MartialArtsWorldNews.com VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
The #1 Business Resource for the Martial Arts Industry
Eung Gil Choi
founder of USTMA
Dong Sup Lee
president of Kukkiwon
Receives Honorary 9th Degree Black Belt.
The Industry Responds.
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Taekwondo Equipment in the USA
24 Tokyo 2021: United States
Medalists in Martial Arts
28 Master Karen Eden: Inspiration
and Philosophy Add Real Value
to Your Classes
34 President Trump Receives
Honorary 9th Degree Black Belt:
The Industry Responds
103 FREE Tool of the Month
14 Industry Insights
18 Industry Innovations
20 Social 411
52 School Profiles
63 Classified Ads
99 Advertiser Index
48 Tell Us Your Story
76 Feature Your School,
Strange Times Call for Level 5 Leadership!
Master Toby Milroy
8 Martial Arts World News Faculty
12 Mind Mastery
How Brain Power and Focus Make You Happier
Grandmaster Jessie Bowen
4 Tips to Boost Your Social Media
Hanshi Dave Kovar
58 Next Level Strategy
Branding: Is it a Waste of Your Time? (Part 2)
Shihan Allie Alberigo
60 Growth Hacks
Making Business Move Quickly
Mr. Sean Lee
62 Ninja Business Tactics
Teaching Child Students in 2020
An-Shu Stephen Hayes
66 Pillars of Success
How Do You Know if You Have Physical Fitness?
Grandmaster Y. K. Kim
70 The Way of the Samurai
Children and the Art of the Sword, Part 1
Shihan Dana Abbott
72 Extraordinary Marketing
Is Everyone in Your Boat Rowing in the Same
Direction? (Part 1)
Grandmaster Stephen Oliver
74 After School Excellence
Why You Must Start Your Summer Camp In The
Middle of Winter
Chief Master Mike Bugg
4 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
78 Tactical Self-Defense
One Shot to Survive
Grandmaster Tom Patire
80 Complete Martial Arts Concepts
Dreams Do Come True
Professor Willie “the Bam” Johnson
82 The Millionaire Smarts Coach
Ms. Lee Milteer
86 Budo Philosophy
Our Little World
Shidoshi Alfredo Tucci
88 Pro Shop Power
Find the Missing Piece of Your School with Puzzle Mats
Mr. Sun Kang
90 Master the Basics
Developing Your Students’ Devotion to Becoming
Master Tina Bane
92 Instructional Excellence
The Value of Failure, Part 2
Grandmaster Tim McCarthy
94 Business Buzz
Statistics, Part 3
Grandmaster Lawrence Arthur
96 Martial Arts Philosophy
A Diary of a Black Belt, Part 3
Sensei Gary Lee
98 Management Excellence
Would You Spend a Dollar to Save a Dime?
Chief Master Kirk Pelt
100 The Warrior Way
Twenty Ways To Keep Your Attitude Positive, Part 1
Grandmaster Bill Clark
102 Staff Development
Mining for Instructors: Planting the Seed, Part 3
Master Zulfi Ahmed
104 Tools & Tactics
Let the Retention Rise
Ms. Chris Lee
VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Master Toby Milroy
Mr. Sean Lee
Mr. Jeff Reulbach
Mr. Frank Meyer
Mr. Amen Blue
Ms. Erin Pham
COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTORS
Hanshi Dave Kovar
Grandmaster Bill Clark
Mr. Sean Lee
Shihan Allie Alberigo
Grandmaster Y. K. Kim
Grandmaster Tim McCarthy
Chief Master Kirk Pelt
Grandmaster Stephen Oliver
Chief Master Mike Bugg
Professor Willie Johnson
Grandmaster Zulfi Ahmed
Ms. Chris Lee
Grandmaster Lawrence Arthur
Master Tina Bane
Mr. Sun Kang
Master Carlos Machado
Grandmaster Jessie Bowen
Shidoshi Alfredo Tucci
An-Shu Stephen Hayes
Ms. Lee Milteer
Sensei Gary Lee
Grandmaster Tom Patire
Shihan Dana Abbott
The mission of Martial Arts World
News Magazine is to be the definitive
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ethical business practices,
product reviews and innovative
developments in the world of martial
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MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1 5
Strange Times Call for
Level 5 Leadership!
by Master Toby Milroy
I think we’d all agree, the last couple years have been challenging.
We faced never before seen challenges. Between the COVID
19 virus itself, local, state and federal responses to the virus,
consumer confidence and behavior changes, and the
economic disruption all this has caused, it’s been a
roller coaster ride for most of our industry.
As I’ve written previously, we’re seeing a growing
‘divide’ in our industry, accelerated by these
somewhat extreme circumstances. Some schools
have come back stronger than ever,
setting new all time records, while
others have closed their doors for
ever or are struggling to stay afloat.
CERTAINLY, state by state, county by
county schools are dealing with dramatically
different circumstances and imposed limitation,
BUT, even so, we’re seeing this divide widening
even in the same state, and in substantially
So, what is the difference?
Why are some doing so well,
while others suffer?
I’ve been drilling into this for
more than a year now, speaking
with clients, colleagues in
the industry, vendors, service
providers, and some of the
most successful school operators
in the world, and I
see clear patterns in those
schools and businesses
that have managed and
overcome these challenged
I’m reminded of the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, a
‘must read’ for school operators in my view. Jim writes about
his study of companies that have had dramatic ‘breakthroughs’
in their performance, while other, substantially
similar businesses in the same category did
not. Interestingly, one of the ‘commonalities’ Collins
identified in the more successful companies is a
concept he calls ‘Level 5 Leadership’.
I’m seeing essentially the SAME dynamic in this
industry, under these circumstances. In my view, and
from my research, the schools that are far outperforming
the ‘average’ demonstrate the same ‘Level 5 Leadership’
As a quick primer, leaders tend to ascend through these stages:
● Level 1 – Highly Capable Individual
● Level 2 – Contributing Team Member
● Level 3 – Competent Manager
● Level 4 – Effective Leader
● Level 5 – Executive Leadership
Level 5 leaders demonstrate an almost paradoxical combination
of personal humility, a deep focus on self-analysis, observe,
embrace and learn from their mistakes, and a powerful ‘professional
will’. Leaders who largely lead from their own ‘ego’ and are unwilling
to quickly adjust strategy where it’s needed have found this pandemic
potentially fatal for their business and their organizations.
We have some WONDERFUL examples of “Level 5 Leaders”
in our industry, and now, more then ever, they are easy to spot,
and they are scooping up market share at a rate we’ve not
seen in decades.
Now is the time to step up your leadership, sharpen your saw,
raise the quality of your staff, improve your programs, and build
deeper relationships with your students. Together, we can take our
industry to a future brighter than anyone would have imagined!
MASTER TOBY MILROY is a 5th degree black belt. Known as “The Master Systemizer,” Master Toby Milroy
has positively influenced more martial arts schools than anyone in our industry. He has built a successful multi-school
organization, lead the national trade association for the martial arts industry, and coached some of the most successful
martial arts school operators in the world.
6 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Check out our new
MARTIAL ARTS BUSINESS
No Egos – No Politics – No Trolls
Just News, Tips, Strategies, and Tools to Help You Grow Your School!
OUR EXPERT FACULTY
Master Toby Milroy
is a 5th degree Black Belt, the CEO and
Publisher of Martial Arts World News
Magazine, and the Executive Vice
President for AMS. In addition to building
a successful multi-school organization,
Master Milroy has positively influenced
more martial arts schools than virtually
anyone in our industry.
Grandmaster Jessie Bowen
is President of Karate International of Durham,
Inc., a member of the American Martial
Arts Association Sport Karate League
and Hall of Fame, and has been a member
of the Duke University PE Staff for over 25
years. He is the author of Zen Mind-Body
Mindfulness Meditation and Zen Mind-Body
Mindfulness Meditation for Martial Arts.
Hanshi Dave Kovar
is an 8th degree black belt and recognized
as the “Trainer of Trainers.” Hanshi
Kovar is an internationally acclaimed
instructor with black belt degrees in ten
different martial arts styles. His systems
have been implemented in hundreds of
schools around the US.
Shihan Allie Alberigo
is a 7th degree black belt, the founder
of the L.I. Ninjutsu Centers, one of the
largest Ninjutsu schools on the planet,
the author of 4 books, and an entrepreneur
with one of the first online coaching
Mr. Sean Lee
is the Executive Director of Sales and
Marketing for hundreds of martial arts
schools and specializes in online and social
media marketing using his extensive
professional experience in sports and
martial arts marketing, contract negotiation,
An-Shu Stephen Hayes
has authored more than 20 books,
worked as a bodyguard for the Dalai
Lama, supervised over 30 school locations
worldwide, and was named, "One of
the 10 Most Influential Living Martial Artists
in the World" by Black Belt Magazine.
Grandmaster Y. K. Kim
is the most successful martial arts business
leader in the US, having written
over 30 books on martial arts, business,
leadership, and success. He has won
numerous public service awards and is
the founder of the leading martial arts
marketing and management company in
Shihan Dana Abbott
is a 7th degree black belt in Kenjutsu,
starting his 14-year education in Tokyo.
He has published five books and designed
a US Patent. Abbott has also
conducted seminars in over 30 countries
and obtained his black belt at the Hombu
dojo in Yokohama. He currently offers
online classes on LearntheSword.com.
