Iranian Defector: “All I want is taekwondo.”

Iranian Defector: “All I want is taekwondo.”

Iran’s Taekwondo Olympic medalist has announced on Instagram that she is defecting. 

Taekwondo bronze medal winner, Kimia Alizadeh is Iran’s sole female Olympic medal winner. EVER.

She accused the Iranian government of “oppression,” “lying” and “injustice.”

She also wrote on social media, “I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran with whom they have been playing for years.”

How brave is this? Iran is believed to execute more people each year than any other country.

Wikipedia reports that Iran carried out at least 977 executions in 2015, at least 567 in 2016, and at least 507 in 2017. The key words are “at least.”

Treason is an executable offense. 

According to the Daily Mail, an Iranian parliamentarian demanded answers and accused “incompetent officials” of allowing ‘Iran’s ‘human capital to flee” the country. 

Human capital?

Coming just days after Iran admitted to shooting down a passenger jet and killing 176 people, this is a major blow and may be front-page news for the coming week.

I want to help you get in front of this news. You might want to consider reaching out to your local media on social media and suggest that you can provide some perspective as a fellow martial artist.

She said she just wanted three things, “Taekwondo, and a happy and healthy life.”

This assertion will no doubt bring worldwide attention to the sport.

Be careful how you handle this.

Resist the “Taekwondo was more important than her country..” or any similar exploitation.

Instead, share some expert insight that might be framed as, “She showed tremendous courage. Martial arts instills an indomitable spirit and this is exactly what we are witnessing on the world stage. As martial artists, we all admire her courage.”

The combination of shooting down the plane and Kimia’s defection may go down in history as the ultimate 1-2 punch to the end of the current Iranian regime. 

No doubt, Kimia has opened the flood gates for many others to speak out or leave as well. 

Right now, she is the face of the modern Iranian and she will be etched in history forever as a black belt revolutionary. 

However, she is not the first martial artist to defect from Iran. In September 2019, Saeed Mollaei, an Iranian judoka, left the country for Germany.

See Iranian defector and taekwondo Olympic medalist Kimia Alizadeh compete.

The Easiest Way to Generate Media Coverage in 2019

The media is blitzed all day long with people seeking exposure on their platform. One method that will jump you to the top, or at least near it, is to get out in your community and help with a local fundraising effort.

Whether it’s a need of a member’s family or a local charity, your school can contribute funds or hands-on help.

Take photos, write a paragraph or two about the event and fundraising efforts and send it in to your local media list (You do have a list right?).

Send media releases via email to your list prior to the event. Follow up with a phone call. You may even offer to take video and images to send if the reporter can’t make it.

Most of the time, the media will publish the event information, photo, school name, and charity as a part of a local news snippet. These are often used as a way for the media to share a ‘feel-good’ story or fill a slow news day.

See also:

The New Rules for Pitching the Media

How to Become the Martial Arts Star in Your Town

How To Get Media Coverage

3 Reasons to Host a Summer Camp

3 Reasons to Host a Summer Camp

3 Reasons to Host a Martial Arts Summer Camp

3 Reasons to Host a Summer Camp

While regular martial arts classes can dip in attendance over the summer with students going on vacations, there are still plenty of families that need a safe, structured place for their children to be at Monday – Friday. Here are three strong reasons why to promote and host a summer camp. 1. Tuition Income According to Care.com, the average rate for a sports camp ranges from $500 – $1,000 per week. On the lower end, a summer camp hosted by the local community recreation center can be a little as $50 per week. Most martial arts schools range from $75 – $275 per week for an 8 – 10-week summer camp. Here is what the income potential is for a $149 per week camp. This doesn’t include snacks, exam fees, uniforms, and sparring gear.

Weekly tuition   Students         Weekly tuition    Weeks                Total Tuition $149.00                      10                      $1,490.00            10                      $14,900.00 $149.00                      15                      $2,235.00            10                      $22,350.00 $149.00                      20                      $2,980.00            10                      $29,800.00 $149.00                      25                      $3,725.00            10                      $37,250.00 $149.00                      30                      $4,470.00            10                      $44,700.00 $149.00                      35                      $5,215.00            10                      $52,150.00 $149.00                      40                      $5,960.00            10                      $59,600.00 $149.00                      45                      $6,705.00            10                      $67,050.00 $149.00                      50                      $7,450.00            10                      $74,500.00

2. Feed Your After-School Program. One of the main reasons schools host summer camps is that a high percentage of the kids in the camp will transfer into your after-school program. 3. Massive Retention If you host an exciting summer camp, you have a great chance of enrolling the kids into your after-school or regular evening classes. However, there is a big difference in retention. Evening/standard classes struggle to keep kids for even 8 – 12 months. However, because an after-school program is structured to be part of the weekday routine, the kids stay with the program for years. It’s not uncommon for kids to stay with your after-school program for 5 – 8 years. They just get used to it like going to school each day.

See 7 Videos on How to Run a Successful Martial Arts Summer Camp with Jim King.

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