131 – 10 Must Haves For Your Next Martial Arts Location (Plus Downloadable Checklist)

Kevin Blundell goes through 10 essentials from The Location Analyzer Checklist – the must haves for your next profitable martial arts location.


IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Using The Location Analyzer Checklist to pick the perfect martial arts location
  • Putting your passion for martial arts aside for clear business decisions
  • The 3 most important things to consider when choosing your new location
  • Why you should ‘visit for the vibe’ of your chosen location
  • Setting up your school where people live vs where they work
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

We found that the yoga studio was having an open day so we, ironically, had an open day at the same time. And yeah, we got quite a bit of interest from there and students who joined. 

GEORGE: Hey, George here. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media Business podcast. And today, I've got a repeat guest for the fourth time. I think this is a record, Kevin. 

KEVIN: Yeah, I think so, George, and I think it's about our fourth time we've had a chat. 

GEORGE: So just for a recap, way back, this goes a couple of years back, so the first episode was 20 – 100 New Martial Arts Students in 5 Weeks Without Sleazy Selling. We got back together on 115 – The Strategic Mindset Behind Running 23 Successful Martial Arts Schools. And then, 129 – Success By Design – Foundations Required To Setup Your Next Profitable Location. 

So today, we're getting back together and it's a bit of a follow-up from the process of talking about The Next Profitable location. And we were discussing The Next Profitable Location Blueprint. Today, we're going to do a bit of a deep dive. And one question that comes up a lot is, what are the things to look for when you set up your new location? 

And so, in the course that we created, The Next Profitable Location Blueprint, we've got a worksheet that you can download at this episode. So, depending where you're watching or listening, it's at martialartsmedia.com/131, the numbers 131. And it's called The Location Analyzer Checklist. 

We're not going to dive deep into Kevin's story. You're going to have to go through all those podcasts I just mentioned. So, we're going to dive straight into the good stuff. Are you happy with that, Kevin? 

KEVIN: That'd be great, George. 

GEORGE: All right, perfect. So, we've got The Location Analyzer Checklist in front of us, and these are 13 steps altogether, things that you should be checking out for when setting up your next location. And we're just got to go top to bottom. We'll probably have time for about the first 10. 

And we're just going to discuss them and jump straight in. All right. So, Kevin, so Location Analyzer Checklist, if we start from the top. Number one, think with my head and not with my heart. 

KEVIN: People are very passionate about martial arts, that's why we're all in this industry. Sometimes that passion can override some sensible analytic thought processes. So, what we try to do is get our guys to focus on, “Right, think with your head and not with your heart.” 

And what I mean by that is pretty simple, is okay, sure, be passionate about what you want to do. But at the same time, go through a defined checklist. Hence, why we've developed this Analyzer Checklist to enable people to do so. 

GEORGE: Where are areas that you might get… Like, let's say you find this location, are there certain elements where the love and the enthusiasm can take over, and you can step into the wrong environment really quickly? 

KEVIN: Yeah, I've found, and not only within my organization but many people around the world I've discussed this with, that they may get something well within their budgetary range, for example. But later on, they've got to pour so much money into advertising and promotion, it would've been better to have a little bit more expensive rent, but a better location, that's for example. 

They may believe it's ideal to be close to where they live instead of maybe a few kilometers further away or a few miles further away. You've got to really step aside from what suits you the best to what's going to make the business function properly and your school successful. 

GEORGE: All right. Number two, commercial property versus light commercial or industrial. 

KEVIN: Yeah. This is, again, one that you really need to think through thoroughly. Ideally, your location needs to be relatively close to where people reside, not where they work, unless you're going to focus on purely daytime only classes. So commercial property is more like your shopping centers and neighborhood shopping centers. 

Light commercial is a combination of a shop front with a facility out of the back, so more like your retail outlets. And then industrial is purely industrial, where you're in there where there's mechanics, cabinet makers, carpentry, transport hub, all those sorts of things, warehouses. 

So, you need to weigh up what's going to be most appealing to your current and/or potential clients in the new location. 

GEORGE: All right. And not mentioned here, but probably worth adding. You mentioned setting up your location where people live versus not where they work. Do you mind elaborating on that? 

KEVIN: Certainly. Look, people need to come home from their work, and in the city that could be anywhere from a 30 minute to a two-hour drive. And when they're home, if they're going to do an activity, it needs to be in the area that they reside close by. 

So, they can come home, get organized, come and train. And then they're only 10, 15 minutes back to where they reside. As opposed to if it's in where they work, in that area, most people don't live in commercial areas. They reside further out. 

So, it's important to do that demographic analysis before you proceed with even looking for premises, which is another topic. 

GEORGE: Yeah, perfect. All right. So, number three, do my neighbors operate 24 hours a day? Sounds almost obvious, but probably worth investigating, right? 

KEVIN: Yeah, very important. I found an ideal location in a city, and I thought, “This is great.” But then I realized that nobody went home at 4:30 or five o'clock in the afternoon. The business kept going and going.

And I drove there one morning early and they were still going. So, they had three eight-hour shifts, and it was a slight industrial place, and the noise was continuous. Traffic was continuous. And yeah, it was just, unfortunately, not an ideal location. 

So, depending on the nature of the business, George, that's the key thing. But however, importantly, you need to identify, is it going to be operating 24 hours a day? Instead of between 7:30 till 5:30 as most businesses do. 

GEORGE: Are there any businesses that are complete no go, that if they're within close by neighbors that you avoid? 

KEVIN: Yeah, look, if you share a combined, I suppose, car park space, and they're a heavy transport company, and they're coming and going all the time, you've got to think about the safety of your students coming and going. The hours they come and go, it's dark when they leave from training. Is it well-lit? 

Most importantly, which leads into our next point, is it a business that creates a lot of dust, like a tire place or a carpentry shop or metalwork? Is that going to float through and into your beautiful new setup and your mats? 

So, these are pretty much common sense things, but sometimes when you're leading with your heart and not your head, these are overlooked. And it's not until you're entrenched in and embedded in there that you come to the realization that, “Hang on, this is not very… I'm constantly cleaning the mats. I'm constantly cleaning my pro shop, my waiting area, and my office.” 

So just a little bit of research makes a big difference in the end. 

GEORGE: Perfect. And so, we combined number four there, dust in the air being generated by neighbors. And I guess, if you really, just as you emphasized point number one, if your heart's so into this place, it's easy to make that… You're thinking, “Yeah, okay, but we'll be okay.”
KEVIN: Not always. 

GEORGE: Yeah. 

KEVIN: Unfortunately, not always. And if you're locked into a 3×3 lease, which is three years with an option for three years. That's the minimum I suggest also, is three years minimum. That way, you've got a bit of an out in case things don't quite go as well as you anticipated or in that particular area. 

And we need to look at, is the environment great for students and parents? And this is a really big one, is that don't go there during the middle of the day when everything seems to be going along. You need to go there at your ghost timetable time. 

So, you need to set up a timetable that you're going to run in that area, and you need to look at getting to the facility. What's the traffic like in that area? And is it well-lit at nighttime, as I mentioned previously? Is there parking space? Does mum and dad have to walk more than 150 meters? 

It's not suggesting they're lazy, but it becomes… Anything that's a barrier for the students, and the parents especially, you want to make sure they're eliminated. So most importantly, is it safe, well-lit, easy access? 

GEORGE: All right, perfect. And I just want to define the points there. So, number five was, is the environment great for students and parents? With that, number six, enough parking? And number seven, is it safe? 

KEVIN: That's all integrated, but enough parking is probably the key thing before you can even proceed with the location. Because various councils or municipalities have various requirements with parking. And that can be crucial in you even being able to use the facility so you need to investigate that thoroughly.

And enough parking for your students and the parents during your go time, when you're operating it the most. And importantly, ticking off, is it safe? And safety comes in many ways, and that is, do you have to cross three or four high traffic areas? 

Are there big trucks around? Is it well-lit at night? Is there access to public transport if you're in the city, and how far away is that? And is it a safe thoroughfare to that public transport? 

So, these are a lot of things that you need to look deeply into before you make the final decision. 

GEORGE: Okay, number eight, who opens up when we start?

KEVIN: Okay, this is a good point, George. You need to look around what other businesses are either operating or opening at the same time you start. Now, when I say start, I refer to your actual afternoon, evening class times. 

Generally, depending on the area, if you're in a light commercial, most businesses will be closing down. But not only that, some may still be open. So, this can be a little bit of a draw for parents, if they know that not far away, they could do some shopping of some descript whilst their child is participating in a class. 

You just need to go there at the time of your ghost timetable. And basically, just see what happens. 

GEORGE: Yeah, one of my friends here in Perth, they've got a big location in an industrial area. And they've been growing and growing and growing. And they're at this mark of 600, 700 students. And the biggest war that they have right now is council and neighboring businesses that try to do everything to shut them down.

Because they just take up all the parking. He's offered to buy the building next door at way above market value and they just refuse. But I think it's really to consider the capacity of right now as well. 

This is the amount of students we're going to have at this moment. But if we scale to a certain point, what's going to be the complications of that as well? 

KEVIN: Okay, well, yeah, that's a good point. And there are a number of cases where we can't open until 4:30 PM as part of the council approval. Because I went and saw the other businesses and said, “What time do you finish?” And they say, “4:30 to 5:00.” 

I say, “Well, look, we've got people coming in,” and I set down the details of what time we open and shut. And they were quite happy because at 4:30 they were shutting their doors, and we were opening ours. So, it really wasn't taking up that parking space, especially in a big shared area, in your light commercial area. 

It's like a big U shape. And it usually has hundreds of car parks. And yeah, you certainly don't want to be taking that. 

The only guy that was a bit iffy was a pizza guy, takeaway guy. But when I said, “Oh, look, our guys are going to be hungry.” His eyes lit up and so he became a friend. Because I said, “Well, I'm going to be generating new business for you.” 

So, you just need to make sure that you find out who opens up at your start time, that's for sure. 

GEORGE: Perfect. And I think we can sort of add to that, we will share the bonus at the end that elaborates on this, but I think it's worth also considering who your neighbors are. And how can they benefit from you being where you're at?

KEVIN: Well, certainly, I've got plenty of stories about other businesses that are very happy that we're there. They've even decided to keep their business open a little bit longer in the afternoons to enable some of our parents and students, pre-class, to go there. And that's a coffee shop. 

So, there's a whole story in that, but that's one example. There was a retailer down the road, which was sort of like a convenience store and just had a few grocery items. And he said, “Oh, I generally close at 6:00 PM, but now, I'm closing a bit later because you're here. 

Because people are coming down and grabbing some grocery items.” So, you form relationships in your area. 

GEORGE: Excellent. Okay, so number nine. Number nine sort of mergers with number eight, visit at the times when I will be open. 

KEVIN: Yeah, as I've mentioned a couple times now, George, it's really important just to go there, and park across the road or in the car park. And do a bit of work on your laptop or your device. But just keep an eye on who's coming and going and get a bit of an idea. 

And you'll see the car park empty quickly at 4:30 because the staff don't want to be hanging around. Or conversely, if there's another, like a gym in the area, “Wow, it's filling up really quickly at this time,” because people are coming to use the gym when they knock off work. 

So, you just need to just go and see what happens in the area. Also, an important thing is, if you drive into the area, what route can you take, and how long? How heavy is the traffic in the area at that time? Or the distance from public transport? 

One of our Sydney locations is directly across the road from the train station so it's the perfect time. So it just depends on the area. So go there and have a visit. 

GEORGE: Perfect, cool. Number 10, will parents be inconvenienced? 

KEVIN: Yeah, this is a tricky one. And that is, if they do work further away, come back, and they've got to get their kids to class at 4:00 PM or 4:30, you need to be really mindful of what happens in that area. We have a number of locations that have what they call after school care or OOSH or whatever it is, and all those sorts of things. 

So, a lot of the kids go from school to there. But we've managed to liaise with them to get them to drop the kids off. They pick them up from school, they spend an hour at their facility, and then they drop them round in their bus to us. Which is a real win because we netted a lot of children out of that one particular location. 

Because the guy there was, “Oh, well, they're under our care, but we'll drop them off.” And the parents pick them up directly from us at 5:30 or six o'clock when they get home. So that's, again, about forming partnerships and seeing who's in your area. But you got to be mindful of the parents. 

You start your class too early, and both parents work, have they got a carer or a grandparent that can drop the child off? So, we have early and late classes for children to facilitate a better outcome. And that's worked really, really well. 

GEORGE: Perfect. All right. So, I said we were going to stop at 10, but I think we have time to actually just go all the way. Let's do it. Number 11, and this is a big one, internet and mobile reception. 

KEVIN: I found a great location but I just couldn't get phone reception. So, I went and asked a few of the businesses in the area, and they said, “Oh yeah, it's terrible here. The Internet's shocking. 

They reckon they're going to do something,” and all that. And as you know, if you've got a CRM that you have people checking in on, you can't operate your business, unfortunately, unless you've got Internet and mobile reception. You can, but it's a little bit antiquated. 

Plus, you want to provide the service if people want to come in and whilst they're waiting, do homework or study or something. We have study benches at our locations where they can download their information. So, you need to do that. 

You go to, what is it? Speedtest.net, I think it is, or use a mobile app just to see what it is, and go from there. Nowadays, it's not too bad, but four or five years ago, it was a shocker. Some areas just didn't have it. You can have workarounds, of course, but again, the less inconvenience for everyone, parents; students; and staff, the better. 

GEORGE: Yeah, this is… My family always laughs because whenever we go check in at any Airbnb or any hotel, the first thing I do is I pull up the speedtest.net app. And I just check what we got? Or well, in that case, whenever you're at any resort or hotel, the Internet is… Everybody promotes free Wi-Fi, but it never actually really works. 

So, it's always good to get, and most people don't really ask for Wi-Fi anymore because everyone's got enough data on their mobile. But if they're going to be using their mobiles, it's also worth checking to see what type of reception is in that area.

KEVIN: 100%. And just those little things like that, just make a big difference. Again, it's like the dust floating in on the mats. At first, it's okay, then it's manageable, then it's frustrating, and then it's just down right annoying. 

So, you just got to make sure you cover all bases. There's a lot to think about, and that's why we use these really defined checklists, such as this one we're discussing today. 

GEORGE: All right, perfect. So, number 12, and then a bonus. So, number 12, ideal distance to manage from but remotely, minimum 30 minutes away and maximum 60. 

KEVIN: There's a lot of information here. But just an overview for everyone, George, the ideal distance is 30 minutes away from your current location, if you're in a big town or a city. And, or if you're in a country environment, where you have one city and then another one, and you're going there a couple of times a week or you're going to manage it or whatever. 

Or you've got current staff traveling down there, the maximum, you want to be 60 minutes away. But you need to be at least 30 minutes away from your current location. Otherwise, you'll have people scavenging your current location, depending on your arrangement.

So, if it's going to be under license, or if you're going to be an owner, operate in partnership, so you need to look closely at that. So, it works quite well if you own both locations and they're relatively close. And you've got a big dividing thing, like a major highway, and you might only be three or four kilometers away. 

And it might work really well because people never go across the major highway. They do everything on that side. Whereas, in a rural environment, towns are generally 45 minutes apart. 

And as you go further out in the country, that gets further distance apart. But in the city, 30 minutes from your location might only really be six or seven kilometers. But it's far enough away for a new lot of students to come and join there.

GEORGE: Yeah, perfect. So, for that number 12, thanks for the context. In The Next Profitable Location Blueprint course, we've got a module that goes through a bit more in depth of this, called The Location Identifier. All right. 

And then the bonus, are there any businesses that already serve my target audience, gyms, yoga, and so forth? 

KEVIN: This is a really important one. A lot of people get concerned, in the industry, about, “Oh, there's a gym across the road, or there's soccer fields, or there's hockey fields, or netball course,” or whatever. To me, that's great because that means you've got active people in the area where you want to have more of an audience. 

So, if you've got a martial arts' facility, big signage, looks quite clear to see, and you've got netball courts, then adjacent to that is a soccer field, rugby league field, AFL field, or field hockey, that's great. Or if you've got a gym just across the way, yoga studio, Pilates studio.

Now, some of those people may not necessarily want to do martial arts, or want to do it immediately. But they might go, “Hey, this is a great idea for my son or daughter,” or someone they care for. And they may drop them off while they go and do their workout. So, we've got a situation at one of our locations, there's a gym. 

Well, there's actually three gyms within… You can throw a tennis ball. They're very close by. And we're finding a lot of people are starting to make inquiries. 

We've only been there for a little while now. But they're starting to drop their child off and go and do their workout. So, it works really well. 

And in due course, people start doing the martial arts. And then because it's goal-orientated with belts or other mechanisms to measure graduations, you find that they find that a little bit more exciting to do than just going to do yoga or to the gyms, which is great. 

Great facilities in a good location, but it attracts your sort of client. And then it's a case of making sure there's opportunities for them. And also, if the gym's having an open day or whatever, you can jump on the back of that. 

And I talk a lot about that in one of our other topics, and the success riding on the back of someone else's marketing program. It makes a difference. So, we found that the yoga studio was having an open day so we, ironically, had an open day at the same time. 

And yeah, we got quite a bit of interest from there and students who joined. 

GEORGE: Perfect. So, thanks for that, Kevin. So, if you want to download the actual checklist, The Location Analyzer Checklist, you can just go to martialartsmedia.com/131, so numbers 131. And we are running a workshop called The Next Profitable Location Blueprint Workshop. 

There'll be a link on the same page that you can access. And I'd also like to mention that The Next Profitable Location Blueprint course is also now live. And you can access that from this page, or go to thenextprofitablelocationblueprint.com. 

Kevin, thanks so much. Any last words before we head off?

KEVIN: George, yeah, look, I think most people have a conceptual idea of opening another location, or even enhancing their current location. But the tools that we've developed are very useful and are proven and very successful. So, jump on the workshop at least and participate, have a look, and see what you… 

There are some tools in there for you. But the course is very comprehensive and it has really worked well. So hopefully, it'll bring you the same success. 

GEORGE: Yeah, perfect. Awesome. Kevin, thanks so much. And I'll see you on episode number five, I guess. 

KEVIN: Yeah. Sure, George. Thank you very much and much appreciate it.

 

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

1. Download the Martial Arts Media™ Mobile App.
It's our new private community app exclusive for martial arts school owners, with top courses, online events, and free resources to help grow your business.  Click here to download for iPhone or Android (any other device).
2. Join the Martial Arts Media™ Academy Membership and become a Case Study.
I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month to get to 100+ students. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, get started with our 7-day risk-free trial – Click Here
3. Work With Me and My Team Privately.
If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, fill out the form and apply HERE … tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details – Click Here
Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.
***NEW*** Now available on Spotify! 

129 – Success By Design – Foundations Required To Setup Your Next Profitable Location

Kevin Blundell shares 3 essentials from The Next Profitable Location Blueprint that’s helped them open 20+ successful martial arts locations. 


.
IN THIS EPISODE:

  • What’s the population needed for a successful martial arts school, and how far should this be from your existing location? 
  • The ‘drivers science’ behind choosing your exact new location
  • What to avoid in your environment when scouting for locations
  • Accessibility and geographical location: what are their impact on your martial arts business?
  • Why should you take advantage of ‘The Next Profitable Location Blueprint'?
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

GEORGE: Hey, it's George Fourie – welcome to the Martial Arts Media™ business podcast. In this episode, I'm chatting to repeat guest, Kevin Blundell, from Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts System. 

Now, if you've listened to the podcast over the years, we originally spoke on Episode 20 – talking about signing up 100 new students within five weeks. Then we got together on Episode 115, talking about the strategic mindset behind 23 locations. 

And this episode is really special to me, because if you listen to Episode 115, that is where this whole new journey began. Let me give you a few insights. 

So, Episode 115 was actually a recording from our internal, private Partners event that we hosted for our Partner members. So, three times a year we get our Partner members together and it's a combination of masterminding, networking, and bringing speakers together – and just learning and growing and sharing information and networking together. 

And after the event – Kevin spoke at the event, which was the recording of Episode 115 – and after that, we started talking about this process of opening another location. Now, Kevin is one of the most humble and sincerest guys that you'll meet and won't always reveal the depth of knowledge that he has within the industry. 

But when you speak to him, you'll know that he's very methodical and everything is systemized and designed for success, step by step with absolute certainty and clarity. We started talking about how to go about opening, successful location after location; and they've rinsed and repeated this process 20 plus times, very, very successfully.

And so, I spoke to Kevin about, number one, speaking again at one of our events, but how about, we actually just look at the whole process and the blueprint, and map it out and see if it's something that we can share with other school owners. And that's why I'm really excited about this podcast, because we're just in the process of putting together The Next Profitable Location Blueprint. 

Martial Arts Location

So, depending on when you're listening to this, we are hosting a Partners Intensive Event that for the first time we opening up to the public, and if you're listening to this a bit later, the program will be ready to go and available, which is the full course – The Next Profitable Location Blueprint.

So, we chatted a bit about the first steps. If you're looking at opening the next location, what are the things that you got to look for in… Firstly, why do you need to do it in the first place? How do you go about probing the population? What have you got to look for? What is the minimum number of people that you should have in a town, if it's a rural town? What is the best structure to set up your location, and all the rest. 

So, we're going to jump right in now. Wherever you're listening to this podcast or watching, make sure you hit the subscribe button. If it's on YouTube, hit subscribe. If it's on your favorite audio channel, make sure you subscribe – that you get notified when our next episodes come out and look for the notes and the links to the show notes. Episode 129. 

So, we're at martialartsmedia.com/129 – check the show notes. There are links available to the event depending on when you're watching or listening to this, there'll still be time to jump on. Otherwise the program should be available. Have a look, and if you're looking – seriously considering opening up the next location, it might be worth checking out. Alright, but let's get into the magic. Let's jump into the show. Let's do it. 

Kevin, so in the context of opening a new location, we always ask the marketing question first. But in reference to opening a new location, what has been the best marketing campaign or promotion that you've done that's been most successful for you? 

KEVIN: We've had a number of successes, but one that comes to mind is when we open one location, we systematically went around creating rumors and whispers. So, we, you know, we joined some local Facebook groups, we spoke to local sporting groups, and we just said, “Hey, it's a new martial art school coming to town.” 

We had a few people in the geographical area, and we asked them to do, just in their day to day activities, just say, “Oh, by the way, there's a new martial arts school coming to town,” and it piqued a lot of people's interest. So, it was really good how it unfolded for us. 

GEORGE: What was the result of doing that strategy? 

KEVIN: What was really going… On our opening week we got 50 paid trials for the first week before we even commenced. During the construction phase, you know, I was present a fair bit and went to hardware store, service stations, you know, just interacting with the local community – and I always told them what was going on. 

And funny enough, a lot of those guys booked in, paid for their trial, and were there that first week. Some are still with us in that area. So, it's really good, it's really successful. 

GEORGE: Fantastic. So, Kevin, I wanted to bring you on, we've got – and depending on when you're listening to this – but we've got an event coming up, and we've put this program together called ‘The Next Profitable Location Blueprint'. If I think of any martial arts business owner in the world, and I think who would be the renowned expert on this topic, it would be you – just because you've done this so many times and successfully and run a multi-million-dollar organization with your multiple martial arts schools. 

So, if we're to just start from the beginning – if I'm a martial arts school owner and I'm looking to open up my next location, I want to grow my growth, where do you start? 

