Archives for June 2017

40 – Martial Arts Instructor Gets Shot In The Head And Escapes Death – Here’s His New Perspective On Life

Martial Arts instructor Adel Refai didn't dodge a bullet, but he is lucky to be alive today. This will shift how you go about your day.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The accident that ended up changing Adel Refai’s course of life
  • The benefit of martial arts beyond the physical movement
  • How technological advancements have helped business in general
  • How his ordeal restored his faith in humanity
  • George’s relatable near-death experience
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

GEORGE: Hey, this is George Fourie and welcome to another episode of the Martial Arts Business podcast, episode number 40. Today I channel over to the East of the United States all the way to Florida and I'm speaking with Adel Refai from Combat Performance and Fitness. How are you doing Adel?

ADEL: I’m doing great, how are you George? Good morning.

GEORGE: Awesome, doing great. Cool, so you've got an exciting and horrific story to tell. But before we get to that, let’s just… just give us a bit of a background: who is Adel Refai?

ADEL: Well, I'm a 38-year-old male, 5’ 10”. I’m the son of Egyptian immigrants, I grew up in New Jersey in the United States and moved on to Florida about the time I was 29 going on 30 and like I was telling it before, I grew up kind of fascinated by the martial arts, but it was just something I admired from afar, watched movies and I was involved with other sports and activities growing up. And then when I moved here, I started the next chapter of my life. I just kind of decided, well, this is something I always wanted to do, so I'm going to check it out.

So I went into a gym and hit a heavy bag for the first time and I signed up for a karate program and then for the next 4 and a half years after that, I would go there 5 or 6 days a week just training, wanting to get better, wanting to get better. And then from there, got my black belt and then I got a black belt in kickboxing and then I started competing in Muay Thai fights and now I'm teaching kids, so the circle is complete I guess! But you know, I do internet marketing also and I work with small business owners and I kind of teach them just the basics and martial arts is just my passion and hobby on the side.

GEORGE: So how did you actually decide, all right: you're doing the martial arts and now you're going to start teaching?

ADEL: You know, it was just one of those things, it was one thing leads to another, leads to another, leads to another. I had a lot of instructors and they were so good about spending so much extra time outside of class with me to help me train and put in extra work one on one and all that. And so when I kind of moved on from going to the classes, because actually eventually they discontinue the adult program, but I have a little brother through a volunteering program here, Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

And so I signed him up for the karate program and I would go and I just started initially just watching and then the head instructor, she offered, you can jump on in and help out if you want. And I was like, oh, OK, well I don't want to impose. And I started just kind of helping out here and there, and then I actually just started volunteering about 2 to 3 times a week. It just kind of happened that way, it was just kind of the thing to do to start giving back after people invested so much time in me over the years.

GEORGE: So Combat Performance and Fitness: you mentioned it’s a part time business for you, right? Is it only you in the business, or…?

ADEL: Oh, no, no, no, no, I don't own it, I just help to teach the kids the karate program there. A friend of mine owns that business and he does jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai and kickboxing and then adult fitness classes and kids programs. I help out with just the kids’ karate side and then I help coach some of the fighters as well.

GEORGE: Ok, awesome.

ADEL: Yeah, that's it.

GEORGE: Now, you've been in the martial arts industry for quite a while and you had a bit of an ordeal I believe?

ADEL: Yeah, my kickboxing coach is also a video guy. He does video editing and stuff like time and for the last couple of years, we started doing a series of videos, action videos and he’s been using them to promote different organizations that he’s involved with on the martial arts side. So we did one video, where a guy, it was me and my girlfriend and I was pretending to be a bad guy attacking her, kind of a light hearted, funny video where she beats me up. And we started doing another one, another kind of action video to use for promotion and we got the choreography down and then we went out to a park out in Tampa to just kind of scout the area for when we start filming it.

And once we kind of figured out what we wanted to do, we were just kind of walking around, looking at the sunset. And I was getting ready to leave, I had a bad headache that day and I told Mark, I'm going to get going, my head hurts, and he was like, well, just hang on, it’s a really nice sunset, let’s just take a picture real quick. And I said, OK, sure, let’s just take a picture and then I’ll head out. So while I was standing there, it’s sunset, it’s daytime and we were standing right next to a children's museum and a dog park, it was a really nice area and while I’m standing there, waiting for him to get his camera ready, all of a sudden, somebody hit me on the head with a hammer and I reached up and touched my head and I felt a hole right at the top of my head, on the centre.

And I stayed conscious, I felt my body at that point just gave in and I kind of collapsed to the ground and my friend and his wife, they had heard a gunshot and they turned around to look in the direction where they heard that noise and when they turned back, they saw me collapse to the ground and I started bleeding. And my friend was quick thinking and he took his shirt off, put it on my head to stop the bleeding. He called the police and the ambulance, and the next thing I know, I'm being rushed to the hospital, there are 8 to 10 pairs of hands on me doing all sorts of tests and whatnot. Luckily, nothing serious happened and I'm fine today.

GEORGE: So just backtracking: you got a bullet to the head and the next thing you realized is you being transferred. The police are there and they're taking you to the hospital – are you actually conscious at this point?

ADEL: Yeah, I was completely conscious, but I guess my body was just in shock, I wasn't really panicking or anything. I don't know, it happened really, really fast, I was calm the whole time and yeah, I was conscious the whole time, I never passed out, but when I think back to it, it’s all a little bit of a blur, I'm not sure how I stayed awake for the whole time.

GEORGE: How did you recover from that? I have so many questions, but I'm a bit stuck on that!

ADEL: You know, I was fortunate, it wasn't serious, it didn't go through the skull and into my brain, obviously. It basically went as deep as it could without breaking the skull, so they took the x rays and they didn't find any bullet fragments, I just got lucky. I had a really bad headache a week after that and some panic attacks, but in terms of health and everything, I got lucky. I dodged the bullet, George! I got lucky, it didn't break the skull and that's it. An inch, a few millimeters one or the other and it would have been a different story I guess.

GEORGE: Well, I guess I should just give a shout out to Kevin Rogers from Copy Chief, because he was the one that shared your story and put me in touch with you, thanks to Kevin for that. Now, I want to know, do they actually know who did it? Was there someone who had the intention to do it, or was it just you caught a flying bullet?

ADEL: They found nothing, surprisingly. We were right on the Riverwalk, right next to the water, so our guess is that it went into the water after it hit me because if it had landed on the ground anywhere, they hopefully would have found it, but we think it went under the water. They didn't find anything, they didn't find anybody, there weren't any video cameras in the area, they didn't pick up anything – there was just nothing. We heard it and I saw commotion in the area where we heard it come from and as I was falling, I turned around and saw some people running in the distance, but the police were never able to identify anybody or find any video from the security cameras in that area, because it’s a public park, the cameras in it didn’t pick up anything, so… nothing.

GEORGE: That's fascinating.

ADEL: Yeah.

GEORGE: So how has life changed for you since the incident?

ADEL: Oh, you know, the first few days… well, the first week was just dealing with a bad headache, you know? And after that went away, it was kind of, it was re-evaluating everything, just thinking about what I want to do moving forward and what I want to stop doing that I've been doing… everything just started… you have to kind of stop and take a look at everything that you've been doing up to that point when that happens. And so I just moved on, I went and visited my brothers to clear my head and that was a really good visit for me.

And I came back to Florida and I made the decision that I need to move forward with my life in all aspects because I was going to that hospital and it was just occurring to me that I could easily be dead and I was thinking about how my life would end in that moment and all the loose ends and I wasn't happy with how things were in that moment, you know? I've just been kind of making an effort to live a little more urgently. And then, of course, the bills started rolling in and you can only have a little bit euphoria before some stress gets poured into your life. But it’s been fine the way I’ve handled this psychologically.

GEORGE: And the reason I'm asking this is for myself as well, because I was 27, 27 or 28… 26… I can't recall, it’s a blur. But I was in a car accident where I was unconscious for three days and I broke two neck vertebrae and had bleeding on the brain, so I had a haemorrhage basically and I was so medicated that I actually thought it was all funny, until a doctor walked in and he was looking at me and giving me my medication and he laughed! And I said, why are you laughing? And he said, because people like you, we don't normally operate, we don't operate on them. And I said why? And he said, because you're dead in two days. And he walked off!

ADEL: Really? Oh my God!

GEORGE: And that's what he said and my smile dropped. And it’s probably the biggest… everything in my life changed at that point, that was the first time it really hit me and it’s exactly what you were saying how you were realizing that you could have been dead: that was the moment I decided to emigrate.

I traveled to the United States, I'm in Australia now, but when I traced it back, the biggest decisions I've made in life was due to that one incident. Which is why I'm really asking you, what changed for you? Now you're saying you’re living with a sense of urgency and there are things that you don't want to put on hold and so forth. So what are those core things? What's going to be different for you from here on?

ADEL: Well, we've got I guess the professional side and the personal side. The professional side, I think there was a little bit of a lack of self-confidence that was pulling me back from pushing my business in the direction I wanted to go with it, I was kind of staying stagnant with it, I wasn't really sure that I was able to do what I wanted to do with my business, which was kind of take it overseas and start introducing internet marketing to certain third world countries where it would make more of a difference and impact. But I guess it kind of intimidated me in the past.

After that happened, it was like, well, I need to get moving with that plan, because I have this intention to try and help people and I keep putting it off. And I could be dead any day now and that is kind of selfish I think to hold off on doing something like that. Personally, there's this lovely woman in my life that I was honestly just scared to be with, to pursue a real relationship with. And I was lying in the hospital and she was one of the few people I was thinking of. And half an hour later, she shows up, and she's standing at my hospital bed and it hit me hard that I was screwing up with her in that part of my life and not moving forward with that. So I say those two things mainly are what really was on my mind in the weeks afterward.

GEORGE: That's awesome. I mean, it really puts things into perspective, doesn't it? It’s so easy to just get caught up in the moment and I guess you – and this is a deep conversation!

ADEL: Yeah, yeah, it’s getting deep George.

GEORGE: We don’t want to get the tissues out but hey, I guess it’s an important topic, because of look, we talk about the martial arts, that's what the podcast is about. We talk about the martial arts business, I'm also involved in the internet marketing side, we've got a Martial Arts Media Academy, where we help school owners learn about digital marketing and how they can use online lead generation in a strategic manner.

So that's always the topic here, but it’s so easy in life to get caught up, and especially in business, you get so caught up in the now and the problems and sometimes, it’s just perceived problem, because it’s really first world problems. I come from South Africa, where hunger is the problem. People are fighting not for where am I going to charge my iPod, but there are actually kids that are seriously hungry, they're trying to figure out where the next meal comes from.

ADEL: Yeah.

GEORGE: I guess what I'm really trying to get out of this conversation with you is, it just gives perspective. You think you've got problems and you think you're going a certain way, but in a snap, it could just be taken away from you, like with yourself. And I mean, it’s not that you were even doing anything, you just happened to be there.

ADEL: Yeah. Yeah, I completely agree, it definitely does add a lot of depth to the way you look at things, you know. The view of the accident, you actually do realize that it could have been over in a second and you actually feel it, it takes on a different meaning on what you're going to get up and do the next morning.

