Esquire

The $25,000 Volunteers

Excerpt from the Martial Arts Instructor Certification Course:

Using upper ranks to teach classes has been a long-standing martial arts tradition. But, is it legal?

A California instructor had his black belts teaching under-rank classes at his studio. In exchange, he no longer charged them tuition.

This continued until one fateful day when the owner and a black belt student had a disagreement.

The vindictive student contacted the California Labor Board and reported that his instructor had been employing assistants by requiring that they teach classes each week.

This can constitute an Employer – Worker relationship. The only thing missing was payment for the workers and the taxes the government would collect if they were being paid.

The State of California investigators concluded that the owner, over the years, had a total of 25 black belts teach classes.

They defined them as uncompensated employees, which is illegal under the laws of California, and fined the instructor $1,000 per incident.

The final bill: $25,000 for the volunteers.

Lesson: Know your state laws regarding utilizing assistant instructors.

An insdier’s look at American Karate History, this is an entertaining and compelling, story of one man’s coming-of-age set during the Bruce Lee, kung fu boom of the 1970s.

John Graden’s unlikely path from an abusive childhood to the cover of the Wall Street Journal and The Dr Oz Show could be described as a Breaking Bad and Karate Kid mash up. Who Killed Walt Bone is the story of a shy child with dreams of fighting like Batman and other types of dreams about Cat-woman.

It’s also the story of his relationship with his instructor, Walt Bone. Bone was a world famous black belt with a hidden, dark side who often dispensed more weed than wisdom.

The stories in this fast-paced read are equally funny and shocking as Graden describes his coming of age with unflinching honesty and humor.

As many reviews have made clear, this is an entertaining book that has kept many readers up way past their bedtime.

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