KEVIN: A lot of trials and tribulations to get to where we are now, but I certainly feel confident we've got it pretty accurate. Certainly, over the last number of locations we've opened, we've been very successful, as we followed the blueprint from day one. 

Probably the most important thing is once you establish your why – why you want to do it and what you want to achieve – is to find the geographical area you want to be in and one of the key things is, you know, if you're going to own both the locations, you need to be able to manage those. So, anything more than an hour's drive away, becomes a little bit untenable, but if you're, you know, 30 to 45 minutes away, it's an ideal location. That's the first thing. 

So, you just basically look at the map and, you know, if you're in a city, do you know how many suburbs away you want to be? How busy is it to travel there? If you're in a rural environment, what's the next largest town or city, and how long is it going to take to get there? You need to account that in, because that's one of the key things, if you are running both locations, you certainly need to have that measured from the start. 

Probably the next thing is, once you decide where you'd like to go, is to physically go there yourself and just have a look around, get a feel for the place, just see what happens. And there's a lot of subheadings under that of what we do, that primarily is just see. I know it sounds a bit, you know, of a sort of fly by. 

You've seen your parents' way of setting up a business, but get a vibe, it really is – get that vibe for that area. And you can get that over a couple of days, visits, you know, just by interacting with the community, having a look around, and obviously doing your research. 

GEORGE: Perfect. So, I want to talk a bit more about visiting for the vibe and so forth. But let's take just one step back – before you've even visited the town, what are you looking for? 

If you, like, draw up a map and you're looking, “Alright, well, I'm here and I'm looking at a radius of about 30 minutes to an hour from where I'm at for my next location.” What are the things that you're looking for? And what type of research are you doing to determine where you are going to set up? 

KEVIN: So, once I've gone to the place and had a look physically, just to sort of satisfy myself, that's an area. So, these two things correlate together, and that is… Then I go on and I look at the Bureau of Statistics, I look for the population in the area, I look for the medium income, I look for activities, you know – is it a sporting town or is it a retiree town? Is it a low socio-economic area or is it a, you know, wealthy area? 

Generally, somewhere in between those two is an ideal area, young families. You can plonk yourself in a very wealthy area, but people, you know, haven't got any time and then you put yourself in an area where there's a lot of folks that just haven't got the resources to participate. So, you have to weigh all those things up so you can do your research. 

Our local government area websites have a lot of information. So, we systematically go through and tick off – look at the Bureau of Statistics, your local government area websites, and you just see, you know, even news articles. I've done research on news articles as well, just to see what sort of people are in that area, and if they would fit into your martial arts school community.

GEORGE: And what about sports activities and things like that? Is there anything you look at? Are you concerned about competition or anything like that? 

Martial Arts Location

KEVIN: Look, I think if you go to an area where there's a lot of sporting activity – we've had a lot more success where there was, areas where there wasn't. So, you know, do they have a soccer competition, a touch football competition, basketball, hockey, how many teams they got, you know, and that's easy. 

Just look at the local associations, you know, for example, the Hockey Association for field hockey, you know, football, all sorts of things, swimming, whatever sporting day. Even look historically at the sporting pages for that area, you know, to see the prowess of the athletes that come out of there. 

Because if they're a sporting town, it's, you know, you do run into the thing of ‘we only can only train in the summer, because winter,' and vice versa. But once you get people involved, you know, they'll work it out, and you'll have them there training all year round. 

So, you know, you want to look at that. In part of a scenario, where, as I say, you might have a lot of retirees or people, there's not much action happening, you might have a level of success, but I just found that, you know, really looking into the area you're going to make a big difference. 

GEORGE: Fantastic. If we had to look at population density, and how big are communities, is there a set number that you think of as a minimum? Especially if you're looking at like a rural town that's close by, that there's just not enough people in the vicinity to make it work? 

KEVIN: I look at percentages. So, if you can get 1% of the population to participate… 15,000 is a good benchmark, so if you've got 15,000 people who are within 30 minutes of where you're going to set up your new martial arts school, generally you'll get 150 people there as a rule. 

Obviously, this varies from location to location, but that's been the formula I've used, probably for 30 years. We have a lot of rural locations. You know, some initially were just community services into small areas. But you know, as we went along and became more proficient at what we did, we identified around that, around that 15,000. 

So, although we do have some schools, where there's a very small population, and for 5000 or 6000, they have over 100 members. So, you know, it really depends on the community. So, that's everything – dovetails together. It's really important to make sure it all marries together when you're doing research. 

You need to be honest in your assessment, but sometimes you get a little bit, you know, look at things through rose colored glasses. So, it's really important to make sure you're honest with your analysis. 

So, let's say you visit a town and you like the vibe, and it feels good. Has there ever been a moment where emotions clouded the actual logical “business brain”, and maybe the decision making didn't go in the right way? When I wore a younger man's clothes, yes. Because I thought everyone should do martial arts, and I couldn't understand why everyone everywhere in the whole world wasn't doing martial arts; but the reality came along pretty quickly. 

So, you know, you can make a clouded judgment, but with my overall approach now, if you follow the analysis, and you follow the steps, you'll get past that and make you feel… 

For example, we looked at a number of locations, Jason, you know, other towns near where I live at the present time. And one up north was closer to the one in the south, but once we went there and did our due diligence, we found that the one that in the north just wasn't going to support a full-time center and, you know – be great for little community martial arts in a hall type place, you know, it'd be fantastic for that. 

And there's some great martial arts schools there, but they don't ever have any great numbers, because it's just not that environment. 

GEORGE: And can you recall what the distinct trigger that made you feel that that's just… What is it about the town that you felt or the research that told you that it's just not going to work there? 

KEVIN: Well, initially, the vibe just wasn't there, and there was, just the atmosphere. Then when I did my research, you know, sporting groups and socio-economic, and it started to really throw up a lot of red flags. And I just thought, before I proceed any further with this, I'm not going to make a quick decision. 

So, I sort of left it for a few weeks and came back and re-went over the material and chose the other location, which was a great success. So, I guess, you know, a vibe is not a thing, but it just comes with experience. But having the opportunity to look at statistics, income, age, population demographics, obviously… 

Then what's happening in that town – was it a, you know, highway town or was it bypassed? You know, like, there's lots of little things that, you know, added up. And it just didn't add up right, and I made the right decision, 

GEORGE: I just want to go back on the distance, because we spoke about within a half an hour's drive. And I think anybody that's in a city might think, “Woah, nobody's going to drive 30 minutes to get to martial arts in a city environment,” right? But your experience in a rural town is very different, right?

KEVIN: In some of our rural locations, we have people drive 100 kilometers, or 60 miles, as we know it, each way to class twice a week, you know, well, without fail, and have done that religiously, year in and year out. So, in the city, I find that if you're more than, say, probably about 25 to 30 minutes, that's a maximum amount of travel, but generally, it's 15 to 20 minutes. 

But you still don't want to be parked on top of, you know, in an area that you're not happy with, you need to have a good area. So, you still need to do the same due diligence. We have locations in major capital cities as well. So, we understand how that works. So, there's sort of, like, you just need to make sure what, you know, public transport – is that available? 

One of our locations in Sydney, the train station is straight across the road from where they've got the dojo, which is the martial arts school, you know, and it's a great little location. 

So, it's not a full time one, it's a community hall, but he's got such a great relationship there. He can set up, you know, he has a set up team – they set up each night – has 150 members, and he's just killing it, you know, it's just great. It's a really good, great location. 

GEORGE: Fantastic. So, let's talk about that – location, right? So, you've done your research, your decision-making process has evolved and you're confident that, “Alright, I've found the place, I've found the town or the suburb where I'm going to set up my location.” 

Now you start looking for an actual venue, for an actual facility where you can set up. What are the elements that you go through to assess where a good location is, or whatnot? 

Next Profitable Location

KEVIN: It really comes down to a lot of things. But the major thing I found is accessibility. As I said, in that Sydney location, we had a choice of a better venue, but it was buried. It was so far away from public transport, whereas this one is, people just step off the train and walk across the road. So, it's probably not the best venue, but it's been the greatest venue. 

So, you need to look at, you know, if people have to come off a main thoroughfare and turn more than three times, they usually just don't bother with it, you know. What I mean by that is, from going on a main thoroughfare through a city or regional area and you just turn left, right, left, there it is, it's been a little formula I've used. 

And as people know, you know, around here, being involved in setting up a martial arts school, you can spend a lot more on advertising, if you've got a place that's pretty much not known about. So, sometimes I see the rent as an investment in my marketing, and I balance that. 

So, if you've got a big signage, it's easily accessible, and it's in an area that may have other activities similar to yours, like a gym, massage therapist, you know, indoor center of some activity. When people come, it really is a factor in making the decision. You don't really want to be next to a trucking company on one side, a diesel mechanic on the other, you know, or a noisy sort of industrial area. 

Because it just might be cheaper, but you'll be punished in the long run, because people just don't want to bring their kids there. So, it really comes down to thinking like a parent bringing a child or a person who's, you know, finished their day at the office or even a tradesperson. 

You know, they try to come somewhere where it's nice, it's clean, it's easy to get to, good parking, well lit. And lighting is a key thing, especially when I try to visit other martial arts schools and, you know, you need a torch to get in through the carpark. Just little things like that, that makes a massive difference.

GEORGE: Kevin, I find it interesting that you mentioned that you favor accessibility to the actual venue itself. Now once you've found this venue, how do you then… Do you do random visits at random times of the day? Or how do you just further assess if this is, you know, before you sign on the dotted line? 

KEVIN: Yeah, I think that's really important for people setting up a new location – actually go there during the key times you'll have a timetable. So, at this point, I would have a ghost timetable, written out roughly what days and nights we'd run classes based on other locations and what works already. 

And then I go to the area, and sort of drive around and just see, because of the, you know, there's always going to be schools nearby, or businesses closing or whatever. You just need to get a feel, as a parent, you know, dropping your child off, getting there after work, you know, how hard is it to get there? You know, some locations are gridlocked at 3:30pm, so you might have to review your timetable. Nighttime is always important. 

The safety of your students as they come and go, and the parents' parking accessibility, walking distance from public transport. You know, is it a safe walk? You just want to think about all those things, and whilst you may not be able to tick every single box of that list of things I mentioned, if you can get close, it'll work much better for you. 

GEORGE: Okay, so we've covered a lot of the foundational stuff, and I want to be respectful of your time. But I do want to cover something and this is a question that always comes up a lot, you know, different business structures and how you go about it. Now, you mentioned that you select a location that's within the 30 to 60-minute range. 

But obviously, the goal is for you to open the location and not completely run it forever. So, you want to have somebody else in charge. Now I know you've got a few business structures, three that you potentially work with, but if you don't mind sharing, what is your favorite business structure for your next location to open up, and why do you prefer that? 

Next Profitable Location

KEVIN: With my experiences, I've tried many different formulas. I find under license seems to work the best for me, and that means we have someone who is growing within your organization, and then they can branch out and open the next location. Now that person would obviously be one of your instructor team, or ready to become part of your instructor team and have the financial backing to put themselves into the position. 

Sometimes we do work out a financial arrangement of, like, helping set up as part of the license agreement. They're primarily under license, so it gives a person autonomy. It gives them their own identity, still under your umbrella and infrastructure, which enables them to be very successful, because all the hard work is already done. 

GEORGE: Alright. Kevin, we've got lots more to talk about and I'll lead into that, but if you don't mind sharing, we got together a couple of months ago, and I started asking questions just about your process. And you spoke at one of our events prior – for our Partners group, the Partners Intensive – we decided to get you back on, depending on when you're listening to this, we either have the full program released or you're still in time for the event. 

But we decided to get together and my job was to extract all your knowledge and help put it together, and we've come up with the whole format, the whole blueprint, “The Next Profitable Location Blueprint.” And do you mind just sharing a little bit? Why the program and who will benefit most from that? 

KEVIN: Over the years, you know, by default, I started public speaking at seminars and events, being privileged to do it pretty much all over the world and met a lot of fantastic people along the way. And every time, you know, people would ask me, how do you do this? How do you do that? And I'd sort of give them a rough idea, and after our discussion, I thought, “Well, it'd be remiss of me not to package it up, so other people have the opportunity to, you know, get their next location up and profitable and running successfully, without having to go through all the pitfalls.” 

And my ideas aren't grandiose or, you know, unrealistic, they're all measurable and they're all obtainable. So, you know, I think it's a great opportunity for people to plug in. And, you know, have a listen, and we've been very successful, and I wish nothing but success for everybody else in the industry. 

GEORGE: I have to add that is a really modest way of putting it, from the perspective of helping. Kevin, you know, putting all this together and breaking down the modules from how to fit out all the facilities, how to maximize your space, the organic marketing approach you take, which I have to say – next level – you know, and this coming from a marketing guy! 

This is just setting up the right foundations to get your school growing and thriving before you take on any paid type marketing campaigns. Yes. So, the approach is just, I have to commend you. It's really phenomenal. 

KEVIN: Well, thank you, George, and I truly hope, you know, people do take the opportunity, because they will benefit. It's, you know, we call it The Next Profitable Location Blueprint because it really, it's about your next location, we want it to be profitable. 

And the blueprint is your map, it's clearly, you know, and we've done all the heavy lifting, and if you follow the steps, you know, I've had nothing by success so far, and you've got 40 years of mistakes, condensed and cleaned and polished and out the other side already, so, yeah, well, thank you very much. 

GEORGE: Perfect, and we'll leave all the details where you can access either the event if you're on time or the actual recorded program. It'll be on martialartsmedia.com/129, the numbers one two nine. Kevin, thanks so much for sharing so generously, and we'll speak again. 

KEVIN: Thank you very much, George. Looking forward to it.

 

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

1. Download the Martial Arts Media™ Mobile App.

It's our new private community app exclusive for martial arts school owners, with top courses, online events, and free resources to help grow your business.  Click here to download for iPhone or Android (any other device).

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

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month to get to 100+ students. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, get started with our 7-day risk-free trial – Click Here

3. Work With Me and My Team Privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, fill out the form and apply HERE … tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details – Click Here

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

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

119 – How To Run 70 Martial Arts Classes Per Week And Only Teach 6

Brett Fenton recently got married, went on 2 honeymoon vacations, and returned to his martial arts school with more students signed up. We discussed the ‘Instructor Team Blueprint’ that made this possible.

.

IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Creating a value-based culture in your martial arts school
  • How to build an instructor team that runs like clockwork without you
  • The method to spot and develop high-potential instructors
  • Why investing in instructor training helps ensure your school's success
  • Do this when instructors clash with your culture 
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

To create a team that can also be exciting and informative and follow your values and your culture onto that mat space is so important, because then you can be your best as well, not just on the floor but off the floor, where you can problem-solve for parents and students off the mat, because that's just as important as what they're learning on the mat. The moment I switched over to that way of thinking, it all started to change.

GEORGE: Good day. George here. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media Business Podcast. Today I've got a repeat guest with me. Really happy to have Brett Fenton back. Good day, Brett.

BRETT: Hey, George. Good to be back on the podcast again.

GEORGE: The last time we spoke, things were different, right? We were just lockdowns moving in and out, and we were talking about virtual gradings, a few epic things of what you're doing. If anybody wants to backtrack on that, Episode 98, but today I want to talk about something else. 

I chat to Brett every week in our Partners group, in our coaching calls, and Brett's always got a ton of value to share. One thing that's come up is Brett runs about 70 classes per week at Red Dragon Martial Arts, and is only teaching six.

I want to get down to the number one question school owners always ask me is, “How do we get more instructors? How do we go about that process?” I want to, on your behalf, pick Brett's brain today and just get all the insights on how that's going about. 

Brett, just a quick intro for those that haven't listened to the previous podcasts. Just give a quick roundup on your background, where you're based, what you guys do and so forth.

Brett Fenton

BRETT: Absolutely, George. I've been doing martial arts pretty much all my life, but I got really serious in my late teens. Got started doing Wing Chun Kung Fu, Jow Ga Kung Fu and some Tai Chi, and started teaching classes. As I think most of us do, it's just you're the standout student in the class and so you get thrown up at the front to run warm-ups, and then all of a sudden you're good at that, so then you start teaching classes.

I was doing that in the early '90s, had my first school in '94, and then I started Red Dragon Martial Arts in '97. We're about to hit 24 years of running classes. That's changed, obviously, from the small community hall where we had 20 students to now we're over 400 students. We only had two classes a week. Now we have 70 classes a week, and we have two training rooms, a gym, a full-time professional facility, and an instructor team of over 20.

Yeah, as you said, I only run six of those classes at best on any given week. I love running classes. I love teaching classes. I teach probably more private lessons than I teach classes. I'll probably do between 10 and 20 private lessons a week. That's where I try to add more value to our teaching staff, I suppose, in that element. I'm teaching the instructors or our elite athletes.

Yeah, it's about I was that instructor that basically taught classes for free, was pulled off the bench for no reason other than I was good, and I wanted to come up with a better way of doing it. I've been lucky enough over the last few years to hang out and pick the brains of some of the best people in the world, like Dave Kovar, Roland Osborne, those kinds of guys, and just learn as much as I can. Fred DePalma is another one.

They're my mentors, and this is my variation and version of that that works well in my school, so yeah. That's what we're going to probably chat about today.

GEORGE: Yeah, perfect. You've implemented that really well, just by your lifestyle. I mean, let's talk about that, right, because a couple of months ago you got married. Congratulations.

BRETT: Thank you.

GEORGE: You were able to completely switch off, completely switch off, and go on a honeymoon. I think you had two honeymoons, didn't you?

BRETT: Well, we'll get to that. Yes.

GEORGE: Right. For the purpose of this, you were able to take a break, leave things over to your team, go on a holiday, get back with a school that has grown and retained its students. How do you go about that? Where do you start going from, it's a one-man show, and obviously you grow a team, but you could actually have the confidence and faith in your team that you can take that complete step back?

BRETT: Absolutely. I still remember. It doesn't happen as much these days, but up until 10 years ago, I couldn't even leave the floor without the parents going, “Oh, the class doesn't run as well without you. You're the superstar instructor. We are paying for you.”

I think all instructors, particularly school owners, feel that pain, that they can't even have a day off. They come in sick, eyes hanging out of their head. They're exhausted.

My retort, I suppose, to customers and parents alike, would be to say to them, “If I teach less classes, when I'm on that floor, I'm fresh. I'm invigorated. I'm excited. I love being there.” If I'm on there for …

I was teaching 40 classes a week at one stage 10 years ago, just because I needed to be on the floor and I didn't have a team that was capable without me, but there were days where I wasn't a great instructor. I was cranky. I was exhausted. I was burnt out. They're not getting the best of you when you like that.

To create a team that can also be exciting and informative and follow your values and your culture onto that mat space is so important, because then you can be your best as well, not just on the floor but off the floor, where you can problem-solve for parents and students off the mat, because that's just as important as what they're learning on the mat. The moment I switched over to that way of thinking, it all started to change.

Yeah, as you said, I just got married about three months ago. We went to Tasmania, spent two weeks in isolation with no reception. Everything went smoothly, came back, was back for about two weeks, and then I took my wife away for her 50th birthday in the Whitsundays on our yacht, and we didn't have any reception there either for a week.

Loved the ability to do that, and know that my team is looking after their baby as much as it is my baby, because they love the place. They're invested in it. They've grown up there. It's really important to know who to pick when it comes to that, so that you have that peace of mind when you go away and have some days off, let alone if you're sick or unwell.

Because I see too many martial arts schools out there closing their doors for the day because the instructor's sick, and you just can't do that and be professional at the same time.

GEORGE: Yeah, cool. I liked what you said, that they take care of their baby as much as yours. Before we get into the biggest obstacles and how school owners have got to make this transition, I'd like to talk about culture. How did you install that culture? 

Before we get to that, we've got a really great download for you, for something that's going to really help you on choosing the right instructor, what ethics and characteristics you've really got to look out for. I'll mention how you can grab that, but let's chat about culture. How did you go about installing that culture within your team?

BRETT: No worries. A number of years back, we actually went through a bit of a slump with our culture. Had a few changes, a few instructors left, and it happened. In business for 25 years, there are going to be shifts in culture, particularly when I change direction and I see a way of changing. It's always going to happen, and we've had that happen probably five different times over 25 years.

It can be just as simple as we're adding a new program, or we decided we want to go from being a small-town community hall to having our own facility. There were people that didn't like that idea. They thought that, no, that's not martial arts. Then going from that to having multiple rooms with air conditioning, that's like, “Well, now that's not martial arts.” To some of your instructors, that's like you're turning into a gym.

We had a lot of obstacles to overcome, to keep growing and going in the direction that I thought that the school needed to go in, but also where I thought the majority of my students deserve to have their school go in. I'm always looking out for them to have the best facilities, the best instruction that they can have, but that doesn't come without its challenges.

Basically, we sat down with an expert that is an expert in culture, and I'm lucky enough that my wife's also a culture manager. She works in the culture industry in her business. She, along with one of my best friends, Matt … he lives in Canberra and he's big on culture there … they came together and we created these value systems for our school, that are unbreakable rules that we run our business by and run our school by.

Then they were up on the wall in massive posters, so things like we believe … and they're all belief statements. “We believe that everybody has the opportunity to become a black belt, not just the athletes,” so things like that. “We believe that nobody should blow another person's candle out.” 

We have all these belief systems, and they're everywhere throughout our school. That tells everyone, “This is what we believe in.” I'm also a massive Simon Sinek fan, and he's obviously worldwide. He gets brought into businesses to help with culture. I've listened to all of his podcasts, his interviews, his books, his TED Talks, you name it.

For me, culture is the number one thing as far as I'm concerned. It doesn't matter what you teach. It doesn't matter if you're doing martial arts, gymnastics, or dance. I don't care. If your culture is not right, you'll never grow and you'll never have harmony inside there, and you'll never have a day off because you'll be having to micromanage your team all the time.

I don't micromanage my team. I actually sit in this office, where I am now. I spend most of my time in this office, even when the classes are running, and I pop out, just have chats to the parents if I get a message on my watch or my phone.

I don't teach classes. I've got cameras right above me, where I am right now. There's 12 cameras. I can look up there and see how it's all going if I really want to, but at the end of the day, I trust my team.

They are well-trained. We do monthly training sessions where we go through any of the issues we had during the last month. We've noted it all, we fix it all and we move on.

We listen to our feedback from our students and our parents, so yeah, it's all important. It's an ongoing process that doesn't happen overnight, but yeah, it has to happen.

GEORGE: All right, perfect. You're installing the beliefs. That's very known amongst the culture within the students, so that helps. Now, how does this transition over when you start trying to spot the talent and seeing, all right, well, who's the next instructor? How does it go from being a student to transitioning someone and inviting them to become an instructor?

Martial Arts Instructor

BRETT: Very important, George, in the fact that I think we already do it the day we have people come in and do a trial class. We're very big on not just accepting everybody as a student. They have to have pretty much the same, I suppose, values that we have anyway. It doesn't matter.

If you come in and you go, “Oh, I'm a 10-time world champion,” and you've got a bad attitude, I'm probably not going to accept you as a student. I'll go, “Mate, just go down the road, or go to the AIS or wherever you need to go to feed that ego.”

