If you’d like to get a better feel for how to move prospects down the path of discovering and joining your school, read this short post.

At the bottom, I have a link to a new prototype website for Empower Kickboxing™ that illustrates that you can’t assume that a visitor knows anything about martial arts.

The site is not complete yet, but you can see that it is speaking to someone in the early stages of their journey.

What percentage of your website or Facebook page visitors do you think are:

  1. Just starting to look for a school?
  2. Ready to join a school but undecided?
  3. Ready to join your school?

Before you design any marketing for new students, decide which group you are targeting.

People just starting to look for a school are faced with a number of choices.

How are you helping them to understand and navigate the complex world of martial arts where many styles are hard to pronounce, much less get excited about in 2019?

A two-week trial doesn’t make your school attractive. Everyone has something similar. How can stand out by helping people understand how to choose a school without talking down to them.

Most school websites and FB ads lead with a price offer or an insider headline that only 1 in 1,000 visitors would understand. Example, “We teach Nihon Goshin.”

Virtually every website uses the same stock images and same stock headlines, so how does a visitor make sense of a world that, by design, is foreign to them?

Here are the headlines from the top 8 martial arts schools in a Google search where I live in Tampa Bay. I did a private window search for “martial arts schools near me.”

  1. Welcome to our dojo where we teach Nihon Goshin Aikido
  2. Gulf Coast FCS Kali
  3. Traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, & MMA Training
  4. About Iron Dragon MMA
  5. About the Academy
  6. A Complete Fitness and Martial Arts School
  7. Confidence Building Martial Arts Classes in Palm Harbor, FL
  8. Our Mission: To Train Relentlessly. The Learn the Perseverance of a Warrior

What makes your school different from these guys?

When you see the new Empower Kickboxing website prototype, notice that we don’t say, “Watch out for schools that have contracts!” Or, “We’re the only accredited school from the Kukkiwon.” Or, “Master Graden’s lineage goes right to Bruce Lee!”

No one cares. I didn’t find out about the Kukkiwon until I was a 4th-degree black belt in tae kwon do. I didn’t care then and I don’t care now.

What we do say is that martial arts is complex and here is how we’ve made it easier for you to understand and learn.

If you’d like MATA’s help in crafting a more clear message for your prospects, just comment below and reply to this email.

Click here to check out the new Empower Kickboxing™ website.


John Graden
John Graden

John Graden is widely credited with leading the martial arts school business into the modern age. He is the founder of the first successful professional association and trade journal. MA Success editor John Corcoran first called him a “visionary” in 1995. Martial Arts World magazine dubbed him, The Teacher of Teachers. Mr. Graden’s leadership was recognized in many mainstream media outlets including a cover story on the Wall Street Journal, documentaries on A&E Network, and as a guest on the Dr. Oz Show and many others.