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.

Early Summer Camp

Parents go to work but their kids are not going to school.

Though the economy is slowly reopening, parents face a real challenge because they are returning to work but have children that are not returning to school.

This leaves a supervision gap each day. Your school can fill that gap.

You can create and market an early Summer Camp to serve these families and inject some much-needed revenue into your school.

Summer Camps average $150 – $250 per WEEK per student.

Be very careful not to run the camp as a daycare unless you’re licensed as a daycare center. It’s a martial arts summer camp with two classes per day.

You can offer:

      • Martial Arts Training
      • Martial Arts Projects including action video scenes
      • Crazy Kicks, tricks, forms training, rubber weapons training 
      • Team-Building, including performance games, fun with instructors, and team battles, contests, and challenges.
      • Martial Arts Leadership Development, including public speaking and life skills.
      • Anti-Bully Training
      • Anti-Abduction Training
      • Free Time, including reading, art projects and, G-rated movies
      • Padded Weapons and sparring drills
      • Off-Site Field Trips such as swimming, movies, bowling, and more.

Because of social distancing, space will be limited, so provide an incentive discount of $50 for early enrollment.

For instance, Summer Camp Weekly Fee: $200. Save $50 and pay only $150 if you enroll in May.

MATA has an extensive Summer Camp training program. 


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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