GEORGE: So tell me a bit about your business: where do you see yourself going with your business? You were saying you're looking at opening up in different countries and how do martial arts play a role in your life now moving forward?

ADEL: Well, I think martial arts has always been in my life one way or another. It started out from a selfish standpoint, where it was just me wanting to learn and learn and learn and be a martial artist and compete and get better. And then, as with anything I guess, once you reach a certain level of proficiency and you're good at it and other people start looking to learn from you and you hopefully, you turn around and help them gladly.

And so I guess now, I'm kind of like in between. Partially I'm still learning and competing, I'm also teaching adults, as well as kids, but specifically, there's been so many classes that have ended and I've been driving home, thinking about what I've learnt that day, what the instructor said and running it through my head and realize that it applies to something specific going on in my life right now, something in my business.

It’s one of those things, I guess martial arts is so personal, that it kind of just transcends just the physical movements and it applies to all parts of your life, at least that's what I found. I've always read books and tried to grow as a person and read business book to get better internet marketing, but sometimes it’s just like, a martial arts class, I kick a few times and I'm driving home and I think about the lesson I learned over sparring and I was going about my business and it’s just interesting how it kind of works around that way I guess.

But yeah, for the actual business side of it with internet marketing, like I was telling you, I work with small business owners, people that are basically new to internet marketing and teach them how to get their business online, how to market themselves online. And then, if they want to go any further after that day, in detail, or become an expert in any specific niche, then I’ll refer to somebody. And a little way ago, it occurred to me that anybody can teach somebody how to make a $100, $200, $300 a month, that's not hard – that's not something you can live on, at least in the US or Australia, right? But, in a third world country, $300 or $400 a month is life changing, that will change a life of an entire family in a small village.

And so that's where I want to go with this eventually, is to start introducing it to countries where it’s going to have a much larger impact, third world countries where they don't really have a good economy, but they learn internet marketing and all the time they're connected to the first world, the developed economy and now the money is being funneled to the areas that need it the most. That's what I'm thinking.

GEORGE: That's awesome. Where's your target, are you going back to your roots in Egypt, or are you thinking just on a broader scale?

ADEL: I’m going to start with Egypt, just because it’s familiar. The language, the people, if there’s any red tape, I’ll be comfortable navigating it. And I go there regularly anyway as it is, so if that works out, then that seems to be the easiest launching point and there can be a lot of people freelancing and there are enough people that speak English, that does seem to be the easiest point. And for some reason, if somebody tells me that different countries would be better to launch from, then that's fine, because I'm not really depending ongoing and opening up a shop, like a physical location, I want to keep it online and remote for the time being, so we’ll see. It’s early stages, so…

GEORGE: Well, good luck with that. I know for me, I employ quite a few people in the Philippines and it is rewarding to know that I'm supporting, the money that you send, it does support a family, it’s not just… it does impact an economy, especially for people where with jobs, there's nothing available, the internet is not available. And if they can't access the internet, there is not a real choice. It’s that or nothing.

ADEL: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Well you know, most countries have the internet nowadays. Even a country like Egypt, everybody’s got the internet. It’s interesting how technology, it’s moved so quickly the past ten years. I remember, growing up and no one, maybe out of my gigantic family, maybe one or two people had a landline. So if I wanted to talk to my grandma, we called the building she lived in, there was one phone and everybody used it, so we’d call the neighbors and they would go upstairs and get my grandma and my cousins and they would come downstairs and we would talk that way.

And that was fortunate, to have one in the building. And the plumbing wasn't what it is now and nobody had a phone, nobody had developed plumbing, because of the infrastructure issue, but the internet all of a sudden comes in and Wi-Fi comes in. And one year, I go to Egypt and everybody's got the internet in their home, and I say, how do you have the internet, how is this possible?

That's when it started clicking everybody's got the internet, or they have access to it, there are internet cafes everywhere or friends split the cost of internet for a month and they run cables back and forth, everybody's got it there. They have access to it, I think it’s going to allow a jump in the quality of living in all of those countries, it’s progressing properly.

GEORGE: For sure. Adel, it’s been awesome talking to you. I know you had a bit of a setback, I mean, you're instructing part time, you're getting your business going and so forth and I know you've been hit with some heavy duty medical bills, with your…

ADEL: Yeah, yeah.

GEORGE: Going through your ordeal, as if that wasn't bad enough to deal with, you got all that. I definitely want to give a shout out for anybody listening: if anybody can help you support… I know you put up a go-fund-me page, is that right?

ADEL: Yes, and no, it’s actually, the site I'm using is youcaring.com. I was looking into some of the different sites and youcaring was the only one I found that doesn't take up a percentage of the donation t run the site, so that seemed like the best option.

GEORGE: And you have the link?

ADEL: Yeah, it’s a bit of a long link, but it's youcaring.com/adelrefai-836411… if you can put the link up with your podcast…

GEORGE: I’ll tell you what I'm going to do: for everybody listening, what we’ll do is: one, well create a short link. You can just go to the show notes, the show notes in martialartsmedia.com/40, but I’ll also create just a link shortener for that, so it will just be martialartsmedia.com/adel, so that will be a-a-d-e-l, is that right?

ADEL: It’s a-d-e-l, but you can spell it, however, you want on the link, I don’t care.

GEORGE: A-d-e-l, OK. You know what, I turned it into two A-s to make sure I pronounce it properly.

ADEL: Oh, I got you, your little phonetic notes!

GEORGE: That was the genius hack that I did.

ADEL: Yeah, then the bill started coming in and they're still coming in and it’s just… it was starting to get a little overwhelming and I was trying to figure out a way to deal with it and then a friend of mine suggested setting up a fundraiser page. And I wasn't really comfortable with it at first. I set it up and I just kind of left it there. I don't know, eventually I just decided I need to solve my problem and ask for help and you know, if somebody wants to donate, they will, and if they don't, they won’t.

But the response so far has been so great, it’s been overwhelming I'm just so appreciative and whatever comes in is going to help and I truly appreciate it and I will obviously do my best to pay it forward at some point when I'm able to, but any help I could use!

GEORGE: I know it’s an awkward thing to do, it’s kind of the last thing you want to do: I'm in a situation, but I don't really want to ask for help either, you know, because like you're saying, it’s a pride thing and you just don't want it. But sometimes, you've just got to, my girlfriend always says to me: everybody always in some way got a hand.

Somebody reached out and helped, whether it’s in business or something else, there's always someone that actually stepped in and helped someone pull through to the next level in life. So if there is anybody that can help – awesome. It was great to speak to you and hear your story and give it some context because it’s something that can happen to anyone, literally, you can be anywhere in the street and be in the same situation. So yeah, anybody that can help, otherwise, it’s been awesome speaking to you Adel.

ADEL: Yeah, you too George, thank you so much.

GEORGE: Awesome, and I hope to chat with you soon and good luck with the business as well.

ADEL: Yes, thanks very much. I’ll definitely keep in touch and best of luck to you as well.

GEORGE: Awesome, chat soon!

ADEL: Take care George, thank you!

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39 – Fred DePalma (The MAIN Event) – The Hidden Value Of Martial Arts Business Events

Fred DePalma (The MAIN Event & DePalma Karate) shares his martial arts journey and the real value of business events.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The benefits of implementing systems in your martial arts business
  • Why social media marketing for business is no longer optional but a necessity
  • How investing in instructor training helps ensure your school's success
  • The unspoken benefit you get from martial arts business events
  • A story that will remove all doubt about investing in your education
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

TRANSCRIPTION

Download the PDF transcription

And it was an hour and a half long private class and that's a long time do to a private class, so we paid him the money and we wanted to learn this advanced Kenpo stuff that we couldn't find anywhere. And I watched a student come into his school and sign up for a private class for $40. And I looked at him, and I'm like, “How come you're charging us $300 and this guy $40?” He goes, “Because that's my student, that's already a paying member here. You're going to learn what I'm teaching you, drive back to Connecticut and sell it to students to make money off of it.”

GEORGE: Hi, this is George Fourie from martialartsmedia.com and welcome to another Martial Arts Media Business podcast, episode number 39. And today I have with me all the way from Arizona I believe, Kyoshi Fred Depalma. How are you doing today Fred?

FRED: I’m doing fantastic, thank you for having me.

GEORGE: Awesome. So Fred is an eighth degree black belt, started with martial arts in 1981, running his own school since 1986. So we're going to be talking a lot about how he got started, where he is now and exciting events that he's also hosting around the United States, as well as Australia. So first and foremost I guess, to just start from the beginning: who is Fred Depalma?

FRED: Well, I don't know, I'm still trying to figure that one out myself. I do live in Arizona, which for people who don't know where that is in Australia, it’s just inland California. So I like to tell everybody Arizona's all beach, just no ocean. As soon as California falls in, then I’ll have the beach on my property. But anyways, I'm in Arizona, I'm originally from Connecticut. Connecticut is the other side of the country, so Arizona's the west, Connecticut is on the east, it’s the northeast in New England, kind of the first states that were settled.

I grew up in Connecticut in Rhode Island. I actually started my first school there, that's where I did my training. In 1986., I opened up my first school in Naugatuck Connecticut that grew to 4 schools shortly after that. Packed up in 1990, sold my schools to my managers, took a year off, traveled across the country, like Arizona and started over. 

So that's it, but my system is Kenpo, I've always trained Kenpo. I teach Kenpo, but to me, it’s really not the style that matters and everybody are in love with their style and they should be, because that's what you teach. I mean, it’s what you study, it’s what you do, you should love, but it’s really about being structured and that's being given more than the style, especially at the beginning for the students.

GEORGE: Awesome. So I want to go back there, just to your story. So you said you had 4 schools and then you packed up: does that mean that you started completely over, or was it… Did you sell that completely, or was it sort of a franchise that you extended further?

FRED: I sold them completely, I did finance them for the guys, but it was theirs. When I first moved to Arizona, I was flying back every month to oversee testing, which then turned into every other month, which then turned into four times a year, which turned into two times a year, which turned into I'm not going back. So it was just breaking away slowly, so that way they can be successful in what they're doing, but at the same time, I didn't do it as a franchise and I didn't do it as a name use at the time, I just did an upright sale and they would bring me back for seminars – that's more or less how I’d get paid to do anything, but I didn't have it setup like I have it setup now. I just wanted to… I knew I was going to be all the way across the country and back then, before the internet and all that: very hard to run a company on the other side of the country, without being able to email and so on and so on. I mean, this was all pre-email and pre-video and pre-cell phones, so…

GEORGE: For sure. But there's got to be another… you know, we're so used to the internet now, but it’s only been a couple of decades really. How do you think that actually helped you, because my thinking would be, you've got to be so accurate with your systems and instructions, because you don't have the advantage of this face to face and instant – I mean, look at us, talking from Perth to Arizona right now, you didn't have that? So how do you actually go, what can you take from that? Installing those systems and things?

FRED: From then to now?

GEORGE: Yes.