8 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
OUR EXPERT FACULTY
Grandmaster Stephen Oliver
is a 9th degree black belt and is the
founder and CEO of Mile High Karate
schools, and founder of the Martial Arts
Wealth Mastery Program.
Master Mike Bugg
is an 8th degree black belt and the
owner of a 1.5 million-per-year location,
with one of the largest after school and
summer camp programs in the country.
Grandmaster Tom Patire
is known as “America’s Leading Personal
Safety Expert” and has appeared on
Good Morning America, The CBS Morning
Show, The Colbert Report, Montel,
plus in mainstream publications such as
Family Circle, Redbook, Fortune Magazine,
and The Wall Street Journal.
Ms. Lee Milteer
is an Intuitive Business Coach, awardwinning
professional speaker, and TV
personality who has counseled and
trained over a million people throughout
her career. Lee is Stephen Oliver’s
Martial Arts Wealth Mastery’s Millionaire
Smarts Coach and is also a best-selling
author of educational resources.
Shidoshi Alfredo Tucci
is the CEO and General Manager of the
Budo International Publishing Company,
a leading publisher in the martial arts
with over 35 years in the industry. He
is also author of several books: The
Immaterial Dimension, The Way of the
Warrior, and The Spirit. He currently lives
in Valencia, Spain.
Mr. Sun Kang
is the President of Vision Martial Arts
Supply who helps school owners all over
the US maximize their retail sales and
drive more revenue into their schools.
Professor Willie “The BAM” Johnson
is a 7th degree black belt and seven-time
sport karate and Kung-Fu world champion.
He has appeared in four movies,
16 plays, and 11 television shows. He is
also the national spokesperson for the
Stronger than Drugs Foundation and the
Champions Against Drugs.
Master Tina Bane
is a 6th degree master instructor and
owner of a Top Ten martial arts school
with successful after school and summer
MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1 9
OUR EXPERT FACULTY
Grandmaster Tim McCarthy
is a 9th degree black belt and is a martial
arts educator with a master’s degree in
education. He has been instrumental
in developing two industry-changing
programs, and has directed and been
featured in hundreds of martial arts videos
Grandmaster Lawrence Arthur
is a martial artist specializing in Karate,
Kung Fu, Kenpo, Shoto-kan, and Goju-rue,
with 40 Super Kick Karate locations, and
founder of AFKA. World champion Lawrence
also runs the Black Belt Success
Systems consulting firm, training martial
arts instructors on proper business practices
in schools all over the country.
Sensei Gary Lee
the American Samurai, is a 9th Dan black
belt, a USA Karate Federation gold medalist,
winner of five Super Grand National
Titles, a featured actor in the movie Sidekicks,
and is the founder of the National
Sport Karate Museum.
Grandmaster Bill Clark
is a 9th degree black belt and a former
PKA Fighter of the year. He is widely considered
one of the top experts in martial
arts business with over 40 years of
leadership and innovation, having been
inducted into almost every Hall of Fame
in the industry. He is one of the largest
multi-school owners in the world.
Grandmaster Zulfi Ahmed
has amassed acclaim as a world-class
competitor, martial arts educator, and is
most notably founder and designer of
the internationally renowned style, Bushi
Ban. With over 45 years of martial arts
experience and over 300 martial arts
awards, his schools include ten locations
Ms. Chris Lee
is a martial arts business development
consultant with a background in online
and social media marketing.
Chief Master Kirk Pelt
is an 8th degree black belt and is the
President of a multimillion-dollar, multischool
organization, has a 30-year track
record of success, and is currently on the
leading edge of martial arts curriculum
and business innovation.
We’re Seeking Contributors!
Do you have something to share?
We’d love to hear about it!
10 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Cutting-Edge Martial Arts
that Bring New Students into Your School...Fast
WHAT MAKES OUR MARTIAL ARTS WEBSITES SO AMAZING?
You Get a Beautiful, Mobile Responsive, Lead-Generating Website that Works for You 24/7/365
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How Brain Power and Focus
Make You Happier and Luckier
by Grandmaster Jessie Bowen
I’ve just finished publishing my second book of the year, stuck at home while going
through a pandemic, feeling a little burnt out and even bored.
It’s easy to reach that state due to mental fatigue, but when you
realize what’s happening to you mentally and physically, you can
make the change. As the song by Bobby McFerrin goes, “don’t
worry, be happy.” This article focuses on using brainpower and
focus to make you happier and luckier.
It is common in self-help literature to hear that being more confident,
believing in yourself, and regularly thinking positive thoughts
can all help you feel happier and even influence your life in a positive
way. But here’s another factor you might not have considered:
brainpower. Did you know that mental focus, creativity, sharpness,
and more could help make you happier and even luckier? Those
who are more positive and happier tend to notice opportunities
more because they are less stressed. Likewise, effective
use of CBT requires mental discipline, which in
turn needs energy and focus. If you’re groggy and
easily distracted, you won’t be able to exert the
necessary discipline to change those negative
So, how do you boost your brainpower?
One way to quickly upgrade your brain
is to give it more energy. We’ve
seen how sleep can help with
this, but you can also do
it through the right diet
Omega-3 fatty acids, for
instance, help improve
brain cell permeability,
which aids rapid communication,
studies have shown that creatine, a supplement that athletes use
to increase cellular energy, is capable of improving focus and
IQ. The brain training games the dual n-back test, can improve
working memory and pattern recognition—critical for seeing and
noticing those opportunities.
Most important of all, though, is to learn how to get into a “flow
state,” which is that mental state where everything just seems
effortless. In this situation, your brain floods itself with the neurotransmitters
dopamine, anandamide, and norepinephrine, which
work together to further enhance pattern recognition, reflexes,
attention, and creativity.
How do you trigger these flow states? You convince your brain
that what you’re doing is hugely important. And you can achieve
this through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (which you
now understand), as well as by simply being highly passionate
about what you do—by loving your job and your partner.
If you found this article to be helpful, please share it. I’ve been
truly blessed in all levels of my life. My goal is to share with others
so they, too, may prosper.
Check out two of my signature programs for personal development
and corporate coaching. “The New You Program” is a
combination of information and installation. The information is
designed to teach you how to understand yourself, set goals, overcome
setbacks, and create the right attitude and motivation. The
program trains you on how to “model” the habits, attitudes, skills,
and strategies of highly successful people. The second program,
“Mindset for Success,” is a powerful online course to support my
new “Goal Setting: Fundamental Keys to Success” book.
If you need coaching support, you can email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-618-8075.
GRANDMASTER JESSIE BOWEN is president of Karate International of Durham, Inc., a member of the
American Martial Arts Association Sport Karate League and Hall of Fame, and has been a member of the Duke University
PE Staff for over 25 years. He is the author of Zen Mind-Body Mindfulness Meditation and Zen Mind-Body Mindfulness
Meditation for Martial Arts, as well as several other books, programs, and audio CDs on meditation and success training.
12 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by Arthit_Longwilai
Join Our Martial Arts Professional
Stay Up to
UFAF International Training Conference
and World Championships
Beginning July 18th UFAF
students, instructors, and
school owners from all over
the world enjoyed a weekend
filled with camaraderie,
connection, and learning.
The event featured
business training sessions, Instructor
and the Black Belt Judges
Meeting & Certification.
Attendees enjoyed training
in The Chuck Norris System,
Bunkai, Striking Technique, Kama Fundamentals and more!
One of the highlights of the training sessions was a special
session with UFC World Champion George St-Pierre.
Competitors participated in
the UFAF World Championships
for Kata, Weapons, Fighting,
and Demo Teams.
The Gala culminated in a
formal awards banquet that
included the Masters Rank
Induction Ceremony and
awards by Grandmaster Chuck
Norris, which notably highlighted
Crosby Broadwater III who
received the award for Most
To see more highlights watch: youtu.be/J6N8eq6TmjU and to
learn more about the UFAF visit UFAF.com
Action Martial Arts Hall of Fame
Mega Weekend 2022
The Action Martial Arts Hall of Fame Mega Weekend is slated
for January 28-30, 2022 at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino
in Atlantic City New Jersey. It will be one of the most spectacular
events for the year as it is advertised “The Academy Awards of
Martial Arts”. “The Ultimate Destination For Martial Arts, MMA and
the Health & Fitness Minded” for over 20 years
has unquestionably featured the largest Martial
Arts Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet
The upcoming event will feature
over 50 seminars, 3 tournaments,
hundreds of vendors, celebrities, the
Action Martial Arts Kid’s Choice Awards, a
Breaking Extravaganza, Business Seminars,
and of course the Hall of Honors
Banquet and Awards Ceremony. In
addition to the event, The 2022
Action Martial Arts Hall of Honors
World History Book 2nd edition
is available which features
Martial Artists who have been
inducted into the Action Martial
Grandmaster Alan Goldberg,
Founder of Action Martial Arts
Hall of Fame Mega Weekend
Arts Hall of Honors.
For more information on the event
and book, visit: actionmegahoh.com
New Book Explains How to Utilize
the Five Elements of The Ninja
An Shu Stephen K. Hayes has authored a new book entitled
Ninja Fighting Techniques A Modern Master’s Approach To
Self-Defense And Avoiding Conflict. The book covers his modern
innovation called To-Shin Do which is based on Ninjutsu. As the
“Father of American Ninjutsu” he presents a system with maximum
effectiveness in modern day situations based upon the “five elements”
using fundamental ninja
As the leading expert on
Ninjutsu, An Shu Hayes explains
the Ninja five elements of
earth, water, fire, wind, and void
as a system for self-defense.
