132 – Pros And Cons Of Hiring A Martial Arts Digital Agency

Many martial arts school owners long for a martial arts digital agency that delivers new students on demand without having to lift a finger. But Beware! This pipedream could cost you your business. Here’s the pitfalls to avoid and what to do instead. 


IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Pitfalls to avoid when working with a martial arts marketing agency
  • Who owns your digital assets?
  • Local digital marketing agency: Do they have proven, irresistible martial arts offers? 
  • What media should you use when running Facebook or Google ads?
  • Why most martial arts schools don't need a marketing agency
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Hey, it's George Fourie. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media™ Business podcast. In this episode, I'm going to be talking about digital marketing agencies for martial arts schools. Martial arts, marketing agencies, however, you want to word that.

Do you need one? Do you need to hire an agency? And if you do, what are the pitfalls to avoid? What should you be avoiding? What questions should you be asking? What should you be looking out for? All are covered in this episode.

Make sure you stick around to the end and I'll share with you how you can download an actual checklist with everything discussed, all the questions to ask, pitfalls to avoid and so forth. All right, let's jump in.

All right. So let's talk about digital marketing agencies and do you actually need to hire one? I've got to start this one with a short story, and the story actually involves how I, one time, lost a valued podcast listener by my actions and I don't regret it. I've got to share the story. I've probably shared this in a previous podcast, but I think it's relevant if you haven't heard it. It's a relevant story for what we are talking about today.

All right. A couple of years ago, a podcast listener reached out to me and said, “Hey, George, love the podcast. Got a quick question. Which channels are the best for advertising a martial arts school? Is it Facebook or is it Google? Facebook ads or Google ads?”

And I replied, “Good question. It depends on a few factors, which it does. Facebook strategy works like this. Google strategy works like this. If I was doing this myself and trying it, this is the one that I would go for, which was Facebook in this case.”

I said, “Curious, just why are you asking?” And he replied and said, “Thanks for the information, but I'm actually starting a digital marketing agency for martial arts schools and I just wanted to know which channel works best.” And that got me fired up a bit. I said, “Hang on. You're opening a marketing agency and you are asking me which platform to advertise on. How are you going to actually take people's hard-earned money and run ads for them if you've never done it yourself?”

And then his response fired me up even more. And he said, “Oh, that's okay. I'm just going to hire someone offshore to do it for me and run the agency that way.” And that made me boil over.

And I can't recall the exact reply that I messaged back, but I said, “Look, the world does not work like that and you cannot take people's hard-earned money and charge them and think some magical person offshore is just going to know what to do.” Now, there is a way to use an offshore person, and I might share this in this episode, but that's definitely not the way to go about it.

And so I wanted to start that with caution because, well, as a warning, really, if someone is not charging you a premium fee to run ads, which is quite a hard thing to do, they're probably not going to do a very good job.

Now, I must admit the industry's come a long way and I've been doing this for a long time. Facebook wasn't around when I started digital marketing. I started by hard trial and error, wasting a lot of money. It was way harder to run ads back in the day than it is now. So things have evolved. The industry has evolved and agencies have also evolved, but there are a few pet peeves and pitfalls you got to watch out for.

Pet peeves I have about agencies and pitfalls that you should watch out for, and there's this dream scenario for martial arts school I know is you could just do what you love. You could just do the teaching. You could just show up. There are always students and you just do what you love.

That is the dream scenario and you could definitely achieve that, but is an agency always the answer to do that? And I'm going to say no because I've played on both sides of the coin. This is purely from my experience. I want to give props to really good agencies that are out there and that have really evolved in the martial arts space, but I still want to approach this with a word of caution because I've seen the pitfalls and I've seen how things adapt. At the end of the day, you as the martial arts school owner are worse off.

Another just trip down in history, memory lane. So the way I got started in this industry before I started our Partners group, where we helped martial arts school on a scale worth marketing and attracting the right students, increasing sign-ups and retaining more members, we were an agency and I started my agency with this dream idea. If we could just do everything for martial arts school owners, they would be better off and I really believed that. 

And I really wanted to create something magical for school owners in that way, but as we ran it and as we had clients do this, I felt that every time things didn't go right, or worst case, we parted ways with a client, the client is always worse off. The client is always worse off running by just throwing their entire energy and faith into a marketing agency to deliver leads for them every month and month-end.

When you part ways, you're always worse off because now you're left with nothing. You've got nothing. And so again, you're looking for this magical agency to do everything for you, and that was always a big concern for me is when somebody is doing the lifeblood of your business and they are responsible for it, and they're always doing it.

What if that service is not what it is a month later, or they grow too big, and now the service starts to deteriorate and they're not on top of the strategy and they need to scale, so they need to get on more clients and they need to hire more staff. And now the person that you hired, isn't even touching your account anymore and your costs are going through the roof.

So for you to be better off, I'm going to go through a couple of things that you should be watching out for, pitfalls to avoid, and things to consider when you are hiring an agency.

By the way, if you're listening to us or wherever you're watching us, go to martialartsmedia.com/132, that's the numbers one, three, two. I'll have a checklist where you can download all these questions and that you've got just a guide for the right questions to ask if you're ever going to hire an agency.

All right, here we go. First up, let's just start with a few pitfalls. Who keeps the data? Number one, if they're going to run your ads, who keeps the data, and this goes hand in hand with, are you going to be better off? Meaning if somebody comes and they're running the ads for you, then who keeps the data? Are they hanging onto the data or will you actually get the data?

Meaning if you ever left the agency, are you going to be better off or are you going to be back to square one, back to where you were before you started with the agency and you've got no way to generate more leads? So you've learned nothing. You've gathered nothing. You've gained nothing other than, of course, the leads that you got. But when you leave the agency, you're back to square one.

And so with that, the follow-up question to ask on that, whose ad account do they run the ads from? Is it your ad account or is it an account that they have and they just run your page through that? Because if they're doing that, that means they are keeping all the data. I had a local company here that I helped out in Perth, Australia, just another nightmare story from an agency.

They had developed a website for this martial arts school and they were running the Google ads and they never handed over admin access. So they'd spend five to $10,000 on this website with combined services. Well, mainly for the website and they didn't get handed over the admin access to the website and they didn't want to hand it over when they moved. So they made it super uncomfortable for them.

So they'd paid for something that they had no ownership rights to because they had no login details to the hosting company or the website company, and I was just shocked that any company would hold a business hostage like that.

And that's the first time I'd seen that unethicalness in an industry. And I picked a big fight with them and called them for what it is because they knew what they were doing was unethical. After a long fight, they handed it over, but it really opened my eyes to realize that hang on, when agencies are trying to scale, they take shortcuts.

And so they'll take your money and they won't set up an account for you in your name. They'll run it on their account, which means they always keep the data and they hang onto all the assets. A big thing that you've got to watch out for. Which accounts are they running it from? And are you going to be better off when you leave?

All right, let's go to the next step. What type of offer are they running? Now, if you are running a niche agency that's in the martial arts space, hopefully, they've tested some offers. But if you go looking for the local agency, the problem that you're going to find with the local agency is they probably have not fine-tuned the right offer for a martial arts school.

So they don't know what strategy works and that is something that takes experience and it takes a lot of testing. And so if you are the guinea pig and you are the first guy that they're testing, they're not going to know if it's going to be a free trial, a paid trial.

They're not going to know which wording to use, which copy. They might be as experienced as they are, but they are used to running ads for corporate-type companies. And so they've got this corporate type strategy, which means the strategy they're going to use for you is going to cost you a lot, and it's going to take a long time for you to get results.

How much experience does that company actually have with martial arts schools? Are they going to get you the results that you want or are you going to have to burn through a lot of money before they get to a result? All right.

So let's talk about strategy. What strategy are they using to generate leads? And are they on top of these strategies? So here's something that's happening in the digital space right now. At the time we're recording this 2022, there's been a lot of shifts and things happening on platforms.

Facebook has still been the dominant ad platform. There are emerging platforms, more Instagram, which is under the Facebook umbrella. TikTok is doing a lot of things. So are YouTube ads. So there are a lot of things happening, but is the strategy that you are using going to work now and in the long run, or are they hanging onto an old strategy, which means it doesn't really work that much on the platform anymore.

And so you're spending way too much money to generate leads. So now you've got this massive fee for the agency and your ad costs are way higher because they are doing the wrong strategy to get you the result.

Now, maybe you don't have to touch it and that's okay, but you're burning through a lot of cash and way too much cash for something that could be actually done if it was really, really simple, because I'll go through quickly, something that we do with our martial arts school clients. We work on getting the offer right. We spend a lot of time on this.

We've helped our school-owner clients generate way more than 7,000 paid trials through our process. So it's something that we've refined and tested, so we know it works in different styles for karate, four TaeKwonDo, for jiu-jitsu. We've played around with various offers in all styles and modified it.

We know what offer works best for which style and which offer works best in a scenario. So how are you going to sign people up afterwards? Is it going to be a free trial or you're going to run a paid trial and then sign people up? What's your sales process going to be because it's all got to be congruent. Your front-end offers really got to be congruent with your sales process on the back end.

And so if an agency doesn't know that flow that works, number one, and that compliments your strengths, well, there's going to be things that break in between. That's a big thing to consider.

First up, we look at how we craft the irresistible offer? Now, you can run a bad ad with a good offer and get great results, but you can't run a great ad with a bad offer. So we know that if we craft the perfect offer for our clients, they're going to get results. And then we go through the process of how to run an ad that gets results. And how do you go by testing and refining the process so that you'll get the best results from your ads? And it's a really simple process and formula.

And then after that is, well, how do you do the follow-up? How do you follow people up and how do you use a strategy that is congruent with how the platforms work right now? Because as we speak right now on Facebook, for example, if you are sending people away from Facebook, meaning they got to click on a website link or go to a page, that's great, but Facebook doesn't want you to leave Facebook.

Your strategy to optimize for people clicking away from Facebook is way more expensive than if you had the conversation within Facebook. Got to admit, this was a hard pill for me to swallow because I'm used to being the website guy and developing landing pages.

And so it took a lot of adjusting for my mindset first up to adapt to that, but there's a simple strategy like we use our Messenger signup method where you can follow up with people within Facebook and your conversion rate is way much higher and your cost per lead is way, way less. What is the strategy that your agency's taking, and is that congruent with how things work today?

All right, let's look at another thing. Media. Okay. Media means videos or photos, for example. What are they going to use, and have they tested it? If they're going to recommend the video, well, there's a whole list of boxes to tick with the video.

Now, generally speaking, people say video is better on social media. It is, but generally speaking, not on ads. Video for the most part is not better on ads. And look, there's an exception to the rule and I'm generally speaking, generally.

If people think video is better, then everybody says, “Hey, let's go do video.” Well, can you craft a good video? And that doesn't mean a video that's got a logo circling for 10 seconds, where by that time everybody's left or it's a video that the videographer student, maybe someone that's got great intentions and they're a student with you and they created for you, but have they crafted a video that conveys a structured sales message and gets people to take action?

That is a whole different ball game. So just because you can edit on video software does not mean you can create a video that's going to drive a conversion. Completely different thing.

What media should you use and how are they going to go about that? Now, they might say, “Well, we've tested these stock images,” and that's great. Now, I've got a bit of a pet peeve with stock images because again, it's not congruent and it looks fake. People can see what is fake and what is real.

And here's the thing, they've probably seen everybody else use the same images in your area as well. Do stock images work? Again, an exception to the rule, but do you really want to portray a fake image about what it is that you offer and then people arrive at your school and there's a complete disconnect about there's no congruence with what they saw and what they're getting at your school.

What images are they going to use and what are they going to recommend? So they're probably going to say, “Look, use these stock images.” All right. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't, but in the long run, it's going to tarnish your reputation, and it's going to do damage to your brand at the end of the day.

We got a strategy we followed. We did a course with Francine Schaepper. We did The Smartphone Photography Masterclass, and in that, we cover the process of how do you take the photos? And it's not rocket science. It's the kind of thing that when you learn it, you know it and you know what to look for. 

And there's a whole bunch of things that go into that, but it's something that you got to know. And if you don't know it, then you, depending on this agency, deliver all these results for you, but what are they going to use to get the message out and is it going to be congruent with your brand?

So we teach our clients just the basics, what to look for, what type of photos should you be taking, and how many people should be in the photos. Smiling faces is always a plus and go about the testing and then roll the ad out and just do the testing. So it's really a simple process to follow if you know what to do.

And so that for me begs the question, do you actually need an agency? Now, what I'm not saying is you have to be running the ads and be hands-on all your life in marketing. But the danger is, if you give your lifeblood over to a marketing company, you have to hope that they're around today, in 3 years, in 5 years and 10 years. So you've not only got to hope that they're a good marketer, but you've got to hope that they're a good business owner and know how to run an agency.

In the agency world, there used to be this thing of there's a breakpoint at, I think, it's 20 clients, that when you've got 20 clients and 20 ad accounts to run, the agency owner typically breaks because they just got to keep employing staff and keep employing staff, unless they're just doing a cookie-cutter approach and doing the same thing for everyone. In our experience, that is not a good strategy to go by.

One of our frequent guests, Kevin Blundell, we were chatting about running ads way back. And we were looking at ad accounts from two different locations and we were running the same offer in two different locations, with the same strategy. One went through the roof and the other one crickets. And so when somebody takes a blanket approach and doesn't assess things specifically for your location, again, you're going to spend way more to get the results and probably it's going to be costly.

And then the danger is, let's say they did deliver. So let's say you got the guy and he was a great marketer. He's a great marketer. So he is a great marketer and he's getting the results, but now he hits that benchmark. Well, he's got 20 clients plus. Now, he's got a scale. And so now employs the staff member to run it, and the staff member still needs to learn the strategy and experiment. And the person that you hired gets more and more detached from the actual process and your ads start to decline and decline and decline and decline and decline.

And so here you are, and you're like, well, this isn't working anymore and you don't know what to do because you are disconnected from the strategy. You don't know the offers, you don't know what works, and you don't have access to the data.

And so you decide, all right, well, I'm going to do the next thing and look for another agency to run this, and here you go back on the train. The lifeblood of your business is always dependent on somebody else looking after it, and you just have to have the hope strategy. You hope and pray that they deliver for a long time.

And so when it comes to the way we go about it, we know that most school owners don't need an agency. Number one, you can save a lot of money doing it yourself, but the other thing is you get an insight about your business that you will not get when you work through an agency because you know what offers work, you know what people respond to, and that is something that you don't just do in your ads, but now you start duplicating that across the board with internal marketing and running flyer campaigns or internal flyers or other advertising platforms that you want to work on.

So you've got the insight and you know what people respond to because you've got a hands-on overview. Now, does that mean you've got to always be hands-on? Definitely not. But if you've got the strategy and you know how this works, then finding the hands to do that is really easy.

We've got a few school owner clients that we work with that are growing the family business and they've either got their kids that are taking over the business, or they've got other instructors that want to be hands-on in the business.

And so slowly, they're just handing over the reins to them. They keep the data, they keep the strategy and they hang onto it and everything grows within the organization, and that way everybody's hands-on, everyone knows which strategies work, which offers work, and you can get students on-demand without knowing that the livelihood of your business is dependent on X, Y, Z business and you got to hope and pray that they're going to be around in the next five, 10 years.

Anyway, there was a lot more that I wanted to cover. I have spoken about a few of these things before, but I just wanted to give you a good perspective on what to look out for, and what to watch for. Head over to martialartsmedia.com/132, numbers one, three, two, and you can download a resource, just all the questions and all these things that we've just discussed, what to ask, what to look out for, and hope that helps.

Anyway, thanks so much for watching and listening. I'll see you in the next episode. Cheers.

 

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127 – [Case Study] How A Traditional Karate School Generated $30,000+ In 72 Hours With This Simple Campaign

Richard Fall shares how they generated $30,000+ in 72 hours for his karate school with The 72 Hour ‘Cash Boost’ Sale. 


IN THIS EPISODE:

  • How Richard and Kim generated $30,000 in just 72 hours
  • How asking for help leads to faster martial arts business growth
  • Why action takers are the money makers
  • The power of surrounding yourself with like-minded people
  • How to get over the fear of charging what you're worth
  • 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. Today, I have two special guests with me, and in fact, this is my favorite type of episode to create. Look, we have great interviews on our show, but these ones are a bit more special for me, because this is a case study interview. And so, a case study interview is me interviewing some of our top clients and documenting the journey that they've gone through working with us, and celebrating the great result that they have achieved. 

And so today, I have Richard Fall, and Kim Comeau, from London Karate Club in Ontario, Canada. And we actually met via this podcast – I was chatting to Kim on Instagram, she was, “Hey, we actually listen to you every day!” And we got chatting, and we started working together, and it's been really such a great pleasure working with Richard and Kim, and seeing what great results they have achieved. And we're going to chat about that, because just recently, Richard and Kim went through a process that we call the '72 Hour Cash Boost Sale', which is exactly what it is. And they managed to generate $30,000 in just 72 hours. 

Now, that's the highlight, right? And hey, we got to talk about the highlights first. But it wasn't that easy to get to that point! Yep. The cash was collected in just 72 hours, but there was a lot that had to happen. Mindset, just belief in the process, belief that it can happen, and just being comfortable in creating a promotion like that without feeling like they're being sellout or cheap, or, you know, just being weird about how they operate their martial arts school. 

So, we're going to jump into the details, just how they worked through it, what they went through, the change of mindset, and really how any school owner could achieve results like that on a continuous basis, if they committed to the process. So, we'll jump into the details, and just for a bit of context, the strategy, it's something that we do in our Partners program.

Our Partners program is our flagship program that you've heard me speak about before if you've listened to us before. It's a group of school owners that we work with around the globe, we get together weekly and, you know, work through different strategies on how to attract the right students, increase signups, and retain more members. And so, the 72 Hour Cash Boost Sale is a process that you can run about four times per year, and it's just a great way to boost your cash flow. 

We'll dive into the details and I'll tell you how. So, jump right in. If you – depending on where you're listening or watching this episode, you can get the show notes on martialartsmedia.com/127. That's the numbers one-two-seven.

And you can also download our eBook, ‘The Ultimate Facebook Ad Formula for Martial Art Schools'. And that's it, jump into the episode, I'm sure you're gonna enjoy it. And wherever you're listening or watching make sure that you subscribe, that you get notified when we have a new episode. Enjoy.  

So, Richard and Kim, what's been the most profitable and most successful marketing campaign and ad campaign that you've done recently, or up to date? 

RICHARD: Most important one that I've done and the most profitable one I've done was the 72 Hour Sale that you set out for us. Like, I've had goals in the past that I've made, but I've never surpassed what you had mapped out for us in the 72 Hour Sale. I think moving forward, the most important, yeah, that was the most important one that stood out in my whole running of the dojo career. 

GEORGE: That's awesome. And what was the outcome? What was the result? 

RICHARD: The outcome was around almost $31,000, which is what we did. Like, we had a goal to sell 20 memberships, and we were okay at only selling 12. Twelve was our minimum, 20 was our goal; and we did 20, right on the nose. So, we did 20 memberships right on the nose.

GEORGE: That is pretty cool, right? 31,000 in between the COVID madness and things like that. How did that impact the business? 

RICHARD: The impact on the business? We… It was to the point where COVID was kind of taking away from my business what I had made up to that point and it actually fueled the dojo to be, or the school to actually be able to carry forward into this year. So, I had no worries carrying forward into this year. 

So, it actually helped me out quite a bit, with just the money part of it. Just the money part and the worries of being able to pay the bills, being able to pay employees, and, you know, taking care of business itself. So, it took a lot off my shoulders stress-wise that way, and really gave me a good kickstart for 2022. 

GEORGE: Love it. Alright, so, before we get into all the other good stuff, welcome to the show and thanks for jumping on! So, a bit of context. I've been working with Richard and Kim for, I don't know, maybe about almost a year, maybe? 

RICHARD: Almost a year, yeah. 

GEORGE: Before we jump into everything else, firstly, you're sitting behind an awesome wall. But I've got Richard Fall and Kim Comeau from London Karate Club in Ontario, Canada. Just give us a bit of a round up. What do you do? What do you teach? And yeah, just a bit of a background; a quick, brief background about the business.

Martial Arts Business

RICHARD: I'm the owner of the London Karate Club and my teacher is Master Meitatsu Yagi out of Okinawa, Japan, and I've been training with him since 1985. And I've been training myself in karate for about 42 years. And yeah, so, we teach Meibukan Goju-Ryu, and we just teach karate, we don't teach anything else but karate. 

And, you know, we leave all the other stuff, jiu jitsu and that stuff, to the professionals that handle that stuff, and that's what we do. I follow the family religiously, and I travel to Okinawa when I can. Just over the last few years, I couldn't travel and see my teacher, but it's  – we're moving forward. We're moving forward towards seeing each other again. 

GEORGE: Awesome. And the important right-hand lady sitting next to you… Kim! 

KIM: Yeah, so, I've been training for about 20 years now, and I joined the London Karate Club about six years ago. So, I've been training under Sensei Richard Fall for six years. And I've also traveled to Okinawa and have credentials internationally, or black belt gradings and stuff. I came on board to help with the backend of the business. So, a lot of the advertising and Facebook and social media stuff.

RICHARD: She was also the first Canadian woman to win a tournament in Okinawa. 

GEORGE: Wow… and you just left that out, right?! 

KIM: And that… 

GEORGE: Of course, yeah. Any other credentials that are hidden from us, Richard, that we need to, we need to bring to light? 

RICHARD: Ranks don't really matter, but I'm a 9th Degree Black Belt. Hanshi under Dyson, say, Meitatsu Yagi in Okinawa, which makes me the highest rank in my style in Canada. So… 

GEORGE: Amazing. 

RICHARD: Allows me to do international gradings myself, and on behalf of my teacher, and we're hopefully going to soon connect Zoom classes with them, so that we can reach out to the entire world, right, with him and try to see if we can get some movement for him, you know, as well. 

GEORGE: That's cool. So, now I know you're very passionate about your karate and you're a purist at heart and can see it in the display behind you there. Do you want to just give us a quick round up – what are we looking at in the background there?

martial arts business case study

RICHARD: So, the three people behind me, the black and white picture above my head is Master Meitoku Yagi, the founder of Meibukan Goju-Ryu, who I have a third degree under, and fortunate to meet in 1990. To over Sensei Kim's head is my master, Master Dai Sensei Meitatsu Yagi, and then the guy that's just below is Ippei Sensie, his son. The kanji behind me means great well, so it means to move forward and the opportunity to make great wealth. 

GEORGE: And what else have we got?

RICHARD: Well, we got, we have the rope above my head, on the shrine there, that's from the tug of war in Okinawa. 2013, I went over and we did the festival of rope. The festival of rope is the longest tug of war in the world. They do it every October, it's kind of like an Oktoberfest, but it's to usher in good crops. They used to be to usher in good crops, and then what all would do, all the territories around the area would come together, and they would do kata in the Kokusai-dori, which is the main strip in Okinawa, and I had the fortune to be able to demonstrate my karate in with the Okinawans as well.

GEORGE: That's cool. So, you treasure that, and the history and the heritage, how do you bring that into the school and into the teaching?

