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.

NOTE: If you’d like a free review of your website, just respond to this email asking for one. Be sure to include your website address and the best email to send the review to.

Last week, I talked about the three groups of prospects that are visiting your website. That really resonated with people because interest in our websites spiked.

In SEO language, these are micro-moments. Essentially, a micro-moment boils down to the reason a visitor is on your site.

He or she is:
1. Just starting to look for a school and doing research.
2. Ready to join a school but undecided which one.
3. Ready to join your school.

Your site should speak to each of these visitors in a language they are looking for.

One of the elements of our EmpowerKickboxing.com website that visitors liked was the tone of the site. It’s easy to understand and fun.

The line that got the most response was, Everyone from Bruce Lee to Mr. Miyagi said the secret to success is to “Focus on what works and discard the rest.” Who are we to argue with those guys?

That line communicates that we are fun and don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re not intimidating.

Also, our PROPRIETARY slogan, “Martial Arts You Can Master Faster!™” tells visitors exactly what they want to see because most websites convey a message that is, “Martial Arts You Can’t Master for Decades.”

Even the old adage that, Martial Arts is a Way of Life can be a turn off to many people. Maybe I’m happy with my life and just want to learn martial arts. Maybe I’m a Christian and want my kids to be raised with that as their foundation, not obscure mystical Asian traditions.

Indoctrination into a “new life” is a huge red flag that seems more cultish than recreational.

Martial arts school websites seem to fall into three categories.
1. The wix.com type DIY site that looks like a wix.com DIY site.
2. The pre-designed site that looks more like a template than an organic representation of the people in the school. Prospects can see stock shots a mile away and it’s a turn-off. It reeks of commercialism/higher tuition.
3. The site that is a tributary history lesson on the style and the instructor. Boring.

The website that you want is one that visitors think, “Wow! This makes total sense! They’re talking to me!”

Where are you in the spectrum of your online presence?

  1. Do you have your Google My Business claimed and optimized?
  2. Do you have your YouTube channel optimized?
  3. Is your school in the all-important Google 3-pack on searches?
  4. Is your site due for an upgrade?

Remember, if you’d like a free review of your website, just respond to this email asking for one. Be sure to include your website address and the best email to send the review to.

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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