Ninja Fighting Techniques give
you a blueprint on how to make
each element automatic and
unconscious for defense by
training in the way of the
Ninja. Step by step instructions
show how build an
awareness of your surroundings
that will come in handy
and be instinctive when a real
self-defense situation unexpectedly
For more information visit: www.ninjaselfdefense.com
14 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
January 1 ......................Yuen Woo-Ping
January 25 ..................... Ron Van Clief
January 30 ...................Lawrence Arthur
February 1 ...................... Brandon Lee*
February 1 ...................... Allie Alberigo
February 5 ......................... Tony Jaa
February 16 .................. Oso Tayari Casel
February 17 ..................Clinton Robinson
February 21 ........................Joe Corley
February 26 ...................Mark Dacascos
MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1 15
Martial Arts World News Magazine
would like to congratulate the competitors, judges, and promoters
of the 2021 U.S. Open ISKA World Martial Arts Championships.
Division Name First Name Last Name Standing
13 & Under | Traditional Weapons Averi Presley 1
13 & Under | Traditional Weapons Gavin Richmond 2
13 & Under Boys | CMX Forms WC Judah Sagawa 1
13 & Under Boys | CMX Forms WC Dante Rodriguez 2
13 & Under Boys | CMX Weapons Zeke Gomez 0
13 & Under Boys | CMX Weapons Michael Molina 0
13 & Under Boys | CMX Weapons Dax Howland 1
13 & Under Girls | CMX Forms Isabella Nicoli 1
13 & Under Girls | CMX Forms Alyss Groce 2
13 & Under Girls | CMX Weapons Kodi Molina 1
13 & Under Girls | CMX Weapons Isabella Nicoli 2
13 & Under Girls | CMX Weapons Averi Presley 3
13 & Under Girls and Boys | Traditional Forms WC Isabella Nicoli 1
13 & Under Girls and Boys | Traditional Forms WC Sofia Flores-Rodriguez 2
13 & Under Girls and Boys | Traditional Forms WC JoJo Castro 3
13 & Under Girls and Boys | Traditional Forms WC Angel Perez 4
14 - 17 | Traditional Forms Maddie Kennaway 1
14 - 17 | Traditional Forms Caio DaSilva 2
14 - 17 Boys | CMX Forms Dawson Holt 1
14 - 17 Boys | CMX Forms Shane Billow 2
14 - 17 Boys | CMX Forms Phillip Brumme 3
14 - 17 Boys | Weapons Dawson Holt 1
14 - 17 Boys | Weapons Mason Bumba 2
14 - 17 Boys | Weapons Phillip Brumme 3
14 - 17 Boys | Weapons Ben Jones 4
14 - 17 Boys | Weapons Riley Tracy 5
14 - 17 Girls | CMX Weapons Anna Beth Hedgepeth 1
14 - 17 Girls | CMX Weapons Samantha Mitling 2
14 - 17 Girls | Traditional Weapons Madison Magnotta 1
14 - 17 Girls | Traditional Weapons Kaitlyn Mcmillian 2
14-17 Boys Traditional Weapons Dawson Holt 1
Division Name First Name Last Name Standing
14-17 Boys Traditional Weapons Shane Billow 2
14-17 Girls | CMX Forms Anna Beth Hedgepeth 1
14-17 Girls | CMX Forms Reese Beck 2
Demo Team Competitive Edge 1
Demo Team Team Freestyle 2
Mens 3 Man Point Sparring Team Top Ten USA 1
Mens 3 Man Point Sparring Team Legend 2
Mens CMX Weapons Jackson Rudolph 1
Mens CMX Weapons Connor Chasteen 2
Mens CMX Weapons Alex Mancillas 3
Mens CMX Weapons Jake Presley 4
Mens CMX Weapons Danny Etkin 5
Mens Open Weight Challenge Match Bailey Murphy 1
Mens Open Weight Challenge Match Enrique Letona 2
Mens Traditional and CMX Forms Danny Etkin 1
Mens Traditional and CMX Forms Rashad Eugene 2
Mens Traditional and CMX Forms Connor Chasteen 3
Mens Traditional Forms Mason Stowell 1
Mens Traditional Forms Joey Castro 2
Synchronized Team Forms Team KTOC 1
Synchronized Team Forms Team Infinity (Chasteen | Rodriguez-Flores) 2
Synchronized Team Weapons Team JPM (Presley | Rudolph) 1
Synchronized Team Weapons Amerikick (Billow/Alinea) 2
Womens CMX Forms Haley Glass 1
Womens CMX Forms Gabrielle Dunn 2
Womens CMX Forms Sammy Smith 3
Womens Open Weight Morgan Plowden 1
Womens Open Weight Alexa Fleshman 2
Womens Weapons Haley Glass 1
Womens Weapons Kaelyn Kowalski 2
Womens Weapons Kyleigh Boyer 3
Womens Weapons Sammy Smith 4
16 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Our Goal is to Help Young Minds GROW Stronger
and EMPOWER them through Stories that will:
• Inspire Their Imagination
• Develop Their Moral Compass
• Set Positive Examples Both Visually and Verbally
• Prepare Them for Life’s Challenges
Sarah B. Tucker, Author of
The Adventures of Harry & Friends
ATLAS Martial Arts Software
“Magic Links” Help Significantly
Increase Appointment “Show” Rate
We all hate it when new prospective
students ‘no show’ for their
introductory appointments, don’t we?
We’ve spend oodles of money on
marketing, we’ve optimized our lead
funnel website to capture as many
leads as possible, and we’ve built
irresistible offers to entice our leads to
set an appointment for their first intro,
we blocked out time from our busy
schedule to do the intro personally,
then, in too many cases, they don’t
We all know how frustrating that is!
Well, now, thanks to some brilliant techno wizardry from the
ATLAS Martial Arts Software team, schools all over the world will
be able to increase their intro ‘show’ rate, automatically.
ATLAS now provides users with a
tool that allows prospective students
to ‘confirm’ their intro appointment
by simply clicking a link in an email
or SMS text message. This will then
‘mark’ the prospect as ‘confirmed’
inside the ATLAS software system.
Now, your staff will know exactly
who has confirmed their appointments,
and who has not. What a great
advantage for your school! Now your
staff can focus on their prospects
with laser target messages (through
automation) and personal engagement.
For more information about this innovation, and all the other
brilliant, school growing features of ATLAS, visit:
Photo Shoot Deal
Pro-Motion Pictures has been serving martial arts schools in
the US for nearly 20 years with photography services. During
that time more than 2500 schools have received great photos of
students, staff, and instructors capturing everything from postures
to exciting techniques.
The picture quality for
martial schools is exceptional
because the founder, Ken
Chamitoff knows the arts. Every
image has an attention to
detail and brings out the essence
for any style of martial art in captivating pictures. Pro-Motion
Pictures has great reviews for lots of satisfied customers.
Of particular importance to martial arts school owners is the opportunity
to earn free marketing credits. By allowing Pro-Motion to
do a photo shoot with the school’s students and offer them picture
packages the school earns credits. Those credits can be applied
toward marketing resources like postcards, VIP passes, business
To learn more visit: www.pro-motionpictures.com
Dave Kovar has been sharing tactics to help martial arts school
owners be on top of their game since 1994, close to 30 years.
His passion for coaching leaders in the industry expressed to
providing ideas and strategies to empower school operators in
gaining and retaining students as well staff development. He is
considered the ‘Teacher of Teachers’ in providing coaching for
high level performance through his Kovar Systems.
His Program includes personal 1 on 1 business coaching to help
grow their schools.
In addition, coaching
clients have access
to a resource
library of more
than 3000 tools related to topics like ‘Customer Call Scripts, Instructor
Mat Chats, Staff Development Videos,’ etc. Opportunities
to partake in his ProMAC Conferences, Online Instructor Training,
Certification Testing, and more are also available to equip school
operators for business success.
To find out more about Kovar Systems visit: kovarsystems.com
18 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by Inside Creative House
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Understanding Local SEO for
If you want to grow your martial arts school using the internet, you
have to be ever-conscious about your “Local” SEO.
Your Martial Arts School is a local business, and you want to
reach as many potential customers in your area as possible, that’s
where local SEO comes in.
Did you know that 97% of customers use search engines to find
businesses in their area? They are constantly looking for suggestions
to fulfill a need or desire. That means your potential martial
art students could be looking for you right now, but they won’t find
you if you don’t do anything on your end.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is all about optimizing your website for searches
for your business category in the specific area you’re operating
AND using the tools that Google provides for your local business
This will increase the visibility of your business and make it easier
for people to find you both online and offline. In other words,
local SEO focuses on catering to the audience that’s “physically”
located in your area, or is specifically searching for solutions in
your specific area.
Is Local SEO Different?
Yes, there are some differences between local SEO and other
kinds of SEO, but they all support your martial arts marketing. For
one, searched on Google and other search engines are ‘localized’
when the search has a “local intent”, such as using “near me” or
specifying the area.
In other cases, Google (and others) will “assume” you have local
intent when you search for terms that Google thinks you would
be best served with local results, and even more granularly, when
you’re using a mobile device or other device that ‘knows’ your
For example, if you search for “pizza delivery”, the Google algorithm
will ‘assume’ you’d like to order pizza from a restaurant ‘near’
you, so it will prioritize results to show you those locations that are,
in fact, near you.
