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.

Orange Theory is a high end fitness club that has been using our text messaging platform to create new clients. You can see the contest here: Orange Theory Contest 

Text messaging and marketing is much less expense than you might think.

While Orange Theory is using text for marketing, many martial arts schools will find that text messaging is the most effective way to communicate with your students.

How do you reach your entire student body to let them know of a change in schedule or weather cancellation?

I see this message all of the time on Facebook. “Classes are cancelled due to bad weather.”

There are many situations where you need to instantly communicate with students, staff, or student parents.

Introducing the Mobile Contact Controller. Now you can text or send a voice broadcast to your entire school at the click of a button.

Best of all, you can do this for just $1 per month! The service is really just a buck a month. We’ve also negotiated a crazy deal for text credits at just $10 per 50 contacts.

That’s NOT $10 per month, it’s per 50 contacts.

You can use this service for staying in touch with your families and / or use it to capture mobile leads when people scan your QR code or text your keyword.

  • Running a tournament
  • Assign a QR code to each division and have text competitors their ring number and time.
  • Group text your officials
  • Group text your competitors
  • Attending a Tournament
  • Group text your schools competitors
  • Update them on results
  • Group text the post tournament plans (dinner, party etc…)
  • Schedule Changes or Class Cancellations
  • Blast a text to everyone at once.
  • Group text your staff
  • Group text your leadership team
  • Group text belt test reminders

Find  out more at

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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