55 – Bogdan Rosu – Personal Development Through Martial Arts

When you combine personal development through martial arts, the goals achieved become tangible. Bogdan Rosu's vehicle for this is Wing Chun.


  • What led Bogdan Rosu to use martial arts in reaching out people.
  • The potential of martial arts for personal development combined with hand-to-hand combat.
  • Using concepts of Wing Chun to improve your life.
  • Being selective about the students you can and cannot help.  
  • BONUS PDF DOWNLOAD: 11 Goal Setting Questions to ask your students to reveal their real emotional reasons for starting martial arts.

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


The problem with just doing personal development, for example, is that you just don’t get keeping it in your head. Imagine just reading books, or doing courses or attending seminars – that's great, that information eventually trickles down into your body. However, if you do a concept with your body and you're not just repeating it over and over again. You do it and you integrate it into every cell of your body, that’s totally different.

GEORGE: This podcast episode is the audio version of a video interview that took place on martialartsmedia.com. For the full video interview and to access the questions that we discussed: we discussed questions with Bogdan Rosu, we discussed questions that you can ask your prospect in regards to personal development, but what this does for you? It really helps you get a clear idea of what your prospects’ goals are. And if you know what their goals are, you can tailor make your presentation about your martial arts program based on what their needs are and not just about what your program delivers – big distinction. It will make more sense in the interview.

So to download those questions and the transcript, please go to martilartsmedia.com/55. Here's the interview – enjoy!

GEORGE: Good day, this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. Today, I have with me – and I’m 100% confident I’m going to say this 100% right: Bogdan Rosu.

BOGDAN: That was actually pretty good.

GEORGE: Bogdan Rosu – did I get the “R” right?

BOGDAN: Yeah, yeah, actually the -su was like, it’s a bit unusual. Hi everyone, thanks for the invite.

GEORGE: Awesome. So quick introduction – and while I’m going to let Bogdan do most of the introduction, but Bogdan invited me to his podcast a couple of weeks back, Personal Development Through Martial Arts. And you can find that on addicted2wingchun.com. And it’s addicted with the number 2. So we’re going to touch a bit of that, on the personal development side within martial arts, within martial arts training as well, and just going to really have a chat, have some fun and learn more about Bogdan and what happens in the wonderful world of Romania? So officially – welcome!

BOGDAN: Thanks for the invite and like I mentioned earlier, it’s very nice to see you again. I’m excited to sit down and talk martial arts, personal development and marketing. Yeah.

GEORGE: Sounds good, all right. So first and foremost – who is Bogdan Rosu?

BOGDAN: I’m just a guy, you know, I’ve been doing martial arts since I was like 13 and the primary reason was because I just wanted to be a bit more self-confident and learn a bit more about people, I was horrible with people. Because for example, in the 5th grade, I was voted as being the most annoying, obnoxious kid in class and that was a bit weird for me because I love people so much and I just didn't understand why this stuff was happening.

But somehow I felt that it was because of me feeling really insecure. So I started my martial arts journey when I was 13 and in my 2nd year of college, I discovered personal development and I noticed that there was a really interesting connection between the two, in the sense that, what one was missing, the other can provide. So that's how this thing got started.

GEORGE: So – on personal development, right? So what actually led you to personal development? I mean, you're saying that you were feeling labelled most annoying kid in the class, although you're thinking you were probably just trying to reach out and connect. And then you said you discovered personal development, so, is that what sort of was the path to get you to say, well, there are some things I need to improve myself.

BOGDAN: Somehow, I mean, when I discover personal development, I had been doing martial arts for seven years. I started with this acrobatic style of martial arts and it was funny because the flyer said, “Learn karate, ninjutsu, judo, aikido…” and three or four other styles of martial arts and they were all taught by the same guy. And you can imagine the level of expertise. But he was good, he was a really good fighter. We ended up doing a lot of ground fighting, which was fun and a lot of flex, you know, a lot of acrobatic stuff. But I still don't know how to defend myself and I was so scared of the idea of confrontation, of physical confrontation, especially in the street.

And three years later, I switched to Shotokan karate and that's where I learned the values of working really, really hard. And reaching that point where you say, OK, I can’t do it anymore, I just need to go beyond that. And after three years of doing that, I felt a lot stronger. My posture changed, but I still felt very insecure. I still felt that my self-worth was close to nothing, I was still comparing myself to other people. And personal development came in the form of network marketing. A friend said, dude, you need to do this, you need to start doing this and I did it more for just having a side income, just to make a bit more money. Which did not happen of course. But I really got passionate about personal development when I started reading these books and these concepts, these ideas, really shaped me in the following years.

GEORGE: Interesting that you say that because network marketing was my stepping stone into the online business world.

BOGDAN: Really?

GEORGE: Yeah, that's what got me started. I know there are many perceptions about it: it’s a scam and it’s this and this, and there’s definitely a lot of that, and especially now that the bitcoin phase is happening and cryptocurrency, it really sticks out and it’s annoying. But I was part of the network marketing industry for a long time and what I find is – and this is what happens with a lot of people that get into that is, it is their first stepping stone into business. They normally try it, achieve a little success, or nothing, but it opens the mind to, Hang on – I can provide for myself, I can create this business. So it does leave a good groundwork for business skills, the start of business, being in business.

BOGDAN: Absolutely.

GEORGE: And then, of course, the personal development that goes with it.

BOGDAN: Absolutely, absolutely. And this whole idea of sitting down with someone and making an offer is hugely intimidating for a lot of people and yeah, you know, the problem was back then that I wasn't really aware of the fact that when you're making an offer, you shouldn't really be pushy. I was super pushy with people. But now we know better.

GEORGE: Cool, so let’s define, OK? I get to the personal development with martial arts. But let’s fill that gap in between that first. So you got into personal development – what exactly did you start doing that had the biggest impact on your life?

BOGDAN: From personal development or from martial arts?

GEORGE: Personal development, yeah. Because you were already in martial arts, right? So martial arts was there and your next thing was to start developing yourself, so how did that sort of transition I guess and then what did you actually do?

BOGDAN: To be honest, it actually started making more sense years later, because you're getting all these books, you're getting the information, but until you have also the experiences to use that information and consolidate them, it’s really not worth much. So I didn't see any kind of change in terms of my self-confidence, until I started teaching it, to be honest. And that's… it may sound weird to a lot of people, why do you teach stuff that you don't 100% own? Well, that was exactly the reason why, because I wanted to learn these concepts and own them, so I felt that by teaching them, it would really help me do that and it did. And that's when all of these concepts made sense. I’m still teaching stuff that I want to learn and master, or at least get better at it.

GEORGE: Yeah, for sure. Because that's the progression of life, right? I think it’s always important to pay credit where credit is due, there's nothing more frustrating or me when intellectual property just gets passed around like… you learn something and then you pass it on as your own, but I think for the most, people can see through that. But I mean, content creation like what we’re doing here with podcasts, a lot of that is actually educating yourself on the go. Sometimes it’s from experience, but as you say, the other part of it is, it’s something you want to be better at. So the minute you start articulating it into words, you actually start getting the better understanding of what it is that you do.

BOGDAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I absolutely agree. And a huge turning point in my life was actually learning… I started teaching, I started teaching Wing Chun. That was actually my third martial arts style, I discovered Wing Chun when I moved to Greece to study. And I got my instructor certificate and started teaching. And you probably know, like, working with your clients, the challenges of opening a school when you know nothing about marketing and you're handing out flyers and you're just dealing with all this frustration.

And I sat down with the person who would become my marketing mentor and he asked me about what I was doing. And I told him, look, we do teach martial arts, but we focus a lot on the mindset and on the tools that you can use to better your relationships, to actually have a better relationship with yourself. And he's like, yeah, but you're not just teaching martial arts, are you? You're also teaching personal development. And that was like, that actually makes so much sense. So he was like, why don't you just be open with that in your marketing efforts? And yeah, that made a huge difference. I just put myself out there the way I was and the way that I wanted to help people out.

GEORGE: So can you give an example? I mean, if you're doing a personal development within your martial arts teaching, how do you go about that?

BOGDAN: Mhm. Well, usually we have 5-10 minute discussions every training session. And what I've learned to do now is to allow everyone to speak and I speak at the end. I offer my opinion at the end. And then I ask them, what concepts did you use, or did you find in the Wing Chun training today? What idea is it that you feel you can apply in your life directly? Wing Chun is interesting, because it’s not a technique based on martial art, in the sense of, OK, you do step one, you do step two and you do step three. It’s based on ideas; it’s based on concepts.

So in Wing Chun, we say that you can do an idea with your hand, you can do the same idea with a stick, you can do it with your car, you can apply it in your life, in terms of your relationships, in terms of your work, in terms of business development. One example would be, we use the straight punch, right? When we do the first film, we do a straight punch. For us, it’s not just a straight punch, it’s a way of thinking. Instead of going around, right, to get to my target, I choose the fastest way, all right?

Sometimes the straight line is not always the best solution, sometimes you do need to go around, right? But if you can go straight to the point, just do that, right? So you're learning to be a bit more direct, you're learning to be more assertive with your way of thinking and with who you are as a person. So we normally do that, I get my students thinking of how they can apply these ideas, these concepts to better, not just their lives, but also to share them with other people.

So that's how we basically include the whole personal development. And then in the end, I share some of the stuff that I've learned, some of the books that I've read, the videos that I post on my YouTube channel, there's, the Wing Chun, the specific way we focused on the martial arts and there is the mindset and personal development aspect of the channel.

GEORGE: So if you say you're sharing the same stuff on your social media channels and so forth, is that sort of your leading theme as everything… you tie it in with your marketing, you tie it in with the whole concept of how you deliver everything. Would you promote yourself as a martial arts school or a martial arts school focused on personal development, or vice versa?

BOGDAN: Personal Development Through Martial Arts school.

GEORGE: Right, of course – as you wrote it. So now, bringing it back to… in the class, you say you get people really involved: do you find that it creates some discomfort, or that it presents some confidence issues, I've really got to step this up, that type of thing?

BOGDAN: Are you asking for the students or for the instructors?

GEORGE: The student.

BOGDAN: For the student? Mhm, mhm, that's a great question. Well, they kind of expect it in the sense when they walk in because it’s a whole new concept. So they would expect something a bit different from a traditional martial arts training program, so the people that usually come to the school, actually, they do feel a bit uncomfortable at the beginning, sharing their experiences and talking with the group. But slowly, slowly… the school is very welcoming to new people. So slowly but surely, they get out of a state of a, What should I say, or What if I say something silly. And we just start having a conversation. Usually everyone in the group contributes, says something.

GEORGE: Cool, something silly like swapping martial arts for personal development, instead of personal development for martial arts.

BOGDAN: Yeah, yeah, that's it.

GEORGE: Alright, awesome. Ok, cool, so anything else that you can add with the personal development side and how it’s sort of working for you and I guess results that the students are getting that they might have not expected. You know, the whole thing of, sell them what they want and give them what they need.

BOGDAN: Indeed, mhm.

GEORGE: There we go.

BOGDAN: Well, I personally think that all martial arts schools should include a personal development curriculum in their teachings, in their training. And if you love martial arts and you don't know where to start, a great aspect would be just to have a personal development specialist come once in a while in your school and holds an event, holds a workshop. Maybe somebody who specializes in communication skills, somebody who specializes in performance and productivity. Somebody who specializes in psychology, or something like that right? Or motivation.

I feel that martial arts are like when you're doing martial arts, you're really building a very, very powerful engine, upgrading your engine from, I don't know, an old car with a very powerful Ferrari. And I'm referring to your willpower, you’re really tapping into that, you know, I'm actually stronger than I thought and I can actually take on more than I thought. You're learning hard work.

However, you're not really learning what to do with that engine once you've got it. So by learning about personal development and what are the actual techniques, or how to communicate a lot better or more efficiently with people, you're getting the best of both. The problem with just doing personal development, for example, is that you're just doing it, or you're keeping it in your head. Imagine just reading books or doing courses or attending seminars – that's great, that information eventually trickles down into your body. However, if you do a concept with your body and you're not just repeating it over and over again; you do it and you integrate it into every cell of your body, that's totally different.

For example, confidence: you might learn about confidence, you might hear a very inspirational YouTube video about believing in yourself, but unless you do something with your body and change the way you use it, change the way you use your hands, change the way you use your spine, and the way you use your face, right? He's not really going to understand it.

So, in my crazy opinion, I think all personal development programs should include a physical aspect, more of a physical aspect, be it martial arts, be it fitness, be it, Tai Chi, be it, you know I'm saying that as if Tai Chi were not a martial art – sorry all the Tai Chi instructors listening in. Yeah, so, at the same time, all martial arts programs I think would benefit very much from including a personal development program. And yeah.

GEORGE: I think you hit it there in a huge way because that's really what it is, right? And I mean, you've got your different learning styles, you've got someone might be visual, someone might be auditory and then kinesthetic. So the movements, when you tie it into martial arts, then you're tapping into all the senses. So by turning your, and it could be really subtle, but I guess you've got to have, as an instructor, you've got to have that personal development goal in mind, or a syllabus or something that you follow with that in mind. And then you can apply it in a way that it sinks in and it really becomes part of your body. Body really, as in, yeah.

BOGDAN: Yes, yes.

GEORGE: And I think that's probably, that's the biggest failure in most personal development things, because as you talk about, I think it’s Tony Robbins that actually drew out the statistic, that if – and this is why they've got it, I mean, he's really the guru of gurus when it comes to personal development and they've also got the process down to knowing, obviously when people fall off in their behaviors and when they don't follow through. There's a statistic, and don't quote me on this because I might get it wrong, but I think it’s 21 days, if someone doesn't take action, enforce the habit in 21 days, it’s pretty much gone. And then I think it takes 21 days to actually enforce a habit of day to day before it’s an actual habit. But that's the biggest danger, if it’s not physically applied, then the habit is just easy to let go.

BOGDAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's actually the biggest job of any personal development seminar, workshop or whatever you say. You do it once – if you just do it once, you're never going to integrate all the lessons that you got, right? You might have a notebook full of facts and ideas, but if you just put it somewhere and forget about it in your drawer, it’s not going to work. And I'm saying that to remind myself as well because I attend UBW two years ago, I still have the notebook. But if you don't have the environment, if you don't have a group of people who are all together striving for the same goal, or reinforcing those specific habits, it’s going to be very difficult for you to do so.

GEORGE: So for me when I started martial arts – and this was really like, if I dig down to the deeper things of why I started, this was a big thing, because I've always been striving for that self-improvement thing, doing personal development and then, for me it was really backwards. When I started martial arts training, I immediately made the link, which is what hooked me, because I've been studying, doing all this personal development stuff and now I'm applying things in a physical manner, and now it’s like aaa! This is great, this is coming together for me.

BOGDAN: Yes, yes.

GEORGE: But what happens when the mind is not ready? Because a lot of people aren't open to personal development. Do you just not hammer it in, but you just subtly actually apply it in the way you go about your teaching?

BOGDAN: You know, usually, the people who say that they don't need personal development are the people who need it the most. So I tend not to work with people who don't see the value of personal development. I did that in the past and it just felt weird for me, because I felt I couldn't give my all in the interactions with my students and I actually chose to say, you know, maybe this is not a good fit and let’s find a different solution.

So yeah, not everybody will need or want what you have and that's great, but the people who do see the value, you tend to see like a very, very interesting evolution. Not just in terms of their self-confidence, you see it in your lives, yeah. Yeah, some people became… Since they started training with us, they became their team leaders, they got promoted at their jobs, people are making more money. People who were not in relationships actually, they're happily married now. People who were in miserable relationships have cleaned that out of their lives, so these are some of the results that people are getting through the program.

GEORGE: So would you, you were mentioning that you don’t work with people that aren't on that mindset, that don't want to go down that route, which is obviously a good thing, saves you a lot of time down the line – how do you go about filtering people out before they get started?

BOGDAN: So people usually fill in a form. It’s a pretty long form, it’s like a 12 question form. And they're very personal, very deep questions, like, what do you need and why do you need that? What's holding you back? What would your life look like if you keep doing the same things that you’re doing and that's a filtering process in itself? And people go through this form and then we call them up for a phone interview. If we feel that they're a good fit and we do and we can help them out, we schedule them for a trial period for a week, where they can see the whole training sessions, we can get to meet them. And then, at the end of the trial period, we decide if we want to take that person on and work together.

GEORGE: So I'm going to put you on the spot.


GEORGE: Which means I might have to end this podcast. If you're still listening, then… Bogdan said yes.  So are we able to take your questions and actually include them in this podcast? As part of a download, with the transcription?

BOGDAN: You could, but I would have to translate them into English. It’s not a secret or anything, you can find this process anywhere. You can use this process for selling very high tech procedures as well or programs as well, it’s the same thing. Yeah, yeah, sure, you can include it as a PDF.

GEORGE: Awesome. And if you are listening to this and you are not focused on personal development, the reason I want you to have something like this is because, whether personal development or not, if you tap into your persons’ real – let’s take the martial arts out of it, we've talked about this. Martial arts is the vehicle to get them where they want.


GEORGE: You're not selling the martial arts training; you're selling the result that martial arts deliver.


GEORGE: So if your questions are provoking their thoughts of understanding what people really want, even if personal development is not your focus at all, but understanding what the real motives are for what this person wants to achieve, could be something that you could use in your own school and really benefit from the way you go about customizing your presentation, or your introduction. Because if you talk about a person's’ needs, then they're going to be more likely to respond than the logistics of, “We have a class Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – 20 pushups, 30 push ups, fitness…

BOGDAN: Yeah. Most people go about this the wrong way, in the sense, they start talking about themselves. Oh boy, you know, our school is the only one that teaches breaking bricks and my teacher was the world champion in China – nobody cares. If you start focusing on your potential clients, or just the people who are interested in what you're doing and you're talking about what they need and really being honest whether you can help them or not in that sense. And if you cannot help them, to recommend something else, or someone else.

For example, I remember someone filling in the form and saying, I need help with my money, with my financials, because I can't find a job. I got on the phone with that person and recommended someone who teaches personal finance. I recommended finding a mentor because I can’t help them. It wasn't the right time, and this is also important: if somebody can't really afford your program, don't give it to them. All right? Give them the tools that they need to be better off, but don't push to sell if it’s not the right time.

GEORGE: For sure. But I guess there's a flipside to that as well, right? Because sometimes – and obviously, what I'm about to say depends on the context of when this happens, if you’ve gone out of your way and you presented something to them and they can't afford it – by all means, at that level, yeah. Don't push the sale.

BOGDAN: Mhm, mhm.

GEORGE: But I think it’s important to not confuse that with the smokescreen of, “I can't afford this.”

BOGDAN: Ah, yes.

GEORGE: Because it’s very surprising what people could afford when you tell them that this is going to deliver the result that they want.


GEORGE: People make changes. People cancel stuff, they'll cancel their satellite networks or whatever they need, and if something is going to give them the result and the confidence and change everything about them, they will afford it.

BOGDAN: They'll find a way.

GEORGE: They find a way, yes.

BOGDAN: Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. I feel that people tend to say that, “I can't afford it,” when you're talking too much about your school and about Wing Chun and you're like, you're being pushy again. But if they fill in the form and they're looking for you and you're taking them through this filtering process, just like you would for a job interview, they're already qualified, right? So they kind of expect to invest in themselves in that way.

GEORGE: Good point. And it takes me back to olden days’ sales training. I can see now how hard it might be for a martial arts school if you started a martial arts school and you haven't been in that type of training of sales training. When people say, when people tell you they can't afford stuff, it’s easy to just accept that as true. But what we’re always taught in sales is that it’s more than likely just a smokescreen.


GEORGE: I mean, if they're engaging, if they're actually in your school, talking about martial arts and they tell you they can't afford it, then what were they doing there in the first place? I mean, they knew it was going to cost them money, they knew it was not going to be free. So I think it’s the hardest part of communication is, I guess looking in the mirror, and I know I'm going a bit off topic, but I think it adds context to what we're talking about.

If you're having that conversation – and that's something that everybody tells you, then maybe, unfortunately, you've got to be able to look in the mirror. And it’s the hardest thing to do, you've got to look at, what is it that you're saying that is causing that? Because you're missing a point here maybe, like what you were saying, you're talking too much about yourself and you're not focused on what their actual needs are.

BOGDAN: Yes, yes, absolutely agree on that. I think we’re very conflicted as martial arts teachers in this aspect of charging what we’re worth and what most people teaching martial arts don't realize are that the same person that says, ‘I can't afford you, pays a therapist more than they will ever pay you for therapy. But you need to realize that you're not just teaching martial arts; you're giving people a chance to live healthier and happier. Why should somebody who is helping them cure the problem be paid more than you who are helping them prevent the problem, right?

So I'm not saying, OK, raise your glasses so that nobody will come to your school anymore, but just be aware of the value that you're really giving. You're not teaching people to punch other people in the face, like less than 1% of the people that you teach will get into an actual fight. You're teaching people to know themselves. By knowing themselves, they learn to say yes to more of what makes them happy and say no to what doesn’t make them happy and doesn't bring more of that satisfaction in their lives. So you're cancelling their medical bills, you're cancelling their psychotherapy pills and you know, you're just helping them thrive.

GEORGE: Definitely so. Hey Bogdan, this has been a very insightful conversation. I want to ask you, if you're new to this personal development thing, I mean, I probably have a few preferences myself, but for you as a martial arts instructor and you run a school and you do this: if I want to get into personal development, what do you think is the best place to start?

BOGDAN: Well the internet! The internet, it’s full of personal development quotes…

GEORGE: Facebook?

