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

Why Your Martial Arts Curriculum Matters Now More Than Ever

Why Your Martial Arts Curriculum Matters Now More Than Ever

Ask 100 people who are interested in joining a martial arts school this question.

“Would you prefer a martial arts curriculum that is more complex and difficult or would you prefer a curriculum that is easy to learn?”

How do you think our instant gratification population would respond?

Yes. I love complexity. Or, No. I love simplicity.

This question is more important than ever because the pandemic has taught us that our world can change overnight. People do not have the patience for complex kata and skills that are only remotely related to self-defense.

We all live in an instant gratification world where almost anything we want is a click away. More than ever before, people want it now. They don’t like to wait. Especially since we’ve all seen how fast our world can be turned upside down.

Post-COVID, schools that are deep into the complexity of traditional martial arts will be less attractive than schools where the program is easier to learn.

Do you think people are attracted to an elaborate martial arts curriculum centered around kata, blocks, and stances to remember?

Have you ever had a person join your school because they wanted to learn kata? I’ve had a potential student say that he will not join because he thought kata was ridiculous looking.

Which one of these two statements do you think people will find more attractive?

1. Empower Kickboxing is a martial art that you can master faster!

2. Traditional Martial Arts will take you years to fully understand and decades to master.

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Geno GuevaraAlamo Ranch Martial ArtsSan Antonio, TX

“I am an old school “tae kwon do” instructor. Everything Mr. Graden described about the complexity of multiple classes learning different kata’s was true. I struggled for years trying to come up with a solution.

I tried a rotating curriculum with kata’s, students would fall behind, and the truth is kata’s did not help with real world self-defense. My students would get in a traditional stance or point fighting stance to defend themselves.

I knew deep down I wasn’t providing what I promised. I decided to switch over when COVID hit.. Teaching the basic skills in Empower Kickboxing helped me retain students over COVID and teach online.

I didn’t lose one student because of the transition. They all loved the new curriculum.

Plus, I didn’t need as much space since Kata’s required space. I cut my teaching hours in half since classes were all combined.

Even though the school took a hit in student count with COVID we are climbing back up pretty quickly. By the end we should be back to our normal student count.

Not to mention I no longer have to do all the introductory lessons which makes the sales process less reliant on me.

His methodology has allowed me to create a unique brand to separate against other schools. Most of my competitors are all traditional schools and we have positioned our brand against what everyone else is doing.  Differentiation.”