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.

A Referral Machine
The Ten-Times-Ten Strategy

The idea behind the ten-times-ten strategy is for you to choose ten professionals in complementary fields to create a referral machine that builds a steady stream of prescreened, new clients.

The Ten-Times-Ten Strategy

1. Create a spreadsheet for contact information and notes of at least 10 professionals you would be comfortable referring customers and clients to.

2. Send a letter to each professional on your list. (See letter below). 3. Repeat process until you reach 100.
Dear John:

I’d like to include you in my professional referral data base. I’ve attached a spreadsheet with the ten best professionals I know. These are the people I will refer clients to from now on.

As you can see, both of us are on it. All you need to do is add your top 10 professionals to the list and send it back to me. Ideally, they would be 10 different pros.

Send each of them a letter like this and ask them to list their top 10 and return it to you. That will get them on this list, and when the list if full at 100, I’ll send all of you an updated copy of this list.

This way, we can refer to each other and increase business at no charge.

Let me know if you have any questions Thanks!
John Graden

It Gets Even Better

If you want to put this program on steroids, here are the steps.

1. Send a monthly updated list to your network so they will have the latest ‘directory’ of who’s good in the various professions. The monthly email also works as an effective reminder about you and your business.

2. Rather than just sending the list, embellish to give it more value.

a. Invite members to send you a short bio and info on their business.

b. Include an update on your practice and the work you are doing.

c. Mention any special offers by those on the list/network.

d. Invite them to networking events once or twice a year.

e. Create business-building webinars and invite various members to present.

f. Offer to answer any email questions they might have about your area of expertise. Invite them to make the same offer. Just be careful not to overdo it and get stuck giving unpaid consulting all day.

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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