Google has created a platform for local business to control
how their local profile looks to local searchers, outside their own
website. These results often provide the name of the business, a
description, images, opening hours, reviews, an address, a phone
number, and the website address. You can (and should) manage
your ‘local’ business profile from Google’s “My Business” system
(formerly Google Places) – www.google.com/business.
Local SEO Factors
As you can imagine, Google will consider many different factors
when it comes to local search ranking. It will consider the
proximity of the business to the searcher’s location to present the
It also considers local keywords, like the city name, neighborhood,
or other keywords that indicate the local areas,
because they are essential to search engine ranking. Additionally,
on-page optimization for local SEO (sometime called
“Structured Data” or Schema) needs to provide the business’
name, address, and phone number in the format that Google
indexes most easily.
The algorithm also assesses authority based on reviews and
citation and it will take into consideration the information available
in your Google My Business profile, which plays a huge role
As a martial arts school owner, you want to reach as many
potential students as possible, so it’s important to reach people in
20 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Illustration by ahmetemre
The Latest Guide
All Martial Arts School Owners
NEED TO READ
Grandmaster Zulfi Ahmed’s
newest book, “The Science & Secrets
of Becoming a Master Martial Arts
Instructor,” is the latest must-have
industry guide for martial arts school
owners and instructors.
The world of martial arts is a very
complicated one, where you can soar
to the heights of the profession or
quickly hit rock bottom, all depending
on your mindset, discipline, and skills.
“The Science & Secrets of Becoming
a Master Martial Arts Instructor” is
designed to teach you everything
you’ll need to know to avoid the pitfalls
and succeed as an instructor in the
Featuring contributions from
some of the best martial arts minds,
including Grandmaster Ernie Reyes,
Grandmaster Stephen Hayes, and
Hanshi Dave Kovar, “The Science &
Secrets of Becoming a Master Martial
Arts Instructor” will no doubt help you
take your career to the next level!
To get your copy today for $29.95,
simply go to Lulu.com and search by author.
How to Optimize Your Relevance Score
Most martial arts schools have a Facebook page and do a
bit of marketing through it. Schools promote their events,
programs, classes and achievements and other activities to attract
more attention to their schools.
When you add ‘paid advertising’ to your marketing mix, there
are some new concerns you’ll need to be conscious of.
Facebook provides a tool that you can use through the Facebook
ad manager called the Relevance Score.
So what is Facebook’s Relevance Score? Your Relevance Score
is a measure of the “quality” and engagement of your ads. Essentially,
based on the audience you’re targeting, and the ad content
you’re using, how ‘likely’ are these ads to get ‘engagement’ from
This score significantly effects your cost per click and the frequency
of you ad being shown on Facebook.
A Relevance Score can be between 1 and 10 and any score
from 7 to 10 is considered a good number.
Once an ad has been served at least 500 times a score will be
assigned to it. The number of impressions has been set by Facebook
for deciding the expected audience reaction to your ads. Still
the number is not based on actual feedback, but upon Facebook’s
algorithm of an anticipated audience response and the number
can change daily.
So if you want to save money and get higher ROI, the relationship
between your target audience and your ads must be good.
The key to accomplishing this is hyper-specific targeting of you
audience and secondly designing your ads to meet their exact
needs. Even after clearly targeting your audience and creating ads,
you will have to frequently monitor them and analyze how they’re
doing to keep your score up.
Staying relevant to your market is the key to your school’s
growth and if you’re a marketing expert with Facebook, then you’ll
do well. But if you’re in need of help you can speak with a Facebook
ad specialist at ATLAS Martial Arts Software at
1-800-275-1600, and they can get you going in the right direction.
How to Insure Your Sales Pages Produce!
If your sales pages are not generating conversions you need
to pay attention to this article. There are some basic elements
that must be on a sales page to convince a prospect to take an
offer. Check out these 7 tips on how to make a sales page that will
Increase Your Enrollment.
1. An Eye-Catching Headline Is A Must
80% of viewers skim headlines on a sales page before deciding
whether to read the rest. To catch the eyes of visitors the headline
must be relevant, preferable short, and catch the reader’s attention.
2. Engaging Visual Elements Are Needed
Many studies have revealed sales pages with video or images get
more conversions than sales pages without them. These elements
have to be interesting and relevant to the content on your sales page.
3. Copy Designed to Sell Is Necessary
Your sales copy must consider the end user and whether or
not they will be interested in reading it. You have to focus on
satisfying the needs and wants of your audience and draw them
in with solutions.
4. Be Sure to List the Benefits
The golden rule of sales is listing benefits rather than features, but
pages mistakingly do exactly the opposite. Prospects want to know
what’s in it for them and that list compels them to take up an offer.
5. Without A CTA the Page Is Pointless
No sales page is complete without a Call To Action to facilitate
the sales process. Your CTA should be placed above the fold, so
visitors can see and access it without even having to scroll.
6. Keep Navigation Links To A Minimum
Don’t build sales pages like other websites pages by limiting
navigation links to prevent opportunities for visitors to click and
exit the page. If visitors leave, they might not return, which equals
7. Providing Some Evidence Builds Trust
Include reviews or testimonials on your sales page will instill
greater confidence in your audience. A visitor will often look for
how others benefited before determining whether or not to take
There is a science and skill to selling and generating conversions
from a sales page. If you have the time and knack for it, then
you can easily build school growth building pages. If you need
help, our industry has plenty of experts to serve you exceptionally
22 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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Tokyo 2021: United States
Medalists in Martial Arts
In case you missed anything, we are going to give you a quick summary of all the
United States martial arts medalists so you can get to know the athletes a bit better.
The United States is always one of the most dominating countries in the Olympics,
and Tokyo 2021 was not an exception.
Overall, the medal count was 39 gold medals, 41 silver medals, and 33 bronze medals for a total of 113 US Olympic medals in
Tokyo 2021. That’s impressive! Out of all those medals, there was one gold medal in taekwondo and one bronze medal in karate for
Team USA, so let’s get to know the athletes.
Anastasija Zolotic, Taekwondo, Women’s 57kg
Ariel Torres Gutierrez, Karate, Men’s Kata
Anastasija Zolotic won the first women’s taekwondo gold
medal for Team USA, thus making history for the sport. She beat
Tatiana Minina from Russia, 25-17, and she claimed the featherweight
division title with a scream.
Anastasija was born in Largo Florida in 2002, so she is only
18 years old. She is coached by Gareth Brown and this was her
first Olympic experience. Before this, she participated in the 2018
Junior World Championships and the 2018 Youth Olympic Games,
among many other championships and opens from 2014 to the
She dreamt of this moment since she was a child and it’s truly
exciting to see her accomplish such a goal. She said she would run
around the schoolyard at 8 years old saying she was going to be
an Olympic champion, but she could have never imagined what
the moment would be like.
Anastasija is proud of doing something to raise the profile of
Taekwondo in the US and there’s no denying her achievement is
an inspiration to many children and adults with a passion for this
Ariel Torres is a karateka who won a bronze medal in men’s
kata for Team USA by beating Antonio Jose Diaz Fernandez from
Venezuela, a role model of his, by a difference of .38 with a total of
Ariel was born in Cuba in 1997, so he’s 23 years old, and he is a
male elite kata coached by Robert Young. He started karate when
he was 6, so he has been dedicated to the sport for 16 years.
Ariel got into karate because he was hyperactive as a child, so
the doctor suggested he was put into a sport that would tire him
out but also teach him skills, such as decision-making, focus, and
The doctor suggested karate, so his mother took him to the
nearest dojo from his home, but they had no idea it would become
such a passion and eventually, his career. He has a karate vlog on
YouTube if you’d like to check it out!
24 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
The Future of Martial Arts
in the Olympics
The future of Martial Arts in the Olympics looks very bright. Martial arts was one of
the very first sports to become a part of the Olympic Games, dating back to Ancient
Greece where wrestling was a part of the event.
Today, there are 3 traditional martial arts sports in the Olympics,
including karate, taekwondo, and judo. However, we are
happy to say that more martial arts disciplines will be added to the
The International Olympic Committee recently announced that
they will be including jiu-jitsu in the 2024 Olympics, and that’s a
huge step forward. The inclusion of jiu-jitsu in the Olympics has
been in the works for years, as they debated what set of rules to
follow and who would be the director of the event so the sport can
have a smooth transition.
Finally, it was decided that Carlos Gracie Jr., Carlos Gracie’s
grandson, will be at the head of the IBJJF and Gracie Barra will
oversee the inclusion of the sport into the Olympics. They will
use current IBJJF no-gi rules and they will make a few modifications,
but they will make sure jiu-jitsu is treated with the respect it
They say it will be similar to Combat Jiu-Jitsu but there won’t be
any low kicks. The sport will be identified as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, so the term American Jiu-Jitsu will not be allowed
seeing as the style was brought by Brazilians to America.
It’s truly exciting to see that another martial arts sport will be
added to the Olympics because it has been long overdue. These
sports deserve recognition and we are happy to see it happen.
Karate only just made its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games and
there was a lot more at stake than a medal, but the future of the
sport as an Olympic discipline. Initially, karate was rejected for the
Tokyo 2020 Games until they introduced a provision that allows
host nations to propose sports that haven’t been recognized by
the IOC just yet.
This is how karate made the cut for Tokyo 2021, a historic moment
for the sport, and we got to enjoy an exciting event. It was
one of the 4 new sports that were introduced at the Tokyo Olympics,
which made it that much more special.