FRED: Yeah, well if I had this capability then, I might have kept the schools. It might have been a little easier to oversee what was happening. I mean, that's when I had to use full time accountants and everything because it wasn’t a quickbooks or banking service, I mean, it wasn't credit cards, you know? So everything was done a little bit differently, which would have been – I felt at the time – a lot of work to do from here to over there, so that's why I sold the schools to the guys, so they can take care of it, they could make the profit and make a living off of it and make it or break it on their own.

My whole thing when I run schools, and even the schools I have now is, I make sure that my managers and my school's owners get paid the most, you know? I just need to collect a little bit from here and there, but they're the breadwinners of the school. But if I had this type of technology then, I probably would have kept the schools and continued to help them grow their schools for as long as I could. Without a doubt, this would have come in so handy back then, even when I was in Connecticut, I had my four locations, I mean, to get anything done, I had to drive to each school.

GEORGE: Yes.

FRED: And now, with eight schools here, I don't know the last time I was at one of the other schools.

GEORGE: That's awesome.

FRED: My house is located right between two of my schools and each school is about a mile and a half from my house, so that would be like 3K, so I have a school 3 one way and 3 the other way and I drive by one of them to come here and I just kind of look to make sure it’s still there and I come right down, but I don't need to be there. And that's a good thing that I don't need to be there! If I don't need to be at the school, it means the manager and the team are doing perfect.

GEORGE: It means the system is working, that's it.

FRED: Right, and again, that's all about systems. A system is something that doesn't happen overnight with me, it was a long journey of developing. I think things that I learned in school, sometimes you go back and say, boy, what did I learn in school? I've got to tell you what: when I was in high school, I took two classes. I took a lot of classes, but I took two classes that matter now. I took typing on the old typewriter, you know one of those, just because I thought it was a great class to get an easy credit and meet girls.

So I took typing, because I needed the easy credit and then I took the school store, which was called Deca, which was where we sold candy bars and notebooks and the school jerseys and things like that – again, another easy credit. But I learned all about retail and I became president of the school store and I learned so much in that class, that I didn't plan on learning anything in, that carried over to what I do. So, I was lucky then.

I spent time in the marine corps, the USMC and learned a lot of self-discipline, tactics about not giving up and following through. I think with those three main things and a grandmother that raised me, a little bit hardcore, I didn't know how to quit, from running my martial arts school and banks and everybody else said, “You know what? You're not a real business, go get a job!” Some people might run the other way and I was like: challenge accepted. This is what I want to do, I'm not going to give up on it.

And I think nowadays, it's actually… well, it’s easier to run a school, but sometimes it’s harder to get it out there, especially in the US, because I have a school there, another one over there, another one over there: they're all around me, you know? And I work with them all too, I don't care, but they're all over the place, to when I used to be the only guy in town, people just knew it and would show up. Now that they're all over the place, you have to actually reach out there and let people know you're there, kind of through this internet, this thing that we do on the internet nowadays.

GEORGE: Listen – and I want to get back to that question, because this is something we talk about a lot in our Martial Arts Media Academy, you know, our focus is just really helping people on the marketing side of getting the word out and a big topic is really cutting through the noise, because as it's easier with all these internet tools, it’s also a lot harder, because there's so much more noise, there's so much more distraction, so you’ve really got to… to really make it at the end of the day, you've got to know your stuff and you've got to have a way to differentiate.

FRED: Yes!

GEORGE: So how do you go about that?

FRED: I don't, I pass it on to somebody else. You know, seriously, my motorcycle right now is done being worked on. I’m really into motorcycles, dirt bikes, street bikes. I take off in a couple of weeks for a 10,000-mile motorcycle ride, which I’ll be gone for three weeks. I enjoy it, but when I'm at the motorcycle shop: I'm not a mechanic and he's explaining some things to me about my forks and I'm looking at him like, what? And he keeps trying to tell me about bushings and this step and I say, listen, listen, listen: if you want to learn how to kill somebody, come see me.; I want to get my motorcycle fixed, I'm seeing you. Let’s kind of stick to our profession.

Now, it’s just a funny thing, it’s a joke, we all kind of laughed, but it’s true. I’m not an expert on Facebook and social media and marketing. I know stuff on it because obviously, I have to understand what's happening, I get the opportunity to talk to a lot of people and I do it, I pass on their information, but I'm not an expert at that.

What I’m good at is gathering a lot of information from a lot of people and making sure the right people are doing the work for me. My wife does a lot of our social media stuff – she's not an expert in it either, but she does actually take classes on it to try to stay up, so that way, when she is talking to some of the people that do things above our pay grade, she gets what they're saying, she can communicate with them. So I think that's all important.

I mean heck, I remember when the internet first started to get out there and computers and I mean computers, because my original schools, that's how long we've been around, we took attendance and everything on a piece of paper. And then I bought a Commodore 64 that actually did nothing for me, but I actually had a computer then. I was told computers are going to make my life easier: all that's happened by me putting a computer in all my schools is it has made me busier, because now there are so many forms, there are so many graphs and charts and so much to do for each student to make it organized, you're doing so much more than you used to do. It didn't make life any easier – it made life a little bit more organized, but gave you a lot more work.

Look at all the software programs that are sold out there to run your martial arts school. I bet most martial arts school owners who are listening to this have a software to run their school because I do. You probably don't use 10% of that software, or you probably only need 10% of that software, the rest of it is just taking up your time to look at things that don't matter. Because if your classes suck, I don't care what your software does, it’s not going to keep your students. So that's it, but I think with all the… you say cut through the noise: before the internet advertising because it costs so little to do it. When I did newspaper advertising in the 80's and all through the 90's and at the beginning of 2000, we would average about $5000-$6000 per location in marketing, in the newspaper and direct mail. Now, all that doesn't work anymore.

We still have a presence on some little neighborhood things that don't cost us a lot, so it’s there, but people don't see it and come running in. We spend a lot less money on social media, but now, everybody is used to it and that's why you need to have the experts go through it because it used to be emails at first, right? Before Facebook and everything, let’s do an email account. Now, nobody opens their emails anymore, so that's in the past. We've got to continue to move on and move forward and now people like you, this is who everyone needs to be in touch with because this is what you do. It’s not what I do.

GEORGE: For sure.

FRED: I do the karate thing, I train managers to run schools, you know? I train staff. If I was going to do the social media thing and be in charge of all that, I’d close down the schools and focus on that. Let’s be a master in at least one thing.

GEORGE: Awesome. Alright, cool, and funny enough, we actually still get some good results with email when we structure them in a very personal way, but I want to go back, because this will be great for people listening: when you packed up and you moved over to Arizona and you decided to start fresh, you had a lot of experience, you had already run four schools. So, what're the key things that you actually did differently when you started your new journey with your new schools?

FRED: Well, number one is, I only wanted to own one school, I was done being a multi-school operator. I also used to throw big tournaments and I was done doing karate tournaments. I used to fight and compete and then I also threw some large tournaments, I said, I'm not going to do any of that anymore, I'm just going to run one school.

So there's an organization in Arizona called AZ MARRS, which is a state tournament organization – I own that now, so that failed on me, I ended up throwing tournaments and getting back into it because I just love it. And I only wanted to have one school, but we have eight. So, I guess I'm wired a little funny, but the things I learned, if you ever have an opportunity to start over, you always do it better than last time, you know? It’s kind of like hiking up a hill: the first time, you figure it out, the second time, you know what areas to avoid. It was the same thing: I knew I needed better staff right off the bat.

My first school, I was 18 years old, so I didn't know anything about training staff and I had some friends that helped me out, but I was learning as I went, so I opened up the next school and I wanted to make sure as we were building the location out for four or five months, I was training people four hours a day in the building to be my future employees. And they were trained in martial arts and they were trained in the history of our school, so that when people talked to them, they knew what they were talking about and they were trained in the regular business stuff that they were going to be doing, enrolling students and so on and so forth.

So they were working four hours a day, just not kicking and punching, that was maybe 3/4 of it, but the other 1/4 is a lot of the history and also the business side of the school, so when we opened, this location in Arizona, it was actually – I have a few schools in Gilbert, but my town when I opened here, it was 1991, the population was about low over 30,000; now it’s over 400,000 in the one town, so it grew really fast. In the decade in the 90s, it averaged a 100 new homes a month. I didn't know that going in, I was trying to open in a small, quiet town and it backfired in a good way for me. But you now, we just did a lot of training.

When we opened that school, on opening day, which was I think February 4th if I remember right, we had over 200 appointments before we even opened the door, because we were doing some pre-marketing. And that was newspaper marketing, I actually even have little things I cut out of the newspaper that was mailed in with your check for the trial program. That's how we get all of our starter students. So by the end of month two, we had over 200 active students, enrolled white belts.

GEORGE: Awesome.

FRED: So there was a lot of right place at the right time, I've never been able to duplicate that, I've never been able to do the exact same thing. You know, it would be great if I could, every time I opened my door to have the exact same result, but I think it was all about timing at the time, it just worked out for me. But yeah, the things that you learn from one to the next, without a doubt, it’s just like going to seminars, or training or fighting in the ring.

You realize: this doesn't work, I'm not going to do it anymore, or you realize, oh, I need to learn how to do that better, one or the other, you now? And that's what I did with opening the new schools: I was doing good in Connecticut, I had one school with 600 students, but I changed my model to smaller schools with less staff and less overhead and it just worked out great for us.

GEORGE: All right, awesome. So you have eight schools and you got back into the tournaments and you're also hosting events, is that right?

FRED: Yeah. So, Martial Arts First is the company that I run. It's more or less – and honestly, it’s a byproduct of running the schools. So with my schools, some of my managers have been working over 20 years managing these locations. They do a great job. Like I said, if I have to be at them, it means there's a problem. Now, that doesn't mean I don't want to be at them, I do. We do most of the extra activities or anything at this location, where my offices are, so I don't need to go to all of the schools. And we do all of our belt exams where we rent out gyms, so I get to see all of the students, I personally hand everybody a belt, so I don't have to physically be in their schools. So where we're we on that, just lost track?

GEORGE: Ok, so going just on the actual events?

FRED: So Martial Arts First, right.

GEORGE: Martial Arts First.

FRED: So what happens is, working with all of our managers – and there's a class going on with a whole bunch of kids in there right now, if I could turn this camera, it’s so hard, because my office is in the back, maybe we could see one or two kids. But there are about 60 kids on the floor right now and this is a school my son runs.

GEORGE: Awesome.

FRED: So he's out there doing that. Martial arts first is… I'm already dealing with the managers and what we’re working with them on managing and growing their schools, allows me the time to work with school owners. It’s kind of like, I'm not needed at the school and they kind of don't want me to be there to help them, they don't want dad looking over their shoulder with everything that they're doing, so it gives me the opportunity to work with anyone I want. And the way it started was in 2007, I had a local school owner come up to me and give me a compliment, “You're great at training your staff and instructors; do you mind if I bring my instructors down to your school and we do a combined instructor training?” And I was like, “Not at all.”

