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.

How to Make a Great Comeback.

Here are some sobering thoughts about the future of the martial arts business.

How to Make a Great Comeback.

What schools are going to survive in your area? You can be sure, not all of them. 

1. What’s going to drive that? 

Supply and demand.

2. There will be fewer schools to choose from. 

Make sure you ARE one of them.

3. There will be less demand for complex traditional training. 

Make sure you’re NOT one of them.

Why? Traditional training simply takes too long and is more difficult than it needs to be.

Most people will no longer want to pay a premium for a traditional curriculum full of out-dated and senseless movements. 

That doesn’t mean there won’t be interest in martial arts and self-defense, but it needs to be FAT FREE.

We’re NOT talking MMA. 

Any school that emphasizes grappling is faced with a massive wall during this hyper-vigilant social distancing season.

The ideal curriculum ONLY teaches the best from martial arts, kickboxing, self-defense, weapons, and grappling (when ready).

It is time to eliminate the smoke and mirrors of traditional training.

Modern Curriculum Overview

How to Craft a Video Message for Your Students

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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