BOGDAN: Videos… Facebook, yeah, as well. The problem that internet, the advantage of the internet is the huge quantity of information. The disadvantage is the huge quantity of information. So whatever we recommend, if you're teaching martial arts and you want to tap into personal development, it’s actually to start listening to the Personal Development Through Martial Arts podcast. There you go. There's a plug for you.


BOGDAN: And absolutely, go ahead and check the interview with George. We talked a lot about marketing and growing your school, that was a lot of fun. Yeah, yeah, I basically recommend the podcast, because we’re having very, very powerful inspiration from people who are experts in this field of fitness, personal development, communication. I’m interviewing Florin who is a personal finance expert who teaches that. And also, of course, martial arts masters that you can learn and get insights from. Yeah.

GEORGE: Fantastic. And so, your podcast is for direct access, that's addicted2wingchun.com.

BOGDAN: I think the best would be just to Google Personal Development through Martial Arts podcast. You can find it on iTunes for now, Google play is not available in Romania yet, but I'm still looking into that and making it available on Google play as well. But yeah, the fastest way would be just to Google the title.

GEORGE: Sounds good. Bogdan – it’s been great speaking to you, and I'm going to round this up with one last question.


GEORGE: And that is, what is the one biggest reason that I would want to come and visit Romania?

BOGDAN: Uh, well, to come to our school. That would be the number one! Romania is awesome. You know, we’re very welcoming people. I think that if you came to Romania you would immediately feel like you're at home. And the people, the people, 100%. And you know, you can check out the mountains as well, the sea, there's a lot of stuff to do and a lot of fun, but 100% the people.

GEORGE: And your school, of course.

BOGDAN: And my school.

GEORGE: That's a given!

BOGDAN: Awesome.

GEORGE: Awesome. Bogdan, thanks, thanks again. Great chatting with you and it was great being featured on your Personal Development podcast as well. Personal Development for Martial Arts and I look forward to catching up again soon.

BOGDAN: Awesome, thank you so much for the invitation guys, thanks so much for listening in.

GEORGE: Awesome – cheers!


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54 – Damien Martin – Risk Management Planning in Martial Arts

George Fourie speaks with Damien Martin about Risk Management planning in martial arts, training in Japan and instructing children with special needs.


  • How risk management applies to martial arts marketing.
  • The risk factors in martial arts schools that some school owners overlook.
  • The necessary steps in identifying, assessing and controlling threats in your school.
  • How Damien changes a prospect’s perception about his school.
  • Working with students with special needs and autism.
  • And more

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


Well, I learnt very early on that you don't have one advertising method that tries to bring you 20 students a month. You have 20 that try and bring you one. That way if one fails or one changes, you've still got the other 19 acting as a redundancy. Again, it comes back to risk management.

GEORGE: This podcast is the audio version of a video interview that was done on martialartsmedia.com. For the full interview with video and to download the transcript, please go to martialartsmedia.com/54. That's the number five, four.

Good day. George Fourie from martialartsmedia.com, and welcome to the Martial Arts Media business podcast. I have an awesome guest with me today. Damien Martin, all the way from Brisbane. How are you doing, Damien?

DAMIEN: Gold Coast, actually. But…

GEORGE: All right. Well, got that. It's close.

DAMIEN: Yeah, yeah. It's close enough.

GEORGE: It's close enough. All right. Well, that's a good way to start the podcast interview. So let's adjust from here on. Awesome. So we've got Damien on today and Damien is a wealth of knowledge in the industry. We're going to touch on perhaps some sensitive topics in regards to risk management and a few things.

And I met Damien quite a while back, officially face-to-face, at The Main Event in Sydney. That was last year. And we'd just finished building his website as well, which looks pretty cool, southerncrossmartialarts.com. So you can check that out.

So we're going to get started. So welcome to the call, Damien.

DAMIEN: Thank you and thanks for having me.

GEORGE: Cool. So to start right at the beginning, who is Damien Martin?

DAMIEN: Well, that depends on who you ask. But I've been training since 1982 when I started judo as a 12-year-old. Have been continuously training ever since. Been running teaching since 1987 and currently running the Southern Cross Martial Arts Association on the Gold Coast with my wife, Hannah. So we're a full-time center in Helensvale.

Primary focus these days is Okinawan Goju-Ryu and Okinawan Kobudo. So weaponry. As well as just the practical self-defense applications and things that spring from that and the other training that I've done over the years.

GEORGE: And when did you get started with Southern Cross Martial Arts?

DAMIEN: We started that in 2008. In 2008 I left the organization I'd been with since 1984, which was Zen Do Kai. We left there after some disagreements on future direction and not wishing to take advice on how to run a full-time school from people that don't run a full-time school.

At that point we were also running an RTO, delivering training to a bunch of government departments on risk management, self-defense and those sorts of things.

GEORGE: Alright, cool. So risk management, that's a topic that we've discussed in brief. What do you see, how do you see risk management and what do you see the effects of, I guess, the dangers of running a martial arts school?

DAMIEN: Well, just to back up where I'm coming from, I'm an OH&S consultant and have an advanced diploma in security and risk management. I worked in that particular space for well over 20 years. So most people tend to look at risk management from a physical point of view and think of risk as, you know, someone falls over and you get sued or one student beats another student up and you get sued.

And that's certainly an element of that but other risk factors that people don't tend to take into account in our industry is a risk to reputation. And I'm not just talking about social media and how many reviews you get and all those sorts of things. But, for example, if there's an accusation made of inappropriate behavior within your school that goes to the media, your school is destroyed.

Whether that allegation is baseless or based in fact. There are several instances in the recent past where similar things have happened to people in the entertainment industry who were later exonerated but they've lost their job, they've lost their marriage, they've lost their reputation. Now can't work in the industry based on, you know, false accusations.

And to be sure, there have been instances in the past where the accusations have not been baseless. And schools have been found and reported to be lacking in the recent Royal Commission into Child Abuse in Institutions where abuse happened within organizations and yet there was no child protection policy, there was no policy of checking when working with children or any of those sorts of things.

So those are some of the other issues. Then you've got your risks related to untruthful advertising and prosecution from the ACCC or Fair Trading in individual states. Like, for example, I've seen schools claim that they can cure autism. That's a pretty big claim and that is one that is likely to result in negative media attention. That negative media attention can destroy your own school but it can also negatively impact all of the other schools in the industry.

GEORGE: Okay. So, I mean, because I haven't really seen anything big in the media. Is this something that's sort of it's covered up before it sort of blows up type of thing? Or are there things going on in the underground that are just it's going to cause some obstacles and problems down the line?

DAMIEN: Sometimes things don't come to public light because there's out of court settlements with gag orders attached. So things like defamation or if someone sues for something. If there's a pre-trial settlement, the details are not made public.

Whereas if it goes to trial, the details can be found, for example, on the AustLII website, which is the Australian Law Library Index which catalogs all of the various cases that have gone to trial and come to a conclusion.

What insurance companies will often do is settle out of court. So if they settle out of court, that's usually based on there's a confidentiality agreement that you, you know, can't say what happened or what the accusation was or those sorts of things. You just take your money and shut up.

If you look at the AustLII library for things in relation to martial arts, there's a lot of disputes over contracts, there's a lot of disputes over trademarks. But a lot of stuff doesn't make public light that way. The other way that it can become public is if it goes to criminal trial. So like an instructor has perhaps, as has happened in a number of cases over the years, sexually assaulted students.

Other ways it happens is if it ends up on A Current Affair, and I can think of a couple of big instances over the last few years. One, in fact, in Melbourne actually led to a change in legislation relating to knives and martial arts weapons. A Current Affair ran a big story. It was a beat-up about a particular school and the particular instructor who focused particularly on knife fighting. And the next thing you know, the Victorian Government has changed the legislation based on that particular story.

The White Paper that was released on that, rather than a regulatory impact statement, gave the specifics of why the legislation came into being and how that was influenced by certain members of the industry who perhaps overstepped their authority to represent.

GEORGE: So where does the problem really start? You know, 'cause I guess the first thing I always … Like when I stepped into helping martial arts school owners with the marketing and so forth, I guess a big attraction to me was the ethical side of it. You know, like if this is what you practice as in an art, then I'd assume that's the way you live your life as well. Which I'm kind of shocked to see sometimes is completely not the case. But-

DAMIEN: Yeah. And I found that there's a direct relationship between the number of times an instructor mentions ethics and the amount of ethics they actually demonstrate themselves. Particularly some of the instructors I've met and worked with over the last sort of 35 years. There's been a lot of them go on and on and on about concepts like Bushido and loyalty and honor and justice and courage and these sorts of things, and yet that's lacking in their own lives in every way, shape or form.

They use the martial arts to feed their own egos. Now, there's a lot of those but it's a huge industry. I mean, the martial arts industry in Australia, nobody can really put a finger on how big it is. The Australia Bureau of Statistics varies, depending on which question is asked. And the Australian Sports Commission only looks at sporting bodies. It doesn't cover all of those martial arts organizations, some of which are quite large, that don't participate in Australian Sports Commission approved sporting activities.

So, you know, if you're not doing sport taekwondo or sport karate or sport jujitsu or sport judo, if you're doing recreational karate in a school hall somewhere, you're not in the figures. So, you know, no one really knows how big the industry is.

So it's broken up. Some people are really, really good. Some people are really, really bad and they tend to color it for the good people. But most people are just pretty much happy amateurs stumbling along, not deliberately meaning to injure anybody or cause anybody any grief. But they do so out of ignorance.

Martial artists tend to be quite credulous so they believe what their teacher told them without fact-checking and those sorts of things as a general rule. So if someone's teacher told them that a particular technique is invincible, then they've got no reason to check. That is the way a lot of people think.

Likewise, you know, I had a person who ran in the 1970s a large martial arts organization in Australia, probably the largest for about 20 years in this country, tell me that direct debit would never work because nobody would give you their bank account details. He was talking from a position of ignorance rather than being a professional business owner in the 21st century. That level of credulity, it just is a problem.

GEORGE: All right. So even if your instructor does these, what is it, these, what's it, yellow bamboo? I think it's called yellow bamboo. You must have seen that video. I think it's yellow bamboo, yeah.

DAMIEN: Yeah. Look, there's an awful lot of martial arts schools out there where the instructor's built up this reputation for being awesome at what they do because they only ever do it against non-resisting students. The real world is a different thing altogether.

So if they're not constantly testing the techniques against a resisting opponent, which is not the same thing as sparring. Sparring is, generally speaking, quite well-mannered and predictable. If they're not constantly pressure testing through scenarios and those sorts of things, or even combat sports application, then any claim that a technique is invincible is probably not true.

There are no absolutes. You know, martial arts instructors often tell their students, you know, if someone pulls a knife you run away. But you can't always run away and what if you can't run as good as the other guy? Again, the absolute of just run away is not true in all of that. You know, you can't always run away.

GEORGE: Yeah. So, I mean, what's the solution here? Because, I mean, if we look at the sort of evolution of this path, right? So let's say I'm an instructor and I'm training martial arts and I get this urge that I've got to create a school. You know, maybe it starts in my backyard and I get a few students, and then that sort of, you know, builds on itself. And then I'm like, “All right, I've got to get into premises.”

So where's the big gap and how do you fix the gap of where all these problems occur with risk management?

DAMIEN: Well, the same thing happens in a lot of other industries. You know, you get a lot of people, like they might be a very good craftsman at what they do. They might be a very good carpenter. They make wonderful chairs and tables and their things are well sought after. So they go out and they start and they set up a little shop, a little factory, to try and sell their wares.

That shop might not be zoned correctly. So they might set it up, you know, in an area where it's too noisy and finds themselves in trouble with the council. So martial arts schools, same sort of thing. They might not be insured for manufacturing things. Somebody sits on one of the chairs or does something with one of the chairs that they've built and it causes an injury, they might suddenly find that they needed insurance.

You know, it's no different really with the martial arts sector except that the martial arts sector is selling services based on, in a lot of cases, fantasy from what people have seen on TV. So there is no central body. Various countries and organizations have tried over the years, from the Dai Nippon Butokukai back in Japan pre-war and post war trying to coordinate all Japanese martial arts. That didn't work.

The Japan Karate Federation, the World Karate Federation. There have been so many organizations over the years try and bring all martial artists together, but martial artists are as diverse as language groups and cultures. You know, it's like saying that everybody's the same. And they're not. The martial arts themselves are not homogenous. They're very diverse.

People practice martial arts for different reasons. Some people want self-defense, or they think they do. Some want to get fit. Some for cultural reasons. Some do it because their friends do it. There's no one reason why people do martial arts.

So, you know, we're not all covered by the sporting bodies, for example. We're not all covered by international organizations and bodies because of the politics that are associated with those. It's a hugely diverse industry. And that's one of its strengths but it's also its biggest weakness.

GEORGE: So let's say I was a school owner and I'm not covered in any way. What do you think are the first steps that need to happen?

DAMIEN: Usually Google to start with, and do a basic business plan. You know, most small businesses fail in the first five years. They fail 'cause they fail to plan. You need to do a basic business plan. That basic business plan will ask the questions that you need to look at and address in relation to planning, zoning, insurance, accounting.

Like, you know, what's the best business structure for you? Are you going to be a sole trader, are you going to be part of a club or an incorporated not-for-profit association? Are you going to be a company? Is a family trust required? You know, you need advice from experts in the martial arts and the martial arts business sector, like you do in any business sector.

So I'd start with Google and a business plan. The business plan will set you on the right track for asking those questions.

GEORGE: Sounds good. So let's just touch on advertising. And I actually want to, you mentioned Japan and I know you've done some extensive traveling there the last couple of months. But let's talk about advertising because, you know, you mentioned that there's misleading advertising. And right now, at the time of recording this, there's a big shuffle on Facebook. A big change in structure in valuing more one-to-one interaction, valuing more local news.

So there's a lot of changes happening. And the first thing that marketers always do is they shut. Do they? This is the end? And marketers destroy everything. It's normally marketing becoming easier and people pushing boundaries, doing advertising and just it's becoming too easy. And because it becomes too easy there's not enough control.

And, I mean, I've seen this over the years in different platforms. Google being number one, known as the Big Google Slap where everybody lost all their AdWords accounts. Search engines being slapped. I mean, it's just a trend. It's a trend of the platform gets popular, there are eyeballs. Too many advertisers come onto the platform, make silly errors, it devalues the actual platform. And because the platform gets devalued, peoples' eyeballs go elsewhere and they've got to protect what they obviously own. Like with Facebook and such.

So, I mean, that's the things I'm seeing like in what's relevant right now with advertising, is there's a big cleanup happening. And I would suspect that if a lot of school owners had to lose their Facebook accounts, which happens, ad accounts get suspended on a day-to-day basis, their business will go with it. Because that's their one lead generation source. So your take on advertising and being within the boundaries?

DAMIEN: Well, I learnt very early on that you don't have one advertising method that tries to bring you 20 students a month. You have 20 that try and bring you one. That way if one fails or one changes, you've still got the other 19 acting as a redundancy. Again, it comes back to risk management.

To have all of your eggs in the Facebook market or the Facebook basket, so to speak, is a bit short sighted. You need to have those other methods out there. You've still got things like referrals, signage, people just knowing where you are. You know, there's a lot of other methods.

Some things don't work anymore. Yellow Pages, for example, doesn't work for us at all. Because we test and measure just about everything. Flyers in the letterbox don't work anymore. Again, we know that because we test and measure. We used to do the first four weeks of every year we'd do 10,000 flyers a week around our local area and then watch the associated web hits go up as people type in the web address and looked at our website and everything. That just stopped. It's not like it dwindled. It's one year it worked, the next year it did not. Or the year after.

So if we were putting all of our eggs in that particular basket, that would have been disastrous for us as an organization. You've just got to be somewhat diversified while staying on trend for the more current ways that people shop and think. You know, maybe Instagram will work for you in your area. Maybe it won't. Maybe Facebook is good in your area. Maybe it's not. Maybe Google AdWords works better.

Maybe you're in a country town and the newspaper advertising still works. You know, there's a lot of variables. You've got to know your own marketplace, your own client base and who comes to your school and who buys your services. A lot of people don't. They try and take a cookie-cutter approach. And, you know, for years everyone was buying their ads from organizations in America. MASuccess, those sorts of things.

And one thing I found early on in the '90s was that if there's an American flag on a uniform in an ad, that ad doesn't work in Australia. It might work in America but it doesn't work here. So you learn what your individual market requirements are and you've always got to be testing and measuring.

GEORGE: Yeah, so true. I mean, we've seen that with the same franchise, same marketing, same everything. Two different locations, two different results. Everything the same. And, you know, we always talk about, in my presentation I talk about five levels of awareness. I call it The Five Stages of the Student’s Signup Cycle. You know, there's your marketing but there's always the message that was received before and leading up to actually seeing your marketing. And that's going to also affect the actual response at the end of the day.

So, Damien, tell me about Japan. Tell me about your trip. Just to change gears here. Tell me about your trip to Japan and what did you get out of that experience?

DAMIEN: Well, we go to Okinawa, which obviously is part of Japan, every year to train with our Goju Sensei and with our Kobudo Sensei. Two different organizations but closely related. We just love the place, we love the people, we love the training. And we like, or I particularly like, those lightbulb moments that you get where practices within the martial arts that are remnants of where it came from, suddenly their purpose becomes apparent.

So, for example, a lot of the stories and things that are passed down, in martial arts schools in Australia at least, come from publications from the 1960s that were written by people that actually had very limited exposure to what they were writing about.

So these stories took on a life of their own. So there was, you know, the old Okinawan practice, for example, of practicing their training or their martial arts at the tombs of their family. So family tombs are a big thing in Okinawa and it was an even bigger thing pre-World War II.

And the theory was that they were, you know, spiritually connecting with their ancestors and all those sorts of things. And when we spoke to the Okinawans about it, apart from the sort of raised eyebrows to work out whether we were taking the piss, it was, “Well, the grass is cut short there. There are no snakes.” Everywhere else you could get bitten by a snake. And it's like, “Oh, that's very pragmatic.”

There's a lot of those sorts of things and, being a bit of a karate nerd and amateur historian, I really appreciate those moments. But the people are the main thing.

GEORGE: The people. So what are the sort of key things that you learn that you come back and you take a different approach in your school?

DAMIEN: Well, our journey with the Okinawan karate deal, like I was doing Zen Do Kai up until 2008. But in 1999 I started with Okinawan Goju as well. And my idea was to refine the Kata. Make them better, make them more practical, make them more understandable. Because if we've been doing this particular template of movements for the last 100, 150 years, it must have had a purpose.

So trying to find the purpose, trying to find the applications, was what sort of drove me down that path. So this year, on the way to Okinawa, we also went to China. To Fuzhou, which is where Kanryo Higashionna, who was Chōjun Miyagi, the founder of Goju's teacher, trained. And we found the or had found through a couple of years of research, the school where he trained.

And we wanted to go there and see what they were doing and why they were doing it, and how closely related it was to what we were doing. And I was pleasantly surprised that what they were doing was not that far removed from what we were doing. Some of it looked different but the applications were the same. The hip movement, the arm movement, the actual applications in different forms was the same.

Which for me, as a martial arts teacher, was good. I quite enjoyed that connection. So we're still fact-checking some of the things that they told us and we'll hopefully be publishing some information. It's a little bit of a historical addition, if you will, to the current sort of communal knowledge on origins of karate in Okinawa and the origins of Goju-Ryu in particular.

GEORGE: It sounds like you have a book coming out.

DAMIEN: I wouldn't say a book. Maybe a couple of articles but, I don't know, I don't think it's exciting enough for most people to justify the costs of publishing.

GEORGE: I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

DAMIEN: Well, based on the reaction I've had from some quarters on the Blitz article that was done about this for the December/January issue, what I found is by saying certain things it challenges people's beliefs to the core. And people's beliefs about their martial arts is very akin to people's beliefs about their religion. So we need to make sure that all our ducks are in a row.

GEORGE: Yeah. Yeah, I could see it opening a big can of worms. Yeah, especially if you touch on things, like you mentioned, with the tombstones and just things that people base their entire martial arts career upon, and now it sort of gets challenged. Yeah.

DAMIEN: Yeah, I think the Kung Fu TV series in the 1970s and then, you know, the later, the Ninja phase and all of those things that have been trends through the martial arts over the years have all left their little remnants in popular culture and the way people perceive martial arts and what they can be.

You know, like there's this common perception that karate is an antique and is not street effective. And if you're not doing Krav Maga then, you know, you're not doing the right thing. Or even in the MMA circles. But the core of a lot of Krav Maga technique came from karate. Krav Maga is a mixed martial art or a hybrid martial art. It forgets where some of its core techniques come from.

The MMA people that talk about, you know, the dominance of MMA fighters or this, that and the other forget that guys like Georges St-Pierre or Lyoto Machida and those guys were karate practitioners primarily. You know, everything has its place. So it's just another trend.

GEORGE: Yeah, so how do you … I mean, let's say I'm a prospect and I walk into Southern Cross Martial Arts and that's my thinking. My thinking is I've come from, you know, I'm looking at UFC and I've got this certain perception and that's sort of what I see as what I want. Or maybe what I don't want. How do you have that conversation?

DAMIEN: As much as possible, we put them on the floor and they start to train. And it's more about feeling and moving than it is about talking. The only way to change people's perceptions is to show them. You can tell them till you're blue in the face but people are so used to marketers lying to them now that they don't believe you.

So we get 'em on the floor and show them why we do what we do. We don't beat anybody up or anything like that, don't get me wrong. But get them on the floor to train, to feel their body moving and take it from there. And, look, what we do is not for everybody. Some people, some younger people want to spar more, for example. I did when I was in my 20s.