I'm looking for people that are like-minded to us, have the same values or want the same values, and want to train hard. They want to enjoy their training. They want to be nice to everybody. They're not there for their own selfish reasons all the time. It's pretty much from the day they walk in for their trial. We're almost pre-editing the instructor team by that.

Then that leads us down the path to maybe a month or two in and we see people that are training really hard, everybody gravitates towards them, their personality is infectious, and that's a big thing. My instructor team, it's always on personality first, and then skill and talent is way, way down the track, because you can't teach personality. You literally can get someone who's very technical and very skilled and can put an entire class to sleep, because they get down that rabbit hole of technical stuff.

You get someone who's personable, who's what we like to call Disney, so they're very exciting. Everybody loves to be around them. They can teach people opening letters and that would be an exciting class. It doesn't matter what they're teaching, which makes it easy because you can get them when they're only six to twelve months down the track, teaching how to kick something or how to punch something, or how to hold a kick shield or how to do one technique, but the way they teach it will be amazing.

That's our number one, I suppose, way of wading through all of the student body to find the diamonds in the rough. We do that from personality first, and then we teach them the skills, not just the martial art skills but the teaching skills, which is so important, how to pass on your knowledge.

GEORGE: Why Disney?

BRETT: I think Disney has been doing it for nearly a hundred years, and they've always improved on what they've done. In the industry all over the world, managers and business owners from all over the world actually go to Disney's, their college, where they learn how to do staff management, how they get to present and perform at an elite level. I often say to our instructors that when we're out there teaching, we're not just passing on knowledge. Every parent and every kid that's watching us, we're performing at the same time. How we perform in front of them will keep them engaged.

I think back to when I was in school. The number-ones, the teachers that always got the information across to me best, were the ones that engaged me very well. We want our instructors to be very engaging, very likable and very knowledgeable, obviously.

We have to make sure that we start with them being likable, because nobody's going to listen to them if they're not. They're just going to switch off. It doesn't matter how skilled they are. Yeah, Disney does it best, I think, and they still do it to this day, running a course on that, so very, very useful to learn.

GEORGE: All right, perfect. We're about to go with this. I want to make this episode super practical. Now, full disclosure, Brett and I worked together on a course. It's called The Instructor Team Blueprint. I'll talk more about that, but really what I want to do in this episode is I want to extract some things from the course that were really useful, but I think that can make the most impact from the get-go.

I think the number one question that always comes up in our group is how do you go about finding the right instructors or inviting them, how does that process go. I want to dive a bit more into that.

Then as a gift with this episode, if you download the actual transcript, we'll include the Character Traits to Clarify, which is basically a list of what character traits you're looking for and how you go about finding that in the instructor that you want. To bring that back to here, let's talk about spotting the talent.

You mentioned you plant the seed from the get-go. How does it go from there? How do you get people on board your team and take it from there?

BRETT: No worries, George. First thing is obviously, spotting the talent, to go up to them and say, “You're really skilled at this skill. You'd make a really good instructor one day.” If you see them naturally just going over and helping other people, that's a very key indicator, but just by someone who's at the school, they don't miss classes. When they grade, they grade at a really high level. They're highly personable, so they're that Disney.

Once you start to see that, that's when you can approach them and say, “Listen, I think further down the track, you'd become a really good instructor. Have you ever thought about becoming one?”

If they say, “No, I hadn't, but that's pretty cool,” you go, “Well, we do instructor training once a month. You're more than welcome to come along and have a look at it and see if you enjoy it. If you do, you can come to that until such time as you feel that you're confident enough to start helping us out,” and then just giving them small roles as they go. It might be, “Do you want to come in once a week and help with our three-to-six-year-old class,” or our seven-to-12-year-old class or our adult class, whichever one they like.

Then from there, it just grows. It's, again, growing their ability to stand in front of an audience, their ability to have confidence in their knowledge. Because even though they may present really well in a grading, when they come to teach somebody else, they may find that they get too nervous, they can't talk.

We need to teach them the skills of doing that. We do mock classes when we do our instructor training to help people get through their anxiety when it comes to teaching, if they struggle. A lot of our instructors, funnily enough, have a lot of anxiety, and this is one of the best things for them, because they learn to cope with their anxiety.

They learn the tools to use, whether it's the breathing tools, mindset drills, things like that. It just makes them even better martial artists, because now they're not worried all the time. They can stand up in front of an audience, be in class, and present. They take that out into the real world as well, and it makes them better out there, whether they're working or just in their personal life.

GEORGE: All right. Just backtracking, you've invited them, they come to instructor training. How does it progress from that point?

BRETT: With our adults, they'll just basically go up into our advanced rank. When they get to an advanced rank, they can start assisting in classes if they've been doing the instructor training. Because we don't want anyone assisting until they've been through our instructor training, because they don't know the correct language to use. They don't know the correct way to correct. 

They might just go up to a kid and just go, “That's terrible, fix it.” That could be the day that that poor kid's come in and he's having a hard day as it is. Then you've had this assistant come in for his very first class, has no idea what your culture is on the floor when it comes to teaching, and that kid's now, “I don't want to train anymore,” and he leaves. You can lose students quickly that way.

We want to make sure that all of our assistant instructors know what to say, how to say it. They are empathetic as well as being personable. For our junior instructors, we have what we call Black Belt Club. They go into that after they get to an intermediate belt.

That means that they can come out and they can show other kids how to do things like push-ups, how they can hold pads and kick shields. They can direct them. They can help set up the floor, but again, they still come to our instructor training, because we don't want them, again, using the wrong terminology, using the wrong communication skills.

We can have 10-year-olds out there doing that. We have some really good 8-to-10-year-olds that will help. They'll be partners in our jiu jitsu program, where it's so hard for a three-to-six-year-old sometimes to partner up with another kid, because they just don't understand roleplaying and taking turns. We usually put them with one of our juniors and they do the techniques on them, and then that makes it a lot easier. You get through a class a lot faster and at a higher level.

Then once they've been doing that up to about the age of 14, we then put them into our junior instructor program. That will be, like say in our Kung Fu, it would be our SWAT team. In our Extreme, it's our X team. In our jiu jitsu, it's our Sub Club, so we have a variety of different levels.

Then that means that they can actually take a group on their own, so they have a group of kids. Usually when they first start, it will be the white belts, because they're easy to teach. They're keen for knowledge. They look up to these kids, and basically build their skills out on the floor while they're still doing their instructor training every month.

Once we get up to an adult, they can then go up to Senior Instructor level. Whether they're being paid or not, it's up to them. If they are being paid, though, we don't start them until they're 14 years of age. They must be volunteering first, to basically make sure that they are part of our culture on the floor as an instructor, not just there for the money.

GEORGE: Yeah, cool. Funny enough, we just spoke a bit about this on our Partners Power Hour call earlier, but let's talk about money and compensation, because that's another question that comes up. How do you compensate instructors? When do you start paying, when do you not pay, or is it different for everyone? How do you go about that? Obviously, taking into consideration we've got an international audience, so we'll leave the Australia terms out, but just in a general concept.

Martial Arts Instructor

BRETT: It depends on the student. It's, again, coming down to knowing what your student's goals are. Why are they teaching, at the end of the day? For some of our instructors, they've been teaching for 10 years. They don't want a dime. They actually find it insulting. It's an insult if they get paid, because we can't actually pay them what they're worth. If I've got a lawyer who wants to teach class, I can't pay him $200 an hour to teach my class. He's not going to give up his job. He just loves doing it, because it makes him feel valued.

There's a lot of value in contributing back into the school as an instructor. I did it for a good 15 years before even seeing a dime, but I love it. It was my apprenticeship, I always call it, in instructing. For some people, that's all they want, and they'll teach one class, maybe two classes a week. There's no expectation for them to teach, but they love it and they do it. Sometimes it's for decades.

Then you've got the instructors that go, “You know what, I'd rather do this than do a normal job. I don't want to do a normal job. I want to do this.” Whether they're coming out of high school, they're in their late teens, and they go, “I want to do this,” then we talk about them going down that pathway of becoming a qualified instructor, being paid. 

I've got one instructor that's been here for 10 years, and he's been paid more in the last 10 years than any of our other instructors, just because he is a superstar. He could ask me to go anywhere all over the world, back when we could fly places. I'd go, “Sure, just make sure you get back here in a couple of weeks.” He's that valuable.

Then I've got instructors that were six-year-olds that are now 20-year-olds and they don't want to have a normal job, so they're getting paid as well. It really depends on what their goals are and where they see their future. If they just want to teach one class a week or two classes a week, and they love teaching and they don't want to be remunerated, that's fine, we don't pay them, but we give them so many other bonuses. We give them stuff, like they get uniforms, they get gifts all the time. 

If I think they deserve something, I'll take them out to dinner, you name it. We just make sure that they feel special. It's one of those things. They need to feel valued, more so than the financial side of it. That's why a lot of people volunteer in the first place, it's that value that they feel for their contribution. We don't want to undermine that.

GEORGE: Perfect. Sometimes paid, sometimes not, just depends on the person. We were discussing, as you mentioned as well, it's important that you can't pay a lawyer $200 an hour, type of thing. You've got to have the balance. Obviously, if you've got to pay someone, that you pay them something that's valued, but also not an insult. For those people, it might be better for them to have the social norm of just being able to contribute and be valued in a different way.

BRETT: Absolutely. They may also get paid really well in their job, but where they are, they don't have that esteem. They're not put up on a pedestal. They might be like a mechanic, who earns 50 bucks an hour but nobody even talks to him. Then all of a sudden he's out on the floor and he's a black belt, and everybody is listening to every word that he says. You can't buy that. 

That's just pure pride that he loves, and you couldn't pay him for it. Think about it. Most of our instructors paid to be in that position. They paid fees to get to that position, like I did when I was training. Yeah, we just want to make sure that they feel valued and that we appreciate everything they do, and that they are held in esteem with their student base.

GEORGE: Just interesting, let's flip the tables quickly. What happens when it goes not to plan and you get the instructor that is not aligned with the beliefs, or they were aligned with the beliefs but the ego is growing with the position, or they're just getting off track or something happens in their life and it derails them, and they start to separate the alignment where you and the club are going versus on their journey? How do you deal with that type of conflict?

BRETT: Oh, there's obviously a number of ways that people do deal with it. Like a lot of school owners, I'm sure that I've had it happen to me so many times over the years. It just becomes part and parcel. Students leave, instructors leave. It's just what happens. There's a few ways you can deal with it. You can be obviously nasty about it and just kick them out. You can force them out by taking away their shifts or whatever, or you can just have someone come in and take over their class.

I like to do it from another way and go, “Okay, what do I need to do? Obviously I don't want you here, because you're not good for our culture.” I can either get them to come back on board with our culture, which is Plan A. Plan B is to then go, “How can I help you to go out and do your own thing?” 

Whether that's going and teaching for somebody else, because it usually is only around the instructor that has their own opinions on how it should happen. They're not in line with my opinions or the school owner's opinions. Then there's going to be that fraction happening inside the classes all the time.

That person probably needs to go and run their own school. Then you go down the pathway of, okay, “Well, which way would you like to do it? Would you like to do it with my support? Would you like to do it as our branding, without our branding, or do you just want to just go and do your own thing?” You give them some avenues to go down. 

We've had ones that have gone just down their own way and not wanted any help whatsoever. We've had some that have gone with help. Yeah, at the end of the day, you're looking at their future still, like you would any other instructor. If it doesn't align with the direction we're going in, that's okay, because we can't all go down the same path.

We want to try and make it as amiable as possible. I don't want to have them out there being competition, as they say. I'd like them to be on the same page as us and looking out for each other. I'm still great friends with all my instructors of 30-plus years. I had to do the same thing at some stage to them. I had to go out on my own, but I did it respectfully, because I saw a different pathway that I wanted to go down. I was respectful, and I'm still in contact with them and I still train with them, and I still get them to come in and guest-instruct and all that stuff happens.

Yeah, it's understanding where you've come from and then understanding where you want to go. I understand that from my perspective and their perspective. I think that takes a little bit of empathy, to understand it from the other person's perspective. It's not the wrong thing to do, they've just got a different direction they want to go in, and so we help them.

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. Because that is a concern that a lot of school owners mention, if you don't want to get someone on board, you make them the star of the school, and they decide they're too entrepreneurial and they want to open up their own school. The intention was just to grab what they can, and they make a run for it. What you're saying is you're just approaching that with a bit more of an empathetic approach, and you want to make sure you instill those values and that there is an open path that people can leave.

Brett Fenton

BRETT: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, because I've been down the pathway. I've had instructors just leave and not tell me, and then go and open up in opposition. I think as long-term instructors, we've all had that happen. That's just because we didn't read the warning signs early enough. That's part of growing. 

We often talk about in the industry, if you get a black belt, it doesn't mean to say you're an instructor. Then after you've been instructing for say a good 10 years, you'd probably have been a black belt instructor if you'd been doing it properly. Then after you've owned your school probably for 20 years, maybe now you're a black belt school owner.

You try to look at it in that vein, that you've got to be improving your skills as an instructor, but then also as a school owner and then as a business owner. They're all skills that you need to be growing. Part of growing as a business owner is understanding that your staff will want to leave at some stage, like students want to leave, and that you've got to find an amicable way of making that happen, so that if they need to come back to you for help later on, there's a doorway for them to come through. 

Because if they leave under bad terms, then they don't feel like there is a doorway, or there usually isn't because it's not amicable. I've been down that path many times, and would have preferred it not to be that way, but these days I'm a lot better on that. That just comes from experience. The only true way of getting it is to go through it.

GEORGE: Exactly, yeah. I like Ross Cameron‘s philosophy. He calls it the bus, you know. Everyone's on the bus, they get on the bus, and sometimes they jump off the bus. You help them get from one place to the next. It's their time to hop off the bus and go do their own thing.

BRETT: Yep. You can't get upset about it. You helped them in their journey to where they got to. The fact that people will stay for 5, 10, 15, 20 years is crazy, that they want to stay that long. That means you've done something right.

Rather than looking at it from the point of what I did wrong for them to leave, you've got to look at it from the perspective of that you did something right for a very long period of time, and then learned from it. That's what we're always trying to do. I'm definitely trying to do that all the time. Perfect at it, not, but I'm always trying to improve the way I do it.

GEORGE: Awesome. We wanted to include a couple of things and resources you could use from this episode. If you go to the website, if you're listening to this, martialartsmedia.com/119. That's where all the resources for this episode are going to look.

As I mentioned earlier, Brett and I, we spent some time, and my job was to extract everything out of Brett's mind and help him put together a program that covers the Instructor Team Blueprint in six steps.

We've gone from the team skill plan, how to assess how many instructors you're going to need and fulfilling those positions, spotting the right talent, systemizing the training accordingly, running the instructor training boot camp, how to do that, rewards and recognition, payments and a whole bunch of other things. From what we just discussed … and, Brett, I'm about to put you on the spot here, forgive me.

BRETT: That's okay.

GEORGE: When you download the transcript of this podcast, we've included the Character Trait Clarifier. It's basically a list of what you're looking for as in work ethic, popularity, their passion, communication, leadership skills. Just going through a process of how to basically score people, score your students, and see if they've got the right attributes and right values and the right character traits to become an instructor.

Putting you on the spot, Brett, just talking, it reminded me of how people find it hard to get people to transition from student to instructor and how that process goes. You've got something called the Instructor Letter of Offer.

BRETT: Yep.

GEORGE: Do you mind telling us about that? Then I'm going to ask if you wouldn't mind including it.

BRETT: Okay. No worries. Absolutely. I can definitely include that. I'll send it through to you. It basically is a formal letter that we would send out to an instructor that's maybe even been doing the instructor training. They've come in, maybe done one session, and we've gone, “You know what? We think that they would be the right fit.”

It can be a teenager, it can be an adult, it doesn't matter. It can be even a kid, if you really want to start your junior instructor team that way.

Just the formal part of it just states everything that you expect of them, that you've found that they would be the right fit, that they have the necessary skills as far as their personality goes and they fit the culture. It's really important that they understand what they're in for, that it's an important role, that's it's not just being plucked off the floor and put up on the front of the class, which obviously, we still do that to this day. We have instructors, but we don't pick on anyone that doesn't do instructor training, but you have to start somewhere.

I remember getting plucked off and just put on the front of the stage and, “Here you go, run a warm-up.” There's a better way to do it. During class, walk around, find the right people. Find if they're interested, invite them to the first session. If after that they seem interested, they do a really good job, then you can send them the offer to join our instructor training squad and go from there. You can have levels of that.

You can write the letter for, “We'd like you to become a junior instructor,” or we'd like you to become an assistant instructor, a senior instructor. You can basically format it to suit whatever your needs are.

Just the sheer fact of getting something in the post that's formally saying that we want you in our team, that's a pretty proud moment for most people. Rather than just coming up and slapping them on the back and going, “Hey, you want to be an instructor?” It's a big difference in the mindset then. It just shows how much we think about these things. It's professional.

GEORGE: Perfect. All right. Thanks for that. We'll include that with the transcript, and as a bonus, what we'll extract is just, with the Character Trait Clarifier, there's a snippet in Module 2 of how we went about that and how you go about working with that. I'll get our video editor to just edit, give you that snippet so that you know how to work through the worksheet and you know how to go through the PDF.

Other than that, Brett, thanks so much. I mean, if you've got anything to add about the Instructor Team Blueprint.

Instructor team blueprint

Just for reference, if you want to grab the course, you can go to martialartsmedia.com/courses and just look for The Instructor Team Blueprint. It's up there. It's really a good value for the amount of knowledge and work that's gone into it. Yeah, it's a really good value. Brett, have you got anything to add on that, about the program?

BRETT: I think that I wish it would have been around 20-something years ago when I was first teaching classes, and I had to travel all over the world to do that and then bring instructors from overseas to here. It's just been one of those things, that I know all of us long-term school owners wish we had more information back when we did, but now we do.

It's just a combination of 25, 30 years of teaching and all the things that I did incorrectly and correctly, fined-tuned into a nice, easy-to-learn-and-use course that I think would suit anybody that's trying to grow their school and not want to be at their school 24/7, teaching every single class 'til they're 85.

I don't want to retire. This is my retirement. When I'm at my school, I like being here, but I would hate to think that I'd be like my instructor, who is in his seventies, and if he's not at the school, it's closed. I don't want to be that. I want to be able to take time off. I want to be able to be unwell and not have to get up and go to my class and teach. Thank God I didn't have to worry about COVID.

Even to the point where my team is so proficient that when we did lockdown last week, I taught no classes. They were so good. They teach it all. It was amazing. I just go here. There's Zoom, off you go.

They just report back to me how it went, so it's perfect. It allows you to have a life. It allows you to have your family. It allows you to do other things, and it allows you to really enjoy your martial arts again and enjoy your school, rather than being stressed out about it all the time. Yeah, it costs you a bit of money to pay a really good team, but it's worth it in the long run, for sure.

GEORGE: Awesome. Cool, Brett. Thanks so much. Great having you back on again, and we'll chat again next week.

BRETT: See you soon, absolutely.

 

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

1. Join the Martial Arts Media™ community.

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

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

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

3. Work with me and my team privately.

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

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

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

115 – Kevin Blundell – The Strategic Mindset Behind Running 23 Successful Martial Arts Schools

In this exclusive live recording from a recent Partner’s Intensive, Kevin Blundell from Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts System, shared some of the deeper details responsible for his martial arts business success.

.

IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Scaling your martial arts schools from 1 – 23 locations
  • Becoming the ‘go to’ martial arts school in a small community
  • What can martial arts schools model from country clubs?
  • Strategies to replicate your skills amongst your staff
  • The science of an effective staff training program
  • Investing in your instructors with a salary scale
  • Attracting students into your leadership program
  • How to keep the quality across multiple martial arts locations
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

The way we structure everything is customer service and what the customer wants. So, first of all, we're providing a martial arts experience, and each person's experience will be different. So, you need to tailor each program you have around that. So, if it’s your kids program, you need to have the parents on board. If you have someone who wants to be a competitor or become a combat sports athlete, we need to have that program detail. If you're someone who just wants to come in and do some training. So, we're offering a martial arts experience, but the key point is clear and concise customer service.

GEORGE: Hey, there! George Fourie here. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media business podcast. We are on Episode 115. And, a bit of a different structure of a podcast for you, but great guests and some great content. So, why the different structure? Over the weekend, we ran our Partners Intensive event – it was a school owner’s event for martial arts school owners all around the world, who are clients of ours. 

So, it wasn't an open event, although we did hand out a few invitations to a few lucky school owners who joined us and got some great value out of the weekend as well. So, ran the event online, which, look, this is the cool part about online, is we have school owners from the United States, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand, right? Five different countries all around the globe, and this made for really great mastermind sessions, great conversations between school owners, and it was an epic event. So, really thankful for the weekend, and everybody that attended.  

So, one of my guests, Kevin Blundell, was on previous podcast episode 20, you can have a listen to that, and so I invited Kevin along for round two. And the event was coming up and I said, “Look, why don't we actually just have you at the event, and we can run the podcast as a podcast interview, but more importantly, we can have our guests ask you questions?” And that really changed the flavor of the podcast, great questions about scaling with multiple schools, how to structure the business, how to pay staff, how to do your staff training, etc. So, real good value. 

Kevin Blundell is from Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts Systems, and I might just mix up the numbers, but it's 23 locations, I believe? About half of them are full time and they're approaching just about 2000 students. So, a really successful school owner and just a wealth of knowledge and just a really wonderful human being. Really generous in everything that he shared, so, you're going to get a lot of value out of this. 

Now, there's one snag out of this interview. As luck would have it, I've just moved offices. So, if you look at this, and it looks a bit crazy, it's like day one in my new office, so please don't judge from stuff all around the background—the office. It was my last weekend in my office in the city, and as luck would have it, the day that I ran the online event, the entire building's power went out. Luckily, I had a lot of backups, phone, internet, mobile, etc. 

So, we managed to pull through and five minutes before Kevin logged on, the entire building's power went out, so I thought I'd lost everyone at the event, but I managed to log back on Zoom and I walked around the office recording the podcast, muting in between, that you couldn't hear the fire alarms and things going off in the background, because of the power outage. But anyway, if you see a bit of craziness in the beginning just, yeah, look past that, look for the gold in this episode, because there's a lot of it. Anyway, here we go, enjoy the episode, I'll speak to you soon.  

GEORGE: Good day, Kevin!

KEVIN: Good morning. How are you?

GEORGE: I'm just on mobile right now. So, we got Amandeep in the UK, Ben and Cheyne from AKA, we got Lindsay, we got Karl. We got Kim and Richard from Canada, we got Matt from Victoria somewhere. Michael Scott and Peter from New South Wales, we got Grant from Polletts, we got Sam and Kylie, and we got Zak from Perth. And we're all excited to hear of you, and Kevin, when I said let's jump on, the entire whole building in Perth shut the power down. So, as you do. So, but we're ready for you, and so we're going to improvise. 

First up, Kevin, welcome. Thank you for joining us today. So, I don't have my notes in front of me, but what I can tell you is, Kevin is one of the most respected martial arts school owners that I personally know. We worked together quite some time ago, and we keep in touch every so often. I really love chatting to Kevin, hearing his perspective of how he views his organization. So, guys, you've got Kevin for about 50-60 minutes, I want you to make use of the time and ask as many questions as you want. But I'm going to lead a few things that we want to talk about – how Kevin views his organization, how he views delivering a world class experience to his students, and then for you guys looking at scaling to multiple locations, 23 locations, right, Kevin? 