RICHARD: When our students move forward, they have to actually learn history. So, as they move forward, they have to know who the master of the style is, who the creator of the style is, and what our history is. So, we go all the way from Chojun Miyagi to Meitoku Yagi. So, the founder of Goju-Ryu, Goju-Ryu is one of the major styles that make up all of karate in the world. So, Chojun Miyagi passed on, his family passed on the style to Meitoku Yagi Dai Sensei, and then passed the style onto his son. So, our lineage is a pure straight line. 

So, right straight from Chojun Miyagi, all the way to me is a straight line, there's no fragments in between at all. So, the culture is carried forward, because bringing my teacher here, he's very big on history. And I know history has a part of understanding where you come from, but it's not the end-all be-all, right? So, you can't, with me being part of, understanding history, I've always found that I'm humble. 

So, being too humble sometimes can shoot you in the foot, because you don't feel like you should charge as much for what you're doing. Because it's more spiritual to you, right? It's more inside that you feel gratification, through teaching, right? So, as I was growing up, going through, growing up as a child, I wasn't a very good teenager. I was actually getting into a lot of trouble and causing problems. And then that's when I first got introduced at around 15 and a half to karate, and karate actually saved my life. Two people that I hung around with actually committed murder and it could have easily been me. 

So, I owe karate my life. So, I kind of took that for… I've been in business for probably about 32 years now, and never really made a huge success. I'm still doing a part-time school, and still working a job during the day. I know, George, that makes you cringe. But I'm trying to get past that guy who is still afraid to step out of what he does as a job and get into something that he does for a passion.

GEORGE: Alright, so, you mentioned and I want to get back to Kim on just what part of that attracted you to training under Sensei Richard Fall. So, but on that, because you bring up a point, and this is a point that comes up a lot. I think the connection between the spiritual aspect and what martial arts mean to you personally, and then there's the business side, that's what's got to happen. 

Somehow, in most humans' brains, we make this connection, or there's past programming, that money is evil, or money's bad. Or there's somebody that's a real, you know, I don't even like the term dojo, but there's, you know, people that are just teaching real watered down, poor martial arts, and they're charging an arm and a leg and they're ripping people off. We didn't, I don't really see much of that in Australia, but you know, if you watch McDojoLife, you'll probably see, you can probably see it all, right? But I think there's a lot of danger there, right? Because you don't want to be that guy, and so now you link old programming to you know, money, how money is bad. 

And if I'm going to make money with my spiritual thing, that means so much to me and has impacted my life in such a positive way, and now I start focusing on the money, I'm going to be perceived as that guy… and I think that's a big thing that a lot of martial artists get stuck with. How do you feel you've overcome that? Because I think you, you might not be giving yourself as much credit is due, right, because you've moved a few mountains. How's your perspective changed over the last six months or so?

martial arts business case study

RICHARD: Well, I think when working with you and with Martial Arts Media and Partners, I think talking to everybody in the community kind of helped me to realize, “Hey, there's a lot of good martial artists out there that are charging what they're worth.” And like I said to you before, I have a hard time relating to people that have 400 students, 350 students. 

I used to have 250 students, and I did it all by myself and I realized that I can't do it by myself. That failure, that I went backwards, actually taught me a lot, that if I can get there, once I get there again. I just have to get it in my mind and the tools to be able to do it, right? And I think by joining the group and the Partners has kind of helped me, kind of start that machine and get those wheels moving, that see that, “Hey, you know what, it's not bad to make money at doing what you're doing, right?” And it's not bad at – teaching your craft and getting something for it, right? 

I put a lot of time and effort, and since Kim puts a lot of time and effort into making things happen, and the Facebook ads, all that stuff is something that you taught us, and like I said before, is that we're very thankful for that. And, you know, there's a point in time where money is tight. And I said, “Well, what did I do? Like I stepped into this thing, this commitment. And maybe it's the wrong thing to do at this time.” And the only thing I could cut is things that are new, and I'm grateful that I kept on going with Partners, because it's really teaching me a lot how to move forward, and how to move past that barrier of, you know, is it okay to make money? 

GEORGE: Cool. I remember there was a, I mean, we've had many conversations after but I remember, in our, the game plan call that we have as onboarding when school owners join our Partners Group… I remember this, it had an impact on me as well, because I remember talking to you, and I remember seeing something go off in your mind, that you realized, “Oh, hang on, like, I can charge what I'm worth. I'm, you know, I'm more valuable than the way that we are going.” Can you recall that moment? I recall it, it really stuck with me.

RICHARD: That was when we had a private, kind of a private, call. And you sat down and showed me the map of what I could do, and I think that moment, I realized that, “Hey, you know, I'm actually a part of this game, too.” And like I said, I did it by myself before, I can't do it by myself. 

I'm thankful for the person sitting beside me, because she does a lot, and she does a lot of stuff that I can't do, right? And not that I can't do it, I can probably learn it. It's just, it's difficult being, you know, I'm 58 years old, it's kind of hard to teach an old dog new tricks, as they say, right? That's not a Canadian term, either. That's actually a real term. 

GEORGE: I've actually heard that one before. 

RICHARD: But it's showed me, that showed me that I can make more, and since you showed me that, we are making more. Like, we got more people coming into the dojo, more than ever, with our Facebook ad. We're averaging about nine to… Well, I send it to you every week, right? Nine, and we just went up from nine, and went up from there; and, you know, we never had that traffic before. 

Growing pains is a good thing. It's scary, but it's a good thing. And we just, we're floating our boat in a little bit rocky water that we don't know, but we're navigating through it, right? And we have you to help us along the way, to navigate through that. So yeah, that moment, I do remember that moment, that moment that you had showed us the way to do it. Yes. 

GEORGE: That's cool. So, Kim, we want to hear a bit more from you there. No pressure. But I guess first, just as a quick side intro, right, what of the history and what of that attracted you to starting with Sensei Richard Fall?

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KIM: I just moved to the city, and I was looking for a place that was… I was doing Goju-Ryu and I wanted to keep with that. It was actually a friend from way up north that told me about the London Karate Club. So, I did a class here. And I was kind of hooked, because I was doing it, I was training for about 15 years before, and it was a little different. I liked the lineage, how pure it was. It wasn't, like, branched off to different people. It was very direct. And I really liked that I could do the same style that I was doing for, like, 15 years, I can continue that, so… yeah, and then I just was hooked. I was like training every day here, and I continue to do that still to this day. So, yeah.

GEORGE: That's cool. Now, you also implement a lot of the marketing and so forth. So, how does your role work within the club? 

KIM: Okay, yeah, so I started with being more social media, like, with getting stuff out there for our club and just putting it out there on Instagram and social media. And then I was just making positive progress with it, and it just turned into a manager role here. So, I've done sales for 15 years. So, I know a lot about that, and I have a lot of stuff that I can offer and I'm able to do for Richard. I also went to school last year, when I was let go of my job, and I did coding and website design. So, that's when I started getting into redoing the whole website, and it's going really, really well. And yes, so, I'm just continuing to keep going forward. 

GEORGE: And keeping the marketing engine rotating… 

KIM: Just going, which is a consistent thing that you do like every single day. So, yeah. 

GEORGE: Love it. Ok, so, a quick couple of questions just on, I really wanted to bring the two of you on as my favorite Canadians, first and foremost. Getting a better understanding as well from just everything that you do, just the history and so forth. I want to take this opportunity as well, and just ask a couple of questions just about, you know, us working together, like what's helped you most. Although you have revealed a lot of that, just going into a couple of things, right? So, first up, like, when we started working together, you mentioned a bit about the money thing and the value in the belief, but what were the biggest problems that you were facing at that time? 

RICHARD: The biggest problems that we were facing is that, in my mindset, I didn't want to be the lowest guy, I didn't want to be the highest guy, I wanted to be the middle guy. And being the middle guy, I gave away a lot of free two-week classes, which are two-week courses, which kind of shot me in the foot, because it's, uh, they're tire kickers, right? They don't really want to pay a big amount of money. 

So, we would get maybe one, maybe one or two, one or two people from that, right? And it didn't really pan out, right? It didn't really pan out for us. So, I was kind of trying to feel my way through it, and then it really, the success I had, like I said, I've been doing this for 32 years on a part time basis. There were five Meibukan schools in London, and I'm the only one left. So, I'm very, I'm a very dug-in person. I'm a very perseverant person, right? 

So, I think, by the mindset of giving stuff away, I always gave it away, instead of selling it, right? So, moving on to meeting you, Kim and I used to listen to podcasts all the time. They kind of got me hooked. I said, “Well, let's…” I let her listen to you, and we listened to you. I even used to listen to you all the way when I went to work or home. I found it very interesting. I'm going, like, you know, I wonder if this guy is really true blue, real guy, right? 

So, I think Sensei Kim, I think Kim reached out to you. I'm going, “Holy crap, he actually listened and he actually, you know, got back to us, right?” So, that's kind of what got that ball rolling, was actually Kim calling you or sending a message to you, and yeah, then it went from there, right?

GEORGE: And what was the big goal? I mean, at that time, what was the big aim? The big goal that you wanted to achieve? 

RICHARD: I wanted 300 students, that was all. 

GEORGE: 300 students, why did you want 300 students?

Martial Arts Business

RICHARD: Because I think moving forward, I want to have a living doing this. I want to get away from my day job and do this as a living. Like, I want to have what Lindsay Guy has, I want to have what Cheyne McMahon has, I want to have what Ross has, right? I want to have that and not because of… No, good for them, I just want to have that for me. As at the end of, when it's all said and done, I can say, “I built that.” I made that happen, right? And it was always – I came close but never really made an achievement. 

So, I guess it's seeing my baby, which is the dojo here, the school, to become what I want it to be. You know, this gem that I want it to be and I want those students just, not to blow my horn, I teach a really good martial art and I want those students to move forward and them to become teachers. I want them to become senseis of their own dojo, right? And that is why I want to get to the point of becoming bigger, right? 

GEORGE: So, out of that, while working together, I mean, what's had the biggest impact? And what's helped you the most? 

RICHARD: Of growing now? I think the social media part. I think Facebook – Kim can answer that as well.

KIM: Yeah, for sure. Definitely the Facebook ads, and learning about them, and how to advertise and catch people's eyes for the ads. That's been a huge impact for us, like, I received messages, like, 30 messages a day. So, that's had a huge impact on us for sure. 100%. Like, we've had to actually make classes built around beginner classes. So, that really pushed us forward too and it started us thinking about how we can gradually bring them into our family of London Karate Club. So… 

RICHARD: So, when you had that challenge, that 72 Hour Sale, I remember saying to Kim, “There's no way we win this, there's no way.” We've got Brad who has 400 students, you got Cheyne who has 350 students… This little dojo of 100 students, there's no way we're going to be able to beat these guys, right?
So, we did give it our best. We gave it our best and hoped for the best. And I just had one more day, I had one more encore day in my pocket, and we sold four memberships on that one encore day, right? That moment showed me that I can move a mountain, right? I can make it happen, right? And it's refreshing that something can make you and bring you up and lift you up like that, right? 

And, you know, why did this little dojo, this little school, beat these guys with all these students? Right, perseverance, right? It's perseverance. It's like the Rocky movie, right? You know, the guy who doesn't think he's going to win, and all of a sudden, he's there, right? You know, now I know moving forward. And like I said, the other night, I'm looking forward to moving forward with you, and I'm excited for what's coming, right? 

GEORGE: So, just a bit more on the 72 Hour Sale, I think just for context for anyone listening. I know a lot of people run like a Black Friday sale or Christmas sale. We've got this method in the Partners group called the 72 Hour Sale, because it was created before we created anything for Black Friday sale, but it can be used as a Black Friday sale or Christmas sale or any valid reason that you really give it. 

So, you can run it four times a year, twice a year, you know, whatever. Whatever mountains you're trying to move. In our Partners Group, we put together these challenges every so often. So, we run on six week cycles, and we put together a challenge, and we just see who gets the most numbers. Who would have thought martial artists are competitive? 

Everybody tends to rally up and get stuck in, right? And, so, we ran the six-week challenge. You could tell us more, right? But like Richard, as you were saying, you thought it was not possible, because you've never done something like this, and then you ended up with the number?

RICHARD: Right. I never thought you could do that in 72 hours. I never thought in my life. I've never done – that was the best sale – and that was the best month I've ever done. Like, ever, ever! And it was, like, it opened my eyes. If you really put your mind to it and really put everything aside and just focus on that number – focus on that number – 20, 20, 20. 

And that's what I was focused on, I was focused on 20, but in the back of my mind, I would have settled for 15, right? But that last day I said to Sensei Kim, “We're not settling for 15. We're not settling for 16. We're going to get 20.” And we got 20! And well, the way we did it was that we took – it's not just selling individual memberships, we started involving families, right? 

So, we had one lady who signed up for a family of three, right? So, we took the first number as the number, and then the other ones would kind of it's a little bit smaller, right? So, we actually sold family memberships and went there. So, we made that number just by being a little bit creative, right?

GEORGE: And that number, the dollar number, was 31? 

RICHARD: Just almost 31,000. Was 30,880 odd dollars. Yeah. 

GEORGE: That's nice. Bonus, right? 

RICHARD: It was…

GEORGE: Especially if you haven't done that! Now, I think what's more important from that, and you were sort of mentioning that as well, is how does that make you feel as in what you can achieve next? Like, I mean, it's nice to grab the cash and money's great, but what impact does it have on you? 

Martial Arts

RICHARD: It shows me that I – everyday sales – if I really ramp it up and really focus on what I need to focus on, and it shows me that I can make this as a living. It shows me that if I really had to spend all my time and effort at this, that I will never have to go through that door for someone else again… because really, when we go to work, and we're not working for ourselves, working for somebody else, that door becomes a dreadful, dreadful entrance, right? The shrine that's behind me, you see the gate of training there.

I have the gi of training at the door of my dojo, and every time I pass over that, the world stays behind. This is my world, right? So, I want that door. I want to walk through that door every day. I want that door to feed me every day. Feed me that positivity every day. And then, Kim and I, we work on positivity stuff all the time, right? We try to keep ourselves positive. I said, you know, through this 72 Hour Sale, we can't be negative, we got to be positive and we got to think positive, right? 

And it just shows me that I can make a living at this, right? I can make a living at this, right? And I gotta shake off those fears, right? Like fight full contact in Japan and shoot fighting – getting punched in the face sucks. It really sucks getting punched in the face sucks, right? I did a 20 man fight in Okinawa for my 8th Dan. It sucks, bare fist, fair enough, it sucks. But that stuff's easy compared to… To me, that stuff's easy compared to shaking off the fear of going into business for yourself. But it showed me, the 72 Hour Sale showed me that I can do that – I can shake off those fears. 

GEORGE: Yeah, and hats off to you because it's not, I mean, we provide the strategy and the formula… and it's great that we've got so many smart cats in our group that we can test different strategies, and we even refined things that last few days, and how can we change the offer to make it more valuable. 

But it should be said that none of this happens if you don't have a great product – and that means you deliver great classes, teach epic classes and deliver great martial arts classes. So, nothing happens without that. Last few questions, if you had to answer this: I almost didn't join, because…? 

RICHARD: I almost didn't join, because I didn't know if I could make the commitment to afford it. To be honest with you, George, what I did was – hoping my wife doesn't listen to this – during the first part of COVID, I, well, leveraged my house to keep this place open, because nobody was here – was just me, right?

And the first part, I didn't know how to do Zoom, we didn't know how to do Zoom, right? We didn't understand it, and then – we joined – it was the Partners that helped us with Zoom, right? We joined Zoom, we joined Partners, and we had to figure Zoom out. And so, what we did is we bought a year subscription for Zoom, and now we're teaching Zoom classes when we're locked out. 

And people are coming out – people don't like it so much – but the people are coming out, right? Because it's information. It's information. And I, like, I picked up a student through Sensei Kim in the UK, and he's training now and he's enjoying it, right? So, I mean, Zoom has its place, and you know, it taught us that we can touch and get involved with a lot of different people around the world. 

GEORGE: Love it. 

RICHARD: I was afraid I wouldn't be able to commit to you. That's my biggest fear. That was my biggest fear. 

GEORGE: Now can I ask, Kim, what did he really tell you?

Martial Arts

KIM: It was, that's what it was. It was, you know, can we keep putting money into this and you know, keep going and going forward at the same time? That's what it really was. And we just decided like, “Hey, let's just do it.” And like I said, the 72 Hour Sale, I think really opened us up to what we could do. It did for me too, because it – we were just a small dojo in, you know, in Canada, London, Canada, and we blew it out of the water really. For the short time and the work that you put into it, we got a lot out of it, and it just tells me that we can do a lot more.

RICHARD: Well, the other thing is though, when you sat down and went through the four-week sale with us, the four-week program? We used that four-week program, it brought a lot of students into us. So, that was the moment that you were talking about, when you saw the, “Hey, I can do this.” When I, when my wheel started changing, was that day and that's why I stayed. And also, just the feedback I get from all the people just sitting by – I don't talk a lot in the meetings – but I'm absorbing. 

I'm absorbing what they're saying and, you know, we're very much a paper and pen dojo. We haven't gotten on to a lot of apps and sign-in apps and stuff, and we're trying to figure it out now. Like, we're trying to figure it's got to be easier, right? So, we're getting a lot from the group and the Partners group and we're very thankful to be a part of it. Like it's, it's really helped us a lot, George. You guys have really helped us a lot. And I kind of like you a little. 

GEORGE: Ah, cool. So… 

RICHARD: Just a little bit, just a little bit. Take it easy. 

GEORGE: Okay, just a little, right. Good. I was glad to say that the, you know, the South African Aussie accent wasn't, you know, anything weird. 

RICHARD: Your Canadian accent is better than your Aussie accent. 

GEORGE: I do my best, hey! But one last thing, who'd you recommend us to, and why?

Martial Arts Schools

RICHARD: I would recommend you to anyone, anyone who's looking to make gains in their schools, and to just all around, make their schools a better place, financially wise, and even with the stuff that you guys help us with, with getting classes scheduled and figuring out timewise… I would recommend it to any martial artists out there that really, really are struggling and martial arts schools all struggle, we all struggle. 

And if you want to be able to move forward in your craft that you love so much, I would recommend it to anyone, any school. Any school out there can always use the martial arts Partners, Martial Arts Media, and… nothing but good things, nothing but good things will come from it. 

GEORGE: Thanks so much, Richard and Kim. Thank you. And if that's you, and you're listening to this, and you do need some help. Best way to do that probably if you go to martialartsmedia.com/scale. We've got a little questionnaire you can just add your details there, and we'll reach out and have a chat and see if it's the right fit for you. No Canadian Club whiskey or anything was sent over as a funded endorsement. Do you guys even drink Canadian Club or is that just a thing? 

RICHARD: No, no, that's, that's so… no, no. 

GEORGE: Right, because I discovered Fosters beer when I lived in the United States, which is this big one liter can of beer. I was like, “Oh, wow, this is really cool.” And then when I ended up living in Australia was like, “Where the hell is Fosters?” Like you cannot buy Fosters. It's not a local Australian beer and nobody drinks fosters here. So, it's just an American thing or a North American Canadian thing. I don't know if you guys get it in Canada, but I think the attraction was it was just this big one liter can of beer. Yeah, right. So, Canadian Club is not a? No? 

RICHARD: No. It's not really good whiskey.  

GEORGE: Cool. Hey, Richard, Kim, thanks so much for being on. I'll speak to you soon. See you on the next call. 

RICHARD: Great. Thank you for having us, George. We really appreciate it.

KIM: Thank you. 

RICHARD: Appreciate everything you've done. 

GEORGE: Thank you. 

RICHARD: Thank you.

 

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117 – [Case Study] How Lindsay Guy 3x’d His Martial Arts Business Coming Out Of Covid

Lindsay Guy is impacting many families while growing his karate business. The most important family being his own.

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IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Why risk takers are the actual winners
  • Why asking for help is good for you and your martial arts business
  • The power of surrounding yourself with like-minded people
  • Why repetition (of what works) in marketing is a good thing
  • The elements of an effective Facebook ad campaign
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

It's important that you surround yourself with positive people, people who are all wanting to head in the same direction that you're heading. Regardless of what level of school you've got, you've got guys that come on now who have got quite large schools, that are up to capacity, that are not really interested in expanding their school, but just maintaining it. Keeping up to the levels they've got and of course, they're sharing their knowledge with some of the guys who have got smaller schools. 

GEORGE: Hey everyone, George here, and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. I'm speaking to a guest where, I am speaking to actually for the second time today, because we were just on one of our Partners coaching calls. Lindsay was on that and we’re just jumping over to find out more about Lindsay Guy. How are you doing today, Lindsay? 

LINDSAY: Top of the world today, George. I feel great actually! 

GEORGE: Top of the world, thanks to our conversations, right? 

LINDSAY: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You wouldn't believe how I felt prior to coming on with you. Thanks, George. 

GEORGE: Exactly. This is the type of banter, this might set the tone for the conversation, a little bit of tongue-in-cheek, a little bit of self-praise where it's not relevant, but anyway. From my side! 

Anyway, so chatting today to Lindsay Guy, and wanted to bring him on to just chat about his journey in martial arts and a whole bunch of other things that we'll reveal during the interview, but I'll give a quick roundup and then I'll hand it over to you to see if you can give us, you can fill the gaps, and tell us more about you and your background in martial arts. 

But Lindsay Guy, 6th Dan, founder of Guy's Karate School, 6th Dan Sho Da Kan karate, 2nd Dan Taekwondo, Level 5 ISKA referee and international referee, and a whole bunch of other things. So, officially, welcome to the call, Lindsay. 

So, give us a bit of a roundup – just how you got started in the business, the martial arts and how things have evolved up to now. 

LINDSAY: Well, I guess like a lot of people, I was a bullied child. I didn't enjoy my younger years, my school days, I was a bit of a, what you call a nerd. Back in the days when guys had long hair, I was a kid with short hair and glasses and big ears sticking out. So, wasn't really what you'd call a trendsetter at the time. Or maybe I was a trendsetter at the time, I just didn't know about it. 

But I remember I was sitting in my house, I was about 20 years old, sitting in my house and I came across an article in a newspaper about some guys who are going to a tournament with one of the local karate schools, and I thought I wouldn't mind trying that. So, at the end of the ad, of course, it had the details on how to contact the instructor if you're interested in studying karate. 

So, I gave this guy a call and went down to start to train with him. I remember on the first night he said, “Look, these guys are going to a tournament. So, we actually might use you as a bit of a partner, so put these gloves on. You can be a bit of a training partner for these guys.” Now, I've never punched anybody in my life. And yet, here's this guy, got those gloves on.

And I continued to go back until about, I guess it was about two months later, when he came to me and he said, “Look”, he was a Swiss German, so he had this very strong accent and everything that he said, he still says, just sounds cranky all the time. And he said to me, “Look, you're never going to learn karate. You're stupid.” He said, “You just go home. Don't come back. Don't waste my time.” And I went, “Really?” And he went, “Yeah, yeah, yeah – you're just stupid, go away.”

So, then the next night I came back and he said to me, “I told you not to come back”, and I went, “Yeah, I know, but I'm coming back.” So, years later I said to Sensei Celso, who was my instructor, I said, “Do you remember years ago when you said to me, I'm stupid, don't come back?” He said, “Yeah, I remember that.” And I said, “So, why would you say that?” He said, “I recognized some potential in you, and I just wanted to see whether you really wanted to learn karate.