In better news, the 138th International Olympic Committee
session approved kickboxing, sambo, and Muay Thai. It doesn’t
guarantee these martial arts sports will be included in Paris 2024,
but it’s a huge step in the right direction.
Realistically, we can expect these sports to be included in the
2028 Olympics because we don’t think that the federations will
make the deadline for Paris 2024.
As you can imagine, these inclusions have motivated the International
Mixed Martial Arts federation to gain the IOC’s recognition.
That’s a big goal, but who knows? Perhaps we’ll see some of our
favorite MMA fighters in the Olympics a lot sooner than we think.
MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1 25
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MARTIAL ARTS AUTHOR
Master Karen Eden
Inspiration and Philosophy
Add Real Value to Your Classes
MAWN: You have been featured as a writer in many martial arts
publications for many years; what got you started as a writer in this
KE: Well, I’ve been a journalist by trade for over 25 years. I was
also in television broadcasting as an anchor and meteorologist.
While I was working at an NBC affiliate, just outside of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, I thought I would try to see if I could get some stuff
published in some of the karate magazines that were out at that
time. John Corcoran was editing several magazines out of the
CFW enterprise, like Inside Karate and TaeKwonDo. So I wrote to
him and he thought it would be pretty cool to do a feature on me
because I was a TV personality and also a black belt. I submitted
a feature and he really liked it a lot. After this he gave me a column
in Inside TaeKwonDo, and it was philosophical, inspirational. I just
think I was in the right place at the right time, because there was a
real need for philosophy and inspiration in martial arts magazines.
That’s what started it all.
It’s been over 20 years now, and I’ve probably been in every
major martial arts magazine in the world, whether
I’ve been in a feature or contributor, and that spun
off into books. So Simon and Schuster McMillan
took note of my writing style. They had the complete
idiot’s guides for all kinds of things. They
contacted me through John Corcoran
and offered me a contract to write the
complete idiots guide to TaeKwonDo.
I co-authored the book with Keith
Yates who wrote the Tae-
KwonDo technical aspects of
the book. Then I wrote three
more books, two of them with
Century Martial Arts. One of
them is a self-help book that
I felt like I wanted to write
because of some things
that I had experienced.
That’s pretty much how that
MAWN: Now let’s talk about the
books, I Am A Martial Artist and They
Call Me Master. What what were the purposes of writing these
books and who’s the target market.
KE: They are martial arts philosophy and honestly can help
people who aren’t even in martial arts. They’re mainly important
life lessons and I get great feedback on these books. They Call
Me Master is from the perspective of someone who trains in
martial arts and a lot of instructors have given me some wonderful
feedback on this. The books have also been used as university
textbooks where people are taking martial arts classes at college.
Readers who are looking for inspiration and philosophy are going
to love this book because there are plain practical talks and stories
that reinforce the lesson. I Am A Martial Artist, which was the preceding
book is sold all over the world. It became so popular that it
spun off product lines like mugs, t-shirts and other stuff.
School operators teach fundamental martial art principles, but
can integrate this kind of deep philosophy, philosophical training,
and inspirational moments into their curriculum. Practically speaking
a front kick might not be the same thing at age 70, but the
lessons that help you conquer the things that parents really want.
Young students don’t know it yet, but that’s what they really need.
Thinking about students who come in off of the streets, kids that
were bullied, or women who went through some kind of assault.
Physical training helps build confidence and other benefits, but it’s
going to be the internal aspects of the art that are going to really
help somebody who’s gone through a hard time.
MAWN: You have run a lot of community programs, how does
that all sort of tie together and what kind of advice might you have
for someone in that sphere?
KE: Right. I actually started a very large community program.
Here in Denver, I literally would go in on a Saturday and teach
martial arts in the ghetto streets, kids, former gang members, you
name it and then just go on down the street to my TV job. It’s hilarious
to see where you literally go down the street where you’re in
the ghetto and the houses are just getting better as you go down
It really does do that, but the one thing that you have to realize
if you’re going to go that route is you have to have it in your heart.
I have the highest rated column of anybody in the industry and it’s
because it all generates from my heart. If you’re going to go do
community work, it really needs to be in your heart, not just an idea
28 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
MARTIAL ARTS AUTHOR
to try to help generate new students into your school. It’s been
over 20 years that I’ve been doing that kind of work.
MAWN: If a martial arts school operator is thinking about integrating
reaching out more deeply into the community, what might
be some of the best advice you’d want to give them?
KE: Well, my first program, I actually did through the salvation
army. I started a Federation through the salvation army and it was
a very unique way of running a martial arts program because
they have the means and the funding to take care of the uniforms,
the belts, and all that kind of stuff. Since they’re an international
organization, that program got picked up and literally went all over
the world. I have affiliates in east Europe and Africa with martial
arts instructors who just want to help their community out. I just
point them over to their local salvation army and get their program
started that way. I oversee that program, but I don’t actually have
to go in hands-on and do that anymore.
Now I’ve also started bringing in self-defense programming
into native American areas and tribal lands. As you may or may not
know, there is a problem with missing and murdered indigenous
women. Being native American myself, they’ll readily accept me to
teach these women self-defense. I go to the Lumbee tribe in North
Carolina, where I had a clinic, speak and I do my seminar engagements
to help out these women.
I encourage people to try to do something to make a
difference in your community because that’s what
we’re here for and we all have something
that we can contribute. I think
it’s almost like a required
component in my view for
our instructors and staff.
If you’re out everywhere,
everyone sees you out
everywhere and produces
a halo effect.
MAWN: Of course today a
lot is accomplished through Facebook
and other social media, but we
should still make use of mass media,
right? From your experience, what do you think that might
be like today maybe versus in the past?
KE: The bottom line is you have to have something viable that’s
going to be worth their time to come out and cover. Most people
who don’t understand media are going to think, the fact that they
have a tournament or their Grandmaster is coming is newsworthy,
but it’s only newsworthy to you and your school. You have to think
mass. What is the audience is going to want to watch? What are
they going to want to hear about? I do a whole segment on that
old series on that and I’m still available if people want to contact
me and they want particular PR for their school or whatever.
Maybe you want to try to get exposure for your school. In the
case of Steve Oliver and his Mile High Karate Schools at that time,
he wanted national attention. So it was just a matter of coming up
with the angles that I knew were going to grab
local media attention. If those stories were
good enough, I knew that they would go
national and that’s what happened. We were
very fortunate in that way. There were a lot
of students at Mile High Karate in Denver
and it helped to know that he had a student
get accosted at the age of 14 walking out
of a grocery store in the middle of the
day. She was only like a green belt
or brown belt or something, but she
just beat the heck out of that guy,
I called the police, and that was a
huge story. We got this out and
that one got picked up nationally.
So it’s a lot of working the right
MAWN: You’ve recently hosted
some popular training seminars as
well, what have been some of the
KE: In Houston, Texas back in May,
I did a three hour seminar with Paul
Whalen, for law enforcement
on close quarters techniques. It was an all encompassing
seminar on self-defense. I actually taught all the
open hand stuff in that seminar. What I teach native
American sisters on how to defend themselves with
a lot of Ho Sin Sul. Paul emphasized what he is
known for which is weapons, takeoffs and things
of that nature.
MAWN: Your latest book will also be inspiring
for people. What should they expect?
KE: Absolutely. My last book is a self-help
book called Will I Ever Feel Happy Again?
I would like to talk about it briefly because
people have a lot of problems dealing with depression
and suicide, especially in the COVID situation. This
book is specifically dealing with the subject of suicide and people
who have had to survive it. Unfortunately I’m no stranger to these
myself which is why the book has this title. It will be a great encouragement
to you if you are, unfortunately, someone that has had to
deal with the subject of suicide.
Also, I still write for the karate magazines and MA Success,
but I also want to mention my radio blog. My blog talk radio show
is about and with pioneers of martial arts which I do with Jesse
Bowen. I’ve been involved with that for about three or four years
now on AMA radio. My show runs every Monday night and you
could go to my Facebook group page, the Eden Assignment, inspirational
series, and you’ll see all those links to my radio shows my
magazine write-ups and anything else.
MAWN: Thanks for insight into your industry contributions.
MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1 29
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Illustration by Varijanta
‘Five Elements’ system
Author Stephen K. Hayes presents the Ninja "Five Elements" system to explain fundamental aspects of self-defense.
According to Japanese Buddhist belief, human nature is connected to the natural world and is made up of five elements. By
understanding that connection, essential responses to any threat become clear:
EARTH—Remain grounded in your thinking and footing to repel attempts to distract or deceive you
WATER—Shift, angle and move fluidly to tactically confuse attackers and put them off balance
FIRE—See where a situation is going as it develops and intercept it at the critical moment
WIND—Stay light on your feet and move nimbly to evade and escape attempts to pin you down
VOID—Control a fight's direction by changing dynamics to confuse your attacker
“Ninja Fighting Techniques” explains how the five elements can
become automatic, unconscious responses for fighters who
train the Ninja way. Through study and practice they become
instinctive, effectively employed precisely when you need them
The advantage of Ninja teachings over other martial disciplines
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With over 300 full-color photographs and detailed step-by-step
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Grandmaster Eung Gil Choi (left), founder of USTMA, and
Grandmaster Dong Sup Lee (right), president of Kukkiwon, present
President Trump with an Honorary 9th Degree Black Belt
Awarded Honorary 9th Degree Blackbelt
President Trump Graciously Accepts this Honor, and Endorses Taekwondo
On November 19th, 2021, Kukkiwon’s newly elected president,
Grandmaster Dong Sup Lee, and longtime colleague Grandmaster
Eung Gil Choi, founder of the United States Taekwondo
Martial Arts Academy traveled to the beautiful Mar-a-Lago resort
in Palm Beach, Florida to present the 45th President of the United
States, Donald Trump with an Honorary 9th Dan Black Belt in
“I heard that Donald Trump is highly interested in Taekwondo,”
Lee was quoted as saying to the press.