And he was in an area with 4 schools around him, he was in the middle. He was the type of guy, when you see him at a tournament, he'd always have a cup of coffee in his hand and he'd walk up and say, “Hey, I just wanted to say thanks.” I'm like, “For what?” “Because I signed up four new students last month.” I'm like, “Yeah?” “Yeah, they saw your commercial on TV and they came down to my school and signed up – idiot!” So he was just a really nice guy, so that's how we started with doing staff training together and we invited all the other local Arizona schools to join us.

After doing that a few times, the other school owners, since I had multiple schools, were like, can we stick around and talk shop? So it went from instructor training to also business training. That went on for a few years and then some people outside of Arizona just said, “Hey, can you open up outside of Arizona?” And that's where that began. I went to Australia and Europe and all around the US doing it. What I'm able to do is, besides working in an actual school, seeing what works, what doesn't work for us, being here, because a while ago, I actually had a corporate office in a beautiful corporate building with all glass walls and a big conference room.

And I loved it, it made you feel real special because all the other tenants were attorneys and so on. And I lost touch with the karate school because my guys were honest with me, they said, hey, the stuff that you're telling us to do – we just can't do it at the studio, let’s do it on paper. But it’s not practical, so that's when I closed that down and moved back into the school again, so we can stay in touch and everything. So what I'm able to do is, besides talking to our managers, because we have two meetings a week with them, but I'm also talking to other school owners around the world.

And I'm getting different bits and pieces of information from everybody, so when I'm talking to one school that's having this challenge or wants to know how to do something, I know somebody else in the same situation and I can find out what they did that worked and pass that along. And so it’s all about networking, but not everybody has the opportunity to call 55 schools to try to figure out how to network, so I'm just here to help people network with what we do. So that's that – I'm still teaching martial arts, I'm just teaching martial arts to martial artists instead.

GEORGE: All right, that's awesome. So you’re just taking your experience, what you're really doing day to day and you've created the main event, is that right?

FRED: Well, MA1 has events about every other month, but it’s just one day of events. We've got them in Australia too, where one time, my wife and I, my family, my boys, we went to Australia and we did a one-day event in Brisbane and then we actually drove to Sydney, because we like to drive, we have a really good time. We did a one-day event in Sydney and then we drove and the following week, we did a one-day event in Melbourne and then we tried to drive to Perth, but no car rental companies would rent me a car – want to do it once, you know?

So we flew to Perth and did a one-day event there. So we do those all over in Australia, the US and over in Europe, but the main event is something that's again, another kind of by-product of everything. There's a lot of conventions here in the US, there's tons of them now, but there were only a few big ones at the time and we just wanted something a little bit different that offered instructor training as well, because most of them were just doing business training, which is important, but sometimes instructors, and even school owners, want a refresher course on what can they do to teach better, or where can I send my staff to learn to teach better. So MA1 is about martial arts first, so we made the main event a mixture that always has an instructor track and it has a business track, so we do it in the US and we've been doing it in the US now for five years and this is our second one in Australia. So we just finished ours here in may, at the beginning of May.

GEORGE: All right.

FRED: And that's just something else, it just goes together with MA1, since I've been able to work with so many schools, more or less my arm got twisted for somebody to put on this event and I guess everyone thinks I have the time to put it together, so that's what we did. And then in Australia, we like doing it because there's only a couple of them over there.

GEORGE: Yes.

FRED: I’m a strong, strong believer – and I've said this to a lot of people, I'm sure people have heard me say this: my wife is always asking, why do you go to so many martial arts seminars and business seminars? You run all these schools, we're doing pretty good, what are you going to go learn? And I say, listen: I don't go to them to learn; I go to be around like minded people, to help get me motivated about what I do for a living. Because being a full-time martial artist, how many people do we know, that do what we do, that are in our circle of friends and people we grew up with, or even in our family? They all don't think we have a real job, or they don't get, for those that are out there, that have families, have kids of their own: how do you raise your kids when you run a martial arts school? It’s different, you work at night. And my wife and I work together, so we're both in a martial arts school where we have two boys, 19 and 16 now and we raise them with doing this.

So I want to be around like-minded people, but I’ll tell you what: I don't go to learn, I go to get motivated, be around friends, but I always learn something. And that's just the bonus. That's the bonus of going. You know? Getting myself motivated to get back to work is the key reason to be there; learning a little something, that's the bonus. And how can you not learn something being around other martial artists? I’m always going to pick something up, even if it’s something I already do, I'm going to learn how to do it once to get better. I mean, I've taught seminars where I've taught people in schools how to do certain things to bring students in, and then I go to the seminar and I talk to them two years later and they're doing it better than I was.

And now I'm learning from them how to get better at whatever it was. You know? So that's what it’s all about, got to share, got to network, got to learn, got to get motivated, got to get back to the studio, get back to work, whether it be staff training, working on yourself, on your business planning, retirement planning, merchandising, selling, lease negotiation. Whatever, you've got to get out there and learn this. Social media – you have to get out there and talk to people and figure out what's happening. If you stick to yourself and your own little school – that's fine, some people love them and be successful, but if you can rub shoulders with some other people that are like you, that's why it’s worth it. Be proud of what you do.

GEORGE: Fantastic. So, Fred, you've got an event coming up in Sydney and it’s the 15th to the 16th, the main event. And I believe it’s at the Marriott, in North Ryde?

FRED: North Ryde Marriott, yes.

GEORGE: There we go. For martial arts school owners, what can they expect to get from an event like this?

FRED: Well, number one, I can tell you that last year, when my wife and I flew there, we grabbed a taxi from the Sydney airport to the North Ryde for $110 and we realized afterwards that just up the road one block is the train and for $10, you get back to the airport a lot faster than with a taxi ride. So there, I just saved everybody a $100 this year by just hopping on the train. We don't have good train systems here like you guys do, that was just incredible. But anyways, again: it’s about rubbing shoulders.

I have my schedule right here, which is on our website right now too. And if I can say the website, in case the people want to write it down, it's the-main-event.com, but with dashes. And the schedule is up there, it’s probably about 99% accurate, there might be a couple of little tweaks we still have to do because I just went over to the computer guys and I haven't verified at all. But we keep it with two tracks. We have one side that's, it’s called instructors, but it’s for everybody. And it’s not always all physical – some of it is, and some of it isn't, but it’s about teaching. That side is about teaching, about your students, or about program directing, working with the people that are in your school.

The other side is more business, will be like social media, you're going to be there speaking and go over what you do and giving people tips on it. It’s going to be about retirement, it’s going to be about staff development, it’s going to be about staff payroll, it’s going to be about bringing in new staff, marketing.

So that's how we break it into two tracks, that's how we want it for the whole team. I mean, heck, the one we just did in the US, we had 40 people from our own schools go to it. From 12 and 13-year-old SWAT members all the way up to my master instructors, because the SWAT members are not going to be on the business side; they stayed in the workout side the whole time, they stay on the instructor side and they came back and they were on fire! And getting them on fire and that excited is getting my students excited. When my students get excited – retention. You know? So that's why.

I do it just so I could send my staff to it. Without a doubt, I'm selfish. But we have Paul Veldman come in and speak. Everyone in Australia knows Paul, he does a wonderful job with his schools. He's got some great topics, he does an honors' only topic about an existing plan, how to prepare, what are you going to do when it’s time to retire? A lot of school owners don't think about that, but my son who's 19 and who runs this school, this is his school, which happens to be where my office is, he's the head instructor: he just bought a house 2 weeks ago, you know?

And then, this past Saturday, he bought himself a new truck and I was sad because he's 19, but he's also starting to think about retirement. So he's smart like that at a young age, he spent a lot of money right now buying a house and a truck, but he's learning what he needs to put away so in 20, 30 years from now, he's comfortable, you know? He makes a good living, but if he spends it all, as most young people would, he’ll have nothing to show for it. So he's already, he's got some stocks and things, I mean, that's really important.

My wife Robin is going to be there speaking and she's, I think the reason I get jobs to speak at different events is that of all the stuff she does at our schools. But her whole job, the organization, besides being a 5th-degree black belt, she used to run her own school with us, is she oversees all the staff. She's in charge of all the instructor front counter training, SWAT, the events that happen on a yearly calendar… I mean, she puts it all together. And everyone goes to her before they come to me. So she's really the one that is on the ground running with everybody, so she's going to share that. And I'm bringing Henry Calantog with me.

I bring Henry everywhere with me, he's one of my black belts, he's been with me for well over 20 years, he runs one of our franchise stores that he owns. I brought him out last year, his first time in Australia, he did the instructor training – everybody who took the seminar requested that he comes back. It was 100% unanimous, they all wanted him back and then everybody wanted him after school to do a seminar, to work for their students, because he's just great on how he talks, how he motivates people and you can't miss him – I tell everybody all the time, he's a 6’3” Filipino. They don't normally grow them that big, but he is.

And just does a wonderful job and he is going to be in Melbourne, doing some seminars the week before and I think he still has one-day open, if there's anybody out there looking to have a student seminar with us, he's great at sparring techniques, with motivating the kids, with drills, so he is available, he's working at a couple of schools there. Rod Darling is coming out, Rod has been doing a great job with Facebook and he's going to be sharing some of his ways of doing that.

Let’s see… Danielle Drew from EFC will be there, working about the conflict. Heck, I'm even going to do a seminar or two on there! So, again: it’s not just about the people doing the seminars; it’s about getting what the other school owners that are there and networking. Here's one big thing that we do every year – whoop, my wife walked in. Do you mind if Robin speaks a little bit?

GEORGE: Please do!

FRED: Robin's office is in front of mine, so here she comes.

ROBIN: Hey! Hi, how are you doing?

GEORGE: Pleased to meet you.

ROBIN: I could help cover the expenses for our team to go to this, they put together fundraisers. So we had a little dragon tournament, they went around and taught seminars at each other’s locations, they did inter-school tournaments, they did raffles, and they raised all their money on their own to attend the event so it just helps get everybody there.

FRED: We give them the facility, they come up with some ideas on what they can do, and I’ll tell you what: our students and our families, when you tell them what you're doing and why, that they want to learn to be better instructors and go to a big international martial arts event, the students back them. We had one family at our surprise school walk up to the head instructor and give him a check for a $1000, and he goes, what's this for?

You know what, you've done wonderful things with our kids – and obviously, they must be well off to do to do that, and they said, we just want to support you and the team and the school to go to the event, and they hand him a $1000 check. I was like, maybe you should give it back to them, and the people didn't want that – just take it and go. So I'm thinking we don't charge enough! We need to charge a little bit more.

Speaking of that, one of the seminars I'm doing, because I just talked to people in passing about this before and everyone keeps asking me questions every time we go over it, is how we make over $20,000 in our free karate tournament. And it’s not about telling you guys or everybody else how to do a free tournament, but what goes with that is other events and activities that we do and it’s not about the free tournament, but it’s about how to do things that actually bring income for the school that benefit your students as you're doing it, and it doesn't seem like it's anything that's costing your students something, but we end up making a profit in the long run, because it has to benefit them and it has to benefit you at the same time. So we like to balance those out.

