Knowing What You Know Now…

Knowing What You Know Now…

Knowing what you know now, if you were tasked with creating a martial art that is highly effective for self-defense, practical, and life-changing would you:

  1. Create a system that is based upon the one you are trained in?
  2. Study old, dusty books and rare film to try to find ancient physical and mental skills and techniques?
  3. Use today’s modern platforms of communication and collaboration to learn the leading-edge skills and techniques for efficiency of movement, self-defense, and the proven mental strategies for success in life?

Isn’t odd that by action, nearly 100% of martial arts schools operate on #1 and #2?

Why would you do that? Because the martial arts you were raised in changed your life so naturally, you’re going to have a strong bias for that system.

However, when you step back and take a fresh look at what you are teaching, odds are it was created in a secluded village on a mountaintop nearly 100 years ago. There was nothing like what we have today in terms of instant information.

So, as we wrap up the craziest year in most of our lives, here are some questions to ponder as you set your goals for 2021.

Does it still make sense for you to:

  1. Teach complex, theoretical, and often boring kata and traditional skills in 2021?
  2. Make students wear outdoor pajamas during classes even though you know that’s not what they will be wearing if they ever have to use your self-defense.
  3. Directly contradict proven fighting and self-defense skills that have evolved over the past 100 years? For instance:

* Leaving your punch out in the air instead of snapping it back to guard.

* Pulling the other hand to your hip instead of your face.

* Squaring your body towards your opponent rather than turning sideways.

* Loading up to create powerful blocks while knowing that blocks don’t need power and you’ll never have time to load and fold your arms before you block.

* Expect students to learn increasingly complex “advanced” techniques for 3-5 years to earn a black belt?

Every week smart instructors are realizing that the key to success as a martial arts school moving forward will be simplicity, not complexity.

You don’t need advanced techniques. You just need advanced applications. A top boxer or kickboxing only has about a dozen skills they use consistently along with some others they can pull out when needed. Who has ever needed a kata?

Take a look at EmpowerKickboxing.com. It is a real martial arts based program from white to black belt. However, everything is vetted for efficiency of movement, self-defense, and the proven mental strategies for success in life.

Take a look and if you’d like to schedule a phone call with me to review what you’re doing and prepare for the new year, respond to this with your contact information and we’ll set up a call.

If there has ever been a time for serious reflection and planning, this is it. I’d be glad to help you.

John Graden (727) 279-0505

2018 Martial Arts Teacher of the Year

2018 Martial Arts Teacher of the Year

Former Concrete Company Manager Grateful for COBRA and MATA

It’s a classic American success story. Sidney Burns of Bedford, VA, has grown from a karate crazed 8-year old to a master instructor with a well-established school and a year-old COBRA-Defense location that has rocketed out of the starting box.

Like many martial arts professionals, Master Burns started out teaching in a YMCA until 2012 when he opened Blue Ridge Martial Arts in Bedford, VA.

Sidney says that the best thing about his business is that he feels as though he hasn’t worked a day at it.

When he compares his current position to his days as General Manager of a concrete company, he can’t help but smile. But, he knows he didn’t get to where he’s at alone. Standing right beside him in full support is his wife of 29-years, Lisa and chief instructor, Lorna Coyle.

martial arts instructor certification

Sidney Burns and Lorna Coyle

Master Burns joined MATA in 2016 and quickly completed the MATA Certification course along with his staff. He says, “MATA is a quality, professional organization. I wanted my instructors and myself to be certified by the best. It’s just easier to follow the MATA program than to jump around chasing fads.”

He also discovered COBRA through MATA and quickly saw an opportunity to lock in the territory. According to Burns, “As with most martial arts schools, we struggled to enroll adult students. COBRA is an awesome program that fills that gap.”

His focused efforts with his COBRA school are already paying high dividends with group and high-end private classes.

Many MATA member schools teach COBRA as part of their school’s programs, but Sidney chose to open a separate location for COBRA. He said, “COBRA is so attractive to adults, that we wanted to expand to a larger town to reach more people. COBRA was surprisingly easy to implement. It gives you all the tools and support from headquarters for us to make that transition.”

As he looks back to his humble beginnings at the Y, he has learned some important lessons. He says to, “Be careful who you listen to and surround yourself with high achievers. Helping others see their potential is a tremendous honor. There is no better profession than teaching martial arts and self-defense.”

Sidney and Lisa Burns have made it a point to be a positive source of support for the community as well. From working with a suicide prevention group to sitting on the board of Bedford Christian Services, they are committed to leveraging their unique skills and talents to help make Bedford, VA a better place for all. It seems to be paying off.

Congratulations to Master Sidney Burns and the entire Blue Ridge Martial Arts team.

Visit BlueRidgeMA.com