So, if you came back, you proved to me that you're genuine, you wanted to learn, and if you didn't come back,” he said, “Well, you just proved that you really weren't that keen on it.” So, that's how we started off. 

GEORGE: Now that's interesting in two ways. Number one, that your actual entry point was looking at an ad for a tournament. Well, for me, at least, that's the first time I've ever heard of someone starting based on a tournament and kind of wanting to jump into the deep end. Was that a strange thing for you to just rock up and think, “Well, hey, there's a tournament happening. I want to be in a tournament, and I want to learn this thing to be in the tournament?” At 20, as well. 

LINDSAY: Well, I didn't consider it strange. And now you've just made me feel a little odd about that now, George. Up until that point, I'd never felt strange about it. But maybe there's a little lack of sleep tonight, because of that, thinking about it.

But no, I just always wanted to learn karate, because I grew up through the Bruce Lee, the, you know, the Kung Fu with David Carradine days, martial arts movies were all the go back then. You know, with guys like Richard Norton, Chuck Norris, all those guys.

And I'd always looked at that, and being a bullied child, I thought maybe this is something I can do. Maybe I can slowly, you know, get into something and finally start learning to defend myself. That's why I showed up. And of course, maybe I was stupid at the time, because I just kept coming back, you know, out of all of those students that Sensei Celso trained over those years, I'm still the only one that's still doing karate. 

GEORGE: Now, the second question on that, what do you think of that type of reverse psychology approach? And how relevant do you think that still is – to challenge someone in that way? 

LINDSAY: I don't think it's relevant at all. I would never say that to any of my students. I think it's a, you know, a stupid thing to say. Because at that time, you know, I didn't know anything about karate, I was still a little fragile. I could have just walked out of that center and went, “Ok, I won't do it then.” And of course, he could have lost the student, martial arts could have not gained a great instructor. 

GEORGE: Exactly. 

LINDSAY: Yep. 

GEORGE: Yeah, I always wonder about that type of approach, and I think there's, it works for a set personality, that you respond to that challenge, like, “You won't tell me, I'll show up.” But then, I think, for the majority, 75%, you might miss the chance of someone just kind of crumbling, especially if you have been bullied and you have been stamped on a few times… it could go the other way, right?

Karate Business

LINDSAY: Well, absolutely, it could see, we came through the old fashioned Sho Da Kan, traditional style of training, it was hard training. And yeah, lots and lots of people used to leave, our retention rate was dreadful, you know, you do a big ad, you'd have 30 people and within two weeks, there'd be only six left. It was a hard road, it wasn't a black belt in three years, and it was a black belt in 7 – 8 years. It was training without gloves, it was training without any protection, it was on old wooden floors, and you're regularly getting hit and thrown to the floor. 

So, I understand now why people didn't last, but the people that did last and go through the system, turned out to be quite good martial artists and are, you know, quite tough in themselves. It was a very mental feat, because they used to, you know, just push you quite hard.

GEORGE: And do you think a lot of that is lacking at the moment? I mean, because what I just referenced, you know, it's probably easy to say, and there will probably be someone that says, “Yeah, don't be a snowflake, kind of get over it, grow a pair”, you know, everything else that goes with it. Which, yeah, it's a fair point, and it is relevant, but I think sometimes you can completely separate someone from actually making that decision to move forward and do the thing by not approaching them properly. 

But on that, I mean, what do you feel? How much of that do you feel is missing? And if you look at students today, how do you feel that they progress? And do you feel that they achieve that same kind of grit and hard attitude from training and perseverance? 

LINDSAY: A lot depends on the personality of the student, really. You know, during our training and all instructors will tell you the same thing, they can pick the ones that they can push a bit harder. They can pick the ones that they tend to slap around a little bit more.

You know, I've got a 21 year old who's a 2nd Dan with us, and I made sure that he came out tough. I made sure that, you know, he could defend himself, and the first time they got into a situation, he perhaps wasn't, he wasn't going to panic or the first time he got hit, he wasn't going to break down and cry. He's also a big boy.

But there are those students that have come through that I've pushed a little harder and that were treated a little rougher, and I think they've come out at the other end much better martial artists. There's a difference between being a great martial artist and being someone who's tough enough to stand up for themselves. Like, I can teach lots and lots of people to do great technique, but at the end of the day, are they tough enough to be able to stand up in a self defence scenario? 

GEORGE: Perfect. So, moving on from that – so, your 20s and you know, your training. How did your journey evolve from there? 

LINDSAY: I must admit, we went to a lot of tournaments back then. It seemed to be every weekend we were at some form of tournament we're at. You know, back then there weren't a great deal of tournament circuits like there is now to participate in and back then there were only two events. It was just Kumite, it was just sparring, and then there were kata patterns, and when you went, those were the two things that you competed in, wasn't anything else.

So, when we look at today with events and tournaments, you know, there's so much for kids to do today, there's cuddling, I'm sorry, wrestling. 

GEORGE: Ooh – you've just lost half of my audience. 

LINDSAY: There's sword combat, you know, there's sumo, there's high kicks, there's extreme weapons, there's all of those sorts of things that kids can be involved in competing today. But you know, back in the old style tournament, two things: you went in your one Kumite event, your one kata event, and however you performed from there, that was all there was. 

So, I did a lot of tournament work back then, I was involved in the New South Wales Karate Federation, I was involved in the, in what we called WUKO back then, was the world organization, you know, karate union, there was KY karate union in Australia, there was a lot of those traditional associations out there that we belonged to. We competed regularly in, you know, your AKF in New South Wales Karate Federation tournaments, and that sort of thing. There were lots of state titles and Australian titles that we competed in, and then, of course, from there, even international events that we competed in overseas. 

So, over that time, I've probably done, I don't know, thousands and thousands of tournaments. But I must admit that that's been part of the reason that's kept me in and I guess over that time is the fun that I've been able to have, and the people that I've been able to meet through those tournaments. Because if I just stayed in my little town of Maitland and practiced in a little local hall, honestly I don't think I'd still be in karate. It was those tournaments, those people I met, was the excitement I had, the travel that I did, that's kept me in it, I guess. 

GEORGE: Is that due to just the motivation of, it's inspiration from other martial artists, and also just the way your training progressed in a different form? 

LINDSAY: No, I always go to tournaments, and I think I found something I was good at. You know, when you find something you're good at, and you're doing well at it, it makes you happy, it keeps you well, and it keeps you interested. So, I always thought, I had this idea that why would I stop doing something that I like doing and I'm good at to go and try and find something else that I'm good at and I like doing, when, you know, I'm already doing, you know what I liked doing and what I'm good at? 

So, I just stayed there, that was why I did it. And I still compete! You know, I competed a couple of weeks ago in Sydney at the ISKA Sydney Open, so I'm still competing in the old people's events. The ones where we come out with the walkers, you know. 

GEORGE: That's cool. I'm actually on the part of your website that I, well, the part of your bio that I did leave out – achievements. Just scanning through here. 1985, commenced training with Ken-Sei-Kan in Maitland with Celso Bauer. 1987, won North Coast Open (Kumite) at Coffs Harbor. 1988, first place over 80 kg in New South Wales for the Federation. Alright, pretty impressive. 

LINDSAY: Thank you. There's so much that could be listed there. It could be pages and pages and pages of it, but at the end of it all who really cares? Nobody, except me. 

GEORGE: Do your students care? 

LINDSAY: Most of them not. Yeah, some of them do. You know, I still compete and some of them when they see me compete there, and they were, “Wow, that's, Shihan's actually probably pretty good there, I can see that he is.” However, the people that walk in through my door, they really don't care how many stripes I've got on my belt and how many trophies I've got up on my wall. They're more concerned is, what I'm going to give to their children or themselves. 

But you know, what are we going to get out of it? Not what your achievements are. And I think too many people worry about how many certificates they got on their wall and how many trophies they got up on the shelf and how many stripes they've got on their belt. Think that's going to give them students – it doesn't work that way. 

GEORGE: And how did you come to that realization? Was it, was there a time that that was your focus, and you leaned towards that in your marketing, that is your strength, what you provide? 

LINDSAY: Absolutely. You know, I thought the more stripes I had on my belt, the more students I was going to get. You know, when I was in my 30s, I was a cocky, young bloke, and, you know, promoting trophies and self-promotion, I thought was the way that we did things.

Realistically, at the end of it all, the only person that really cared about it was me, you know, I can look back through old paper clippings and stuff now that I've got in some scrapbooks. They're great to look at, they're great for memories, but I could put it out at the dojo, and people just have a quick flick through it.

No one really cares about any of that stuff. I think that when you're looking at promoting your business, you know, whether it be online or more verbally, I think people just really need to know what they're going to get out of it. What can you do for them? 

GEORGE: Yeah, and so I think it's important for you and your confidence in the way you portray yourself, and the fact that you can back up what you say and what you provide. And I think that's probably the missing key, you know, if you can use that as a credibility statement, of positioning it in a way that's actually relevant to the students. Like, what's the benefit in it for them? 

LINDSAY: Well, it's on my website, I've put my bio on the website, Shihan Lindsay, and it's there for those people who want to go and have a look. I don't promote it, I don't tell people to go on and have a look at what I've done. But there are people out there that say, “We want to check this guy out. We want to check his credentials, we want to see what he's done.”

And some people go on there and they go, “Oh, wow, he must be a pretty good instructor because it says he's won lots of stuff”, which really doesn't mean anything, because I might not be a good instructor. I might be a self-centered Wally, who, you know, is just full of self-promotion, I might not be a good instructor at all. 

GEORGE: So, you did something slip, and you were talking about cuddling. Where did this reference come from? 

LINDSAY: Well, actually, George, I think it may come from you, to be honest with you. I think it was more or less something we started just to have a bit of banter with you, because I know you do a bit of BJJ, and I know you're quite attached to it. And any poke that we can have at, you know, other martial artists in jest, I think is, is pretty healthy. 

GEORGE: That's good! And I'm glad you mentioned that for the context, you know that we don't get hate messages for this podcast. That was all relevant banter, and… 

LINDSAY: I like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It's not that I don't like it or any form of Jiu Jitsu. I think that, you know, throughout our karate teaching, we do a lot of that. It's just a different art to what we do, that's all. And have I done it? Plenty of it. Have I been involved in seminars where they do it? Of course, many times. Have I enjoyed it? Yes. That's not what I think. 

GEORGE: That's good. I thought it almost would be good to say, you know, do you feel that that is where you would evolve to? 

LINDSAY: Quick answer, no. 

GEORGE: Okay. 

LINDSAY: Why? Because it's not my interest. It's not… 

GEORGE: I just wanted to throw that in there as an evolving statement. That was the only… People come to me, and they say, “But we'd like to do some Jiu Jitsu,” and I say, “Yeah, there's a great school just around the corner. Go see the guys down there, because they're fantastic at what they do.”

So, walk me through the success of your school and how things have evolved. 

LINDSAY: Yeah, well, we did about 32 years in the school hall. And again, just the same, you know, you build up, you have 30 students and then what happens, is in a few weeks, later, you've got 15 left. It wasn't till about three years ago that I made the decision that it's probably about time that I started my own school.

See, for about a million years, I just looked around trying all these little business ideas. The same ones that lots and lots of people try, you know. I tried, you know, working on different little ideas that I came up with marketing and the way to do stuff.

And after 33 years, I realized that I already had it. It was sitting right there. That whole business that I've been looking for is that I've been playing with it for 30-odd years and did not even realize what I had. I'd liked teaching martial arts, I wasn't making any money, actually.

As most martial artists would tell you, if they got a little school in a school hall or a community hall, it probably costs you more money every year than what you actually make out of it. And it's just the way that is, and when I went through the stage then, I went, “Okay, there's a couple of things I'm looking at.

Retirement – do I want to continue to work in a job for a boss asking when I can have holidays and days off for the rest of my life?” No, I didn't want to do it. Did I want a school that I could, you know, build? That at some point in time, I could go and have holidays, the school could still continue to run and I could receive an income from that? Yes.

So, now there was only one option then, was to take the gamble, and start a school. So, the first thing was to look around for a building, get a building, I still had a full time job at this stage, and it wasn't til just before COVID, that I didn't have a full time job.

So, I quit my job on the 19th of March 2020, and then on the 21st of March 2020, the government closed us down. It was a great time to actually quit my job, I went back to the boss and he said, “Sorry, Lindsay, but I've already replaced you, we've already got a guy now doing your job, and we don't need you any longer.” Then we went through the next six months, of course, without any income, which was great. We were still doing Zoom lessons during that time, but I still made that commitment that I didn't want to go back to a job. 

So, what had happened prior to that, though, is that, you know, I'd gone to all of these martial arts marketing companies, every time I opened up my Facebook, there was somebody else promoting how good they were and what they could do for me. Admittedly, I paid quite a lot of money to a lot of those people, and really achieved no success out of it. What a lot of them do is say to you, “We'll do this for you, we'll have regular meetings, you know, we'll help you boost your school, we'll look at it.” 

And at the end of it all, once you've signed up, paid your money, you really don't hear from a lot of them ever again. You send them emails, they don't respond to them. They give you this package, it's a bunch of videos that you can watch, and if you watch all the videos, and do as we say, well, you'll do okay at it. But what I wanted was something different to that, George. 

What I wanted was someone who can hold me accountable, or someone that I could regularly speak to, and was involved in some form of group where I could speak to other martial artists that were going through the same problems as I was going through, or had already been through the problems and come out the other side with some solutions. 

So, when I saw this ad come up for this George Fourie guy, I thought, another one, another one. But exactly the same as the other guys, I contacted you exactly the same as I contacted all the other guys, because George Fourie could have been the one. He could have been the one or he might have been just another line of wasted money.

And what I did was, is that after contacting you, I felt comfortable, because I could speak to you, we could go on Zoom, we could have a chat together and you at that time said to me, “These are some other people that I'm working with, if you want to have a chat with them, feel free to contact them.” And you made me a guarantee that if I did what you asked me to do, and it didn't work, you'd refund every single cent that I was ever going to pay to you, which was to me a no loss situation.

Instead of with the other guys, it was a no win situation. So, you know, we struggled, we really didn't know where we were going or how to get there. We've made lots of mistakes, we've had a lot of students come through. We've had a lot of students that had quit, because we weren't doing things correctly, because we had no experience. And what we were trying to do is go from a 20 student school to a 200 student school with absolutely no idea how to do it, and that's when you came. 

GEORGE: That's awesome! 

LINDSAY: Yeah. 

GEORGE: That's great to hear, and I think I'll just add to that. You mentioned another one of these guys. I sometimes feel, you know, I'm sitting on Facebook and I'm like, I kind of say the same thing, right?

Because I know where the information comes from, I mean, I'm late. I have never seen so many martial arts marketing people, which I find interesting and look, everybody is obviously free to run a business and do their thing.

What I do have a gripe with is ethics. Ethics is a big, big thing for me. And when I started working in the martial arts space, Facebook wasn't even such a big thing.

I mean, my story of how I started was completely different. And I sort of worked my way into it, but it was a lot of trial and error and learning. There's a big trend in the online space, where you buy a course, you're not an expert, the expert tells you this is how you become an expert, and you model our system that works on how we sell the course.

Now, this expert becomes an expert, because they bought the course, and they go sell you their system on how that system works, and they give advice. And unfortunately, people end up spending a lot of money, and they spend money on the wrong things, or things are over promised. And I think for anybody that's listening to this in that field, you know, go out there and get some results before you over promise and lead people down the wrong path. 

LINDSAY: When I made that commitment, I made the commitment to go to a full time school with 20 students. Was a big commitment, but the belief in myself that I could do it was really high. I was encouraged by some other school owners that I knew. Yeah, just go for it.

We, I guess, paid out a lot of money out of our pocket for rent, you know, and outgoings and stuff before we built up, and quite quickly, we built up to about 70 – 80 students, which of course in that 70 – 80 students, we're still just paying rent.

So, I still wasn't making any cash out of it. Hence the reason I took my full time job. But what I found was it was extremely hard to build the business up, while I was concentrating on working all day, every day for a boss. What I'd do from there is I'd leave my place of employment, I'd go straight to the dojo, I'd teach, I'd shut up at night, I'd go home and have dinner and go to bed, and then start the next day exactly the same with my full time boss. 

So, how was I ever going to, you know, build up my business and work on increasing my student numbers if I was focusing more on somebody else's business than my own? You know, my wife was driving an old car, the guy I worked for, his wife was driving a new car. He was having great holidays, whenever he felt like it. I was having holidays whenever he told me I could. So, I decided that that wasn't for me. I wanted to be him. I wanted to be like him. 

So, that was when I made that decision to quit my job. Was it an easy decision to make? For me, it was. It was just straight down the line. I'm leaving. I'm not going to do this any longer. Where did the money come from? At that time? Well, it came from our housing mortgage.

You know, we had the withdrawal back out of the housing mortgage, and I used that money then to pay expenses, to pay bills. Were we living quite meekly? Yeah, we were. We weren't having great holidays. We weren't going out for dinner, you know, once a week. We weren't buying new cars.

What I was doing was, I was investing back into my business, because I could still see even though I had no idea where I was going, I still firmly believed in myself that we were going to make this business work. How? No idea. But it was that blind faith that kept driving me to keep doing stuff to keep looking at people, you know, like George Fourie, to keep making those telephone calls, or those, you know, internet introductions to them, because I was looking for that one person who was going to help me. 

Now, we came back from COVID, we had about 90 students when we came back from COVID. Currently, today we're pushing towards the 300 students. I promised my wife when we hit 300 students that we would buy her a new car. We're pretty close to that now, we've already ordered the new car, and it’s coming in about six weeks. 

I set a goal, and that's what we're pushing to now. So, you know, it's just those little rewards. You might think a car's not a little reward. It is a little reward. It's not a big reward. Yeah. So, you know, we've managed to do some things now and we're actually starting to live a little now.

We have a long time where we weren't living, we were surviving. But by putting all of that other lifestyle aside just for a short time, it's allowed us to build the business up to a level now where we're more comfortable financially.

We can have some holidays, we can go out, we can buy a new vehicle, and we can maybe get some new clothes and all of those things that we missed out on for so long. We can now do those simply because we missed out on them for so long. So, I've made that decision to put my business first, us second, and it was a gamble. All I had to do was do it correctly and do as some of your business advisors advised me to do, and it was going to work. 

There was no point asking successful people for help, and then once they've given me advice, not doing it. It was just pointless. And there's so many people out there, though, come to me now and people I know, have little schools, and they say, “So, you're doing pretty well, how did you manage to do it?” And I tell them, and they go, “Oh, well, we would never do that.” Okay, that's fine, because you'll never have what I have if you're not prepared to do it. It's pretty simple.

GEORGE: Awesome! 

Yeah, I love that. Firstly, well done. I actually wasn't aware of COVID until now, it's 90 to almost 300 students. That's magnificent! 

LINDSAY: Just over a year, now, George. 

GEORGE: Just over a year, triple the business, that's marvelous. You mentioned the car is a small thing – I love the fact that you could buy a car because every time you walk out and you look at the car, it cements the fact that you achieved that because of your success. So, it's actually one of the best rewards, you know, something that you can see, touch and feel every day. 

That's, like, the best reminder out there. And the other thing you mentioned, was just doing the work. Obviously, having belief in yourself, you know that you could do it – it all starts from that, like, really knowing that you can do this, and then having the guts to burn the bridges. And, really just, this is what I'm doing. I'm going to burn the bridges, create this business, it's going to provide for us, and go all in. 

LINDSAY: It's important not to lose focus, it's important not to lose focus of your goal. And you'll know – have there been times when I felt down about the business? Of course. Has there been times when I've really felt like, you know, I'm empty, and I don't know what to do next and what to fill it with? And at that period of time, I know that I've got a huge network of people that I can simply get on the phone or get on the internet to and speak to.

Now this week, for example, I had a couple of issues that I wanted some advice on or just someone to throw me some ideas. I contacted Cheyne McMahon and Brett Fenton this week, and had a chat with both of those two guys, because both of those guys are in a position that I want to be in. They've done the hard yards, they've made the mistakes. 

So, I thought what better opportunity than these two guys that I respect, that I know are in a position where I'm in too, and you know, ask them how they handled these situations? Or how would they handle these situations? And they gave me some advice, and I've made some decisions from that, which I feel is going to take us to the next step in our business.

So, it's important to get the right advice from the right people. There's plenty of people out there that are going to tell you can't do it. There's plenty of people out there who are going to tell you that, you know, we don't think it'll work. Are you sure you should be taking that risk? I think you're mad. And all those people out there. 

GEORGE: Those are the easy ones to find. You know, and that's why I think family can be the worst people to ask advice for, because they care for you and so they feel that they want to protect you. And so they give you advice to protect you, not move you forward.

But you know, on that, asking others for advice. That's what I really love about our weekly calls that we have, our Partners Power Hour sessions, because it's a session where, it's kind of a roundtable session that we have once a week, and a bunch of school owners, like today we had guys from New Zealand, Canada, and Australia on board. All different circumstances, a bit of a roundtable discussion of what's working, what's not, who's got ideas for different things, and, everyone gets to share and bounce ideas.

And the great thing about a mastermind type of event like that is everyone's actually got a valid point, no matter what level they're at, because you just need that one person to see things from a different angle, and that's what's going to move you forward. But it's kind of a place where we sort of congregate once a week and people get to ask questions, get unstuck, and you've got ideas and advice flowing freely. I always learn from it, I always get great ideas from that.

That's how we go create our next training session, because something came up in the session and we know that we can go and create a training from that, and sometimes will be someone like you, Cheyne, or Brett or one of the guys that jump on board and share what it is that they've got to share as well. 

LINDSAY: I think it's important that you surround yourself with positive people, people who are all wanting to head in the same direction that you're heading. And regardless of what level of school you've got, you've got guys that come on now who have got quite large schools, that are up to capacity, that are not really interested in expanding their school, but just maintaining it. You know, keeping up to the levels they've got and of course, they're sharing their knowledge with some of the guys who have got smaller schools. 

So, it's a fantastic environment to be around when we're involved in those conversations, because there's really no negative activity going on inside of our group chats, and that's why I join in. If there was negative activity, I'd simply go. I don't really want to dial in every Wednesday.

And you know, I think since I've been on board, which is I guess it's been just over a year now, I haven't missed one of those Wednesday sessions in a year. Why? Because I've just made it so important in my schedule that I can't miss out on those, because they're my motivators. But the amount of information, the amount of ideas I get out of those group sessions is incredible.

I get so much out of them that I take, you probably see me occasionally, I'll look across, I'll have a pen and a bit of paper, and I'll just take a quick note on something or write something down or I'll type something.  Because it's just the little things sometimes that can make a massive difference in your business.

Now, we're still doing things wrong. Yep. Of course we are. Are we trying to work on those things we're doing wrong? Yes, we are. How am I doing that? Well, I'm seeking advice from people that, you know, maybe again, in that position that we want to be into. Is our business evolving and changing? Yes, of course it is. So, as our student base grows, the programs that we put in change, the methodology that we do stuff changes, the staff, you know, management changes, the more staff that we have increases.

