LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE on your favorite podcast platform

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins

Master Motivator

A black belt under the late Jhoon Rhee, Tony Robbins views martial arts as an excellent way to improve your life.

Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy

Master Teacher

A mentor of John Graden’s. Brian Tracy credits much of his success to his martial arts training.

Bernard Kerik

Bernard Kerik

Master Leadership

The police commissioner during the 9/11 attacks, 5th-degree black belt Bernard Kerik has traveled the world to improve his skills.

Click to open Show Notes for Episode 23

Show 23 Notes

The Truth About the Martial Arts Business book

Black Belt Management book

Who Killed Walt Bone? book

If you’re enjoying this podcast please review, rate and share it with your friend list.

The Truth About the Martial Arts Business Podcast

Episode 23 

Why I Replaced Taekwondo with Empower Kickboxing

Geno Guevara

Alamo Ranch Martial Arts

San Antonio, TX

Show 23 Notes

8:30 Empower Kickboxing is ahead of its time. PREVIEW

9:20 I was hooked deep gets FKA 

11:50 smoke and mirrors

12:05 What prompted the decision to join Empower Kickboxing? 

12:40 My black belt student could not defend himself

13:13 I was being hypocritical 

14:32 What was your strategy to transition the students

15:20 traditional martial arts reminds me of the renaissance festivals

15:50 What are the reaction to removing uniforms

16:20 I started with the self-defense module

16:20 The parents loved it.The kids loved it. Because it makes sense.

16:40 I could see the parents heads nodding “YES!”

17:00 Self defense was first, what was next? The Warm up.

18:20 If Mike Tyson taught class he would….

18:30 what have done with testing and rank?

18:40 Graduation is fight night

19:50 How close do you follow the Empower Kickboxing lesson plans?

21:40 What would you say to a school owner thinking about upgrading to Empower Kickboxing?

21:00 Perfect for a small school

21:45 How many classes are you teaching now vs prior to Empower Kickboxing?

23:00 New sales process

23:58 The keyword today is simplicity

24:30 Does your curriculum match what is out there and what the public wants?


Martial Arts Instructor Certification Course

Module One-The Principles of an Authoritative Instructor

Lesson 4: No Rescues!

Previous Episodes and Show Notes

22. Martial Arts and Hip Hop: The Story of Willie “The Bam” Johnson part 2.

21. Martial Arts and Hip Hop: The Story of Willie “The Bam” Johnson part 1.

20. How to Avoid the Smoke and Mirrors of Traditional Martial Arts

19. Mark Moore: How to Grow Your School to 425 Students While Teaching Just 2 Classes a Night

18: Andrew Branca: What Every Martial Arts Instructor MUST Know About the Law of Self-Defense

17. Joe Robaina: How to Build a Six-Figure Self-Defense Business

16. Sam Horn: The Art of Tongue Fu, Martial Arts for the Mouth

15. John Graden: 7 Biggest Tax Deductions for Martial Arts Schools

14. John Graden: Ten Important Questions About Your Curriculum

13. Bernard Kerik: 5th Dan, Former NYC Police Commissioner on 9/11

12. Chris Sutton: How to Teach Martial Arts Professionally

11. John Graden: A Plan for Reopening Your Martial Arts School 

10. Chris Sutton: Do Martial Arts Really Work for Law Enforcement?

9. Mike Anderson Part 1

8. Jim King: How to Run a Successful Martial Arts Summer Camp

7. Chris Sutton: What Qualifies You to Teach Self-Defense?

6. Dale Willerton: Rent Assistance During the Pandemic

5. Brian Tracy: Why Curriculum is Critical to Your Martial Arts School Success

4. Brian Tracy: What Adults Want in a Martial Arts School

3. Tony Robbins: The Five Strategies to Create a Happy and Successful Life

2. Tony Robbins: How Martial Arts Can Be Used To Combat Procrastination

1. Tony Robbins: How to Use Martial Arts to Create a More Successful Life


teacher in martial arts curriculum class

“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, but some students would still 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. 

Not to mention I no longer have to do all the introductory lessons which make 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.”

Mr. Geno Guevara
Alamo Ranch Martial Arts

Hosts & Guests

John Graden

Tony Robbins

 Share Episode




The Truth About the Martial Arts Business Podcast

Learn the hard truth about the martial arts business from the man who led the industry into the modern era.

Join the martial arts Teacher of Teachers, John Graden as he explores important and controversial questions about martial arts instructors, schools and the business.

In this hard hitting podcast, he pulls back the curtain to reveal The Truth About the Martial Arts Business.

John Graden challenges conventional tradition and the mindless acceptance of some of the outlandish theories associated with the martial arts.

The Martial Arts Teachers Association (MATA)

MATA is a professional association for martial arts school owners and instructors. It offers the leading course on martial arts instructor certification (MATACertification) and rank advancement (MATARank).

Members have access to a massive library of professionally designed marketing materials in the Marketing Downloads section.

Other sections include:

  • Martial Arts Summer Camp
  • Martial Arts After School
  • Planning Your Martial Arts School
  • Staffing Your Martial Arts School
  • Financial Control 
  • Interviews & Courses
  • Facebook Marketing for Your Martial Arts School
  • Online Marketing for Your Martial Arts School
  • Pro-shop Sales for Your Martial Arts School
  • Curriculum Concepts Your Martial Arts School
john graden hosting podcast

John Graden

Widely credited with leading the martial arts school business into the modern age, John Graden was first called a visionary by MASuccess editor, John Corcoran. Also a world champion kickboxer, John was dubbed the martial arts Teacher of Teachers by Martial Arts World magazine.

John is also the author of many of the best selling books on martial arts business and personal development.

Now the Executive Director of the Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA), John’s bold leadership has landed him on the Dr. Oz Show, the Wall Street Journal, the A&E Network and many more international media platforms along with many small podcasts that only his wife listened to.

A Tampa Bay, FL resident, John Graden is married with two children.


John Graden


Pasco EDC

 Share Episode




Want to Be a Guest?

Email Us