Understanding that some people may choose to assign political
meaning to this event, the Kukkiwon president noted in his posts
and images on social media, and in subsequent interviews: “This
ceremony is not related to any other political issues.”
Regardless of your political views, this is a significant event
in our industry, and I, and the editorial staff of Martial Arts World
News Magazine would be remis if we not only ‘covered’ this occasion,
but also explored how this event could help shed light on the
Martial Arts, and how school owners might leverage this to help
grow their school and impact in their communities.
A Long History of Honoring Leaders all Over the World
It’s a logical question to ask. “Why would someone who has not
studied Taekwondo be given such an honor?”
It’s a long-standing tradition in the Martial Arts, to recognize
and honor leaders in our society in many ways.
The tradition of awarding honorary ‘degrees’ (doctorates and
more), is commonplace in institutes of higher education throughout
the world. These honorary titles are clearly not meant to be
compared to degrees that are earned by students through study,
research, and academic performance, but rather in recognition for
contributions to society in other ways. Honorary degrees and doctorates
have been presented to leaders and influencers like, Oprah
Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Magic Johnson, P Diddy, and Muhammad
Ali, for example.
Organizations in the Martial Arts have also carried on this tradition
in many, many countries around the world, and have been a
great tool to promote the Martial Arts and it’s benefits.
President Bill Clinton (when he was the Governor of Arkansas)
was awarded an honorary Black Belt by the Founder of the ATA –
Grandmaster H.U. Lee.
Then Governor Bill Clinton Accepts Honorary Black Belt
from ATA Founder H.U. Lee
President George H.W. Bush Accepting Honorary Black Belt
From Chuck Norris in 1992
In 1992, then President George H.W. Bush received an Honorary
Black Belt from Chuck Norris. The then president had been a
vocal supporter of the martial arts in many ways. He had spoken
and supported the efforts of Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee in the
Washington D.C. area for many years, and helped Grandmaster
Rhee establish international relations for top marital arts competitors
to travel to Russia and other nations to spread the value of the
Martial Arts across the world. He was also a supporter of (now)
Grandmaster Norris’ “Kick Drugs Out of America” program……
President Barak Obama Awarded Honorary Black Belt
by then Korean President Myung-Bak Lee
In 2009, during President Barak Obama’s administration, South
Korean President, Myung-Bak Lee awarded him an Honorary
Black Belt. President Obama did actually study Taekwondo as a
Junior Senator, and earned a Green Belt, but as is typical, this presentation
was not based on years of study and training, but rather
on accomplishments outside the Dojang.
On May 10, 2017 Pope Francis welcomed then WTF President
Chungwon Choue, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Jonghyu
Jeong, and the President of the Italian Taekwondo Federation
Angelo Cito to St. Peters Square. During an inspiring, small
ceremony, the Pope was awarded an Honorary 9th Dan Black Belt.
The Pope, who was an avid sports fan, graciously accepted the
honor, and commented about his fascination at seeing the WTF
Demonstration Team a few months earlier. The Pope expressed
36 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photographs from the Kukkiwon Facebook Page
Pope Francis Awarded Honorary Black Belt in 2009
by WTF President Chungwon Choe.
his interest and gratitude for the humanitarian and human development
activities that Taekwondo has embraced.
The Mission of the New Kukkiwon President:
The Kukkiwon, as most all of you know, is the governing
body for Taekwondo in Korea, founded in 1972. It laid the
groundwork for Taekwondo’s globalization, developing
not only World Championship events, but also an
organized structure for Taekwondo curriculum and
standards. In 1978, Kukkiwon succeeded in unifying
Taekwondo by integrating 10 separate Taekwondo
Kwans; Chung Do Kwan, Moo Duk Kwan, Jido Kwan,
Song Moo Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, Kang Duk Won,
Jung Do Kwan, Oh Do Kwan, Han Moo Kwan and
Kwan Li Kwan. Kukkiwon is also home of the World
Taekwondo Academy and is supervised by the
International Sports Division of the Ministry of
Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
This unification has helped Taekwondo
expand it’s reach internationally
and help support the growth of its
schools and members.
Grandmaster Dong Sup Lee
was elected president of the
organization on January 21,
2021, election for President
of Kukkiwon (aka the World
against former Vice President
Choon-Kil Lim in a landslide victory.
He managed to win 55 out of
75 votes, beating out Lim’s count of
Lee’s victory was so decisive, in part,
because he garnered the support of
many senior Taekwondo officials
and influencers who knew Lee was
an avid Taekwondo artists, not
‘just’ a politician or business person.
Lee is a 9th dan Grandmaster
in Taekwondo, and served as senator in the 20th session of the
National Assembly in Korea.
Since the beginning of his administration, Lee has outlined, and
has been executing an aggressive agenda to revitalize Taekwondo,
in part, by returning to the traditional values and culture of the
art. To keep the art a “traditional” martial art, and draw clear differences
between the ‘sport’ and the ‘art’ of Taekwondo. By intention,
the WT (World Taekwondo) will continue to promote the ‘sport’ of
Taekwondo, while the Kukkiwon will focus on its traditional development,
curriculum, students and school (dojang) operators.
I’ve personally been engaged in several meetings, discussions
and organizational meetings with Grandmaster Lee, and what I’ve
seen is a DEEP passion for Taekwondo, and his ardent desire to
promote traditional Taekwondo throughout the world. Especially
since the COVID pandemic has had such a negative impact on
schools in virtually every nation.
In just the first few months of Grandmaster Lee’s administration,
he’s accomplished some laudable initiatives, and a breakneck
To coordinate with the board of directors, Grandmaster
Lee recruited an all star staff of passionate Taekwondo
Grandmasters, Masters, Instructors, political leaders,
business leaders, and operational specialists
that he knew had the right mindset for this intense
‘restructuring’ job and placed them in key positions
He’s “Re-Branded” the Kukkiwon with new goals
to help expand Taekwondo and its organization, new
logos to reinforce the ‘traditional’ aspects of the art,
and redesigning the World headquarters to more appropriately
pay respect to the international Taekwondo
community. On May 1, 2021, he held a special ceremony
for the completion of 202 new flagpoles honoring the
Kukkiwon nations. Kukkiwon never had a symbol
to recognize the various countries it serves, so
the recent installation of the flagpoles, and other
symbols, has been inspiring for Taekwondo
communities all over the world.
On April 13, 2021 Grandmaster Lee
held (the first ever) worldwide “Virtual
Conference”, where attendees from
more than 200 nations attended, and
discussed his vision for the Kukkiwon,
and where he listened to many
nation’s representatives, and their concerns
about the past, and what they feel
they needed from Kukkiwon. It was inspiring
to see the Kukkiwon President listen so
intently, and seek to deeply understand the
needs of the schools and members.
President Lee formed task force teams
to assist with dojang development,
administrative reforms, and global
expansion of Taekwondo. He willcontinued
on page 40
MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1 37
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So, on this auspicious day, President Trump welcomed
the contingent to the Mar-a-Lago resort, and graciously accepted
He happily donned the new Dobak and Black Belt, and commented,
“It is my honor to receive this Honorary Dan Certificate and
I think Taekwondo is a magnificent martial art for self-defense. I wish
to see Kukkiwon Taekwondo Team’s demonstration.”
The group then posed for photos, notably in front of photos
of President Trump’s historical trip to North Korea, meeting with
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. This seems particularly appropriate,
since the steps toward more normalized relations between
North and South Korea, including the possible official declaration
of an end to the Korean war, have been very popular in Korea and
I’m encouraged at how focused the Kukkiwon, under its new
leadership, is on helping to popularize, promote, and grow the ART
of Taekwondo, and help Dojang operators succeed. This honorary
degree for President Trump is an opportunity for our industry
to expand its reach and influence throughout the world. It opens
doors to opportunities that may have never been possible, and
gives Taekwondo a place on the international stage that it may not
have had before.
I’m also encouraged at all the positive feedback we’ve heard
from leaders and colleagues in our industry. It’s clear that many
school owners will find significant opportunity here, and leverage
that to their benefit.
continued from page 37
ingly traveled around the country to find dojangs that suffered
greatly due to the Covid-19 situation to listen to their hardships,
and identified resources and strategies that they could deploy
to help these schools. Among these plans included globalizing
by forming a special committee and establishing overseas’
branches. Having resources and Kukkiwon representatives
‘closer’ to the individual schools will be a huge asset for the
development and success of Taekwondo schools.
He has also begun a far reaching initiative to re-invigorate
the curriculum to better accommodate the needs of students
of all ages, and better facilitate operating an effective Taekwondo
“Why” This Honorary Promotion Awarded?
With the MANY initiatives and accomplishments in just the few
months of his administration, it’s clear to see how focused Grandmaster
Lee is on developing and “promoting” Taekwondo around
the world. In a further effort to shine light on the Martial Arts, and
Taekwondo specifically, Grandmaster Eung Gil Choi, and Grandmaster
Dong Sup Lee collaborated to present this honorary title to
Knowing that Taekwondo schools all over the world were suffering
from the COVID pandemic, these visionaries searched for
ways to drive more attention to Taekwondo, and create opportunities
for Taekwondo schools all over the Nation and the World.