Now we're fully cognizant of the fact that people have jobs to go to and an income to make. They don't all want to live like, you know, karate hobos like we did with broken bits and pieces all the time. It's a different world. And we know more as well.

GEORGE: Awesome. Damien, I'm going to ask you one more question and now that I think of it, this could actually probably spur on a whole different episode, as such. But you mentioned that you work with kids with autism.


GEORGE: Now, this could probably be a much longer conversation but I just wanted to touch on it. What advice would you have for people that work with kids with autism or special needs?

DAMIEN: Well, we have a saying in the world of those that work with kids with autism. Basically, once you've met one autistic kid you've met one autistic kid. Meaning basically that they're all different. While there are stereotypical behaviors, each child is different, is motivated differently, works differently, mentally, physically, and so on.

But don't make assumptions and don't jump into conclusions. And the first thing that people need to do is get educated. There's plenty of programs out there on what autism actually is. Don't rely on memes that you read on Facebook. And actually, to be blunt, get a clue.

There's a lot of people now claiming that they specialize in teaching autistic kids. And we pick up the pieces. Yelling at them, screaming at them. You know, it's ridiculous what some people are doing. And it's, “Oh, this is the tradition.” Really? You know, it's not.

GEORGE: You mean, I can't believe all the memes I see on Facebook?

DAMIEN: No. Facebook is a wonderful way of connecting the world and so on, but it can also do so much harm. And some of these memes that are floating around. You know, like there's a correlation being found between gut flora and autism. Now, correlation does not indicate causation. All right, it's just something that they need to investigate further.

But you've got people out there that are advocating parents with autistic children get them to drink bleach, for example, because it'll kill the bad microbes and so. And it's horrendously harmful. But if you've worked with some of the parents that are so desperate to help their child, some of them try it. Based on some crap they see on the internet. It just…

So, yeah, I've seen martial arts schools advertise that they can cure autism. If that's not a potential A Current Affair episode, I don't know what is. You know, martial arts is good for children on the spectrum if they're working with caring and educated instructors. Because it has its consistency. Things are done pretty much the same way each class, as in your warm ups and those sorts of things. There's a predictability about it that makes them feel comfortable.

And we've had some amazing successes with some of our autistic kids. With one of our junior black belts now, he's 12, he's been with us for eight years. You know, his whole persona has changed based on the lessons that he's learned for dealing with other people. Just out of counting out loud in class and things like that.

GEORGE: Fascinating.

DAMIEN: Yeah, so I'd say that my main advice would be to get educated and get a clue rather than getting your education by getting on, say, Facebook. And I see this on a daily basis, and I've started deleting these groups. But they'll get on a martial arts business group, for example, and say I've got an autistic kid who's just joined my class. What do I do? And you'll get all of this stuff. It will be regurgitated by people.

And it all tends to be very stereotypical. It doesn't take into account that every autistic child is just as much an individual or unique as every other child that we teach. So, you know, we need to get to know them. A lot of kids with the autism spectrum have sensory processing disorders. So the idea of kiai, or kiai-ing in class, if that child is sensitive to noise, is going to be a major barrier.

Or they might have sensory processing issues with things touching their head. So if you wear helmets in class for sparring, that might be the issue and you need to work a way around that. There are so many different things.

GEORGE: Well, yeah, it seems like really putting aside everything, your practice and your tradition of what you do, and really customizing it to what's going to be the obstacles with this child and really playing a real close ear on the ground.


GEORGE: I mean, a close ear on the ground to really understand what their needs and what their obstacles are in how this tradition is going to affect them.

DAMIEN: Yeah. And it's not a matter of lowering your standards. It's a matter of lowering your time expectations and having more patience. But just because somebody processes information in a different way doesn't mean that they can't do a front kick the same way as everybody else. It just might take them a slightly different way to get to that point.

There's just so many variables. And we've built up somewhat of an unexpected expertise with autism. It wasn't our goal. And we've spoken to our parents on a number of occasions. Do they want separate classes for the kids on the spectrum? And the overwhelming answer is no because they need to learn to deal with regular people.

GEORGE: Definitely.

DAMIEN: So by segregating all the autistic kids into the one class, all they get to deal with is other autistic people. And to be quite honest, most autistic people don't want that.

GEORGE: Yeah. That's awesome. Damien, that can probably spark a whole new episode. And I'm happy to have you on again if anyone's got questions about that. I know, you know, for I always mention this in our Martial Arts Media Academy program. You've just got to be so careful where you get advice from. It's easier, you know, Facebook has made it easier for everybody to connect but some people should not have an opinion verbally.

It's just a fact. You know, I mean, and Joe Rogan actually says it the best. You know, if you get a million people, there's going to be a hundred thousand assholes that don't know what's going on. Out of every hundred thousand or thousand? And those are mostly the most vocal ones. So it's very easy to just take advice because every comment looks equal. But you don't know the background of that person, what they've done, their ethics, their education. So, yeah, you've got to be so careful.

DAMIEN: One of the ones that comes up regularly is the link between … No, actually I'm going to rephrase that because there is no link. But the purported link between autism and vaccinations. Now, the doctor, who's no longer a doctor because he lost his medical license, who did that study had a financial interest in another vaccination. He fabricated a report and a link to no evidence whatsoever so that he could sell his vaccination.

Now, he got caught and it was all redacted and the Lancet redacted the report and so on. But that myth, since then, since Wakefield's report, has perpetuated itself and the internet is making it worse and worse and worse and worse to the point where diseases like a polio and whooping cough and so on are making a comeback. They were all but eradicated. Because people don't want their children to catch autism. It's not something that you catch.

But there are some good organizations out there that are doing training. I'm doing a presentation, or my wife and I are doing a presentation, for the Titan's event in May on working with kids on the spectrum and would just like to get more information out there so that people are not traumatizing these kids with something that should be profoundly helpful.

GEORGE: Fascinating. Awesome stuff. For anybody, there's a … And, you know, just we'll close, probably close it off here, but there's a book, Trust Me, I'm Lying, by Ryan Holiday. If you ever want a true perspective of how media can get manipulated, he was a self-confessed media manipulator. His job was to plant rumors, spread them, create the media behind it. There would be rallies.

Until they saw the consequences of people dying because of fake news spreading in such a way that the consequences kick in. It's a brilliant read, just to get a perspective of don't get all your information from a Facebook post. Because that article was probably written with intent or paid by someone to write. And they did their own research with whatever they could find, and they wrote it and put it together. And it creates a perception where the intent was really just to disrupt. So, yeah, probably a good way to end that off.

DAMIEN: No problem.

GEORGE: Awesome. And Damien, thanks again for coming on. If anybody wants to get in touch with you and learn more about you, where should they go?

DAMIEN: The best point of contact would either be via our website, which you mentioned earlier, www.southerncrossmartialarts.com, or Facebook is probably the easiest way. I'm not good with telephones.

GEORGE: Skype video, it works.


GEORGE: All right. Awesome. Thanks, Damien.

DAMIEN: No worries.

GEORGE: Thanks for being on. I'll speak to you soon. Cheers.

DAMIEN: Cheers. Bye.


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53 – [Case Study] Mike Fooks – Doubling Your Part-Time BJJ School With One Successful Campaign

Martial Arts Media Academy member Mike Fooks from Auckland is on a marketing roll! And if his new student signups stay, he's doubled his BJJ school.


  • How Mike Fooks has managed to balance his martial arts and corporate life
  • The benefits of online advertising services such as Facebook Ads and Google AdWords
  • How a single Facebook campaign doubled Mike’s student number
  • How the Martial Arts Media Academy program has helped Mike implement his campaign correctly
  • The one thing that Mike could have done differently before he launched his Facebook campaign
  • And more

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



So already from one two-week campaign. I'm going to, if not hit my goal, I'm going to be at least halfway towards it. In effect, the only reason I've pulled back on the campaign a little bit now is because we ran out of the free uniforms, or close to it. So I've got more on order. When they head, we'll be back into it. Their goal, which I thought was, these people are audacious to try and double. I have a suspicion we're going to hit that fairly quickly.

GEORGE: Hi, this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast! Today I'm with Mike Fooks and we're going to do a bit of a combination here. I got to know Mike through one of the online communities that I'm part of and we've built a new website for him; which you can check out at groundcontrol.net.nz.

Mike's based in Auckland and we got started with helping him with the Martial Arts Media Academy Program where we help martial arts school owners with lead generation and so forth. Besides that, Mike's got a very interesting story with things that he does in the corporate world and how that overlaps with the martial arts school. This is going to be a fun conversation! So welcome to the podcast, Mike!

MIKE: Thanks, George! Thanks for having me on!

GEORGE: Awesome! So, based in Auckland. Probably going to come and visit you September this year. So, I guess just to start things off. Who is Mike Fooks?

MIKE: Okay, so I spend my time doing a number of different things. Obviously, I'm a martial arts school owner. We run an academy called “GroundControl” where we focus on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts. That's been going for about 11 years now under that name. Been training for a little bit longer than that before we named the school, but that's not my full-time gig. During the day I spend most of my time doing corporate training.

So, working with sales teams and leaders and various people. Primarily on face-to-face persuasive communication whether it's sales or influence in negotiation or even internal communication and conflict management. Those sorts of things and also a lot on mindset and resilience. I'm trained at university in Psychology and then went on and got qualified in neurolinguistics or NLP over a number of years. Then, based on that, my partner and I have a private practice where we do individual work with people one-on-one sort of coaching, counselling, therapeutic type stuff.

Obviously whether it is therapy or coaching just depends on how messed up they are when they walk in the door but hopefully, it's all the same by the time they walk out. And so that's another thing I spend my time doing.

Sometimes people say to me, wow, Mike, well that's a lot you've got going on but to me, it's actually really simple. When people ask me, “What do you do?” I'm a coach. You know? My job is to bring out the potential in others. And I just do that in various formats. Sometimes I do that in the boardroom, in the training room. Sometimes I do that in my coaching room. And of course, sometimes I do that on the martial arts mat.

GEORGE: That's an interesting philosophy. Yeah. It sounds like many things happening but as you mentioned, you're kind of trying to achieve the same result with the people that you work with, just through a different medium.

MIKE: Yeah, that's right. There's often a little bit of leakage between the two things. I get frustrated when I'm teaching corporates, for example, because I'm going, “Look, there are so many great examples of what I'm talking about if you just knew jiu-jitsu.” And certainly, on the jiu-jitsu mat, you know, there are concepts that I will teach corporates about communication or how to problem solve, which make it into our coaching sessions at GroundControl. There's a little bit of leakage involved.

GEORGE: So have you ever then cross-promoted if you feel. Do you cross promote between the corporate training that you do and jiu-jitsu?

MIKE: I have to be a little careful on that because the sponsors that get me involved too, you know, I’m with the sales team would probably take a dim view if they thought I was using that as a platform to cross-promote jiu-jitsu. Having said that, inevitably I tell a couple of jiu-jitsu stories or metaphors and it's not unusual for somebody to tap me on the shoulder afterwards and say, “Hey, have you got more information on that? I'd be keen to have a look.” So that certainly happens.

GEORGE: Alright, alright. Interesting. Now, how did you get started in jiu-jitsu, first and foremost?

MIKE: If we go all the way back, as a kid I did the standard dabbling in martial arts, I think a couple of lessons in judo when I was about six. And two lessons of karate when I was 13. But I got started, seriously in my martial arts career in another style, Aikido. Which I started in 1993. Had always been interested in martial arts, watched all the movies. But got intrigued by this idea of Aikido, based on a conversation I had with a friend of my brothers who was into judo and karate. And showed me a basic kind of immobilization arm lock. And then talked about how Aikido guys, that's what you do in anything like that, just immobilize, wow that sounds cool.

So I did some research and got involved in Aikido. Now, of course, 1993 was an interesting year to start in the martial arts because it was the same year of the first UFC. So I started in April and towards the end of that year, the first UFC came out and, of course, that just rocked the entire martial arts community as most of your listeners will be aware.

At the time, I was at university. And I was working in a video games parlor to earn some cash, part-time. So I would sit on the desk and just load myself up with five martial arts magazines every shift and just devour as much information as I could. And so I was kind of got a front-row seat. We didn't have access to any of the footage or anything like that in New Zealand but I started to read all of the stuff coming out about the UFC and what does it mean that it seems like the stand-up fighters aren't doing so well. Got curious about that.

And then I got onto Usenet. Onto the old newsgroups. You know, before we had online forums or anything like that let alone Facebook. And there were all of these debates that sprung up about my style is better than yours. And I started out 100 percent in the traditional martial artist camp. You know, “Well, a true Aikido master would never debase themselves by entering such a competition.” You know, that kind of thing.

Over time I noticed something really interesting. When people were having these debates about what works, what doesn't what I consistently noticed was the BJJ guys that were saying, well, where are you? Let's get together, let's find out.

And not necessarily in an overly aggressive way although there's always a little bit of that sometimes but for a lot of them it was just a “we can show you.” I'm completely confident that I know how this will go. And over time as I sat there, by now about I think a second degree black belt in Aikido I was thinking I'm not sure I've got that same level of, “I definitely know how this is going to go confidence that these people seem to have.” So I got really curious about that.

And then in 2001, after the first time, New Zealand showed MMA on TV. Sky TV over here ran a weekend where they played back-to-back Pride and King of the Cage events. Old ones. I was on a honeymoon that weekend. Overseas. So I had my new brother-in-law set up in my living room with a VCR player swapping tapes over. And so when I got back I just devoured it and found a BJJ school within a month or two after that. Which, at the time, was not easy in New Zealand. Because there really wasn't a lot going on. Certainly no black belts around. It was early days for sure.

GEORGE: What an awesome and interesting journey. So now you've got the school, and I guess, let's backtrack a bit. Before I met you and sort of what is the school up to at this point in time?

MIKE: Yeah. So we gave ourselves a name in 2006. Up until then, it had been, you know, the standard thing. A bunch of people train in my garage. Most of those, my Aikido students who I'd said, hey have a look at this. And then, hey, let's do more of this and come to the garage. Because I was training them consecutively at the time. That was something that we knew as my club. What we called it because we weren't supposed to talk about it outside of my club. And then over time that grew and grew and grew. We started to get more and more professional. My coach, John Will runs a competition every September called, “The Gathering.”

The first time I went to that, one of the things he had done for the school owners got a bunch of Australian school owners together, I think it was about five of them, to give us some tips. I remember, you know, Fari Salievski was there. And a few other people. Frank was there. And so I come over with like, 48 action items about how do we make this thing more professional. And then over time, we got more and more so by the time we hit kind of the end of 2017, I'm running a school which is muddling along alright. You know? It's a part-time school. I'd got to the point where I had realized that look, I'm only part-time in this, it is never going to be a huge money spinner for me. If I can, you know, break even and get a little bit of pocket money but keep the thing going, that's pretty cool.

So 30 students on contract, and then with the various people coming through, beginners trials and various sorts that we had. I was probably content to leave it sitting there. Except for a conversation that I had with a guy, Trent Rice. Who some people know as Bear in the jiu-jitsu community. He was over from Australia to do some work for his day job. And he said, yeah, I want to come train, can I come along? I said, sure.

So we met each other on the ferry from town back to where I live. And we had a chat and he was just in the process of looking at going full time into martial arts and he mentioned, you know, one of the online communities that he was involved with which is, you know, where we hooked up. And it started to occur to me that, hey look, I don't have a full-time brain to put on this.

But if I can start to connect with people that are thinking about this full time and have figured out what works and what doesn't, and just do what they say, maybe I can actually start to make some gains I'd kind of put away on the shelf. In terms of ambition, for a little while. So I started to get quite excited at that idea and over the last, even just last month or so since we've really started firing, it's really starting to get quite exciting.

GEORGE: Fantastic. And full credit to the community that's Paul Veldman's Martial Arts Business Community.

MIKE: Yeah, absolutely, yeah I've seen various things like that throughout my Facebook feed from time to time and I was always a bit suspicious about, you know, there's a lot of people out there making money off telling people how to make money. But don't usually make money any other way.

So the fact that Trent knew Paul personally and he logged in and he showed me some of the stuff that was going on gave me a lot of comfort that, hey this is going to be worthwhile. And, you know, the investments I've made around things like that community, the website, the Martial Arts Media Academy are paying themselves back very, very quickly and very, very easily.  

GEORGE: Cool. So let's have a look. We made some changes with, first and foremost, got you set up with a new website. I mean, I'm a fan, obviously, of all the websites that we create but I'm really a fan of the GroundControl website, just how it came out in the end. I mean, it took a while for us to really fine tune and get through the obstacles, but it really, for a jiu-jitsu website it really, it brings out a lot of color and I'm using it as an example within the BJJ community, for websites that we are developing.

So we got you set up with the right tools. And then you got started in the Martial Arts Media Academy. Before you got started, what type of lead generation were you doing on the internet?

MIKE: Yeah, not a lot to be honest. Most of our stuff came through word of mouth or, you know, maybe they'll find us in a Google search. I had dabbled in Facebook so I had done the odd promotion here and there. Start of the year, come at half price or come in and your friend trains for free or something like that. And they would bring in maybe four or five people two of which might hang around and we thought that was a pretty good job.

When I did those sort of promotions I wasn't throwing too much spend at it. Very conservative. Because I wasn't quite sure how much they'd pay off. So I dabbled but it hadn't really amounted to too much.

GEORGE: Alright. So you got started in the training. So what part has helped the most? And then we'll talk about what you're doing right now that's really working as well.

MIKE: I think, in terms of what part has helped the most, I mean it's all helping but I think just starting to feel like I can never get in my way through things. So when I had dabble before, you know you go into the ad manager on Facebook and there are all these different options, you know, what's the objective of your campaign, this that or the other, and so I was kind of like, click, click, click, click. That'll do.

So to be able to kind of sit down and have you kind of work me through some stuff live and go, oh, okay, so I want interaction and I know the reasons why I want interaction now. And actually being able to figure out how those consoles work and why I would make certain decisions when we have those sorts of choices that was a huge help. Because the ability to be walked through your first time is where you get your understanding from. People can throw theory at you all day, but when you actually start you know, I literally had you on one screen while I had the thing on the other screen going, “and now what? I'll click on that? Okay, now I'll click on that.”

And so and with the content creation as well in terms of, here's how you design your ad and this is what your copy should look like, all of that stuff made me much more focused, I think, in what I was doing.

GEORGE: I guess this is the biggest pain point for me or frustration. It makes me want to rant, and I don't really rant. But it makes me want to rant, is a theory without substance.

MIKE: Yup.

GEORGE: There's a lot of, this is, you should do this, but there's not “here's how to do it.” And a lot of the times, the people who are talking the ‘what’ are not actually doing the how. So you can buy into a concept of coaching where you kind of can be shown how to do it, you should get another guy to do it. Us.

MIKE: That's right. You know, when I think about it, as you talked just now, that's exactly how we teach martial arts. I don't show a bunch of beginners a move and then say, good luck, go and try it out, right? I show them the move and then I talk them through each individual step to make sure they're on the same path. So it kind of felt like that. That I was being given, hey here's what you should do and why, but now here's the bit where I'm going to talk you through each step and then I can play along. And before I know it I've got an ad campaign running.

GEORGE: Of course, it's one thing to be walked through, but then that's where, and the same as in martial arts, now you know how to do it, but now you apply it, and it doesn't work the way you were … actually experienced it. And then, that's I guess where the key part comes in. You know, what we really try and focus on in the academy is, alright, you've implemented, now let's correct. Let's see if we can fine-tune, let's see if we can fix things and get them working in the end.

MIKE: Yeah, that's right and that's where I think the value of those. We've got a lot of content about here's how to set up Facebook and here's how to develop content and AdWords and all these sorts of things but the coaching calls are really, really valuable as well. Because you know, you come along and go, well this is what I'm doing right now, that's what's relevant for me, and ask you questions and there's always really good content generated either it's from my own questions or other people's. So I think that's why coaching calls are really valuable. And really valuable to get on live. Rather than just watching the recording sometimes as because you come up with questions that you wouldn't have asked, you know, other people don't necessarily ask so that's really cool.

GEORGE: Awesome. You were having some good results with your campaigns in the beginning of the year, where are you at with your campaign?

MIKE: When I first signed up to Paul Veldman's group, you know, the first thing I saw him say is, you set some goals. I thought, well, yeah, I know about setting goals. I teach people about that so I better do one and so it's been, what on paper sounds fairly ambitious, even though we're starting from a small base is to double membership and it's been done relatively quickly.

So I have 30 people on contract, this takes that to 60. That would be good. So once the website was up and I started the Facebook campaign, I ran that campaign for about two weeks. No more than that. And at last count, I think we've got close to 35 paid trials. So over the next two to three weeks, we'll start to see how many of those paid trials tip over into full membership. But certainly the feedback I'm getting from the people on the trial is that they're loving it. So we should convert a reasonable amount of those.

Already from one, two-week campaign, I'm going to if not hit my goal, I'm going to be, you know, at least halfway towards it. And, in fact, the only reason I've pulled back on the campaign a little bit now is that we ran out of the free uniforms or got close to it so I've got more on order when they head we'll be back into it. That goal which I thought was, you know, these people are audacious to try and double, I have a suspicion we're going to hit that pretty quickly.

GEORGE: That's awesome. So you've gone from, so you started up with 30 students although you've got them in the trial so you've kind of doubled but not, obviously, proved down the line where things are at. Yeah.

MIKE: Yeah, that's right. Yeah, I'm fairly confident because our retention rate from trial into full membership tends to be pretty good. Having said that, I have redesigned how that whole thing works based on the advice I've got from you and Paul and various people like this is the first we've used paid trials. Which I think there's a lot of hesitation about for people that are used to going, hey, a free week. To go to paid trial, certainly in New Zealand, I don't see a lot of that going on. But it's worked really, really well for us.

