If you truly believe your martial art is worth teaching, if you feel it truly provides life changing benefits to your students then you have a responsibility to do everything you can to create a financially stable and profitable martial arts school.
This is the third article in an on-going series based on Master Jim Mather’s column in Black Belt magazine during the late 1990s
From Struggling to Profits
At one point, very early on, he was struggling with juggling a career as a corporate executive, doing post-graduate work and running a dojo. He had not yet made the transition to martial arts as a career. As such he felt it was ok, even honorable, to have a small school that was not making much money. In fact, it was losing money.
He was worried that money would somehow taint or destroy the quality of the instruction at his school so he was fine with keeping it small.
However, he knew that if he continued down that path he would have to close his school. As he said in the column, “I realized that I had to create a financial stability for the school, make it so strong that it could survive any economic conditions that might come along in the future.”
He made just a few changes to make the school more financially efficient and went from losing $1000 a month to a profit of $5000 a month within 60 days. This was a lot back then.
A Discovery that Changed His Views Forever
What he discovered changed his views on martial arts management forever. He put the money back into his school, building it up with renovations and improvements. He used the money to pay for student tournament costs. He increased his advertising budget. He was also able to travel and train with the top marital arts instructors of his day and make lasting connections to key people and organizations.
He found that by doing all of this, not only did his school survive it actually improved. He had a better facility. He had more students. He was able to learn more and pass that on to his students who in turn became better students.
Your Responsibility to Your Students
So we go back to the original claim at the beginning of this article. If you believe that what you have to offer can change people’s lives then you have a duty to them to do whatever is necessary to provide a financially stable environment to make that happen for them.
By running just a small closed off school you are cheating your neighbors of the opportunity of all the benefits our arts have to offer.
As Master Mather asks in a recent post on his own new blog, “What would your local community look like, how would it change for the better, if a large percentage of your local residents were involved in your school? What would happen to teen drug and alcohol problems? Gangs? Childhood obesity? And so on?”
Don’t let your pride, embarrassment or fear stand in their way. If you can not figure out how to make the change from a small school to a martial arts business that is financially stable then seek help from one of the many martial arts management companies available today. Or ask for help from a friend you know in the martial arts community who is successful.
Grow your school and give your potential students the opportunity they deserve to change their lives through the gift you and I have been given – the gift of the martial arts.
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If you truly believe your martial art is worth teaching, if you feel it truly provides life changing benefits to your students then you have a responsibility to do everything you can to create a financially stable and profitable martial arts school.
Charles – Today’s topic will cover how to help people see the distinct difference between martial arts training and reality-street survival training. Can you give us, Bob, say, four key differences in these two?
Bob – Yeah, I can do that.
The Number 1 Difference Is – Time To Learn – You go ahead and learn martial arts, and people talk about 5 years, 10 years to get your black belt. But my problem is, if I train with you today, I want you to be ready to survive a fight tomorrow. Street self defense and street survival is learning how to defend yourself in a very short amount of time. We’re not talking about years before you can fight.
Charles – Excellent.
Bob – Now –
The Second Difference Is – The Need For Constant Training – Martial Arts is based on repetition, techniques. Martial arts is based upon some fitness. And when a reality-based instructor teaches somebody how to fight in the street, they teach them something that they learn, understand one time, where they don’t need to train on every single day to be able to do this in a year or two.
The Third Difference Is – Safety Equipment In My Opinion Is Not Needed To Train People In Survival Fighting – Full contact training teaches you for example with the mouth piece, not to bite. With head gear and gloves, it teaches you not to attack the eyes – not to attack the throat. So, if you see someone doing full contact training where they are training with safety protection, you are particularly teaching your students not to use some of the most effective techniques possible.
The Fourth Difference Is – Basically Tricks Not Techniques – A good reality-based instructor could teach you the basic concepts to strike somebody in the throat, kick somebody in the knee, head-butt somebody, etc., in a very short amount of time and you will understand it even if you don’t know precisely what to do as in a step 1, step 2, step 3 type of explanation.
With martial arts, they come with complicated techniques, and you take years and months to learn, and if you don’t do them constantly, you forget them. A reality-based instructor will teach, this is an easy way to hit someone in the nose. This is an easy way to break some body’s leg. And that’s it. And if you understand it, you don’t have to be perfect to get the same effect.
