Archives for November 2019

89 – The 8 Key Factors Needed For High Performing Martial Arts Websites

Get your martial arts website attracting new students organically with these 8 key performance factors.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • Why George shifted from building martial arts websites
  • The 8 key performance areas that you need for a high converting martial arts website
  • Changes to mobile usability that you can’t ignore
  • What Google assesses on your martial arts website for a quality score
  • The one topic rarely considered with martial arts websites and ownership
  • And more

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

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

The key thing is that with all that marketing that you're talking about, all that lead generation, you spending money on ads. You don't want that to be going to a website where you're losing money because people are turned off by something on your website or they didn't get the message that needs to be there to get them to buy.

GEORGE: Hey, this is George and welcome to another episode of the Martial Arts Media business podcast. Today I have a different guest on board. I'm going to say why, but we're going to be talking about websites. Websites, optimization of websites, conversions and the importance of it. So just a quick introduction, Justin Meadows from TunedWp.

JUSTIN: Thank you for having me on the podcast.

GEORGE: Awesome, you're welcome. Just before we get into what we're going to talk about today. Just a bit of content, depending on how long you've followed my podcast or martialartsmedia.com. You know that a big component of what we've always provided for the industry is websites. Websites, and how to convert your websites. Justin and I have actually been in the same coaching group for only like a good last five, six.

JUSTIN: Yes, at least.

GEORGE: I'll give a good mention to James Schramko who is from superfastbusiness.com, which is a coaching community we've been a part of. And the reason I mentioned that is because we come from the same understanding of websites – the value of owning your own assets and owning your own online properties. The component when I started providing websites for the martial arts space was, at that part in time I couldn't find somebody to do it properly. We were running Google ads and our main focus was lead generation.

The hard part was really getting the mix right of wanting web developers that understand the importance of conversions and the sales copy side and really what goes into actually making a website work – understanding the technicalities of it and throwing a website up that actually works. That got me into the business and started providing websites for the industry. I reached the point in providing that, but I just thought that it was not a business that I was going to scale moving forward. It took me from the focus of just lead generation and lead generation to doing the websites and juggling. I had an old sales boss that always used to say to me, you can't steer two light bulbs at different sides of the room at the same time.

That your focus is going to go out. It's brought me to a point where I've stopped providing websites but I didn't just want to stop providing websites because the things that we're going to talk about here today I find simply important and it's a big missing component for the most part in the martial arts industry. And I want to make sure that if I'm not going to be providing websites anymore for the industry that I can refer anyone to someone that I trust as a provider. Somebody that knows exactly what goes into building websites the right way. There are only a handful of people that really understand doing it the right way. What goes into the conversions and so forth. And that person is Justin and his team, again welcome to the call.

JUSTIN: Cheers.

GEORGE: A bit of a background, just if you can give us a quick summary of who is Justin Meadows.

Martial Arts Websites

JUSTIN: Sure, yeah. So I started building the business that I've got now about 10 years ago. I live in a small country town in Victoria, near a ski resort. It's a lovely village up here. I talk to a lot of business clients and that sort of thing. So I built my business in a certain way. I've built it online and I started out building it in a wholesale set up so that we would provide services to marketing agencies. So we were the backend website development team for design agencies and that sort of thing. And that's how I've grown and now I've got up to a point now where we've released a new brand and we now work directly with business owners.

And I've got quite a large team behind me. We've run a 24/7 support desk and that sort of thing so we've grown over the 10 years to quite a decent-sized business. Over that time we've really had quite a broad range of experiences working with a lot of different business owners, lots of different industries, and working with a lot of different marketing agencies and that sort of thing. So we really do have quite a broad range of experience in building websites. And so I've really seen what works and what doesn't work. We've done a lot of testing with different types of websites, sort of options and things that people can have on their end.

Yeah, we've really refined out processes. We've distilled down eight key areas that you really need to get right on a website in order to get a good performing website that produces results for your business and helps you grow and that sort of thing. 

The key thing is that with all that marketing that you're talking about, all that lead generation, you're spending money on ads, you don't want that to be going to a website where you're losing money because people are turned off by something on your website. Or they didn't get the message that needs to be there to get them to buy. And so that's really been the core of my services because we've focused just on doing that development side of things.

Actually, when I very first started, we did a lot of SEO consulting and helping people with their SEO but then we needed to make sure the website was structured correctly and set up right so that when they did the SEO work, they were getting results on the actual website itself. So that's been the focus of our website, of our services.

GEORGE: Cool, most of the martial art industry I know, when somebody provides services that are not particularly practising in martial arts with the service, the question always comes up. So how can you help the industry if you're not actually part of the industry? What would you answer to that?

JUSTIN: Yeah, so that's a good one. But the main thing is that we have a very general understanding of what works across the range of different industries. So we know if the different types of businesses, different things are going to work, if you're a locally-based business then something is more important that are very different to if you're a software business or if you're serving information to an international audience or something like that.

So we really know what works for different types of industries and the main thing is that we're also going to work in tandem with you providing the guidance and instructions on what's the best practice for a martial arts business and that sort of thing. But our focus and our focus and our specialty is on the performance of a WordPress website. We don't work with other platforms anymore. We focus on WordPress and providing support and optimizing WordPress to be the best that it can be, to make sure that you're getting results out of your spend.

That's really what we are specialists in and I see my understanding that's exactly why you come and have a chat to me and saying if we could work together because martial arts is your area of expertise but there really is a lot. The more you dig into what works in WordPress and how you improve the performance and speeding up your website, there are rabbit holes that go on forever. You can't have it all basis so our specialty is just in the performance of the WordPress websites and yeah we know how to customize that to suit a martial arts business.

GEORGE: Perfect. I know that was a question just to throw the curveball at Justin but behind the scenes for the last three months or so we had been working one on one on just our clients. We've moved over some support over to Justin and making sure that the core essentials of what's important for martial school owners are taken care of. That's always from the work that we've done and through our web, well I guess through our learning pages that we still provide in our Partners program. We process close to, the last count was 4,535 paid trials in the system so that's paid trials, not leads.

So with that we've done a lot of assessment of what works, how to shape web pages that it converts. And then obviously the ongoing maintenance its always been really basic. There's always just been change of authors, change of timetables, and different things and so forth. But I want to jump on to you talking about the eight factors, was that correct?

JUSTIN: Yeah, yeah. We've coded our performance blueprint and its eight key areas of your website that you need to get right to make that performance really come through. And so the first one is making sure that you can be easily found. So that is looking at your SEO, how your website appears when it's shared in social media and making sure that Google understands that your website is a valuable resource for people that are searching for martial arts in your area. So that's one of the key things, so firstly just that you're found. You're not making most technical mistakes that are very common. I see them a lot on some websites and yeah, that can really hold back your results so that even searching for your own name you might struggle to come up in Google.

What we want especially for martial arts businesses is that your relevant to the suburb that your dojo is in or that your centre is in, wherever you're physically located. You want to make sure that Google is well aware that you are relevant to those surrounding suburbs and where those people are coming to you so that when they search, you're the first one that comes up.

GEORGE: Can you give us an example of how do you spot the mistake and how somebody would go about optimizing?

JUSTIN: With the mistakes, there's a podcast episode in itself. There are a lot of different things that you could be doing wrong, there is a lot to cover. I can't say there is one easy way to do that but there are a lot of ways that you can get your website assessed of the SEO value. Google will give you a rough guide if you go to web dot dev, they give you a very broad overview. However, it's more on the technical side of things. It doesn't give you guidance as to what your website is optimized for. So it'll just pick up if perhaps you're not using SSL, you're not secure or you're making some other mistakes like not using page title or stuff like that.

So yeah, there is a lot to cover there and it does get quite technical. In terms of what does work for a local business, having pages specifically for the location. So the talking not just about the types of martial art that you provide but also a bit about the suburbs and the area that you're in so that then Google knows that you're relevant to that. Couple that with optimizing local business listing through my business page and things like that reference your address and make sure that your name, address and phone number are exactly the same all over the internet and connecting you to social media. Doing that is definitely the most important thing for a local business.

GEORGE: Perfect, I'll ask a question on top of that. We were just in our Partners program we run a session called the Local SEO Advantage and the big focus was Google My Business. And it was interesting, one of our members pulled up his stats of more 7000 views of an actual page. But we were talking about page titles when it comes to location and you've been talking about different locations so you have several martial art locations at a different address. How important is that in the title section of that page. Is that what you really trying to optimize for with different pages, there are different locations etc.?

JUSTIN:  Yeah. If you have several locations, you should have a page for each location. It doesn't necessarily need to have the address especially if that's a bit longer. You want to make sure that you're talking about the types of martial arts words that people will be searching for. And so, especially when you get a bit into the less common martial art styles and that sort of thing. You might want to make it a bit more general, that page title so that it is the thing that people are going to be searching for, you don't want to get too specific. But you want to make sure that you have at least the suburb name in that page title I would say for each location.

GEORGE: Yeah, perfect. And for any followers listening, I mean the easiest way to do that is just go type martial arts in your area. And then a good trick with Google is always just to scroll to the bottom and you'll see Google bringing up all its related searches. And that will give you a good starting point. But at least jump back on key point number two.

JUSTIN: Yeah, yeah. So number two is loading fast. So after people have found you, you want to make sure that your website appears quickly, and this does actually work back into the ranking factor. Making sure that your website loads fast is becoming more and more important to Google but also to users. People expect your website to load fast if it is loading slow then people get impatient and they'll hit back especially on mobile devices and that sort of thing. People expect things faster and faster these days.

Yeah you want to make sure that it loads fast. If you have a fast loading website, Google will prefer you over other websites in your search results. It will also decrease the cost that you're spending on Google ads so in your Google ads, Google gives you a quality score. And if your website loads fast, you get a higher quality score and that means that you need to pay less per click for that ad so that it's well worth optimizing your website for speed.

If you find that and I imagine the martial arts you would have a fairly high. I would expect roughly about 60% of your traffic to your website would be from mobile devices. In that case, you want to make sure that your website loads really fast on mobile and a good thing that's very recent. It's only really become prominent this year, is I am paying. It's a mobile version of your website, which is designed specifically to load super-fast.

It’s hosted in Google's caching system. So Google will make sure that it loads fast. Google will give you a higher score again for your only score, and SEO, and your mobile speed score, which is connected to all that. Yeah, so it's a very limited code structure and the means creating it, essentially a copy of your homepage just for mobile but it is worth doing if you have a lot of mobile traffic because it serves at a very fast and gives a good mobile experience.

GEORGE: All right, excellent. Cool, the third factor.

JUSTIN: Number three. Number three is being mobile-friendly. So apart from just loading fast on mobile, you want to make sure that it is easy to use. You quite often the navigation menu might be a bit hard to navigate on mobile, you want to make sure that everything rearranges into a nice easy to read format, you can scroll through it and see everything nicely. Again this feeds into Google's quality score for ads and SEO. They want to serve up ads that are mobile-friendly, easy to use.

For example on your timetable, it should be easy to click through your timetable and see what sessions you have that sort of thing. It's because sometimes table formats can be really ugly when they're squished down in mobile hard to read, so you want to make sure that converts really well on mobile. And your form to get started, you should be able to click through that with your finger. So there are a few considerations that can make a big difference to how many people are going to sign up, if they're viewing your site from mobile. If it’s too hard to use and they get frustrated they'll give up.

Although they might not even do it intentionally, they might just go, “too hard” and put it down for a second and then they forget about it. So you want to make it as easy as possible, definitely.

GEORGE: 100%. Even if you're not doing Google ads, or SEO, which if you miss the term SEO search engine optimization, which is a free side of Google so you're not paying for ads but just appearing in the organic results. Even if you're running Facebook ads and I don't actually have this as a verified thing but I remember this coming up with Facebook was also doing something with a quality score. Which is a big reason why Facebook really prefers to keep you on Facebook and with all their tools. But if you are sending people from Facebook, it's also about user experience because they can track how quickly you click and how quickly you get back. And that also qualifies as a bounce rate right, because you're clicking and it's not loading and you're out there. That signals to Facebook that either your content is not relevant or your site is slow, which is more than likely what happens.

JUSTIN: Right, then now the people using Facebook, if they're they're clicking on ads, and they go to pages that don't load, then that's a bad user experience for the Facebook user and they don't want to be doing that so they penalize you by making that ad click more expensive.

GEORGE: Yeah, if I may. Cool, where are we at? Number?

JUSTIN: Five. No, four.

GEORGE: Four, better write that down.

JUSTIN: Four is the first impression. So you've clicked, you've loaded and on top of my bar, you want to make sure that you convey a message very quickly that says who you are and what you have to provide and who that is for. Sometimes, I see a lot of websites that are very airy-fairy and they look pretty in that but you're like, what do these guys actually do. It's not clear, the thorough process for people going to a website, goes like this. “Who are these guys?” “Is this right for me?” “And then how do I get started?” And you want to make sure that you're messaging and your design on your website clearly answers those three questions very quickly.

You want to show what is that you provide. What type of person that is for, and then how they get started in a very quick impression. Once again people on websites do have a shorter attention span, they'll get frustrated easily if it's not clear and so making it easy and spelling it out and making sure it's very clear and simple just lifts your conversion rate. So you will get more sales if you're doing that right.

GEORGE: What could be your preference, I see and am not a fan of it but I shouldn't say my opinion before I actually ask the question. But Let's say what would be the preference, would it be let's say if you looked at the desktop and there's just one of the videos that play in the background or like there is video. Or a structured headline with a call to action.

JUSTIN: Yeah, I think videos can be distracting. They'll also slow down your load speed, so that's another reason why having a background video isn't a great idea. It does look nice but functionally it doesn't actually help you get the sale. And same thing with sliders, it's very common on websites to have imagine sliders. But it's been a thing for a while but in the website development space we've known that it’s a bad idea for a long time. Because once again you're slowing down the loading, it takes more time to load up all these big images, the slide across and the animation script and that sort of thing.

So it's a lot better to just have one very good image that conveys the message of who you are and what you provide and the benefits that people can get, so happy people that are looking fit and training and that sort of thing. That's the impression you want to get. So you want to have a really good image of that and then a clear text message that's static, that gets that message across in button to get started, that sort of thing. That's really the best practice, having those image sliders, apart from slowing things down they also are a bit of a distraction and it's common to have several different messages on them but in reality, most people like probably 8% of people are only going to see the first message.

They'll look at that and they'll scroll down. They're not going to see the other things you've got in there. So it can dilute your message, so you really want to decide on what is your core message and make that stand out front and centre.

GEORGE: All right, perfect. Sounds good, number five.

Martial Arts Websites

JUSTIN: Yeah. So now we are onto building trust. And this is a very important thing on the internet, selling things from websites is that trust barrier. Everyone has an initial apprehension when they're handing over money on a website. So you really want to reassure people who are visiting your website that you are legit. That there are people who have got results from before, you've built some social proof and they are really good ways to do that are with testimonials. They work really effectively. Having some good testimonials with a photo of the person who made the testimonial adds more legitimacy to it and a good way to do that is, it might be a bit tricky and sometimes in the martial arts especially.

If someone does give you a testimonial, have a look if they've got a Linkedin profile or a public Facebook photo that you can just copy that photo and send it to them and say is it okay if I use this photo rather than asking them to go and take a photo of themselves that they're happy with because that might take weeks or never happen. You want to make it easy for them to provide a photo so you go and see if they have a public photo on the internet that you can use. A video is fantastic, if someone has really loved the results they've got from your coaching and your training then get your phone out and just 30 seconds video of them saying I started out and I was like this and then through this training, I've now got this result.

A sure click like that can speak volumes and it really does build trust and build rapport with the new visitors to your website. The other things that build trust, logos of associations and that thing that you're part of. If you're a part of any maybe school-related programs or health programs or those things, having logos of that on your website just builds that legitimacy and publishing helpful content. Publishing videos that help educate people or articles that sort of things. Trying to be as helpful as possible with the content that you're providing on your website helps to reassure people and let them get a feel for who you are and your style and they then know that you're a helpful person. You're not just trying to take their money and give them a bad experience. Those sorts of things help to build trust with website business.

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. It's always been a big focus of mine. I know it's the hardest thing for martial arts school owners to do but there is so much focus on Facebook and getting content out. And this is probably a topic for a whole another episode but the content that you typically put on Facebook is for the most part gone in 24 to 48 hours unless you have a strategy. Like we structured in our Video Ad Authority Builder, we make sure that you create a video that you can actually put some money behind and leverage and build authority online.

But a good thing to really think about and we won't go too much into detail but now is we are creating content. How can you put that on your website and really dig into the keyword research and understanding, what are the questions that people ask because I know for most martial art schools owners their biggest problem is not the conversion. Once people walk through the doors, its cool. Its how do we get the walking through the doors and think about that as in content. What can actually put in your website that's going to educate people to create the trust as Justin referring to that's going to give them the confidence to take the first step or even just put their hand up or get that inquiry button and get in touch.

JUSTIN: Yeah, absolutely. FAQs are great for that. Answering those questions, because especially for people who've not tried or been a part of any martial arts training in the past, they really don't know what to expect so if you can just map it out clearly how it's going to go, or what the process is going to be when they sign up and they come in and answering any questions that commonly come up when people do sign up. Making those very clear start on your website really does help with getting people to take the first step, yeah.

GEORGE: All right, awesome. So we're at number six?

JUSTIN: Six, yeah. Generating style. So this is where the rubber hits the road. So turning that interested person who's looking at your website into a paying customer. And I know that you've got a really good process there with the trials, having a paid trial, yeah.

GEORGE: Yeah, I guess there are two things. Well I mean this is more than we optimized for but if you look at the sale on the website, for the most part is going to be selling a paid trial – that's the top lead we go for. And the next sale is how do we get somebody to actually inquire and then of course picking up the phone, which is the alternative. Don't know in the big optimization if we're taking sales, sending an email and somebody getting in touch is not a big sale, that's an inquiry. So those are the two things in context that we got going.

JUSTIN: Yeah, and I think that is a good process for martial arts business and making sure that opportunity to opt-in for an inquiry and just say, yes I'm interested. How do I get started, that sort of thing. Making that as easy as possible is very important so having that on top of the home page where they can just fill in the form and get in touch with you. It is also important that you don't have too many things that are distracting from these primary goals. You want those call to action that try to join the page trial or to inquire about a booking or about classes or whatever that is. Having those things really standing out from everything else on your website, using contrasting buttons and very strong wording like get started now or that sort of thing is very important.

And then as well as having that in your design, having those call to action very easy to use and standing out very clearly. You then also want to make sure that you're tracking who's using your website so having the Google analytics in place you can add Google ads, re-tagging and Facebook pixels so that if people are coming to your website, you have the opportunity to remind them about you. If they don't become a paying customer, you can show ads to them in Facebook but it's a lot more valuable to show them to people who've already visited your website than to show them to other people who've never heard of you before. It's a lot easier to get people who already know about you to come back and check you out again.

As well as doing that you want to as much as possible when they are filling out that email thing, you want to be building an email database with people who have inquired and separating out whose paid and then you can target some very good email messaging to the people who have inquired but not paid or signed up. And yeah, really help to form a relationship with them, provide more value, and then turn them into a paying customer.

GEORGE: Yeah and so Justin, we're talking about a lot of things about all the website and optimization and things. And I guess it's important to mention, for a lot of people and this has been said to me so often, it's just a website. The value of a website, just like well, I mean so and so could do it for me for 500 bucks, so and so could do it for me for 1000 bucks. Well the reality is and I've done this mess at so many presentations, if you're a lifetime student value is an average. I think the last call I had was $2200 a year. That's $2200 per student.

If your conversion is 2%, which means two out of every 10 people inquire. Let's say two out of every 10 people that come to you, well that's actually a big. Sorry its two of 100. Two out of 100 people come to your website and actually sign up, that's $4400 in that case, if you're a lifetime student value was $4400. Well if your website sucks, which most people do and it's slow, it doesn't build trust, it's not loading properly and people don't know how to contact you.

They don't know how to do this; your conversion rate is going to be awful. Now what if you paid more website but the experience of building this not just in martial arts but in thousands of other industries, and you use this collective knowledge and you're able to buy a website for triple the price. And I’m not saying that's irrelevant but I just want to make sure in context that the value is accurate. That now you're going to website that converts at 4% and that sounds ridiculous right? Its small, 2% to 4%. Well that's double your value, which means now every 100 people that goes to your website is worth $8800 and not $4400.

In your first 100 visits, you've got money back in your pocket and then some. So it's so important to look at this as your virtual salesman and your asset because that's the first experience. I can tell you how many Facebook ad campaigns we've run and remember the Facebook ad campaigns? And all of a sudden we just the conversion cost drop on Google, all the time. Which is saying to me that your first interaction is, Facebook I saw the ad, people on their mobile phones in three minutes, which means I saw the ad and I was like, Oh yeah saw some George's martial arts, cool. Could happen to work, what was it George's martial arts, go onto Google, find you and make the purchase.

It's important to look at the whole thing of context and the value of knowing all this stuff. And this doesn't happen just from the school kid, all is factored in that are signing out and are able to drag and drop the website together for you. You're not going to get that value. You get that value from seeing people's accounts, Google analytics, knowing the stats and knowing hang on this is actually what drives sales. And a bit of rank but I just want to make sure that distinction because it comes up so much in conversations well I could just buy this 500 bucks.

Well you're robbing yourself off five grand, fifty grand down the line very, very quickly.

JUSTIN: Exactly, yeah. And this actually leads very smoothly into my next to the number seven argument, which is building assets. So it's important to look at your website not as an expense but as an asset for your business, and if further down the line, eventually you're going to get to a point where you're going to pass on your school to someone else. You might sell that or whatever happens.

The website that you're building and the assets that you build with your website are saleable assets. So it's not just something that you're spending money on and it's a cost that goes away. You're actually building something, which increases in value. When you sell that website, that's as important as the other parts of your business, your customer database and that sort of thing that you're selling. So it is an important consideration. You need to look at it from that point of view and it is something that is bringing more money to you. Like you're saying, you can save a lot of money on your ads and by having a website set up really well, that you get a great return on investment.

So the other thing is that your website should be doing is building assets. Apart from the website itself, so on the website itself, it's right to be publishing that helpful content which overtime helps with your good rankings and this in itself an asset that just attracts new students to you. But then also having that email database that you're building from that lead form and having those remarketing tags. So you have audiences on Facebook and on Google. If you're having a quieter period you can go out and spend more ads on marketing to those people or emailing to those people. That is a very valuable asset for you to have and to build up. And it takes time, it’s a long-term play. It's not something that gets you a short term result necessarily but, yeah. It is definitely worth investing in the long-term of your business.

GEORGE: Yes, I'm going to probably open a can of worms here. When you referred to that, you got the physical asset; you got your domain name. I mean your domain name you always own but then the actual website, what we refer to as content assets, every time you create content that's valuable to somebody taking the first step as we spoke about earlier. Then if that is done right, something that we cover in our Academy and Partners program. Like how do you create content that you can actually leverage. It's evergreen and it's an asset because it brings in people find that article or video online and then they access your website through that.

Now the can of worms is, and I'm saying this because out of the best intent and it’s not a dig at anyone in the industry as such. I know there are really good providers in our industry that provide martial arts websites under the SAS software model. So I've got all praise for these companies, I know I can see why they do it, it's great, it's easy you pay them a couple of 100 bucks a month. They take care of your website and you've got this martial arts website in it and it brings you leads and that's awesome. It is awesome until it's not awesome. And when it's not awesome, is when you realize that it's not an asset.

And if you realize that you're paying five grand a year, give or take, maybe more on something that you don't own. And if you stop paying, that means that all those assets that you've built up on this infrastructure are now gone and that is a really, really distinction. As I mentioned I see the value in doing that as a business and I know it's super easy for martial art school owners to have that but if I had to have a true gut check within myself and say, would I do that for my business? Never ever in my life would I do that because I know the value of the asset. And that's the only reason why I've never gone down their track and just don't provide that as a service.

JUSTIN: Absolutely.

GEORGE: And sorry to cut you off but it’s probably if you look at everything online, it's the one asset you've got because Facebook, Instagram, they can all be gone in a heartbeat.

JUSTIN: Yeah, absolutely. The social media platforms come and go and also they change their rules so you might have some really good ad campaigns going on Facebook and then all of a sudden they will change their rules and your ads stop working or they don't do those ads like that anymore and they're banned and you've got to work out something else. And all of a sudden if you're relying on that as the only way you get students, then you're stuck. So it is important to have an asset that you do own and control.

Absolutely, and then you use these other methods of finding leads and bring them into your asset, where you have control and then you can build that email database of those users and talk to them directly. And yeah, having full ownership and control over your website is one of the most important philosophies in the way that I've structured my business as well. That's why we focus on WordPress because WordPress is the most popular website platform out there on the internet. It is very easy. If you're not happy with our service like we build your website and that sort of thing.

It's very easy for you to then take that and move to a different provider and you're not locked in with us. You still own your own website. You can hire someone else to look after it but you still own it. It's still your website, and I think that's very important for all business owners to make sure that you do have that and then you can sell that website and you can hand it over to the new owners and they will take it and it will provide value to them because it's already getting people coming to it and new students being produced from it.

GEORGE: Awesome, yeah. Totally. Number eight I think.

JUSTIN: Number eight, yeah. This one is not so much about attracting new students but staying secure is very important for your website and for your online presence. It can be a bit of a brand disaster and can cause you a lot of strife if you do get into trouble by being unsecured. So if your websites' not secure, and you get hacked and there is malicious malware going out to people who visit your website. There are all sorts of things, unlike people who no longer trust your business.

If they go to your website and says that it got the unsecured thing up in the top of the website browser and Google has a big warning on there saying, warning this website is unsafe, that sort of thing people aren't going to trust you. So that immediately kills that trust barrier sort of thing. You can often have some really unsavoury things. There's malware that gets into your website and then puts on these random messages from unsavoury groups on your website and that sort of stuff that gives a really bad impression to your customers and to your students.

And it makes you look like you're not a very well organized and professional operator. And the other thing is that it causes a lot of cost and expense for years so if you have something like that come in then you've got to spend money to get someone to clean up that software from your website. Clean up the malware and get that infection sorted. And it usually also involves a lot of stress, and you spending a day just trying to fix this problem that's happened and so you've got to also think about the cost of that as well.

So it is very important to look after the security of your website for these reasons, and the other things are, apart from them, if your website is unsecured or does have malicious malware on there, Google will stop running ads to you. It can hold your SEO rankings, and it can have a lot of flaws and effect that will damage your profitability. So with WordPress, once again because it is the most popular platform, it is a target to this malware that will be built to access WordPress because then they can access heaps of websites.

So it's important to keep your website software up to date and that just means that when this malware finds a loophole that they can get into the WordPress software, very quickly the WordPress developers will create an update to the software that blocks that and patches up that loophole. So it's important to make sure that those patches, those software updates are installed on your website. Sometimes installing those software updates can cause issues with the way that your design works or that sort of thing if it's not structured correctly. So it's important to get a developer to do that. To make sure that if it does cause any design issues they can roll back to back up they've just taken and fix the problem and that sort of thing.

So yeah. It is worth getting someone to look after your website who knows what they're doing and that way you don't have to worry about yourself and you don't have to go through all that stress and the ordeal of having your website hacked. The other things are things like just having that SSL, so HTTPs in your address means that your website data is encrypted. That means it's safe. Google likes that and it shows that your website is secure and the website browser and that sort of thing.

Yeah, and making sure that you have regular backups is also very important. So that if something does happen, worst-case scenario may be the hosting dies and you can't get back on to your website or something like that. You have a backup that you can then restore on some other hosting providers’ website or like their service. So for controlling assets that's important as well.

GEORGE: Perfect so Justin, first thank you for jumping on. I mean if somebody needs with that, somebody needs help with their website, let's say they've got an existing website. Maybe it's one WordPress base hopefully and they need help with all these support stuff, the security, speeding things up, making sure it's secure, all that stuff and then the other component obviously is if somebody wants a new website, a new website that can provide all this. A website that you would own as its upright it would be yours, how can people reach out to you? How can people get in touch?

JUSTIN: For sure. So, my website TunedWp, that's Tuned with a d Wp dot com. And the best way to get in touch is via support at TunedWp dot com. We've got a 24-hour support desk and we'll get back to you within one hour so we have very rapid response time. So if anything is urgent, just shoot through an email to us and we can do that. We have a number of different levels of service that we can provide so we can just provide that hosting and security element or we can also provide another service where we will optimize the performance of your existing website and do ongoing changes for you.

So you never have to log in to the website yourself as a business owner, it's really not what you should be doing. You should be focusing on your students and growing your business and leaving all the website technical stuff to experts like us. So we provide that service for you and we can also rebuild a new website if you want a new design or if you don't have a website that's set up correctly, we can certainly build that for you. So yeah, feel free to get in touch with the support at TunedWp dot com.

GEORGE: Awesome. And thanks really for jumping in and you've taken great care of all our existing website customers and we're definitely recommending people to you. We've known each other for many years being in the same community and a lot of the things we spoke about today really come from that understanding of really, really knowing how this online world works and worked before Facebook came along. How do build the online assets, how to structure business that you are safe against things that fluctuate within the business, whether that's in Google or Facebook. That you've got some leverage and ways to get sign up students from multiple avenues and the biggest component of that is having a simpler, secure, awesome website that is the face of your brand. Thanks for that Justin.

JUSTIN: No worries at all. Thanks for having me on the podcast.

GEORGE: Cool. Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group.

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

88 – Darren Reece – The Art Of Crafting Muay Thai Champions

Darren Reece is the coach behind many Muay Thai champions. He shares what it takes and a snapshot of his 30-year Muay Thai career.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • How Darren Reece evolved from being a Muay Thai professional fighter to a martial arts gym owner
  • The one skill that’s helped many school owners open their first gym
  • The ‘iron sharpens iron’ strategy Darren uses to craft world-class Muay Thai Champions
  • How Darren keeps their fighters motivated and focused on their goals
  • And more

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

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

We don't have any processes. I don't train my guys like, “You've got to say this. You've got to say that.” We are just who we are. We love being here. The guys that have jobs as trainers, Dan Skinner and Barrie Oliver work full time for me. Caley loves being in the gym. Chris “Tiger” White, who used to work for me when he finished his fight career, before he shifted away, just loved doing what we're doing. So that carries over because you're happy.

GEORGE: Hey, this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. So today I'm local, and I'm live, so something new, not on the virtual face-to-face. So I'm joined today by Darren Reece.

DARREN: Hey George.

GEORGE: Hi.

DARREN: How are you?

GEORGE: How are you doing? Good good good. Darren Reece, well, long history in Muay Thai, I'm going to let him share all the stories. Depending on where you're watching this, here in Perth, there's a big Muay Thai movement. And many, I could almost say all, but most of the paths lead to Riddlers and Darren Reece. And we're sitting here in a room of… How would you describe it? Memorabilia? Like, newspaper articles, trophies, which I've added here as a separate little video. So, we're just going to have a chat, as we do. So thanks for jumping on.

DARREN: No worries George. Thanks for having me.

GEORGE: Cool. So why don't you just give us a quick round up. Who is Darren Reece?

darren reece muay thai

DARREN: Oh, well. My fight nickname was The Riddler, that was given to me by Michael Schiavello who used to commentate all the fights on Fox Sports on Foxtel. Well he's obviously gone on to very big things around the world commentating, chief commentator at commentating fights. He gave me my fight name. Back then all the fighters used to call one another by their names, to the point that sometimes you didn't even know the person's first name, it was just, “Hey, Riddler.” “Hey, Nugget.” “Hey, Pitbull.” Stuff like that, so.

Been in Muay Thai since 1989, I started training. In a combination of Muay Thai and Zen Do Kai. Got into it and loved it straight away. Knew it was what I wanted to do. Was actually at uni, and decided to leave uni because I wanted to be a fighter. Which didn't go down well with the parents, but eventually, especially my mom, came around and supported what I was doing, so.

GEORGE: How do you describe that sort of career path to your professors and lecturers?

DARREN: Well, university of Muay Thai, I guess I've been to, for 30 years, so it's a pretty big degree. But, yeah, it was definitely the right choice and very happy in my life and what has been created and what's going on, so I think it was a good choice.

GEORGE: Yeah totally. So we're sitting here at Riddlers Gym but before we get into just what it is about anything else that's going on, walk us through, how'd you get started? You were talking about, we had a chat earlier about you living and training in Thailand as well. Give us a bit of a background of your career.

DARREN: Well, as I mentioned, I started in Muay Thai and Zen Do Kai. Which was really a martial art that kind of blended everything, or the best of everything in progression, is what Zen Do Kai stands for. Most people in W.A., Perth, in the early days started with the BJC, Bob Jones Corporation. I chose, after training for a while, having my first two fights that I really wanted to pursue the path of fighting. My trainer back then, Sean Allen, that wasn't the path that he wanted to go, so he advised me to move on and go to someone that specializes in Muay Thai.

And from there I started to discover Thailand. Obviously it's so close to Australia, and Muay Thai was starting to become known, more and more exposure to it over here. A Thai person, Phon Martdee, famous pioneer in W.A. especially, was putting on shows and bringing over well-known world champion Thai's, just really got my interest, that lead me to Thailand training trips. 

I think the first time was for one month, and the second time was overstaying my three month visa by a month, and staying there for four months, and then another three months trip like that every year, I was making sure I was doing it. And then I lived there from '97 to early 2000, so just did that, yeah for about three and a half years straight. So went there for the Kick's Cup World Championships, which I won and stayed. Yeah, loved it, loved it.

GEORGE: So how difficult is it for someone from Australia, or from, I guess from Western society, to fit in with the Thai culture, and the whole Muay Thai scene, and actually make something of it?

darren reece muay thai

DARREN: Back when I was going there, there weren't the camps down in Phuket and Koh Samui. There was WMC Lamai Gym in Koh Samui, which is still around and going strong now, but back then that was pretty much one of the few Western places that you could go. In Pattaya in Thailand there was Sibutong, which was a world famous and that's where all the Westerners were going early on, that's where I went, my second trip, spent my four months.

In comparison to now, where the Thai's have realized that it can be a tourist thing, just increasing the exposure of it. It's great for the Thai economy and Thai culture and obviously the spread of Muay Thai. Now it truly is a world sport, and people from all over the world go to these training camps now in Thailand. And it's not a matter of being accepted or anything like that, it's just you go there and you train.

So very early on, as I said, those kinds of places weren't around. And the camp that I spent my three and a bit years, Sangmorakot Gym in Bangkok, a large part of that time, I was the only white person there, training with professional Thai's, it was a professional camp in Bangkok, so it was just the ultimate experience. It was obviously very challenging, there was very little English back then. I had to learn Thai, which I wanted to do anyway, living in the country. And, yeah, it was a great exposure.

GEORGE: Fast-forwarding a bit, how did Riddlers come about?

darren reece muay thai

DARREN: Riddlers came about in that, in the latter part of my career, where I was full-time, I obviously started to think about the future. Actually, I knew very early on that I wanted to teach Muay Thai, that it was going to be my career after competing, after fighting. So I did make plans for a very long time. I've got lots of books, still got notebooks with notes and ideas. Gym names, and systems and things that I wanted to have in place. So it was a long term plan. And then when I got to that stage of my fight career, I knew that I needed to start thinking of the future, or putting it into action, so to speak.

So I started doing a few PT's, a couple of small classes, and then the PT's started to build up. And then that lead to, okay, it's time to start the gym. So I, funny story, one of my friends that I used to go to his house to train him, I was training him in his garage underneath his house, which is in Leederville, not far from where we are now, and we'd finished the session, we were like, “Man, this is a good size for a gym.” So it was about 80 or 90 square meters, it was about a triple size carport, and he was looking to shift, so he shifted out of the house, I shifted into the house in Leederville, and that's where Riddlers started. So I was lucky enough, it was kind of a blessing that I only had one lot of overheads. I think rent and stuff like that is the biggest killer of new businesses. So all I had to do was be paying my rent and I had the gym there.

 

So Riddlers operated from there for about three, three and a half years, until I started to get too busy and my neighbor complained about parking and noise and that kind of thing. I was getting up to 20 people turning up for evening classes. I was training with fighters, Eugene Ekkelboom, Chris “Tiger” White, a couple of my novice, newer guys that I was bringing up, in the mornings, so that I was free to do PT's and teach classes in the evening time. But I had problems with the council because of the complaint, and then that pushed me again to take that next step, and find premises, which happened to be nearby.

Ran into a friend of mine, told him that I needed to find somewhere because I was having council problems. He was in the butcher's shop and a coffee shop, and he's like, “Man, come and check out this place behind me. It's not being used. We go and do some training there after work, and we've got a bag hanging up, and hit the bag and stuff like that.” So I went in there and it was 200 square meters, so more than double what I had. And it was just perfect. So that was where I started.

GEORGE: You're not the first school owner I speak to who has transitioned from really focusing on the private sector. We actually email, in our Partners program that we work on, I'm working with a gentleman on Thursday nights, and we're going to get a program called Profit With Privates. Not that that was his way of getting started, but they needed to renovate the gym. So they put all their energy in how they can use private classes to stack up the cash. A good way to transition.

So now you guys are here on the main road, huge gym, what I really want to know from you is, you've got all these champions, and all these people that come through Riddlers Gym and reach such a high level. What do you think is the edge? What do you do different that you create so many people at such a high level?

darren reece muay thai

DARREN: Two things. I think obviously it's my experience from fighting that has sort of experienced all situations. And in fights, seen what's going on. And being able to read it from my experience, being able to communicate that to my fighters where, very importantly, having the respect of my fighters to the point that they listen and use that instruction for their gain. So then it's like they're fighting with my experience, my time, no matter what level they're at. So that's one thing.

And the other thing is having strong fighters. I have a saying, “Iron sharpens iron.” So the more strong people that you have working together, the more and the better everyone grows. So if you're in a small gym, that's like one champion fighter and you've only got other novices and stuff to work with, you're not getting that sparring, clinching, and stuff like that, that you need. Or perhaps guidance from the trainer, because you've outgrown the trainer. Whereas when you've got lots of those people around you, then you all help one another to grow. So yeah, I love that saying, “Iron sharpens iron.” And it's very, very true.

So from those early days, when I had the Eugene Ekkelboom, Chad Walker, Kim Olsen, all those guys. And for the smaller guys, I had Caley working with Chris “Tiger” White, with “Pitbull” Aram, stuff like that. So those guys really had that common to work hard together, spar hard, clinch hard. So, yeah.

GEORGE: Right. So you've got, I mean first and foremost, you've got the right people, and the champions attract more champions. Obviously people see the success that everyone that trains here has had here, and that sends more people around. Is there anything else that you really focus on?

DARREN: Lots of technique. We're big on technique. Big on skill. But also big on strong basics. I personally don't use lots of fancy techniques and things like that. I stick with strong basics and will work those, hammer those basics, we hammer them over and over again. Everyone is, all my guys, are extremely fit, well-conditioned. And we're kind of known for that.

GEORGE: Gotcha. So tell me more about Riddlers, and you've got all the fight shows, and things like that going on?

darren reece muay thai

DARREN: Well I've promoted for shows actually before I even started the gym. I started promoting with a fellow group, splitting the load between us. That was when I was still fighting. So I was fighting on shows, but we were a big group promoting together. That lead to just a partnership in promoting.

I've always felt the need to promote because of the level of guys that I have as fighters. I've felt like when guys gain experience, there's obviously a lot less fights locally, and even interstate. So if you sit there waiting for the fights to come, or there's no fights, more so there's no fights, fighters lose motivation, and they're not in the gym training. These things can happen. So by having a regular schedule of fights, they have those goals. It keeps the fighters motivated if they know that they're guaranteed three or five fights per year, they're more likely to stay motivated and in the gym.

And then if anything else comes up, and this happens a lot these days because there's a lot more promotions around, a lot more going on. A lot of interstate opportunities come and you can take fights on fairly short notice. Like I get lots of calls from interstate promoters, we get lots of trips away. I mean, because with having a big fight team, the promoters also know that they're not just going to get one fighter. If they need three or four, strong chances are that we're going to be able to fit that. So they end up with three or four big fights on their card, with one trainer, so it saves a lot of money to get a lot of fights that way.

GEORGE: What's the big drive? I mean, you've built this machine. I mean obviously you've got the love for the Muay Thai and the passion for the sport. But what keeps you going? What's the big drive for you?

DARREN: I guess helping people on the path that I got to follow. Leading your guys, passing on your experience, seeing them use it to grow in their experience, and just get to live their dreams, to fight and compete. Maybe it’s achieving titles, but for a lot it's just actually competing and doing it, I live supporting and helping that. Trying to help them achieve those dreams.

GEORGE: Got you. So I'm trying to think of some things that we haven't asked, and I'm looking at something here that says, “10 things you don't know about Darren Reece.” And I don't know how old these are, but…

DARREN: Yeah, these are pretty old, so back then…

GEORGE: What's changed?

darren reece muay thai

DARREN: Yeah, quite a few. There's one here, “I do not have an iPhone. Don't have an iPod. Don't use Facebook. Don't use Twitter, download music or burn CDs.” I still don't do a lot of those things. But I do definitely have an iPhone, and I use Facebook, it's a fantastic business tool and just connecting with people. Good for promoting things. It's really changed the way that we advertise our businesses, as you well know. And even for fight shows, we used to get thousands and thousands of fliers and posters done up for shows now, and have to do flier drops and pay for postal distribution and things like that to try and get it out, but it was very… it didn't have a high success rate because it wasn't really a target market.

And now with Facebook, where you're promoting it through people that are in the industry, or friends of those people, or getting those fighters to share things about their fights, it just hits the target market so much more. So it really has changed how we have to do things, and we have to evolve, so I've kind of evolved too.

But having said that, I'm still not overly technical. I'm not huge on the computer. I use Facebook, a little bit of Instagram, but I'm by no means an expert on it. And the things I do right are what I feel. The same as the things with Riddlers Gym, with the business, how we treat people. Everyone always comments on how friendly the gym is, and the great vibes that we have here, in the community, and things like that. And it's nothing that we've ever tried to enforce or push or anything like that, I just got the right trainers and the right personalities, and it's just how everyone is, you know?

GEORGE: Yeah.

DARREN: You say, “Hi.” To everyone. The conversations with them and just, I guess, people can't really believe it, but it's what we love doing.

GEORGE: For sure. But you might be selling yourself short there as well, right? Because that's got to come from the top. So if that's the type of person you are, you've set the tone for that culture.

DARREN: Yeah.

GEORGE: Then that's what's going to take.

DARREN: Yeah, yep.

GEORGE: That's what's going to catch on.

DARREN: Yeah and it's been a big part of the community here. Despite all the champions that we've had, and have, here at the gym, no one's really put up on a pedestal, and so there's no egos. No one's put up on that pedestal. We promote all the fighters equally. All the members, no one's really any more important than anyone else. And it doesn't create that monster.

GEORGE: Yeah.

DARREN: That monster thing that can affect an environment or a community, so.

GEORGE: Just from having that strong culture, a lot of your marketing is actually good fun, because that's enforcing the culture, and people talk, then that's the message that comes across, how much effort. We spoke a bit about culture earlier. Is there certain things that you focus on, that really shapes the culture? Or do you really just stick to who you are, and that sort of resonates through that…?

darren reece muay thai

DARREN: Just really stick to who we are. We don't have any processes. I don't train my guys like, “You've got to say this. You've got to say that.” We are just who we are. We love being here. The guys that have jobs as trainers, Dan Skinner and Barrie Oliver work full time for me. Caley loves being in the gym. Chris “Tiger” White, who used to work for me when he finished his fight career, before he shifted away, just loved doing what we're doing. So that carries over because you're happy, and you're motivating people, and when you're teaching and pushing people and seeing them give it a crack and just loving it, plus you're getting to pass on what you're passionate about and seeing other people enjoy it, just makes you feel good inside.

GEORGE: So what's next for you? Where are things headed for Darren Reece and Riddlers Gym?

DARREN: Oh, look, I… to be honest, my focus has changed… Or, not changed but my focus has broadened in that I'm not interested in expanding the business. I don't want to work more hours. Caley and I have had two boys, so I've got two sons, which we've had in the last three years. Maddox turns three at the end of the month, Leo's nine months, and to be honest, I just want to spend as much time with them as I can. 

GEORGE: Right.

DARREN: I don't want to, in a few years, go, “Oh damn. I was busy. I wish I'd spent more time with the boys.”

GEORGE: Totally.

DARREN: Because they're only young for a period of time. In a couple of years they're going to be in school, and then they're going to be teenagers and not want to hang out with me anymore because I'm not the cool guy. So I want to make the absolute most of that. So to be honest, I'm happy with keeping Riddlers the way it is. I've got no interest in expanding, opening another premises, getting bigger. I just love where I'm at. So that I'm enjoying life. I don't feel like I have to work harder. And I'm still working hard, but I'm also working smarter. And I've got great trainers, great team around us, which keeps things the way that they are.

GEORGE: Yeah.

DARREN: And keeps me happy. And my fighters still get lots of attention and lots of focus, and I don't feel that I'm doing any less a job. Everyone's getting some really big fights and still stepping up and growing, through the state level, national level and international level.

GEORGE: Yeah. I love that, because sometimes the focus can be growth for the sake of growth. When is enough? You've reached that point in your life, and family comes first, and that's where you want to spend time. And I think the gym is awesome, you're producing great fighters, it's providing for you and your family, and you get to do what you love every day. Why change? Why complicate? What's in it?

DARREN: Yeah. I want to train every day. I want to have an hour for myself and train, whether it is hitting pads, or doing some strength and conditioning, doing some cross fist stuff. I love it and want to do that. That keeps me happy, keeps me sane. And especially with the boys, where it's go, go, go, and it's all about them, you need that sort of switch off time, and just be able to get in your own zone, and just go out and go for it, do it.

GEORGE: Yeah. I've just reached that, coolness of dad has dropped. I was cool, but 13, my son is 13 now. Yeah, I can see my coolness on the decline, very quickly, off. 

DARREN: That would be hard to accept.

GEORGE: Yeah. Hey, cool, Darren. Thanks so much for hanging out and chatting. So, just quickly, if people want to know more about you, and we run for at least the sort of time of your next fight show coming up, but tell us about your fight show because you have got a couple in circulation. And if people want to reach out to you, where can they find you?

DARREN: Yeah, well you can if you're interested, you come down and try Riddlers Gym. We've obviously got a fairly active Facebook page, we've got a website, riddlersgym.com.au, you can check us out. It's got all about the trainers, our full schedule, pricing, and everything’s on there. And our fight shows, keep an eye out for EPIC Fight Promotions, I think we're up to number 21, which focuses on our professionals and our main experienced fighters. 

And then my wife Caley Reece loves to promote her show, it's called Evolve, it's coming up this Sunday. That's focused on grass roots Muay Thai and she'll have a couple of main card fights, including the MTA State Title, which she's got on this one. And she works very hard to bring that for the fighters. It's something that she feels like she wants to do on her own, and give back to the sport that did so much for her.

GEORGE: Yeah, perfect. Hey, awesome. Darren, thanks so much for hanging out.

DARREN: Thanks very much, George. Thanks everyone.

GEORGE: Speak soon. Cheers.

DARREN: Cheers. Thank you.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group.

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

87 – Getting Your Fight Shows Featured On UFC Fight Pass

An Australian first, Ben Vickers from Eternal MMA now gets their fight shows featured on UFC Fight Pass. We discuss the details.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • How Ben Vickers’ Eternal MMA started their collaboration with the UFC 
  • What it means to be the first Australian fight promoter to get featured on UFC Fight pass
  • The martial arts metaphor for life
  • The number of interactions needed before an individual takes action to buy a product or service
  • And more

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

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

To be a leader. You have to demonstrate you're prepared to go. You're not just prepared to scream and shout. You're prepared to put yourself in those uncomfortable positions also.

GEORGE: At what point did you start looking at opening a school and how did you end up in Perth?

BEN: I started coaching about 2007. I really enjoyed coaching. I kind of realized that I was never going to be a world champion and… But I do firmly believe I could train a world champion. So that was sort of my focus sort of switched from being a fighter to training fighters, and I made the hard decision to quit competing myself in MMA anyway. Sorry I've got a fly harassing me at the moment.

GEORGE: It’s Perth.

BEN: I could Mr. Miyagi it with some chopsticks, but… So I made the call that I was going to cease my fighting career. I couldn't do both. If I wanted to focus on coaching, I had to fully focus on coaching. So I started to coach full time. I was actually in the fire service at the time and decided to leave the fire service to pursue MMA as a full-time career. So that happened in 2010 so I was coaching full-time and working as a firefight full-time.

It's the beauty of the shift system there that I could make that work. And then I put the firefighting away to pursue a career in what I love doing, which was teaching martial arts, MMA in particular. So see I was just coaching and then the opportunity to come to Perth came up at the right time in my life. I was just ready to make the move and there were a few circumstances at home that made it a good, good time for me to jet off to the other side of the world. So I did that.

We opened an MMA Clinic here and I was just working as the head coach. And then some things changed and I ended up running the gym. And then eight years later, the gym’s rebranded and I'm sort of sitting there as my own boss with my own school and yeah, pretty happy with that.

GEORGE: Sounds good. I do want to ask you a question to back track. You said it was a hard choice to move from being the fighter to being the coach. What was sort of the hardest part about it? Was it… I mean you mentioned that juggling the two things at once, being the coach and the fighter. Was that the hardest part or was it sort of more of giving up on a dream that that's the path that you want to take?

BEN: No, when I made the call, I realized that the dream is, is to be a world champion as a fighter, I think. And it's a hard sport. MMA is brutal. And I realized that wasn't necessarily a possibility, so that wasn't the hard part. The hard part is I love competing. I love training. I love not having a responsibility when I go to the gym, you know, it's nice just to be able to go and get your hands dirty and get out. So then I had to make that call that now I was going to become the… As a coach, you become more than just teaching people technique. You become a life coach sort of thing for your students they become family. It's such a strange sport in that you beat the living daylights out of each other so the ego can go straight away because you know the pecking order. You know who can win and who can’t.  

So you don't need to worry about that stuff anymore. And your sort of leave all your, all your, yeah, your ego just, it doesn't need to exist anymore. The role is well defined within the gym. Everyone knows how everything stands. And in coaching, you take respect in a different way. You know, I'm 40 years old, my students are half my age. I have to understand that I can't necessarily compete with them anymore, but I have to then guide them in the right direction.

So it's a hard choice when I'm a very competitive person. So I missed… I had to make the decision to step away from competition and prepare others for competition. And to fill that hole I do stupid things like ultra-marathons and just to test myself mentally because fighting for me is all about the mental. Overcoming mental barriers and finding comfort in discomfort.

So, yeah, I did a two years or three years ago I did an eight weeks training and did 65 kilometer run and that put me in that place, which was what I just wanted to test myself to see if I still had the mental that when the going got tough, the tough get going or would the, would I, would I crack on and make it to the end or would I quit? You know? That's why I wanted to find out. And I constantly look for different ways to test myself in that regard. So I found a home for my competitiveness elsewhere. I took up rugby so I could turn up on a weekend and be a part of the team but not have to lead it and just get my hands dirty and get stuck in. And so I found ways in that way to manage that competitive spirit and focus all my energy during the week on my guys and making them the best they can be.

GEORGE: Got it. It's such a metaphor for life, right? And that's where martial arts just is a, it's a real test of life because, you know, putting yourself in those uncomfortable positions while there's no… I don't think there's, you know, a much harder place to do it then get in the cage or to be in martial arts or have that contact where it can kind of feels like a life or death.

BEN: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. And you know, we're only ever a split second away from absolute disaster, you know, I mean things we do, you know, punching each other, twisting each other into uncomfortable positions and stuff like that. So it takes a great amount of trust and faith in your training partners, which is what bonds are so close together, I think is, you know…

When someone has you in a choke, in a real-life situation, if they don't let go, you run out of oxygen and you die. If someone has you in an armbar, your arm's going to snap if they don't stop when you ask them to stop. That mutual respect and that mutual feeling of trust build really strong bonds with your students. And I'm very much, I lead from the front, so I do everything the guys do pretty much. I'm sure stepping into the cage, I still spar, I still do the fitness sessions with them. I still do everything that I can prove that I'm not just screaming and shouting. I'm actually putting my money where my mouth is sometimes.

I think that's important too, is to be a leader. You have to demonstrate you're prepared to go. You're not just prepared to scream and shout. You're prepared to put yourself in those uncomfortable positions also.

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. Let's just shift gears towards the business. I tell you, you're running a successful school. Just for context, so what styles, so you've got MMA, what else do you guys do?

BEN: We do all the disciplines individually, so we have presenting jiu-jitsu, our freestyle wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai, striking, which is more like kickboxing style, and then the MMA stuff as well. Plus strength and conditioning on top of that. So we run, we run the full, all the disciplines that you'd need to compete in MMA. And then my job is to put them all together. That's where MMA fighters are made, is not in the individual arts themselves, but in transitioning those arts together.

GEORGE: Awesome. So… and I'm curious, what is your process for doing that?

BEN: You have to make the best out of each art for mixed martial arts. Like for instance, in jiu-jitsu, you might be a guard player. You might lay on your back with the other person on top of you, while there are no strikes coming down, guard is a pretty safe position. When someone can punch or elbow you in the face, it becomes a completely different story.

So it's working out, taking the good from all the different arts and then putting them together in a program that works best for mixed martial arts in itself. But the key is transitioning them. So how do you get from boxing to get someone on the ground? How do you work those transitions? So it's fusing the transitions in. So my mentor is a guy called Mark Fury. He was Matt Hughes coach, Robbie Lawler's coach. He's cornered a 137 UFC fights or something like that.

And he uses the hand as the metaphor for coaching MMA. So if your hand, if these are the arts, that's easy to work. This is BJJ, this is wrestling, this is boxing, this is Muay Thai or striking, whatever. It's these parts, the parts that join the hands together. That's what we need to get people good at. So you might have good BJJ and good wrestling, but how do we create the transition to that. You might have good striking and good jiu-jitsu, but if you can't wrestle, you're not going to dictate where the fight goes. So it's working on the joining factors. So for me, that's the key.

GEORGE: Yeah, perfect. The loop that makes it flow. Probably not the best analogy but-

BEN: Yeah, exactly. It's like what makes everything flow together as one as opposed to being four different martial arts that you're good at. They all need to work in synergy with each other.

GEORGE: So that's now the gym and then so you've got the fighters and now you've got fighters competing and you've created Eternal MMA. So quick just how did we actually transition into that and then we can talk a bit more about what's going on with the fight promotions.

BEN: Yeah. I actually can't take the credit for creating Eternal MMA. I have a business partner in the Gold Coast, Cam O'Neill. He formed Eternal in 2012 and I actually used to just put fighters on it. So he flew some of my guys over to the Gold Coast. He's from the UK as well. So we sort of knew a few people, same people come up with the same sort of time in the same sea. So we got on really well straight away and he started using my fighters on all of his shows.

In 2015, we decided to bring a show to Perth and that's where I sort of came on board as a co-promoter and a co-owner of the business. And that's when we started expanding from the Gold Coast into Perth. I helped sort of develop the promotion on this side of the country and then a couple of years ago we decided we'd move into other States. So we did Adelaide. My thing was on three shows in Adelaide and we just did our debut in Melbourne last weekend before the UFC 243 card in conjunction with the UFC. So we worked together closely with them on that.

So yeah, that's how it sort of came about. I was a reluctant promoter. I didn't really want to do it. I had enough stuff going on, but Cam's very convincing and here we are.

GEORGE: Now, that's quite the… the UFC, how did the UFC come about?

BEN: We sort of asked them questions and we knew they were looking for a partner in Australia and I guess we stated our case. There were a few other promotions looking for the same deal. But I think what makes Eternal… We went into quite some depth in our, in our pitch more than just being on UFC Fight Pass and providing them a broadcast.

We want to help develop the regions. So you know, we want to work in conjunction with them to develop fighters to give them. So to become a pathway to the UFC so we can blood all the fighters, get them their experience, test them out, and then when the UFC is ready to pick the ones that they want, then they can come to the promotion and they'll have a good idea of who they're looking at. Also, if they have fighters they are looking at, we can find them fights for them and stuff like that. So…

GEORGE: I guess just an important step back is how did you actually make the connection? How did it before you actually got to give your pitch?

BEN: You just hear it, you hear things in the industry and we heard they were looking for partners, a partner in Australia, and it's quite easy to get a hold of someone's email address these days and there you go. You just, we just fired off emails and they started talking, started a more in-depth conversation. I know a few of these people from dealing with them with other things as well. So yeah, it's just a case of being diligent, sort of being in the right place at the right time, having a good product and delivering on what you say you're going to deliver on.

I think that's the key to business in general. It's having a good product and doing what you say you're going to do. Which I find is the biggest problem in business these days. I don't think many people follow through on their promises, but I live by that. If I say I'm going to do something, I will do it and do it well. Right.

GEORGE: Yeah. Tell me, I've got a question on that. So you get to do your pitch and what I can hear is you, well obviously you want to deliver on the promise, but it sounds like you really framed it in a way of, you know, it's not just what are we going to get out of the, you know, being promoted for UFC Fight Pass, but really what are they going to get out of it? You know? How could you help develop them? Can you elaborate a bit more on the pitch and how you went about all that?

BEN: Yeah, so we put a pitch together. Obviously, we provide a lot of content. UFC Fight Pass for those that don't know what it is, is the UFC's streaming platform. So it's a digital streaming web-based channel that has 500,000 subscribers in 200 countries across the world. And obviously to service those guys, they need content. So not only can we offer quality content 10 times a year, we can also offer our knowledge of the region.

They need the talent to come through to grow in each region so we can offer them fighters with the skills and qualities that they require to suit their brand. Being the brand leader, they need the best talent and I believe we have the best talent, most of the best talent in the country fighting for us.

That's what we can offer to them as well as sort of being able to give them inside information on the scene in the country as a whole. It's a very mutual relationship. Obviously, we give them all our content and in return we get exposure. That's the nuts and bolts of it. But behind the scenes there's a lot more to it than that.

GEORGE: That's great. So what does that mean for the fighters? Like how does the exposure work? Is it just that it's being promoted on the platform or is it more to it? Not that that's not enough, but-

BEN: Yeah, there's definitely more to it. So for example, we debuted on fight pass in Melbourne just before UFC 243, so we did the Friday night and then 243 one on a Sunday morning. But, obviously, a lot of the UFC top brass were in attendance. So the matchmaker from the UFC was in the crowd that day. So there's no better audition than for you to go out and apply your trade-in front of the guy that you want to impress live.

GEORGE: Totally.

BEN: So things like that, we aim to work with the UFC on dates. If they have a show in Australia, we aim to sort of create… We created a mini fight last week. So our show, we had weigh-ins Thursday, the show Friday. They had on Saturday and the show on Sunday. So Thursday through Sunday there's MMA every day and in Melbourne. Whereas in UFC Fight Week in Vegas, you know, obviously they have these big expos and stuff like that.

So it was like a really big weekend for Australian MMA and we can do stuff like that every time they come to the region. That's one benefit. Being able to display your skills in front of the people that you're trying to impress rather than sending them an email with a highlight reel, doesn't have quite the same effect. They're also readily available on that platform. So if we send a matchmaker a fighter's name, all he has to do is go on Fight Pass and look at that fighter direct through their own TV channel. 

But then also inside information. So if they have any questions or anything like that or they want some guidance on as to who, how this guy is stacking up or whatever, then we can provide that too. But also we're providing regular, if an event does three shows a year and you fight on that event, you might not get on all three shows. So you might only get two fights a year. We're providing an opportunity to fight on 10 different shows a year. Most fighters want to fight three or four times a year, so we can definitely do that for pretty much all our fighters on the frequency that we put shows for it.

GEORGE: Perfect. Awesome opportunity for any fighter, obviously, as you say, you know, direct, but then just being featured on the show. Even if you know you don't have the promoters there, what better thing to put on your portfolio? Just check my fights with them. UFC Fight Pass. Yeah.

BEN: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And it provides a bit of a pathway. It's like I can fight on this show. I know that it's on the UFC, so there's more chance of us then being selected. If we're the best in the country. What we're aiming to do is if you're the best in the country and you owned an Eternal championship, then you should be sort of next in the pecking order to be moved on into the UFC. That's what we're looking at.

Obviously its early days and we're yet to sort of prove that method to anyone, but hopefully next year we signed a multi-fight deal for 2020. They'll take 10 shows from us, whereas this year was a bit unorthodox. They wouldn't normally sign a promotion last quarter, but we managed to get it over the line and they're taking two of our three remaining events this year because of scheduling. They couldn't take the last one, but in 2020 all our events will be live on UFC Fight Pass. So that would give the fighters in the platform on every show to really push and make a run for the big show.

GEORGE: Now, you had mentioned to me earlier, Ben, that you guys have done this all from self-funded 100% you're still running with no sponsors. Is that correct?

BEN: That is correct. Yeah. I sort of spoke to you briefly before, but I've transitioned from being a fighter to being a coach to being a gym owner that none of it was pre-orchestrated or planned. I've never claimed before the last few years to be a businessman. You know, like I just was a guy that had a passion for the sport and wanting to grow it and it's just organically sort of turned out the way it's turned out. So now we're at the point in and it's that corporate sort of driving sponsorship and stuff like that.

It's an area where I don't have the expertise and I've always been a guy that I stay in my lane. If I know about it, I'll do it and if I don't know about it, I'll try and get someone else to do it for me and obviously, you know, pay some… I'd much rather pay someone to do something properly than make a botched job of it myself. Trying to save a few dollars. We have some minor sponsors, you know, a couple of us, you know, they buy tables at the show and stuff like that. But yeah, nothing on a major level that, you know, perhaps some of our competitors might have.

GEORGE: Totally so if we were having that conversation, like let's say I have a product that could be mutually beneficial to what you guys are doing and obviously knowing that, yeah, the exposure is the next level for what you're getting, you know, to be UFC Fight Pass and so forth. Who do you think would be an ideal sponsor and how could they benefit potentially from?

BEN: I think you'd be surprised as to who could be a sponsor for a mixed martial arts event with big viewership. Because you think about the demographic that is one, into the sport and two, attending and watching the sport. It's mostly a male, sort of 17 to 45 disposable income demographic. So you know, it's a good demographic for most companies. You know, clothing, nutrition, tattoos, betting, all that kind of stuff all fit into the sort of the demographic that we service.

So they're the kind of people that we're looking to link up. We did some stuff with Winter Warrior, which is a show that puts on like 20-week programs in gyms around the world. So we're working with them next year, so we're going to be partnering up with them. So that's really exciting for 2020. Any company that wants to have a chance to put themselves in front of that demographic would be a good fit for us.

And also we have assets, you know, we have these champion people, you know, we have great athletes who are very humble and you know, we can come to companies and train their staff. You know, we can do talks, we can… so we can set up very bespoke packages. You know, there's plenty we have to offer with the assets that we have within the company, not just inside of viewership and advertising. Sort of team building, personal development.

UFC Fight Pass

You know, you could learn a lot from a young MMA fighter who's disciplined and sacrificed a lot to get to where they've gotten to. And also from people within the company, like myself and Cam, we were kind of self-made business people that have reached quite high with limited funds and experience, you know. So there's plenty of areas to explore.

It's just a case of like anything, it's just, it's a skill that we need to learn and get better at. I probably need to take some coaching or something like that. I mean obviously if you want to get better at something, you find someone who's good at it and you learn from them. So that's probably what we need to do. It's just, we're very time-poor. I run two businesses and I'm just about to open a third. I have a young family that I don't see very much obviously. 

So yeah, the time to go and do a course or learn from someone is not really there at the moment. But if sacrifices need to be made then they'll have to be made at some stage. So yeah, I guess it's all part of the learning experience.

GEORGE: For sure. So, and what about if like if I'm a martial arts school owner and I've got fighters and so forth, how would that benefit getting on board with you guys with Eternal MMA?

BEN: Well we can advertise your school at our events and your customers are sitting in our audience, you know, and are watching our show on TV so that you're putting your case. So we have had people in the past put adverts on the big screen in the venue of their gym and now we can put flyers or… What it is if you have a brand, I thought, I don't know the exact numbers, but it needs to be seen X amount of times before it sets in someone's head. And then when they're looking for that service, your name will be the one that they…

So it's like subliminal advertising, really. Putting yourself in front of someone enough times for them to, when they do eventually require your service, you'll be the name they type into Google. You know, so that is really where we can assist gyms and also we can obviously help getting their fighters fights if that's… Because I have a huge fight team to service them, having the promotion is great because I can get them more fights. Whereas if you don't have necessarily the connections or know the people to talk to, then you might struggle to match your guys up regularly, which might lead them to getting disgruntled and going somewhere else where they might get better opportunities.

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. On the marketing side, like in our group, our Partners group where we work with school owners on the marketing side, basically classify it as a touchpoint. I mean there's various tests, six to eight interactions. It could be typical before somebody reaches out.

BEN: Yeah.

GEORGE: I mean there are some other tests that stretch up to 43 days and you know, all the fancy stuff. But I mean for any school owner you can think of six to eight interactions with your brand before somebody says hi, let's have this conversation. But that is a perfect thing for a good touchpoint. Sometimes the touchpoint, especially if it's, you know, massive exposure like you know you're doing something on UFC Fight Pass. It could be promoting the actual promotion sometimes has value.

What I mean by that is, you know, nowadays when people have an article in the newspaper, it's kind of pointless. This big newspaper, cause nobody hears about it, but somehow it's got some credibility. So you're marketing referencing that you were featured in this thing is sometimes more valuable. Just like I see when school owners we've worked with that get featured on Sunrise or you know, morning shows.

BEN: Yeah.

GEORGE: … nobody sees the morning show, but they see the YouTube clip of them featured.

BEN: It gives you that sort of recognition that you're a legit brand. Right, because-

GEORGE: Critical work, yeah.

BEN: Yeah. Credibility. Exactly. So say Nike sponsored you for something, you automatically get that, that’s the biggest company in the world, one of the biggest sportswear companies in the world, you're sponsored by them. All of a sudden people go, “Oh yeah, these guys are legit.” That sort of thing.

GEORGE: 100%. Thanks for your time. I'll bump into you on the daycare trip.

BEN: Yeah.

GEORGE: … again soon. But if anybody wants, let's say, number one, you know like you want to get on board with us. I mean obviously there are big things in store for Ben with the Eternal MMA and the UFC Fight Pass, the exposure. So I mean if, if you're a potential sponsor or a school owner, you've got fighters that you want on board, how can people get a hold of you and have a chat to see if it's mutually beneficial?

BEN: Best bet is probably just an email. So my email would be Ben, B-E-N, at eternal MMA dot com. Yeah, hit me up on an email. Even if it's just like I love to support and advise as well. So if anyone's got any questions, you want it to start a fight promotion or gym-related stuff. I'm more than happy to sort of… I believe that sharing is what makes… Helps everyone achieve and I am very much in lifting people up. So yeah, I'm happy to offer any assistance that I can and yeah if anyone's interested in jumping on board or talking about some options and then, yeah, I'm definitely all ears.

GEORGE: Yeah. Perfect. And if you've listened to the show and you've enjoyed it and you've got some value, especially out of the fight promotions and things like that, just yeah, just shoot Ben an email and just love the podcasts and give some feedback.

BEN: Yeah, definitely a hundred per cent.

GEORGE: Awesome, Ben. Well, thanks for being on the show and I'll probably see you in a couple of days down the road.

BEN: Yeah. Maybe tonight when we pick the kids up.

GEORGE: Yeah, true.

BEN: All right mate, you take it easy. Thanks for your time.

GEORGE: Cool. Thanks Ben. Cheers.       

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group.

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Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

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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.