Another big seminar that we enjoy doing is speed dating, is what we call it. People that were there last year know what this is: speed dating is not actual dating. If anyone's ever seen anything – I've never been to speed dating, but I've seen it on TV shows, it's where the bell rings, and you go to the next person and talk. Well, what we do is, we put everybody in groups in about 10 different groups and we have the different speakers who are split between all the groups. And they sit down for 10 minutes with that table and talk about whatever. Ask questions, have a subject – the bell rings, the speakers get up and move to the next table. And I like it because it makes it very intimate with each speaker to be there, to actually talk to you one on one and do it.

You know, this event is small, we can only fit 80 people in the room. We sell out at 80 people, so when somebody says, oh you guys are just scarcity selling: no, I have to, I can't get more than 80 people in the room, that’s it. So once we get the 80, we cut the ticket sales. We’re not in a gigantic ballroom, were in an 80 person room. Done deal, that's it, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's 80 people, with tables and chairs, but it's 80 people, that's all we can fit in there. So we still have some tickets left and we’d love to sell all of them obviously, because the more there, the merrier, plus, I don't want a big bill from the hotel for not selling out. We've got to be honest, we want to be there, we want to share with everybody.

GEORGE: You want to be able to get better.

FRED: Yeah, and we want to do it again and maybe get a bigger place, but I don't mind it being smaller and intimate, I don't need to be 400 people. I like to be able to know everyone who's there.

GEORGE: Fantastic. So, everyone listening at the time – I'm recording this, there are how many tickets still left?

FRED: I think we're about 20, a little over 20 right now. I haven't looked at it today or yesterday, I was out of town all last week, but I did see a couple of more things come through. I haven't asked them what they might have done to come in, but I think there are a little over 20 tickets left.

GEORGE: All right, fantastic. Ok, so, the-main-event.com  – so not .com.au. Cool, and yes, look forward to seeing you, I'm also going to be there, I'm going to have a booth, so you can ask me questions, anything related to internet marketing, social networking – anything on the tech side, I'm definitely not one there to teach about the martial art side, but that's my expertise is in all the digital stuff, so I’ll be happy to help. Any questions that you have and yeah, really looking forward to the event, it’s going to be exciting.

FRED: You know what, one thing I want to add about you being there at the booth too. We appreciate your support coming in because the event I do in the US is a little bit bigger and without the vendors coming in, it really helps split the part of the bill. It’s expensive to put these together and everyone who puts on events gets what you have to do at hotels. But at this event, since it's smaller, we can only have three vendors, you know? I have two, and so people are always afraid, I'm going to an event, and with all the vendors who are going to try and sell to me – listen, you're at your table.

If you have good information, they come up and they talk to you, but the people who are speaking – and I always talk to our speakers about this at all of my events, because I've been to events before, I sat in a room and really was excited to learn something and all I learned is, if I want the information, I can buy the guys book and video. And that was bad, I paid big money to be there. I run a company called Martial Arts First, but I'm not there to sign people up for MA1. I’m there to do from this schedule, whatever my subjects are, whatever her subjects are and give it all away.

If you enjoy what we have to say and you want to come and talk to me about MA1, then walk over and talk to me About it, but I'm not going to try and sell it to you. I’m like, anyone that's there and has a booth, or is a vendor and has something to sell, I tell all the speakers: were not selling our seminars. We’re sharing knowledge because people are paying to be there. And if you have something to sell, you do a great job sharing your knowledge, people are going to come and talk to you about it afterward – that's my belief.

GEORGE: Exactly.

FRED: So in that seminar, we've got that hour, it’s called A to Z – not A to H, and I’ll charge you a hundred bucks to get the rest of it. That's just my philosophy, you know? They've already paid, let's share. If they love you, they're going to talk to you. And I want everyone going to know that, you know? They're not going to have these hard sales going on, not that any of that ever happens at martial arts events, but we just want to make sure you know it doesn't happen here.

GEORGE: Yes, it is a big trend with free events that the free event is never really a free event; it’s just a foot in the door for something else and anyway, I run a weekly web class, where I teach things about martial arts – well, the marketing side of martial arts and people would know, the first thing I always say is, look, I give you what I can and some of you can take this knowledge and just go and apply it, because you can do that. And the others, you might need assistance, or you might need it done for you, then, raise your hand and I'm happy to discuss further. But, yeah, the knowledge is free, take it if you can. If you need help…

FRED: I've got to say something, I'm in a lot of martial arts chat rooms, and a lot of them just make me laugh. What is really funny is, all these school owners, they always want, want, want – nobody of course on this podcast, and nobody in Australia whatsoever. But from other places, and you answer some questions and you give. And then, if you really need one on one time with me, I have to charge, you know? I don't mind answering some questions, but if you want scheduled times, I have to charge.

And they're like, oh, I'm not going to pay for that, and I say, well, how much do you charge your students? Do you give away free private classes? Well, no. Well then, why do you expect everybody else to help you do it? Now, you, me, everybody else: we'll give out stuff, as much as we can, but there's a time I need to go home and be with my family. And I can't constantly, nonstop… It’s just one of those things that always makes me chuckle, I'm sure a lot of people listening understand that because they've been in those chat rooms and they see it. Nobody in Australia ever does that, but you know, with other countries.

GEORGE: You see it everywhere. I always tell people, if you look at what the student is worth to you and you look at the lifetime value of that student, whether that's $1500, $2000, $3000 – if you learn one or two things and you can get that return on investment, you know, why not? And for the price of a ticket for an event, and if you can walk away with one idea that gets you, one student, it’s your money back tenfold, right there.

FRED: In the late 80s, mid-80s, whatever, I was taking a private class with my instructor, from a guy called Joe Palanzo, that was grand master Joe Palanzo from Kenpo he was one of Ed Parker’s top guys and he was in Maryland. And we drove all the way down to do a private class and it was $300. Now, in the 80s, that's a lot of money. And it was an hour and a half long private class and that's a long time do to a private class, so we paid him the money and we wanted to learn this advanced Kenpo stuff that we couldn't find anywhere. And I watched a student come into his school and sign up for a private class for $40. And I looked at him, and I'm like, “How come you're charging us $300 and this guy $40?” He goes, “Because that's my student, that's already a paying member here. You're going to learn what I'm teaching you, drive back to Connecticut and sell it to students to make money off of it.” And I go, “You're right.”

GEORGE: True.

FRED: So he was teaching me so I can turn around and teach more people, who I charge for and his student was his student, you know? So that makes complete sense to me. I know I'm a little bit off subject, but that is true how we have to think about things sometimes: what are you going to do with the information you get?

GEORGE: I’d say really it’s probably on topic because that's what people have to consider: if I'm going to invest in your education, you've got to look at it from a big picture. There's obviously the one student that you might get, or the 2, 3, 4, or 10, 20, 30 students, but what is that going to be your value in the long term? If you look at the knowledge that you take and you apply it, what's it going to be worth to you over five years? Is it going to help you open another school, is it going to… so there’s a lot of value in gaining new knowledge and applying it.

FRED: When Robin and I are there in Australia at the main event, we are on open book. So when we’re not doing the seminar, we’re there talking to people. We have a mixer that's on… what night is that, Saturday night. Saturday night we do a little mixer downstairs and that's where we want everyone to come down and chat. And it’s like, listen: ask questions. I have nothing to do. When I'm tired of answering questions, I’ll go to bed.

But the thing is, we’re an open book. We’ll explain more than you ever want to hear if you ask us one question, OK? And that's what we’re there to do. We’ll be there, I think we get on Thursday. We get in a whole week earlier, but we're doing some seminars around first, around Sydney. I think I have one day left available: anybody in the Sydney area looking for something? We're there just to work with people and then Sunday when it gets done, we're there all day Sunday and Monday morning – we’re gone. We’re gone all the way to the cruise ship off of Sydney.

GEORGE: That's nice to hear.

FRED: It’s a tough life that we have to lead, but since we already flew that far, we might as well take a vacation while we’re there.

GEORGE: Exactly, exactly.

FRED: But that's the whole thing: ask questions. Ask us, ask the other speakers, ask yourself, or ask the other schools that are there. So take advantage of just talking and networking, because I'm going to! And I’ll tell you what: if somebody asks me a question, I’ll probably learn a lot more than you do from my answer. Because it really makes me think it all the way through, it makes sure that I'm doing it myself.

GEORGE: Fantastic. Fred – it’s been great chatting to you and Robin as well and the-main-event.com. Thanks, thanks for being on today and I will see you in Sydney!

FRED: All right, thanks for having us on and it was a lot of fun.

GEORGE: Awesome!

FRED: We’ll see you guys.

GEORGE: Thank you.

FRED: All right, bye now.

GEORGE: Bye.

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

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38 – Martialytics Review With Brad Cumbers: Email Marketing Secrets For Martial Arts Schools

Martialytics co-founder Brad Cumbers shares a review of the software with email marketing discussions.

martialytics review

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • What is Martialytics and how it can benefit your martial arts school
  • Why email marketing is a must-have in your marketing strategy
  • How school owners are using Stripe for their student membership fees
  • The simple email subject lines that get huge open rates
  • The frustrating disconnect between general martial arts software and digital marketing
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

Biggest success and I had the biggest return on biggest response rate was from plain text emails with a sort of one of those.

Hi, this is George Fourie and welcome to episode 38 of the Martial Arts Media Business podcast and today we have another guest, exciting guest for you: Brad Cumbers from the software Martialytics. You might have heard of the software Martialytics, so I've been on a bit of a quest to explore different software programs because there's always a bit of a disconnect when it comes to what martial arts software does and what marketing does on the front-end. And not just the manual marketing, but the actual digital marketing. The place where everybody gets leads, but for some reason, almost none of the systems want to talk to the actual software, so there's a bit of a disconnect.

We talk about software, we talk about emailing, which is really on topic for me this week, because in our Martial Arts Media Academy, we are discussing email marketing and how you can use email marketing to really improve your conversions, improve those touch points, how many times you talk to people and do a bit of the heavy lifting in the relationship building, by sending out emails, so it was a really very relevant topic. I've asked Brad about different aspects of the software, how it could be used and I must warn you: it probably does get… we go a little bit on the technical side but hang in there, because there's some really good information.

Things go maybe over your head a little if it’s not your cup of tea, the technical type of stuff – I rephrase, I don't think it was that technical, but I know I can get carried away with the technology stuff. But for the most part, hang in for the episode, because you're going to get great value from it, there are some true gold nuggets about email marketing, how to use software and a bit about Martialytics, what they are all about and so forth.

All right, so, as always: we have the show notes at martialartsmedia.com/38. So that's it from me, please welcome to the show – Brad Cumbers.

GEORGE: Good day everyone. Today I am with Brad Cumbers and Brad Cumbers is local – well, was local in Perth, now living in the UK and he's the co-founder of the software CRM system for martial arts schools, which is Martialytics. So welcome to the podcast.

BRAD: Thank you, thank you!

GEORGE: Cool, so we're going to talk a lot about what the software does and how it will benefit schools and all the details, but I guess we're going to start from the beginning – who is Brad Cumbers?

BRAD: Alright, yeah well, I'm Perth born and bred, like you said. And together with my cousin Glen, we used to work a lot on the web, we started a web business when we were fifteen, back in… I think it was about 1997 or something like that and it was very, very small, we were making websites for people. And then we sort of worked our way into a web design company, Glen started programming, I started designing. It actually started the other way around, but we ended up that way. And from then, we worked in the advertising company, so this is sort of spanning 10 to 15 years.

I started doing Kung Fu in Perth and I noticed that the school was just using pen and paper to mark down attendance and they had a big open paper book to do calendars, to book people in and all sorts of stuff. They also had no idea of the number of students they even had at a glance, they were doing some direct debit payment stuff, but also cash as well. And this was a school that had around 300 students, so it was a very unsophisticated way of somehow they had that many students. So I thought, what with my background in digital and web development and things, I thought there's got to be a better way here.

So we started just building what was supposed to be just a student database and very basic attendance tracking, not knowing that it was an actual established sort of software requirement for martial arts schools, for a lot of them. And not knowing really how big the market was, so we built that and then thought, I had a look around, saw a lot of other established martial arts school software out there, that all seemed to be very clunky and overcomplicated for what they needed to be and your average school owner doesn't have a lot of time.

So yeah, we put it out there and got a lot of really positive feedback and I think our first customer came on three years ago when we were literally just a member database and attendance and he's been with us ever since. And obviously, we're a lot more than that now. We ended up quitting our jobs and going to this full time and here we are!

GEORGE: Awesome. So how many people do you have, how many members do you have that use the Martialytics software?

BRAD: It's already got 500 now, I think we have 3000 that have given us a try, but yeah, it’s over 500. Yeah, we've got a long way to go.

GEORGE: Awesome. So what's the big, you mentioned that you were looking at other software and they were clunky and a bit too complicated: what else did you see as a sort of a gap for you guys to create something that would be different and better?

BRAD: Well, the gap was having modern user experience approach to it and also mobile first. So we wanted to be able to make something that people could use on a tablet and run everything from that, just as they're teaching classes, take attendance and at a glance see who owed them money and things like that. The big gap was in user experience really, everything was just really hard to use, people complained about it all the time, so we just made something that was really, really super simple, strict ride back to the bare necessities and then built on that from that and then added more and more power.

GEORGE: That is something that… a lot of people come into that always when I, I try and look at the threads of what's happening with software, because it’s always… one person will say, this works well, but then that doesn't work well, but the one comment I always seem to see about Martialytics is simplicity, it’s easy to kind of visually see what is happening with everything.

BRAD: Yeah, that's good. We get a lot of feedback like that and that was the ultimate goal, just to make something super simple, but also powerful. So it wasn't limited in any way and that's always going to be our driving guiding line, if you like, we'll never over complicate it.

GEORGE: Ok. So walk us through the whole process, because you said it works on mobile, so how does it handle the whole system, sort of from front to back?

BRAD: It works on mobile, yes. Bare, bare minimum on mobile at the moment, so you can add students and you can take attendance and things like that on your phone. Because when you're on your phone, it’s a completely different experience. You don't want to be spending hours sort of trying to manage your students and things with a handheld phone. It’s different on a tablet, it’s sort of like a medium term thing, you would spend a little bit more time on a tablet, have a little bit more patience as well, but also obviously on a desktop, you can use it as well.

It’s completely browser-based, we use mobile, it's responsive as well, so end to end, you can run everything from attendance, member management, your shop merchandise, you can do automated emails based on different events and it’s got a full sort of CRM tool as well, so you can keep track of new prospects and follow up with them and all that sort of stuff.

GEORGE: Ok, so let’s say when students arrive, is there a facility that a student can check into them self, or…?

BRAD: Oh, absolutely, yeah. We have a kiosk mode for that. So a school owner can set up a tablet and a lot of them do set up a dedicated sort of iPad in an enclosure at the school at the front, and as the student comes in, they just start typing their name, they click themselves, click check in and that's done for them. So there's that option, or the instructor often has an iPad or something on the mat and they've got a list of their students names for that class and they can tick them off like a roll call, sort of. So it’s either-or, its flexible that way.

GEORGE: Ok. Now, a big thing that… because I also come from a software background and the big frustrating part for us was always: there's martial arts software and it works great for the school, but now, let’s go do some marketing digital marketing. We've got a program called Academy, where we teach martial arts school owners the different aspects of digital marketing and one of our members actually, David, he has Martialytics, we are busy setting that up on the actual website that the leads can actually come from the front-end.

And this is a big problem we see with software is, it's working for the martial arts school, but now, you don't really have the… maybe it’s a limit in functionality to market on the front end – and I'm talking about lead generation, you know, a way of putting something on the website that lead actually comes in and it comes into the CRM system so that it can control it.

BRAD: Yep.

GEORGE: So is that something you guys really had in mind as well, that you can put widgets on the website and you can let leads on the front-end to be able to track them once in a way?

BRAD: Yeah, we actually do that right now. We've got a leads widget that you can install on a website, it's basic HTML that you can copy out of your Martialytics account and past into your website and then leads come through, they fill in that form, they go automatically into your Martialytics account and then, if you've got a leads automated flow email system set up, that will automatically get a chain of emails as well, so that's completely untouched by the school owners.

Once that's set up, the lead comes in, they enter their details, they register into the system, you can follow up with them, they automatically start getting emails as well. So yeah, you can already do that right now. And we've got plans to expand on that as well, there's a lot we can do, as far as lead generation goes.

GEORGE: Yeah, I guess it’s a… you know, the way the whole software hemisphere works is everything has gone… the API routes, because you do one thing very good, but there's just so many specific tools that you kind of want to… do you really want to go that way and spend your time investing that way, or do you just set up the facility to integrate with something that kind of complements it in a way.

BRAD: I think, from a philosophical point of view, I think it’s a little bit of both and it’s also about using our knowledge and background – so we come from an advertising background and digital background as well, so using that to knowing what's going to work for the customer, for the school owner, without having to take a whole bunch of time to set it up as well. There's always like an 80-20 rule there, whereas, if you can spend sort of 20% of the time you get 80% of the result, and the rest of that huge amount of time only gives you a little bit more, if that makes sense.

GEORGE: Oh yeah!

BRAD: So what we try to do is use our experience to sort of, not dictate, but guide the school owner to do what's going to give them the most gain for their time really.

GEORGE: You have integrations if somebody really wanted… is that something that you started, or did you sort of just choose a few core… because I saw there were a MailChimp and a campaign monitor integration: and I guess I should just clarify, because this is a software nerd talk everybody! You've got martial arts school owners listening to this, so I guess I should just clarify and take a step back.

So what we're really talking about here is having Martialytics as the CRM software that really handles the day to day operation of your school and then what we try to also look at here is: let’s say you go and you market and you want to have advertising on your website, now you want to be collecting names, so you want to be getting people into a system and to clarify the frustration we've always had when helping clients is: it’s hard to find a tool that actually does it, which means you've got to sometimes look for an external tool, but then the tools don't talk to each other.

So now you've actually got two systems that work completely different on different behaviours and different tracking, which means that a person can actually come to your website and then they're a prospect, but they decide to join and then that's registered in your CRM software, but it doesn't register anywhere else. So you could end up annoying people with marketing messages that aren't relevant to them because they're completely not segmented within the database. And I hope that clarifies the integration part. So let’s go back with… where were we?

BRAD: I think we were talking about leads coming in automatically and being emailed.

GEORGE: That's it!

BRAD: Yeah. So yeah, you can do that right now, we're planning integration with campaign monitor and MailChimp, so that you can automatically sync up the lead list with a mailing list of their software so that you can have more rich email editing tools and things like that. Right now what we've got is more of a personalized email tool, where it’s like you're emailing that one student, but you can send that to all of your students in bulk, or a segment of your students, or a lead automatically. So it appears like it’s going from you, rather than a big, fancy newsletter template, which is clearly a template like it's designed to be more personal.

GEORGE: And I will add – because I've had a good look at Martialytics quite a while back, integrating it for one of our clients and I've got to say, when it comes to email marketing, it really does, for any percent of the schools, it does exactly what it needs to do. You can email on a personal basis and you know, we always tell people: the last thing you want really is, when people think email marketing, they think you've got to send this fancy, flash template, but it just screams “advertising,” whereas, if you've got a simple plain text message, it's building a relationship, because that's a kind of message that you'd send to a friend, or from a friend basically.

BRAD: Yeah, exactly.

GEORGE: So simplicity is definitely the key when it comes to that.

BRAD: Yeah, there was a lot of research done on that. Especially around the Obama campaign in 2008, and their biggest success, they had the biggest return on biggest response rate was from those plain text emails with sort of one-word headlines, like “hey,” or something like that. They just cut through that clutter, everyone's trying to spend all this time designing up these fancy looking emails, they tend to be less effective.

GEORGE: The biggest success we have with email campaigns is simply stating a question, it can be as simple as “Are you still interested in martial arts training?” and just nothing else and people respond to that because it cuts away everything off, it’s just… All you really want is a response, you want people to respond because the conversation will lead to the conversion. So if you can get people to respond to your emails, then it gives you the opportunity to take that conversation further.

And when it comes to automation, that's such a cool part, because if you’ve got a system that actually does that heavy lifting for you and it's sending out these emails and whether they know or perceive it as personal or not, at least it's coming across that way in a non-intrusive way and if you're talking to them directly about what their needs are, you're going to get people that respond and you're going to get people that have just procrastinated and haven't gone picked up the phone or come and taken up your paid trial and you're going to get people off the fence that are just going to come in that you will lose from not following them up basically.

BRAD: Absolutely. And the best students that are going to come into your school are, they generally come from word of mouth anyway, so if they're coming through, they've got a friend that trains with you already, they've checked out your website and have inquired, they don't want to be heavily sold to, because they're already warm. They just need to know the information. How can I start training, what's the things that are unique about this school that I maybe don't know already?

It’s more of a soft sell and I think the more personal you can make it and the softer you can make that sell, people are going to make up their mind, because I think people understand that martial arts training, when they want to start training, they're in the mindset of I need to make a change in my life, or I want to make new friends, or I'm doing this for my kids so they're safeguarded against bullying, or they get some self-confidence or something like that.

So they have a specific reason why they're coming in to start training anyway. I think if you leverage those reasons, and think about that as you're writing the copy for your emails and you keep it personal and think about the audience, so are they likely going to be a parent, or are they coming to train for themselves, then you're going to have a lot more success. It doesn't have to be a dancing email flyer or anything like that; it just needs to be straight to the point and think about who your audience is. So I think there's a lot to be said for that sort of marketing.

GEORGE: It really resonates what you're saying, because we just did this in our Academy training program, talking about just market relevance and, if you know who you are talking about, talking to, using the simple email tool like that to just speak to that one person and write it for that one person, where some people might say, hey guys, or all of you, but there's no “all of you” actually.

BRAD: No, it’s one to one.

GEORGE: It’s one to one, it's one person. So if you can actually create this customer avatar of understanding exactly and for martial arts schools, there's going to be a few of these components, because it’s going to be the mum for the kid, or it's going to be the adult who wanted to relieve stress, or maybe it’s a teenager or a 20-30-year-old. So you've got to just know who that message is for. And I saw in your software that you can actually segment people based on different tags if I was right?

BRAD: Yeah, so you can add them to different group and segment through different tags, you can email based on what rank they are as well as location, so you can have as many locations as you want in the software, so if you're training in a whole bunch of different community centres or schools or something like that. Yeah, you can segment based on those things and we're adding a lot more segmentation features soon actually as well.

We consider that's very important and usually like I said, the software was designed to be a sort of a member management tool, without being a sales tool, but it’s sort of impossible not to become more of those sales and advertising tools, especially just because that's where we're coming from, that's our background, so it makes a lot of sense to us as well, we had to make that more accessible to school owners.

GEORGE: Well, it’s good to hear that, because I think that's really important. Sometimes, I look at websites built just by web developer, which… there's a majority of people who can understand the actual tech. Hire a kid anywhere in the world, an outsourcer and you can get somebody to just do a technical thing, but what always lacks with that is the actual strategy and the understanding of the market and how you approach the market.

So it is refreshing to know that you guys take it from that marketing approach, because if you don't look at it like that and you just sort of look at the one component, then unfortunately, when martial arts school owners try to do marketing and try to get themselves out there, now they've created this bottleneck, because one piece doesn't talk to the other and then that's where the complications start, because you've got to employ someone to do what should be an automated task, or find something else to use at the end of the day.

BRAD: Yeah, absolutely. If your whole goal, the value proposition of our software is, we save you time and help you grow your school and make money. If you're overcomplicating things and adding to that workload, then that's completely counterintuitive, so yeah, it’s obviously, it needs to be super simple and it needs to make sense and help people, so that's the goal and that's what we’re working towards.

GEORGE: Is there any school owner that you would not recommend your software to?

BRAD: I think when we initially started, we obviously targeted the single owner-operator who's got sort of 50 students, or 150 students. That was when we very first started, it was around about three years ago, but as we've added new features and we've got a lot of new features now, we've grown sort of to be more effective for those schools that have 300+ and 500 and over a 100. We've got quite a few franchises now as well and we're building more franchise specific ones to handle those, so we wouldn't probably take on the GKR behemoth of hundreds of schools just yet, but we're really, really good for those schools that have 1 or 2 instructors, or 3 or 4, sort of 300-500 students now, that's kind of where we're most effective.

And you can start using us from just sort of 20 students upwards really. You get out of the software what you put in, so I think one of the biggest strengths of it is sort of it's live analytics dashboard. It’s sort of like Google Analytics. For those of you that don't know, it's if you've got a website and you're into website marketing, Google analytics is sort of an essential tool for keeping track of what's working and what's not and seeing over time what the visitation is like, if people are spending more time on your page and that sort of stuff.

We've kind of brought those statistics that are relevant to a martial arts school and just put it into a live dashboard, so you can see based on any given time period how things are performing and re-cut it in different ways. We wanted to bring that sort of digital marketing expertise to the real world scenarios and we'll add a lot more to that as well, we've barely scratched the surface of what we can do there. There's always something to do.

GEORGE: Always, ongoing! Two more questions: one, payment processes. How would it rate with different payment processes?

BRAD: Yeah, so we integrate at the moment with a company called Stripe, which is global. They do credit card and debit card processing, so especially in Australia, pretty much all bank accounts come with a Visa or a MasterCard debit card now, so your students basically subscribe to your school, so you're training like you would subscribe to a Netflix account, for example. It’s very similar to that, it’s a bit of a different approach than direct debit used to be, but having said that, we're adding a whole bunch of direct debit companies into the system as well, so we'd like to be a hub where you can have your direct debit company of choice, or your debit card Stripe if you wanted to go more paperless and have you be able to use that with us in any or each way.

But we're running into problems with that technically. There's a lot of older direct debit companies, especially in Australia that just doesn't have the technology and they're sort of lagging behind the rest of the world. In the UK, there's a company called Go Cardless, which is really good and we’ll be integrating with them very soon and in the US as well, there's a sort of a similar situation, but there are a few prospects on that front. Towards the end of this year, you'll have a lot of different direct debit processing options with us as well.

GEORGE: Ok, awesome, a big advocate for Stripe.

BRAD: Yeah, Stripe is huge, yeah.

GEORGE: It’s interesting to see how you would use it with a martial arts school, I've always seen that as a viable option. You can really have it as an easy digital system, have your website almost as a membership website, where you can educate people on different ranks and then if you have something like Stripe integrated with the CRM system, there's a lot less friction in a lot of these…

BRAD: It’s amazing. You can get up and running with Stripe in sort of less than a minute. Like, you would truly click a button, connect an account if you've already got one, or if you don't have one, it takes a couple of minutes to set up. You add you bank details and then you just start charging students immediately. It’s insane, we've processed I think nearly 4 million AUD through Stripe and not had a single complaint, there's just almost, it's set and forget, it's actually amazing.

Yeah, I remember when I was training, whenever we'd sign somebody up, we had to send off a paper form, and then get that back and then, sort of a week later, the payments start getting taken out and also, they're getting charged sort of 3-4% as well, which is insanity. I think Stripe is around 1.75% or something like that? I know I'm talking up Stripe a lot, but we don't actually get any commission from Stripe! I wish we did, we processed 4 million dollars, but no, we don't get anything, it’s just a great product and I just recommend it. It goes hand in hand with what we’re doing. It’s simple, it works and it lets you sort of forget about that almost and focus on teaching.

GEORGE: I can see how it connect with your simplicity philosophy, because in comparison with things like PayPal when you move over to Stripe, it’s just a breath of fresh air. They really, really capture that market of having the ease of accepting money in a structured system.

BRAD: Yeah, it's brilliant.

GEORGE: So last question: where are you guys headed? What's happening in the next five years for Martialytics?

BRAD: Well, that's a big question. I have no idea where we’ll be in five years’ time, we tend to be doubling our size every year. We haven't really launched Martialytics yet, all of our customers have come from word of mouth and we're just using that to get feedback on our features and when our customers are telling us what they want and what they're looking for, we sort of take that on board and then use our own backgrounds as well to sort of hash out what we've got to do next. We’re adding a booking system, an events booking system and we're adding the ability to have multiple users as well, so you can set up different levels of access to your account, which would give a lot of power to those bigger schools as well.

So it’s that and we're also looking at launching in a sort of a more global sense, so we're in all of the English-speaking countries. We've sort of dipped our toe into Europe as well, which is a massive market there. And yeah, we're just sort of going with the flow. There's only two of us and it's bigger than we ever thought it would be already, so we are loving the good feedback we're getting and just sort of continuing to develop and improve the software. We think there's a lot we can do as well; we feel like we've barely scratched the surface.

GEORGE: Brad, great chatting to you and wish you guys well. You've definitely got a good piece of software there, and it's working well, you're getting raving reviews from a lot of people. For anybody that wants to find out more, where can they find out more about the software and you guys?

BRAD: They can just jump onto our website. It's martialytics.com, so the spelling of that is martial like martial arts, m-a-r-t-i-a-l – lytics, as in analytics. So it's condensed into one word, I know it’s a bit of a tongue twister, and we wondered about it when we started, but we've grown to love it. Martialytics.com and you can Google us pretty easily as well.

GEORGE: All right, cool. We’ll be sure to have a link on the show notes. You better buy all those misspelled domains without the i-s.

BRAD: The funniest ones we had was Martialgetties, which was interesting. Martialyrics we've had as well.

GEORGE: Awesome! Great chatting to you Brad, hope to talk to you again.

BRAD: Great chatting to you too, thanks.

GEORGE: Cheers.

There we go, awesome. Thank you, Brad, great speaking to you about Martialytics and just email and a whole other bunch of things.

If you need help with this type of stuff, I always say it at the end of the episode, but look, this is what we're here to do. We help with marketing of your martial arts school, so if you need help, we've got an excellent program and our members are getting really, really good results and I've been speaking to people today, some of our members, it’s really transformed their thinking and the way they are going about their business, so I'm really, really excited about it and I'm really excited about it because we've put everything in it.

For the last four years, we've really helped a lot of martial arts school owners achieve really good results and we've packed all of this information, all these strategies and all these methods and things that we've done, we've packed into this program. So it’s the Martial Arts Media Academy, if you would like to know more, send me an email, george@martialartsmedia.com, happy to share more about it and see if it’s a match for you, see if we can help you grow your school.

Awesome. So, next week, we might be trying something new – you'll have to wait and see. Something that's brewing, I've still got to see if it’s going to work out, but yes, we'll probably have another great guest on board next week, so I look forward to that and I will see you next week. Thanks for tuning in once again, speak soon – cheers!

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

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Privacy Policy

Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, we have developed this policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate and make use of personal information. The following outlines our privacy policy. When accessing the https://martialartsmedia.com website, will learn certain information about you during your visit. Similar to other commercial websites, our website utilizes a standard technology called “cookies” (see explanation below) and server logs to collect information about how our site is used. Information gathered through cookies and server logs may include the date and time of visits, the pages viewed, time spent at our site, and the websites visited just before and just after our own, as well as your IP address.

Use of Cookies

A cookie is a very small text document, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier. When you visit a website, that site”s computer asks your computer for permission to store this file in a part of your hard drive specifically designated for cookies. Each website can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser”s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites.

IP Addresses

IP addresses are used by your computer every time you are connected to the Internet. Your IP address is a number that is used by computers on the network to identify your computer. IP addresses are automatically collected by our web server as part of demographic and profile data known as “traffic data” so that data (such as the Web pages you request) can be sent to you.

Email Information

If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses. We provide the same protections for these electronic communications that we employ in the maintenance of information received online, mail and telephone. This also applies when you register for our website, sign up through any of our forms using your email address or make a purchase on this site. For further information see the email policies below.

How Do We Use the Information That You Provide to Us?

Broadly speaking, we use personal information for purposes of administering our business activities, providing customer service and making available other items and services to our customers and prospective customers.

will not obtain personally-identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information to us, nor will such information be sold or otherwise transferred to unaffiliated third parties without the approval of the user at the time of collection.

We may disclose information when legally compelled to do so, in other words, when we, in good faith, believe that the law requires it or for the protection of our legal rights.

Email Policies

We are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential. We do not sell, rent, or lease our subscription lists to third parties, and we will not provide your personal information to any third party individual, government agency, or company at any time unless strictly compelled to do so by law.

We will use your e-mail address solely to provide timely information about .

We will maintain the information you send via e-mail in accordance with applicable federal law.

CAN-SPAM Compliance

Our site provides users the opportunity to opt-out of receiving communications from us and our partners by reading the unsubscribe instructions located at the bottom of any e-mail they receive from us at anytime.

Users who no longer wish to receive our newsletter or promotional materials may opt-out of receiving these communications by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Choice/Opt-Out

Our site provides users the opportunity to opt-out of receiving communications from us and our partners by reading the unsubscribe instructions located at the bottom of any e-mail they receive from us at anytime. Users who no longer wish to receive our newsletter or promotional materials may opt-out of receiving these communications by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Use of External Links

All copyrights, trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights in and on our website and all content and software located on the site shall remain the sole property of or its licensors. The use of our trademarks, content and intellectual property is forbidden without the express written consent from .

You must not:

Acceptable Use

You agree to use our website only for lawful purposes, and in a way that does not infringe the rights of, restrict or inhibit anyone else”s use and enjoyment of the website. Prohibited behavior includes harassing or causing distress or inconvenience to any other user, transmitting obscene or offensive content or disrupting the normal flow of dialogue within our website.

You must not use our website to send unsolicited commercial communications. You must not use the content on our website for any marketing related purpose without our express written consent.

Restricted Access

We may in the future need to restrict access to parts (or all) of our website and reserve full rights to do so. If, at any point, we provide you with a username and password for you to access restricted areas of our website, you must ensure that both your username and password are kept confidential.

Use of Testimonials

In accordance to with the FTC guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, please be aware of the following:

Testimonials that appear on this site are actually received via text, audio or video submission. They are individual experiences, reflecting real life experiences of those who have used our products and/or services in some way. They are individual results and results do vary. We do not claim that they are typical results. The testimonials are not necessarily representative of all of those who will use our products and/or services.

The testimonials displayed in any form on this site (text, audio, video or other) are reproduced verbatim, except for correction of grammatical or typing errors. Some may have been shortened. In other words, not the whole message received by the testimonial writer is displayed when it seems too lengthy or not the whole statement seems relevant for the general public.

is not responsible for any of the opinions or comments posted on https://martialartsmedia.com. is not a forum for testimonials, however provides testimonials as a means for customers to share their experiences with one another. To protect against abuse, all testimonials appear after they have been reviewed by management of . doe not share the opinions, views or commentary of any testimonials on https://martialartsmedia.com – the opinions are strictly the views of the testimonial source.

The testimonials are never intended to make claims that our products and/or services can be used to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease. Any such claims, implicit or explicit, in any shape or form, have not been clinically tested or evaluated.

How Do We Protect Your Information and Secure Information Transmissions?

Email is not recognized as a secure medium of communication. For this reason, we request that you do not send private information to us by email. However, doing so is allowed, but at your own risk. Some of the information you may enter on our website may be transmitted securely via a secure medium known as Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL. Credit Card information and other sensitive information is never transmitted via email.

may use software programs to create summary statistics, which are used for such purposes as assessing the number of visitors to the different sections of our site, what information is of most and least interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, uses software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.

Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability

makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content contain on this website or any sites linked to this site.

All the materials on this site are provided “as is” without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of merchantability, noninfringement of intellectual property or fitness for any particular purpose. In no event shall or its agents or associates be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of profits, business interruption, loss of information, injury or death) arising out of the use of or inability to use the materials, even if has been advised of the possibility of such loss or damages.

Policy Changes

We reserve the right to amend this privacy policy at any time with or without notice. However, please be assured that if the privacy policy changes in the future, we will not use the personal information you have submitted to us under this privacy policy in a manner that is materially inconsistent with this privacy policy, without your prior consent.

We are committed to conducting our business in accordance with these principles in order to ensure that the confidentiality of personal information is protected and maintained.

Contact

If you have any questions regarding this policy, or your dealings with our website, please contact us here:

Martial Arts Media™
Suite 218
5/115 Grand Boulevard
Joondalup WA
6027
Australia

Email: team (at) martialartsmedia dot com

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General Website Terms and Conditions of Use

We have taken every effort to design our Web site to be useful, informative, helpful, honest and fun.  Hopefully we’ve accomplished that — and would ask that you let us know if you’d like to see improvements or changes that would make it even easier for you to find the information you need and want.

All we ask is that you agree to abide by the following Terms and Conditions. Take a few minutes to look them over because by using our site you automatically agree to them. Naturally, if you don’t agree, please do not use the site. We reserve the right to make any modifications that we deem necessary at any time. Please continue to check these terms to see what those changes may be! Your continued use of the MartialArtsMedia.com Web site means that you accept those changes.

THANKS AGAIN FOR VISITING!

Restrictions on Use of Our Online Materials

All Online Materials on the MartialArtsMedia.com site are Copyrighted and all rights are reserved. Text, graphics, databases, HTML code, and all other intellectual property are protected by US and/or International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, reengineered, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without explicit permission. All of the trademarks on this site are trademarks of MartialArtsMedia.com or of other owners used with their permission. You, the visitor, may download Online Materials for non-commercial, personal use only provided you 1) retain all copyright, trademark and propriety notices, 2) you make no modifications to the materials, 3) you do not use the materials in a manner that suggests an association with any of our products, services, events or brands, and 4) you do not download quantities of materials to a database, server, or personal computer for reuse for commercial purposes. You may not, however, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute Online Materials in any way or for any other purpose unless you get our written permission first. Neither may you add, delete, distort or misrepresent any content on the MartialArtsMedia.com site. Any attempts to modify any Online Material, or to defeat or circumvent our security features is prohibited.

Everything you download, any software, plus all files, all images incorporated in or generated by the software, and all data accompanying it, is considered licensed to you by MartialArtsMedia.com or third-party licensors for your personal, non-commercial home use only. We do not transfer title of the software to you. That means that we retain full and complete title to the software and to all of the associated intellectual-property rights. You’re not allowed to redistribute or sell the material or to reverse-engineer, disassemble or otherwise convert it to any other form that people can use.

Submitting Your Online Material to Us

All remarks, suggestions, ideas, graphics, comments, or other information that you send to MartialArtsMedia.com through our site (other than information we promise to protect under our privacy policy becomes and remains our property, even if this agreement is later terminated.

That means that we don’t have to treat any such submission as confidential. You can’t sue us for using ideas you submit. If we use them, or anything like them, we don’t have to pay you or anyone else for them. We will have the exclusive ownership of all present and future rights to submissions of any kind. We can use them for any purpose we deem appropriate to our MartialArtsMedia.com mission, without compensating you or anyone else for them.

You acknowledge that you are responsible for any submission you make. This means that you (and not we) have full responsibility for the message, including its legality, reliability, appropriateness, originality, and copyright.

Limitation of Liability

MartialArtsMedia.com WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR INJURY THAT ACCOMPANY OR RESULT FROM YOUR USE OF ANY OF ITS SITE.

THESE INCLUDE (BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO) DAMAGES OR INJURY CAUSED BY ANY:

  • USE OF (OR INABILITY TO USE) THE SITE
  • USE OF (OR INABILITY TO USE) ANY SITE TO WHICH YOU HYPERLINK FROM OUR SITE
  • FAILURE OF OUR SITE TO PERFORM IN THE MANNER YOU EXPECTED OR DESIRED
  • ERROR ON OUR SITE
  • OMISSION ON OUR SITE
  • INTERRUPTION OF AVAILABILITY OF OUR SITE
  • DEFECT ON OUR SITE
  • DELAY IN OPERATION OR TRANSMISSION OF OUR SITE
  • COMPUTER VIRUS OR LINE FAILURE
  • PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING:
    • DAMAGES INTENDED TO COMPENSATE SOMEONE DIRECTLY FOR A LOSS OR INJURY
    • DAMAGES REASONABLY EXPECTED TO RESULT FROM A LOSS OR INJURY (KNOWN IN LEGAL TERMS AS “CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES.”)
    • OTHER MISCELLANEOUS DAMAGES AND EXPENSES RESULTING DIRECTLY FROM A LOSS OR INJURY (KNOWN IN LEGAL TERMS AS “INCIDENTIAL DAMAGES.”)

WE ARE NOT LIABLE EVEN IF WE’VE BEEN NEGLIGENT OR IF OUR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR BOTH.

EXCEPTION: CERTAIN STATE LAWS MAY NOT ALLOW US TO LIMIT OR EXCLUDE LIABILITY FOR THESE “INCIDENTAL” OR “CONSEQUENTIAL” DAMAGES. IF YOU LIVE IN ONE OF THOSE STATES, THE ABOVE LIMITATION OBVIOUSLY WOULD NOT APPLY WHICH WOULD MEAN THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE THE RIGHT TO RECOVER THESE TYPES OF DAMAGES.

HOWEVER, IN ANY EVENT, OUR LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ALL LOSSES, DAMAGES, INJURIES, AND CLAIMS OF ANY AND EVERY KIND (WHETHER THE DAMAGES ARE CLAIMED UNDER THE TERMS OF A CONTRACT, OR CLAIMED TO BE CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER WRONGFUL CONDUCT, OR THEY’RE CLAIMED UNDER ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY) WILL NOT BE GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT YOU PAID IF ANYTHING TO ACCESS OUR SITE.

Links to Other Site

We sometimes provide referrals to and links to other World Wide Web sites from our site. Such a link should not be seen as an endorsement, approval or agreement with any information or resources offered at sites you can access through our site. If in doubt, always check the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) address provided in your WWW browser to see if you are still in a MartialArtsMedia.com-operated site or have moved to another site. MartialArtsMedia.com is not responsible for the content or practices of third party sites that may be linked to our site. When MartialArtsMedia.com provides links or references to other Web sites, no inference or assumption should be made and no representation should be inferred that MartialArtsMedia.com is connected with, operates or controls these Web sites. Any approved link must not represent in any way, either explicitly or by implication, that you have received the endorsement, sponsorship or support of any MartialArtsMedia.com site or endorsement, sponsorship or support of MartialArtsMedia.com, including its respective employees, agents or directors.

Termination of This Agreement

This agreement is effective until terminated by either party. You may terminate this agreement at any time, by destroying all materials obtained from all MartialArtsMedia.com Web site, along with all related documentation and all copies and installations. MartialArtsMedia.com may terminate this agreement at any time and without notice to you, if, in its sole judgment, you breach any term or condition of this agreement. Upon termination, you must destroy all materials. In addition, by providing material on our Web site, we do not in any way promise that the materials will remain available to you. And MartialArtsMedia.com is entitled to terminate all or any part of any of its Web site without notice to you.

Jurisdiction and Other Points to Consider

If you use our site from locations outside of Australia, you are responsible for compliance with any applicable local laws.

These Terms of Use shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the the State of Western Australia, Australia as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such jurisdiction.

To the extent you have in any manner violated or threatened to violate MartialArtsMedia.com and/or its affiliates’ intellectual property rights, MartialArtsMedia.com and/or its affiliates may seek injunctive or other appropriate relief in any state or federal court in the State of Western Australia, Australia, and you consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in such courts.

Any other disputes will be resolved as follows:

If a dispute arises under this agreement, we agree to first try to resolve it with the help of a mutually agreed-upon mediator in the following location: Perth. Any costs and fees other than attorney fees associated with the mediation will be shared equally by each of us.

If it proves impossible to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution through mediation, we agree to submit the dispute to binding arbitration at the following location: Perth . Judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitration may be entered in any court with jurisdiction to do so.

MartialArtsMedia.com may modify these Terms of Use, and the agreement they create, at any time, simply by updating this posting and without notice to you. This is the ENTIRE agreement regarding all the matters that have been discussed.

The application of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, as amended, is expressly excluded.