40 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photographs from the Kukkiwon Facebook Page
What The Industry Has To Say…
Grandmaster Bill Clark
I applaud Kukkiwon for presenting former president Donald Trump with an honorary
black belt. This is not the first time an honorary degree has been given to serve a bigger
purpose, so it is good for the martial arts industry.
Previously, the ATA gave Bill Clinton a black belt instructor certificate, he came on our
stage and broke boards, and was a great advocate for us. We did the same kind of thing
for Obama and Bush which resulted in a great promotional value for the martial arts industry,
as this time will too.
I think anytime you can combine any type of hero, sports figure, or a politician that
really talks good about us it’s the best thing we can do. I don’t know what other publicity
stunt we could pull that would get more talk about us whether it’s good or bad.
So once again, I applaud Trump getting the award, but whether we use it or not to promote
the martial arts is another matter for each of us to determine for ourselves. I’m just
proud of the fact that someone did it, I wish it was ATA that had done that.
Both I and many Taekwondo masters have been thinking how our art could further or
better spread and be promoted throughout the world than normally. To me, it feels and
looks like the Taekwondo industry needs more promotion, and to have more attention, so
I was looking for something that would have a huge impact. My intention for initiating the
meeting between the Kukkiwon president Dong Sup Lee and President Donald Trump was
to help Taekwondo have a greater impact.
An-shu Stephen H. Hayes
Well I think that it’s a great thing. Anything that promotes more awareness of the martial
arts and the values that come along with a martial art I think that this is great. It goes
beyond whether you like Donald Trump or not, it goes to whether we are promoting an
awareness of what the martial arts can deliver.
From a Japanese cultural perspective a dojo is a meeting place where your awareness
becomes heightened and your being becomes more elevated because of the martial arts
experience. Some schools have a politician or businessman as a consultant even though
they may not do martial arts because they see the value of martial arts. The leader sees
value and supports the martial arts.
In the same likeness, giving former President Trump an honorary black belt shows the
world that he sees value in the martial arts. His influence as a leader is huge and him seeing
value in the martial arts is great for raising awareness of the martial arts values to our
communities if we take advantage of it.
Lee Milteer, Millionaire Smarts Coach
As a Success Coach every time I see people being acknowledged for their life efforts
towards the betterment of people I always Cheer!! I Was really thrilled to see in your
Martial Arts World News Magazine that Dong Sup-Lee, President of Kukkiwon, visited
President Donald Trump to award him with an Honorary Ninth Degree Black Belt in “Taekwondo”
a few weeks ago. We live in a time where people sincerely need inspiration and
self-empowerment role models. By acknowledging and honoring others for their good examples,
good traits, dedication, and leadership characteristics we give people permission
to emulate those behaviors. President Trump is clearly a fighter and to see him receive this
continued on page 44
MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1 41
President Donald Trump autograph’s a uniform as Grandmaster Choi watches.
42 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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Black Belt award is inspiring and motivating. He has been through many battles and still
stands tall with his beliefs and actions. One does not achieve success for just showing up
but for the commitments of focus and hard work, plus undeniable determination to reach
goals no matter what is happening. Congrats to all involved in such an honorable and
important accreditation. I am personally thankful to see all people who stand for truth in
the world being acknowledged for the role they play in creating a good society.
Grandmaster Sang Lee
In November 2021, Kukkiwon President Dong Sup Lee awarded Former President Donald
Trump an honorary 9th Dan Kukkiwon Black Belt. This historic moment was symbolic
in cementing Taekwondo as the most popular and most practiced martial art in the world.
Students from age 3 to 99 practice Taekwondo to gain better physical fitness, character
development, and learn self defense. President Trump honorary 9th degree black belt
brought additional awareness to Kukkiwon and Taekwondo as a whole.
Despite President Trump’s fame and influence globally, no other martial art approached
him to award an honorary black belt. However, President Trump understood
the value of meeting with Kukkiwon President Dong Sup Lee and the influence of Taekwondo
in the world.
In 1988 I served as the 1st U.S. Olympic Head Coach for Taekwondo in the 1988 Seoul
Olympic Games. I would like to respectfully extend an invitation to President Trump to
train with me to earn his 1st Degree Black Belt at no charge.
Former President Trump is probably the most well-known person worldwide. However,
no other martial art approached former President Trump for such recognition, and
President Trump understood the importance of the Kukkiwon’s gesture and accepted the
honorary degree. What an inspirational accomplishment that would be for him, and his supporters,
and what an amazing impact it would have for Taekwondo throughout the world.
Congratulations to former President Trump for a well-deserved award, and congratulations
to Kukkiwon President Dong Sup Lee for his vision to expand Taekwondo worldwide.
Grandmaster Lawrence Arthur
Thank you for the invite to make a comment on President Trump receiving a 9th degree
honorary black belt from Kukkiwon.
Congratulations to President Trump!
The Honorary rank of Ninth Degree given to President Trump was the right level to be
bestowed. He has served the world as the highest ranked leader and has made the world
a safer place with his diplomacy with North Korea. This honor is not to recognize skill as a
martial artist, but skill as a world leader.
Shihan Allie Alberigo
Now this couldn’t get any better and what I love most is that the Kukkiwon organization
met with former president Trump in the Mar a Lago, 45’s personal residence
and awarded him this honorary rank of excellence. What a great way to get the martial
arts out in front of millions of people and tap into 45’s supporters. This is monumental
for our industry. Plus it puts a smile on my face. Congrats to President Trump
and the Kukkiwon organization.
continued on page 46
44 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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Grandmaster Stephen Oliver
So, Donald Trump was presented an honorary Black Belt by Kukkiwon President Lee
Dong-Sup. It’s extremely appropriate that the South Korean organization would recognize
Donald Trump who arguably made the most progress of anyone to date to help normalize
relations between North and South Korea.
Interestingly, even though Trump has expressed great interest in Tae Kwon Do and stated
“TaeKwonDo is a great martial art for protecting oneself in these times.” Apparently, he
also promised to wear his new uniform to congress if he should be reelected. I’m sure it will
be extremely controversial among a portion of our population – only due to it being Trump.
There’s a long history of presenting honorary degrees to business and political leaders.
You may recall that the ATA presented Bill Clinton an honorary Black Belt. The USJA even
posthumously recognized Theodore Roosevelt with a Black Belt.
Regardless of what you may think of Trump as a politician I can assure you that Jhoon
Rhee, the consummate promoter, and whose schools I ‘cut my teeth’ in, would be proud
of the publicity generated for his beloved Tae Kwon Do and, only disappointed that he
didn’t manage it first! And his buddies Bruce Lee and, Muhammad Ali both were brilliant at
generating publicity and would be smiling knowingly at any and all such opportunities.
Grandmaster Tom Patire
Recently I saw in the news about former President Trump receiving an honorary 9th
degree in Tae Kwon Do from Dong Sup-Lee President of the Kukkiwon. First let me say
this - my statement about what I feel is non-political. In my world I work for all sides, but
I did get to meet Mr. Trump at a few events prior to him being President and I was very
impressed with his business savvy. So as a fellow martial artist and a businessman let’s
look at the positive. This gives the martial arts community exposure to mass people
and whether people like him or not it puts our community in the forefront of the news.
I’m not sure if any other president ever received such an honor but any press like that
will have more positives than negatives. The positive is that the honorary degree is
getting recognition like when certain prestigious universities give doctorate degrees to
different Presidents and other VIP’s. This could be the start of something unique where
this type of degree from the martial arts world becomes accepted, recognized, and in
demand putting our community on the mainstream map in a unique but distinctive way.
There is an old saying that any press is good press and from the events I have worked
where President Trump was appearing he certainly is loved by his following. So, to this I
say Congratulations President Trump and a respectful bow to the Kukkiwon for thinking
outside the belt and stepping forward to honor a President of The United States!
When you think of excellence and affluence – the Trump name used to be what
was used as an example. Getting mentioned in movies, rap songs and books around
the world. Now a former president who may re-run in the future is being recognized
by Kukkiwon president GrandMaster Dong Sup – Lee. I think people who know me
probably know that I liked having one of my business idols become the president of
the United States.
46 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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MARTIAL ARTS WORLD
Supports the Industry Thr
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today’s challenging circumstances, ATLAS Martial Arts Software is there for martial arts
Our team prides itself on its deep roots in the martial arts with its more than 40
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King Tiger Tae Kwon Do Remains
the King of Community Service
Even During the Pandemic
Grandmaster Byung Lee’s King Tiger Tae Kwon Do has been in
operation serving his NC community for over 30 years, since June of
1988. The school has a great reputation and has an active enrollment
of 350 Tae Kwon Do Members. The school has been a beacon of light
during the pandemic and provided a great service to parents with a
successful return to summer camp for children this past summer.
Grandmaster Byung Lee
MAWN: Grandmaster Lee, you’ve been a pillar in
your community for decades, what are some examples
of your community outreach efforts?
BL: Before the pandemic, we put on a Tae Kwon
Do tournament on for St. Jude Children’s hospital, did
a break-a-thon and head shaving event for the St.
Baldrick’s Foundation, and a fund raising event for community
During the pandemic, we hosted a virtual fundraiser
and received 5K in funds for the Local Food Bank
which equated to 26,000 meals. Secondly, we also did
a breaking challenge for classroom supplies for local
schools and we were able to donate to 4 local elementary
MAWN: In your efforts to best serve your community,
what have been the most effective marketing
strategies you’ve used?