Charles – Wow. Well, we thank you so much because this definitely puts a new light on the differences in these two concepts. Thank you so much, Bob.
Bob – Thank you. …
Looking to get the most out of a workout in every aspect possible? Mixed Martial Arts will transform you in more ways than one. Our daily lives can be quite hectic and many of us experience the ups and downs physically and emotionally. Good self confidence can go along way whether we realize it or not this includes our physical appearance and how we treat others and our family. A lack of confidence leads to a fear of failure, self-doubt, and negative expectations.Studies show that low self-esteem as well as low levels of social confidence, assertiveness, personal control and self-efficacy has been found a risk factor for a teen to initiate cigarette smoking alcohol abuse and or drugs. In addition, adolescents with depression frequently display signs of low self-esteem. Self-esteem is the value a small child or young adult applies to the self-concept. Am I special, important or am I am a failure?
Getting your child or even yourself involved in combat sports you will gain accomplishment,challenge and self awareness. Bjj, Mma, Karate, or Kickboxing Training will help you discover a positive way to control the stress and tension in your life and more so you will look better and gain self confidence. Daily stress can be overwhelming so decrease the tension, stress, anxiety and depression in the home as well. Many parents choose to involve their entire family as an enjoyable means of strengthening family relationships. They see their children’s health and fitness improve, their self confidence increase, something their child’s peers often lack. Many adults find that while joining any one of these combat sports it enhances their personal relationships both at work, school and with family and friends. You gain the ability of respect and awareness of others and their needs. With this courtesy, sensitivity and kindness towards others will affect personal relationships and will create an overall improvement in lifestyle.
Take advantage of this opportunity to explore a whole new bonding with your child and train together. In doing so you will have a better understanding and be able to comprehend what your child is learning. This will open doors to new means of communication with you and your child while at home as well. What an excellent way to maintain a healthier mind and healthier body for you and the entire family.
The outcomes can be endless if there is effort, consistency and dedication.…
Martial arts are one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S. Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kuk Sool Wan, Tai Chi, and mixed martial arts schools are popping up in every city and town. It looks exciting and some of the children in the advertisements are very young. Are the martial arts suitable for young children and how do you know if your child is ready for martial arts classes?
Speaking from the experience as a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, as an assistant instructor, and a parent, I can assure you that martial arts are safe for children as young as 4. The key to success with martial arts at this age is matching the child with the proper program. Many martial art schools have “Mighty Tiger” or “Little Tiger” programs that are geared toward the youngest children. Look for a school that has a program especially designed for children 4-6. There is a reason for this. Children in this age group usually have difficulty with certain gross motor skill like balancing on one foot, bringing hands and arms across the center of the body and back again, and alternating one hand or foot with the other in rapid succession. While these activities may challenge older children and adults, children in the 4-6 age group may not possess the muscle ability to perform them. Classes for these children focus more on body control than kicking techniques. They will learn three basic kicks and a few basic blocks, however they will also learn to focus their mind, body, ears, and eyes on the task at hand. Mighty Tigers will learn to sit still for a short amount of time. Additionally, they will learn to be confident and strong.
Your 4 to 6 year old child is ready for martial arts if they can follow simple instructions and can work in a group setting. It also helps if they can be away from their caregivers for 45 minutes to an hour without severe separation anxiety. Another requirement is that your child should be fully potty trained.
When your child is ready then it is time to select a school. There are many different styles of martial arts, choose one that you think will be fun for your child. One you find a style you like, check out
the schools. Most schools will offer a free trial lesson. This is a good way to see if your child will like this sport. Before signing any contracts, be sure you know about the school’s philosophies and that you know the staff. Check to be sure that all of the instructors, assistant instructors, volunteers and anyone working directly with the children has undergone a recent criminal background check, including fingerprints.
Another point to keep in mind when choosing a school is that there should be at least one master (4th degree black belt or higher) teaching the majority of the classes. Other levels of black belts can teach at times, however the amount of learning that occurs between first degree and fourth degree black belt is incredible. Someone who has achieved master rank is an expert in their martial art and has the wisdom and skill to teach it correctly.
Is your child ready for these arts? Most likely they are. Try out a couple of schools to see which one is the best fit and then enroll them. You will be amazed at how quickly they learn self control and self discipline. Small children will have less temper tantrums and you will see older children focus better on their studies. Martial arts have a place in every young child’s after school activities. Why not see if your child is ready for martial arts.…
Mixed Martial arts is the combination of several different disciplines where the only weapon you have is your own body. The unique thing about mixed martial arts is that you do not have to be an expert in all of the different disciplines. Many of the best fighters only use a few. However, to be a great fighter, you should have a basic knowledge of all disciplines. This knowledge will help you when you face an opponent that may have different skills than you. You will be able to anticipate his moves better and provide a counterattack of your own.
Muay Thai or kickboxing is a popular discipline and uses both kicks and punches to defeat the opponent. In Muay Thai, both opponents start in the standing position. A winner is determined when one of them hits the ground. Many of the best mixed martial artists use this as their base discipline.
Similar to Muay Thai, is the more popular Boxing. As you may know, in boxing you are only allowed to use your hands to strike your opponent and a winner is declared when someone stays on the ground for a ten count, known as a knockout. After a predetermined set of rounds and no knockouts, a group of judges will determine a winner. Though this method alone is not very effect in mixed martial arts, it is a very important discipline to have.
Another good close quarters type discipline is judo. In judo, you do not strike your opponent with your hands or legs, but instead you grab them and through them to the ground. This is done with a series of grappling moves that immobilize your opponent. Wrestling and judo are very similar and require a great deal of knowledge about different holds and maneuvers to lock up your opponent. Jujitsu is also similar to both judo and wrestling, but it focuses on getting your opponent into some sort of choke hold. This hold immobilizes the opponent and in some cases renders them unconscious.
These are just a few of the basic disciplines of mixed martial arts. There are many more variations out there that you can learn. To become a skilled mixed martial artist, it is a good idea to join a gym that has a trainer trained in one of the above disciplines. This will give you a base to start from and you can add other disciplines that compliment your base discipline.…
“Enter the Dragon” is the final released movie of Bruce Lee before his tragic death. Bruce Lee is recognized around the world as the ultimate exponent of the ancient Oriental art form of self-defense, which was a combination of the best techniques from Karate, Judo, Hapkido, Tai-Chih and Kung-Fu.
Bruce Lee suffered a tragic, untimely and mysterious death on July 20th, just a few days after he finished “Enter the Dragon”. He had completed almost 6 movies based on martial arts before his death. “Enter the Dragon” was co-produced by Warner Bros. along with Raymond Chow from China. Fred Weintraub and Paul Heller were the producers for Warner Bros. “Enter the Dragon” was directed by Robert Clouse and Michael Allin was responsible for the screenplay. The cast included Bruce Lee Williams, John Saxon Williams, Jim Kelly Han, Shih Kien Oharra, Bob Wall Tania, Ahna Capri Su-Lin and Peter Archer among others.
The movie is a vast display of Oriental heritage and culture, as most of the movie was shot in the Orient. This 98 minute classic was filled with masters engaging against each other in the display of the violent art form. “Enter the Dragon” portrays Lee as a top-of-the-notch secret agent and a former expert in mixed martial arts. He is given the job of taking part on a bloody martial arts competition in order to investigate the alleged criminal activities being carried on by the host of this brutal tournament (Shih Kien).
Nothing is surprising about the movie as we are habituated to see Bruce Lee playing the role of the ultimate savior. However, if we look from the Oriental art of combat point of view, there is enough excitement and surprise to lure the martial-arts-frenzy-audience. Lee is as usual brilliant in his performance. One look at his style and you will realize why he is still considered as the God of martial arts. John Saxon Williams, who plays the role of an American participant, is amazingly subtle when it came to pulling-off surprising stunts.
The rest of the cast was brilliant and played their part with aplomb to make this movie a huge success. Special mention has to be made of Jim Kelly, another American taking part in the competition organized by Shih Kien. He delivers a power-packed performance especially in the scene where is fights to the end against Lee. Bob Wall and Yang Sze provide good support in their roles as masters of the art. Ahna Capri and Betty Chung are good in their small roles while Angela Mao Ying displays her Hapkido skills when she confronts a group of Kien’s henchmen.
Michael Allin’s script was justified by Robert Clouse and his amazing directional skills. The result was an amazingly fast-paced action flick that was quite rare during the 70s.
Gilbert Hubbs’ photographic brilliance is exciting as is James Wong Sun’s art direction. Lalo Schifrin’s unique background score is an important aspect of the film.…
Martial arts are becoming increasingly popular in this current day and age. This is partly due to ever increasing crime rates and rising obesity levels. Martial arts are a great way not just in regards to self-defence but also with keeping fit. It is a great way for children to get involved with martial arts from an early age. There are many benefits associated with this such as keeping fit, being able to defend themselves against the school bully. Learning martial arts gives your children a new found confidence which can help them overcome many obstacles which they face in life at that early age such as shyness and even concentrating on their homework. It also enables them to learn a skill which they can carry on into their adult life.
The first step you need to take is to look for a style that will appear o your child. There are many to choose such as Judo, Karate, Kung Fu and many more. See what your child would have more interest in by taking him along to observe a few different classes. He may have a preference in a style which is more geared to high kicks and punching or he may prefer grappling and throwing. It’s not just for Karate for kids that is available you know.
One obstacle I personally came up against with my two daughters was the limited choice, but I do live in a rural area. If you live in a big city then the chances are there will be many to choose from and you can have a look at the various classes available to see where you think your child will best fit in. the smaller clubs and schools though in the rural areas do have their advantages though. They often are run by very experienced instructors with small class sizes which means more time is spent on each student resulting in higher ranking students in that style when compared to a large urban school in a big city.
It is paramount that you ensure the instructor is up to the job, you want to make sure your child gets the most out of it in terms of development and fun. Personally I find the large martial arts schools rather daunting for my kids. They often have anywhere between fifty and a hundred students, and in my opinion the children do not get the progress they deserve, whereas as mentioned the rural ones are the opposite.
I have martial arts to be hugely beneficial to my children. For instance it has helped my daughter to have the confidence to try new things. Before she started out in Karate she was a very shy girl and got spooked quite easily, but bow you cannot stop her, she has become something of a daredevil. The longer your child studies martial arts the more self-control they develop throughout their early life. There is so much more available than the usual Karate for kids that you hear parents talk about.…
Have you started mixed martial arts training but feel like you aren’t getting the results you want? Are you getting sick of being beaten in sparring matches and struggle to make it through each round? Try out my 5 simple ways to improve your mixed martial arts training and you will see results quickly.
Vary your approach – Don’t do it too often but be sure to change the exercises you do within workouts and when those workouts happen every 4 to 6 weeks. The body is a marvellous machine that adapts to situations so repeating the same workout too much will cause your development to slow down, plateau and even decrease. So mix it up!
Take part in sparring matches as much as possible and learn from it – Your mixed martial arts training will likely involve a lot of sparring within your classes already but you could still do more. Meet up with 2 other like minded students, get one person to referee while the other two spar. It’s unlikely you have a cage at home but make sure you have a safe surface to spar on, concrete or carpet isn’t a good idea! Review your sparring matches and look at what went well and more importantly where you went wrong. Use this knowledge to improve your technique.
Organise your workouts correctly – performing the right efforts at the right time is important to maximise efficiency. The order in which things should be done in a workout is as follows:
warm up (including dynamic stretches), Technical drills, Speed drills, Strength Drills, Endurance and finally a cool down with relaxed and isometric stretches.
You should only have each element in a workout 2 to 3 times a week making sure you have at least 48 hours in between. Make sure you rest adequately to avoid over training. Have at least one day a week where you do not train or you do some gentle exercise for example walking.
Look at other forms for inspiration – You don’t need to go to classes in other forms to grab inspiration. Look at articles online, YouTube videos and magazines to see if there are any moves you can take into your instructor to see if they are familiar with it and see if it’s useful. It may be a move your opponent has never seen before and you just pull it out of the bag to win the fight! Study MMA and UFC fights for more great ideas.
Make sure you eat right – This is very important, if your body isn’t receiving the fuel it needs you won’t be at your peak. Plenty of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, fruit and vegetables and some types of fats are required to keep your body healthy and topped up with the stuff it needs. A good sign of a healthy meal is how colourful a plate is. If it all seems to be the same sort of colour you may not be getting a full varied diet. Remember you have to eat lean to be mean!
Follow these tips and I assure you your training will benefit immensely.…
One of the big differences between training in the gym to fighting on the streets is your defense. A lot of martial arts train with in a fighting stance with closed fists… Like boxing. Which is great for competitive sports when you have boxing gloves on because there is a lot of padding to absorb blows which reduces the risk of injury. But if you use this type of closed fist guard then you could get knocked out even if you defend a blow. Look at mixed martial arts – they use gloves with very little padding.
The impact from MMA strikes compared with boxing gloves is much higher. It’s almost like a shoot out. You don’t get sustained trading in MMA, usually because knockouts happen fast. A street fight is the same, and are usually over within 30 seconds because someone defended better or traded better than their opponent.
So here’s how you adapt your defense for the streets.
Instead of closed fists like in boxing or Kickboxing MMA fighters don’t close their fists. They hands their open and relaxed to defend blows, this way their own fists are not going to cause damage to themselves. To use this defense you place your hands on the top/front of your head and use your forearms to block and defend incoming blows. This creates a shield and prevents you from hurting yourself when defending.
It’s very effective.
So it’s a good idea to train both open and closed fists so you’re covered for competition and the streets!…
This book by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming is a text book full of Shaolin Chin Na principles and techniques. For those not familiar with Chin Na, it is one of the four major fighting categories in Chinese martial arts. The four categories are kicking, striking, wrestling, and seize-controlling. Chin Na can be called the art of seize and control, and it consists of various joint locking techniques, as well as different grabbing, pressing, and striking.
Just like joint locks are only a portion of the Hapkido curriculum I teach, Chin Na is only a portion of Chinese arts. With that said, the concepts and techniques can be learned and incorporated into other styles, especially those that are already familiar with locking techniques such as practitioners of Hapkido, Aikido, Jujitsu, and so forth. Therefore, this book can benefit many martial artists, not just those who study Chinese arts. If your style does not include locking type techniques, Chin Na resources, including this book, can assist you in rounding out your program.
After a short Foreword and two short Prefaces (original and new one for second edition), there is a general introduction to the concepts and the basic principles. Next comes a chapter that focuses on fundamental training. A variety of exercises are illustrated and explained that will enable a practitioner to better perform the techniques taught in the manual.
The next few chapters are divided by the type of Chin Na explained in them. They consist of Finger; Wrist; Elbow; Shoulder, Neck and Waist, Leg; Muscle Grabbing; Cavity Press; and then a short chapter on using Chin Na in a fight, and another on the treatment of injuries. The book then concludes with a two-paragraph conclusion and several appendixes.
There are numerous techniques in this book (The back cover says over 150), and each one has a description of how to do the technique, with accompanying photographs, the principle behind the technique pointed out, and a description with photos of an escape and counter to the technique. I especially liked that these escapes and counters were included. I felt these added much value to the collection of information, especially as an instructor resource. The pictures are black and white, and sometimes a little difficult to fully discern what is being done. If you are apt at joint locking techniques, you can most likely figure it out. However, if you are a novice, you might have a little trouble with some of them. To remedy this, you could pick up Dr. Yang’s DVDs to see the techniques performed. In fact, I’d encourage anyone to complete their Chin Na resource library by including both the books and DVDs Dr. Yang has put out. Using them together make for a much better learning experience.
The chapter on using Chin Na in a fight is pretty short. There are two pages of good concepts, and then a small sampling of concepts and techniques illustrated with photographs. Dr. Yang admits this is just a tiny sample, but points out that he included more in his book “Comprehensive Applications of Shaolin Chin Na.” I have not read that book yet, but it is on my list. Like the applications chapter, the treatment of injuries chapter is also short. You won’t be a competent healer from this chapter, but it gives some general information and hopefully peaks your interest to further your study in the healing arts as well as the fighting arts. They go hand in hand.
Overall, this is an exceptional manual to help a person learn Chin Na, and I recommend it highly, as I do all of Dr. Yang’s cannon of Chin Na resources.…