KEVIN: Yeah. 

GEORGE: Yep. So, we can dive a bit deeper into the structure and how that's going. So, thanks for joining us, Kevin.

KEVIN: Thank you. Thanks for inviting me, George. 

GEORGE: Cool. So I guess just a little quick introduction, just a bit to fill in the gaps where I might have missed – just a bit more about you and Kumiai Ryu. 

KEVIN: Yes, sure. Well, we're based predominantly in New South Wales, Queensland and ACT. My background is I started studying martial arts in 1969. Boxing and judo, because karate was too deadly, and then went into karate, and kickboxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, the whole thing, along the way. And we just started our own organization in 1989, in Orange, and we just started a very small group of people, and we just slowly grew from there. 

Primarily, we grew organically, we didn't really have any master plan, I was working as a builder. And then I took up a government position with Fair Trading, and then senior building inspector. So, it was just pretty much what you would classify as just a hobby or part time enterprise on the side, with no real ambition until 2010, decided to go full time. Or from 2011, we went full time, and subsequently we've grown out to 23 locations, and just quite a few students across those locations. 

GEORGE: Right, perfect. So, now, I mean, going from the one to 23, there's obviously a lot of details and gaps in there. I guess going from, you know, from one to two, what are the core decisions that you made, that you felt, alright, this is this is a real business, this is a real thing. And how did you adjust your thinking and your strategy? 

KEVIN: Well, initially, I just wanted to, my background was used to just do the martial arts for enjoyment. I've been doing it all my life. My father was also a martial artist. And so I just sort of, you know, when I was a kid, I was training, and when I turned eight, we started training regularly and formally. 

So, it's just sort of, like, something I always did. I explored other sports, I used to race, motocross, and played most competitive sports at different stages and different levels. And then I just went into it, I liked the competition side – was very popular through the late 70s and 80s. And then I just was more like, it was just a social thing. Then I realized that, well, you know, I can spread the word a little bit further if we have more locations. So, like-minded people decided to join us. 

So, we didn't really have any structure or any format. It was like, I suppose we were just all sailing on the same lake, and we say, “Hey, let's sail together over there”. Yeah. So, it was pretty ad-hoc, no real structure. And, you know, we weren't looking to, you know, save the world or take over the world with martial arts. We were just enjoying what we do. Then we slowly developed from that point. And then I went, “Whoa, hang on, I better get this a little bit more formulated,” and so about 1990, I started to design things in a more corporate structure, and then it just sort of grew from there. 

When we went full time, well, that's when we blossomed out. So, other people would just be sort of like, I might use Brett as an example. I say, “Hey, what are you doing up there?” “We're doing this.” “Do you want to do something together here?” “Why not?” And that's, we sort of did it under the same umbrella, and then we grew from that point. So, that's how we sort of got. So, it was pretty much, you know, accidental, got to this point, really – was more purposeful from 2011 onwards, and our focus has been providing good service ever since. 

GEORGE: So, let's talk about that, Kevin, because we spoke a bit about it the other day and you were diving, really defining on the type of experience that you deliver and paying attention to finer details. And although you mentioned, you know, it's kind of flowed from there, but there's a lot in that, right? Because it's like you have organic growth – but it's very strategic in that way, because there are little things that are setting you apart from what everyone else is doing. You got to maybe dive a bit deeper into the type of experience and how you guys go about that? 

KEVIN: Yeah, sure. Well, if you need to have systems, we all know that. There's electronic systems and that, but the bottom line is, you need to view everything from the inside out. And the way we structure everything is customer service and what the customer wants. So, first of all, we provide a martial arts experience, and each person's experience will be different. So, you need to tailor each program you have around that. 

So, if it’s your kids' program, you need to have the parents on board. If you have someone who wants to be a competitor or become a combat sports athlete, we need to have that program detail. If you're someone who just wants to come in and do some training. So, we're offering a martial arts experience, but the key point is clear and concise customer service. So, you need to, you know, what we do is we have training for everything, we have every detail for every process, and all staff use the same process at all locations. 

GEORGE: And guys, just checking in, right? This is your opportunity to ask anything that is on your mind, or what you want to elaborate, Kevin to elaborate on. So, and just for some context, this was going to be a podcast interview, and we decided to schedule it this way so that you guys can get the benefit of having this type of interaction. So, yeah, please add to the questions. 

What would you say, you know, because you guys operate your main Port Macquarie location, pretty small town, although you have a thriving business there, and also what's probably a premium service, right? It's not the cheapest of the services. How do you frame that? And how do you position yourself in the market to stand out and where pricing is not as much as an issue for the services in the value that you deliver? 

KEVIN: Well, I think the most important thing is if you want to be paid as a professional, act like a professional. People aren't interested in how many belts you got, or what titles you won, and how many medals and trophies you got, and how many kilos that you've trained and all the rest of it. That went out in the 80s and, you know, along with mullets and Holden cars sadly. 

So, you need to reframe, and if you want to, you know, provide a professional customer service. Okay, I'll give you an example. Well gym, most people have heard of that, they'll come to a town, and they'll set up a franchise. They have a slick process where they locate the building, purchase the building, or lease the building, set up the building, pre-frame what they're going to do in the community, what services they're going to provide. 

Our most recent model, we put one new facility in Western Newcastle, we got a brand new building, we leased the building, my business, I'm a builder by trade, so I set that up using my skills, and we started right in the middle of COVID. Like, COVID was raging when we started in the first week of August last year, and we've moved to 95 current financial members with our minimum payment of $150 per month. 

So, it's about good leadership and determination, and having clear and concise systems in place that you follow. So, we don't get into anything other than making sure we provide the service that we say we're going to provide, and we have people trained to deliver that service. So, obviously, you need to have skilled martial artists teaching your class, and you need to have skilled people doing your administrative work out the front. Now, sure, we all start off. 

Like, I'm not too proud – I was doing the cleaning during COVID – and it was a real good leveler, bringing me back down to earth. But you know, it was an opportunity to really find everything we did, and reset and restructure. I understand some of you folk are still under strict lockdown around the world and that's terrible, but you know, there is light at the end of the tunnel, that's for sure. 

GEORGE: Okay, so guys, quick check in – what are you getting from this? If you can use the chat as a, every time you pick up something that's useful and that you can use, use the chat. That will give me good guidance, well, on where we can steer the conversation further. 

Alright, perfect. So, want to touch, and we can jump back onto this, but how do you go about structuring your organization? I think, actually, before I ask that – you mentioned something in our chat on Wednesday, I think it was – and we spoke about the way you view your organization. Can you elaborate a bit on that? And for a hint as well, talking about the whole country club type. 

KEVIN: Okay, sure. Well, I'm not saying anyone's not a professional, don't get me wrong. I'm just saying what we do and how we go about our business. So, initially, martial arts to me was a fun thing, as a kid. And then it was like, a cool thing to do as a competition and win trophies and have good fun doing it. Then it was like a hobby, and then it was a social thing, and then it was like, semi-professional business on the side. 

But I had to take responsibility and realize I'm running a corporation, it's a multimillion dollar corporation that has tentacles across 23 locations, and we're responsible for thousands of people's well-being and providing the service that we're going to do. So, you need to have a clear and concise structure. So, we have a corporate head office, which is also based here, Port Macquarie. 

And then each location, I own some, I half share in some, and the rest are all under license. You need to make it so the people who are under license are getting value for being part of your group and organization, and being well supported through that process. So, the overarching thing is, you know, if you're happy with just a single dojo, single school, sorry, and you're doing it with your partner and/or business partner, and you're getting an income and you're enjoying your lifestyle, that's good. 

My point, I've never had aspirations to grow to be some monolithic martial arts organization. It's always been about, am I enjoying what I'm doing? Yes, I am. Am I helping people better themselves? Yes, I am. Am I giving people opportunities? We have 85 people that work full-time across all our schools. So, we're employing a lot of people. And then we have dozens and dozens of people whose kids, after school, come in and help in class. So, that's probably, you know, that's why we need to run it properly, and you need to be responsible and follow everything, you know, as per good business acumen. 

GEORGE: Perfect. And then you mentioned looking at country clubs as an inspiration. Why is that? 

KEVIN: Okay. When I was in America, I did a talk. I've been a few times and done some talks with the EFC group, and Brett's with me a few times. So, he has, he never fell asleep in any of my seminars. So, that's good. So, when I was over there, I met some very wealthy and successful martial artists. They're a little bit opposite to us, they love to flaunt their Lamborghini and take you to their holiday mansion and take you out on a yacht and all that sort of stuff. 

Whereas, you know, we like to keep ourselves a little bit quieter and just let our successes bubble in the background. Anyway, one guy took me to a country club, like it was, you know, like a golf course, tennis, all that sort of stuff. And it was, you know, really flash, and it impressed me and I said, “Oh, so what do you do to get in here?” I said, “Do you just come in, sit down and eat?” Says, “Oh, no, sir. No, you have to be, pay to be on a waiting list.” I said, “Pay to be on a waiting list? Seriously?” He said, “Yeah,” and he said that you have set fees. 

And apparently the one I went to, which was really nice, was an ‘Al Cheapo' one. But I came away thinking about what if we all approached our martial arts a little bit differently? You know, swimming lessons are important, we all know that, and guys, martial arts is just as important. So, we should be viewed a little bit differently than just, you know, some people who are over there, saying it is another thing to do. So, we changed our mindset to be like, well, to be a little bit more exclusive, and that you can't just rock up and join in and have a free class or anything like that. 

You have to go through a process and to be analyzed to see if you fit into our community in a positive way. Conversely, it gives the potential student an opportunity, and their family, to see if they are happy with the service we're providing. Then they may go and try the next guy down the road, and that's okay too. We encourage that. We actually encourage that, because we only want people who are committed and who are going to participate within the guidelines that we have, and follow our systems. 

GEORGE: So, you would never go into a price war? 

KEVIN: Well, the quickest way to go broke is to go cheaper than the bloke down the road. In a number of our locations, we've been taken on in a price war, even had one guy march up to us, when we opened the location, he said, “This town isn't big enough for another martial art school, you know, and I'm the leading one here”. And he was right when he went broke a year later, because he engaged in a price war, and, so, every time we put his price down, I put mine up. 

GEORGE: Great. So, for any of you guys doubting your pricing, there's some good advice, so on that, how do you frame that? Like, if you, in a conversation, if somebody is going down that route and poking at other people being a martial arts school, and at less of the price. How do you go about handling that? 

KEVIN: Well, first and foremost, let me qualify, anyone that teaches martial arts and puts up their shingle and they’re honest to all, I take my hat off to him. It's like anyone that steps on the mat, in the ring, in the cage, whatever. I admire that. I've had that journey myself, and it's good fun. But back to what we're talking about here is that, first and foremost, if people want to shop around, that's their prerogative and choice. Some people will buy a really cheaper version of the car, and they'll be very happy and satisfied, because it works within their means. Some people will buy a BMW and Mercedes Benz, because it works within their means, and then everything running between. 

So, when I say about being professional, I believe that if everyone's being an honest toiler and doing the best they can, they're professional, you got to remember guys, if you charge a dollar in business, it's the right dollars that you got to charge. That's what you need to remember. With our organization, we focus on making sure we have everything professionally done. 

So, someone comes in, and our staff are trained to talk to them, and extrapolate the correct information out of them, of what they really are there for. So, we don't go into any pricing discussion at all, and if they ask, we quite happily tell them we don't have an issue with that at all. However, we're more about filling the need that they have. You got to remember anyone that's called you, sent you a message, coming to your school – they're already halfway there, if not two-thirds of the way there. So, you need to be grateful they've made that contact, and you need to treat them exactly how you'd like to be treated in any customer service environment. 

So, that's the way we process, go through the process. And then what we do is that we listen. We listen to what their needs are, and we discuss their needs. We don't even talk about tuition fees, or anything that we just explained. We have a two week trial, this is how we go through it, and most of the time, most people aren't concerned about asking about the price. If they ask about the price, you should give them exactly what it is and everything they're going to pay for, so there's no hidden cost. 

GEORGE: Like that. So, real value-based pricing. It's not what you deliver, it's really the outcome that you're trying to serve. And when… 

KEVIN: We have a saying if any of our staff is selling, they're sacked, because we do not want to sell a martial arts program. We are storytelling. We're telling you about martial arts, everyone here will know how martial arts feels for them, and the journey they've been on to get to the point they are at now. 

And once you can harness the feeling into words, then you have a much better way of getting people to enroll in your school. You want them to enroll in your school to be educated in the way that you run your organization and the programs that you have. You don't want them to think they just come in and kick some bags – because they can go to the local gym for a 15 bucks membership. Go and do weights 24/7 and kick and punch bags all day long. Okay, so you want to be – we're selling a martial arts program. 

GEORGE: I love this. But what I'm more intrigued about, is how do you replicate that type of skill amongst your staff? Because if you're saying storytelling and not selling, right? You're telling stories – how do you get your staff to engage into that level of enrollment that they are storytelling and telling stories? 

KEVIN: So, let's translate it to martial arts. It doesn't matter what style system and martial arts. Generally, everybody does something that has graduation involved – belts, badges, t-shirts, these big furry hats, the different colors, whatever. Everyone has a progression through the martial arts, so, with the staff, they need to be also given progression. 

So, you start your staff at a lower level, and you have training just like you have training for your next belt or your next badge, or whatever system you use, but we use belts for the point of the exercise here that we are discussing. We train people with scripts, and then the scripts are then revised constantly. Then we have a lot of meetings online, but not all the time, not inundated; and then we have gatherings many times throughout the year where we get together. But the most important thing is rehearsal, and this is where a lot of people fall over – they're here, it's a great idea. I'll go through this script with my staff. Yeah, let's rehearse it. 

Okay. So we have, and most of you have heard of it, phone script rehearsal, and all that sort of stuff. That consistency is the key, because your staff will go off script very quickly, if you don't keep them on script. So, you need to make sure they're following… And they’re not robotic, They’ve got to be fluid and flexible. So, the more senior they are, the more experienced, they can answer questions seamlessly. But we actually sit down and have rehearsals on how to take a phone call, how to answer a message, how to address someone when they come in – and we practice and the results come from there. 

GEORGE: Love that. So, somebody, I think it was Alan, was asking about staff training and how you go about it, I'll just pull up the question here. But you do staff training, that's super valuable – actually how to do the enrollment, the scripts and so forth, because that is your first point of contact. So, that's arguably one of the most important points of the training. But where else do you; what else do you lean towards – what's the type of staff training that you do? And the depth that you go? And it was Sam, if you want to elaborate, maybe, a bit deeper than that, just ask that in the chat. 

SAM: Yeah, so, in terms of staff training, obviously having 23 locations, you've got clear systems to produce more people like you, and then obviously lower level instructors, assistant student leaders down from that. So, I'd like to hear a little bit more about how that's structured, and even maybe how you go through after the training, and pick and choose who are going to be the head instructors that are going to manage your facilities. 

KEVIN: Sure, Sam. Thanks for your question. We have some historical owners. So, if you like, the organizations in two parts, we have 10 full-time centers, and then we have, I think four part-time centers, and the rest are in community or school halls. So, we sort of focus on the top 14, if you like, for everything, everyone follows the same system. So, for example, in a community or a school hall, the guy or the girl might work in a full time job, and they just teach two nights a week. 

So, I classify them as part-time hobbies, but they're still part of our organization, and the numbers all collate together. The rest, so my main focal point is for people with permanent setups, who've made big financial commitments. So, we want to make sure they get a return on investment, and they are able to do that. So, our systems, once you have a full time center, you can, so, we have a leadership program. 

So, we'll talk about two sides. So, the martial arts side, pretty much like everyone else does, have a leadership program and then you have different levels of instructors. So, like, you might have, obviously assistant instructor, class instructor, a lead instructor, they lead a group of classes if you have multi floors in your location, or you might split your class in two, whatever. Then we have an instructor coordinator, and their job is to coordinate the rostering, the staffing, and look after the whole area. So, some of these jobs are very casual, they all have been casual, very few hours a week; and we have many that are full-time, as we mentioned earlier on. So, and then obviously you have the school owner, or you might have a manager in there. So, we have a manager in some, but most are school owned. Okay, so that's sort of the martial arts side. 

On the business side, we replicate, that where in the leadership program, we identify at a young age if someone's going to be good to either go into an administrative role, or a marketing role, or an instructional role. Some do both, obviously, and then we have training programs for them. So, you might come into our facility, say here, and you'll see a young lady or young boy there, they'll be 14 or 15, and they'll come in, and they'll welcome you, and they'll say, “Oh, hi, Sam, your appointment is at 4:45. Please come over here, sanitize your hands, you know, for the COVID and all that sort of stuff. Have a seat, and we'll have, you know, the person coming out, going to talk to you.” And then they'll come out and get the person and go from there. 

So, they're learning to be communicators, and then go from there. And then then we have people who can run the whole front office or the front desk, and they're the ones who make appointments and set up the trials, set up the enrollments, discuss any, you know, things that are happening or need to happen. So, it's structured that way. So, then we have, obviously, if you have a junior leadership team program, and I think they're all pretty much the same, and everyone just adds a bit of spit and polish – how they see it should run. And, but the key is just like everyone else says, if you don't keep developing staff, and that coming through, or people coming through, well, you know, you can lose a lot. 

Like here, Port Macquarrie, we had really good staff that, some took up positions and when COVID hit, they moved to maybe Newcastle or Sydney or Brisbane or something for work, or went off to uni, and that. We lost like eight key staff in a 12-month period, but we're still carrying on, because we had enough depth, and we had enough training for those people to step into those roles. So, you have a little bit of a bump in the road, but you just keep on trucking. So, hope that answers your question, Sam.

 SAM: Thank you. 

GEORGE: Anything else you want to ask in relation to that? 

SAM: No, that's good. 

GEORGE: Perfect. Well, while we're going around and while Sam was asking a question, anyone else got a question? If you just want to unmute.

LINDSAY: It's not really a question, but – good day, Kev. 

KEVIN: Good day! 

LINDSAY: I, I don't know, sat through something that you were having a talk in Sydney there a couple of years ago. You said that when you opened up a new venue, you used a chocolate wheel to attract people, you know, when you're advertising. I'll be really honest with you, after that session that you did, I actually went out and bought a chocolate wheel, and the next event we had, I used it. 

And I could say the amount of kids that came over to get a free chocolate, or a free pen, or a free some damn thing was unbelievable! And we've still got a whole stack of those students that we signed up from that event, simply by coming out with that chocolate wheel, was amazing. We still got it and we still use it. 

KEVIN: Great stuff. I'm glad it worked for you, Lindsay. Well, when I'm down that way next, I'll come and get a chocolate off you. 

LINDSAY: I don't think that's wise, Kevin. Neither of us need chocolate! 

BEN: You're not dead yet, guys. Can I jump in, George, is that okay? 

GEORGE: Yes! 

BEN: Good day, Kev, I'm Ben. So, I've started up a second location. So, I'm just sort of feeling my way through some of this stuff, and it's in a community center. The guy I've got running it, I've actually got on a small commission basis plus his hourly rate. I'm trying to get him invested in it, and he is invested in it. So, I just wanted you to talk a little bit about how you structure, you know, part-time, full-time, people that come in once a week on casual rates, people that are, you know, using it as their career. What sort of steps and levels and remuneration stuff do…? 

KEVIN: Yeah, 100%. Well, we use the fitness industry award as our base. I think that's pretty much, from my understanding, from the boys at Fair Work I spoke to, they said that's the one you got to use. So, we've used that for the last 10 years, and so we pay everyone accordingly. According to the younger staff, a couple of girls work at McDonalds and they said, “Oh, we like working here because you get more money”. And I said, “Oh, but you get free McDonalds, don't you?” and they said, “No, we don't, actually”. Apparently, they don't anymore. 

Anyway. So, we use the fitness industry award, and we have different levels. So, when you get to a like, if you own a school, and the person works for you, our people get to what we call Level 4A. They're like instructor coordinator or front office coordinator. They are paid a wage and then they get an incremental growth bonus from your gross monthly take. That fluctuates depending on the income, so if your income for the location is, I don't know, I'll just use round figures, is 20,000, they might get 0.25%. 

If they get up, when you get up to 40, or 50,000, the percentage goes up a little bit more, and that incentivizes them to be proactive, participative, and take ownership. And as you all know, someone has ownership of something, they're going to embrace it, and make sure your systems are utilized to the fullest extent. So, my objective is to get our guys up to their bonuses equal to their weekly wage. So, per month, they get like a fifth week's wages, that makes sense? And that way that really motivates them to move forward. 

BRETT: Okay, that's, yeah, that's good. That's sort of what I'm thinking. I might look at my percentages, but anyway. 

KEVIN: When I first did it, I got a little bit generous, and…

BRETT: I've got him on 5%, but then again, he's only got five students. 

KEVIN: You know, they're going to get more, you know. 

BEN: Well, good! Yeah. All right. Thank you, man. Thank you. 

KEVIN: No problem, Ben.

 GEORGE: Awesome. Anyone else got a direct question? 

ALAN: Yeah, George, I've got one. 

GEORGE: Yeah.

ALAN: Thanks. Well, how do you get people into your leadership program?

KEVIN: Sure. Okay, well, there's a whole bunch of seminars on it, like, Brett's got a pretty good program up there as well, and he does a really good leadership one. So, you know, probably something he could talk about at another stage, but what we do is, you just look across your classes, and you'll see, kids are a little bit more attentive, a little bit more participative, and even the ones that are not. 

So, we have an application process, and we only take a set amount each, twice a year. And we have a waiting list about, like heaps of people want to get on board. So, we make it part of the language is that later on, if you want to get involved, and we tell the parents, we say see all the staff out there, that are teaching, they all started as three, four or five year olds, nearly all of them, you know, like the 16, 17, 18 year olds. I got guys that have been with me for 40 years, you know. Hard to believe, I know, I only look 35; but you know, so, you have people, you know, involved for a long time. 

But just as a starter, if I had to answer your question, I will look at the people training. Don't get caught up in, oh, you can only have higher grades involved. I aim for people who are about between 9 – 12 months training, and then they're the ones I invite across, to do a one month trial in the leadership program. And then from that, we filter to the next level. Now, we don't throw people to the curb, nor do we, you know, push them aside; but what we do do, those who didn't make the cut, we get them to do other activities and roles. 

So, they still feel like they're part of the group, and then later on, they may come in the second time around or the third time around. It's a bit of FOMO – fear of missing out. So, they, you know, once they get in, they really – it's amazing to watch how much they step up. So, I hope that answered your question, but, Brett, you got a pretty good leadership program up there. Is that correct? You still… 

BRETT: Yeah, we've actually, George and I've been working on creating an actual program for it all, so, and I think I stole most of stuff off you back in the day, so… I'm just, there's you and Dave Kovar that are my role models in that kind of development, so…

KEVIN: Thank you! 

BRETT: Yeah, but yeah, no. It's an absolute necessity, if you want to literally be able to run your school like a business, so you're not stuck down in the trenches with everybody every single day. So, it gives you the freedom to actually step outside and kind of get that 30,000 foot view of how the business is running, so you can see where the things that need to be tweaked. 

Like, we just lost one of our best instructors yesterday. She's studying to be a psychologist and – Sam, yeah – so, she's been with us for a long time. But yeah, you know, she wants to be a psychologist – a child psychologist – so, she's been working around kids for a long time. But we've got six kids that are 14 years old ready to jump straight in there. They bawled their eyes out yesterday, but they'll take over her job next week. Yeah, they're going to miss her, but they've learned from her, and following in their footsteps, is another bunch of 10 year olds that want to be them, so… 

KEVIN: Perfect. 

BRETT: Just got to, yeah, you just got to be looking at your bench strength all the time. And then they come from weird directions. 

KEVIN: Correct. 

BRETT: Yeah, someone comes in and they're just got the right personality. Sow the seed early that they've got the right personality to be an instructor, is it something that they'd be interested in down the track. And then might not be another year before you chat to them again, so and then start getting them going in that direction. Yeah, that's it. Yeah, you just got to be on it all the time.

KEVIN: Terrific, no, it's great. I'd like to have a look at that when you got it done, because everyone has a good tweak of something. I just want to qualify something, everyone, if I could. You know, we're talking about people coming in and doing various roles and that, but the most important thing is, I found the quality of our end student, a person that reaches black belt is a lot higher than it used to be, because you have more time to focus on your programs and developing your staff. 

And so, like, we don't mass produce people, I mean, still, four to five years to get to karate black belt, you know, still 8 – 10 years to get your BJJ black belt, still all that stuff's in place, and still has that, you know, quality and that's the key thing. And it allows you, if you're interested in combat sports, you might be able to focus on that. If you're interested in people doing forms, you can focus on that. You might be a member of World Taekwondo, or Karate or Muay Thai or whatever federation and have an active role in that. 

So, you know, having these systems in place, allows you to have a better organization, and a stronger organization, and a much higher quality. I'm not saying that your quality's bad and you're not putting your heart and soul in it, but what I'm saying is, it gives you that opportunity to have that helicopter view of the whole thing. And then when you change your mindset, everything changes in a positive way for you. 

GEORGE: Love that. Just wrapping up on another few minutes, if that's okay with you, Kevin. Just want to check in if there's any other questions. Anyone else got a question for Kevin? Quick one. 

MATT: Hi, Kev, it's Matt here. How are you going? 

KEVIN: Good, thanks, man. 

MATT: You know, just a quick one with your staffing, more as, like COVID and the like, where natural attrition may have found other work elsewhere. Staff retention? Have you found it easy? I mean, I guess where I'm going with the question, you're going to spend so much time upskilling, monetary, time wise, etc. Once you've got them up to a certain level, and they're proficient, have you found there's many that or some that just up and leave and take an offer up better somewhere else? Or they're pretty loyal, or…? 

KEVIN: Well, that's never happened to me, but if it does happen to me, I'll help them set up their location, you know, under my umbrella there, because I don't invest my time in negative energy. They're all negative people. So, I invest my time in positive things. So, there's your question: what are the skills that you can transcend across to other industries? And if they go on and then find a career elsewhere, based on what you've done for them, I find that as a very positive thing, man. 

But staff retention, as I said, we lost a whole bunch because, you know, four went to uni, two moved away for work and two moved away for relationships. It was just like, it all happens, you know, so that happens in any business. And I don't see, you know, when you're investing in something, well, it's a business cost, and that's the way it goes. So, to shorten the answer, you know, if you make it attractive enough for them, and it's a great opportunity, and there's advancement, and there's also the chance for, you know, personal development growth, you find most people just love the job. I mean, I think we're all on here now, because we all like what we do, I hope. Sometimes you want to kill people, but it's okay. 

CHEYNE: Yeah, so Kevin, I've got a quick question, if you don't mind. My name is Cheyne. 

KEVIN: Good day, Cheyne. 

CHEYNE: How do you keep quality control as in every club, every location, teaching the same? 

KEVIN: Sure. That's a really good question, and that's one I've had a lot of times asked to me. And because we have that corporate structure, we have a tier of people who actually, you know, go to each location and make sure the standard is high, with, I use the grading. So, with gradings from your two belts below your black belt or, like, whatever you have, everyone has to grade at one of three camps that we have a year, and that way there is quality control. And if you come, or you send someone into grade, this is the martial arts side, and if they're not up to standard, I don't look at the student, I look straight at you, and everyone else does. 

So, the actual standard has lifted, because it's self-perpetuating, because people don't want to be the guy that sends someone to fail their grading. So, that's the martial arts side. And on the business side, well, you have monthly reports, and you can see growth, and you probably heard it before, statistics, you know, keep tabs on everything. And you can see like, with our marketing, you know, we have various forms that we capture, where people come from, why they come in, how they come in, what they're looking for, and then there's a next level of marketing. 

That's right up George's alley, so I won't go into that. But you know, he's the man for that sort of thing. But just with your staff working for you at an isolated location, they have, we have like a daily report they text in – just a short report – and then they have a weekly report, and then we have a weekly meeting. So, it makes sense. That's for the other locations I own, and the ones that are under license – that's their baby – but they follow exactly the same system. 

CHEYNE: And what about keeping video? How do you make sure that everybody is doing full kata, for example? What do you use to communicate to your mentor?

KEVIN: Yeah, good question. Okay, well, a long time ago, I used to go to a camp and take a notepad and a pen and draw little stick figures, and then they come up with this beautiful thing called a VHS, you know. It was about this big and say video. We've had everything, our whole curriculum online since, I think, 1995; and it's very clear, and it stipulates you can only grade as per the kata and bunkai on the curriculum. So, we have a system where we have a curriculum, and you might go there and go, say, for your brown belt – what have I got to learn, say grading requirements, what kata, and they do that. 

So, they're being taught by their instructor, and then we have senior instructors, who go to the locations and do seminars. So, every location gets a visit from either myself or one of the senior guys, every six weeks or so, and then we get together the three camps per year. So, the quality control is maintained through either using what we call curriculum, and then, you know, there's many, many forms out there, there's some great stuff. Chris Folmar Budocode is a good one, we use a different one. You got your phone there, you can video and send it around. 

So, we're not learning stuff off videos, you need to learn it physically, and then just have the video as a reference tool. So, I just want to make that clear. So, you know, we don't, but if you're already a martial artist, you can pick stuff up, you know. There's a lot of YouTube experts out there, but we're not one of them. Hopefully I've answered your question, Cheyne. 

CHEYNE: Yeah, thanks man. 

GEORGE: Perfect. Alright, guys. Anymore questions? If there's more, probably got time maybe for one more, if there is. 

ZAK: Just a quick one, George. Hi, Kevin. I'm Zak from Perth. 

KEVIN: Good day, Zak. 

ZAK: Just since we're on the staff part – how often do you guys have staff meetings with the full-time staff? Is that a daily thing? You get together once a week, at the start of the week? 

KEVIN: Yeah, sure. So, what we do is our full time staff, if they're in a separate location to where I'm at, they send in a nightly report just to – it's pretty much a format, they just fill in the blanks. It's just like any incidents and that sort of stuff. And then we have a weekly meeting, and the weekly meeting we have, okay, you know, what's happened, what's about to happen. And then we might have once every three weeks, we have a dedicated actual training on a specific area. Then we have physical training for all the instructor staff weekly, they have a set class they have to go to and if they don't attend, you know, three out of the four weeks, then they're put back down further on the roster. So obviously, things crop up, people get sick and all that sort of stuff. So, we keep the quality constantly, you need to have that quality.

ZAK: So, you do physical training once a week, sort of in meetings?

KEVIN: Yeah, they have to train in other classes as well, but just to make sure we got that exact quality control, so you know, keep on. But it's all about ownership, everyone has to own their role. Everyone has to own their class that they teach, and everyone has to own what they're delivering. So, we have everything set. All the classes are set, all the details, topics. So, we take the syllabus, and then we extrapolate that information out into a weekly schedule, and then that weekly schedule, and there's classes that fall in that week.

So, we'll use, say, our karate program. Okay, our focus might be, I can look it up now, but last night, I can tell you what it was, it was focusing on Tai Sabaki, which is body shifting. Okay, so that was the topic. So, that happened in 23 locations last night, everyone was doing that subject. And that way, well, you know, and so when mum comes in and says, “I hear you failed my son,” you know, “he didn't pass the grading – what happened?” you know, and all that sort of stuff. We just say, well, the syllabus was taught over the 12-week period. 

Some locations, we have a grading every 12 weeks, or we have three gradings a year, so we don't have every week or anything like that. So, it's a bit of a backup and allows us to to reference back and say, “Well, this was taught this week”. And over the term, the same subjects taught, I think three times, intermingled over the 12-week cycle. So, that way, you can rest assured that, you know, the child has if they turn up regularly, that's why, and if they don't turn up regularly, they can't grade anyway.

ZAK: So, pretty much, you do three gradings a year, and you repeat this. You do a training session, which goes over probably what two weeks, something like that? Like five different training sessions leading up to that 12-week cycle? 

KEVIN: Yeah, yeah. 

ZAK: Yeah, so, it's easy to monitor when you have locations where you can't be, I guess. 

KEVIN: Look, in the good old days, you just rock in and right it over. When I was on a building site, I used to write it on a bit of gyprock, got to teach kids tonight. That was my class plan. So, you know, I see Lindsay laughing, because it's the way it was, you know, you rock up and you go, “Ah, jeez, grading's coming up, these guys don't know this. Ok, we better do that.” 

So, you know, you can, you know, shoot a shotgun into the trees and hopefully hit something, or you can do a study of where your target's going to be, and set it up and be a little bit more accurate, you know. So, you need to have everything detailed. And it sounds like a lot, but it's not really – it's just what you do. And it's just a matter of structuring it, so people are able to learn what they need to learn to advance correctly. 

ZAK: So, I've got a last question. If it's not personal, give me a range, roughly, would you pay your full-time, like sort of more of the head instructors, not the ones that are on ownership, those that are just working for you guys? 

KEVIN: The guys that, like, run a location or something? 

ZAK: Yeah, probably like a run?

KEVIN: Yeah. So, it depends if, like instructor coordinator, I think in the fitness industry, I think it's 4A, which is about 25-something an hour, and then they get bonuses depending on how long they've been there for and what they contribute. So, that wage will go up markedly depending on their participation and involvement. That make sense? 

ZAK: Yeah. 

KEVIN: And your casuals are about 30 bucks an hour. I think we add up casuals and we have different levels. We have accredited instructors, and non-accredited instructors, and which is a whole other subject for another day. 

ZAK: No worries. Thanks for that, Kevin. 

KEVIN: You're welcome. 

GEORGE: Perfect. Cool. Thanks, Zak! And thank you, Kevin. I think if everyone could just quickly unmute, and just give Kevin a virtual… 

BRETT: We have to unmute for that? 

GEORGE: Keep some, make a noise – come on, man! 

BRETT: Hooray! Thanks, Kevin. Awesome. 

CHEYNE: Thanks, Kevin. Awesome work, man. 

KEVIN: Well, guys, all I'd like to say is, you know, keep doing what you're doing. Fight the hard fight. It's been a tough journey, strong leadership, clear and concise systems, and have goals all the time, you know – where you want to be, how you want to get there, and enjoy the ride. I mean, I wake up every day excited. Okay, you know, what are we going to do today? And how are we going to approach this, and you know, we're always looking to, you know, work towards the next goal. So, thanks for having me on George. And you can reach out through social media, I'm there. If you have any questions, and yeah, so all the best for the future. 

CHEYNE: Thanks, mate. 

GEORGE: Kevin, thank you so much. Thanks so much. Thanks a lot for your time, I really appreciate it. Sorry about the tech issues earlier, but thanks so much – for a change, it's me having all the tech issues! The tech guy has got all the tech issues. 

KEVIN: That's my pleasure. Have a great day, everyone. Take care.

GEORGE: Thanks, Kevin. Cheers.

 

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

1. Join the Martial Arts Media™ community.

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

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

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

3. Work with me and my team privately.

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

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

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

91 – How To Train And Teach Martial Arts With A Disability

Sam Broughton proves that anything is possible and shares how to overcome the challenges of training martial arts with cerebral palsy.

.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • How Sam copes with his limitations and overcomes challenges in training martial arts
  • The common barriers that people with disabilities face when trying out martial arts
  • How martial arts can benefit people who are disabled or have cerebral palsy
  • Sam’s mindset in running a martial arts school in a small town with small population
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

I think a lot of people or almost everyone that walks into a martial arts school has a really good idea of where they would like to be. They also generally know quite well what their limitations are and what things are stopping them to get there. The thing that a lot of people really struggle with is those smaller steps in between. So they know the start point and they know the endpoint, but they're not sure on the thing they should focus on first. 

GEORGE: Cool. Hey, this is George and welcome to another Martial Arts Media Business Podcast. Today, I'm chatting with a good friend of mine, Sam Broughton. Now, fortunately enough, I speak with Sam pretty frequently. He’s part of our Partners program where I work with school owners and help them with their lead generation and marketing and so forth. 

So we chat on a frequent basis, but I really wanted to bring Sam on because he's a wealth of knowledge, lives in a very small town in Port Lincoln, which people say they live in a small town and they can't reach a market. Sam is about to squash that whole idea, as well. And, yeah. We've got some interesting things to chat about. So, hey. Welcome to the call, Sam. 

SAM: Thanks very much, George. 

GEORGE: Cool. So just to kick things off, if you could give us just a bit of a background. Who is Sam? How did you get into martial arts and how did your whole journey evolve? 

SAM: Okay, cool. So as you said, I run a martial arts school here in Port Lincoln. I teach standup self-defence, Muay Thai, and some Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I started martial arts around 20 years ago now, when I was 14 years old, training in stand-up, I was training in Zen Do Kai. I always wanted to do some martial arts, but it was something that I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to do.

Actually, I have a physical disability called cerebral palsy that affects my legs, balance, coordination, that kind of thing. So I was always inspired by martial arts movies, Bruce Lee, the same kind of stuff most people are getting into martial arts for initially, but I just needed to find the right open-minded instructor that was willing to take me on. And from there, I never looked back.

GEORGE: Awesome. Cool. And we'll chat a bit more about that, but I guess just to touch on the business side of things and just for everyone listening, it's Spektrum Martial Arts. Spektrum with a K. I want to backtrack more into your journey, but how do you find running a school in a smaller town? Are there certain challenges that you're aware of or is it just, hey, this is just the way it is and we just do what we do, either way? 

SAM: The obvious challenge, I guess, would be the population density. We've got about 16,000 people in Port Lincoln, itself, and some smaller outlying communities. There's definitely that, as a challenge. But I guess the other thing, too, is less competition we are the only full-time school here.

Initially, I always thought of the population thing as a challenge, but then when I actually looked at the amount of students that I needed and that I envisioned for my business and the actual percent of the population that that was, that made it seem like a more manageable task. 

GEORGE: Okay. So you started martial arts when you were 14. 

SAM: Yep, that's right. 

GEORGE: Okay. Having the disability, cerebral palsy, how did you overcome that to actually take a step? Were there sporting things that you did before you got into martial arts? Or how did you go about that? 

SAM: There were some sports I tried, some team sports in different things, and some of those experiences were good, some not so good. But I think the thing that really kind of pushed me in my childhood to try things was the way I was raised.

I've got a twin brother that I grew up with and an older sister but, especially having a twin brother, he has fully able-bodied so, while he wanted to ride bush bikes and climb trees and do all those normal things, I just kind of followed along behind and just found my own way to do it. 

And my mum, especially, she never really wrapped me up in cotton wool, although she probably wanted to. She never told me I couldn't do anything. She always just encouraged me just to give it a go, modify things where I needed to, and I got pretty good at finding a different way to get the same result. 

GEORGE: All right. So in your experience, what type of challenges did you face just up until before the whole martial arts thing even started? What type of challenges do you face, just on a day to day, just getting through things? And especially from the childhood stage.

SAM: Yeah. I had a bunch of surgeries, corrective surgeries, as a kid. So there was definitely that. Lots of rehabs, learning to walk again, those kinds of things. In and out of the hospital. I had to be very focused and very disciplined working through all my rehabilitation. So that was tough.

Because of those things, I kind of stood out at school because, quite often, I was in a wheelchair. I had plaster or walking stick and those kinds of things. So that was a little bit tricky, always explaining to people what was going on, getting looks from people in the street and all that kind of thing I grew up with. 

And everyone's always asking the question, especially kids who don't necessarily understand, “Oh, what's happening with your legs? How come you walk like that?” All those sorts of things. Most people were just genuinely curious, so I got pretty good at handling that.

And then, obviously, I had a little bit of the more so discrimination, derogatory type things. That was mostly a minimum. I think, too, because I had a pretty tight circle of friends around me, they kept a lot of that out of the way, as well. 

GEORGE: I would just think that would be probably the toughest thing to handle, as a kid. Bullying, as in a big sense, people getting bullied about just simple things. And for you, you actually have a real challenge. It's not like someone's laughing at you, hey, because you've got a booger wiped on your shirt. 

It's not just something happening, an embarrassing moment. You've got a real thing that you've got to deal with every day and you've kind of got to make peace with that it's not really going away. I guess you feel fortunate. You were saying that you had a family that really supported you and so forth. How do you find that people, in general, with your situation, actually deal with that? How do you really overcome all those tougher challenges? 

SAM: Well, for me, I was born like this. It might've been different if I was fully able-bodied and then there was some kind of accident to cause me to be this way, but I was always like this. It was my everyday life, from day one.

So I was used to finding different ways to do things and overcome challenges and things like that. I struggled quite a bit when I was younger, sometimes understanding why people would treat me differently because this was normal for me. It was everything that I'd ever had.

And when people talked about, “Oh, you've got a disability,” or, “You're not the same as everyone else,” that kind of thing, I didn't really understand that as a kid because I was kind of like, “Well, I'm just like you. This is the way that I've always been.”

But then, as I said, on the other side of that, I had a lot of people encouraging me, helping me along, willing to work with me, sometimes modify group activities so I could be included and things like that. So it was definitely a challenge, especially as a kid, but one that I worked hard to overcome.

GEORGE: Yeah. Amazing. So let's walk into the martial arts space. So you built up the courage to start martial arts. How did that then evolve and get going? 

SAM: I was fortunate enough to have a really good instructor from day dot, that was just happy to basically have me along to class and see what I could do. He was really open to just sort of assess me on my own merits and not really rule me out of doing any kind of activity. He was just happy for me to give everything a shot. I've progressed through belt grades and things like that by showing my knowledge in the syllabus and the requirements and demonstrating what I could. 

And I also have become a little bit more advanced, a little bit more experienced and got into helping out with a little bit of teaching of the techniques that I couldn't do, the high kicks and things like that that I couldn't physically demonstrate, he started getting me to teach those to lower-level students to help show that, maybe I couldn't demonstrate the technique physically, but I certainly had the understanding.

But as long as through a combination of being able to physically demonstrate techniques as most people would, but also teach them and show that I had the understanding of the things that I couldn't do, he was always happy to grade me and help me progress in that way. 

GEORGE: Got it. And sorry, what was his name again? 

SAM: Andrew Adriaens was his name. 

GEORGE: Andrew Adriaens. And which school? Just so we give him some credit. 

SAM: He runs a Zen Do Kai school in Port Augusta in South Australia, which is about three and a half hours from where I am now. 

GEORGE: Okay, cool. So you started off in Zen Do Kai and now … What's your main focus in martial arts at this point? Still Zen Do Kai or … I know you also do jiu-jitsu. 

SAM: Yeah. I still teach a lot of stand-up classes. Also do some Muay Thai kickboxing within that, as well. And probably for the last 10 years or so, quite a bit of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. 

GEORGE: All right. So now, we talk about the challenges, but where do you feel you have an advantage? Because I'm sure that there are challenges, but you have to approach things on a whole different level. How do you go about that? 

SAM: Definitely advantage is definitely the area that I've kind of been focused on most of my life. Being born the way I am, I never really had anything kind of taken away. So I didn't really understand what I was missing, but as I got older and definitely got into martial arts, I started to understand how I could use what I had. 

I had quite a lot of upper-body strength from having to push myself around in wheelchairs and pull myself along and use my arms where I couldn't use my legs. So that was definitely an advantage. And anyone that knows me well will also tell you how stubborn I am. I don't give up easily and I think that's really good and productive, having a lot of challenges thrown at you early in life. 

And probably the other thing that I alluded to a little bit earlier is I couldn't just demonstrate techniques and maybe kind of bluff my way through showing understanding like that. I really had to be able to verbalize the technique and be able to explain it in fine details for a student that had no idea what I was talking about or that I couldn't even give a physical demonstration of the technique.

I had to explain those techniques in words, try to get that result of that technique into the student without maybe having to rely on a physical demonstration. So I had to really learn how to break things down and verbalize techniques really, really well. 

GEORGE: I like that. I mean, how do you really go about that? Is it just a really super intense focus of, look, I've got to look at something and I've got to break it down? Do you have a process that you go about? 

SAM: Obviously, I start by looking at the end result of the technique. That's obviously the thing that I need to make happen. And then I sort of try to backtrack and look at what are the working parts of that technique that made that thing happen?

How can I use my arms and sometimes my legs, to some extent, to try to get that same result? So I needed to really understand how a technique actually works to get me from the point I am to the point that I'd like to go to. 

GEORGE: All right. That's with your own training and then with the teaching. Okay. Let's just start with other instructors. If you had to speak to other instructors that had to teach people that are in the same situation as you are, how would you go about actually educating them on how to do that properly? 

SAM: Yeah. I would say, first of all, just be open and take the student as they come. Let them tell you what they think they maybe can and can't do. They've lived with their particular challenge their whole life, so they're very aware of what capabilities they have and also ways that they can modify techniques.

It's really a collaborative effort because, as an instructor, to have a student with a disability, they can't necessarily follow that same path, that same lesson, that same even syllabus, to some degree. 

They're used to using all of their other students. It's really a collaborative effort of, “Okay, usually I would use this technique. Let's see how that would work for you.” You can't quite make that happen but, as an instructor, kind of try to work out where those students strengths are, what they can and can't do, and then use their martial arts knowledge to try to get that student to the same point. 

Like I said before, I think one of the things that everyone focuses on the disability because it's obvious, because you can see it, but it's not until they get to know the person that they start to realize, “Oh, no. Hang on. They've got all these other kinds of extra attributes because they've been through that early in their lives.” 

GEORGE: Do you have anybody that you teach that's in the same situation? 

SAM: Yeah. I've got two students at the moment that have cerebral palsy, a little bit different to my own. I've got one student that has what's called hemiplegia, which is a little bit different to me. My cerebral palsy just affects my legs. His cerebral palsy is down one side, so it's one arm and one leg. He does a lot of jiu-jitsu and some stand-up, as well, so his rips are a lot different. 

His ability to make a fist and fine motor skills with lapels and things like that with jiu-jitsu are a little bit more challenged than most. And his ability in striking is a little bit modified, kicks and things like that. So that's an interesting problem for me as a coach. I've also got a student who actually had sepsis and doesn't have a hand and actually has no feet, as well. So that's a really interesting challenge for me. 

GEORGE: For you, you've had support. Even having the support, it's a tough road to work. Right? Now, let's say you have somebody that inquires about martial arts. Maybe you've got a parent listening to this and the parent doesn't have faith in the child. It's coming from the top, almost, that they just … maybe they feel challenged by the situation, themselves.

They've got a child and they don't know if the child can do this and it's actually fearful for themselves that they're going to create hardship for their child because they're going to put their child in a situation. 

Perhaps, they're not going to cope with it or they're going to have those obstacles. How do you have that mental conversation? How would you have that mental conversation with someone? And let's say, if not that direct, but if someone had to actually walk into the school and they were toying with the idea of martial arts. 

SAM: It's a really interesting conversation because, as I said, every student, every child is different, anyway. And then you're putting disability on top of that. Then you just add that difficulty, add that complexity, but I think it's got to start with an openness from the parent just to allow their child to have a go and just see what they can do because they can get the same things out of martial arts that anyone else can, but obviously their path is going to be a little bit different. 

And I think it's definitely a big mindset challenge on the student's part to understand that there's going to be challenges, there's going to be obstacles. There's no sort of cookie-cutter path that they can follow that's going to lead to sort of X result. If they're willing to put the time in, put the work in, and kind of do that collaborative journey with their instructor, then they can definitely reach the same result and milestone. 

GEORGE: Perfect. And if you had to say that to someone directly in your shoes, what would you say to them if they're having the challenges and thinking, “Oh, could I? Should I? Shouldn't I?” And having those doubts and that resistance? And it's so funny. We have this conversation and I think it's something I could ask almost anyone, right? 

Because a lot of people, before they start martial arts, they've got this … and now it almost feels like this imaginary obstacle. Right? They've got this obstacle that they don't want to start because of XY reason, which is factually so small, in comparison. How would you have that conversation with someone directly, in similar shoes to you? 

SAM: Yeah. Well, we talk a lot about future pacing when we're talking about signups and intros and things like that. And I think a lot of people or almost everyone that walks into a martial arts school has a really good idea of where they would like to be. They also generally know quite well what their limitations are and what the things are that are stopping them to get there.

The thing that a lot of people really struggle with is those smaller steps in between. So they know the start point and they know the endpoint, but they're not sure on the thing they should focus on first. 

And some of the problems, too, or limitations that they might have might seem quite big and they don't know how to tackle them. They don't know what small steps that they need to focus on. So I think that's really important. Creating a start point and an endpoint, but a lot of small steps, as many as that student needs, in order to be able to sort of make that journey. 

GEORGE: Because again, it's not a cookie-cutter approach, but if you had to think of one or two situations where you could install confidence quickly … somebody starts and you've painted this future pace and you've painted this journey that this will be where you want to go, this is how we want to go, is there something that you can do that's the quickest confidence-builder in that situation to install some confidence to move forward? 

SAM: Yeah. Most definitely. I would say, definitely focus on what you can do and not what you can't do. And often when you do that, some of those things that you can't do, I've found those problems kind of solve themselves or you find ways around them quite easily. And I think jiu-jitsu, for me, has been a massive example of that. There are tons of tons and techniques when I started as a white belt that seemed like I'd never been able to do them or lack of motor skills or flexibility, things like that. 

And of course, a lot of people have that in jiu-jitsu because, a lot of the movements, they're quite foreign and they're not relatable to things that we do as humans in everyday life. It was a little extra for me and it was a lot of techniques that I just kind of ruled out from day one, like, “I won't know how to do that, I won't know how to do that.” 

Now, with 10 years’ experience and a purple belt, finding other ways to do those techniques is something that I actually really enjoy and something that I'm bringing a lot of stuff into my game now that I never thought that I'd be able to do when I stepped on the mat as a white belt on day one. So if you give it a little bit of time and you build up that little bit of experience and knowledge, then you become almost like your own coach, to some degree, because you know your own body and you also know a little bit about the martial art, you know a little bit about the system. You can start to develop those techniques and then run them back through your instructor as a little bit of a filter. 

GEORGE: Got you. Now, you still Zen Do Kai and jiu-jitsu, right? So I know you're teaching both. And you're still actively training both? 

SAM: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. 

GEORGE: Okay. So it's on the jiu-jitsu side, who's helping you with that journey, at the moment? 

SAM: My jiu-jitsu instructor is John Will. I don't think I could've chosen a better jiu-jitsu coach for myself, personally, because he's been 100% invested, 100% willing to do this journey side by side with me. He enjoys actually kind of solving the problem that me and my disability kind of present.

As a coach, he's really into that. He's really into finding ways to get those same results for me as he would for any other student. That's definitely something that he's taught me, as well, to have that kind of mental, analytical-type approach, really look at breaking a technique down into its working parts and really try to understand what's happening and re-engineer or reverse engineer the technique to fit me. 

GEORGE: Awesome. And I know, because the other day just before we jumped on a call, you were actually chatting to John by Skype. So with you being in a different location, I take it you travel a lot, but is there also a lot of things that you really, in your case, break down just on Skype chats and things like that? 

SAM: Yeah. Luckily for me, John Will, he's made himself super accessible for me. I travel over to Geelong to train with him, face to face, quite often to train with the students at his school. They're always great. They really look after me when I go over there.

But we also do a Skype lesson every fortnight, which is ultra-cool. He'll be on the other side of the camera explaining techniques, breaking them down and coaching me through them. I'll be on the mat with a training partner and working through those techniques.

Sometimes, he'll have a partner on his end and I'll be watching a physical demonstration and following the verbal instructions, as well. And other times, he'll quite literally just be basically on his couch in his lounge room talking me through the techniques, step, by step, by step. And it's just that he knows me well enough as a student to know what I'm able to physically do and he knows his techniques inside out. He can talk me through exactly what I need to do to make those techniques happen. 

And even sometimes, I'll say to him, “Oh, I've got an idea about this technique. Can I show you?” And we'll break the technique down and look at the pros and cons of what I've kind of thought of or come across to do in a given situation. And he'll do the same. Sometimes he'll say, “Oh, I've got this technique that might be really good for you. Let's try it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't quite work, but we always end up with something we can take away from it. 

GEORGE: Fascinating stuff. Okay, awesome. Sam, it's so great to really speak to you on this level and getting to know your real story, how you've evolved and got into the whole martial arts journey. Before we wrap things up, you're running a really successful school, Spektrum Martial Arts. You're doing really great things. What's known as a, as you said, there are 16,000 people in the town. Any advice you would give to someone in that same situation that's running a small school in a small town or a smaller market? 

SAM: There are definitely advantages with word of mouth, with being known in the community on a face-to-face kind of basis. It's probably much easier in a small community to build up a little bit more of a public kind of a profile than maybe it would be in a larger community. And I think, focus on your strengths and focus on how you can maybe diversify what you offer a little bit.

Obviously, as I said, we have three different martial arts styles, so that was part of the reason that I decided to branch out from just doing stand-up to start doing some jiu-jitsu, as well, just to cater for that market. It made it a little bit easier for me to open a school and kind of cater for a more varied kind of a population than if I maybe just did just the one martial arts style. 

Be realistic about the kind of numbers that you're going to get, but also understand that … and this is one thing that we did early on that was really good for me with you, George. I worked out that, to have my goal number of students at my school, that was only 2.3% of the population of all of Port Lincoln.

So 16,000 seems like a really small ball to work with in terms of marketing and the student base and things like that, your total number that you'd be happy with, with your school pumping and you work out that it's only 2.3% of the population, it makes it seem much more doable. 

GEORGE: Yeah. Love it. Awesome. Hey, Sam, thanks for much for being on. If anybody wants to reach out, have a chat either about your school does this, getting started, if someone's listening in Port Lincoln or somebody that has a disability and got this mental challenge of do I start, how do I go about it? If somebody wants to reach out to you, what's the best way to do that? 

SAM: I'm more than happy to help anyone wherever I can. They can either look me up on Facebook, Sam Broughton on Facebook or feel free to message me on my school's page, Spektrum Martial Arts. 

GEORGE: Sam, thanks so much for being on. I'll speak to you soon. 

SAM: Thank you, George.

 

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

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

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

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

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

3. Work with me and my team privately.

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

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

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

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

67 – And Still… The No.1 Martial Arts Marketing Mistake

How to avoid the biggest marketing mistake that martial arts school owners make when advertising online.

.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Matching your message for the right platform.
  • If this one thing doesn’t work, your ads won’t work.
  • The ‘kitchen sink’.
  • The real reason why you need to simplify your sales funnel.
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

The first thing that you really, really need to get down to is, how do you structure the offer, how do you get an offer to convert? Because if the offer converts, everything else is going to work.

Hey, this is George. And I quickly want to talk about how to avoid the one biggest marketing mistake that comes up quite often when I speak to martial arts school owners.

So just a bit of context: I'm in New Zealand right now, just on a bit of a family vacation. And we've got this awesome view and the weather’s been up and down, but today it's just such a perfect day on the lake here in Hamilton, so I just wanted to get that on video.

So here's what happens, right? So we've got a program in the Martial Arts Media Academy, where we help school owners with all areas of marketing. When it comes to emailing, Facebook, Google, etc. And where the problem came, was trying to mix too many of the same strategies.

So, here's what happened: one of our members had been trying to get their Facebook ad to really work. And we've got an email structure that sends out… basically, we structure emails that go out to your prospects. They're structured over about two weeks and it basically helps build a relationship with your prospects while you're not there.

And so when doing email, you follow certain…there's certain things you can do, right? There's a certain way you can speak, there's a certain way that you can format your message. And the first message that goes out, we call it ““the kitchen sink,”” because it's everything in the kitchen sink, right? It's telling the prospect everything they need to know about you.

And so where the confusion came in, was trying to actually use this strategy, because our member got such good results with this one email, he decided it would be a good idea to put that on a Facebook ad. But the problem was that the email, it sends people to… it's in a whole different position, right?

The person is already a lead, they're already a prospect, the relationship has already started, and now they get this email that sends them to YouTube, that sends them to everything that they can learn and know about them and then martial arts school, right?

So when you use this on a Facebook ad, of course, that's kind of suicidal, because you're sending people to all these different locations. And by sending them to all these different locations, you’ve got no way to ever know if it works, or not. And my exact answer was, let’s say this ad works – awesome. You get a good result. That would be great, but let’s say you run it again and it doesn't work?

Then there's no way for you to know why, because there were just too many variables, right? People went to YouTube, people went here, people went here, people went here… so that creates a lot of confusion and……not a confusion so much, but there's no way for you to actually scale and improve that type of ad.

So here's what the biggest mistake is: the biggest mistake is trying to do too many things too soon and sending people to too many directions too soon. So when you create an ad and-  it's a very common thing, but just have people do the one, simplest thing that's going to start the conversation with them. How can you make it easy for them to raise their hand and do something?

And sometimes that's just a comment, sometimes that's sending a message. Because here's the thing, right: if you’’ve never run a Facebook ad and you’’ve never gotten anybody to respond, so you never got a conversion on your Facebook ad, then nothing else is going to work, right?

So the first thing that you really, really need to get down to is, how do you structure the offer, how do you get an offer to convert? Because if the offer converts, everything else is going to work. So if the person is going to respond to your offer, then you can start looking at, OK: how do I make this landing page better? How do I make this message better? But on the frontend, you’’ve got to get the offer to convert.

I hope that helps. If it helps in some way, then leave me a comment below, or yeah – I’ll see you in the next video. Cheers!

 

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

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

66 – The Hard Way Vs The Easy(re) Way

Every martial arts business has its challenges. If there was one ‘shortcut' to success, this would be it.

.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The real ‘shortcut’ to martial arts business success
  • The easy and hard ways of marketing your martial arts school
  • Why you should invest in these marketing strategies
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

If you're struggling with something and need help, then why don't you just get help from someone who has done it before, made all the mistakes and shortcut all that learning? All the mistakes that they made, you can bypass that and get the result faster.

Hey, George here. Just walking back from a trip, we were just at Mount Ruapehu, if I've said that right. You can probably see it, it's sort of in the background there. Yeah, the snowy mountains, pretty awesome scenery here in New Zealand. Pretty cold, when you're used to the hot weather in Perth.

I was reminded today, there's the easy way to do things and a hard way. So today was the first day I took up snowboarding and because I’ve surfed before, I always thought, oh, this is going to be so easy. So I thought, you know what, why not give it a shot? Why not I go and try snowboarding, without lessons and just go do it, right? And the outcome was pretty… interesting.

So, yeah, I ate a lot of snow, falling down and, yeah, it was an interesting affair. And it reminded me that there's always the easy way to do things or the hard way. Just like before I started helping martial arts school owners with digital marketing stuff. I took the hard way, I tried to learn everything myself, without any help.

So just going by mistake, mistake, mistake, mistake, spending a lot of money, wasting a lot of money and it's just a long process, which can be really frustrating, right?

If you're trying to learn something and you don’t have any help, then you try everything, you do everything. It doesn't make sense and you think you’re going to save money by not spending money on a  course or trying to get advice or coaching. So you go the long road, the long route.

And you try and fumble through things by yourself. And it can be really frustrating and it can take a long time and I guess that’s why a lot of people also stop doing what it is they were trying to achieve because it's just too hard.

So, yeah, when you go that route, it's always, it just takes a lot longer and it's a lot more frustrating. And I guess that’s just with everything, right? Like, with your marketing, marketing your business with your martial arts, you can try to fumble through things, try and take shortcuts, or just get help.

Get help from someone who’s done it before, who’s tried things, who has invested in some knowledge and gotten good results, obviously. You can’t just follow someone that invested in good marketing, or good coaching or something, because if they didn't get results yet themselves, then how can they teach you to get a result?

So I guess I just thought I’d shoot this video, the real message I want to get across is: if you're struggling with something and need help, then why don't you just get help from someone who has done it before, made all the mistakes and shortcut all that learning. All the mistakes that they made, you can bypass that and get the result faster.

Hope that helps in some way. I’m going to go into that spot over there, which is nice and warm and get myself a nice drink. Cheers!

 

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

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

65 – How To Stop Bullying In Schools With Martial Arts – Terrence Fernandez

The fight against bullying is an ongoing topic in the martial arts community. Terrence Fernandez shares how martial arts helped him go from a bullying victim to Commonwealth Championships and successfully running 6 martial arts schools.

.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How martial arts can help kids deal with bullying.
  • The anti-bullying efforts in martial arts schools.
  • The psychological and societal effects of bullying.
  • Martial arts vs. team sports.
  • The skills that martial arts teach you.
  • And more.

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

TRANSCRIPTION

I've been pushed around and grabbed before, but I never did anything. This was the first time I stopped and fought back. So it got to the point where I was in front of the canteen and I got put against the wall and exchanges happened and I don't know any boxing, so pretty much got bashed a bit first. And then I responded with a roundhouse kick to the head. And after that, the fight stopped. The person I was fighting, after the roundhouse kick to the head, stopped. And it was just a big shock, it was a shock to everyone around me, but more importantly, it was a shock to me. It was a shock to me that I finally overcame that choking feeling.

GEORGE: Good day, this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. So I have a guest with me today, Terrence Fernandez and I was at The Main Event in Sydney, just a couple of weeks back and we sparked this conversation about the topic of bullying. And something I really wanted to speak to Terrence about, something he’s really passionate about, something he went through as a child, but then there's also things that I don't want to neglect, as a Martial Arts Media business podcast, that he's got six locations, just opened his first location internationally and opening another three next year.

So there's lots of value to this share on the business side, but we’re probably going to start more and talk about the bullying aspect, a topic that's always hot within the martial arts community. And, yeah, as always, we’re going to see where this conversation goes. So welcome to the show, Terrence.

TERRENCE: Yeah, thank you, thank you for having me.

GEORGE: Alright, awesome. So as always, let's just start from the beginning; a bit of background from you, who is Terrence?

TERRENCE: Yeah, I'm from Sydney Australia, and the sport that I do is Taekwondo. And my club is called Martial Arts Spirit, but basically, I was your average martial arts student, I was just trying to find a place to belong. And you know I tried that through group sports, like soccer and basketball and things like that, before I got enrolled into Taekwondo. And I didn’t quite find it in group sports I think, with group sports, there's a bit of pressure involved, and you're expected to perform, to achieve the goal of the team, whether it’s winning a match, or whatnot, winning the season.

And because I already lacked in confidence and I wasn’t really good at any skills or coordination, being put into that team environment, I felt like I was letting the team down. And through that, I experienced some bullying in the team as well. Remember, I was playing for a soccer team, and I didn't know anything about soccer. Don't know the rules, my family doesn't’ know anything about soccer, soccer was just running around a field, kicking a ball. And you know, I think I was probably about 7 or 8 and I still remember the Saturday game, when I was constantly offside and not knowing the rules.

The team were getting really angry with me, and their parents, the parents on the sidelines, were getting really frustrated with me, because I didn't’ know what I was doing and I started getting names. I was the only Asian person on the team. And it got to the point where I’d come to training and just really be outcasted and isolated and I used to get spat on by my own team. As a kid, it's quite a lot to deal with, especially when the first reason of trying to do a sport is to actually find a place to belong. So after that, I just got scarred from team sports and that's when my parents enrolled me into martial arts.

GEORGE: And how old were you when this was happening Terrence?

TERRENCE: About 6 years old, and I got enrolled into martial arts when I was about 7. Yeah, so I think something very, very important that everyone needs to be aware of is, bullying, it doesn’t really matter how small or how big the scale is, the end of it, you know, psychologically, can impact long term. So you know, there are quite a few things that I remember as a kid in primary school and in high school, that I think about constantly.

And even though I'm a completely different person, there are still memories and I still remember the feeling of what it felt like to be in those scenarios. And that's why we’re here today, because there are so many people, so many kids, and so many people in the workforce. Bullying is just a massive thing that isn't slowing down. And I think it’s really important that we get the message out there, as to how to deal with these situations.

GEORGE: For sure, it's kind of counterintuitive right? Because, when you think about it, a team sport is there to build that team camaraderie and unity and everything. But then obviously, there's going to be a point where not everybody is going to be at that unit. So where it’s super beneficial for people that are in the crowd and trying to do that, but I mean, what do you do when that's not your personality perhaps? Or that's not your skillset? So you tried, you might have kids, and especially in a school environment, you’ve got kids that are maybe super passionate about the sport and trying it and here you re, and you're trying to trick your way into this group. And you’ve got this thing, I want to be as cool as them, but then you just get shut out.

TERRENCE: And I think that's the beautiful thing about martial arts as a sport – not being biased at all. But with team sports, you automatically get put into that competition side of the sport, where you're preparing for a competition, the outcome of the competition is to have fun – yes, it is to have fun, but the end result of that competition is to win the game. The point of, say for example, soccer, is to score more goals than the other team. That's the goal and that's what you're trying to achieve as a team, right?

With martial arts, the beautiful thing about martial arts is, there are so many different avenues. For example, Taekwondo – you can come in as a white belt and… you’re… why I related so well to martial arts was, it’s an individual sport, so I can focus on my own pace, building up the skills needed to achieve the next level. I can go at my own pace and I'm not expected to be going as fast as everyone else. All right? You still get the support of a team, which is your club, you build up the social skills, you have support from your other belts at a beginner level, you do it together and the support of your instructor, and as we all know, a martial arts instructor is completely different to a volunteer coach in a sports team, you know?

Martial arts instructor goes well beyond their service of just teaching a kid how to punch or kick. They're a role model, they help them build up that confidence to get through life, you know? And that’s our role as instructors, not just teach martial arts, but to help shape them into a good leader in society. So with martial arts, with Taekwondo, you’ve got that option to just do the traditional side, where you can go at your own pace and focus on building yourself up. And then, if you are that competitive person, like you have in basketball or soccer, where they want to take that next step, all martial arts offer that.

They have their traditional side and they have their sports side, where you go into competitions, whether it’s pattern, or sparring, or XMA – you’ve got that whole side and there something for everyone. So for some kids that like to do sparring, they’ve got that sparring side. For kids that love to just concentrate and have that perfection type of mindset, they’ve got their forms. And for the kids that love to be fancy and really test their body to the limits, you’ve got that XMA. So that's the beautiful thing about martial arts: it covers everything. It covers that personal growth that they might just want to focus on. Or if they really want to challenge themselves, they can go as far as the Olympic Games.

So for me, how that related to me was, I didn't like the pressure from team sports and I just loved the traditional side of martial arts. But then, as I gained more confidence and I started to realize more about myself, learned more about what I sought from, like I actually have skills, I have something in me, some drive. I started pursuing the sport Taekwondo side and tried to represent my country in the commonwealth games. And just wanted to learn more about myself. And through that, through that journey of discovering myself and realizing the drive and motivation I actually have in me, that mindset, that strong mindset that martial arts taught me, then transmitted to business. So, you know, and that's a beautiful thing. The skills that martial arts teach you, the perseverance, the concentration – all of those are transferable into everyday life.

So, I'm not being biased to martial arts, but compared to other sports, martial arts is just awesome, especially for those kids who are really trying to find themselves and that might lack in confidence, because they don't feel like they're up to everyone else’s standard – martial arts is just beautiful for that.

GEORGE: So let's go back to, you were 6-7 years old. Being bullied, I guess we should ask: why do you think people are bullies?

TERRENCE: That's a very good question and something that I think the answer needs to be educated more to parents. So for me, we've been teaching martial arts a lot now and we've also got a program that is implemented in a lot of preschools around New South Wales and South Australia. It's a preschool program where we teach kids martial arts in preschool. The reason why we stared that was because I found that bullying starts as early as preschool. So we see it every day in preschools and the more preschools we started teaching and then talking to my kids that are in primary school and in high school and in the workforce, kind of see similar traits across all ages, as to the bully, why they bully, and the target, why they target it. So before we go on to the target, let’s talk about the bully, OK?

A bully, why do they bully? They bully because they feel that they need to have that superiority over someone that makes them feel safe, makes them feel that they can’t be touched, OK? So the bully, the reason why they bully is because of a lot of insecurities that they may have, which could have been caused through their own life journey. You find a lot of people that used to get bullied; they then become a bully if they're not guided in the right way, OK? For example, if a kid is abused at home and they've got all of this anger and frustration, they need an outlet and they feel that that outlet is to put others down so that they can feel better about themselves. So yeah, they have a lot of insecurities and they want to feel like they belong.

So how they do that is, they try to humiliate someone else to show everyone else that they're tough, that they're powerful. But really, deep down inside, they're actually just trying to belong and trying to make them still feel equal or better than everyone else. And unfortunately, for them to feel that, they need to find a target.

Now, when they look for a target, they look for someone who they know isn't going to challenge them, that they know they can psychologically defeat, to avoid anything physical, so they know that they can defeat them psychologically and they know they're not even going to challenge them physically and it’s someone that they know they can isolate. So someone that they know doesn't have a strong support network around them, so friends for example, who aren't going to stand up for that person. And when they find that target, that's when they pounce.

So you ask why do people get bullied? They get bullied because they get found as a target, they lack in confidence, they don't know how to voice their opinion, they don't have a support network around them, so a good, solemn friendship base, or a network of people. And slowly, as their targeted to get bullied, these low attributes that they have, then start spiraling into other things, like their confidence drops even more, if they didn't know how to express something before, when they get bullied, they dive into a shell and they start holding everything inside even more.