BL: Our most successful strategies have been using Facebook
marketing along with our unique online trial programs. These have
enabled us to reach out into our community and attract 30-40
prospects each month. These outreach efforts have been able to
convert around 20-30 into a long term programs which provides
the new members with our school’s life-changing traditional martial
MAWN: During these challenging times, what are your most
significant programs that you provide for the community and the
benefits to participants?
BL: When service is a top priority you find ways to serve regardless
of the circumstances. In the face of social distance requirements,
during the pandemic, we have provided weapon classes
for our current members which has boosted excitement, loyalty,
and retention. A second program that has been great for our
Grandmaster Lee Has Developed a Large Adult Leadership
Team to Carry on the Traditions of His School
students is heavy bag training, which releases stress and improves
cardio through the exercise.
From a practical business standpoint, we also elevated our
customer service with lobby management for greeting visitors at
the door and made an even greater conscious effort to demonstrate
the tenets of Traditional Tae Kwon Do through better manners
MAWN: Are there any other ways that you have been able to
connect with your community in order to keep them aware of all
the services you would like to provide for their benefit?
BL: We have a lead generating website that has served the
purpose of keeping them informed of the latest offering and what
we’re doing. The website also includes our updated trial registration
page for them to easily take advantage of the benefits Tae
Kwon Do can bring to their life, even during a global pandemic.
MAWN: Thanks for sharing with us Grandmaster Lee!
52 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Everything You’ll Ever Need to
Market Your Martial Arts School!
MA BIZ ACADEMY
The House Where Discipline
Is Your Weapon
Master Ivory Irvin is a 7th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and was
Combative Arts Instructor for the U.S. Army Military Police. In 2005, he
opened Master Irvin’s House of Discipline and has been in business
continuously for the past 16 years as one of the premier martial arts
schools in Louisiana.
Master Ivory Irvin
MAWN: You are focused on
building the community around
you, what are some example of
your community outreach efforts?
II: We provide instruction to the
community in the form of cost free
Women’s Self Defense Classes to
Teens and Senior Citizens, local
sororities, and college freshmen
(Women). Additionally, we provide
(on demand) “Bully Proof” classes
to school age students. Finally, we
provide annual instructions in Self
Defense to all JROTC cadets in
Northwest Louisiana during their
Summer Camp Program.
MAWN: What has been a
unique marketing strategy that
has been productive in producing
II: Providing “No Cost” classes
on a “one time” basis is definitely
time consuming, but provides an
avenue that makes my school’s
name synonomous with Integrity,
Expertise and Professionalism. This
has been one of my best marketing strategies, that has produced
approximately 15-20 leads per month.
MAWN: What programs do you feel the community benefits
from the most?
II: Weapons Instruction, “Bully Proofing” Classes, Child Abduction
Prevention Training is of great value to our classroom participants.
MAWN: Do you have a lead generating website and what
about it has been most productive regarding leads?
II: My school exclusively uses AMS!!! The lead generating website
is provided and hosted by AMS. The prospect listing has been
Grandmaster Byung Lee
Students learn discipline at a combative martial arts class.
by far the most instrumental tool in identifying potential leads!!!! It’s
an effortless system that regularly generates leads for our school.
MAWN: Do you use a management software and what features
are providing the best benefits for running your school more
II: Yes, and our school utilizes the ATLAS Martial Arts Software.
It is a proven software system to generate more leads. My Advice to
school owners is to get this system and expect to get lots of leads.
Afterwards, it’s on you to turn those “LEADS” to active students.
MAWN: Thank you Master Irvin for sharing your school success
with our readers.
54 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY
4 Tips to Boost Your
By Hanshi Dave Kovar
It’s fair to say a lot of us would rather be training or instructing on the mat than
spending time hunched over our computers on Facebook.
But of course with their popularity, we can’t ignore the potential
for growth using these ever evolving social media platforms. No
matter how much some of us may try to avoid the digital frontiers,
the truth we face is that in order to grow the attendance at our
martial arts schools we must be willing to communicate where the
students and parents are found most frequently.
Today we will navigate just a short distance into the vast web
that is social media. Here are some tips to
help you venture into the world…
1. Make sure you have your profile
The more information you provide
to your viewers the easier it will be for
them to find you. Make sure everything
is filled out, you’ve added your
own pictures, and all contact information
is up-to-date. Just like your martial
arts school, you don’t want things
to be half-presented. Think of
your online profiles as your
2. Interact with your
social media networks.
Being active and engaging
is important. If
a school that is always
closed, is a school
that will close—
then a social media
network that is never
social, will never produce
return. Engage the audience
and reply to comments and questions.
3. Have visually appealing content.
Sometimes all it takes is the same message in another format.
Not everyone responds to plain text posts. Decide what messages
need extra attention, then use more images, videos, or graphics to
further drive the point you want to make.
4. Be consistent with your brand.
Understand that wherever you are, you want to keep a professional
and consistent message just as you might at your school.
Think to yourself, “Would I want my students and/or parents to see
this profile?” You should always consider and be aware that your
audience could and should be your students. Likewise, for logos,
photos, and all content you share—keep to the same rules and
make sure it stays true to your brand and welcoming to anyone
you’d like to have as a student.
These are just a few tips to help ease you into your social
media marketing. If you can at least do 1 or 2 of these techniques,
you may be surprised at how this will launch you ahead of many
competitors already. However, the more time you put into these
platforms will directly impact the value of your returns. The more
time you spend, the more value you will see in new leads, developing
community, and local networking.
HANSHI DAVE KOVAR is an 8th degree black belt and recognized as the “Trainer of Trainers.”
Hanshi Dave Kovar is an internationally acclaimed instructor with black belt degrees in ten different martial
arts styles. His systems have been implemented in hundreds of schools around the US.
56 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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NEXT LEVEL STRATEGY
Branding: Is it a Waste of Your
Time? (Part 2)
by Shihan Allie Alberigo
Let’s first start with the multiple definitions of the word “branding.”
I think the clearest brand definition is that of livestock
branding. This is the marking of animals to indicate ownership.
Or, in advertising, a brand is simply a name, logo,
slogan, and/or design scheme associated with a product or
service to clearly identify it amongst the competition.
One of the best lessons I had was when I visited all of
world-famous illusionist Criss Angel’s shops in Las Vegas.
His brother, my student at the time, took me on a tour to
illustrate what they did to build the Criss Angel
brand. He in particular pointed out, in
his words, the “Criss Angel world.”
As I walked into each of his
stores, it was clear that there was
nothing in the store that didn’t represent
him or show what he did. The colors
matched his brand, even down to the huge
Criss Angel logo on the ceiling of each
location. What J.D. (Criss’ brother) told me
was that when people enter the
store, they get swept away in
everything Criss, from video
monitors and picture boxes,
Now, you may
be saying, you
aren’t a worldfamous
or even a famous
movies star, etc.
To be honest, you
are the star of your
own show and world, so you
might as well capitalize on it.
So what is it we can do to find out what your brand is?
The good news is that it isn’t all that difficult. You can simply
take some of these ideas and build a checklist. Are you known
as the cleanest and best school for teaching traditional martial
arts? Or do you specialize in Kickboxing or grappling? What would
those benefits be? Do you want your establishment to look like an
ancient Japanese school, or are you interested in a more modern
school with flags and bright colors? What do you want people to
see, feel, smell, and hear from the minute they walk through the
doors? Who are you as an instructor?
But don’t talk about you, talk about who you are and how
that will benefit your clients. In other words, you have five titles
in full contact fighting, that’s great, but how does that experience
This is all part of establishing a clear understanding for the
client of what you do for them: the WIIFM, or the What’s in it For
Start working on these topics, and if you have further questions,
don’t hesitate to email me at Shihan@lininja.com for more tips and
SHIHAN ALLIE ALBERIGO is a 7th degree black belt, the founder of the L.I. Ninjutsu
Centers, one of the largest Ninjutsu schools on the planet, the author of 4 books, and an entrepreneur
with one of the first online coaching companies.
58 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by HATICE GOCMEN
Making Business Move Quickly
by Mr. Sean Lee
It can seem like things get done painfully slowly when you need it most.
“Expect six to eight weeks for delivery” isn’t anyone’s
idea of quick. With the amount of competition facing your
business today, you want the fastest, most streamlined
business model you can have. Increasing your productivity
will encourage your staff to step up their recruiting efforts,
which will boost your enrollment, and an all-around more
efficient effort from your school means strong retention for
years to come. Here are some areas you’ll want to focus
on to speed things up:
The rule of thumb on meetings is that if they can’t be
wrapped up in an hour, then you’re either trying to cover
too much ground or not meeting efficiently.
Experiencing this dilemma? Create agendas
for your meetings and email them
to your staff ahead of your scheduled
meeting time to allow everyone to think about
their responses before they get into the
Pay on Time Every Time
Paying bills can be like getting a root
canal—slow, painful, and expensive. Still, we
all have to do it. Paying bills on time ensures
you don’t lose any of the essential
components of your business (like
electricity), plus you avoid late
charges that can set you back
and cut into your revenue.
Also, remember that not every
business is run as efficiently
as yours. Paying for things
early gives your suppliers
more time to get you the
equipment you need in
a timely manner.
If you don’t set guidelines, everything is on time. Make a
monthly calendar with milestones each month. