Fred DePalma (The MAIN Event & DePalma Karate) shares his martial arts journey and the real value of business events.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
The benefits of implementing systems in your martial arts business
Why social media marketing for business is no longer optional but a necessity
How investing in instructor training helps ensure your school's success
The unspoken benefit you get from martial arts business events
A story that will remove all doubt about investing in your education
*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.
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And it was an hour and a half long private class and that's a long time do to a private class, so we paid him the money and we wanted to learn this advanced Kenpo stuff that we couldn't find anywhere. And I watched a student come into his school and sign up for a private class for $40. And I looked at him, and I'm like, “How come you're charging us $300 and this guy $40?” He goes, “Because that's my student, that's already a paying member here. You're going to learn what I'm teaching you, drive back to Connecticut and sell it to students to make money off of it.”
GEORGE: Hi, this is George Fourie from martialartsmedia.com and welcome to another Martial Arts Media Business podcast, episode number 39. And today I have with me all the way from Arizona I believe, Kyoshi Fred Depalma. How are you doing today Fred?
FRED: I’m doing fantastic, thank you for having me.
GEORGE: Awesome. So Fred is an eighth degree black belt, started with martial arts in 1981, running his own school since 1986. So we're going to be talking a lot about how he got started, where he is now and exciting events that he's also hosting around the United States, as well as Australia. So first and foremost I guess, to just start from the beginning: who is Fred Depalma?
FRED: Well, I don't know, I'm still trying to figure that one out myself. I do live in Arizona, which for people who don't know where that is in Australia, it’s just inland California. So I like to tell everybody Arizona's all beach, just no ocean. As soon as California falls in, then I’ll have the beach on my property. But anyways, I'm in Arizona, I'm originally from Connecticut. Connecticut is the other side of the country, so Arizona's the west, Connecticut is on the east, it’s the northeast in New England, kind of the first states that were settled.
I grew up in Connecticut in Rhode Island. I actually started my first school there, that's where I did my training. In 1986., I opened up my first school in Naugatuck Connecticut that grew to 4 schools shortly after that. Packed up in 1990, sold my schools to my managers, took a year off, traveled across the country, like Arizona and started over.
So that's it, but my system is Kenpo, I've always trained Kenpo. I teach Kenpo, but to me, it’s really not the style that matters and everybody are in love with their style and they should be, because that's what you teach. I mean, it’s what you study, it’s what you do, you should love, but it’s really about being structured and that's being given more than the style, especially at the beginning for the students.
GEORGE: Awesome. So I want to go back there, just to your story. So you said you had 4 schools and then you packed up: does that mean that you started completely over, or was it… Did you sell that completely, or was it sort of a franchise that you extended further?
FRED: I sold them completely, I did finance them for the guys, but it was theirs. When I first moved to Arizona, I was flying back every month to oversee testing, which then turned into every other month, which then turned into four times a year, which turned into two times a year, which turned into I'm not going back. So it was just breaking away slowly, so that way they can be successful in what they're doing, but at the same time,