So they don't speak about their problems to their parents, or to their friends, or to their school counselor or anything like that, because they already had that weak attribute to begin with, you know? Of not being able to express themselves. When someone is bullying them, it really kills me inside, because usually the targets that are getting bullied, they're such beautiful people, who don't want to bother people, who don't want to put any burden on other people. And because of this beautiful heart that they have, they take it upon them to hold it to themselves and to just bury it inside. And slowly, slowly, the more that they do this, it kills them. It kills them, slowly, slowly, and then sometimes, unfortunately, it gets too much for them, and they break.

And you know, I know I'm being very straightforward with delivering this message, but, when it comes to bullying, we can’t really just put it under the rug and think that it’s going to go away, like what school teachers or bosses at the workforce do, they think, yeah, it will be alright, they will tell the kid to stop doing it. They say they're sorry, shake hands, and then they forget about it. But it doesn't happen like that. The more that the situation goes on, the target, the more that these problems keep hitting them in the face.

Two things will happen: one, they will either snap and really deal with their problem front on and say, enough is enough, or two, they're just going to keep burying it inside and it will destroy them as a person. And we’ve seen countless times how many people take their life because of bullying. And this is just because they’ve reached the end of their road and they haven’t been able to express themselves and it just built up, built up, built up and because they don't have the knowledge of what to do or they don't have the support network around them, they give up. And this is something that we don't want, for anyone. So that's why we’re here today, to try to educate people more about bullying.

GEORGE: Yes. I've got a few questions, just from that. Firstly, I just want to mention, I've recently gone through, I guess I’m a lot more attentive to it now, because, my son is 12 years old at this point in time. Recently got into the same type of situation, a bullying situation at school. And he’s been doing martial arts for 7 years, he’s a smaller kid, really, as you say, just a beautiful heart, nice kid. And although he can put me down when he wants to, even in a play situation, he can take me down. But in a bullying situation, he was almost crippled. He didn't’ want to defend himself, he got caught in a headlock and he was almost more fearful of the consequences of getting suspended in school, which put me in a bit of a situation and we've got a business group for martial arts school owners on Facebook.

And I posted a question; does martial art really help against bullying? Obviously just, the question was more spurred with frustration, but it did spark a really, really good conversation and martial arts school owners chipping in and really talking about their experiences with it, frustration with the system of how you go about combating the bullying. Because it's almost like the bully is more protected than the victim.

And that's something I said to the teacher as well, hang on, there's a bit of a double standard here. My son is fearful of the fact that, if he had to defend himself, he’’ll get suspended, but you’ve got a bully that's allowed to bully and I'm getting these vague messages, there's consequences. And I'm like, but what are those consequences? Is it a slap on the wrist, because if I had to do this in workspace and if I had to go do this in public, that's a criminal offense. And I’d get charged for that. So how come that's not… where's the consequences in school? Where do you actually combat that at such a high level?

TERRENCE: Yeah well, I can relate to that story really well. In primary school, because of my lack in confidence and not knowing who I am, I had not friends. I was a kid in school, this is around year 8, OK? So picture primary school, walk around the playground trying to kill time, because for lunch, I know my routine, just walk around the school to kill time and the thing about being a victim is, you always care what people think of you. So when I’d walk and be cautious about how I walk, do I look funny when I walk and so on. So I was really outcasted, right?

In high school, I tried to make that change of, I need to make it a point to hang out with the popular kids. And I made it a point to hang out with the popular kids and then, when it came to lunchtime, they would be walking around school, picking on targets to bully. So then when that happened, I was like, no way. This is not me, I can’t be this. So I hanged out, I felt sorry for the kids they were bullying and I told them to back off and leave them alone. And I started hanging out with those kids, which later, I will tell you about later, they were my first students. But yeah, I hanged out with those kids and it made me the biggest target.

So even in high school, I was walking around and my usual high school lunch then became walking around the school again, like it was in primary school. And I became the biggest target. When I say the biggest target, the bullies stopped focusing on anyone else and would just focus on me. And it was things from, come to my locker, my locker is being broken into, or, my books are in the bin, dumb texts on my chair. I was just walking around the school feeling so much anxiety and having to know that, next period I have English. I have this bully, this bully, this bully in the class. As soon as I get out of the class, I've got to find out where they're sitting and think about where I'm going to sit to avoid that situation. It got to the point where you have to really gather up so much energy just to get yourself to school.

So the point I'm trying to make is, I dealt with all of this buildup inside for so long and even though I knew I was a black belt in Taekwondo, because I didn't’ have that confidence it gave them more reason to put it on me, because they knew I wasn't’ going to challenge them. And the reason why I didn't’ challenge is lacking confidence, even though I could just spiral and kick their head and all this type of stuff, you have that choking feeling, when you're confronted outside of your dojo premises. Because in a dojo, you understand the rules of the game, you understand that it’s a safe environment that nothing is going to go wrong.

But then when you take out yourself, and you put yourself in a public environment and you've got everyone looking and challenging you, you're trying to battle with your own insecurities and the pressure again. You know that pressure that I was talking about before? You're then faced with that again in a school environment and thinking of what everyone thinks of you and you’ve just got these bullies in your face and you're constantly having to deal with psychologically, every day, you know? It’s all those different factors that get in your face, you choke. You don't remember what you're taught in the dojo, you don't remember the skills. All you remember are your insecurities. All you remember is how much you just don't want to be there, how you just want to run and how you just want to avoid and that's what it comes back to. And that's what causes the victim to just choke and bury themselves.

And I remember one specific scenario which led to the next turning point in my life, complete turning point in my life, which relates to your question: I went on a music excursion, going to the city. And these bullies were at the back of the bus. And when I came into the bus, there were no seats, except at the back. So I had to sit there and minded my own business. And then, someone had a whole bunch of lollies. And they just started throwing lollies at each other around the bus, right? And then suddenly, I was the target, so six of those guys at the back and they were just all throwing, one by one, lollies at me.

And you know, me being the kid I am, I just tried to pretend that the problem was going to go away and just hope that it’s going to go away, which the victims will think. It didn't’, so that bully behind me had chewing gum and he put chewing gum in my hair without me realizing. I knew he was doing something, but I just didn't’ want to aggravate the situation. So I just left it, but I didn't know it was actual chewing gum he was putting in my hair. And then when I found out, and I touched my hair, I broke down. And as a boy in high school, breaking down, just completely breaking down, tears and everything, it’s destroying, it destroys you, OK? Because you’re trying to hold on to some dignity and at that point, you just know that it just killed you. You're just lost.

So I tried to get it out of my hair when I went back home, but I couldn't. So I had to go to the hairdresser and I had to shave my head. So after that, my brothers were a lot younger, so I had no one to really talk to at that point. And I didn't talk to my parents, they didn't know anything that was happening and it just got too much for me. And that point was breaking point for me. I wanted to end life and I just had no more energy to build up to go to school. I was already facing this thing of having to go to school and face them and now I have to go to school again and everyone laugh at me, because I got my head shaved and they know what happened to me and I just didn't want to face that.

So before I actually executed what I planned, my parents knew that I was acting weird and they came in my room and out of frustration I told them what I wanted to do. And from there, they knew that something was wrong. So they took me to counselors and with counseling, I didn't’ quite get anything out of it, because as I started to speak up, as I got comfortable and spoke up and broke down, I think it was the first time that I realized that my problems weren't just at school; it was at home as well, I had a very negative relationship with my dad and all of that pressure that he was putting on me and psychological damage that I was getting at home as well, was adding a lot to my stress and to my anxiety. So obviously, when I started to open up about that, my dad stopped sending me to the counselor. So that avenue got cut from me and I had to deal with it again.

So about two weeks later, I went back to school and I had the courage to go back to school, and like usual at lunch time, if they found me, they would go at me. And I snapped, it got to the point where I reached the end of my road. I had no more options and I snapped. So I had a physical fight for the first time in my life. You know, I've been pushed around and grabbed before, but I never did anything. This was the first time I stepped and fought back. So it got to the point where I was in front of the canteen and I got put against the wall and exchanges happened and I don't know any boxing so pretty much got bashed a bit first. And then I responded with a roundhouse kick to the head. And after that, the fight stopped. The person I was fighting, after the roundhouse kick to the head, stopped.

And there was just a big shock. It was a shock to everyone around me, but more importantly, it was a shock to me. It was a shock to me that I finally overcame that choking feeling. I finally overcame that feeling of being suppressed, you know? Just the pressure and all the problems just being suppressed and I finally just let go. And my training – I was already representing Australia at that time, all that training just suddenly turned into that environment where I felt relaxed and I felt responsive and I knew the surroundings around me, all that training that you do, that suddenly came into play. After that roundhouse, I was like, hang on a second, this is just like sparring. This is just like the gym; this is just like that game.

And after I kicked him and the fight stopped, funny enough, I got suspended. I got suspended from school and that family tried to charge me with assault. So the good thing was, that I already had a track record at the school. I always reported when I was getting bullied. My parents always stepped in, which didn't help the matter. It made things worse sometimes. But the school had a record; the school had a record of all the times I was being victimized. And when it came to this where I actually did defend myself, because of that record, the parents… they didn't congratulate me, but they were proud of me. And everyone was, I was surprised to come home and my parents were actually proud of me that I kicked someone in the face. Like, and I couldn't understand that, I'm like, I was so scared to come home and tell them that I got suspended. I got in trouble, but they actually high-fived me, not because I kicked someone in the head, but because I was able to face my fears, you know? And overcome that obstacle.

And from that day, from that day onwards, my life changed completely, completely. The next day I went to school and I went from being no one, from walking around the school, trying to avoid people, to people coming up to me and saying, oh, I heard about the fight, what not. And it was just a sign of relief for me that it was all over. From that point on, it was all over. That group, they didn't come after me again, because they knew that I would challenge now, that I will stand my ground and that I had confidence in myself now and I realized the abilities I have. And that if I'm pushed into a corner, I won’t bark, I will bite. So it stopped from there, if one of them started, another one would tease the bully, they would say, oh don, he’ll kick you in the head. So from there, it just changed. It was a domino effect that changed my whole life, that one day.

GEORGE: And how old were you then?

TERRENCE: Where?

GEORGE: At that time, how old were you then, when that incident happened?

TERRENCE: I was in year 8, it was term two in year 8, so probably about 13-14 maybe. So a little bit younger than your own son.

GEORGE: Yeah. So seven years so, that's a fascinating story.

TERRENCE: It takes a long time, it takes a long time. It’s not… the matter can be changed (snaps fingers) like that, the bullying situation can be changed like that, but the journey to get there takes a long time. It’s about finding yourself, it’s about being comfortable with who you are, believing in yourself and in a situation of self-defense, learning the skills on how to defend yourself. And martial art does help against bullying in all those ways. Your confidence gets built up, you as a person, your character and how to deliver your message.

They give you all the skills, they give you the skill of how to defend yourself and they give you all that character development; but, just like a coach would tell their student, they can tell you what to do, but unless they do it for themselves, you don't get the result that you want. And that journey of learning how to believe in yourself and how to defend yourself in that scenario, that's an individual process and depending on the individual, it can take years like it did with me, 7 years, or it could take a month. So it’s just about the individual and how fast that person sees or discovers who they are.

GEORGE: Yeah, it’s so interesting for me, because I'm always about the mind and how the mind works. And things that you said earlier of how things have affected you from being a kid to later, and you sometimes, as you evolve as a person, you start questioning things that you're doing, but I get angry at this, or I get frustrated with this. And when you peel the layers back, it’s belief systems that you've set up, it’s either just out of a habit, or out of fear of a situation and that sort of shapes the way you go through life.

And you know, you're talking about the time it took; I think, something I heard this week on a training, talking about:  motivation runs out, but if you have the habit and the discipline, the discipline will keep you going. No matter, where the motivation is, because you're going to find that training sucks, and you're going to find that this sucks, but if you've got the discipline to push through, then that's what's going to keep you going.

And I think that's so important, because like you've said and like I've seen with my son as well, he's got all the world’s training and he can’t use it. It’s just, it’s crossing that line of, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to be this person. I've got my insecurities about all that, to that point of, I snap and – that's it. I’m not putting up with it anymore, I'm crossing that line.

And that was really what my question was about in the martial arts group. Does martial art really help in bullying, because it gives you all the tools and everything, but then, that real life situation is something you cannot really prepare for. Because, I mean, you can have 5 or 10 of your instructors pin you down in a corner, they're still an element of trust in your mind, whereas, I know my first bullying situation, and growing up in South Africa, it was probably completely different, because I was with a friend on a jetty, fishing and I had an older kid look at me and said, you – and this is the type of people they were, he said, “I'm going to cut your throat and I'm waiting.”

And he stood waiting. And I remember that element of fear like, this is someone that would do it. He would do it, just because he didn't like me or whatever, whatever the case was. But I just remember that element of fear that there's this realness of a situation, where you can’t prepare for that. Because even in the dojo, you can prepare physically, but that mental pressure of, I'm really in danger, like, this is life or death. How do you prepare for that?

TERRENCE: So, it’s interesting that you say that. You use that example of that guy; could you actually try to understand the upbringing person of that kid? I mean, for him to have that type of person, can you imagine what that person has actually gone through to get to that stage? So, I think, with us, if we learn how to deal with that situation right there, if you take a step back and as a parent, or as an instructor, or a friend, you can kind of see a lot of flags before that even happens, you know? How old were you when that happened?

GEORGE: I was probably about… I think I was about 8 years old, 8-9 years old.

TERRENCE: And how old was he?

GEORGE: He was probably in his early teens. The funny thing is, I had… a kid that used to hang out at the jetty, and was probably the scummiest, roughest kid ever. And he looked at me, and he said, don't worry, I've got you. And he walked with me off the jetty, walked past that guy, he got on his bike, and he cycled home with me. It was a big lesson in life, you know, I looked at this one kid that I thought was just the scruffiest, scummiest kid ever and he walked with me and cycled home with me. It was just, now that I think back on it; it was a multifaceted experience in that way.

TERRENCE: Isn't it crazy how you still remember it and how it still damages you psychologically? You still remember that fear, you still remember that isolation, you still remember that choking feeling. And that's what I was talking about before. To go back to your question, if you look at that teenager, it expands what I was saying before, about the need to feel superior, to dominate over someone to make them feel better, and you being old as you are, 8, and him, just a teenager, he knew that you're an easy target. And unfortunately, something like that, it’s a very difficult thing to deal with.

Lucky for you, you weren't alone, so I think you not being alone definitely helped. And your friend, that scruffy friend you were talking about – that's what we want to build in society, people like that. People like that, that will help build that support network, you know? Having that strong link next to you, whether it is yourself that is the strong link, your friend, you know? And that's what we want to build in our martial arts students, to be that leader. To be that leader in society, to create that change. And thankfully, you had one of those leaders next to you that pulled you out of that scenario.

But the actual bully himself, there's a lot of things that could have been done before, that could have helped change that person. And that’s one other attribute that martial arts gives you, which could help prevent someone from being a bully. So when someone has these life experiences that can either change them to doing negative outlets, like putting out the aggression on someone, or stealing, or doing things to cry out that they need help: if martial art is that thing, it will provide a positive outlet. So a positive outlet that they can channel all of their negative energy, which was for me, all of these feeling from home and from school, all of this negativity, and my outlet was training. Just continuous training and it was my serenity, it was my place where I’d come and just belong, by myself. Be peaceful with myself and just focus on myself and just train, you know?

So I think there's many things you can do on, that can avoid these situations altogether. A bully finding a place where they can have a support network, like a martial arts studio and have a good outlet to take out their negativity on. And for your friend, for example or even yourself, building up those characteristics on how to be a good leader. How to stop that scenario from happening. Building that link system, to be the strong link, or to have a strong link with you. And that's a beautiful thing about martial arts, it helps both sides. So in terms of the actual scenario, obviously not being isolated, not being by yourself and finding a safe environment. Finding other people to see.

GEORGE: Awesome. Terrence, I've got one more question for you. I actually have two, but then we might go on a whole new tangent. I might just stick to the one, for now. And it will be a good way to actually wrap up our chat here. With everything you went through with bullying and what happened at school, knowing what you've experienced through martial arts and what you've learned, discipline and everything, what would you say to your 6 year old self, in that situation, in that bullying situation if you had to go back in time?

TERRENCE: That's a good question. I think that, not just my 6-year-old self, but anyone who is dealing with bullying at the moment, no matter what age they are, whether they're an adult, teenager, or in primary school; they need to remember that life is a journey. Life is just a journey, where you’re continuously learning about yourself and in life, you'll always be tested. There will be many tests that come your way, whether it’s financial, whether it’s being bullied, whether it’s relationship crisis, or anything like that. There are many, many challenges in life. OK?

And each challenge is an experience. An experience that you can learn from to better yourself and to make yourself a stronger person. And as life goes on, as you get through each obstacle each day, you learn from it. And by the end, you'll come to a certain point in your life, where through those experiences, you become confident and comfortable with who you are, whether it’s being alone, whether you find it hard to make friends. You gain confidence and you become comfortable with being in that scenario.

So, if you look at all the successful – not all, but most of the successful people in this world, they've all gone through many, many experiences, and often you'll find that they had to defeat it alone. But through that hardship, they're now able to face any obstacle and being independent, being comfortable with who they are and what they can do, and knowing that they can overcome anything, any obstacle on their path, they can overcome it now. And they don't need help, they're so strong, their character is so strong.

So I think anyone who's in this situation needs to understand that it’s a learning experience that will shape you and it’s always important to be mindful of the direction that you're going, whether you're going towards a negative way, realizing that that's a negative path and a negative way about dealing with your situation. And trying to find a positive outlet, a positive way to learn from it, to deal with it and how to turn that negativity into a positive experience that's going to help you in your future, being a better version of yourself.

So for me, that whole bullying experience, it shaped the way I am today, it’s given me everything that I have today. My business, the skills I have of talking with people. I couldn't pick up a friend before or talk to someone. I had that much anxiety. Now you can put me in front of 2000 people and I’ll just talk. Because nothing is going to be as bad as what the past has been. I've overcome everything and it doesn't matter what I get put today, the mindset applies. The same principles apply with, this is a learning experience – what can I learn from this? How is this going to make me a better person in the future? That's it.

GEORGE: Thanks a lot. Terrence, it’s been great speaking to you. And just before we wrap up, it makes me think: everybody fears public speaking; people fear public speaking more than death. And my thinking is, well, maybe you haven't been in a situation where you've got to fear death.

TERRENCE: Yeah.

GEORGE: Because what you're really saying is, perspective, right? Because of perspective and that can almost be the good thing about it. Yes, you had a bad experience and unfortunately, it was horrific and it sucked, but when people are able to navigate through that, you build up this resilience, I guess confidence in life that you can just take on bigger things and better things for the future.

TERRENCE: You just said it there. You were talking about that mindset of resilience and how to use that to tackle the future; in its plainest form, resilience in the martial arts dojo – isn't that what martial art teaches you? Just on a basic level? Not to give up when you're feeling sore, not to give up when you're losing on points or anything like that, to keep pushing through if you can't get a pattern to keep trying and to keep at it. Martial arts instill the platform and then you build off that platform, as to how to apply these principles in your everyday life.

So that's how martial arts and the journey of life really benefit each other. So back to that question you were asking, does martial arts really help with bullying – yes, it does. It’s up to the individual on when they choose to apply it in their everyday life.

GEORGE: That's what we learned.

TERRENCE: Yeah.

GEORGE: Awesome tips. Thank you for your time. Great topic and I'm definitely having you on again for round 2, if we can maybe expand on this topic, or talk about the business side of things. So if anybody wants to get in touch with you, learn more about you, where can they do that?

TERRENCE: I’m actually going to start a YouTube platform pretty shortly. Everything to do with martial arts and topics like this, bullying. I am very, very passionate about the fight against bullying. So you can search us up on YouTube, I believe George has got a link, easy for you to follow.

Otherwise, you can just follow us on Instagram, just coach_terrence and I'm passionate about martial arts, business and the fight against bullying. So if you have any questions, just hit us up and I'm happy to share whatever knowledge I have.

GEORGE: Fantastic. Thanks a lot Terrence, speak to you soon.

TERRENCE: Thank you, see you later.

 

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

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

64 – Google Search Vs. Social Media For Martial Arts Schools (And Goldfish Have Surpassed Us!)

The subtle difference you need to know when creating content for Google search vs social media for martial arts schools.

.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The difference between search engine marketing and social media marketing for martial arts schools
  • How goldfish have surpassed us
  • Leveraging your content creation
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Hey, this is George. Just here in Perth City and I was at an event from Google, Google Garage. And pretty basic information but some interesting stats, which was a good refresher on just how things work in the digital world, so I thought I’d share with you something that you could use when you create content for your martial arts school.

Before I get to that, one of the most interesting stats that I thought was interesting was that goldfish have officially surpassed us, meaning attention span. So where goldfish used to have a shorter attention span than human beings, according to their stats, Google stats, we are now… human beings attention span is 8 seconds and goldfish have 9 seconds. So they have the one up.

So here's something that I found interesting, was the difference between your strategy with Google search and social media. So it's one of those things that… When you kind of know it and we’ve been really trying to be deliberate about it, but when you really realize the big difference, it's kind of an aha moment about how you go about it.

So, when you look at social media, social media… a big thing about social media, which is a pet peeve is, the longevity of your content, right?

Because you can create social media posts today and you’ve got about 24-48 hours before they have completely lost their reach, ok? So unless you're doing something else with it, like using it for an ad or something like that, that's going to be the lifespan of the content for you.

So when you look at Google, so again, social media – very positive and generally positive, right? I mean, obviously, when you create content, you want to create positive content. Some people just create complaining posts, right? I mean if that's your thing – awesome, but I wouldn’t recommend it for your martial arts school, right? So that's the one side. You’ve got the social media content that you create.

Now, Google on the flipside, is not so much of a… dare I say it, like a fake facade, right? It's not all “Everybody’s happy” moments; it's people going to Google and really typing in real life problems, ok? Real things that are going on in their life, that they're trying to solve in a martial art school’s case, self-defense, or its activities for the kids and that can also just be the super, the first level of the problem, right? Because it could be a few layers deep.

So that is the real difference, the difference being, one is being created for more of a positive and friendly and happy vibe and at Google, people are typing in real-world problems. And then obviously, finding results for that and that's how you find articles, videos and so forth. So I guess the key thing is always, how do you bridge the gap, right? How can you create content that leverages both platforms?

Because if you're only investing in social media, then it's ongoing and you’ve always got to do it. But if you create the content with the purpose of how can it be leveraged and how can people find it later on your website, then you're playing a whole new different game.

A little tool we use in the Martial Arts Media Academy, which I’m revamping now for our new modules, is a content multiplier. Content duplicator like a cloning type tool. So you create one piece of content and then you model it and clone it for different platforms.

So that's one side of it, but then the really cool thing about it is, how to take one piece of content and then making sure that it's relevant on all platforms. So I won’t go into all the details and that but I want you to really think about it; when you're creating content, how can you create your content so that it could be used, obviously on social media, how can it be used so that it can be found afterwards, so if people are doing a Google search and they can find it on your website. And then even better, how can you use it on social media for an ad and how can you use that to really broaden your audience.

And if you want a few more details on that, I’m happy to shoot another video, perhaps even share the tool that we use for this, but I'll leave that for now.

Speak soon – until the next video. Cheers!

 

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

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

63 – Chris Casamassa – Martial Arts & Mortal Kombat Movie Star Shares His Entrepreneurial Insights

Chris Casamassa from Red Dragon Karate and a.k.a. Scorpion from the action film Mortal Kombat speaks about his passion for business.

.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Chris Casamassa's life as an author, actor, business consultant, entrepreneur and martial arts school owner
  • The biggest lesson that martial arts has taught Chris
  • The importance of establishing a strong team of instructors and staffs
  • Why you need to invest in leadership programs
  • How to turn satisfied customers into happy customers
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Well, there's a couple of things. The biggest thing and my favorite saying is, everybody wants the results; nobody wants the process. Right? Everybody wants to be a black belt, but not everybody is willing to put in the work to become a black belt. Everybody says they want to be an instructor, a manager, an owner; but maybe they're not willing to put in the work, right? When they watch me do what I do, they see the glamour moment. They see me standing out there, running the class, rocking it – everything's firing on all cylinders. They don't understand sometimes how much work, effort and dedication I put into my craft to be able to do what it is that I do.

GEORGE: Hey, this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media Business podcast. Today, I'm joined with… so this is going to be a long list of credentials, so I'm going to have to cut this down. So I'm with Chris Casamassa, so author, actor, business consultant, school owner – what am I leaving out there Chris?

CHRIS: Serial entrepreneur.

GEORGE: Serial entrepreneur.

CHRIS: Yeah.

GEORGE: Alright, awesome. Well, welcome to the show. So I'm going to be speaking with Chris at The Main Event in San Diego, depending on when you're watching and listening to this, that'll be the 26th to 28th of April. And today we’re just going to have a chat. Chris has obviously got a wealth of knowledge, so this conversation might be part 1 and 2. We’ll see how we go. All right Chris, welcome I guess, for people that might not have heard of you, who is Chris Casamassa?

CHRIS: Chris Casamassa is, I am the son of the Grandmaster of Red Dragon Karate. We have 12 locations in Southern California, we've been in the business since 1965, so this is our 53rd year in business. I guess that when my father started the company, we were classified as a mixed martial arts style because my dad didn't like one martial arts style; he loved them all. He actually holds black belts in ten different styles of martial arts, so in the 1960s, he did something that really was unheard of and he combined styles of martial arts. So he's one of the originators of the mixed martial arts, who everybody who has a mixed martial arts school – you're welcome!

He did that a long, long time ago and he is an awesome, awesome, amazing guy. A ton of great stories about how people used to come and challenge him because you weren't allowed to do those things back in the day, but he was doing it before it was cool. So that's kind of where I grew up. I started martial arts training when I was 4 years old and I've been in it my entire life. And really just fell in love with it at a very young age.

GEORGE: Alright, so growing up in martial arts the way you did, what do you feel – and I spoke about this with Zulfi Ahmed, the conscious competence and unconscious incompetence and so forth. And obviously, he's got a world of knowledge, as well as yourself, of experience that's become such a part of you, that it might be hard to sort of define into one thing. But what do you feel has been the biggest learning for you? Growing up with your dad and within the martial arts industry the way you have?

CHRIS: The biggest learning for me? Do you mean what's the biggest benefit I've personally gotten out of it?

GEORGE: Yes.

CHRIS: Ok. That would be two things: one, the ability to believe in yourself, that you can and to never give up on your dreams and hopes and goals. Probably those are the two biggest things that my father instilled in me that the arts have taught me. Really, that nothing is impossible as long as you are focused and you take the steps of progression that you need to get there, you just give it a 100% effort and never give up.

GEORGE: Alright, so you started martial arts at a very young age. At what point did you start with the instructor role and stepping into the operations of the school?

CHRIS: Really, when I was young, probably when I was around 15. I started teaching a little bit here and there and pretty much, since I was 16-17 years old, it’s been something I've done full time, literally, I would walk home from school – I wouldn't even go home, I’d go from school to the studio where my dad was at. And I taught there, did my homework there and went home at 8-9 o'clock every night. It kind of just blended into a lifestyle for me.

GEORGE: All right. Now, lots have happened since then.

CHRIS: Oh yeah.

GEORGE: Give us a bit of a breakdown: how did you step into the whole movie role and “Mortal Combat” and taking on that whole actor career, between?

CHRIS: Yeah, that actually is a great question and it goes back to what I talked about, about focusing, goal setting and believing in yourself, right? When I was in my early teens, of course like many people around that time, Bruce Lee, of course, was my big action hero. “Enter the Dragon” and all those movies that he did really inspire me to say, hey, I want to try and do this on screen and the movies. And when we were younger, me and my brothers used to make little homemade fight videos of ninja stuff and we played all kinds of… I've got some great old video tapes for anybody who’s watching and knows what a video was. But it’s something I always wanted to do, right?

So I also started competing when I was 17-18 years old, on the circuit. There's a pro tour in the United States, called The North American Sports Karate Association. So I went out on that tour and decided that I wanted to get better as a competitor, because ultimately, honing my skills would just make me look better and sharper, as far as doing martial arts, period. But then if I ever wanted to be on camera, if I wanted to be a Chuck Norris, or if I wanted to be a Bruce Lee, I had to try and look as good, as fast, as powerful as those guys did. So I knew I could through the competition very much hone my skills, and I spent almost a decade out on the pro tour and when I retired, I was the four-time number 1 open forms champion, four years in a row I was the best forms competitor in the world.

So that right there helped open another door for me, because when I won a tournament in Atlanta Georgia, called The Battle of Atlanta, which at the time was one of the biggest events in the country, there were some producers from the TV show in the audience that came up to me and a few other guys and asked us if we’d be interested in doing a TV show. So one door kind of helped to open another door, like, I didn't start with “Mortal Combat,” that was my third or fourth, or maybe fifth film that I did. But I started small, with small shows, small TV shows and just kind of worked my way up.

And then in the movie business, there's an old saying that it's not who you know, it's who knows you. And that really is true, because once you get your foot in the door and you establish yourself and you have a good relationship and you're not a jerk to work with, then people want to continue to work with you. You do good work, you don't complain, you make it look good, you make the stars look good and then you take those stepping stones and move up. So that's how I was able to kind of take martial arts, turn it into the competition and turn it into a movie/TV career.

GEORGE: Alright, fantastic. So, looking at that – and just relating to, perhaps for the average martial arts school owner, someone perhaps starting out, or going from one school to the next school, you feel it instilled a lot of confidence into you growing up the way you did. How do you work with people that experience the obstacles? You do the goal setting, and that's sort of where you want to go. But I guess you reach this point of, the whole “Can I,” a bit of self-doubt. How do I break out from this next barrier to the next?

CHRIS: Well, if you're talking about martial arts business owners or martial arts school owners, nowadays it is so much easier and so much simpler to become successful in the martial arts because there are guys like you. There are guys like me that are out there that weren't out there! Right? If you've been around for a while, you go back to the 80s or the 90s, everyone was closed off. “I don't want to share my knowledge with you,” everybody was very close-minded, where the martial arts in the business, at least in the United States that I've seen so far, it's become more of an open mind, where we’re trying to raise the level of our industry, right?

Our industry has had such a bad rep on the business side for so long and so few people have had the secret and the keys to success. Now more and more people are getting because there are guys like you, there are guys like me that are out there, sharing our knowledge, sharing our understanding of how this business can work and how it can be successful to raise the standard of the industry. So if there's anybody out there who's struggling: there's a wealth of free knowledge. They can follow you, they can follow me on social media: all these things that didn't exist just a  decade ago, there are so many tools available, I can almost say that if you're failing in your martial arts business now, you're just dumb.

You're not paying any attention to what's out there. And I don't mean that insultingly, but there's a wealth of information out there that was never available before, just the free stuff. And of course, there's coaching, consulting, business guys and you've got to weed out some of the bad guys from the good guys, which is also hard to do and I've got a few tips on that. But in the business today, I wish I was starting out today, because the transition from good to great is much smoother and easier now, for the people that really want to go get it.

GEORGE: Definitely so. Well, let's explore that: weeding out the good from the bad. Because that's something that comes up a lot and I guess form the time in the last 5 years that I've started helping martial arts school owners, it's probably the place where I've seen the most consultants and experts that deliver information. And I guess a lot of it is based on a little success? You know, not people like yourself that has grown along the years and have seen the ups and downs and seen the different transitions. So what advice would you give to someone that's really looking for good advice, but just not sure who to trust?

CHRIS: Two tings: one, references and testimonials. Say, if somebody says, well, I've gotten these many people this many results – find out who those people are and talk to them. Send them a message on Facebook or send them an email, how has this person helped you, what has been great about this experience, right? So if somebody doesn't have social proof, then there's a big flag right there. So, if you got a sales page that says, “I helped hundreds of people get thousands of students,” but there are no actual testimonials on that page? I’d be running away from that.

Second of all, if they have a fully functional business, get a chance to take a look at it, right? We've got 12 locations, we've been around for 53 years, my main school has almost 400 active members in it, so I'm not telling you what to do because I'm guessing; I'm telling you what to do because this is exactly how I do what I do and why it works. So there's a method behind my madness, or to say, my systems have systems. So something default – there's a system to fall back on. So those are the kinds of things that you've got to look at.

GEORGE: Alright, fantastic. So Chris, a day in the life of Chris! You mentioned 13 locations?

CHRIS: 12.

GEORGE: 12 locations, OK. So what does that look like? Obviously, you can't have your hands on everything: what does that look like in a day for you to manage and operate?

CHRIS: Listen, I couldn't do this by myself. I've got a great team in place that helps us keep things running smooth, right? It's kind of like a duck: on the surface, it looks smooth, but underneath, there are these feet paddling really, really fast to keep it going in there. But yeah, you're right, there's no way I could do this by myself. I have a fantastic team in place, my dad’s core people are still involved with our company today. So they understand all the nuts and bolts of how our business is run.

So you've got to surround yourself with a good support team. So my job really, the main thing is, I train the trainers, right? My job is to make sure that the people that are going out of the schools that are managing or owning their own, individual locations are doing and saying and teaching things the right way to continue to help the business itself grow and make the students improve. So I've got a pretty cool spot right now, I'm a trainers trainer.

GEORGE: Trainers trainer. Alright, so let's break that down. So it really comes down to your leadership and the team's leadership. So where do you really start that journey of developing leaders?

CHRIS: At white belt. So right when they start, regardless of their age. Ultimately, we train and grow all of our instructors and trainers and future managers and owners in house. And they come up through our system, they come up through our ranks because again, they're the product of what we’re selling, right? So it's challenging and it we’re experimenting with bringing people in from outside of our company because I do want to open it up and expand it more, but our easiest and best growth and best managers and owners always come from the inside, we’re growing them. We call it bench strength, right? So the goal is to develop the bench strength on our team so that every person on the team is replaceable and no matter who's here and who's not here, the wheel just keeps turning and keeps moving.

GEORGE: So you start at white belt, but at what point… what would be the first steps you would take to push someone towards the leadership role?

CHRIS: It's very easy: we have a leadership program built into our program. So as they escalate and they get about halfway to the path of black belt, they're interested in that, they receive an invitation into our leadership training and then again, we’re very fortunate in the fact that we built this. We have instructor colleges, so four times a year, anybody that's interested in having a job inside of a Red Dragon School has to attend our instructor colleges. After they attend 4-6 instructor colleges, we give them a written exam, then a physical exam. And if they pass all of that, then they're certified as what we call a level 1 instructor.

So technically, any one of our Red Dragon Schools could hire them as an assistant. They work inside the school, there’s platform building all the way through. You start as an assistant instructor, then you go to a floor instructor, then a floor manager, then a head instructor and then a manager of a school. And then if you want to take that step, there are ownership possibilities for you. So it's all platform based and just like going from white belt to black belt, there are clearly defined outlined steps. The same thing on the internal, on the business side of what we do, those same steps are in place.

GEORGE: All right, great. So what obstacles do you experience with this? Because I mean, you already have 12 locations, I'm sure one to 12, there were a lot of bumps in the road. What are the general obstacles you’ve overcome – well, that you experience on a day to day basis and within yours, if not so much current? What do you experience within that whole growth phase?

CHRIS: Well, there's a couple of things. The biggest thing and my favorite saying are, everybody wants the results; nobody wants the process. Right? Everybody wants to be a black belt, but not everybody is willing to put in the work to become a black belt. Everybody says they want to be an instructor, a manager, an owner; but maybe they're not willing to put in the work, right? When they watch me do what I do, they see the glamour moment. They see me standing out there, running the class, rocking it – everything's firing on all cylinders. They don't understand sometimes how much work, effort and dedication I put into my craft to be able to do what it is that I do.

Now, there are those that are going through the path and are in process and are going through it. But that's overall my biggest challenge, to answer your question is – everybody wants results, nobody wants the process. And a lot of younger people today don't have the patience to get there, to take that next step. They think that, oh, I'm a black belt, I should start making $30-$40 an hour and be paid $100,000 a year to do this. They don't have the patience to do the work, to get better, to get the rewards.

GEORGE: Definitely so, and I guess Chris that's the way of the world today. I mean, you come from, you walked a long path to achieve your success and as easy as it’s become with access to social media and accessing information, the problem with accessing information is, it’s so much easier to see the end result that someone has achieved and you don't always recognize the journey that it’s taken and the obstacles.

CHRIS: Right.

GEORGE: And I guess that brings into this whole, instant gratification with the younger generation.

CHRIS: Right.

GEORGE: That's what they're doing, they haven't committed their 10,000 hours or whatever it is, they just want that result.

CHRIS: Right. Yeah, listen, it's the same thing. I mean, I don't know in Australia, but on YouTube, there are two brothers, Logan Paul and Jake Paul, who are just monsters on social media and social interaction, right? And they're young guys, but what you don't see is, they put in years of work to build up to their million, or two million followers, to get those 20-30 million views of these crazy, goofy videos that they do, but people are responding to it, right? So if you're doing something good that people respond to, you're going to move up. If you're doing something that's not good and people aren't responding to it, then maybe you're in the wrong line of work. Maybe you're in the wrong business. Not everyone is cut out for this type of business.

You've got to follow your passion, right? I'm doing this because I love it; you're doing what you do probably because you love it, right? You love sharing your knowledge and people respond to that passion. They feel it, they know it and they understand it and they're like, yeah, that's the guy I want to have helped me. That's the guy I want to have trained me, or train my kids because it comes from here, it comes from my heart. And you probably can't see me because this is a podcast, but I'm touching my heart. But it comes from there first and if it comes from there and it’s pure, then everything else is going to be so much easier in the end.

GEORGE: Fantastic. So, where do you start? If you're helping a school owner scale, with their operations or their marketing, what is the benchmark where you start and evolve from?

CHRIS: Well, it's called the snowflake principle. Every school owner that I coach or consult outside of my company starts somewhere different. Because everyone is different. With me, it starts with an interview process. I'll spend 30 minutes or an hour with them on the phone, talking to them about all the systems that they have or don't have in place, finding out what their biggest needs are first, whether it’s new members or keeping old members, whether it’s what you do, marketing systems, Facebook, social media interactions.

So I've got to really interview and dig down and understand the person to make sure of two things: one, I understand completely what they need and two, I believe that I can help them. Because ultimately, if I talk to somebody, I'm going, to be honest with them. Look: I can help you if we implement x,y and z, or they might be in a spot, listen, I'm not the guy for you, but I might know someone who is. Right? That's kind of where I start and my approach to it is, I need to get to know the person that I'm coaching so that I can help them reach their goals.

GEORGE: All right, great. So Chris, I feel… we’re probably sort of scratching the surface of your wealth of knowledge, and I want to talk a bit about The Main Event, what you do on the speaking platform. And this is sort of the cliche question, right? Is there a question I should be asking you and steering you towards that we’re not covering as yet?

CHRIS: No, actually what I’m gonna be covering at The Main Event that we’re coming up, that's in San Diego, is pretty much that. But what I'm going to do is, I'm going to give the school owners and the managers there actionable things that they can implement in their business to help grow their business faster with new members. So there are so many things that many school owners aren't doing, in what I call the onboarding process or their first 100 days.

A way to turn a satisfied customer into a happy customer, because here's the difference: satisfied customers don't refer members to your school; happy customers refer everyone. So it's ultimately taking a customer from a satisfied state to a happy state. The processes that we use to do it and the processes that we actually used to help over 100,000 people become happy customers inside of our business.

GEORGE: Alright, fantastic. I'm a big fan of the first 100 days, it's something I've spoken about in our Martial Arts Media Academy program as well and something we try and really practice. You know, how you can really, the first 100 days, what sort of impact you can make. If you were to break it down, just a little deeper, to what extent do you go within the first 100 days? How would you handle a student coming onboard with your program?

CHRIS: That's a great question and that's probably a whole other 30-minute conversation and really is perfect, because that's exactly what I'm going to be talking about in San Diego on April 26th to the 28th. So if there's anybody listening that wants to get there, I will go through those exact processes. I'm going to show you how to get someone to give you an awesome review instead of a crappy review. I'm going to show you how to onboard them and surprise them with things that they won't get in any other martial arts school, let alone any other business. So it's little tips and secrets like that that make all the difference between a satisfied customer and a happy customer. We’ll cover part 2 after the event – other than that, you've got to come to San Diego April 26-28th.

GEORGE: Alright, awesome. That sounds great. Because I might take you on for a second interview when I meet you in person, depending of course on the time, it's a big event and so forth. But it would be great to see you on stage and really gather some information and then perhaps we can do a part 2 and really discuss a few more topics in depth.

CHRIS: Yeah, man, I'm happy to do it. Happy to do it, always happy to help, listen if there's just one person listening to the podcast is affected in a positive way listening to this, then that's great. Obviously, I want to help hundreds and hundreds of school owners, but hey, it starts with one, right?

GEORGE: Fantastic! Before we go, Chris what's next for you in your martial arts journey?

CHRIS: Next is my real – not my real, but my new mission, my passion, my purpose is… and again, I don't know how it is in Australia, but in the USA, there's a really big problem with bullying. I just wrote a book, which became a number 1 bestseller called “Bullyproof Fitness”. It’s available on Amazon worldwide I believe. But my… what I'm trying to do is, I'm trying to get a million kids bullyproof and fit by the year 2025. Right now, I'm at 50,000, so I've taught 50,000 kids so far. I go around to local martial arts schools all over the world and I do these live bully events, seminars to help these kids understand what a bully is, what it’s not and what they can do if it happens to them, because so many people don't have the tools they don't know what it is, even kids that are in martial arts don't understand.

So by doing these live events around the world, it’s allowed me to impact a lot of people, but obviously my goal is to do a million through the book and through my live tours and then, we have a license program called Bullyproof Fitness, that will be launching probably in June of this year, where schools can get this and have it and bring it in there. But the live events are great, because when I go to these martial arts schools, not only is it a win for them in the community, but I'm able to get them anywhere from 10 to 25 brand new members at that location before I walk out the door. So it’s kind of cool because the parents get a copy of my book, or they get autographed picture from the “Mortal Combat” movie, but they'll also be able to get new members into their school, which if you're in business, that's what you need to survive, these new members constantly coming in.

GEORGE: Definitely so. Fantastic Chris, I’ll link to, I'll definitely link to the book.

CHRIS: Thank you.

GEORGE: Bullyproof Fitness you mentioned?

CHRIS: Yep and the website is bullyprooffitness.com.

GEORGE: All right, great, excellent. Anything else, if anybody wants more details about you and your mission, where could they visit?

CHRIS: There's two great… first of all, I’m on all the social media platforms, so they can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook – everywhere. What I’ll do George is, I'll shoot you an email with all my links, if you want to pop those in there. There are two websites, they can find me at. Of course my name, chriscasamassa.com and if they're interested in helping me coach, consult or advise them on how to grow their business, they can go to my coaching site, which is the thedojodoctors.com.

GEORGE: Excellent. Chris – been great speaking to you and look forward to meeting you in San Diego.

CHRIS: Awesome George, thank you so much for having me on this show. I really appreciate it.

There you have it – thank you, Chris. And thank you for listening to this show. If you are getting good value out of this show, we would love to hear from you! Best way to do that would be to give us an awesome thumbs up. Five-star review, you can do that through the iTunes store, if you have an iPhone you can go through the little purple app and access the show from there and give us an awesome review, we would love to hear from you. Or wherever else you're actually listening to this show, do leave us a review and tell us what you'd like to know, who you'd like us to interview. It would be awesome to hear from you and follow up on your requests.

Cool! If you need any help with your school, if you need any help filling your classes, marketing, digital marketing, help with your website – that's the kind of thing that we thrive on, is the marketing and helping school owners with online lead generation, in a very leveraged way. And we do that predominantly through our martial arts media academy, where we are a community of martial artists who work together on cutting-edge technology and help you grow and scale your martial arts school through the power of the internet. Isn't that cool?

All right, cool – if you need any help, martialartsmedia.com, get in touch with us, send us a message. You can also check out martialartsmedia.academy and we’ll be happy to help you take your school to the next level.

Awesome – I have a few great interviews lined up and we’ll be in touch when they get released. Have a great week – speak soon!

 

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

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

FREE GUIDE

The Martial Arts
Fb Ad Formula

Please fill out the form and we will send you the free guide via email

General Website Terms and Conditions of Use

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

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

THANKS AGAIN FOR VISITING!

Restrictions on Use of Our Online Materials

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

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

Submitting Your Online Material to Us

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

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

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

Limitation of Liability

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links to Other Site

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

Termination of This Agreement

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

Jurisdiction and Other Points to Consider

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

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

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

Any other disputes will be resolved as follows:

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

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

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

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

Privacy Policy

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

Use of Cookies

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

IP Addresses

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

Email Information

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

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

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

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

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

Email Policies

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

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

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

CAN-SPAM Compliance

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

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

Choice/Opt-Out

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

Use of External Links

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

You must not:

Acceptable Use

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

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

Restricted Access

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

Use of Testimonials

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

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

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

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

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

How Do We Protect Your Information and Secure Information Transmissions?

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

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

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

Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability

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

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

Policy Changes

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

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

Contact

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

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

Email: team (at) martialartsmedia dot com

THE LOCATION ANALYZER CHECKLIST

Use this to help you pick the perfect martial arts location!

Please enter your first name & email below to access the free download

THE NEXT PROFITABLE LOCATION BLUEPRINT EVENT

Please enter your first name & email below to access the details of the event.

THE CHARACTER TRAIT CLARIFIER WORKSHEET + FREE VIDEO TUTORIAL

Please enter your first name & email below to access the free download

DOWNLOAD THE PDF TRANSCRIPT & PODCAST RESOURCES

Please enter your first name & email below to access the free download

DOWNLOAD THE PDF TRANSCRIPT & PODCAST RESOURCES

Please enter your first name & email below to access the free download

DOWNLOAD THE PDF TRANSCRIPT & PODCAST RESOURCES

Please enter your first name & email below to access the free download

DOWNLOAD THE PDF TRANSCRIPT & PODCAST RESOURCES

Please enter your first name & email below to access the free download

DOWNLOAD THE PDF TRANSCRIPT & PODCAST RESOURCES

Please enter your first name & email below to access the free download

DOWNLOAD THE PDF TRANSCRIPT & PODCAST RESOURCES

Please enter your first name & email below to access the free download

DOWNLOAD THE PDF TRANSCRIPT & PODCAST RESOURCES

Please enter your first name & email below to access the free download

Add Your Heading Text Hereasdf

Test Multistep in popup

Step 1 of 2

Name