So, what we actually do is, we evolve with the business. If we don't evolve with the business, what happens is that at some point of time, we're not going to stagnate, we're actually going to go backwards in numbers, because we're not changing, evolving with our businesses. I think that's why some of those guys with large schools still continue to join in on our regular Wednesday meetings, because they're evolving with their business as well and have to. Even the smallest guy with a smaller school down the road could still have a great idea. You think to yourself, “Why didn't I think of that?” 

GEORGE: What you mentioned, it's a good reminder to have a check in also on the things that, you know, you came into the group with one situation. It's normally you know, people come to us normally for marketing help, but then marketing is taken care of, and then it's a whole new set of problems. And it's just remembering how to evolve with your business, and also let go of the things that you were doing that, you know, as you evolve as a school owner and the business, you've got to let go of the things that got you there to go to the next stage. 

LINDSAY: I guess that, do I want to pay, you know, money to the George Fouries of the world? No, of course I don't. 

Do I need to spend money with the George Fouries of the world? Yes, I do. Why? Because that's where I'm going to get the information to grow my business, I have to find information somewhere, and generally information isn't free. And I, you know, I've got to be prepared to invest in my business and myself. And I guess the biggest thing that you've got to look at is yourself, is that you have to grow within yourself. As, you know, older men we get to the stage where depression can set in and if we're not careful, it sneaks up on you, and have we been through that scenario? 

Well, I've been through that scenario a couple of times in my life. And it's just something that creeps up on you, and I think that the great thing that we've got at the moment is that you know I've got people outside of your group. I've got some great martial artists that I've known for a long time that I can just simply get on the phone to and call if I'm not feeling all that well today. Some of them you call and some of them go, “What's wrong mate? You don't seem your usual happy self today?” “Yeah, well, maybe I'm not.” 

But of course, at the end of, generally at the end of those conversations you come away feeling, yeah, the world isn't so bad really after all. Now, I go to my business and people think it all looks rosy. You start work at three o'clock in the afternoon or 3:30 in the afternoon, and then what happens is that you go home by eight, you've got a great job.

I can tell you if you're looking at starting a full time dojo or building a full time, you know, dojo center, martial arts center, whatever it is that you want to run. It doesn't start at 3:30 in the afternoon and finish at eight o'clock at night. It generally starts from the moment you get up in the morning, to the moment you go to bed that night. That's your business, you're working on it, until you get to a stage where you've got other people that are helping you work inside your business and doing a lot of those chores, until you get to that stage, you've got to do it yourself.

You've got to be prepared to go to bed tired, you've got to be prepared that, you know, you have to devote some of that time that you might have been spending on playing golf or surfing, and I've now just got back to the stage where I'm surfing again. I'd stopped surfing for quite an amount of time, because I really was just working on the business. Now I've got two mornings a week I can devote to surfing, which is great for me, because it also then, you know something for me that works on my mental health. I can forget about the dojo for those couple of hours. I think it's important that we all have that. 

GEORGE: What do you mean? There's nothing like time in the ocean, to forget about everything else. 

LINDSAY: Or whatever for you. It might be golf, it might be lawn bowls, it might be playing the guitar or the piano or something, and it could be anything. It's whatever it is, you have to find what does it for you, because I guarantee if you don't, you're just going to get worn out, you're going to get burnt out and then eventually going to collapse. The only thing that's going to suffer then is your family and of course, your business as well. You can't let that happen. 

GEORGE: I want to say thanks for sharing all the stuff about working together as well. I thought I'd just ask a few questions on top of that, if it's okay with you. 

LINDSAY: Absolutely. 

GEORGE: You mentioned you were looking online. Was there something that was holding you back to maybe not get in touch? 

LINDSAY: Past experience! 

GEORGE: Past experience?

Karate Business

LINDSAY: Past experience, because I jumped in, you know, boots and all with the first couple. They made some really great promises. One of the guys was on the Gold Coast, and I paid the money into his account, and I never even heard back from him. Then I made a few contacts with him that he never responded to.

Then I finally got a telephone number that I rang directly. He said, “Well, some of my guys were supposed to be handling that. You tell me they haven't?” And I said, “No, they haven't.” I was completely disillusioned. He said he'd refund my money back, which took forever to come back to me, and I still see his ads coming up all the time now. You go – how do you do that? How do you sit there and claim you've got such a great service when your track record isn't all that good. Or particularly with me.

And then I found some guys who are in the same business as what I'm in that I joined up through their advertising. And then I went to a seminar that they had on, lined up. And of course, the information came through in the forms of lots of videos, and if you watch lots and lots of our videos, you'll probably see soon. But we didn't have any regular movies, there wasn't any contact, there wasn't any, you know, somebody holding me accountable. 

Now, the thing that I like about the group that we're involved in, is that everybody makes you accountable. Everybody there, you know, replies to a Facebook message that comes out three times a week. What are you going to do? How are you going with it? And why haven't you done it at the end of the week? I'm just one of those people who need to be held accountable.

I'm not very good with time management, and I'm not very good with management in general. I'm a pretty good martial arts instructor, but as for running a business, not particularly all that good at it. Lot of martial artists out there are the same.

So, what I've done is surrounded myself inside my business. My dad ran a business for a long time, and he always said to me, “Mate, there's always a plan here. The things that you're not good at, go and just pay someone else to do them.” So, I'm doing that.

So, the things I'm not good at, I'm paying somebody else to do them, because I know if it's left up to me, it just won't get done. So, what made me hesitant with you was the fact that I'd had a bad track record with these other guys, there were more than two, and I'd paid out money. And I guess, was it wasted money? No, it wasn't wasted money, because I learned a lot of things about not spending money with people like that.

So, let's get more research. And what you did to me, George, was allow me to come on board, involved in a program without paying any money to start with. You had a program going at the time, which I think was your Digitize Your Dojo program, and you said, “I'm not going to charge you any for it, you guys all come on board, and we'll start to work on it.”

And then somewhere down the track, you offered me the opportunity to become part of the Partners group, which you remember, I didn't jump on straightaway. I still wanted to know about George Fourie a little more.  Until eventually I got to the stage where I agreed that, you know, I would come on board with your program, and I have not regretted it.

I remember that one day, getting in contact with you, and I asked you about some Facebook ads. You gave me all the guts of the Facebook ad, this is what you need to do, and you sent me some photographs on what it needs to look like. I then, about two weeks later, I think I contacted you and went, “George, it's not working, mate. It's just not working for me,” and you went, “Send me your ad, send me all your visuals, and I'll have a look at it.”

And of course, I totally changed everything you told me to do, and you came back to me – you went, “But it's not what I told you to do.” You said to me, and I think that I remember you saying something like to me, “Look, I'll tell you what, give it a go the way that I'm suggesting to start with, and if it doesn't work, then we'll go back and give your way a bit.” So, what I did was I changed my ads to virtually copy exactly the same as what you sent me, and all of a sudden, the messages started coming in. And I went, “Oh that works.” So, then I did it again and again and again, and the leads just started coming in. 

And you know from that first ad, I'm still running virtually exactly the same ad. I might change the image on it occasionally just to freshen it, but I'm just doing the same thing over and over, and over and over, and the leads are still coming in. I've signed up 10 in the last week just from running the same ad as I was running a year ago, offering the same special and it works. Until it is broken, don't change it. If it isn’t broken, don't fix it. 

GEORGE: Yeah, I think it just takes time to get to that, because if you've got the right formula, because… The first thing everybody tries and does is, “I'll just copy someone else's ad.” It could work, but what you're missing is the structure and the setup behind that. What got to that image, why is it that image, why did we get to that wording, and what is the link between the right offer and the right pricing, and the flow of going from that. That's where the tweaking, that's where it's really got to happen. 

LINDSAY: I see some of the ads that come up on my feed now from the other local guys, and I've never seen them before, perhaps I didn't look at them, or perhaps because they're seeing my ads, they're doing stuff. But I'm really glad that they're advertising, because what they're doing is they're thinking they can do it better than me.

So, they're filling their images up with text, they're, you know, making them way too busy, their ad's saying way too much. And I'm thinking, “That's great, guys, keep doing that, because you ain't getting the call.” I know you're not, because I tried it that way and the phone just doesn't ring.

So, they're going to eventually get to the stage where they go, “Oh, this is useless. I'm not continuing to pay money for this.” And then they'll stop advertising, which is fantastic for me. I see, oh, there's one that came up yesterday. And I went, “Oh my gosh”, – okay, the text is so small and there's so much on it, I can't even read it. Not even going to bother clicking. But I did, I clicked and sent him a message, said, “Yeah, man. Keep it up. Good work.” 

GEORGE: Last couple of things are, well, two things. Your favorite part about working with us? 

LINDSAY: My favorite part is the Wednesday meetings, is the group. Because I get more out of that, you know, one hour on a Wednesday, I think than any other thing that I do. The amount of questions I can ask the guys and get answered, I might get three different answers, but I can at least pick one of the things that might work for our dojo. That's the best thing, that one hour of power session that we do, because it's fabulous. Everybody's so open, nobody minds sharing anything. 

And as I said to you, two guys from that session, you know, I've already spoken to them this week about a couple of decisions that I was trying to make. They've both given me great advice, which I've taken and I'm much more settled now in myself, thinking, “I'm glad I rang them.” And without that group, I wouldn't have known who they were, I wouldn't have known who to ring, and I might have made the wrong decision. 

GEORGE: Awesome. The last one – who would you recommend the Partners group to, and why? 

LINDSAY: I would recommend the Partners group to anybody who's wanting to run a, whether it be a small part-time studio or a large martial art studio, or even go from a small part-time to a large martial art studio. Why? It's just the motivational side, it's the questions and answers that we get through the group.

And I think, you know, if I hadn't come on board with you, George, I'm not sure where I would be. I'm not sure at what level our business is, we might have still been hitting that 90 mark, and building it up, letting it fall down again, and building it up and then falling down again.

I am so fortunate to have met, you know, you guys through this group, but you can hear it. I'm at a loss for words, which normally, I'm not lost for words at all. Yeah, it's just fabulous. It totally changed our whole family's life. And I can say that with all honesty, you know, I just want to check that bank account, George, if you put that check in… 

GEORGE: Later, later. 

LINDSAY: You know, for the people out there who are looking, perhaps to come on board with George, who have been, you know, dipping their toes in the water, make a commitment to your business and yourself. Just get out there, because George said to me, and he'll remember the offer that he had, that if I don't return you your money in the first 90 days, I'll give it all back to you. I don't have to give anything back to George, I don't have to give him back any of the information he's given me, because I've already stolen it all from him. 

But at the end of that 90 days, George had made me every cent that I'd paid to him, it didn't even take 90 days, I think it was 30 days that he made that money that I paid him. So, whatever he's asking, you know, in there, jump on board and pay it. It's certainly worth it.

I'm not doing a commercial for George, I'm promoting George, because in my heart I genuinely know what he's done for us, and I think that he could do the same for other people. So, I guess it's a promotion for all those dojo owners out there who want to grow their business. So, I'm speaking about George more for your benefit than George's benefit. 

GEORGE: Love it. Lindsay, thanks so much. It means a lot. Great chatting to you. There's another story I want to chat to you about, and I'm going to hit you up about that in the near future. And for anyone that wants to connect with you, guyskarateschool.com.au, can have a look at Lindsay's website. 

If you want to get in touch with us and have a listen to what it is that we do and work out if or how we can help you, the best way to do that is just go to martialartsmedia.com/scale, and there's a little questionnaire. Tell us a bit about you, what you're stuck with. Let us know and we'll have a low key chat and work out if or how we can help you. Cool. Lindsay, any last words from you? 

LINDSAY: I could go on for hours, George, but no, look, to be really honest with you, it's later on in the afternoon. I've got to go and open up the karate school and start doing what we do best. 

GEORGE: Awesome. 

LINDSAY: Okay. 

GEORGE: Bye, Lindsay. Thanks so much, speak soon. 

LINDSAY: Thank you. 

GEORGE: Cheers!

 

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104 – John Smallios – Aligning Your Jiu Jitsu School With A Higher Mission & Purpose

Every student at Higher Jiu Jitsu knows their mission statement. John Smallios shares how a clear purpose simplifies their message.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The mission statement that John upholds in his Jiu Jitsu academy
  • The critical factors that influenced the close-knit culture in Higher Jiu Jitsu
  • The one thing that John avoided which now guides his students on the same path to learning
  • Aristotle’s philosophy of learning
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

With regards to the mission, hopefully if you ask any Higher Jiu Jitsu student, they will tell you that our mission at Higher Jiu Jitsu is we help everyday people build quality of life with Gracie Jiu Jitsu. And that's in my mind all the time.

GEORGE: Good day, George here, and welcome to another Martial Arts Media Business Podcast, episode number 104. So today I've got an old friend with me, someone I haven't spoken to in a while, and we got chatting again on Facebook and thought we'd catch up, talk a bit about Jiu Jitsu business and things past the whole pandemic. So I'm with John Smallios.

JOHN: How is it going, man?

GEORGE: Good. How are you?

JOHN: I'm doing well. Thank you very much. Thanks for having me on.

GEORGE: Your school's name is Higher Jiu Jitsu, right?

JOHN: Yep. That's the one.

GEORGE: I've always wanted to ask you, where did you get the name Higher Jiu Jitsu? What was the thinking behind it?

JOHN: It's pretty cool, right? Well, basically, I had a nutrition coaching and personal training venture that I was into at the beginning, and the name of that was Higher Health, because I was always interested in getting better and improving on health in many different ways. And there's always ways to improve in that realm. And then I was running the BJJ Commune.

I think there might have been a time maybe when you came to Higher potentially. I think it was still the commune at that time. And the commune was that because it was an open map pretty much. Everyone was more than welcome to come. There was no affiliation at the time. And then things developed and changed. And then I was faced with a little bit of a spot where it was very hard running two businesses at the same time.

And I was kind of doing a similar thing, because I was looking at helping people, whether it was during nutrition or movement, or in this case Jiu Jitsu. So I thought, you know what? It's time to amalgamate the two and make it one, and Higher Jiu Jitsu was born. And I like it. It's got a nice ring to it. And I just love the idea now that it's endless refinement and you can always do better on the Jiu Jitsu mats and off the Jiu Jitsu mats, of course. But Higher Jiu Jitsu it is.

GEORGE: There we go. Actually, you just from minded me now of the first conversation we had, because you worked with us way back, version one of our Academy Program, which is a coaching program for school owners with marketing and emails and contents and so forth. I recall being on a call with you and you had this divided attention of how are you going to make this thing a thing?

Because you had the health of the business working with Jiu Jitsu. But when I stopped by in Sydney at your location and you had me joining for the open mat session there, I recall that step was already refined and you were already on your way with this whole amalgamated venture, as you say.

JOHN: Yeah. It was actually really tough at the time because I'm just so passionate about all of those realms. It was hard to make… I think I put more pressure on myself than I had to at the time and I wanted everything to just be seamless and perfect, in a way. Things aren't always perfect. But I guess changes had to be made and it was within me. I'm sure you weren't the only person I was chatting to that about.

It was just a constant dilemma in my head like, how can I make this work better? Because I wanted to represent one particular movement, one particular philosophy, and I didn't like being split through the middle. At least that was in my own perception. Maybe other people didn't take it like that or see it like that. But in my case, I wanted to have one sole purpose. That's how it worked out.

And it was much better off because now all my heart and soul is going into the one avenue and I can improve all different aspects of that one particular direction, which is awesome. And so now I have a health program within my Jiu Jitsu school. I don't do too much personal training with regards to movement coaching anymore. But in saying that, when I'm doing private class with my students, I'm definitely teaching them how to move and I'm definitely teaching them how to build awareness throughout their body and throughout their own movements.

So in a way, the first dream still lives on. It's a different brand, I guess. I did marketing at uni. So I was studying branding or studying all different aspects of marketing. So perhaps in my head I guess I was a bit more choosy and just wanted it to be on point. But now I feel good. Now I feel like Higher Jiu Jitsu is my one and only professional kind of endeavor. And day in and out, I'm looking at improving on it in all aspects of it. So it's worked out well.

GEORGE: Yeah. Perfect. I think sometimes as entrepreneurs we can get stuck in how the vehicle has got to run. And so now you're divided. We sort of just jumped in on the story that we know together, but I think we should just probably give some more context for you on what this was on how you were going on the health side and how you were going on the Jiu Jitsu side.

But as I was referencing, I think you get so stuck in the vehicle that you forget actually the higher outcome that you're trying to serve. And so removing yourself from the vehicle, which is health and which is Jiu Jitsu, and thinking, all right, well, what is it that I actually want people to get? What is that outcome? And then something that I've been really working on is how do I incorporate that in my actual mission statement?

And not a mission statement of the, hey, here's the thing that you put in the wall or shove under the desk and never look at, but just something that is congruent with the outcome that you want to serve within your business for you personally, but also an outcome obviously that you want for, in your case, your students or your clients as such.

JOHN: Okay. So in that case, I thought about this long and hard, and whether I was working with my client with regards to movement, or if they came up to me and said, “John, I want to lose weight. I need a nutrition program,” or if they said, “John, I want to learn Jiu Jitsu,” my goal, and it is the same thing to this day, is to help the client, the student build quality of life.

And quality of life for me is something more than health. It's on the mat. It's off the mat. It's your physical being. It's your mental being. It's your emotional side. It's everything in one. And it's your ability to flourish in life. And I was thinking, even though there's different avenues and different roads that I thought I was on, it was all within the one highway, I guess, within the one direction of building quality of life.

So with regards to the mission, hopefully if you ask any Higher Jiu Jitsu student, they will tell you that our mission at Higher Jiu Jitsu is we help everyday people build quality of life with Gracie Jiu Jitsu. And that's in my mind all the time. So it means that, again, the purpose is quality of life. And who do I serve? I serve the everyday person.

And the everyday person is of different age groups and different professions and might have different interests, but is not like an athlete who's looking to be a world leader. That's not the student that I think will flourish at Higher Jiu Jitsu. I think it's the everyday person that's going to really, really thrive at our school. And how do we do that? We do that with Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

And of course, Gracie Jiu Jitsu can encompass anything and everything. So Gracie Jiu Jitsu is your diet. It is your health. It is your movement in Jiu Jitsu. It is self-defense. It is all of these aspects. So that's the mission statement right there: we help everyday people build quality of life with Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

GEORGE: I like that. I was not aware that we were going to have this type of conversation. It's really cool. And I like it because it's something that I'm spending a lot of time with now. I'm not going to reveal my mission statement just yet on this call because it is a work in progress. You said you were struggling to get this refined. I know that refining that takes a lot of work.

But in doing that, it brings a lot of clarity, because there's a lot of things that you just eliminate. And I guess I'd put that to you. How does that change the way you go about attracting students or talking to people? Because now I guess you're more aligned, right? You're more in center of, well, this is what I'm trying to achieve and this is who it's for. So how do you find that adapts your message? And I'm curious to know because it's very important to you, because as you mentioned, all your students should actually know what the mission statement is as well.

JOHN: That's my job there. So in all of our communications, the things that I do and say publicly and just every day in the gym ought to reflect that if I'm going to be true to it. And I think I found a nice touch, just the touching point there. Okay. So how does it affect my communication when I'm talking to people on a YouTube video or on a call with a potential student who wants to be a part of the school?

For that, and I'm not afraid anymore to acknowledge that our school is not for everybody. And there are some people who I much prefer go into a highly competitive school. And there are a lot of highly competitive schools around the area that just love and would live and breathe competition all the time. And look, we have students that compete. I competed a whole bunch as much as I could earlier on in my Jiu Jitsu journey.

And so I'm not against competition in the slightest. But it's nice that we have a lens with which we can discern between student A and student B; the student who wants the hard, super tough training, and then the student who's more than happy to be a little bit more patient. And more than anything, I think the student who's looking to enjoy the art.

The art is a bit different, because we're not really… Well, I'm not overly interested in practicing the sport of Jiu Jitsu. So rarely, very, very rarely, unless there's a comp coming up or something or I talk about the points, I'm talking about positions, I'm talking about safety whilst we're training Jiu Jitsu. I'm talking about your ability to manage distance to prevent strikes, let's say, even though that's not in the sporting realm.

All of that is reflected in my communications online. And hopefully that's what people get. I talk a lot about movement and how the body works with regards to techniques and talking about how to gain leverage. Because when you're looking for leverage in Jiu Jitsu, you're doing that through your own body and through the grounds and through your opponent.

So definitely there's a lot of things that I can focus on more than others and it makes my life so much better. And it makes everyone's lives better and easier, I guess. Because if you don't like kind of the tone of what we do and say, then just tune out. That's fine. And then I've found that you can't please everybody. I'm sure you know that. Over the years when I first started the school, I wanted to please everybody. And I don't think that has the effect…

GEORGE: And you pleased no one.

JOHN: Yeah. In a way, it was like a school, where you didn't know if we're here or there. Whereas over the years, I've kind of really… I wouldn't say I've been stubborn about it at all. I'm still trying to be open-minded, for sure. Some students will come in and I'll say, “Hey, man, maybe this isn't the spot for you.

Maybe go to the school up the road and try them out as well. Find the school that's most important for you.” So, yeah, definitely it helps. Knowing who you are, I'd say, knowing your values as a school and as a person can most definitely help you attract the people that are going to get the most utility out of what you're offering.

GEORGE: I like that. It comes down to a couple of things, right? I think maturity, just maturing in your business and getting in tune with, what is the type of business that you want? What is the type of business that you want to build? I mean, if you are the guy that wants to build multiple schools and take a step back and not be that involved, maybe you'd take a bit of a different approach.

But if you want to stay close to the business, close to the purpose, close to the mission and be really in tune with what your customers want and build a business that you actually love and not despise, I think that's a big thing. Because it's very easy to get caught up in this fake want of growth and want this moving thing. But it's very easy in business to build this thing that you despise as well.

You build this business that you look at and you're like, “Oh, what have I built? I've built a monster that I don't want.” And that's when you're going to have to talk with a mirror and reflect and think, all right, well, I don't want to take this thing. What is it that I want to build? Anything to add on that, John, before we move on?

JOHN: Most definitely I do, because I think that's just really important. So when I got into Jiu Jitsu, George, it was love at first sight. I was watching the UFC and then I went and did a class on Jiu Jitsu. And I'd always wanted an athletic endeavor. I just hadn't found that yet. I wasn't good at soccer. I never got picked into the rep teams, unfortunately, at the time.

Now, I tried boxing and my parents didn't want me to do that. I tried to do rugby league. My parents didn't let me do that. And then I was like 18 and I found Jiu Jitsu. And I was like, wow, this is something that I can really hone in on. And I can really take it and enjoy it and do something with it. And so I started off at SPMA, as it was known in the day, as Anthony Perosh and Elvis Sinosic school.

And that was a beautiful experience right there. And they did things a certain way. And then as a white belt, I flew off to Brazil to get stuck into it, into the Mecca of Jiu Jitsu or what I thought was the Mecca at the time. And I got to go to many different schools. I was traveling and I was using Jiu Jitsu as the vehicle to travel, really. So I'd go all the way up to the North of Brazil, to the South of Brazil, and all along the way I just stopped at different schools and trained and learned. And that was awesome.

I went to America and I went to the East Coast, West Coast, training and learning all there. And Europe, I've spent some time in Greece and Italy training there as well. And I think that experience really helped me just see how schools run and see what aspects of schools I liked and what I didn't really like. And I think Elvis and Anthony's school at the time, they were very successful. They're great businessmen.

And they built that school up to something that was a monster academy. I think it had definitely over 500, 600 students, I think at the time, within two venues. And I guess being a student there, you could see the nature of that, how it reflects in life, and I guess all the challenges that they faced. And at the time, I think I was a little bit critical, but I'm not critical anymore at all because I understand that because now I'm a school owner myself.

So I understand the dilemmas that we face. And so with Higher Jiu Jitsu, I'm just happy that I've managed to incorporate all the things that I love about our school. So as a super passionate, enthusiastic white and blue and purple belt, I came in and I've managed to create the school. There's still a few things that we can improve on. But right now, I'm very, very satisfied that we have the school that has all the beautiful things that I love about a Jiu Jitsu school.

Most definitely the culture. You go to different schools and within minutes you can feel the vibes. You can sense the moods of students and teachers and the Jiu Jitsu. And I love coming into Higher Jiu Jitsu and many students tell me that as well. I had a student come in last week that was like, “Man, your school, it's an electric vibe.” And that makes me really happy. And that's something that I really want to focus on.

Post-class when we're shaking hands after the class, well, now we get fist bumps due to the nature of the times right now. But with every fist bump, I'll call out my student's name. And I know every student's name at Higher Jiu Jitsu. And I hardly forget them, which I'm very proud of, but that's important. There's a lot of teachers that don't know their students because they have so many students that it just becomes impossible to really remember names, for example.

But I make sure that I know every student's name and every other student knows each other's names. And we've got a very, very nice tight-knit community. So I think just the fact that the experience of seeing different schools and now seeing the likes and dislikes has helped me create something that I thoroughly adore right now. That's Higher Jiu Jitsu. So anyone can come in. Everyone can feel it for themselves. Some people might not like it. So be it. And the people that like our school tend to absolutely love our school.

GEORGE: You seem very attentive to the feel, the culture. And I was actually going to ask you, how do you feel the mission statement plays a big role in the actual culture? But then you also mentioned that you know everyone by their first name and you call their names as you address them. I think we all do some form of a handshake and a fist bump. Attention to detail is what I'm hearing. But what else do you feel contributes to a great culture in your school?

JOHN: There's a lot to do with that, a lot of aspects of that. Here's one really big one: having everybody on the same page, going in the same direction. In 2016, we affiliated with Pedro Sauer Association. And prior to that, we didn't really… Well, I had a syllabus, but I had made that up myself. And there were a few holes in there and we weren't super certain about implementing it with every class.

Whereas now we have a syllabus and it means that every student is on the same path of learning. And of course, students can go to different seminars and students jump on YouTube and BJJ fanatics and try these different DVDs and different techniques. Of course. And that's not a problem. But the syllabus is the thing that guides everybody in that same direction.

So when you come into class, like the higher belts would help the lower belts. Because the higher belts know the techniques that we're practicing, they get to help them. And I think the knowledge has to go from the top down, as in I'm coming to class and I'm teaching and I'm sharing the technique of the day and the details that work for me and that are required for the technique to be on point.

But then you've got the higher belts taking over, and we'll call out the newbie, the beginners, and say, “Hey, come with me for this class. I'll help you out.” And then the newbie, they feel like they're well looked after. They feel like they're welcome. They don't feel like a burden to the rest of the class because they don't know anything. And before you know it, they're a part of the school, too.

And with that being said, the higher belts, they also get to learn and they also get to learn by teaching. So I think the fact that everybody's on the same page really, really helps. Whereas previously, we had, as you know, the Jiu Jitsu commune. I was actually promoting the fact that we don't have an affiliation. There'll be students coming in from different schools, different systems, different trains of thought, different philosophies, and it wouldn't create a cohesive kind of a group.

Everyone had their own ideas and it was a little bit just like, “This is what I do. Okay. This is what I do. This is what I do.” And you couldn't go deeper. I think the syllabus is just such a big help. There's a lot of other things that we do at Higher Jiu Jitsu, too. So when a member comes in and signs up, I tell them, “You're not just paying for Jiu Jitsu tuition, you're paying to be part of a community.”

So on the first Friday of every month, we have the hangout. And that's just when we go out for dinner and drinks. And I remember when I was like a white and blue belt, if somebody asked me if we managed to go to have some dinner after the training, it felt great. It was awesome. You get to hang out with your Jiu Jitsu friends. I always found that the conversation with Jiu Jitsu people was always free flowing and you don't ever have to try because if you never run out of things to say, it goes back to Jiu Jitsu all the time.

And just the best people you find on the mat. Everyone's awesome. The people who have the humility to have Jiu Jitsu as part of their lives, they're just great people that associate with Jiu Jitsu. So the hangout really helps to kind of get off the mat and have some other conversations outside of Jiu Jitsu and eat and drink together and have some fun. We do the Higher Hikes now that it's summertime.

So that's us going out on a Sunday and meeting up and having some time off the mats and hanging out together. And there's many, many aspects of Higher that I think really helped that culture. Most definitely. Does that answer your question?

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. I was fascinated just by your perspective of sort of top-down and I never really thought of it with… And especially in times of COVID, people spend a lot more time online and studying online and online Jiu Jitsu, online this. There's a Zoom class for pretty much everything. How do you feel that could impact?

If you've got sort of this top-down approach and you've experienced having this commune effect of just too many influences or too many perspectives, how do you feel that can actually impact the way you teach and the way you go about things if you've got the syllabus or more like a philosophy that you sort of stand by? And people are plugging into different philosophies all around and checking things and picking up different techniques. Do you feel that compliments or sometimes there's a bit of a clash or they need a bit of a course restructuring in the direction in that?

JOHN: I don't think it affects anything. Firstly, I'll mention, too, that I think the knowledge is top-down, but also bottom-up as well. On Fridays, George, it's a Lab Friday. So what lab is, is we come in and I don't have an agenda for the day. Every other class that I come in, I know what I'm going to share. There or thereabouts, the class goes a different route, maybe someone asks a question and it sends me on a loop into answering that person's question. That's rare though.

But Lab Fridays is when people come in and it's like a basic Q&A. So the white belt can come in and say, “Hey, I learned this on YouTube. What do you think?” And I'll say, “Yeah, that's pretty cool. Maybe you can think about this and this aspect as well.” So it allows for a lot more open-minded learning. And that's why I started the commune, because I wanted to be a bit more open-minded and I didn't want to have a super stringent focus on a syllabus.

And I think A, the syllabus that we have, it's evolving. It hasn't been stagnant. And every time I teach the syllabus, every time we go through cycles of the syllabus, it's a new me. All of our coaches are always learning. And we do courses ourselves and we learn ourselves as well. So the cross collar choke that I did yesterday would have been a different cross collar choke than we did three months ago.

There would have been many different details that added to it. And if the students are concentrating, if they're focused in on details, then they can see that the technique is always evolving, because that's what Jiu Jitsu does. Jiu Jitsu doesn't stay the same. It's always an evolving martial art. And if you can see here, that's our logo. Can you see that triangle?

The triangle, what we have is it's one part of the triangle, the second, and third part comes up and then it drops down. So it's not a closed triangle. It's a triangle that the top is always open and it allows for new techniques to come in and maybe some techniques to be jettisoned if they're not effective anymore. So I think our art is just an amazing one.

And I think if we stay stagnant in martial art, then just like in life, if you stay stagnant, if you don't want to learn anymore, if you don't want to develop yourself, then very soon you'll find yourself falling behind. And that's the same with our Jiu Jitsu as well. So with that being said, George, it's never been a problem. We've got some very enthusiastic students that always do their homework and always go beyond our program.

And I have no problems with that, as long as they're respectful to the class. So what I don't like to see if I'm teaching a cross-culture because I did last night, is to see two students doing something completely different because they want to. I don't think that's been a good student in that class. If you're going to come to the class, then focus, there or thereabouts on what the class is.

So if we're doing a cross collar choke and then you develop it into your own Apilado or a triangle that's kind of related to the cross collar, I have absolutely no problems with that. But if the whole class is doing guard and then you choose to do mounts because you're learning your own mount DVD, and it's not an open mat, it's a scheduled class, then I almost feel like you don't really need to be in that class.

So it hasn't been a problem at all whatsoever. If anything, I like students just going elsewhere. It shows me that they're keen to learn and that they're enthusiastic. I think sometimes, depending on your experience level, if you start looking a little bit too far beyond the syllabus, I think it can have adverse effects on your learning. So for example, the way, Phil, my teacher puts it to me.

He's like, “When I studied marketing at Macquarie, all the subjects of the Macquarie uni marketing degree, I did them at Macquarie.” Whereas if I had done branding at Macquarie and consumer behavior and New South, and then something else that Sydney Uni, then it really takes away from the effectiveness of the whole program.” So if you're a white belt at Higher, I'd probably advise you to go on to Pedro Sauer online. That's our online portal.

And we have Master Sauer and all the black belts of the association that share technique on that portal. And it tends to be more focused on our way of doing things on the mechanics that we do and the techniques that we have in the syllabus. And then I think as a blue belt and beyond, I think there's no problems whatsoever in you looking elsewhere. And then bring it back. Bring it back to the crew. Bring it back to the nest, share your knowledge, and then we all get better.

GEORGE: I love it. So we have a mutual friend who was on the podcast on episode 101 – Costa Prasoulas. Hello, Costa. And you seem to share a lot of similar philosophies. Is that due to your Greek heritage or is that something else that you just pay attention to?

JOHN: I don't know. What philosophies do we share? Cons is an awesome guy. His values are on point and he's a guy by the book. He's respectful and he's honorable and he's a school owner as well. And he's been in the game for a very long time. I guess I'm happy that I share similar views as him. But what in particular?

GEORGE: It's not something that I can actually put a finger on. It's just when I speak to you and when I speak to him, I can hear congruences in the values, just the way you approach things. Very attention to detail. Very in-depth. Very thought out. I mean, just a simple thing where I think most guys would go get a logo designed and you'd kind of just say to the graphic designer, well, just put something together.

And you'll just look at it and say, okay, that's good. Where you actually show a triangle where actually there's a purpose behind it. That's a very fine attention to detail level that most people just don't think of. And discussing your mission statement, the thought, and I think the real deep work that went into really thinking of this is exactly what this is supposed to communicate by itself without you having to say it.

There's a real in-depth attention to detail and values that come from that. I hope that I did it justice, but there's just some similarities there in the way you guys communicate.

JOHN: Yeah. Maybe it is our Greek backgrounds. All right. Let me kind of give you a little something. So Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, distinguished two aspects of learning: the ethos of something and then technique. So the ethos of something is, I'm probably going to botch it up for sure now, but just the overarching kind of idea behind it. How can I say it? The philosophy behind it, perhaps, and the way that you go about this particular thing.

GEORGE: That's the reason why?

JOHN: Yeah, that's definitely a part of it, too. And then you've got the how, which is the technique, which is the ins and outs of doing things. And I think it's really important that we have an idea of both. So Higher Jiu Jitsu has an awesome syllabus, for sure, full of really beautiful techniques. But if various techniques are done in a way that's not congruent with people's intentions of being there, then they're just techniques.

So what I'm trying to do here is kind of bring a beautiful ethos, a beautiful vibe, a beautiful feel to Higher Jiu Jitsu. And then within that, kind of add the technical aspect as well. And I think having those two aligned helps to create the fireworks of a beautiful Jiu Jitsu school. I don't know. Does that help, a bit of Greek philosophy in there?

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. You did it great. I don't know Greek philosophy, but for me, that sounds awesome.

 

JOHN: Well, Cons is really keen on his Greek philosophy. I think he dropped some knowledge in your podcast as well. Cons is awesome. I haven't gone to his school for a little bit, but I plan to go there again soon. It's just hard as a school owner. The night off that I have, I'm wanting to spend it with my kid and my wife, because usually I'm not home. But Con, I'll be coming to your school very soon again.

GEORGE: That's perfect. Hey, John, so good to catch up. Wanted to chat a bit, how are you going with your kid? How's the new little man in life affecting life?

JOHN: I'll tell you what, it's amazing. It's so beautiful. You think you love something and then a kid comes along and it's like, whoa, I've never felt this before. It's just a whole new realm that's opened up in my heart with this boy. And every moment that I spend with him is just a gift, that's so beautiful. Yesterday he rolled. He was on his back and he's been working on it a little bit.

I've seen him. He's trying to turn here and there and he could never really succeed with it. But yesterday, just by himself, I had him on his back and then I was in the kitchen and I came back and he was on his tummy. I was like, wow, that's awesome. So having a kid is amazing. It presents a lot of challenges, for sure, with regards to running a school.

I guess you've touched on it, George, I'm pretty thorough with my work and I love my work. And I put my heart and soul into everything that I do and I want to put my heart and soul into being a dad and into being a husband and into being good to my family. And then I want to continue putting heart and soul into the school. And it's just a little bit hard logistically because when I'm at home and I'm trying to do my writing, because I try to write every day, I try to write a thousand words a day so I can get my articles out so I can keep the pages of podcasts going and the emails have to be written.

No one's going to write them for me. So I'm trying to be there in the morning, trying to write my emails. And I can see Roscoe, my son, just staring at me and smiling maybe in the corner of my eye. It's so distracting and I want to just sit there and cuddle him and play with him for the next five hours. So it's difficult. It presents some challenges, but these are such beautiful challenges and I'm more than happy to kind of work through them and find a way and I guess work with my wife. It's teamwork. I think teamwork is really, really important.

Touching on that, I think teamwork is a big one. As school owners, I think we need help from other people. And I think a lot of the times I've fallen into the trap of trying to do everything by myself. Whereas now I guess I have no choice but to delegate. So I felt like there are some awesome students at Higher Jiu Jitsu that have aspirations of their own school.

So I'm bringing them in now and showing them the ways that I do things. And then hopefully there are some certain tasks and things around Higher Jiu Jitsu that I don't necessarily have to do. And so that's how I'm slowly trying to delegate to other students and then I can focus on the things that I do well, that are unique for me. And so writing those articles I think is an important one. I don't want to delegate that. I love doing that. Yeah. So it's just an ongoing challenge. As you know, you're a dad, how do you find balancing work and family life?

GEORGE: It's always a learning experience and being attentive. I mean, kids know only one currency and that's time. They don't understand work, this, that. Where I live, which was a good idea right before we had kids, this is a lounge converted into an office, which is great, but it has no door, which means my daughter will come and jump on the couch and I'm like that's gone.

For me, I mean, the big discipline is early mornings, just getting a solid, early routine in. I'm up between 4:30 and 5:00 and just knock out some hours of deep work, getting some creativity in. And if I can just set that momentum early, that just helps the tone for the rest of the day, that at least I've set that momentum. And then, yeah, once the kids are out the door, I have my space, then it's simpler.

I mean, it's always a juggle. It's always a challenge. I think just really trying to be when I'm attentive, to be attentive. The beauty of our life and probably the most disruptive in our lives as well, these mobile things, just really trying to put them aside and when I'm attentive, I'm attentive.

JOHN: That's the thing, because your attention is so important. And it's hard to direct your attention and you can't pull your attention left and right all the time, because I don't think it works like that. I think if you want to do deep work, as you said, I love that book, by the way, if that's what you were referring to; if you need that, then you need… I like having time gaps.

So I like working in an hour, at least two hour blocks, and really delving into the depths of the task or the job that I have at hand. So it is difficult, but that's all right. We manage and we live on. We continue and we do our best to kind of move forward with it and make it all a little bit better every day.

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. Hey, John, it's been great chatting to you and good to catch up. I'm looking forward to getting on your mats again. Real quick before we go, if people would like to learn a bit more from you, where can they go?

JOHN: Hey, hey, hey, the Higher Jiu Jitsu podcast. That's where they can go. Can I plug it?

GEORGE: Of course, you can.

JOHN: Thanks, George. So it's me and me and my student, Matty. It's his birthday today. Happy birthday, Matty. We have the Higher Jiu Jitsu podcast, and I think we're about 28 episodes in. And it's plenty of fun. The why on the podcast is an interesting one, because sometimes it is for us just to come in and have a chat, but it's to help the everyday people on that journey of Jiu Jitsu, really.

And we take all different dilemmas. Sometimes a student will ask me a little question in class and I'm like, ooh, that'll make a nice podcast. Or if there are certain kinds of themes or patterns of problems that I can see, then that's our chance to open things up and work on the ins and outs of how to approach the problem and what to do in order to get better.

So the Higher Jiu Jitsu Podcast. Everybody, check it out. It's plenty of fun. I think it's cool – higherjiujitsu.com.au. If you're coming to Sydney, you're more than welcome. We're in Woolloomooloo. We're right just on the outskirts of the city, which is actually really nice. A beautiful school at the PCYC City of Sydney. So if you're ever in Sydney, come in. You're more than welcome. Thanks, George. Thanks for having me, man. It's been a pleasure to chat to you. Thanks for all the work that you do with the Australian Martial Arts Community. I think your work is making everyone better as well. So keep it up. It's awesome.

GEORGE: Thank you, John. Much appreciate it. And look forward to seeing you back on the mat.

JOHN: Yes. Perfect. Thanks, George.

GEORGE: Thanks, John. Speak to you soon.

 

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.

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86 – Using Facebook Messenger Bots For Martial Arts Schools

How martial arts school Messenger bots can help educate your future students when you're not present.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • How martial arts school messenger bots help with relationships
  • The power of speed replies
  • Getting conversations started without you
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

The quicker you reply, the better response you get at the end of the day. So what a bot actually does for you is it gives you the opportunity to reply instantly and start building a bit of relationship, or sharing information, or maybe even directing people to a paid trial. 

Hey George here. I hope you're well. I'm on my usual walk with the girl. So exciting stuff, in about 90 minutes from now I am meeting with our messenger bot developer. So we're busy mapping out a messenger bot for our Partner members. And so, quick couple of things about bots. I don't know if that's something that you're familiar with or not, but it's basically if you think of email automation in a way, where you have a sequence of follow up messages, well a messenger bot does the same thing. It just does it a bit more instant and looks real in a way, but obviously is an automated way of following people up. 

So there are pluses and minuses to it. I always feel that to have an optimal sales process nothing's ever going to beat face-to-face or person-to-person live contact, provided of course you've got some cool selling skills and so forth, and you know how to present your offers in the right way. But then a big benefit about having a bot is the instant reply feature. When you look at email marketing, email can sit for a day or even longer, and it's okay to take a bit longer to reply. But with messaging people expect a bit more of an urgent reply. The quicker you reply, the better response you get at the end of the day. 

So what a bot actually does for you is gives you the opportunity to reply instantly, and start building a bit of relationship, or sharing information, or maybe even directing people to a paid trial while you're busy and while you're on the mats and before you actually get to them and be able to speak to them one-on-one through the chat, or get on the phone, or however you want to do it. 

So there are two ways to do it. One is to start the conversation, which is my favourite. I prefer to use it as a conversation starter and not to be the actual conversation. And I think a lot, especially of the bot developers, get really crazy about it. They get all technical and create these long sequences and so forth. But at the end of the day, for me, the way I look at it is I just want to be able to speak to someone, start a conversation, and provide them with useful information before I could have the real conversation, and the one-to-one chat. 

That's pretty much what it's all about, for us at least. You can get really fancy with it and have all these long fancy sequences, but for me and for our members, we've got different ways of following up with chat on a one-to-one basis. So the bots really going to facilitate in helping start that conversation, and just give a bit of breathing space, or a bit of time for someone to actually soak up some videos, read up some information, and ultimately if they're ready, sign up for the paid trial. 

So anyway, that's me. I've got to jump to the meeting fairly soon. Just wrapping up the last couple of questions and things that we're going to work on and how are we're going to format the whole bot. So, exciting stuff. We'll let you know more about it once we have it up. 

If that's something that does interest you and you'd like to have a messenger bot built out for you and for your school that you can plug and play, and just swap out a couple of words and be good to go, then yeah, just hit me up with a message wherever you're watching this. Just reach out to my profile, send me a message and we'll have a chat, and see if we could help. Cool. Have an awesome day. I'm going to head back, speak soon. Cheers.

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

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

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

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


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

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

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

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

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

3. Work with me and my team privately.

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

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

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

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

85 – Martial Arts Marketing BS!

When martial arts marketing agencies make promises too good to be true, it probably is.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • Why you should avoid those ‘too good to be true’ marketing strategies 
  • Why a ‘quick fix’ does more harm than good
  • How a wrong offer damages the culture in your martial arts school 
  • How to hire the right martial arts business coach
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Be a bit cautious. Before you just throw money at a company that gives all these unrealistic promises. Having a bit of a gut check and think is that realistic? Because if it's too good to be true, it probably is.

GEORGE: Hey George here, hope you're well. So when is too good to be true, too good to be true? So chatting to someone in Rhode Island yesterday, great martial artist and talking about getting burnt with marketing companies, and I like to keep this podcast positive, but there are some things that just piss me off, and this is one of them because whenever somebody makes promises, it's always a red flag for me. 

If somebody makes a promise and say they'll get you so many martial arts students sign-ups in X amount of time, guaranteed. I think, all right, that's interesting. Maybe that's true, but at what cost and at what expense?

There's one thing to sell a trick and one thing to actually know a strategy and unfortunately what happens is, and all respect to everybody starting out of business and trying to try to get things ahead, but when you start making money at the expense of others, that just doesn't sit well with me. It just doesn't. 

The one thing that attracted me to the martial arts industry was when you look at the things that you see on the wall of an average martial arts school and you probably have it as well. Discipline, respect, confidence, focus, depending on what type of school you have. But it's those values that resonate with me. And that kind of got me going in the industry. Because it was like, “Okay, it's the practical personal development.” But then if I see people working in the industry or maybe they're from the outside or… That doesn't gel with those values that… I'm just not a fan of that.

So here's the thing, it's really easy to sell a tactic. And what I mean by that is you get started, you figure some little trick and tactic out and it works. One part of it works. Only one part of it works and now you go shout it from the rooftops and you go post in all the martial arts groups and you tell everybody about this cool thing that you've got going. And people fall for it because it taps into the secret desire of having a quick fix. 

The secret desire of I can push this button or give this company money and they just going to do everything for me. And I've never once seen that work. I haven't. For a little bit there, I was trying to be that company, but it's not ethically and humanly possible because you can only ever serve one component.

And unless you are doing everything from the minute people engage with you to being the instructor on the mat and furthering that… Have that congruent flow of what you're doing. It's just not possible. So here's what fired me up about this is this company made all these promises and they put this ridiculous offer on the front end for people to buy. And on the front end it looks, wow, it's irresistible. So of course people take it, but what type of people are taking it? Well, the people that you probably don't want in your school because they were just bargain hunters.

They just saw something that was so good, so irresistible, so great that they went and bought it. So for the lead company, well paid, they delivered on their promise. Because they got you the signups, not the sign-ups that you wanted, but they got you some sign-ups. But for you as a school owner, you sit with the crap. And I remember speaking to Kevin Blundell a couple of years back now and on… Perhaps it's podcast number 20. If you go to martialartsmedia.com/20, it might be this podcast. But he was talking about having the wrong offer, having the wrong front end offer and the damage that that did.

It took them more than a year to actually clean out the bad students that they attracted. So be a bit cautious before you just throw money at a company that gives all these unrealistic promises. Have a bit of a gut check and think is that realistic? Because if it's too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. And it might work on the front end, but at what cost for you, your culture, your existing students and everyone in the backend? Anyway, that's all I wanted to share. I might share some other stuff that really pissed me off on another episode.

But hey, if you need help with this kind of stuff, and I'm not talking about a quick fix, but talking to real help, real help to scale your business, to grow your business with a real marketing strategy from the front end to the backend, something that's got to work with your offer on the front end, when people connect with you to something that's got to be congruent with your sales process. And super clear about that. 

Your process, not someone else's but yours. Because someone else's process might not work for you. Then send me a message. No hard pressure, no weirdness. We'll have a chat and if I feel we can help, we'll go take the conversation further. Awesome. I'm going to run off. Get some other work done. I will speak to you soon. Cheers.

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

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

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

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


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

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

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

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

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

3. Work with me and my team privately.

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

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

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

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

84 – How To Improve Your Martial Arts Facebook Ads Through Split Testing

Do this to build a library of successful lead generating martial arts Facebook ads.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • What is a Facebook ad split testing really
  • How to stop ‘flying blind’
  • Why you should always ‘beat the control’
  • Moving big rocks, stones and pebbles
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

If you're not testing and optimizing and trying to improve your ads, then what happens is, every month you're just flying blind, right? So every month, you've got to come up with a new campaign, a new idea. And if you don't have a proven track record of things that have worked previously and you know exactly why they worked, then you're always playing this guessing game.

GEORGE: Hey George here. So I want to give you a quick couple of ideas and tips on how you can improve your ads, your Facebook Ads or Google Ads. Mostly going to focus on Facebook at this point in time, but how you can improve your ads through testing, through running different split tests, et cetera. 

So just finishing up the last touches for a session I'm running for our Partners tomorrow, it's called the Ad Conversion Optimizer. Just finished up mapping everything out and just about to finish up on the actual worksheet that goes with it.

It's going to be a great session, but I want to give you a quick couple of ideas on how you can improve your ads. And I guess first and foremost, why you should be doing it in the first place. If you're not testing and optimizing and trying to improve your ads, then what happens is, every month you're just flying blind, right? 

So every month you've got to come up with a new campaign, a new idea. And if you don't have a proven track record of things that have worked previously and you know exactly why they worked, then you're always playing this guessing game and you're always trying to come up with new things and you're flying blind every single month.

Whereas if you keep track of what you're doing and you measure your different results and you test all these different elements that we're going to talk about now, then you build up this library of winning campaigns. And now when you go and run a new campaign, you know, well, that offer converts, that headline works, that element works, and you can mash them all together and the chance of a successful campaign is so much higher.

And look, there's no golden goose of… Everyone's always looking for that big idea. Well, sometimes that big idea is actually just working with what you've got and making those incremental changes until you build up this golden goose that's forever producing the golden eggs. Right? Okay. So we don't look at eggs, we like to look at rocks. I like to refer to it as balancing rocks, which is kind of why I added this slide over here.

So here's what that means. You've got big rocks, you've got little stones, and then you've got pebbles. Okay. So first let's start with the big rocks. Big rocks are testing big ideas, big ideas as in big, different concepts. So that could be targeting a different emotion, for example, or restructuring a whole different ad format. Maybe that could be like running a video ad versus a text-based ad, or a long copy versus a shorter copy type ad.

Then you've got the little stones. Now working with the little stones, with the little stones is you've got your winning concept and now you start tweaking little elements. So you might start changing the different headlines, changing the descriptions, and now you start testing different elements within that ad to see which is performing better. 

So there's a term called ‘beat the control’. Perry Marshall started, I think he started this concept. Perry Marshall was the… He wrote a book called ‘The Definitive Guide to AdWords’ way back in the day, many, many moons ago. And he always spoke about this concept of beat the control and that means that you are always trying to beat your winning ad basically. These are running ads kind of side by side. Now you're looking at the little stones, for example, and you're testing headline to headline, description to description.

And then you go down to the pebbles. And the pebbled are these tiny little tweaks. It's shuffling these little pebbles to see what type of results you get. And that is basically to maybe swap out a different word, move little elements around, small little increments. It could be different punctuation marks, really little increments to see what gets better results. And I'll tell you what, you'll be surprised what happens when you do that. If you're testing accurately and you know how to track and what to do against each other, you'll be surprised what you can actually achieve.

So hope that helps. That's just to give you a bit of a run around on how to go about it. If it's something that you need help with, really how to structure it, what those big ideas should be, how you should go about that, all those concepts, what exactly you should be tracking and testing and how you can really become a master at advertising. Because that's what it's about. 

It doesn't happen in a day. It happens by committing to the right process. There are so many things that you do anyway. You're going to do it anyway and you're going to spend the time, you might as well do the time right. And work towards building up a library of winning campaigns, winning formulas and not be in a situation where you little elements have to sign up new students every month because you've got to make the rent, the bank, whatever you want to call it?

Cool. So yeah, look, if you need help with that, shoot me a message. I'm going to run off, hopefully, get some training in and finish off the last of my worksheet. Catch you soon. Cheers.

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

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

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

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


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

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

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

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

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

3. Work with me and my team privately.

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

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

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

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

83 – Karate Club Owner On Verge Of Closure Shifts Into Profit And Revives The Dream

Ever had a close call in your martial arts business? That you'll need to close doors? That was Bob King not too long ago. Here's how he turned it around.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • How to grow your student base through Facebook advertising 
  • Why key conversion elements are essential for martial arts websites 
  • The power of having a business mentor to guide you through your journey
  • How does the Academy program compare to other Martial Arts Business Coaching programs
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Well, it's certainly gotten rid of that big dark cloud hanging over me, and I can see that if we continue the way we are at the very least, even if we didn't grow any further than what we are at the moment, we are now financially viable, and I'm actually putting money back in the bank account.

GEORGE: Good day, this is George Fourie, and I'm joined today by one of our Academy members, Bob King. How are you doing today, Bob?

BOB: Good, thanks George. How are you?

GEORGE: Pretty good. Pretty good. Thanks for jumping on.

So we're just going to have a quick chat just about Bob and his school and working together with our Academy program, and a couple of results and things that came up.

So thanks again for jumping on, Bob. If you don't mind, just share with us a couple of minutes, a bit of background about you. Who do you teach, a bit about your school, etc.

BOB: Okay, so I'm a member of the Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo Jutsu school. Hanshi Patrick McCarthy is the head of our school. We teach old-style, predominantly karate, but also jiui jitsu and weapons.

I've been doing martial arts for nearly 50 years, been teaching for probably 35 years. Predominantly ran schools out of school halls and community centres and that sort of thing. It was about seven or eight years ago, we had enough numbers to go into full-time premises that became available in the area where I teach. It progressed from there. Just started teaching full-time, probably five, six days a week with different classes on most days.

GEORGE: Alright, awesome. Okay, so we recently started working together and what I want to sort of getting down to, before we got to that point, what problems were you facing and what were you hoping to achieve through the program?

BOB: Well, the biggest problem that we had was our numbers had declined. When we first opened, we had good numbers. The bank account was looking healthy. The building we were in, we occupied two-thirds of it. Third of it was occupied by a funeral director who parked his hearse in it. That extra area became available and we decided to take it on. We were offered the lease on it to expand, and we took it on because we were concerned who might move in and cause us problems.

And we thought also with the extra area, we could make some improvements to our facility and that would hopefully increase numbers further. Failed to materialize. Once we'd gone into the bigger area, our rent went up but our numbers started to decline, and we got to the point where, probably for 18 months, I was losing money. We were going out the back door.

Just prior to joining your Academy program, we were at the point of we either had to do something and turn it around and actually start making the club profitable, or I was going to close down.

GEORGE: All right. Okay, so just a bit more on that. So was there anything else that was the impact that was having on the business and the situation of the students declining, etc?

BOB: Well, as I said, the bank account. After having a healthy bank account, it was slowly going backwards. I think probably over a two year period, I lost probably close to $13,000 out of my account. Obviously, I wasn't earning any income at all. In fact, it was costing me money. I also work as a personal trainer and a massage therapist, so I was basically subsidizing the dojo with that, and also my wife with her income.

So yeah, it was putting a little bit of a strain on us financially. And I guess the joy of teaching, I was losing that a little bit because you were concerned that you were losing members, and not as many students in the dojo, and the thought that you might have to just stop and either go and start teaching out of school halls or whatever again, or just completely stop training altogether. Stop teaching altogether.

GEORGE: Gotcha. And was there any other impact that it was having on you personally? You know, just with you and the family?

BOB: No, not really. I'll admit I'm not a very good businessman. I like to think I'm a reasonable martial artist, but I'm not much of a businessman. And my wife was sort of getting quite cranky with me at times because I wasn't doing the paperwork and wasn't keeping on top of things.

I also sort of took a bit of a, “It'll sort itself out.” We were doing all right for a while, it'll turn around, it'll pick up. It's just a low period, whatever. All the excuses under the sun.

But my wife has always been very supportive of me, so it wasn't a case that we were fighting or arguing or anything like that. But it was just, as I said, feeling a bit, not depressed, but lack of enthusiasm because things weren't going well. For most martial artists, I guess, opening a full-time dojo and being a full-time martial arts student, for most of us that have been in it for any period of time, that's sort of the dream, I guess. And the idea that I was going to probably lose that was not a happy thought.

GEORGE: Gotcha. All right, cool. But turning it around, you took action and we started working on a few things. Now, when we got working together, what are the two to three parts of the system that you feel made the biggest impact to change things around?

BOB: Well, I guess number one was just the fact of having someone, yourself, there mentoring and making suggestions, giving us some direction on what we were doing, was probably the number one thing. Basically, I needed you to give me a kick up the ass and get me moving… other than my wife who was constantly kicking me up the ass.

So I guess, obviously the main focus with the Facebook ads, that was our main form of advertising. Learning how to do that, which was interesting to say the least to begin with, but once we got going with that, that started to bear results. The other thing was the information that you gave us regarding our website. We had a website that we had put together ourselves, which was a bit dodgy to begin with.

And once again my wife, who is far more technologically minded than I am, stepped in and took over that and started working with that, finding her own ideas and doing some research into what to do with that, but also taking ideas that you had given us in the Academy program to improve that. And that made a big difference as well.

BOB: We started getting far more people coming to the site and more people making inquiries from that site as well. Plus we'd already put out a number of ads, I guess, or notices on various other websites around the place, “Find your local…” or whatever they're called, all that sort of thing. So they were probably, as I said, the mentoring from the start and the guidance, the Facebook stuff and then assistance with getting that website working better for us than what it was.

GEORGE: Perfect, that's awesome. So there's this sort of two-fold because the Facebook ads started working, you say that that was an interesting journey to get going. But you know, as we learned, marketing, it's not always linear. You might get the Facebook ads right, and all of a sudden your inquiries come from different directions and things start working. And so, as you mentioned, the tweaks that you've made to the website, that also helped with getting the conversions going, et cetera. Is that right?

BOB: Yeah, and I'd say there were probably people there that either saw things about us on Facebook, saw our ads on Facebook. We were also doing content marketing, which is what you had suggested. So we put a whole bunch of things together that worked really well. One of them, in particular, was a program we called The 12 Benefits Of Martial Arts, which we ran over 12 weeks, put a new one out each week and that went through the roof.

In terms of our Facebook, our numbers of people liking our page increased… God, I don't know how much, probably 1000% locally, but also obviously you get international people and that sort of thing as well, but that raised our profile enormously. But yeah, we had people that we're probably seeing stuff about us on Facebook, and then going and checking out our website, and probably the other way around too. People seeing our website and then going and seeing things about us on Facebook. So I think the two definitely probably complemented each other.

GEORGE: Awesome, so that's good to hear. So what results have you achieved up to now? How are things different?

BOB: Well, before we started the program, we were down to about 50 or 60 members, predominantly children. I run classes for what I call my junior class, which is four to seven-year-olds. The youth is the eight to 16-year-olds. And then our senior classes. We don't do separate grappling classes or separate weapons classes, we teach the Karate Kyu.

So we went from somewhere between 50 and 60, and now we're up around 80. We got a lot of… we did the paid trial, that was probably our biggest thing. We did a 39.95, three weeks unlimited training with a uniform, and that worked really well for us. We got a lot of people trialling from that, and the vast majority of those people that trialled, converted and are now training with us.

GEORGE: That's awesome.

BOB: Now, as I said, we're up around the 80. There are a few more trials and a few more inquiries that have come in that may well, within the next couple of weeks, push us sort of 85 members sort of thing.

GEORGE: Perfect. And so, how's that impacted your business now? You were saying earlier how you were fearful that you would have to give up that whole dream of running the full-time school. How's that different for you at the moment?

BOB: Well, it's certainly gotten rid of that big dark cloud hanging over me. I can see that if we continue the way we are at the very least, even if we didn't grow any further than what we are at the moment, we are now financially viable and I'm actually putting money back in the bank account, which helps pay for me to go and do seminars and train elsewhere and whatever I might want to do with, as well as just earning a bit of extra income. So the future looks good.

And also with the knowledge we now have, once I get my administration in better shape in terms of teaching, I think that the possibility for us to grow even further is definitely there. At the moment I teach all the classes, I don't really have any assistant instructors that take classes for me, but I'm in the process of getting some of my senior people to now come on board and be assistant instructors with me so that we keep good quality in our classes. And as that progresses, and as more students come up to that level, I can see that we will then have the ability to have bigger classes or run more classes and grow even further down the track.

GEORGE: Sounds great. And how has that impacted you personally?

BOB: Well, as I said, I haven't got the dark cloud hanging over me anymore. I'm more positive about what we're going to do and where we're going to be in the future. And there's not that worry that we're going to have to close down or where we're going to find the next week's rent or whatever. So from that point of view, it's certainly lifted, but certainly, I'll say this though, it wasn't a cakewalk. There was a lot of hours and a lot of work put in both by me and my good wife in getting all this happening. So if anyone thinks that they're just going to run a few simple Facebook ads and all of a sudden double their students… out of luck. It takes a bit of work. But it's been good. It's been a very good learning experience.

GEORGE: Definitely so, and I'll add to that, I mean if there was one person that would be on every coaching call and make sure you ask all the right questions, trial and error, that's what it takes. That's really what it takes. I mean it's nice to hear that the support that we've offered and help, but at the end of the day, that ambition and drive, it's got to come from you. It's going to be internal. Because yeah, there are a couple of roadblocks in the way and that's really what makes the difference, right?

Some people take the martial arts philosophy and push through, and others just find the excuse and go the other way. But you haven't, and that's what's basically adding to the success, of course.

BOB: Yeah. Well as you said, I was on every webinar and I probably frustrated the hell out of some of the other guys that were on the webinars, because I did tend to take up a bit of your time. All the modules, I went through and did the module. Sometimes if I didn't quite get something, I'd go back and do the module again. I was taking notes while I was doing the modules, while I was doing webinars. And then when my wife came home, we would sit down and I would discuss what I'd done that day in terms of the webinars or the modules. She obviously also had access to the modules, which she looked at.

So yeah, it was just that yes, we got the mentoring, we got a lot of good information from you through all of those avenues, but it was actually taking that information and doing something with it. Because you have all the information in the world, if you don't use it, nothing happens.

GEORGE: Yeah, totally, that's awesome. Bob, thank you so much. So just a couple of quick questions just to round things up. So if you had to complete this sentence, “I almost didn't join because…”.

BOB: I almost didn't join because… well, the only thing I would say is we didn't know you. We had been looking at various other similar sorts of marketing programs or that sort of thing, but I think the thing that swayed us towards you was the fact that you are specifically martial arts-oriented, as opposed to many of the other ones out there that are just general. But that was the only thing. We hummed and hawed about whether or not we could afford to do it. Not that it was a great amount of money to start with, but that was probably the only thing that made us think twice about it. But in the end, it really wasn't an issue. Long answer.

GEORGE: Yeah, that's perfect. Cool. And what's been the best part of working together at this point?

BOB: I guess access to the information was good. There are a few times where we were a bit frustrated. As I said, when we first started trying to do the Facebook ads, we were both ready to punch a hole in the monitor because we'd try and do something and it wouldn't work and whatever else. But then it was usually relatively simple to send a message through to you either via the Facebook page or even just an email or something and go, “Hey, we're having problems with this. What's the story? What have we got to do?” And usually, you would give us an answer or point us in the right direction. Plus we would then go off and do our own research on that as well, and try and sort it out even better.

So yeah, that available information, the modules being there and being able to go and look at them and, as I said, sometimes go through them once or twice to try and get that information in your head. And then, when we do a webinar, if there was something I didn't quite understand regarding the modules or anything else, you were there to sort of give that information to us. So that support was a big part of actually making things work, but again, a big part of keeping us going because you constantly ask, “What are you going to do today? Why haven't you done this? What's next? What's next?” So I suppose that's the point of a coach, isn't it, to sort of push you along a little bit and get you moving in the right direction.

GEORGE: Yeah, perfect. You were saying kick up the ass. I know I'm the lesser of a martial artist, so I can only do that by distance and feel comfortable with it.

BOB: Sometimes the psychological kick up the ass has more effect than the physical one.

GEORGE: Yeah. Yeah. True. Cool. Bob, one last question. Who would you recommend the Academy program to and why?

BOB: Well, I've already recommended it. Told people that I've done this program or I’m doing this program. We had a major training thing up in Brisbane two months ago. I had told my head instructor Hanshi McCarthy that I was doing this program and he was quite interested in it. A few of the people up there, because they'd seen our ads and saw what was happening, started asking me questions. So I told them the program that I was doing, whether or not they follow it up is not my problem, I suppose, that’s there’s to try and get motivated and do something with it.

So I'm quite happy to tell anybody that I deal with in terms of martial arts that we did the program and that we were happy with it and well worth the money that we spent. And as I said to you when we first started, that the consideration of doing the Partners program was there and it's still a possibility. As I said, we need to consolidate and see where we're going and what's happening, but I would still consider going to the next level and doing the Partners program again. But I just need to, as I said, get my act together a bit in terms of running classes and things.

GEORGE: That's awesome. Cool. Well, thanks so much. And for anyone listening, if you'd like to know more about the programs that we offer and how we can potentially help you get similar results no matter where your school is at, whether you're at that 50, 60 marks, scaling to 80, or if it's 100 to 400, we've got a vast variety of programs that we offer based on where the school owner is at.

So if you would like to know more info on how we can help, you can just go to martialartsmedia.com/scale, as in S-C-A-L-E, and just fill in the form, we ask a couple of questions. We'll set up a time to chat on the phone, brief phone conversation, see if or how we can help, and take it from there.

Awesome! Thanks so much. And Bob, thanks again for jumping on. Look forward to seeing you in the next webinar and hitting some more goals.

BOB: Okay. Thanks very much, George. You're welcome.

GEORGE: Thank you. Cheers.

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

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

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

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


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

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

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

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

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

3. Work with me and my team privately.

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

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

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

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

82 – [Case Study] How To Market Martial Arts To Adults Without Spending Money On Marketing

Case Study on how to market martial arts to adult students with one of our Martial Arts Media Partner Members, Darryl Thornton.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • Signing up new adult students through simple cross promotion 
  • The Martial Arts Bot – a total time saver and game changer 
  • The power of having community support in your martial arts business
  • How does the Partners program compare to other Martial Arts Business Coaching programs
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Realistically you'd be looking at, what would we say, probably $1,200 a year per member. So probably $30 to $40 grand a year more. So it's a pretty big increase, yeah, pretty good little kick forward. They're already our customers. I didn't have to spend anything to get them. They're already in the door, they're all ready to pay me more now. I'm just getting them to pay me more now.

GEORGE: Good day, this is George Fourie and I'm joined today by one of our Partners members, Darryl Thornton from Shukokai Karate Dojos.

DARRYL: That's it.

GEORGE: The naming has changed, right?

DARRYL: Yeah, it has. That's what happens when you go from one location to four locations. You actually got to change the name. Yeah.

GEORGE: There you go. Awesome. Darryl, thanks for being on. So we've been working together for a bit and so I just wanted to ask a couple of questions on your experience and how things have been, etc. So I guess just for a quick introduction, who's Darryl, tell us a bit about your schools. Give us like two, three-minute overview of you.

DARRYL: I currently run an organization Shukokai Dojos in Melbourne Southeast. We now have four clubs. 18 months ago we had one club with around 300 members. We're now 4 clubs with about 700 members. We teach traditional Japanese karate. We've actually just introduced judo as well, which has been an interesting part for me because it's not something that I've really spent a lot of time doing or training in. So we've got a really good coach for that is actually one of the current Australian team members, so that's very good.

We have a very big child based membership. I guess like a lot of martial arts schools. We probably would have maybe 100 adults members and the rest are children, the majority of in between 7 and 12-year-olds. So we are very, very much a family-oriented clubs I suppose. We encourage family members to try and we have family classes available in most of the dojos, where the parents can train with their kids as well. That's actually a really good thing. I enjoy that family class, family orientated ones.

Currently Victorian state coach. I've been a state coach for six years now. Takes a bit of time away from our club but also allows me to gain knowledge from other coaches that I see every weekend basically and a bit of a networking thing as well. There's other business owners and coaches so I can get a bit of Karate information, business information, that type of thing as well. Yeah, that's pretty much it in a bit I suppose.

GEORGE: Perfect. Cool. So, so when we started working together, were there any particular problems you were facing or what were you hoping to achieve?

DARRYL: Well really the biggest problem was our marketing area, like having it simplified. It was quite disjointed. I would just go, oh, we need some more members, so let's run a promo. So the promos I was running with just regular every day, so promos that it everyone sees online and they're quite generic. And even when I started I think as I was using just stock photos which were horrible. So now we run pretty sharp sort of campaigns with landing pages for each campaign.

Rather than having a generic landing page, we have a separate one for the extra promotion, which is very good, much neater, much tighter. We've run some really good campaigns, the parents' program, the women's self-defense program. We run all these top lines and they've been very good in that was actually probably a more internal growth one. Those ones actually have grown out from our own customer base I suppose. The external ones, having the wording or the text correct and the ad placement better would help as well.

How to Market Martial Arts to Adults

GEORGE: Okay. Gotcha. So a marketing a bit disjointed and I'm hearing sort of a sort of fly by night kind of thing.

DARRYL: Absolutely. That was the biggest thing. But now we're more planning how we do things. We were having trouble because I was doing it all by myself, it was just me. And having yourself and I guess the other Partners now, because I think the other Partners are a big part of it. They help sort of straighten you up and put you in the correct line in the path. Because without that I would still be doing what I was doing, still going along and going, Oh yeah, need to do this again with this and I do this, I'll go and do that.

And now it's a much more structured pathway for us, for our growth and our marketing and other areas as well. But you know, the communication I think is very good with this group. The format, the communication goes out to members and perspectives is very good too.

GEORGE: Alright, perfect. And thanks for that. We'll elaborate a bit more on that. But just back on the impact. So I mean, what type of impact is it having on your business, not having the help, plan, structure and things?

DARRYL: I guess if it's just a matter that I was having to spend a lot more time away from what I actually should be doing, which is teaching classes, mentoring my instructors and leadership programs. It took a lot of time away from that and we didn't get great results either. Like sometimes the results were okay, but they weren't awesome. So having to take more time away, having to answer every single message that you get, every phone call, those types of things. They're not ideal when you're trying to teach karate passes and watch what instructors are doing and growing your other clubs.

Having one club to four clubs, it's a lot more work involved just managing the instructors and the membership. So if I have to spend time doing all the extra things that I was doing with my average marketing, I didn't have time to do those other things, like I said, the many hours that I've got in the day.

GEORGE: Yeah. Gotcha. And so not having time to do those things, what impact would that have on you personally?

DARRYL: Oh, it's just draining, I suppose. You're just trying to do everything all at once. I mean I'm not a stressful person, I don't stress about too much, but just feel like you're torn if you don't have enough time to do one thing. So you're sort of doing it a bit, you know, half of this and half of that and not doing anything completely correct I suppose. I've always had a pretty good set of instructors and leaders that are backing me, but not being able to give them, especially the ones that have because we've got a couple of affiliate clubs… I've spent so much time doing other things, I can't keep them the direction that they need and the advice and the help that they need as well.

GEORGE: Perfect. So looking at working together within the Partners program, what are the three parts of the system, two or three that's made the biggest impact for you up to now?

DARRYL: So as a specific part of it or the overall?

GEORGE: Whatever sort of comes to mind first.

DARRYL: I really enjoy the advice and the direction that you get from the other Partners. I think the other Partners is actually one of the hidden parts of the programs that people don't actually realize is very good. Because there are people out there with different skill sets. And outside of the martial arts, there are people with different ideas, different skill sets and say things different ways. So you can actually come in with a problem that you might have or an idea that you have and you get input from not only yourself but you get it from the other Partners, seen with a different set of eyes. That to me is very important.

The communication that we have with you I think is very good. So although you're busy yourself, we have a lot of time, you make time for the Partners pretty much whenever they need it. That's really good.

And the other thing which I know some of us tend to hate is you keep us accountable. Every week you keep us accountable. What are you doing, have you done it? You know, sort of a checkpoint in the middle and have you finished it. It kind of makes you want to, if you put the three things in there that really are important to you, you kind of have to finish them because. Not that anybody gives you any grief over it, but you don't want to say, here you go, this is what everyone's saying, hey, I've done this, I've done this and I've done this as well. So I enjoy that even though I don't like it.

GEORGE: I think it's the part that everybody tries to avoid. But it's good to hear that it's got a psychological place.

DARRYL: It does have a little psychological little ticket that goes, yeah, I've got to get that done because otherwise, George's going to ask me if I've got it done.

And then the final thing I suppose is the programs that you've put in place. Like the Parents program, the six-figure open day is obviously the best one. Then there's the women's self-defense and now the newest one being the chatbot. I think you can't beat the things that have been put in place there. They're amazing.

GEORGE: Yeah, we chatted a bit about the chatbot. And we'll touch on just results and things that you've gotten. The chatbots are things that we are releasing right now. I think it's new for a lot of people, the whole structure and the whole setup. But the goal with how we rolled it out is that it's just plug and play for our members and you just got to change the content and it's good to go.

What has got you excited about the bot? And I guess just to clarify for anybody that doesn't understand the term bot, it's basically just I automated way of replying to all your Facebook messages. So if somebody sends a Facebook message, then you've got a bot that takes over in a smooth way and just answers all the questions and does all the work for you before you actually had the face to face conversation.

DARRYL: Yeah, for me the bot, as we discussed, I've had them before but they've been designed by me who's got zero knowledge on how to design them. I had one running and it was okay, it didn't really get the full interaction with the prospective clients that we really want. This one that you've created is just tenfold on top of the one that I had. The one I had it looks amateurish compared to this one. This one's really smooth and really sharp. It's got all the options you need on it. It's really easy to edit as well. That's the other thing I like about it.

We ran through last week and it was very simple to edit, it's very straightforward. And if you follow the worksheets and all the things that come with the program, you can't miss, you really can't. I can just see it getting bigger and better from here. I can see paper running bots for all sorts of things, just regular posts that you may run, try my post, the whole lot. I think it's great.

GEORGE: Awesome. So let's talk a bit about results. You've had different results with different campaigns and things that you've done. What results have you gotten from applying what we've got in the program?

DARRYL: The Parents program that we ran, that one would have added 30 members, 30 adult members to our program. That one I think has been very successful and the parents that were on the program, they loved it. They absolutely loved it. And that was at the same time as we put that program in, we actually released the family classes so they could try and with their children at the same time.

It's been a very, very good change. Those kids that are in that program with their parents they'll cherish that time because it's a common interest and it's not that common these days that parents have interests with their children. So having that there, I think has been great. Since we did it, we've had a lot of other people ask us recently if we're going to run it again and my answer is yes, we will run it again.

So that was very successful. We're just about to launch the second phase of the women's self-defense bundle we did. So that was a full four-week training program. We're going to run that again very soon. That was quite successful. The open day ones are always there, they're successful, no problem. They're very good.

And then the chatbot thing, the one I'm most excited about at the moment, that's, yeah, very, very good. Can't wait to run that out on my next try my or promos or even just regular posts. I'm really looking forward to that.

GEORGE: Yeah. Cool. And so the big benefit of that is getting your time back.

DARRYL: Really. That's it. That's it. I remember running a promo and it was quite a successful one. We would have had a hundred replies easily and I had to answer every single one of them myself. Even though I was cutting and pasting, it's just time, it's a burden. Someone is, you get a notification, fine, okay, but I've got to answer that one. There might be 10 or 15 notifications on your phone and so you've got to answer all the questions.

Then sometimes if you wait too long, they're gone cold because they've moved on to something else. So having some of them the bot answer for you, yeah, that takes so much time away from… At times I've sort of worried about running a promotion because I didn't know how much time it was going to cost me. Even though we want the new members, I don't know if I have that much time to answer many questions. So that's what I'm looking forward to that for sure.

GEORGE: And just as an a side tip for mentioning that, I heard Alex Charfen talk about this. If your sales structure causes pain, you will subconsciously sabotage it. And that means basically if you know that your house isn't in order to facilitate the campaign and the marketing that you're going to run and you know it's going to cause you some pain answering and so forth, chances are that you're going to sabotage it because you know that running it, like you said, it's going to give you all these headaches and-

DARRYL: Yeah, you might not be able to answer the questions or you might. Sometimes you might be a little bit rude if you answer on the phone and things like that. I've seen it before. I've even done it before. I think we all have. And If you are really honest with yourself, we probably all done that before.

GEORGE: Yeah, perfect. So just quickly before moving on, so 30 adults, people always throw numbers of sign-ups and so forth and it's awesome. But 30 adults, what's really good about this is the fact that the kid's already training, these are parents, it lifts your attention for the kids. It's good. You know the adults that are going to train, they think they're going to stick around for a long time. If you look at the 30 adults, how does that equate to a dollar value for you?

DARRYL: Because they're like a second member or something like that, there would be discounts. So you probably realistically, you'd be looking at probably $1,200 a year per member, so probably $30 to $40 grand a year more. So it's a pretty big increase, pretty good little kick. They're already our customers; I didn't really have to spend anything to get them. They're already in the door. They're already paying me, I'm just getting them to pay me more now.

GEORGE: And you have to send how many emails, one, two?

DARRYL: One email and that was it.

GEORGE: Perfect. Awesome. Just a couple of more questions. If you had to complete this sentence, I almost didn't join because.

DARRYL: That's a tough one. Because we had a background together before I joined your program, I knew what you were about. There are other programs out there for sure. You could join one a month, I guess you could join a different program that's martial arts-based., once a month for the whole year, there's a lot of them out there. But I don't think any of them are as complete with what they deliver. So I think, almost didn't join, that's probably a hard one because I don't think that was ever a consideration.

GEORGE: Sorry to cut you off, but I think the better question to ask you, because you've been with us for a long time and you've been around the block, you know what's out there and what's going on. Maybe the better question to ask you then though is how would you compare the martial arts program compare the Partners program to other martial arts business coaching programs?

DARRYL: I think that the case of that for me would be that it's, the right term is, it's done with you. So I've been in other programs that cost the same, cost more, but you get the information, you've got to do it, you're going to do the work. And sometimes I'm not capable, there are some areas like the chatbots, there's no way I could create, I couldn't create this myself. So having it done with me like this program does, with the help of what you designed plus your input plus my inputs, it's very easy to put it together.

A lot of the other ones, you just get the information and you're kind of left to do it yourself. Which a lot of time I know I would not do it because I was busy doing my own stuff and I'd have all this great information and I just wouldn't be able to do it. I wouldn't find the time to do it. And, and it would just be put in the to-be-done-later box I suppose, and never gets done. But this way, as I said, With the video help, it gets done.

GEORGE: Yeah. Thank you. And that's really key, right? And thanks for bringing that up because if there's one thing that I've been in this marketing stuff for obviously longer than school owners and I've spent hundreds and thousands of dollars on coaching and programs and none of it is ever relevant if you can't get it done.

That's the biggest part of where I like to focus is how do I remove the obstacles that it actually gets done. Because like you say, it's still always good, you might get great information and you get this dopamine release that, Oh awesome, this is going to be so great. But then when you actually got to put your hands together and do it and the obstacles come, it's very easy to put them in the later list and then the not done list.

DARRYL: Exactly. I mean that's probably the thing, I've had some great information come forward and I'm just like, Oh that's fantastic, I really need to do that. And I started doing it, I go, what do I do here? And I can't figure it out. And you have to go back and contact somebody and get the answer. Whereas this way with this, it's virtually all done for you. It's like a plug and play, just put your own information in and away you go. It's very easy. That's what I loved about it.

GEORGE: Awesome. And the last question for you, two questions. First one is a favorite part of the program?

DARRYL: Oh, there's a lot. I enjoy the input from the other Partners and, obviously, we've always got you there as part of that group. That's very important, I really enjoy that. Then accountability is good too. You have to be accountable, as to be accountable I suppose because you actually have to start the thing from the beginning and occasionally we let that slip. But that, yeah, I suppose the other Partners and yourself combined gives us a very good broad view of what we're doing and I think that's very good.

And the done-for-you part, you just can't beat that. Yeah. For me, I'm busy but I'm also lazy and I don't want to have to do everything for myself. I want someone to do it for me. I don't have many other people, not many people are different than that. I like to put my own twists on it, which I think that's what's good about the programs that you put out that you can still put your own twist on it, but the tried and tested parts of it are already done.

GEORGE: Love it. Awesome. And Last question and thanks a lot for doing this, Darryl, much appreciated. Who do you recommend the program to and why?

DARRYL: Really any business owner, any dojo, any martial arts business owner that want to market their business in a way that is tested, tried and tested. And there's a lot in this program that I haven't even used. There's a heap of stuff out there in your program that I haven't used. So anyone that really wants to grow their business and grow it in a smart way too, because there's a lot of programs out there that will get you big numbers in your door, but they don't all stay.

So you need this to be done in a smart way where you're going to continue to get those numbers to stay. The retention is probably more important than growth. And there's a lot of parts of this program to be used for retention. So I think that's who I recommend it to, martial arts business owners. All of them get on it. You know? That's the way to go.

GEORGE: Darryl, thanks so much for doing this. I value your input in the program, especially running the six-figure open day with you. That was a game-changer for so many school owners as well. And look, for anyone, any school owners that want to know more, want to know if we can help, all you have to do it is just ask. The easiest way to do that is going to martialartsmedia.com/scale, S-C-A-L-E. We've got a short little survey, just a couple of questions. Tell me a bit about yourself, what it is that you do. I've got just a couple of questions that you can answer. And then we'll just set up at the time to check, have a quick chat on the phone and see if what we have is something that we can help you with.

GEORGE: Awesome. Thanks so much watching. Darryl, thanks again for being on, much appreciate it, and I look forward to seeing you in the group and helping you create more wins.

DARRYL: Thank you.

GEORGE: Cheers.

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

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

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

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


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

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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.

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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.

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81 – McDojo: A Word That Actually Might Get You Killed

Calling out ‘fake’ martial artists has built Rob the brand McDojoLife with over 300k social followers, but sometimes it comes with a threat to his life.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • What is a McDojo really
  • How McDojoLife came into existence
  • Rob’s 5 rules in considering if a martial arts school is a McDojo
  • How to run an effective paid trial offer
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

But sometimes people misunderstand what I'm trying to do and if I call out an instructor or I call out somebody that I think is doing something wrong, which I would never do without really doing my research, then sometimes their students, some of their students may have some type of a slight mental handicap, not making fun of them, but that has happened where I had a student who was on the spectrum somewhere and he threatened to kill me.

GEORGE: Hey, this is George and welcome to the Martial Arts Media Business Podcast. So today, I have a different guest with me. And when I say different, but we are going to explore a whole different topic. So one thing that comes up every time I speak to a martial arts school and the last couple of shows, I've explored the conversation of what is a McDojo? 

What is a McDojo really? It's a term thrown around, it's thrown around quite loosely. A lot of people are quick to label a school a McDojo or they're not, and then there's obviously people that are really fake martial artists out there that need to be called out.

And somebody that does really successfully and has a huge following on Instagram is Rob from McDojo Life. Now welcome to the call Rob.

ROB: Hey, thanks for having me, man. I appreciate you having me on.

GEORGE: Awesome. So now, here's an interesting little twist. I can only introduce Rob as Rob and I can't actually share what his last name is. Why is that, Rob?

ROB: Well, I… you can't really get my last name because I actually get death threats often, so I don't like people looking me up that way. So you can't have that. But that's the only reason. It's not that I'm not trying to be cordial or anything like that. I just don't want people finding out any information about me because that always goes bad, especially with my job, I pretty much call people out all the time, so I try to keep my personal and my business separate as much as I can.

GEORGE: All right, that's really interesting. So you've got, well let's talk about, right, because you've got a huge following on social media, yeah?

ROB: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Roughly right now currently about 300,000 between the different social medias, between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and now I've started up a Twitch and YouTube, so it's been growing.

GEORGE: Okay, so what's the whole drive behind this? What's the purpose behind McDojo Life?

ROB: Well, the idea is that our job as martial arts instructors is to teach people how to defend themselves. And we would hope that if we do our jobs correctly, we can actually protect people in their times where they might have to protect their lives or a loved one's lives or anything like that. The problem when you have a shyster or a charlatan or someone who's out there lying to their students is that those students are basically taking that person, those students… those instructors are taking advantage of those students. 

And what's going to happen is we as martial artists are already aware that those people are being ripped off. We already know because we can look at this from our perspective, people who have been doing it for years and go, “Yo, that's wrong. That's incorrect.”

But from a student's perspective, they've put in a lot of time, effort, and years and years of dedication into an art or into a person, like the instructor, who might be teaching them something that can get them seriously, seriously injured. And I would imagine that there would be more of an uproar about this kind of thing, especially when it comes to things like pedophiles in the martial arts, people who rip people off financially in the martial arts, people who lie about their belt rank and their fight record when it comes to martial arts.

So it just blows my mind how many people are indifferent and the old saying goes, “Real evil is not like evil. It's indifference.” And so all these great martial artists are like, “Hey, if we just let them be, then what will happen is our art will grow and they'll eventually dissipate.” And that's not the case. I've been posting every day, pretty much a new video, sometimes I post some of my old favourites just because I like to, but every day for five years and I have yet to run out of material. And I realized that these folks are growing exponentially because they're getting really good at business and there's a stigma about great martial artists or good martial artists being called McDojos.

So what's eventually happening is all the frauds that are learning these business systems on how to grow their studios are growing, because that's what those systems are for. And all of these fantastic martial artists are failing horribly because they're worried they're going to be labelled a McDojo if they're financially successful, not understanding that if you're not financially successful, your business will fail and no one will follow you because you aren't teaching anymore. You're going to be working at a Winn-Dixie or whatever the hell else you do.

And so the idea of what I'm doing is to open up people's minds to what the real issues are and that usually isn't monetary. Usually. There are usually much bigger issues than a studio being successful. Usually people who hate on that kind of stuff are just that, they're hating on because they're not that successful, and that's a shame. Hopefully, the idea is to create a conversation between different martial artists, between different arts, that we can all come together to an agreement on what is and what is not legit.

GEORGE: All right, interesting. Because I work with a group of schools owners we call Partners, and one of the biggest filters that we put in place, and to me, it's almost kind of like, I wouldn't say a joke, but it's like you've got to be teaching a legitimate martial arts and you've got to be helping students actually achieve the results. For me, from what I see just obviously around where we are based in Australia, I don't really, it's not a common thing that I see a martial arts practice that is really, really shady.

But then I watch all these videos come about and I always question, “Is this current or is it just things that have come from a long time?” Or is that, your knowledge from sharing all this stuff all the time, is it something that's current?

ROB: Of course.

GEORGE: And you mentioned it's a growing cult?

ROB: Yeah, again, like I said, what typically people who are illegitimate do is they try to hang out and then try to study and learn from things that are legitimate. And what happens is we kind of get wrapped up into our own little bubble and our own little world, and become a little bit more selfish. And we forget that no one in the… no one, you can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, no one actually cares about the consumer, period, in the martial arts community. No one, no one cares.

There's no one looking out for the person who's about to become a student. We only look after the people who are already paying us money. We only look after the studios and how to help them grow, how to help retention. But no one has ever touched on the fact that there's no one actually helping out people who are getting into the martial arts.

For instance, when somebody walks into our studio for the very first time, any studio, your goal is to sign them up. That's the goal, right? To meet the sales quota, to get the person from point A to point B, because we as martial artists truly believe that our art will help them. And that's the goal. Our facility is awesome. Us, us, us.

What we forget is that might not necessarily be true. What the consumer was looking for might not be our studio. But that's not a great way to look at it from a business perspective. So from a business perspective, we're going to try to sell that person any damn way. We would never have somebody walk in and potentially go, “You know what, we're really not a good fit for you.” We would never do that, because we want to help you and we feel like our studio is the best studio for A, B, and C.

No one actually cares to help educate that person before they walk in the door. Guide them to the studio that's going to be the best fit for them, not the best fit for the owner, but the best fit for them. No one really seems to care on educating the general public on what martial arts is, the difference between karate, TaeKwonDo, and stuff like that. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of sales scripts out there to where if somebody calls and they say, “Oh this is so and so's TaeKwonDo.” “Oh TaeKwonDo, I was looking for karate.” And then flipping that on the person to get them sold on TaeKwonDo as opposed to karate.

And so I think what happens is that that's where you get a lot of that McDojo mentality is the fact that it is a little bit shady and the idea is to educate. And that's all I care about. I want to educate them. Somebody is looking to get their grandson into karate because their grandson said karate. And the grandson was really looking for jiu jitsu and explained jiu jitsu, but accidentally said the word karate. Well the grandparent might not understand the difference, and so takes it at face value.

Where I think that that's where a lot of the pitfalls fall is people not necessarily getting to where they're supposed to really be. And I think that that's where the shadiness kind of comes into play. “Well, I'm looking for karate.” Well if I stumble across to get back to your point, if it’s current or not, if I stumble across Kyūsho Jitsu as opposed to jiu jitsu, well Kyūsho Jitsu, that's George Dillman's client and they believe that they can knock people out with their mind. Well, that's ridiculous. That's, you cannot knock someone out with your mind, right. It's ridiculous, right. It's a fraud. But there are thousands of people who believe this.

Or Indonesian Silat – if you look at Indonesia today, someone sent me a video of only a year ago where there was a martial arts demonstration of kids, eight year olds, laying down in front of a truck and the truck runs them over, and the idea was their qi was supposed to protect them from this truck. Two kids died. I've never shared that video because I can't because it will get taken down, but two kids died because they believed in this mysticism.

So is current? Yeah, it's very much current. And the problem is that most of us as martial artists are so busy worried about us, us, us, we're forgetting that they are other people out there getting taken advantage of.

GEORGE: Okay, cool. And I'm going to play devil's advocate with this just because it's going to make an interesting conversation, right.

ROB: Yeah, definitely. I would love it. I would love it.

GEORGE: So one thing that came up, Indonesian Silat, because I actually have a client that does Indonesian Silat and I know they're pretty legit. So I guess I just want to give some context on there could be people, obviously in a style that does a shady practice, which obviously is then detrimental to the guys that are being legitimate.

So from educating, the perspective of educating students, I guess what I'm going to ask, let's say this is the scenario, right, that kid wants to do jiu jitsu and grandparent or parent understands karate or vice versa. How much do you think that would matter if the end result for the child that wants to gain confidence, discipline, and be a better human being, how much do you think that makes a difference?

ROB: Well, why not do football or baseball or basketball or soccer then? If that's all you're into it for, right? But if the devil's in the details and the details happen to be a range of combat that's physically effective to helping you, then I would imagine that whenever somebody looks at something, like for instance, a father in jail, which is another area that can come up, and the father in jail talks to the mom and goes, “I'd really like you to get our son in jiu jitsu.” For specifically, because let's say that he was a black belt in jiu jitsu for some reason. Obviously, this is a hypothetical conversation, but just painting a picture, right.

Let's say he understands that jiu jitsu is effective. It's been proven physically to help you defend yourself on the street. It's been proven in sport. It's a proven art when it comes to self-defense. There are shady people who teach jiu jitsu who don't know what they're doing, right. And so, not all jiu jitsu is going to be created equal and as a matter of fact, if I just take the I out of the first jiu jitsu and it is J-U jitsu, it becomes a different art or if I take the I out of the second one and it's jiu jutsu, now it's a different art as well. And so that can be very confusing as a consumer, as a parent, right.

So, but when you walk into the door and you talk to those people and you first start taking the art, it'd be like the difference between saying, “My child says he wants to play baseball,” and I put him in football. Well why? He wanted to play baseball. And will he still get confidence? Sure. Will he still be in an activity where there's other people? Sure. But you can get all of that in different, pretty much any activity that involved team sports or groups.

So when it comes to your art and your style, it kind of boils down to the details and what you're looking for as a consumer. Am I looking to work closely, especially with women, am I looking to be so close to somebody else that their sweat is pouring on my face? Well if that's not for you and you accidentally sign up for jiu jitsu, you're going to be miserable, especially if you get stuck with a contract for over a year. You're going to have people sweating on you for a year when you didn't want that at all.

So I think that it's very important that you decide what style that you want to do because they are quite different and they all do ask of you different things. Like for instance, if you did a traditional karate, like an Okinawan karate, you're going to be asked to do kata. That's going to be a pretty standard thing. Where if you say, “I don't want to do kata,” and then all of a sudden again, you signed up for this karate, well shit, I'm stuck here for a year and I have to do kata and I hate it. Or it could be the opposite. You don't want to wrestle, and yet you signed up for sambo. Well, that sucks, but now you're stuck in a contract for a year.

So I do think that it matters. But you can also get those exact same stimulus, like confidence, being physically active, having a good social environment, you can get that pretty much anywhere. You just have to trust and trust that that's still helping you with those things.

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. One thing we're really big on in our group is content creation that actually educates the right prospect. And I take this just from the more bullying the authority type of concept. There's nothing more frustrating when you're doing marketing and you, I think you're chasing offers month to month, and month to month, you're just trying to get numbers in.

But from an education standpoint, one thing we always go through how do you position yourself as the authority, and you don't play in the same field of everybody that's trying to just nail the offers down. But how do you start playing that higher field of the people that are, maybe they've got a problem that martial art solves, but they're not prospects for martial arts yet. And how do you start talking to those people on a higher level? But then start an education process with content.

But on a flip note, so you did get a lot of backlash with what you do. Now, what do you say to the legitimate martial artists that say to you, “Well, you just spreading the bad vibes. You're just spreading the negative.” What's your response to that?

ROB: Well, it depends on how they address it. I think every case is a little different, very similar to every customer is going to be different, every student is going to be different. It just kind of depends on how they approach it.

I like an open dialogue. I love it, because I learn stuff too. It's great. I don't know everything about every art in existence. It will take me a lifetime to learn everything about one art. So trying to be able to get a good handle on most arts is a fairly difficult job. Trying to, I'm not trying to be an authority on it, but I've kind of been put in that position where people assume that I am. And then I have to take that and go, “Okay, well I guess I am at this moment, so I might as well learn as much as I can.”

But when it comes to a verbal discourse and when it comes to having somebody who addresses the negative, I always try to talk with them in the grand scheme of things about what I'm trying to do, which is to open a dialogue more than anything else. I want people to be as educated as they can, and I try to do that through humor, because I feel like that's usually the best way to break the ice with any subject, especially if it's uncomfortable. Just a crack joke, man. So I usually start off with usually one liner jokes.

But I also have an analogy, and I want you to kind of think about this and maybe this will help shed light on it. Let's say we're all in a pool and I'm hanging out, and we'll say I'm karate, right. And we'll say you're jiu jitsu and TaeKwonDo is hanging out. Hell, even aikido guy is over there, right, and we're all hanging out and we're all swimming in the pool and we're all enjoying ourselves, right.

And then all of a sudden, here comes the Bujinkan ninjutsu guys and they walk up to the side of the pool and they start peeing in it. Not actually in the pool peeing, but standing out by the pool peeing into the pool. Now, if this was a public swimming pool, no one would be quiet about it. We would look at the person and say, “Stop.”

But since this is a martial arts school, no one says anything. They go, “You know what, we're just going to keep swimming over here and we're going to ignore that guy and he'll go away.” But that's not how it really works. That's not how life works. So what can happen is somebody else is going to walk by and see that that's okay behavior and they're going to walk up to the pool and oh, here comes the George Dillman guys with the no touch knockout stuff and they start doing it too. And then, the next thing you know, here comes the Silat guys who try to put the qi around their arms and try to stab themselves. Oh it doesn't work, they cut their arm, ah. That happens quite often by the way. I've got plenty of video of it. But then they start peeing in the pool.

Eventually, if we don't say anything, there's going to be more people peeing in the pool than people in the pool. And what's going to happen is we can make a decision, either we talk to them now but it's too late and they've taken all of our students and they've ruined that taste and they put a bad taste in their mouth. Those people are never going to join another martial arts studio. Nine times out of 10, once they go into that first studio and they have a bad taste in their mouth, they may, may try one more. But if they get a second bad taste in their mouth, they're never going to do martial arts again.

And so what's happening is those legitimate martial arts studios are losing not just profit, but potential students who will help carry their art over to the next generation, simply because they were too busy worrying about themselves to actually say something about something that's wrong.

And so, I understand that not everybody is going to agree with how I do what I do. But I don't do it with violence. I never encourage anybody to dojo storm anybody. I am vocally against people speaking out at people during their seminars. I think that our goal is to spread information, very similar to a smoking campaign that we had years ago. 

If I want people to stop smoking, I don't punch the president of Marlboro in the face. That doesn't help anything. It makes me an asshole, right. But if I want them to stop smoking, I'll spread information, and then the more people who get that information, before they walk into their first class, before they talk to their first instructor, they'll have a better handle on how to make their own decisions, first. And that's kind of the goal.

And so, I'm not trying to make anybody's decisions for them. What I am trying to do is get them to have a more open dialogue, so they can make their own decisions and research better on their own.

GEORGE: Awesome, cool. Okay, Rob, so now you've got this huge social following. It's got a lot of traction. Obviously, that polarizes a lot of people and it creates love, humor, and hate, right. Now tell me about the hate, because you were saying, this was out of context, I was about to introduce Rob and I was like, “Hang on, what's your last name?” And he said, “Well, I'm not telling you that.” And then the conversation led to, “Well, I get death threats.” Tell me about that.

ROB: Well, with anything that grows big, the bigger it gets, the more people are going to follow you just simply to watch you fail. There's always going to be those people and the term for it is haters. There's always going to be your haters.

But it's funny, because they're like some of your biggest cheerleaders, because they're the ones who are commenting, helping your algorithms, showing more people about your stuff. Even if they… what do they say, bad press is still good press; any press is good press.

But sometimes, people do take it too far. I do get death threats from time to time, which is why I don't give out my last name and I try to avoid that as much as possible. I don't have anything to hide in terms of my particular martial arts stuff. I try to post up stuff of me from time to time. That way, people can see like, “I'm a goofball, man. I still swing nunchucks whether that's good for the streets or not, I don't care, I still enjoy it. And I don't think every martial art that you do has to be about getting into a cage and fighting someone or a life or death situation. I don't think that every martial art has to be that way.

But sometimes, people misunderstand what I'm trying to do and if I call out an instructor or I call out somebody that I think is doing something wrong, which I would never do without really doing my research, then sometimes their students, some of their students may have some type of a slight mental handicap, not making fun of them, but that has happened where I had a student who was on the spectrum somewhere and he threatened to kill me.

Now, when you get a death threat from somebody who obviously has some type of a social disorder, I take that seriously. I really think that this dude has the possibility of doing that, because it's not like I hide where I am. I tell people, “Yo, I'm going to go in to the US Open or I'm going to this tournament or I'm going to the Martial Arts Super Show in Vegas.” So I tell people where I'm going to go.

But I don't want them to know where my house is. I don't want them to know my neighborhood. If they see me in public, chance you're going to be much safer there. But yeah, I get death threats and I think that what I've really touched on was something I didn't expect, which is that martial arts and religion draw such a fine line, such a fine line.

To some people, martial arts is their religion, and just like any religion, if you yank that rug out from under somebody, you yank their belief structure out from under them all of a sudden and you prove to them that something is wrong. They're going to double down or they're going to agree with you. And most people double down. Even with proof in their face, they go, “You know what, you're still wrong. My instructor is not a pedophile.” 

And I can show them the court transcript and they'll be like, “Nah, I don't believe you.” I'm like, “Dude, what other proof do you need?” But they still don't believe it, even if you shove the proof in their face, because they still want to believe that their instructor that they spent 20 years of their life with is still a good human being, because what does it say about them that they followed a pedophile for 20 years and still think that, knowing he's a bad guy, they have to believe he's good.

And so taking that rug out from under people sometimes is really dangerous because it is a belief structure and that really shatters people. And so, they get violent sometimes. It's fair enough. It comes with the job.

GEORGE: Yeah, I've come to realize, especially the martial arts space, if you want to see where the trolls hang out on social, just like running ads or just telling people or ads is the best, especially because I work with martial arts school owners and sometimes that will attract the martial arts crowd and the context will just be, I just laugh, it just means I'm like, “All right. I'm moving forward. The hate's coming in. I'm doing something right.”

ROB: Yeah. And I do feel bad, I feel bad for legit… for instance, so people send me stuff a lot from Wing Chun kung fu and that art, if you're not familiar with it, has a lot of flow drills. It has a lot of sensitivity drills. When you're looking at it, it looks odd. But without context, if you're just looking at it, which is a big problem, which is why I try to explain that there's so many martial artists, if you're going to post a video of your technique, post context. Context is huge.

If I'm looking at a jiu jitsu drill, a solo drill, and somebody is just shrimping on the floor and that's your ad. That is the dumbest ad ever. Because me as a martial artist, if I'm in TaeKwonDo and I've never done jiu jitsu, still I could've done let's say 15 years of TaeKwonDo and I look at jiu jitsu for the first time, and I go, “What is he doing? That's stupid. I've never learned that in my 15 years of martial arts, and I'm going to make fun of it.” Well, that's because the guy didn't put in context.

This is a hip mistake. This is what this is for. Let me show you the times that it's been applied. Let me show you how it works and why it works. And then, now we're explaining our art and helping it grow rather than making it a detriment. I had a long conversation with someone on systema. Are you familiar with systema?

GEORGE: A little bit.

ROB: Yeah, so it's a Russian art and their big claim to fame is that they say that they taught it to the Spetsnaz. And so, fair enough, maybe you did. But I don't know if people are really familiar with how that stuff works, but they don't just teach one art to the military. Those are self-contracted, those are deals that you make with your government to get paid.

And so, for instance in the United States, we've had almost every art taught to our military. So to say, “Yeah, TaeKwonDo, you know the special forces uses it.” No, duh. But they use jiu jitsu and judo and samba and all these other arts. So to say that that's the claim to fame is ridiculous to me. But also, on a side note, have you ever, the movie ‘Men Who Stare at Goats'?

GEORGE: No.

ROB: So, there's a movie based on a true story that happened in the United States where a gentleman was given a whole bunch of LSD and used his mind to knock a goat out who was in another room. And because that incident happened and the goat actually passed out for some reason, they actually gave him his own platoon and allowed him to start teaching what they called the Jedi program and fed these officers, these military people, LSD and tried to teach them superpowers. Our government really did this. And so, whenever I hear people say, “Yeah, I taught the military.” I always think about ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats'. I'm like, “Yeah, but that crazy dude also taught him too.'

So in any case, but I had a conversation with the gentleman from systema about that same thing, about him posting videos or systema in general posting videos with no context. And we had an hour conversation about it, and he tried to explain it as if it was a drill, which I have no problem with. If I'm explaining a technique to a student or to a classroom, it's going to be done maybe at half speed or slower, so people can understand it, but you're still explaining what it's for.

Where in this art, people are waving their hand and people are falling down with no explanation. And so when you have that kind of stuff pumped through the airwaves with advertisements, it's not helping you, because you've got to remember that the person who's looking at your advertisement is looking at it from a student's perspective if they're going to buy anything from you.

And so they're getting a lot of information about how you teach your class, the tonality that you use, what type of person you are. And if I look at that and I go, “Man, I really like the way that guy teaches.” I would go to your class. I would go check that out. But if I look at it and I go, “I don't know what the hell that is.” Well, that's you as an instructor teaching a poor class, but you're teaching a poor class to thousands of people who are potential students.

So it's important that if you're going to show your stuff, you need to show context. It's so important from a consumer's perspective. They need to know what the hell they're looking at. And I think that that's where a lot of martial artists fail and that's why get a lot of that hate. I think that helps.

GEORGE: Yeah, you've hit the nail on the head. I talk about the context a lot. I've got a video surfing around somewhere, The Three Biggest Mistakes Martial Arts School Owners Make, and the big thing on it was context, because the go to thing is just pick up the phone and let's just do a line of everybody punching and kicking. And I'm like, “That can mean so many things.”

If I'm the prospect and I'm like, “I want to hit this class,” and I see an intense class, is that really the thing that I want to see? So just taking that first 15, 20 seconds of, “Hey, this is me from school this and this, and this is kind of what we're doing.” You could have the same content and just change the context around it, and speak to a different person.

So I think it really comes down to the context, but then also, for clarifying on the context is who are you trying to talk to. Let's start with the who and then you can develop the context, and then the content can just kind of follow.

ROB: I agree. That was something that I learned years ago when it came to, because I used to go to Bill Clark seminars. I don't know if you're familiar with Bill Clark, but he was one of the founders or he's one of the heads of ATA, American TaeKwonDo Association. But he was the gentleman who started a lot of the phone scripts and a lot of the business stuff in the United States on how to grow your business and treating martial arts studios like a business.

And I'll never forget him saying, “You don't want every client. Not every client is right for you. For instance, if I have a client who walks through the door, who's already haggling me for prices and stuff like that, who are already trying to get my price down, they're going to cause me the biggest bit of grief later on down the road.”

It's the ones who are willing to pay the price that you're asking for right away, those are going to be your best clients. The people who are willing to pay what it is you're asking for are going to be the ones who are going to break their backs for you because they're paying for it. They're not trying to look for some deal or try to shade you over right off the bat.

And so, you're right, you don't want… you've got to figure out who you're trying to get your prospects from, and that in itself could be tricky, but that also has so much to do with your advertising and how you do it. Are you doing a free trial? Are you doing a paid trial? I prefer paid trials. I'm real big about that. I don't think doing a paid trial, which a lot of people have a stigma, they think that paid trials automatically make you a McDojo, but then I ask them, I was like, “Is there any job you have ever done for free? Any job where you were working and you did it free?” You're like, “No.” Your mechanic's not going to look at you and go, “You know what, I'm going to look at your car for free. It's cool.” No, he's going to charge you for the time. He's going to give you a consulting fee or an assessment vehicle of your vehicle.

So I think it's, and also it helps you weed out bad clientele. If they're not willing to pay you the $5, $10, $20 bucks for your trial, they're not going to pay you monthly dues. They're not going to pay you a dime. You might as well just weed them out quick. So I really love paid trials. I'm a fan.

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. Free trial, from my experience, free trial can work only if you have a super advanced funnel of fulcrum people with your content and you've gone through that process and then work with a free trial.

But if you, free trial and that's your cold offer, especially on things like Facebook, that's hard work, because that's going to take a lot of work and a lot of energy. Then again, on something like Google where somebody has some intent. Yep, they could be a better prospect. But, yeah, the paid trial is where all our clients get the best results, definitely.

ROB: And the cool thing is it could become a free trial, which is usually how the game is played. You pay me, let's say, $20 bucks for three classes and you get a free uniform or a free pair of gloves depending on what your margin is. If it's a karate uniform from Century, I think they're $8 bucks wholesale. I'll give you a free uniform. You paid for it already. You paid me $20.

So then you're in my class and then after you decide either the first day or you want to do one trial, one class, however you want to do it, they already have a uniform that they can't wear literally anywhere else, it's a useless piece of thing unless they actually sign up. And then, on top of that, I can give you that money back and put it right towards the down payment.

There are so many different ways to get people in, and to me, it's not a shady thing, because it's a choice. It's an offer. It's nothing… I think the biggest thing is as long as you're upfront with the people. Just don't lie to them. Don't patronize the student. Don't try to pull the wool over their eyes with what I would consider shady sales tactics.

Now I will say this, I don't think handling objections is a shady business practice. People are going to object. That's just human nature. For instance, in one of the, what do they call, one of the five objections. Let's see if I can remember them off the top of my head. I can't afford it. I don't have the time. It's too far away, the location. Oh, what was it? I have to talk to my spouse. And I have to think about it. There we go. Boom, I still remember them. Not bad, huh?

And so, but yeah, so these objections are always going to come up. Always. They're going to come up every time you try to sell somebody on something. But that's why you do a good job of what I would consider a business tactic called giving a damn. If you actually care about your client, all of those objections are done before we have a conversation. Usually, if you really care about them, you're going to talk to them. “Hey man, what made you want to start martial arts?” “Man, you know, my doctor told me that if I don't lose 100 pounds, I'm going to have serious medical issues and I'm already having them.” “That's a big problem. I care about you. I want you not to die.”

So when you hit me with the objection of, “You know man, I just really don't have the time.” “Bullshit. Yes, you do. You had the time to walk in this door today. You had made the time to not die today. And what you're going to tell me is you're going to walk out the door with a doctor's order that says you have to lose this weight. There's a reason you came to this facility. There's a reason you walked in this door. Let me help you get from point A to point B, because I know for a fact I can.”

That's called caring. That's not like lying to them. All right, if it's the other way around. Let's say it's a fake martial arts studio and they go, “Hey, man, I really wanted to be here for self-defense.” And then you hit them with that old saying, “You know what, most people started for that reason.” And then you just use that to plug and play with whatever problem they have. That's shady. Most people started because they wanted to lose weight. And then the next guy walks in. Most people started because it's self-defense. That's a lie. You're lying to them, right.

But if you're hitting them with the truth, like, “You know what, we had Steven lose 50 pounds here. We've had Susan, she lost 15 pounds here.” Cases that I know personally, we had a guy come into the studio, at one of the studios I taught at who wanted to lose 30 pounds because he had a girl in his office that he was terrified to talk to. He lost 30 pounds with jiu jitsu, that class that I was teaching. Not only did he lose the 30 pounds, he asked her out and they became married and have kids now.

So those are real. That's real caring, right. But when you have the plug and play, like phone script script, where you're going, “Yeah, you know what, everybody started at this studio because of the reason you're saying you want to start.” That's a lie. That's shady. That's where I think most people get upset is when they're being lied to. I think that they respect the truth and I think that when you really care about your client and your student, they'll see the real you. They'll see that you really care, and they'll be more likely to sign up and stick with you because you care.

GEORGE: Love it. So I've got a string of questions because this conversation started from just wanting to talk McDojos and there's some great value coming from this, so thanks for that, Rob. I've got about, we've got about another five minutes or so, so I don't think I've got time for all the questions I want to ask. But let's start with this. Something that we really didn't clarify, I mean if we really look at the term McDojo, in your words, how do you define it as in, “This is a McDojo.”

ROB: I get that question a lot and I have a very definitive answer. So I have five rules. I call them rules. People said that they're signals, but I call them rules, because those are the rules that keep me in check. I don't go after studios unless they break these rules. It's very important to me, and that allows me to keep myself in check with balances.

So rule number one, no pedophiles. I think that if somebody's been a convicted child sex offender, they shouldn't be teaching martial arts and they also should not be legally around children. I know that that sounds like a no brainer and that law should already take place and intervene there, but it's not. There's actually a guy who owns a martial arts studio here in the United States, and the studio's called Warrior's Code. He has three martial arts studio. He was convicted of molesting a 15 year old girl, and for some reason, because of the plea deal that he took in court, he's still allowed to be around children. So I think that that's a huge one, and it happens a lot. There's a lot of pedophiles who do take refuge in opening up a small business, trying to hide the fact that they have ever molested somebody, and I think that that should be weeded out immediately. That's got to stop.

These kids are putting their livelihoods, they're putting their trust in somebody who's supposed to be there for them to help mentor them. And these people are taking advantage of them and that's unacceptable. I don't give a damn what the reason is or what the situation is. Once you've broken that child's trust, you should be done with the arts. Done, period.

GEORGE: Got it.

ROB: So that's number one. Number two is people lying about their belt rank or fight record. If you're going to lie about your belt record and fight records, your chances are good you're lying about pretty much anything else that you can get your hands on. People sweated, they spent years of their life to get their black belt. If you're not one, that's okay. It's okay to open up a martial arts studio as a brown belt. Do it, if that's your passion and you want to do that, you still know more than the new guy. Teach them, but don't lie about it. Don't be like a Charlie Zelenoff who says he's 200 and something and 0 boxer, when all he does is go into gyms, hand people gloves, and hit them as soon as they get gloves on, and calls that a victory. That's lying and that's not healthy for anybody.

Rule number three, shady business practices. There are plenty of gyms that do this. Please never do this if you're listening. But what they'll do is they'll be quite aware that they're about to close. They know they're about to close, and so what they'll do is they'll wait to close until they get that last month's payment and then shut their doors as soon as the payment comes in. And so they'll rip people off of a whole month's worth of payment, when they already knew, they were well aware they were going to close.

Or they'll open up a studio, take the first month's payment, close down, go to another town, and do the same thing. There's been a lot of cases of that as well. Or strong arming your students. Going to their door, when they don't make their payment on time, banging on the door and saying, “You need to give me my money or I'll hurt you.” That happens often as well, and so, that's shady business practices.

Or one that I'm not, I'm on the fence about, but having your students sign up for long-term contracts. Everybody knows damn good and well that the average martial arts student roughly drops out at about a year. So if you're having your students sign contracts for over two, three years, sometimes five years in one case that I saw, and then you're holding them to the full amount after they cancel, that's fairly shady, when you knew statistically that they were going to drop after a year. They didn't know that, but you did. And so that's an ethics thing. So that's rule number three.

Rule number four is no touch knockouts. You can't knock people out with your mind. I'm sorry. You can't do it. 

GEORGE: Unless you take LSD and you attack the goats, of course, yeah.

ROB: You know, I touch you here, you fall over. I hit your hand here and you have a seizure. That's a lie. It's a fallacy. It's not real. But plenty of people fall for it. It's ridiculous.

And then the last one is unsafe training practices and cult like behavior. You're their instructor and their mentor. You're not their spiritual and religious leader. That is not your job. I would never go to my barber and go, “You know man, I'm having this existential crisis. I really am glad that you're here to give me the spiritual advice.” No, I might ask the advice of another friend or a human being, but I'm not going to treat him like he's on such a high pedestal.

You're just a human being. If anybody out there is listening, if you make your students refer to you as sifu absolutely everywhere you go and that's your handle, ehh, a little ego going on there, right. That's just a little weird. But I'll let that slide.

But the unsafe training practices. There's no excuse for that. There's no reason for your students to be sparring full contact out on concrete with shoes and no head gear. That's how people get hurt and die. You accidentally knock somebody out. They fall if their six feet tall. That's six feet down for their head to land. They hit the back of their head on concrete. Now, they're dead.

Or the old school training method where you're hitting your students with sticks every time they get something wrong. You're abusing your students. They're paying you. Remember that. They can leave whenever they want. But that's where the cult like behavior comes in, because sometimes you can brainwash them and make them forget that they can just leave. And so that's one of those things that I think is kind of shady.

So those are my five and those are the ones I stick to. That, to me, is a real McDojo. I could care less how long it takes you to get your black belt. B.J. Penn, for instance, got his black belt, what, two and a half years, three years in jiu jitsu. And then people will turn around on the other hand and say, “Oh, you've got black belt in TaeKwonDo in two years. That's not real.” Well, what is it? Is it okay for just one person? Well, then it's not a rule. It's a guideline. And so that's why I stick to those five rules, because they apply all the time.

GEORGE: Awesome. Rob, this has been a great chat. Loved it. It was awesome, and you shed a lot of great value and a lot of context on the whole McDojo thing and yeah, so what I want to ask you is for anybody that doesn't know how to find you or if anybody wants to know more about what you do and the things that you share, where can they find you online if they haven't already?

ROB: Pretty much anything that is social media, you just type in McDojo life and I'll pop up. You can find, all of my original content is on YouTube. I try to make each social media a little different from the other. I usually do my live interviews, I usually do those on Facebook. So you can find me on Facebook at McDojo Life. Twitter, I'll randomly spew out information on Twitter, but I also share the videos on Instagram, on all of those as well. So look up any of those and you can find me at McDojo Life.

GEORGE: Awesome. Rob, thanks a lot for being on. Thanks for sharing, and I'll connect with you in the social hemisphere.

ROB: Sounds good, brother. Thank you.

GEORGE: Cheers, thanks.

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

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

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

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


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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

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