So the fact that they've got that skin in the game and I know we can give them a really good experience over four weeks. It's going to be really interesting to kind of look back in four weeks’ time or so and go, okay, what was our conversion rate? But I'm expecting it to be pretty solid.

GEORGE: That's awesome. That's really good going. Well done. That's awesome. So, and I'm thinking, though, that the fact that you've run out of uniforms, I'm like, alright, those create perfect conversations for your marketing campaigns as well. You know.

MIKE: Yeah.

GEORGE: You've sold out, here's a waiting list. We'll let you know when the next batch comes in. And then that creates a whole new urgency campaign for your next follow-up because, yeah. People missed out, now they've got to jump on board and they've only got, you know. They missed out the last time. They better jump on.

MIKE: That's a really good point. Literally, just before we came on this call, I got a message pop-up from, because we had, like, over 200 people message us with an expression of interest so I've got all those leads that I started to go back to and say, hey, are you still interested?

But one of them popped up and said, hey, is this thing still on? So I was about to go back and say yes and just, I really hope you're not a size 5. But yeah, that's a really good point. We can go, “Well, actually we've sold out but you know, over the next two weeks we might launch it again so just look out.”

GEORGE: Yeah. Waitlist. Awesome. I like that.

MIKE: Nice.

GEORGE: Good stuff. Okay. Just a couple of things. And just for, you know, as part of the case study of course, of the Martial Arts Media Academy program, who would you recommend it to? And why?

MIKE: Pretty broad. Martial arts school owners that want to grow. Because I think there's a lot of people. So my school, for example, we've tried this on adults, I notice a lot of the schools around have got real kids focus. But that hasn't made any difference to me in terms of the quality of the content, it's all completely applicable.

By the standards of some schools, we are relatively small so I know a lot of people look at the initial outlay and go, oh, that must for really big professional schools. But that's not us. In some ways, I think it's even more useful for people our size because, you know, I don't have time to really think about this stuff and figure it out so I was kind of groping in the dark a little bit. And in terms of, you know, what it costs to get on the program, you know, you make that back with a couple students pretty quickly.

So I'm really interested, as I look around the New Zealand scene, there's not a lot of people taking a sophisticated approach to this. When I look at the results that I've had, part of that may be that my competitors just aren't doing it this way. So I think anyone that really wants to grow and stay up with the game or enter the game, it's really worthwhile. You do have to put some time commitment into it. You know, the financial investment is probably the easier thing. The time investment is the really important thing. There's so much great content in there that you're going to have to go through it a few times you know, I've got notes scrawled everywhere and then go back to the recording as I'm doing a particular campaign.

So as long as people are free to put the time investment in, I struggle to think of a school that wouldn't benefit from it unless the person themselves is already pretty sophisticated in not just marketing, but specifically online marketing. But I don't see a lot of that it martial arts.

GEORGE: Yeah, thanks, Mike. And you bring up a good point on time because there's time spent and then there's time well spent. I mean, either way, you're going to have to spend the time. You're going to have to spend the time to do the marketing and I mean, you can take an hour to do an okay or really mediocre job at your marketing, get frustrated, not a way to ask for help. The biggest danger of that is reaching a level of frustration where you just, this online stuff is crap or, you know, just, I don't have time to deal with this. I'm not going to do it. And you abandon the whole thing. And your business suffers.

Or, what's worse is, you know, people get a call from a company that says, hey, we can get you on the first page of Google and they have no sense of an actual overall strategy that you need for your school and again, it could be the easy way out, because you can just pay money, but if they don't know their overall strategy, they're just catering for one touch point. Which is search? The search engines. When you've got to cover for all six to eight interactions that are going to happen before conversion.

So you've got to be covering all the steps. If you get educated, get a bit of a strategy, it's easy to spend money on getting the hands to get people to do stuff, as long as you actually know what to do and what to look out for at the end of the day.

MIKE: I think that's really right. I think, if I had decided, look, I really want to put some focus into growing the school, I'm going really spend some time over generally to do that but I want to do it myself. What probably would have happened if I would have sat down with my partner Carleen and we would have spent, maybe even as much time, maybe even more time. But we would have spent it on completely the wrong stuff.

You know, there's design, there are ads, and you have to get really finicky over how the image looks and really kind of tweak that to the nth degree. Within actual fact it was much better just to go, let's just blast out five images, three for BJJ, two for MMA, split test them, see what works. And after a couple of days, we know what the winner is. And as you had indicated, it's always the one that surprises you. You know? It's not the one I would have picked. So a lot of those sorts of things but sort of sacked a lot of our time trying to finesse stuff that could have been done a lot more simply and then that time spent put back to more things.

What I like about the academy is, as you just kind of alluded to, is the comprehensiveness of it. What I'm excited about is, we've got these results already just from one Facebook campaign. Now, we've got some professional videos that have been done which are going to land sometime this week so I'm already excited about how we're going to introduce them, let alone through email campaigns and content strategy and AdWords working properly. We've got this much growth but we've really just scratched the tip of the iceberg.

GEORGE: That's exciting. Yeah, I look forward to seeing the videos and really looking at a few things that we're trialling right now with all the new changes within Facebook and how to really get that message out. Hey, Mike, it's been great having you on, is there anything I should have asked you? That I haven't covered?

MIKE: Is there anything that you shouldn't have asked me?

GEORGE: I know, it's sort of that question that people ask when they think they haven't asked enough questions.

MIKE: The only thing I guess I would add, thinking about the most recent campaign that we've done, it comes back a little bit to the commitment thing, is it's one thing to throw up an ad, and I kind of came into both Paul's group and your group hoping for, look, you can tell me how to automate everything so I can just press go and walk away and the club will just go boom. And of course it doesn't work that way so you know, we aim for interaction which means that I was, every day, once or twice a day, sometimes three times a day, having to log in and go, oh look, there are another 30 responses here, I've got to go back and respond to each one.

Now the response was pretty easy, ones I cut and paste into a PM but just be really disciplined about that. Because it's one thing to put up a shop front and say, this is a really great shop, come and look in the window but if you're not providing something quality in terms of experience when they get there, then it's all for nought.

So, the Machado brothers had an expression in jiu-jitsu, “Swim, swim, swim, die on the beach.” You know, you don't want to have to do all that work and then just follow over the last hurdle through, not doing you're follow through and your responsiveness and those sorts of things really well.

Probably the one thing that I would have done differently if I went back, and even though I had heard warnings about this from yourself and Paul, I don't think I had got my admin geared up well enough to handle the sudden influx of people. So we've given them a pretty good experience signing in but there are just a couple little things I've seen fall through the cracks. Only one's got their membership card or they haven't all been given the beginner's manual for some reason. So, looking forward, next time my site's running campaigns I'm really going to make sure that all that stuff's locked in and ready to go. Because it kind of caught me by surprise how many people signed up so quickly.

GEORGE: Very good point on a few things. The messaging, I see a lot of people want to automate too quickly and I hear, I see in communities, people get frustrated about the mundane responses that they've got to give but there's a big lesson in those mundane responses and yeah, look, sometimes people are just ignorant but you always got to look at your marketing and your message and say, alright, why's this coming up all the time? If everybody is asking what your location is, hey then just put at the end, “Conveniently located in the suburb.” That might just cover it.

o you've got to pay attention to what people are asking and those are the objections that you can turn into better marketing next time. It's all about learning and I see people too quick to want to automate it. And I always say, you can't automate something that's not working manually. If you can't sell your membership face to face or in a text message then no chatbot or anything is going to do that magically for you.

Your conversion is going to go down. So master that first, and then you can go and add all the automation but you've got to get the conversion right first. And I mean, if the … when the offer converts, everything else works. You know? You can go and you can go tweak everything else, but getting that offer to convert first, that's the real art. And that's the real work. And if you can focus just on that, then you can get fancy. And then you can start taking your campaigns to a higher level if that's really what you want to do. And really scale it up. For the next school, opening multiple schools and so forth.

MIKE: Absolutely.

GEORGE: Awesome. Hey, Mike, it's been great chatting with you. So people can find out more about you at groundcontrol.net.nz and anywhere else people can find more info about you?

MIKE: There's a little bit about my corporate stuff on my other website which is kineticpotential.co.nz. So the stuff about the individual coaching and the corporate work I do there is on there. So, yeah, those are the two places to find me.

GEORGE: Awesome. I think we could probably do a round two and go really, really deep into some psychology stuff and things that you do in your day job and how that connects with your martial arts. And if you are interested in the Martial Arts Media Academy where you watch this you can just send us a message or you can go to martialartsmedia.academy and find out more about that. Mike, great speaking to you face to face for the first time. And I will see you in Auckland this year.

MIKE: Looking forward to it. Thanks, George.

GEORGE: Awesome. Thanks, Mike.


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52 – Martin ‘The Situ-Asian’ Nguyen – Chasing 3 World Titles In 3 Weight Divisions

Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, ONE Championship's two-division title holder has big goals, and it's all in the name of family.

martin nguyen one championship


  • What it takes to be a two-division title holder with ONE Championship
  • Master Fari Salievski’s massive contribution to Martin Nguyen’s MMA career
  • How Martin’s Rugby League career evolved into his Martial Arts Journey
  • Martin’s source of inspiration
  • How he is able to balance his family, work and martial arts life
  • And more

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


This MMA career is about family for me, so you’ve already addressed that family situation, so I mean, it’s more than I could ever ask for at the end of the day.

GEORGE: Hi, this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. In this episode though, we are going to venture off from the business side of things. And I’ve got a really special guest with me today, who’s created a bit of a stir in the MMA world and has just recently become a two-division title holder with ONE Championship. So I want to welcome to the show Martin Nguyen.

MARTIN: Hey man, thanks for having me on the show.

GEORGE: Awesome. Cool, so Martin, Martin’s name might first be familiar, I know I’ve spoken to Master Fari Salievski a few times on the podcast and the last time, it was after your first title fight.

MARTIN: Malaysia, against Marat Gafurov.

GEORGE: That was the one, the featherweight one. And we had a bit of a chat just about your training and the process from there. But then you went on to… moved up to lightweight as well and you took the title there as well. So first, I guess I want to say congratulations!

MARTIN: Thank you, thank you. It wasn’t a plan to move up to the lightweight division, Eduard Folayang, the former title holder is a friend of mine and the plan was never to move up, but it actually played well in my favor after some agreements, but yeah.

GEORGE: We’re going to get into all the details of that, but I guess we should just take a few steps back. I mean, before all these events started happening in your life, who is Martin really?

MARTIN: Oh, I’m just a regular guy. I work full time, I’m a father of three, married, husband… yeah, just a normal regular guy, that just loves mixed martial arts, loves training, loves the competitiveness and just love the disciplinary actions that come with it.

GEORGE: Ok, so now, I’ve just been reading a couple of things about you, just to get an idea of your background. So you got started in martial arts fairly late I guess?

MARTIN: Yeah, I started mixed martial arts when I was 21, so at that stage, that was when UFC was starting to boom, I was coming off an injury from the rugby league and I was a bit overweight you know, and lost a bit of confidence. So a friend of mine introduced me to Master Fari and KMA school gym and I started with Brazilian jiu-jitsu, just the grappling side of it. I loved it and was stuck from day one and we kept going from there.

GEORGE: So 21, and you’re now 28?

MARTIN: Yeah, I’m 28. I’ve been in the martial arts game for about 7 years now.

GEORGE: At what point did you… so, you came from rugby – did you quit rugby completely and then just moved over to martial arts?

MARTIN: No, no, when I was 16, I was playing rugby league, Harold Matthews cup and just caught a few injuries through Harold Matthews and just played rugby league up until I was about 18 years old. Come to the end of C grade, I called it quits, just too many injuries, recurring. So 19, 19 to 21… actually, when I was 19, I took time off everything, and 20 to 21, I started lifting weights and I got a bit big, more fatty-stocky, but yeah. And then from there, that's when my friend introduced me and we went from there.

GEORGE: Alright, cool. So you start this martial arts journey and at what point did you feel it’s time to sort of step it up?

MARTIN: Ok, so, what happened was, I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as I said, and during my first year and a half, I went on a few comps, some New South Wales Jiu-Jitsu comps. I ranked third, fourth and from there, I liked the competitiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so we kept going into comps, ISKA comps, and I won a few matches through ISKA. And then, at that time, there were a few MMA fighters that were busting out on the local scene.

And watching them train and seeing what they go through was kind of an inspiration for me to want to try and keep up with them, so Master Fari just set the path for me, gradually going into MMA, so we started off with kickboxing, and he got a few Thai guys in, we’ve done Thai kickboxing, I still kept up with my Jiu Jitsu and then I started training up for an ISKA amateur MMA comp and I took out the competition twice, two years in a row. And from there, when I was roughly about 23 to 24, we decided to step into the cage from there.

GEORGE: Exciting stuff! How did it all lead up to your first title with ONE Championship?

MARTIN: During the local scene, I racked up a few wins and I fought for the national Australian title, featherweight title. And I was facing a guy that was busting on the local scene as well. I beat him and the winner of that fight got a contract into ONE Championship, which… I wouldn’t say just started up, but they started up and were looking for new fighters, where KMA had become partners with ONE Championship. So the winner of that title fight got the contract and that was my opening on the world stage.

So I won my first fight with ONE Championship and for my second fight, I was meant to be fighting another up and comer, hot prospect, but that fight got cancelled 48 hours before the event was about to be held. And I got moved from the first fight of the night to the main event, fighting for an interim world title against ONE of the hot prospects around the world and I lost that fight in the first round. And that motivated me to train and just… everything just stepped up another notch of where I had to be and where I was. So from there, I won four in a row, which eventually led to my rematch with the title holder.

GEORGE: That's going to take some dedication on your behalf, you know? You mentioned you’re married, you’ve got three kids, you’re still working a day job – so how do you fit this all in, and obviously, you know, you’ve set some big goals for where it is that you are headed, which well get to in a bit in this conversation. But just walk us through – how do you manage your training commitment and everything, to be fighting at this level with everything else going on in your life?

MARTIN: Yeah, so it’s definitely hard. No one could say it’s easy, and the main person that helps me out the most is my wife. She steps up as the parent to take on both roles, both father and mother when I’m not here, to look after the kids. I wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning, I leave the house, I get my morning training in, I go straight to work.

Finish work, I go straight to KMA to do my second session of the day. And I come home and my wife’s there, looking after the kids. She plays a big role when it comes to this MMA career and she’s my nutritionist as well as my wife as well as, you know? She’s looking after a fourth child basically. So to be honest, I wouldn't be able to do much of what I’m doing now without her, so yeah, the support that she’s shown me, I’m forever grateful.

GEORGE: Yeah, the saying goes true that behind every successful man there’s a successful woman.

MARTIN: Oh, a 100%, a 100%, I believe in that.

GEORGE: So Martin, I want to just go a bit into your background. You were born and raised in Sydney, and it’s mentioned that you come from refugee parents, so you’re from Vietnam I believe? How's that been different for you, sort of growing up in Australia? Has it been different for you, because you’re a 100% first born Australian, kind of like my son is in a way? But growing up in a sort of different environment from parents, from a different point of view, and I guess a better appreciation for what you have in Australia – how's that affected you in growing up and moving forward?

MARTIN: Look, growing up, we weren't… yes, we did come from a refugee background, I was born in Australia, so were all my other siblings. Me, my brother, my older sister and younger sister. But growing up in Australia – look, we grew up the OZ way. We are OZ kids, my parents never brought any politics or anything that they went through in our lives, so we grew up living the OZ dream. I’m so thankful for this country because it’s one of the best countries in the world to live in. Everything that happened though school, throughout life in general, my parents they raised us all up as an OZ child, you know? So there was no racism or anything going on, no bullying. We were pretty lucky and fortunate at that stage there.

GEORGE: And have you ever returned back to Vietnam? I mean you’ve been back obviously, but in a way to sort of explore what life would have been for you in a way?

MARTIN: No, it hasn't played in the back of my mind at all, to be honest. Living in Australia and there, you can’t compare. Yes, I’ve been back to Vietnam, just after high school, and I’ve seen the way my father's family live over there and you know what? What we have over here, sometimes people take for granted. But you know what, the way my parents raised us, we never take anything for granted, I’m so thankful for everything that happens in our lives, you know?

GEORGE: That's such a good point and the reason I ask this question, because, I’ve immigrated from South Africa probably about eleven years ago. And growing up in a country that's… it’s still known as first world, third world politics probably, but seeing how tough life really is, I see people complain about thing that in perspective, it’s really nothing. It’s fabricated problems, where I’m used to going… if I go back home, I’m used to seeing, there are people with real hunger, there are people on the street that are actually really struggling. How do I feed my family tonight, type of problems? Which is, I think, something people take for granted, living in.

MARTIN: It is, it is. I mean, it’s not only our country but everywhere around the world it happens, I think it’s just our natural ability, just to complain.

GEORGE: Yeah. So, Martin, you won the featherweight Championship and then, as you’ve mentioned earlier, you saw the opportunity came up. Then you managed to become a two-division title holder. So, what kind of doors does that open for you, from here on?

MARTIN: Yeah, being a two-time division champion, there’s only a handful of us in the world that's actually ever become two divisional title holders. So where it is from here, well, we’ve already set our goals from before we even fought for the featherweight title. You know, we always said, Master Fari and I sat down and we had a chat, we always have our little chats when we go on our little trips here and there and training sessions. We said we’re going to win this belt. The plan was to go down the weight division because I knew how to make the weight and fight that title holder for his belt.

ONE Championship had other plans and that put me up against the lightweight title holder, which worked out in our favour of going up the vision and winning that title, but where it is going from now: the fight is booked. It’s booked for March, fighting for the third world title and basically becoming one of the first fighters ever in the world to hold three titles consistently in three different divisions.

GEORGE: That's a big goal, that's fantastic.

MARTIN:  It’s a massive goal, it’s a massive fight, but I feel like this is my time and when your body feels right and everything feels right and the stars align, it’s bound to happen.

GEORGE: Yes, you’re right about that. And I mean, you’ve proven that it’s possible, so I can’t see that there should be any doubt in your mind that it’s an unachievable goal. So let’s say you get to a third world title: where do you see yourself taking your MMA career?

MARTIN: If I do win this third world title, then I look to defending the title, so basically everyone wants what you have. And I’ve worked so hard for me to get to this position where I am in life at the moment, so I’ll be defending all three titles, consistently, and you know what? We’ll play it by ear, whatever ONE Championship wants to do, I’ll go with it and we’ll start building a career from there.

GEORGE: Any plans to venture away from ONE Championship, or do you feel you’ve found your home and you’re going to continue with where you are at?

MARTIN: Yeah, everyone's been asking me this question, when am I going to go into UFC, or you know, when are you going to venture out of ONE Championship and move on, you know? But you know what, I’m happy where I am at the moment, and I always go by the saying, if something's not broken, why change it? So the way ONE Championship are treating us, are treating me in particular as a professional, mixed martial artist, I’m happy the way it is and it’s setting up a platform not only for me but for my family as well.

So in terms of going to the UFC – you never know at the end of the day. I’ll be defending my titles consistently, until… I guess it’s, you know when it’s time to move on and yeah, at that time, at the moment it’s not looking like that. I’m happy where I am and I think I’ll be staying with ONE Championship for a while, so in terms of moving on, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

GEORGE: So Martin, thanks. Thanks for being on the show and look, I normally don’t speak to MMA fighters on the show, nor anybody of your caliber, so I want to ask you the question: is there anything that I haven’t asked you that I should have asked you?

MARTIN: To be honest, you’ve asked the majority of the main questions that every journalist has asked me, in terms of what other people would want to ask me… I mean, you’ve asked everything, everything in this MMA career is about family for me, so you’ve already addressed that family situation. So I mean, it’s more than I could ever ask for at the end of the day. Sorry, I’ve got my daughter, she’s jumping on me!

GEORGE: That's awesome. Cool, lastly Martin: firstly, I wish you all the best, what you’ve achieved is fantastic and I saw that video clip of you holding both belts and just pure emotion. Obviously, expressing thanks to your family, your dad as well and everything. It’s just fantastic to see, you look like a really genuine guy. You deserve all the success that's coming your way. So for anybody that wants to follow you and support you on this journey, where can people find details about you?

MARTIN: So, I’ve got three main accounts. My first one is obviously Facebook, where everyone's got it. I’ve got my personal fighters page, where it’s Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen. Then I have my Instagram account, where it’s at, itsmartiinn. And I have my twitter account, which is MartinNguyenKMA.

GEORGE: Alright, fantastic.

MARTIN: Keep in contact with me, that's the main accounts that I’m usually on and I usually post a lot of stuff up, just to let the fans know what's happening in my career at that point in time.

GEORGE: Alright, fantastic. Martin, I wish you all the best and we’ll put links in the show notes to all your accounts so that anybody can follow you and all the best!

MARTIN: Done deal, thanks, George.

GEORGE: Thanks, Martin, speak soon – cheers.


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51 – How To Run Your First Facebook Ad For Martial Arts

The one thing to master with your first Facebook ad for your martial arts school.


  • The biggest mistake martial arts school owners make with Facebook advertising.
  • How to avoid marketing frustration and simplify.
  • The one thing you need to get right before getting fancy.
  • How conversation leads to conversion.
  • And more

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


Hi, this is George Fourie from martialartsmedia.com and in this video training, I want to share with you a few tips to really consider if you're starting to run paid advertising, especially if you haven't run any paid ads before, particularly I want to base the concept here on Facebook ads.

Now, when it comes to optimizing for things like Google, it can definitely, the logic still applies, but the framework here – I just want to apply this on Facebook ads and the reason this came up is, you know, Martial Arts Media Academy program, we're running a bonus for our members over Christmas and New Years, where we are helping our members structure a campaign, structuring a Facebook ad campaign and structuring campaigns for the New Year. So we're working with our members to really get stuck in and venture into this world of paid advertising.

So, a few things have come up where I see a lot of people are getting stuck, so I wanted to share this training not just with our members, but with everyone because I felt that it’s an obstacle that a lot of people run into and I think if you focus down and you really simplify, then your chances of succeeding is a lot better and the minute you're going to get some results, it’s going to give you some confidence to run more ads and it will keep you going. Because I know when you start running paid advertising, it can be very demotivating, right?

Maybe you're not really tech orientated and you struggle with the technology part and then you don't really know what you're doing, so you're trying to piece all these things together. And it can be really hard, really frustrating and this is why a lot of people just give up and stop trying.

So I want to give you a few simple things to look out for, what you should be doing first, what you should be doing last. Not so much what you should be doing last, but what you should really do first. And then you can go on and get all fancy with everything else, OK? But most people don't get to the fancy part because they're trying to get all fancy in the beginning and then they lose money, their campaigns don't work, they get frustrated and move out.

All right. So we want to turn that around here. I want to show you how you can get your campaigns up and running, get a result fast and then move on and really start scaling your campaign. All right, so let’s see how this works on the iPad, I'm going to draw this out.

So let's typically look at the whole process here, so if we're going to break it down into the simplicity of all this. So we're obviously looking for, we've got a prospect, we'll give him an average male face and ideally obviously, we're working towards a student, let's throw in a little kick there. All right, and a smiley face. Ok, cool.

So the first thing we've really got to get right is, we've got to start with who's the target, so who we are actually looking at, who’s the demographic, who’s going to see this ad. And it’s important to have this linked up because you want to show the right ad to the right person at the right time, obviously as well. Right time for them, that the ad is actually applicable to them. So who's the target?

And then we've got to look at what's going to be the offer, all right? So let's just do that for the offer, OK? So what's going to be the offer? You've got your target, so you've got the right target and then we want to show them an offer that's going to be a message to market match for them, all right? And then what we've got to put in front of them obviously is an ad, OK? So we've got to have some ad copy, OK? Very neglected art skill to learn, writing copy can be a hard thing and the easiest thing to get it going is just using a simple language, don't get fancy, just think of simplicity.

And then, with Facebook obviously, you're also going to have to have a bit of a picture, all right? Maybe we've got our happy students in there doing this thing. I know that's not going to be the best-looking thing but the picture and then we've got a call to action. All right, what do we need these people to do? And the call to action can be many things, right? It can be, they've just got to leave a comment, or try and make somebody that's that's a guy speaking, hurray! Or we've got a message, we can send them a message. And then, obviously you can have your website link, you can maybe use the phone, etc. OK, so you can use whatever to compensate for your call to action. OK?

But here's when I see people really get stuck. They try and get fancy in all these little steps in the funnel, OK? Which means every little step here, every little column has a different obstacle that needs to be optimized that it can work. So what's going to be happening is, you've got a lot of work to do. And your chances of success are going to be so slim because it’s your first time that you're running an ad, then you've got to get your targeting right, you've got to get your offer right, you've got to get the ad copyright, the right image.

And then which call to action? Which call to action are you going to use? Are you going to send them directly to your website? If it’s not congruent with this offer here, then I definitely wouldn't do that. Are you going to send them to a landing page? Awesome. Was your landing page professionally designed, with professional copy, with the right call to action and conversion elements and all that in place? Awesome.

Then you stand a chance, but at the end of the day, you've got to look at what's the lowest form of, what is the easiest thing for people to do and how can you get your result the quickest? And the quickest way you're going to really get the result would be this part over here. Hang on, let me just draw this properly here. It's this section over here, OK? Because if you can get the offer right, then all the hard work is done. Yes, it’s got to go to the right target audience, OK?

Yes, you're going to have to have the right copy. But if you have awesome ad copy and the wrong offer, it’s not going to work. Or you can have the perfect call to action, but the offer is wrong – and it’s not going to work. So yes, your targeting has got to be spot on, but you've got to have an offer that converts. If the offer converts, everything else is going to work, OK?

So what if you break it down and you just think of removing everything else, what can you do to get the student to sign up and put the right offer in front of them and remove everything else? What are all the obstacles that are going to be in place? Because if you don't have an offer that converts, then you can have the best ad copy in the world, you can have the best landing page in the world, you can have all the tools, the call to action, the bots that reply and do all the things for you. But you've never made a sale, but you're trying to implement a bot. So, getting the offer, getting a sale online and making sure that your offer converts and people actually buy it – that's going to be the core part.

So, break it down further, then what can you do to actually facilitate that, right? Well, you've got an offer that converts, now what do they need to do to get it? Well, they need to engage in a conversation. Your easiest way to get there is to start a conversation. Conversation is going to lead to the conversion. So how can you get the conversation started? Because if you can get the conversation started, then you can lead to the conversion.

That means you've got to pick up the phone and talk to them and really get to understand their objections, their needs, their wants and what it is that you were missing in your ad, then do that five or ten times, because I can guarantee, the next time you create an ad, you are actually going to earn, you're going to get results.

All right, I hope that helps. If you need help with your Facebook ad campaigns, or your Google ads, especially if you're running, at the time of recording this, running into sort of the Christmas season, running into January which is the peak time here in Australia and New Zealand and most parts of the world, then leave me a message where you watched this video and we’re happy to help.

All right, thanks a lot, speak soon – cheers!


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50 – Australian Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee Grant Bannister Shares 40+ Years Of Martial Arts

Grant Bannister recent inducted to Martial Arts Hall of Fame shares his 40+ year martial arts journey.


  • The improvements in the martial arts industry in the last 40+ years
  • How to become an awardee of the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame
  • The motivating factors that made Grant stay in the industry for a long time
  • Why martial arts is more than just about self-defence
  • And more

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


People say to me, oh it was really good back in those days. I wouldn't change it. The progression is fantastic.

George: Hi, this is George Fourie, and welcome to another Martial Arts Media Business Podcast. Today I am speaking with Shidoshi Grant Bannister. Now, Shidoshi Grant Bannister has been in the martial arts industry for a very long time, so we're going to have a great chat just about where he's come from, and he's also just recently got inducted into the Australian Martial Arts Hall of Fame. So we're just going to have a bit of a chat about that. Welcome to the show, Grant.

Grant: Thank you, George, and thank you for having me, it's great. I've watched, loved your podcast, and they're really great so I feel honoured to be part of it.

George: That's fantastic, awesome. Let's start right from the beginning, Grant. Who is Grant Bannister?

Grant: I've been a working guy all my life. I was a TV technician. We've got a family of three kids and four grandchildren. I started my martial arts journey way back in 1959 under a guy called Wally Strauss. I wasn’t interested in football and this guy said, “Oh, we're gonna do Judo.” And I said, “Oh, I don't know what it is but I'll do it.” I trained for a whole year with Wally Strauss. I left my martial arts go until I was 29, I think I was when I got back into it. My journey started then and been enjoying ever since.

George: Fantastic. So, 29, and then when did you start on the path of instructing?

Grant: I started with a guy called, with San Chi Kai and Mal Lomax. Mal was very big into once you've got the knowledge, now you start teaching, which is great, I think that happens a lot nowadays. Probably less than two years after I started I was teaching, and Mal asked me to open up my own club, which I did down in Blackburn, and we went from there. Unfortunately, Mal passed away a few years ago. He moved to Queensland in 1996.

I didn't stay with San Chi Kai. Another chap and myself just started training in the garage. After a while we got more and more people coming in and all of a sudden the garage was full and we had to start looking for a hall. Then I thought, well we'll have to start putting something together, make it our own style. We called it Bukido Karate, that was in 1986. We've grown slowly from then, not in a large amount, but in that time I've probably taught thousands and thousands of students. It's been a great journey, I've had some amazing people by my side and that makes you want to keep going. People say to me, “Oh, you're 74 now, it's about time to retire, move around Australia.” But I still get a big buzz out of seeing the kids starting to show respect towards their parents and us. So it's still a journey.

George: For sure. So, 74 years old, wow, that's good going. I want to calculate the years back. So you've been doing martial arts then for the last …

Grant: Forty-plus.

George: Forty-plus? Fantastic. So, forty years, that's my lifetime right now. In comparison from where you started to where things are now, what's sort of the biggest changes and adjustments that you've had to make along the way?

Grant: Back then was crazy, everyone used to belt the hell out of each other and it was really, really, dangerous. People lost kidneys and all sorts of things. Of course, O.H and S would start to come in people realized that they could get sued so it all changed. But it was a good time, I had a great time with security and all that sort of stuff with Mal Lomax had contacts and we spent a week with Olivia Newton-John when Xanadu was opened. We had the Boomtown Rats and quite a few other celebrities. It was a good time. A lot of those people liked the martial arts and they wanted to become a little more involved in it. I think Bob Jones had Fleetwood Mac at the time, Richard Norton was bodyguard with Fleetwood Mac. They were good, fun times. It wasn't a lot of animosity amongst the crowds. Although we did have problems, but, it was just a really, really, good, fun time for me.

George: Did you pursue that bodyguarding type of role for a long time?

Grant: I think it was about four years. It was a security thing, it wasn't a bouncing thing. I think when we did the Olivia Newton-John thing, she got the keys to the city of Melbourne Town Hall and there were thousands of people there. It reminded me of the Beatles days. I was just telling someone the other day, even getting her to the car was almost impossible, it was so packed. We got down to the car and Mal said, “I don't know how we're going to get her in.” So he opened the door and I had to lean against the car and push the door open so she could get in. The next thing, I had this guy sitting on my head trying to get her autograph. I'm trying to hold the door and this idiot is sitting on my head, I couldn't do anything about it. It wasn’t all about punching and kicking and all that sort of stuff, just trying to do the right thing and trying to keep the celebrities safe from the crowds.

George: Sounds like interesting days.

Grant: It was, certainly was. Nothing comes close to that from what I've done since.

George: You mentioned that people were losing kidneys and things like that. Was it basically due to not regulations and things in place in the industry?

Grant: It was. Back then, even the bouncers in hotels they didn't have name tags, they could do a lot of damage and just disappear. A lot of them would turn up into martial arts. All they wanted to do was fight full contact. Some nights you felt you were just trying to stay alive, keeping your hands up and moving around. It was a very brutal learning curve. It slowly changed, and people say, “Oh, it's not the same nowadays, it's watered down.” But the way I look at it is, if you've got, you're teaching children and they can go out and they've got some self-defence. Dave Kovar always says some self-defence is better than no self-defence. If they've become more alert and they're more courteous to people and they can understand where the other person is coming from, they've got a lot less chance of getting into trouble.

George: Yes, that's something that Dave Kovar also mentioned on the show that was when they started with teaching martial arts, it was all about adults and there wasn't really kids martial arts. It only started at a later time. Now, in that time, do you feel there's been a bit of a shifting? If you say it's a bit watered-down, do you think the focus has changed in martial arts that it's maybe not that much, well, it's still focused on self-defence, but that it is a bit more watered down, as they say, to accommodate the kids and other people within the martial arts and also with sports martial arts, I guess?

Grant: I have quite a few conversations with Graham Slater, and he's into the insurance, obviously. But you don't want to get sued for teaching wrong techniques or dangerous exercises. When the Martial Arts Board came in in 1988, I think, they tried to close a lot of schools down because of the dangerous exercises. You don't want a child or an adult coming to your club and learning things that could damage them later in life.

Like, myself, I haven't had knee replacements but the uni closed, but everyone I've trained with has had bad knees because we used to do probably an hour of those bunny hops. Of course, the Australian Institute Of Sport, they had a good look at all this and tried to change it. Any of the cowboys that are still around, they risk being sued and the insurance companies won't stand by them if they're doing stupid things in their teaching.

George: I guess it's more of a way of the world. That's really just what's happened. Everything gets regulated to the point of, you've got to be covered and especially with something like martial arts, that's got to be the worst side effect, damage to your business and obviously the people that you damage in the process. But that's got to be the hardest thing to overcome is if you have people go through an injury or something and all the spotlights are on your school for doing potentially the wrong thing which was injuring someone or harming someone within the training.

Grant: Yes, that's correct. I think most people are more aware. We've got so much knowledge now with, you can watch YouTube or Google stuff. The only thing that worries me a little bit, I've always loved nunchaku, that's been my thing.

You really can't teach a lot of weapons now without everyone getting a license. So it's not just the teacher that's got to get a license, it's the person in the class has got to get a license. And the kids love weapons. They love wooden weapons but things like bokken, the wooden sword, you've got to have a license for a lot of stuff. Sometimes I think, yeah well, if someone had a dangerous weapon from one of the big hardware stores, you can walk out with a chainsaw or whatever, compared to a bokken, it doesn't make sense to me. I can understand why it should be regulated but sometimes I think they go overboard a little bit.

George: Yes, bubble wrap everything, bubble wrap the kids. Now tell me about induction into the Australian Martial Arts Hall of Fame and congratulations, of course.

Grant: Thank you. It was a very good weekend. I've been to three now when my friends have been inducted. It is a lot bigger than most people know about. I'd spoken to George Kolovos, I said, “You know that?” And he didn't even know about it, so there's a lot of people out there and really good leaders in the martial arts that should be recognized. The Martial Arts Hall of Fame is a good way of doing it in Australia. There was, I think there was, two or three came from New Zealand this year. So it's the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame as well. It's very humbling to be amongst these amazing people. Some of them have done incredible stuff. To be a part of that was really good, it's a good weekend.

There was a guy with Taekwondo called Paul Mitchell, he actually ran it up in Sydney and put a lot of effort into it. There was probably, we trained all Saturday and Sunday. The dinner presentation night was on a Saturday night. So it was probably on the floor, training would have been close to 100 at one stage, and these are all, most of them are high grade so they do add lower grades in it to train. But the knowledge you gain from the whole weekend was just sensational. I took up about twenty of my guys and they all came back raving out it, saying that they loved the cross training of the different level. I thoroughly recommend it if you get a chance. It's in Hobart next year in August, yourself or anyone else that can get along, it's a good weekend.

George: Sounds great. Do you know what the actual criteria are to be inducted?

Grant: They've got different levels, I think you can get an instructor and there are all different levels where you get up to the old people like me. I think mine was called a Lifetime Achievement Award. There are different levels so younger guys can go into it, but usually, you've got to be recommended and, as I said, they really go into your background. You can't just go up there and say, “Oh, I'm a twenty-third degree, I think I deserve it.” That just doesn't happen. They go into your background and your qualifications and your grading and stuff like that. You can see it online if you look up AMAHOF, I think. No, www.amahof.asn.au I think it is, worth having a look.

George: Fantastic, we'll do that. Grant, tell me, you've been in the industry for a very long time. If you could reverse things, in the current situation of where things are going in the martial arts industry, what do you see is great, where it's moving forward and what do you see as you wish it was back to the roots or back in the day?

Grant: People say to me, “Oh, it was really back in those days.” I wouldn't change it. The progression is fantastic. You see even people from overseas, like Tom Callos and Barry Van Over, those sort of guys, they give of themselves so much. I mentioned Paul Veldman, he gives of himself so much. You can join the Paul Veldman's group which is MABS, M-A-B or something it's called, which is a little bit more in depth but they still give freely of their own knowledge. The beauty of that is, is what we're taught about safety and stuff like that. People get to know what is safe and what is not, and they know if they go down the path of teaching kids the wrong thing, I mean being choked out and stuff like that, then they won't be around long. If they do the wrong thing and they get sued, the insurance company doesn't stand by them, they lose their house, their assets and everything. So everyone's got to tow the line. My wife just turned up, hi.

George: Hello. So Grant, who are the students that you have trained that you are most proud of?

Grant: But Crystal Ladiges won the ISKA Women's Black Belt Division in 2008. That's the overall division that I've earned out of all the black belts. That was the ISKA World Titles. Ross Rodolico won the Black Belt Division in ISKA in 2002. Stretching my mind a little bit. We've got this other Title holder called Danny Owen, he's got a young family now, so he trains occasionally.

Graham Slater ran this competition trying to find the best martial artist in Australia. It had some strange criteria but my guy Danny Owen won it. We went out to Lysterfield, there's a big monastery out there for the Buddhists and they had a shaolin monk come out and present him with the winnings. He went and stayed with the shaolin monks for a week, just training with them exclusively. He was taken around China with every other winner from every other country with a show. It was a life-changing experience for him. To have three brilliant people like that around you, it jeers you up, it makes you want to do more.

I've got a granddaughter, she's 16 and she's the only one in the family that's trained with me and she's loving it but you can see her journey's just starting. It's a bit of a long journey.

George: Definitely so. So who has kept you going in your martial arts journey, that's walked the path beside you?

Grant: All the black belts, I've got about, probably got about 15, 20 black belts at the moment with me. The standard of these guys is fantastic. I think sometimes, people come into your club and they look at you and then they sum you up and they either stay with you or not. Sometimes they look at you, and if you're not aggressive enough they'll go to someone who's got an aggressive output. Whereas we try and be, help each other. It's like Paul Veldman's club, Kando Martial Arts, all those guys down there, I've trained with them and they're all fantastic, they all help each other and try and jeer each other up. We do the same with us. That's kept me going.

I've had a girl who is virtually my manager now, Bella. Bella's been with me since she was five. Back in those days, she's 23 now, I wouldn't take anyone under about six or seven, it was unheard of. The mother just virtually begged me to take her and she's been with me ever since and is still continuing her martial arts journey. It's people like that that keep you jeered up and keeping me wanting to go down to the club all the time, helping them and seeing them getting better and better.

George: Awesome, fantastic. Grant, last question from me, what's next for you in your martial arts journey?

Grant: There are a few things I've got in the pipeline. Obviously, the physical side is getting less and less. But I do like the lifestyle that martial arts does. It does keep you healthy. My wife just walked in and she does an hour walk every day. She's 70 years old and she walks an hour a day. The doctor said to her, she's the fittest 70 years old he's ever seen. Martial arts promotes healthy living and all that and I think we've got so much to offer the community. I don't understand why it's not accepted as much as a lot of other sports.

Another thing I've been working on ABOK with Kancho Terry Lim, which is Australian Board of Kanchos, which is like a grading panel. Now we're running into a few problems there because people are coming up and wanting to grade to a fifth-degree and they've only been training for three years, so that's a bit of a nightmare. But I've got people helping me like Bruce Haynes and Tony Ball and Graham Slater, people like that, who are on board. A lot of people go into their own styles and then they don't know where to go for grading. So we're working pretty hard on that as well. I do hope to continue my club. I'm not too worried because we've grown dramatically, I like to know the names of all the kids that come in. So it gets too big, you sort of lose control of that personal contact.

George: For sure. Grant, it's been great speaking to you and, look, I've gotta say, you're probably a legend in the industry. You're a true testament to living the lifestyle all the way, and at 74 years old and you've got no sign of stopping. Congrats to you, well done. Lastly, if anybody wants more information about you, where can they, which website can they go, where can they find more information about you?

Grant: I gotta talk to you about the website, obviously. Do it yourself isn't quite the right thing to do, I realized that. www.bukidokarate.com.au, it's one word, dot com dot au.

George: Alright, fantastic. Grant, it's been great speaking with you and I will speak to you soon.

Grant: Thanks, George, I appreciate you having me, it's great to talk to you as well.

George: Awesome, cheers.

Grant: Okay, bye bye.


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49 – Martial Arts Websites vs ClickFunnels & Page Builders

ClickFunnels and Page Builders can be great, but is that what you really need instead of your martial arts website? Here's my take.


  • Do you need a hole or a drill (and a driller)?
  • The myth about what you need to create a sales funnel
  • Doing the ‘Richard Branson Test’ for your martial arts business
  • What a basic martial arts business sales funnel looks like
  • The difference between an internet marketing funnel and martial arts school funnel
  • The important factors that influence customers’ buying behaviour
  • And more

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


Hey, this is George Fourie from Martial Arts Media, and in this video, I'm going to give you my take on websites versus ClickFunnels, or what I'm going to refer to is real martial arts websites, I'll explain why in a minute, versus ClickFunnels, Leadpages, and other page builders. I think there's a bit of confusion in the marketplace about what a funnel actually is, what part of a funnel you actually need, and for what type of business? Do you need the same type of intricate sales funnel structure for a martial arts business versus if you're selling digital products, or you got an e-commerce store or something like that?

There's a bit of confusion, and I was on a webinar yesterday where the guy I was referring to doing a comparison between a website versus a funnel, a sales funnel, and kind of saying, “Look, the website model is dead. You need sales funnel.” But I think that creates confusion because why does it need to be different? It doesn't need to be different. It's the same thing, it just means one website model was developed with an old mindset, with the sales funnel was not. It doesn't have to be different.

Do you need sales funnel? Absolutely. Does it need to be separate to your website? Definitely not. There's a bit of confusion with that, so I'm going to be as diplomatic as possible here, and want to give you my perspective on the difference between ClickFunnels, websites, martial arts websites, really crappy websites, good websites, and other types of page builders. And look, we've used them all, and I'll give full disclosure, martialartsmedia.com, my company, we develop martial arts websites, we help martial arts school owners with online lead generation. That's our focus.

We've used a bit of some page builder tools for some clients, but the majority, we build out our websites on Wordpress, because it's a platform that you own, we don't have to keep your login details, you don't have to pay a monthly fee for it. That's our preferred way but I want to give you both, all the facts, and you can make the decision for yourself because maybe a tool like ClickFunnels is for you, but maybe it's not.

The first thing I want to really look at here is to look at the old situation. Do you need a drill or hole? Well, you need the hole, right? How are you going to get the hole through a drill? Now, what type of drill you need? Maybe you need a certain type of drill? Different brand? Do you need to actually be the driller, or can you actually hire a person that's an expert at drilling the hole, and get that person into drill the hole for you?

My comparison analogy is, are you the right person for the job? Are you the person who should be doing drilling the holes in your business? Should you be building your own website? In 2017, I don't think it's necessary that you need to be touching any tech whatsoever, and a mental model is just to do the Richard Branson test. The question is, would Richard Branson be doing this in his business? I want to ask you that. Are you the right person to be doing drilling the holes, and putting up websites?

You know, my expertise is computer programming, I've adapted to marketing over the last 10 years, but I can put a website together, and I've got a web developer on staff, he's pretty busy with developing websites at the moment. Yesterday I was putting together a report for this actual video, and I'll actually show you, and because he was busy, I didn't want to bother him, so I put together a landing page myself, and for me, I thought, “Hey, this looks pretty cool doesn't it?” So I put this together, and I showed it to my developer, and five minutes later, he brings me this, which looks 10 times better, and I think the danger in a lot of these types of tools is it does what happened to me. It creates false confidence.

Now this is both on Wordpress to a different editor, but it creates false confidence that you think you are actually really good, where maybe you're not, and maybe somebody else could do it much better, do a professional job for you, and you get a better result at the end of the day. Keep that in mind. Are you the right person for the job here? Do you need to be drilling the holes in your business, or should you hire someone else to do that for you? Let's just remove the marketing hype for a minute, and let's look at the actual facts.

I'm going to draw out a sales funnel here for you, just to give you a bit of an idea, but this happened to one of our members in our Martial Arts Media Academy, where we teach martial arts school owners about lead generation, and the member said to me, well we were running through Facebook ads, and the member said to me, “Well, yeah, I'll get the ad up, but I've just got to figure this ClickFunnels thing out.” And I was asking, “Why? What are you going to need to do with ClickFunnels?” “Well, I was told I need ClickFunnels, so I bought this thing.” And I told the person, “Well, you've got a perfect landing page. We developed a landing page for you, it's professionally designed, we interviewed you for the actual copywriting to get your perfect message, to get your values, and put it down in writing into a structured sales message.”

And we'd done all this for the person, and it was ready to go. All that they needed to do was actually commit to the Facebook ads, but instead, they bought ClickFunnels and got sucked in by the tech, and started buying products that they thought they needed, which they didn't need, and that's what I've got a problem with. Not that actual tool, but that the wrong people are buying the tools thinking they need it, where they actually don't.

I want to show you this quickly, and just for, I guess, if you don't know anything about me, just for a bit of credibility for my end, I guess, but our landing pages that we've developed and I pulled this report just before I created the video. Since the last 10 to 11 months, our landing pages have generated 964 paid trial students, so in monetary value that's $30,000, but that's not really what's important.

What the real value is, is the lifetime student value, and from based on our numbers, the average that we normally find is $1,500 is a good lifetime student value. If you calculate it on that, yours might be more or less, that's $1.4 million. $1.455 million worth of students. Look, our landing pages convert. They convert, we create a custom copy from that, we design it, we put it on your website and we don't use ClickFunnels or any fancy page builder, and it gets results.

I want to break that down for you quickly, and let me just fire up my iPad here quickly, and use this as an example. Let's have a look. If we look at a sales funnel. Now, for the most part. Right now, let's do a comparison. In the internet marketing space, and this is sometimes a problem when you buy into internet marketing hype because there's a lot of internet marketing hype out that there. If you look at, let's do this and we looked at internet marketing.

A lot of the models that people follow would be, you've got your page here, and they call it a let's say like a trip wire, and the tripwire might be like a $7 product. You're trying to create this sort of value letter. We try to do the same, but I'll show you a different way in a minute. So, you've got this $7 product that you create, and then that goes to what's called a one-time offer normally. You only see it now, there, never again. You gotta buy it there, and let's say that's $47 or $97. That's the up-sell once you've bought the other one. Then, that page might take you to another one-time offer, OTO, and let's say that was $297. Excuse the handwriting. That's if you said yes, and if you said no, then you might go to a down-sell of, let's say $197. That's sort of an internet marketing model. You've got all these steps that you follow, and you want to bulk up a real funnel of all these different aspects.

Now, let's look at a martial arts school. With a martial arts school, you don't need that much right? You might, look, there can be variations of this, because for some of our clients, Facebook ads, they send them directly to the landing page. Just a straightforward sales page, as is. It could be, let's call that the rate offer. That'll be the paid trial page. People can go there directly, but you might have another page here. This could be the homepage on a website, but it's basically like a, we're going to call it a lead magnet page, or an inquiry page. It's kind of where something free is happening. This could be an online inquiry, it could be downloaded lead magnet, a lead magnet, something of value, for the purpose of getting a lead. It's basically a contact and inquiry page. Your funnel could be something like the free thing, and then people see the paid trial after, and then all that you really need after that is a thank you page.

This is a really, really important page. We don't have time to go into that into detail, but the way we do our Facebook ads is we track each of these elements so that we know how we can advertise to people based on the action that I've taken. That's going a bit off course, so I won't go into that right now, but that is the basic funnel. That is a basic funnel for a martial arts school. Free offer, paid trial offer, and the thank you page.

Do you need a funnel building tool that's $100-$300 a month for that? I don't think so, because why can't your website do the same thing? Your website can do the same thing, and you don't need 20 funnels, or 30 funnels or 40 funnels to do that. If you got one funnel that you optimize and that converts, and I'll show you the ways we go about that in a minute. Again, do you want to get your hands dirty with those types of tools? It's good to have the knowledge, but should you be the person doing it? I think you can do better things in your business, better things in running your martial arts school, in running the classes, running the schools, training your staff, running a better business, and get somebody to do this type of thing for you.

Back to the funnel. This is the basic funnel. If you optimize that one funnel, then you've got a working model. Then you can just drive traffic to that because here's the problem. The problem is this. If you have an awesome funnel, but you're not respecting the customer journey, then what's the point of people seeing your awesome funnel on a Facebook ad? Then when they actually decide to do some research on you. People do that, they go to Google, they check you out, and they land on your website, and your website sucks, and you lose the lead. They click the back button and they go to your competitor.

What does that help you? Does this mean you need to have the funnel, and then you need to have the website, and then you need to have 20 funnels, and multiple pages, multiple websites? I don't think so. If you actually know how to develop a website properly, then you know how to segment the people on that website. That means that your pages are independent. I'll go back to that in a minute because I want to answer something else, just on multiple websites, which I also believe you don't need. We'll cover that in just a minute.

Let me not jump around. Back to the customer journey. Customer journey. What we need to know about our customers is people take 6-8 interactions before they reach a point of conversion. That is the customer journey. 6-8 brand interactions, that's salesforce stat. That can be they check their mobile phone, they drove past their phone, they checked out your website, they saw your Facebook page, they saw a social media post. There's a lot of interactions that can happen before a conversion.

Conversion doesn't need to be a paid trial. It can be just a phone call, it can be just an email. This customer journey is happening, and it's happening at multiple times, different times, different devices. Those are steps that we just got to know that this is what's happening. So, why don't we base our marketing on these facts, and make sure that we got all the conversion points covered? Because I can guarantee you, if you're running 20, 30, 40 funnels, that's going to be really, really hard to optimize, and really, really hard to track people. Unless that is your full-time gig, or you got a very, very deep pocket to cater for that, it's going to take a lot of work.

Let's get back to the website. Does this mean if you're running multiple styles, that you're going to need multiple websites? Look, there's different ways of doing things, and all respect to how everybody does their way of business. The way we try and look at it from the start is leverage. How can you do the least amount of things, for the maximum amount of effort? Because look at this online world, it's crazy right? Do you ever feel that you're getting everything done that you need to get done? Why not just structure things that you work on the core basics, the core fundamentals, and you structure them right that your marketing becomes easier, and you don't have to spend all this time and all this tech, stuff, and everything. Let's get back to, I want to get back to the iPad here.

Let's take a quick look. Here's the thing and this is if you're running multiple styles within your school. If you're running multiple styles, for us, this is how we structure the website. We start off with the homepage. We got the homepage. Then the homepage is really where people land. It's really also just a landing page because people are going to land there, they are at different stages in their buying cycle, something else I will explain in a minute as well. The homepage really serves as a place to put people in the right place to have the right conversation.

What might happen is they are interested in style 1. Not a dollar sign, hang on. Style 1 might be kids' karate, for example, or they are interested in style 2, kickboxing. Or maybe they're interested in style 3, Krav Maga, or something else. These are three different conversations to be had. That's what the homepage is doing, it's acting like a chooser to send people where they need to go. These pages then do the specific copy for the specific audience having this specific conversation. It's no brochure, it's actually understanding the design concept, and knowing your market, and knowing how to segment it properly to send people to the right place.

One thing that we focus on because we do Google advertising, we make sure that all these pages have all the relevant information that you need to make a decision because we advertise them independently. We don't send people to the homepage, ever. People land there because they might be following your brand, or they heard about you. They google you, so the first page they're going to land is that homepage. That happens, but when it comes to the structure, we want to make sure that the homepage is just a chooser to send people to the right place. All these pages have a conversation that was self-targeted.

Do you need multiple web pages for this? No. How many signs do you have in front of your school? Do you have a different sign for each style or page? Do you segment your school like that? If people come for kickboxing, do you hide the kids? You know what I mean? There's always going to be this bit of overlap. You're much better off, in my opinion, and I've had this conversation multiple times in high-level mastermind groups. It's much better to have your one website, one brand, simplify things, and make sure that you're segmenting at the right place. I guess I should say this because segmentation is important.

Being specific is important, but are you doing it at the right place? Do you need to do it on a Facebook level, so that every Facebook page is different? I don't think so. Why don't you keep it under your same brand, and segment at the right place? Because this is where the conversion really is going to happen most of the time, depending on your marketing strategy of course again, is on the website. So why don't you segment people there and have those separate conversations? This can easily be done on one website. When people land on the kids' karate, they don't see the kickboxing, they see kids. They see kids' pictures. They see all that. So you can segment this according to that. I hope that helps.

The way we go about this when we’re creating a website. Look, it does take work, there's no doubt about that. We focus strongly on what's called A/B split testing. That means that one website might have a separate headline to the other one. We're fortunate enough that we develop websites, so we do this on a larger scale, and that way we can track different elements, and we do take it a step further. That is with heat maps.

Heat maps are really, really revealing, because you go based on not what people say they do, but what they actually do. You can see what people are clicking on your website, and the advantage we get from this is invaluable because we can see exactly what people are doing, what they click on, what they do not click on. This takes the A/B split testing to another level because what we gain from the one, we can use on the other. It becomes an invaluable exercise to really check our different websites for what we do for members. So, that's the one thing.

I should talk about the other side. Does this mean that all websites are created equal? Definitely not. This is the other, and this takes the conversation to a whole nother ball game. One thing we can establish, you need a sales funnel. Does it need to be on ClickFunnels or Leadpages or one of these tools? No, it doesn't. You can build that out on your website, preferably get a professional person to do it that understands sales and marketing.

Here's the problem with most web developers. Most web developers don't focus on sales and marketing, and I understand that really clearly, because I started out as a computer programmer, and tech and gadgets was my thing. It was only until I started learning about online marketing, and marketing and sales, that I really started to see how the two actually linked together. The problem is, it's two very, very different skill sets generally. A person that's focused on technology and analytics, or a person that's focused on graphics, is not necessarily focused on sales and marketing. When your development team consists of a technical person and a graphics designer, there's absolutely zero sales strategy on that website. So, you got to watch out.

What I've put together for this video is a report, and you can download that. This will help you. It's called “20 Questions to Ask Your Web Developer Before Investing in a New Martial Arts Website.” This is the top 20 questions that I've pulled together of what you should be asking a web developer. This is very, very quickly going to tell you where their mind is at, and if they're going to deliver with what it is that you need. What do you need from your website? You need leads, and you need paid trials. You need someone with that understanding. If you're watching this video on Facebook, just type 20 in the comments, and we will send that through to you. Otherwise, just check it out on martialartsmedia.com and it will be available for download in the show notes of this episode. Something else for you to consider.

We've covered your website can be your sales funnel. You need someone that actually understand the sales and marketing process to facilitate that for you. A big thing of why we focus on building things on your website, and this will be covered a bit more in the report, is having an asset. When you look at the online world, there's one place where you actually build out an asset, and that is in your domain name. So your .com, .au, .co, .uk, wherever you are located.

Your website address is your one and only asset. The problem that can happen is you own the domain name, but somebody else actually owns your website, so it's kind of like you own the house on a piece of land, but somebody else owns the land. Somebody else can just take the land away from you, and you're just stuck with the house. Or, you own the land but somebody else owns your house, so somebody can just go break the house down if they want. Something to check out for.

So, when you're building out things on the internet, and you're looking at the long term, what's going to last the longest for you? Then it's a wise move to build things out on your website. It's maybe not always the quickest, and maybe not always the easiest, but long term, it's going to benefit you, because all your prime content, and if I say content, videos and articles, that stays on your website.

A few things for you to consider. Now, look, if you're doing things yourself, and you're at the point in your business that you've got to do absolutely everything, then maybe a tool like ClickFunnels or Leadpages can help. But you got to be careful because you might get sucked into a lot of things from top marketers, that'll make you buy things. Probably won't make you, but you'll feel that you need to buy these things, and you don't really need them. It's something for you to consider.

If you are hands-on with the tech, and you feel that you're 100% clued up on all the stuff, and nobody can do a better job, then hey, commit to it, do your thing. It could be good to just sometimes test things and get an offer out quickly. But if you want more specifics, and you want to be a bit more in detail of getting a sales funnel done for you, or website done that's yours on your domain, in your structure, then reach out to a professional, whether that's us or not. Go for it.

All right, I hope that helps. I hope that clarifies a few things. If you want to download that report, go to martialartsmedia.com, or if you're watching this on Facebook, just leave a comment with the word 20, and we'll send that through to you. Thanks, and I'll speak to you soon. Cheers.


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48 – How To Create Martial Arts Training Videos With Jack Leung

Jack Leung is capturing attention with his martial arts training videos. We discuss frameworks to create your own.


  • How video marketing can help boost your martial arts business.
  • Step by step framework for making engaging martial arts videos.
  • How to grab attention in the first 30 seconds.
  • Why Jack Leung ended his career in graphic design and pursued martial arts instructing.
  • How to overcome the one thing that stops martial arts school owners from creating videos.
  • And more

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


George: Hi, this is George Fourie, and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. Today, I have another great guest with me, Sifu Jack Leung. And Sifu Jack Leung has, I'll guess I'll start off with the video side of things, has an awesome YouTube channel. You've got to see the videos to appreciate it, and we'll link to it in the show notes. And look, a video marketing, doing video in general, is something that, it's a big component. We're always talking about it in the Martial Arts Media Academy with our students, of really leveraging it. And Jack claims he's not an expert, but I'm sure you're going to disagree when you watch his videos. So, first and foremost, welcome to the show, Jack.

Jack: Thank you for having me, thank you.

George: Awesome. So, let's start just in the beginning, to give people a bit of an idea, who is Jack Leung?

Jack: Hi everyone, my name is Jack Leung, and I teach Wing Chun in Queensland. I currently run two full-time clubs, and four different small clubs at different locations, at school halls and community centres.

George: Alright, cool. So, going a bit further back, how did your whole martial arts journey evolve?

Jack: I started out training in Hong Kong, and I'm from Hong Kong. I started out training with Karate first in high school. And I went to, let's just say a rough high school, and we get to test a lot of things before there were videophones and that kind of stuff. So sometimes, a lot of instructors don't say … they only tell you the good stories. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you lose badly, and that's when I started looking into martial arts.

In the beginning, I like to tell people, and this is what I tell parents, I want to be stronger, to be able to protect myself, but that wasn't the case. I just wanted to be very good, to protect myself and beat up other kids. But that's very different 20 years later, that's very different 20 years later. So, that's how I started. And I started training Goju Karate first, for five or six years, and in between, I trained some different types of Kung Fu. Some Southern Praying Mantis, different lineages of Praying Mantis, and then I met my Sifu in 1996 when I walk past on the way to school. And then, I started, I just walk in and say, “Oh, what is Wing Chun?”. And that got me interested in training Wing Chun.

George: Awesome. So, how long have you actually been in Australia, then?

Jack: I've been here, I think, roughly 20 years now, I think 20 years. Yeah, let me think. Yeah, 20 years now.

George: So your whole family moved over to Australia?

Jack: No, I came over to study, first, and then I went back and forth. In the beginning, I didn't know if I liked this place, and then, so I came over, I studied, and I went back and forth. And, yeah, that's how I stayed behind.

George: So what made you really see Australia as a way to obviously further your life, and stay permanently?

Jack: I would like to say, I like Brisbane, I'm from Brisbane, and I love the weather here. It's the Sunshine State, I love the beach, and outdoor living, it's great. I'm not saying Hong Kong's not great, but it can be a crowded places, and just a lot of conflicts, a lot of people. Let me rephrase this, there's conflict everywhere, but it's easier when you have to travel every day, you go on train and there's lots of people in and out. A big city like that, I prefer Brisbane. And now I like Australia, that's why I'm here.

George: Awesome. Cool, so you started your journey in Hong Kong, and then you moved to Australia. So, how did this evolve to then actually going on the teaching journey?

Jack: So, I never thought I would teach Kung Fu, or any martial arts. Before I teach Kung Fu, I had a graphic design company and printing company. I was doing that for the past 10 years before that, and in terms of business-wise, it's not bad, it's not bad, but I just have to always work over-hours. Just imagine if you need business card, or flyers for your events, for your next event. People always come in and say, “I need it.” “When do you need it?” “I need it yesterday.” It's always a rushed job.

And when you're a boss, it's hard, because when other people, your employee, leave and finish work at 5:30 or 6:00, you're the boss, and you have a client, and they want it urgently, so who's going to stay behind? Your job. If they're willing to pay extra-loading, as in they pay extra $60 for extra time who's going to stay behind? You will have to stay behind. I will have to stay behind. Meaning, every night, lots of time, I stay until 9:00, and very late, yes, that's right.

George: Yes, I was at a business conference on Monday in Sydney, and it was a joke that came up: you're the business owner, then you've got the staff, and it was kind of like, It was said in a sarcastic way, “How can these bastards not want to work the hours that we want to work as the business owners?”. So, we always expect them to obviously give that output, but yes, I understand that pressure of, your clients … And you always feel your reputation is at stake, so even if it's the littlest thing if you love your job and your business, you always take it to, “I've got to stick to this deadline whether it's impossible or not.”

Jack: It is true. So that's how I decided, after 10 years of doing the same thing, I decided to just start something else. I first got into fitness training, I was doing that. And it was hard, it's never easy. To all martial arts business owners out there, for those who are interested in going full time, I'm telling you, it's not easy. But if you do what you like, you don't have to work a day in your life anymore, and that's my favourite quote.

George: I love that quote, that's fantastic. So, let's go into our topic that we're going to talk about, focus on a little more, and that's video marketing, and just doing videos. So for starters, why video, for you?

Jack: Why video for me? Because I come from a creative industry, print and graphic design, I like the visual aspect: what draws attention? And this is very different, and interesting, how this compare to 10 years ago. I remember when Facebook first started, it was a lot of posts, a lot of photos, pictures, and then became YouTube videos. There was no Facebook videos. And that's when people start sharing videos. And I think (a slight sidetrack), I think that's the best time to do it, to do YouTube videos.

But now, it's easier. The platform seems like it's easier to share videos. And the technology change, and now we all have smartphones, so it's very easy to just shoot something and spread your ideas, what you do, online, and showcase how you train, or training, any tips. And that's why I started doing videos.

George: Okay. I don't know the stats, I don't know how many. Yeah, I'll try and get the stats for the transcript, but there's, I don't know how many billions of videos that get, I think it's just uploaded, on a daily basis, and then watched. And internet connections are getting faster, it just becomes a lot easier for people to just watch videos. So, you mentioned a key thing there, about attention. So, that's really the key of video, because everybody always talks about, “Hey, we should do video,” and then they go shoot a live video of them fumbling around and procrastinating. And then, two minutes in, you've watched nothing. And that's obviously the wrong way of doing it. So, if you focus on the attention aspect, how would you go about that, to really capture people's attention?

martial arts training videos

Jack: So, from my experience, I'm not an expert, but I just try to learn from different people's videos. I watch a lot of YouTube videos and try to learn from them. And this is from my research, is that people just have very short attention span, unfortunately, and if you don't capture them within the first 30 minutes, some even say, hang on, I said 30 minutes, I mean 30 seconds. If you can't capture, Facebook videos, in 10 seconds, you can't really get them. So first of all, like you said, you have to really have a topic, and what the video is for. Is this to showcase your techniques, or is this to spread some self-defence, or even the culture of your school, marketing for your school? You really have to work out on a topic in order to showcase your video and make it better for your business.

George: Okay, cool. So, you start with the topic, and then really communicating that really clearly, that the person that's going to watch it, that they know immediately, “Alright, this is what's in it for me, I'm going to get this.” Then, how do you transition from that?

Jack: Sorry, I can't hear you again, sorry.

George: So, how would you transition from, so you've done opening, then what becomes the focus in the video from there?

Jack: It really depends on the individual topic. So, if this video is to showcase our school, and we put it on a website for marketing, then what sort of image would you want to display yourself? If you're a fight gym, and you have a lot of fighters, I would say you would put different types of fighting videos in there. And if you're a family-oriented gym, or school, then you would put different topics, how you could actually give confidence to the young children, young kids. And if you're focusing on self-defence, or if it's just a general awareness video, then you have different topic-specific videos.

So then, you go into … I see a lot of times that people just do a video and just randomly shoot, like what you said earlier, just shoot around. “This is my school, and this is what we're doing.” And there's no lighting, audio is really bad, and … I'm not saying my video's good, please don't get this wrong: I'm trying to learn, it's more than just an iPhone or a smartphone now, it's more about lighting, it's more about getting a good mic. If you're trying to explain your concept, you need good audio, you need good … It's all together in one package.

And sometimes, it's interesting too, some normal videos that people shot by their phone would go viral, too. It's the content, too, it's also the content. You have everything in the right place but you don't have the right content, it won't work.

George: Yes, because there's so many ways to go about that. One thing I always try to speak about to our members in the academy, is, to get over the initial.. There is a fear element to it. Which is almost strange for me with martial arts instructors, because it's nothing different to what you would do on a day-to-day basis, you are teaching. So, looking at the, just to break down the layers of, what are the obstacles to overcome to do video? And that being, do you really need the flash video camera, or can you just use the iPhone? Do you need the fancy lighting? So, you prefer the lighting. And you work with, what type of equipment do you use, then, when you go about your videos?

Jack: It depends on what sort of videos I do. So, sometimes I get a team in, a video-photographer in. And they're good at what they do, you have to respect those people, and that's what they study and that's what they, give credit to them. And they can produce some really high-quality video. But sometimes, for a technique workshop, so I'm going to introduce, so, what happens when people grab me, choke me, grab my neck, what do you do? Those kind of short videos, it's about the content.

So, you need a proper, you can't just shoot it with a really old VHS camera or video camera. It has to be HD, the light has to be good. And if you don't have good lights, you can always shoot under the sun, just not facing the sun, it's under the sun. And also, audio has to be good. The problem with the smartphone is, you don't have a good mic to it. What I'm saying is, when I'm shooting, for example, if I'm holding a camera here and the person's way is usually, you want to showcase the entire body, how they stand. So, it's actually at least four, five meters away. And when you're trying to explain things that far away with a smartphone, it's really hard.

George: Yes.

Jack: So I got a professional Røde mic, from the store, and so I can hook it up, and it gives better. But it's never going to be as good as a professional video-photographer. But, it really depends on what sort of video you're producing.

George: Yeah, and like you said, the content. My, and I can't reach it now, it's a little lav mic, so it's the little mic that, you can just clip it on your shirt, and then it just goes in the iPhone. But I've got this long lead, that if I need the distance.

Jack: That can be a little tricky because I used to have one of those, and it can be really tricky when you're demonstrating. For normal use, if you're presenting the idea, that's perfect, but if you're demonstrating a martial art move, just imagine a ground fighter with that, to explain. It's very hard, you tangle them all up. Okay, I'm joking about, I'm just saying. So I recently, I keep buying toys every week, if my wife is watching this she's not going to be happy. So, I bought a wireless mic, so I'm testing it out. So, I can wear it on me, I can put it in my iPad or my SLR, and then, the audio can go across. And hopefully, that will work for me.

George: Yeah. So, just on the, because you said you had a Røde mic, that's the premium brand with mics. So, you have it on a boom stand that it's just above you when you?

Jack: And or you can always do this at a lower cost. The Røde mic that I bought isn't too expensive, it's under $100, and when you were saying, the boom stand, I didn't get that, I just tangle it on a stick, on a training stick we have. It's the same idea, but someone will have to hold it, hold it up high. Or, you can somehow just attach it over the top, and that's a cheaper option for good video, audio if you do.

George: Alright, great. So one thing I really try and get across to martial arts school owners is to really embrace the idea of video because it's the one platform that you can leverage. You can create one video, you can transcribe the actual audio, you can turn it into a blog post, and you can email it to your prospects. Then, you can start your social media, and you can just place it everywhere. So, if you can look for a leverage point for your marketing, then video is really it because it's the one modality that you can just convert into all these multiple modalities.

So, what advice would you give for a martial arts instructor that's hesitating with the whole doing the video thing and just the real, core basics of what they should do to get started?

Jack: I would say, always give it a try. When I first started, it's the fear of facing a camera, looking at a camera. It's like you're talking to someone, but there's no one there. And you get nervous, and I think you have to start doing a little bit mini test videos, and work around it, the fear. I think the fear is the most important thing. Most martial artists, most martial art business owner knows their own stuff. If you don't know, then I would be worried about it. So, most people know their own stuff. But to present it in front of a camera, my advice is, you don't have to do it in front of your students, just set up a tripod, put a camera, or put your iPhone on, face yourself, and try to do some simply, try give it a shot. One minute video.

And have a look at it. If it's not too bad, you can always work on it. This is a very different day to before, we can always shoot and re-shoot. If it's not good, just delete, redo it again. If the audio's not good, I'm going to work on the mic. And lighting. You can do it outdoor, or just grab two lights that's facing from behind the camera, like you were saying earlier, and facing towards you, and that would work. You don't want to have it, I'm not expert, but you don't want to have it above you. Above you, the shadow's coming down, won't make you look too good. But if it's facing in front of you, have the audio on. Try to get a tripod, tripod is a good idea. You don't want to shake your video unless you're trying to do some action video. But I'll leave that to the video-photographer.

So there is all my advice. It's not too much about the technology itself. The mic itself is under $100, tripod, a cheap one is 30. It's about the fear of talking to a square-shaped object, and continue talking, and showing your technique, or displaying your school. That's the hard bit, I think.

George: Yes. You're so right. I think it's also the fear of being judged. Is it going to be good enough? What are my peers going to say? How are people going to perceive this? Am I going to get backlash? People love to hate on martial arts videos. Everybody always knows something better, or, “You could have done this.” That's just in the bigger scheme of things. But I think there's that fear element, of obviously getting over, “How am I going to be perceived by the community,” as such.

Jack: Yes. It's also the fear. But, remember one thing, it's just like everything else and including martial arts: the more you train, the better you get. You remember your first day when you walk into a dojo? You know nothing. And then, you get better at things, and then you're down the track, like for example you get your black belt: you realize you only know little. But that's how it is. So same with video, it's the fear. “I don't know how to set this up.” Try to learn. There's lots of videos online, you can educate yourself. Educating yourself. But not going in, and not willing to educate yourself, that is the big problem with a lot of martial artists, and general business people, and that's a big problem.

So, my tip is just give it a go, video yourself, lighting. If you're already videoing yourself, see how you can improve it. Can you work better on the lighting? What about audio? Have you got those, video and audio? What about your transitions between? Are you good at editing? If not, you can always find people who are good at editing online, places like fiverr.com. You can get someone to do your intro logos and things like that.

And also, another important thing is, I think, it's also not just one video. You've got to think, plan ahead. What is your goal? Is it a series of video? Are these videos trying to help you promote your school? What are you trying to showcase? Are you just trying to showcase a self-defence move, where there's 10,000 people showing it already on YouTube? What make your video better than the video next door, than the person next door? So that's what I think.

George:Definitely so and I think that's probably the most important part, is, what is the point? Why are you actually doing the video? Is it to speak to the prospects? Is it to speak to somebody in the community? Is it to speak to an existing student? And I know there are people that go as far as, write that, just like in marketing when we write sales copy, we try and create this avatar, this person. His name's Bob, 35-year-old, has two kids, and wanting to start training martial arts but he's not sure. He's got these injuries, he's never done anything, and he thinks he needs to be fit.

So, you have this mental image of this one person, and then base it on that. And I've heard a lot of people actually put a photo of someone behind the camera as well, just to take away that awkwardness, of their perfect prospect, whoever they're trying to talk to. And now it becomes more real because you're having a conversation with someone.

Jack: Yes, yes. When I first started doing the videos, and a lot of interviews, I actually need someone to sit behind the camera, so I can actually look at that person, and explain to that person. And that helps a lot, too. That helps a lot. And I was saying earlier that there's online website that can help you edit your videos. I forgot to say that there are a lot of apps these days, which you can actually put your videos in together, a few clicks, like iMovies on your iPhone, and different types of apps. Adobe apps and they can put your … If you're looking at putting a marketing video for your school, that will help, definitely help.

Obviously, getting a video-photographer is the best, it's the best. But sometimes, I put in a bigger production, and sometimes I do little production in between. What I tend to do is, I try to put out a video every week, so there's always a video. It can be a big production, it can be a small production, it can be talking about techniques, how I deal with things, or it can just be fun.

When you were saying earlier, I know this is a little bit different to how business-minded people, where they write out programs and what they do, I like fun. I enjoy being with my students, I enjoy videoing things, I do things sometimes I don't … It's not always about money for me, but there's no limit for me. Sometimes, I blow my video budget, I just go, “Oh, cool, add in the drone. How much is a drone? 500? Oh. Add in the drone, don't tell my wife.” And then it makes the video look cool.

And we went with a bunch of our student, we went to Glass Hill mountain, we shot at 5:00 AM in the morning with the drone going up, and it looks beautiful, I love this. And at the same time, does it help? I think it helps. It helps my potential, people who are interested in training. “Hey, this instructor seems fun, this school seems fun.” Maybe it's not a direct marketing or direct business mindset, I'm not trying to build this fun because I am fun, and we are fun. And this is what we're trying to showcase, rather than, “Come join with us, we are the fun school.” No, it's not like that. It's what we do, make us who we are.

George: That's excellent. So you're really using it as a way to express your personality. And I'd probably add to that, then, because I think that's when you're starting out, that's probably the biggest obstacle. Well, once you've actually started doing it, the biggest thing is to really just find your voice. That place where you're comfortable with the camera, and the way you portray yourself. For me, the rule I put in place with face-to-camera video, is just be comfortable messing up. Just be comfortable making mistakes.

If we're having a conversation, I do it in the podcasts all the time, I fumble on a word, or I say something and I'm like, “Oh, okay, I shouldn't have said that” but I just laugh it off. I just make peace with it. Because, if I was having a conversation with someone, that's my personality, that's the way I am, so I'm going to make these mistakes. Now it's just on video, there's nothing really different.

Jack: Yes, that's right. But there's one thing, I forgot to say, is when you put it out there, when you put yourself out there, there will, like everything else in the world, there will be people that like you, and there will be a lot of people that don't like you. And to present yourself out there, there will be people leaving not so friendly comment. And you just have to ignore them. And this is what you do, and then … So that might be something a martial arts business owner will have to think before they present themselves, put themselves out there.

George: Yes. And my filter for that is, when I get backlash, then I'm obviously doing something right. That's the justification I have for myself. But it's really true, because when you start speaking to a certain audience, and the right audience that connects with you, then this polarizing thing almost happens automatically. Because you're connecting with a certain profile, which means you are upsetting other profiles, or they just don't agree, or they have never done a video, and they're jealous, and they're not getting over their own fear, so their defense mechanism is to run you down, because they're just not doing it, so yeah. But definitely, get comfortable with the backlash that comes with any form of content marketing, as such.

Jack: That's right, yes.

George: So to wrap up, we can put together a bit of a framework. I really like production style video for the big things you're going to do. I see, you had an awesome promo video on your YouTube video for the events, with music, and it was really just, it had the suspense feel to it, which was really good, with the opening, just the music in the background. But then again, I'm a big fan of also, just videos on the fly. Because, if you're doing video as a method for content marketing, then it's good to not have barriers, that you get it done. And that would be, maybe it's the iPhone and the mic and the boom, and you've got light coming into your dojo on the mats, and now you can do something. Or hand the camera to a student to do the filming.

So, I guess if we had to look at a checklist, we've talked about finding your voice, having the lights pointed at you, try and get a good mic. If you don't have a mic, just start, because it could take you 10 takes of a video to actually feel that comfort of, okay, this is something that I actually want to put up. So you've got that. Make sure that you cover the topic, be very clear on the opening because we want to grab attention. And then start your content, what it is that you're going to do.

And then I'll add, for a little framework, something that we've … And public speakers have always spoken about this, that you tell them what you're going to tell them, then you tell them, and then you tell them what you just told them. And it does really add to the video framework. Because now you can just say, “Hey, this is me, this is what we're going to do, this is,” maybe, the situation, how it will happen. And then you do it, and then you do the recap, and then you can close off, obviously, with, “Check us out on YouTube,” or your website, wherever you want to go.

Jack: You're good at this, exactly what you just did. That's exactly what you just said, I think you went through all the point list, for which you said.

George: There you go. Awesome. Before we wrap up, just with, where people can find you, because you've got to … And we'll add a lot of videos to this episode, so you can just check the show notes for that. Is there anything that I should have asked you that I did not get to?

Jack: We didn't get to talk about the positive energy, which is another … I said, we are happy, we're a good club, we're fun club, but I also believe we're a positive energy, and that's the culture of the club. So I did say earlier, about people marketing their videos towards different point of view, and why they do their videos, but also, showcase your school, so people know who you are, what you do before they come in and see you. And that's very important, too.

George: Very good point. And with that, it would help that your videos don't, you don't have to be the hero. This is actually, I remember this now, I added this as a slide in one of our training module in the academy, but the whole thing was, don't be … You don't have to be the hero. If you want to showcase, as you say, why not get your students involved?

Jack: That's right, that's right. I'm not always the centre of the spotlight, and a lot of my videos are my students, and why they enjoy training here. And the events, we had events where we dress up in Star Wars costume, and we order lightsabers in, and we had some duelling. And then we did some training workshops, and all the donation money goes to children's hospital. Things like that, it showcase who you are, and what you do, and what you enjoy, and what you believe, and that’s the most important. That's what I think.

George: That's excellent. And we can tie that back to marketing as well, because, at the time of recording this, Halloween's coming up, and that's an ideal … How can you turn that into a fun event? Doesn't have to be marketing video, but you showcase the fun environment and the positive energy that happens at your school.

Jack: Yes.

George: Alright, awesome. Well, Jack Leung, it's been fantastic speaking to you. Now, for anybody that wants to check out Jack's website, it's practical-wingchun.com.au, did I get that right?

Jack: That's right, yes.

George: And your YouTube channel, if people want to find that. What is your YouTube channel called?

Jack: Practical Wing Chun Australia, and then you can find me on the YouTube channel.

George: Alright, awesome. Any other links that we need to mention, where people can find you?

Jack: Practical Wing Chun Australia on the Facebook link, and you can find me, yeah.

George: Alright, awesome. Jack, it's been great speaking to you, I will speak to you soon.

Jack: Thank you, I'll see you soon. Take care, buddy.

George: Awesome, cheers.


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47 – [Case Study] How Dave Richardson from Kung Fu Southside Grew His School by 33%

Martial Arts Media Academy founding member shares his successful growth while getting ready for the next benchmark.


  • The greatest impact the Martial Arts Media Academy has contributed to Dave Richardson’s martial arts school growth
  • Why you should invest in hiring a marketing expert
  • The benefits of email marketing and why you should not neglect it
  • What is ‘superhero syndrome’ and why you should avoid it
  • How you can get marketing help through the Martial Arts Media Academy
  • And more

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


Yeah, the other thing that was really helpful was the coaching calls, and going through the websites and what not, and how to tweak this and change that, and work together in the Academy to make the pieces fit.

George: Hey this is George Fourie from Martial Arts Media, and I'm joined today with Dave Richardson. Now Dave is based in Brisbane from Kung Fu Southside, and Dave is also one of our first members of the Martial Arts Media Academy. So we're going to have just a bit of a chat about his experience and his journey. So welcome to the call, Dave.

Dave: Good day George, thank you mate for having me on your podcast.

George: Awesome, so let's just go back to the beginning, before you got started with the Martial Arts Media Academy, so what is it that made you join? Was it a problem that you were trying to solve or something? Or what sort of vision did you have in mind in the beginning?

Dave: Funnily enough, in the beginning, it just started off over a cup of coffee with a mate of mine, Jack Leung from Practical Wing Chun, he pointed out your Martial Arts Media Facebook page I think it was. I looked into it and then yeah you had the academy there and it sort of went from there, because I was really wanting to make my school go full time. At that stage it wasn't, so I was just hungry for information and help to get into an industry that I'd been a part of but only on the outskirts.

George: Okay, so give us a bit of a background, so 'cause you currently got the school, you're transitioning into full time, and you're still working a business during the day, right?

Dave: Yes, correct, correct. The school started in a shed in my backyard and we outgrew that and we ended up moving into a commercial premises, it was just traveling under its own steam. Then I realized that this is my calling, and I'd rather be teaching people Kung Fu than killing bugs in my pest control business. So the transition is still being made, but definitely now Kung Fu is taking up more and more time and generating more income.

George: Cool, so how are you juggling the two at this point in time? You've got the pest control business, right?

Dave: Yes.

George: Cool, so how's the juggle going between the transitioning between that and the Kung Fu school?

Dave: You've hit the nail on the head, juggle is the right word. Time management was one of the skills that I've really had to learn. So trying to portion time where I can focus on the school, not just the teaching side of it, but the actual building of the business side of it as well. So that's what I've done, I've set aside two days a week where my focus is on building the business side of the school.

George: Awesome, if we look at when you entered the academy and working with me, what are the sort of top two or three things that's made the biggest impact for you?

Dave: Oh George, one of the biggest things was the website because I built my own website, I'm one of these guys that'll have a crack at anything. Doesn't mean I'm good at it but I'll have a go at it, and yeah so the website that you did for me actually help with conversions. It was a lot better, rather than just a name, rank and serial number type website, to actually have a website that funneled for want of a better word, funneled people to an offer page and the offer that you presented with me as part of the academy really has made a difference as well. So that was one of them, the email sequence follow up, you have to follow up, if you don't follow through you don't get anywhere. Then also the Facebook, using Facebook and the marketing strategies there is really generating more website traffic as well as its own Facebook traffic as well.

George: Awesome and you hit the nail on the head there with, I think if you find it especially in the martial arts industry that people are go-getters so you want to do everything yourself. There's a top marketer, he calls it the superhero syndrome, you just want to take it all on and do it yourself. With a website, if you've got a little tech knowledge, it's actually an easy thing to put the tech together, you know you can hire most people to put that part together for you.

But when it comes to the actual strategy from front to back, that's where the real thinking part comes in, to really have it structured in a way that's going to convert and obviously deliver your message. Your strengths and what it is that makes your school unique, that be congruent, that when they actually walk in that there's a connection. Not they saw a stock image in a fancy place and now they walk in a place that's completely different as such.

Dave: Yes and that's true. Like you said, anybody can put a website together, hey I did it. If I can do it, then anybody can do it, but yeah the way it was structured, yeah that's an experience that I didn't have and that certainly made a difference as well.

George: Cool, and then, of course, the email now, email some people refer to as the old school way of marketing, but it's still the one item that everybody has, is an email address. I think a lot of people miss it, you know when people say emails not working, I say, “You're not doing it right.” Because that's generally the experience, it's easy to blame the platform, people say that all day about Facebook, about Google, the platform doesn't work. But it's really, again it comes down to the strategy of it.

The reason why we put a lot of focus on email is most martial arts school owners are of course time poor. So I guess that's a general thing in any business owner. So if you look at the things that you can automate in a structure, that's the one method where people are going to have some text exchange if it's not over the phone, then we want to look at leveraging your time.

Leveraging your time means, of course, putting the automation systems in place that can do a lot of the legwork for you. So when you are doing the follow up that there are some ways that you can contact everybody on mass, that still feels personal, and still building the relationship. That helps set you apart and get your time back at the end of the day.

Dave: Yeah, for sure, and you hit the nail on the head when you said strategy because you can send an email to anyone then it can be exactly the same as that website that I had, that was name, rank and serial number. I'm Joe Blogs from x, y, z martial arts school, and we cost this much, you can ring me on this number. You've just given all the people the information and there's no relationship built, so that was a big thing, was that the strategy in building the relationship through email. That strategy can carry across to your Facebook messages, anything like that, yeah so it's not about just giving information, it's about building a relationship.

George: Definitely so, it comes down to the understanding of the way of communication and that sort of trickles through. How about Facebook? Because you said it's sort of all, the different components as in a strategy is working together for you.

Dave: Yeah, like, pardon me. Running a few different strategies that are say informational, then there's competitions, then there's the offer. So just basically getting the brand out there, just standing up and say, “Hey, here we are.” You might not get an initial response from whatever you put out there, but you're getting put in front of people. That's the main thing because people might not be ready to start now.

Classic example is my mistiming of my last Facebook strategy with the daytime classes. School holidays were on, I didn't even take that into account, and all of the mums that wanted to start during the day because they have free time couldn't because they were looking after the kids. So hopefully next week, we'll have a big influx of mothers coming in for the daytime classes. Like they've all responded to us, but I was standing there by myself there the first day.

George: That's all good, I'm going to be creating a separate video about this, but I was attending a training with Dean Jackson and he was talking about identifying the five-star prospects and making peace with the fact that 85 percent of your prospects are not ready to join now. They're ready to join perhaps because they've expressed interest, but somewhere, and the time frame they apply this in the property market especially, but their strategy is that 100 percent of their prospects are going to join within the next two years.

So it takes the pressure off of sifting the 15 percent that's ready to join now, and then the 85 percent that's going to join later. The whole concept behind this is, how do you go about your marketing? Are you serving that 85 percent? Because if you're serving the 85 percent, the 15 percent will just jump on board anyway, 'cause they're ready. But if you focus all your efforts on too much strategy of I've got to get them on board now, you risk of actually turning the 85 percent off, because your marketing is so hard and in your face type of thing.

Dave: Yeah, that makes perfect sense, I'd never thought of it that way, that's for sure. Instant gratification is always good like if you put something out there and then next thing it's going off, that's great. Look I've had that happen with a couple of Facebook promotions that I've done, and it's really been great because it's helped boost numbers quickly, which is what everybody wants. They want to boost numbers but like, we have a saying in Wing Chun that you start with the first form, which is the base form, and you build your foundation there.

If you haven't got the good foundation then the rest of it isn't going to work. It might work to a degree, but it has a high chance of falling over so yeah you've got to have that foundation there first. So the way I look at it is the websites got to be good, you've got to have a good web presence and then you can start adding the quick responses. So putting out the Facebook promos and stuff like that, that's going to generate the interest, but like you say that 85 percent have to have something there for them as well.

George: Yeah, definitely, so Dave what's the biggest impact this whole journey working with me has had on the business and personally? Especially now that you're taking this role of creating more content and taking on a different position and stance within the business.

Dave: Yeah George, I'm sort of the type of person that is always keen to learn. I've got a hunger for knowledge, so it's been a great journey with you doing all of the different aspects of what we've covered in the academy. Say from how your website should be structured, the email sequences, and then how to work Facebook, I mean how many modules was that. That did my head in, it's still doing my head in. But that was only part of it, it was about knowing your target market, who am I actually trying to get through the door?

Yeah, the other thing that was really helpful were the coaching calls and going through the websites and what not, and how to tweak this, and change that. Work together in the academy to make it all fit, make the pieces fit. Because it's one thing to have all the pieces of the puzzle, but if they're scattered all over the board it doesn't make much sense. So that was a key thing to making it work, was the coaching calls and putting the puzzle together.

George: Yes, thanks, Dave, and I'm glad you mentioned that because it's especially in this internet digital age, it's really easy to get information. You can get it in groups, you can take a piece here, and you can take a piece here. You can take someone’s strategy, but if you don't have the whole strategy and you don't have someone to really help you put it together, that's where people get stuck. Because you are time poor and now you buy this course and you're reading through it, taking the information in is easy, that's the easy part, it's actually having to put it into practice. That's where the obstacles come in, and if you don't have someone that can say, “Alright but hey maybe you should just adjust this, and adjust this.” That's what's going to really make the difference.

Dave: It certainly did make a difference because I had all the modules there. Like you said, information's easily accessible and making it all fit and work, well, as a martial artist that's what your instructors there for. Then there was other things like when we met in person at the Martial Arts First, and one of the persons that we met there, Henry Calantog, just from his way of teaching made me look differently at the way I was learning. Like with yourself, and so on, and so you're picking up bits and pieces from everywhere. And the podcasts, like the podcasts that you've been doing, I've learnt so much from those guys as well. Everything, everything's been a positive experience there's no doubt about it because I was green when I started and I'm still a darker shade of green now I suppose.

George: That's all good but I mean you're moving forward, your business is growing. What are things look like for you in the next six months with your martial arts school?

Dave: Well mate before we started, what was it, I think it was around July or August when we started, I think I had between 50 and 60 students. Just last week we cracked the 90 mark, which was huge. Yeah, it's been really good so I'm hoping after next week with the daytime classes kicking off full swing that we'll be over the 100 mark and then it's onwards and upwards.

George: Awesome, so I guess we should set a goal live on the podcast then, right?

Dave: You want accountability, well that's one way to do it I suppose.

George: Let's just tell the world that we're going to have Dave Richardson back on the podcast for when he strikes 100 and how many students?

Dave: Let's make it 150, a nice realistic easy one, we'll do that easy.

George: Alright, there we go, so everybody knows 150 students, Dave Richardson will be back on the Martial Arts Media Business podcast. There we go.

Dave: Now you've put me on the spot.

George: It can't be any better than that, just putting it out there could probably get it a lot sooner than what you'd expect. Anybody that's listening to this if you know Dave, hit him up and say, “Alright we're rooting for you, we're waiting for the 150 students.” Now the pressure’s on buddy.

Dave: Thanks, George.

George: Alright awesome, just to wrap it up, who would you recommend join the Martial Arts Academy and why do you feel so?

Dave: Mate, look anybody who has a martial arts school, you can't go wrong. Anybody who has a young martial arts school, if you've got no tech savvy at all definitely get on board, you'll learn a lot. I had a very minimal technological advantage, disadvantage and I was able to now be able to implement all of the automation for the email, using Facebook, the website. So anybody who has a school, starting a school, or wants to grow their business, get proactive. Invest in yourself, invest the time in yourself, and the dividends will pay for themselves, yup.

George: Awesome and for anybody interested in checking it out, martialartsmedia.academy is where you can get more information. So just go check that out, and yeah, join us in the academy.

Dave: Yeah, look forward to it.

George: Awesome, great to have you on Dave, and I'm probably going to be speaking to you again, when is it?

Dave: In about 60 students’ time.

George: No, I just wanted a time frame. Okay, I think we've put you under enough pressure, so yeah, in about 60 students’ time. Let's keep it at that.

Dave: No game on, challenge accepted.

George: Awesome, good stuff Dave, thanks for being on the show and we'll speak to you again in 60 students.

Dave: Good on you George, thank you mate, cheers.


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46 – Fari Salievski: Training The One Championship World Featherweight Champion Martin Nguyen

Martin Nguyen caused an upset winning the One Championship World Featherweight title. Fari Salievski shares behind the scenes insights training the world champion.


  • The difference between martial arts training and becoming a professional fighter
  • What it takes to become the One Championship World Featherweight Champion
  • The martial arts success values that left clues for Martin Nguyen’s One FC World Featherweight Championship
  • How did Martin Nguyen’s national and international exposure benefited KMA Champion Martial Arts
  • Martin Nguyen’s sole inspiration for working hard in order to take home the belt
  • And more

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


GEORGE: Hey this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media Business podcast we’re on episode number 46. I have a repeat guest again for something a little different, Master Fari Salievski. How are you doing there Fari?

FARI: Always well, thank you.

GEORGE: Awesome. So today we’re going to talk about a bit of a different topic. One of Master Fari’s top students Martin Nguyen, he recently won the World Featherweight Championship in Asia and we’re going to talk about training a champion and how the whole journey evolved and what the next steps are. So let’s get started. So welcome Fari. I guess take us back to the beginning of all this, where Martin started training, etc.

FARI: Ok, first and foremost, I just like the fact that we’re a martial arts school, not a fight gym. So yes, we have fighter, we have a cage out the back. But at the front, we have little preschoolers and moms and dads and within all of that, we still manage to do a little bit of fighting. I look at that as fun, as a chance to test out our training. So it’s a martial arts school that has a martial arts culture. People bow on and off the mats and have the discipline of the martial arts. That's what Martin knew and joined for and he joined in doing our Brazilian jiu jitsu program and obviously, when he started, he did not plan to fight, but then we had some opportunities. To this day, I still run the ISKA, back then we used to have combat grappling, which is basically modified MMA. He got into that, liked it, and then some fight opportunities came up.

GEORGE: Ok, so how long has Martin then been training with you?

FARI: Look, that fight in the ISKA was in 2010. He was competing in some grappling tournaments back then, so it’s been at least 8 years. it’s been a long journey. 8 years flies, but here he is, The World Champion.

GEORGE: All right, cool. When did you actually or Martin realize that potential that there was a potential to reach this level?

FARI: Look, we went from the combat grappling in a tournament style to obviously going into the cage. His debuts were good, he had an undefeated record, but there was a one fight in Canberra that I put him up against an ace grappler from Melbourne that was just choking everyone out. And that fight really showed whether Martin was going to step up or not. In fact, even the promoter said, I remember his exact words, why would you want to put your boy to fight an ace Brazilian jiu jitsu guy, he's just going to get choked? And my answer to that was it’s not a Brazilian jiu jitsu fight; it’s MMA. And that was probably, I've got to say, one of the bloodiest fights you've ever seen.

You can go to a YouTube channel and check it out. I think his name was Ruderman. Anyway, check it out. He's beat, I still remember to this time. His feet were drenched in blood. It’s probably the worst kind of an MMA fight you want to see; you know? You know the fight that gives MMA a bad image? That was it. Because there was a lot of blood, but it showed that Martin Nguyen could step up. He's a natural competitor and he stepped up and that earned him basically another serious fight and he was only a fight away from the Australian title, which he ended up winning against the gym across the road, which is always satisfying let’s say. And he did in a very convincing fashion, it was probably one of his edgiest fights, just saying it like it is, no disrespect. But he won that and he also won as a result of winning the Australian title on brace, he got the opportunity to fight in Asia, he won a contract.

GEORGE: Ok, so with ONE championship, now, everybody knows UFC, Bellator, these are the more common names.

FARI: Yeah, absolutely!

GEORGE: So just to give people context, where does the ONE championship fit into the equation?

FARI: Well, they have a bit of laugh in Asia, they say, you know what: UFC has won the west, ONE FC won the east, right? Think about it: China alone has four billion people, a quarter of the world's’ population. If you take a quarter of that, it’s a billion people market. Just in China. In Vietnam, Martin Nguyen obviously has a Vietnamese heritage. You’ve got a market that's 95 million. The numbers are phenomenal!

martin nguyen one championship

Within the first three days of him winning the title and if you look at some of the previews of his last couple of fights, within a few days, it’s like 1.2, 1.3, 1.5 million previews of his fight highlights on the ONE FC Facebook page. I mean, the numbers are just phenomenal, that's the Asian market. it’s huge, it’s massive. And we obviously can't relate to that sort of population in Australia, bit if you ever try to catch a train in Tokyo, it’s a busy place. So the numbers are huge, the market is huge and you know what? Martial arts and fighting is in their heritage and they love to see a good fight. And ONE FC really rules that part of the world.

GEORGE: All right, so definitely a big deal for him.

FARI: Absolutely.

GEORGE: Now, you being a martial arts school and you talked about this, the discipline and everything, how do you then make the adjustments? You've got this guy Martin Nguyen with all his potential and you know you want to take him to the top, but you don't really specialize in fighting, in training fighters to that level. So how do you then go and make the adjustments with the training?

FARI: First and foremost, we've always been a combative school. So our target is self-defense, not competition. So we always try to keep it real. So the aikido and even the Jiu Jitsu, our philosophy is, if I take my fighting habits to a tournament, I'm not going to be disadvantaged. But if I only train in tournament, and I take that philosophy to a fight, someone's going to get hurt. So we've always had one mentality. And there's no ego, if we need, for example, we've got some good striking coaches here and if we need for a particular fight, like in this particular case, we had a really good grappling partner that helped us prepare against the rear naked choke.

Why the rear naked choke? We’re fighting a guy that's got the world record in submitting his opponent's six in a row rear and choke, including one over us, when we had a title shot and that wasn't planned, it popped out of the blue, 24-hour notice. But I wasn't there, Martin took the fight. We didn't get the result, but we prepared. And you need not to have the ego to say, OK, I need this and you get your partners for a particular fight and you've got to do what you've got to do.

GEORGE: So the prep work is pretty much everything then, right? Because it’s pretty much understanding your opponent, what their strengths are and planning accordingly.

FARI: Absolutely. Look, in this case, I believed that he was very in, as in Martin. We spoke about it, he really only had one dimension to his fighting. His go-to was always, go to the back. So we knew if we take that weapon away, we knew that Martin is in much better condition and we knew that we can outstrike him. And to prove that, we even went up to the commentators and even all the ONE FC people before the fight to say he's going to get knocked out, just so no one thinks it was luck.

We knew what was going to happen and not to be cocky, but we couldn't see anything else. Anything can happen in a fight, but we really, really prepared and we boasted about it and we boasted about the result because no one believed it. In Singapore, we were given odds of 10 to 1, which I wish someone told me because I would've put some money on it. And the fact is, even the promoters that said to us after, that nobody wanted to fight this man, but we wanted to fight that man! And in fact, I've put up a video today, when you look at my KMA Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Top Team page, I put up a little video that's a little segment from the documentary cage to get a chance. Currently, it’s on SPS on demand. Watch it, and in that, the first fight after his loss. We’re there, and Martin has got his hand up and he's there saying, I'm coming. That was two years ago!

So this had been a two-year goal, it’s not something that was just an afterthought. We wanted not only to avenge that one loss. He gave us one loss in our career; we wanted to give him his first loss in his career. And here we are, we did that. A lot of preparation, a lot of work. But again, it comes back to the discipline of the martial arts. You can talk about it, but you need to back it up and you can only back it up with discipline and commitment and for me, you need to be a true martial artist to do that.

GEORGE: So in that process then – and this is a typical Conor McGregor thing. You'll always hear him do that, he’ll have this vision, that’s the goal he focuses on and he believes it to that extent that that's the way it plays out. Now, it sounds like you really took that same approach – that's the way it is going to play out. But do you have a backup plan? If plan A fails, is there plan B or C, and how would you balance actually, if there are different plans? And how would you balance the training?

FARI: Yeah, look, plan B is simple, really. You need to have your conditioning and that's always your plan B. You want to make sure you don't gas and you've seen it, you've went to some fights and you go, you know, he was a better fighter in the first round and then in the second round, he starts to fade and all of a sudden -! You can have plan C, D, all the way to Z, but if you gas, it isn’t going to work. So you need to be able to last, number one. Number two is, Martin can take a hit, and even in this fight, he took a hit! He actually got knocked down. He didn't get knocked out, but he got knocked down early in the fight.

So then with the commentators, “This is the beginning of the end!” Which makes for great viewing and the guy is taking his back, and then the guy is taking his back and Martin gets up – not from the punch, but he gets the guy off his back, once, twice, three times – again, great viewing, but what does that do to the mind games of our opponent? That's his trump card. He did it once, twice, three times, desperately tries the fourth time and just simply gets to the point where he puts his hand around his neck and pulls of. He’s starting to get tired. Watch the fight if you can, it’s a beauty. And some people call it an overhand right, but really, we caught the money maker and it was! Pretty cool.

GEORGE: That's awesome. Now, you guys get back home, how does that affect the moral of everything from all the other students at school?

FARI: Look, you know what, if they're not inspired now, they never will be. Believe it or not, it’s harder to come back from something like that than it is from a loss because there's a lot of hype. We had a group of 18 people, if you look at some of the highlights, we’re in the cage, and we had a huge entourage, absolutely fantastic. We prepared together, we toured together, we ate together and straight after the fight, I'm telling you, we celebrated together. Great atmosphere, everyone came into the cage, we just security didn’t want to let us in, but how can you lock out that many Aussies? I think the security just gave up, then everyone just stampeded the cage. But the reality is that our goal wasn't just to get there and win; the goal was to get there, win and build already for the next fight.

martin nguyen one championship

Immediately after the fight, we announced that we’re more than happy to fight for the title in the next division down, so whether that happens sooner or later, it’s going to happen, you know? Martin will make his mark in this division and he's always up for a challenge. Every fight that Martin’s ever had, the  person’s had an undefeated record, people had a big run of wins, but Martin just stepped up each time and every time and he fought the best at their best and beat them all. Either in the first round or early in the second. The majority win the first round, so he's a finisher!

That's making a huge statement. You didn't get the judge’s decision, you didn't get lucky, they didn't toss a coin. it’s pretty hard to argue when you choke someone out and knock them out, or you split their head open and they can't fight anymore. I mean, argument over – the best man won.

GEORGE: Awesome. Now, what about venturing under the UFC, or anything like that? Is the ONE championship where Martin’s going to say?

FARI: Absolutely! Look, the ONE FC people it’s an amazing organization and people that know it and know the Asian market is really, you do well, that's the market we want to be. And saying that, I think the UFC is fantastic. We've got one of our other fighters, he's got a title shot at the end of the year, Theo Christakos. He wins that, don't be surprised if you see him in the UFC. So look, different fighters go different paths, but each to their strengths and every organization has I think pros and cons, but I think ONE FC is fantastic for Martin, it’s been fantastic for KMA and they've been great and we’re here to repay their gamble on us, if you wish, because we’re a gamble. We were the underdog on every single fight and here we are now, Martin’s the champ.

So people are going to talk to you differently when you're a champ and opportunities are going to come in and let’s face it: he has a Vietnamese background, look, he's a good looking kid, you know, he's got, I'm surprised Colgate hasn't signed him up already. He's got a million-dollar smile, but you know, he's likeable. Anyone that sees him, you want to cheer with him. And I'm not putting our opponent down, but I had no doubt in the world that the majority of people were cheering for Marty, even if they thought he couldn't win. They would've wanted him to win.

He's a marketing person's dream; you know? He's got a beautiful wife, a nice Aussie girl, he's got a couple of kids, he's got the mortgage, he works by day – he's just a hard working humble guy and from parents who came as refugees to Australia, that classic when you got to Australia to make a better life, Martin has repaid that risk that the family took for him, for his future and the rest of the kids in his family. They risked it all, they left – just to understand, back in the day, they came by, they were refugees. So they didn't come in with the silver spoon in their mouth. So it’s a pretty tough way to begin things and a tough background has made him obviously a competitor. But he's representing Australia and I have no doubt that the people of Vietnam would love someone to say, hey, he's our hero too!

And there's nothing wrong with that too. He's very proud of his Vietnamese history and he's obviously, his dad, unfortunately, is not with us anymore, but that's a way of saying, you know what? I want to repay my dad’s history and he's obviously got some relatives over there, how good is that? You've got two countries backing you and to be known and what a success story it is. And the success story is still ongoing, hasn’t finished yet, but I think now our goal is obviously to continue to win, but my wish for him is to really build a legacy and set some big word for us.

GEORGE: Yeah, for sure. So, young working guy like Martin, is there good financial payoff for fighting at this level for him?

FARI: Well, hopefully, there will be. Now he's a champ, look, things obviously will change. As more people see him, hopefully, more people will come to the forefront as sponsors, we’d love to be talking to look, he loves the Mercedes, so Mercedes dealers out there – you want an absolutely fantastic role model and an athlete? He'd love to drive your car! Let’s have a chat!

GEORGE: Is that for one Mercedes, or two? Because it sounds like there's double interest here!

FARI: No, you know what, I'm all about helping out fighters and helping out team. Look, I've been blessed in life and for me, it’s all about achieving something for the guys and I'm telling you, it’s very well deserved so I hope the word will get out more and more and even with this podcast you know. The brand of KMA, the brand of Martin, the situation, anyone that sees him loves to watch him fight. it’s not a five round boring fight, it’s going to finish. And the stats are there. So if you haven't seen his fight yet, I would watch a couple of his fights, and I'm telling you, I get the best seat in the house and I enjoy watching his fights.

GEORGE: That's awesome, yes, I will make sure that the fights are all posted within this episode, martialartsmedia.com/46.

FARI: I do have a link on all of the little highlights on my YouTube channel, you can click and it will do the series of videos.

martin nguyen one championship

GEORGE: A playlist, yep.

FARI: The playlist, so check it out. And with that too, I'll put out some of the pre fight little promos that we've had in Asia, saying how he likes team 47 seconds and you know, they really pump that up. This man's undefeated and which is good, because it makes the win all the more remarkable and all the more exciting, so it really was a Rocky story from the worst point of view, but from our end, it was a fight that we really prepared for.

GEORGE: Fantastic. So let’s talk about before we finish things up, let's talk about the marketing side of this quickly. Something that Hakan Manav also mentioned to me when they went through Australia's Got Talent and they got all that press, they really rode it as far as they could, because of this national exposure.

FARI: Absolutely! Look, look at that pace! That's the winner, that's the guy that we beat, I mean it’s everywhere! Have a look on my Facebook, have a look on the KMA Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Top Team. Look, I am not going to lie, absolutely. But it’s also a bit of pride and I want people to be inspired. And it is inspirational. Look: success leaves tracks, whether in business or in training. If you want to follow in that path, obviously, we didn't get lucky, we had to be doing something right. And there's a great team here, there's a great culture here. So if people want to get looked after, if people want to train, we're on Facebook. We own the building, for starters, we are not going to go nowhere!

martin nguyen one championship

So we're here to stay, I've been teaching for 35 years and I honestly believe within distance, obviously, I'm going to recommend coming here. And hopefully they will, and yes, we're going to pump it. But also I want to pump it because I want people to know Martin. And he is a great kid and he is a role model and sometimes the image of MMA is not always the best one. But look, he's got no criminal record, he's got kids, has a mortgage, works hard and anyone that's ever met him, they all say, what a wonderful human being. And he is, he is just your regular Aussie bloke, with a Vietnamese heritage, which is pretty cool.

GEORGE: Fantastic. Awesome, well Fari, thanks for meeting with me again and sharing the story. Really inspiring and for anyone listening, martialartsmedia.com/46. You'll get all the show notes and all the links to find out more about Master Fari and Martin and the KMA Martial Arts School. You can check out martialartsforlife.com.au. Cool.

FARI: Pleasure was all mine.

GEORGE: Awesome, thanks, Fari, I look forward to speaking to you again.

FARI: Have a great day.

GEORGE: All right cheers!


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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.

Privacy Policy

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

Use of Cookies

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

IP Addresses

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

Email Information

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

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

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

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

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

Email Policies

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

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

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

CAN-SPAM Compliance

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

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


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

Use of External Links

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

You must not:

Acceptable Use

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

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

Restricted Access

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

Use of Testimonials

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

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

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

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

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

How Do We Protect Your Information and Secure Information Transmissions?

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

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

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

Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability

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

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

Policy Changes

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

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


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

Email: team (at) martialartsmedia dot com

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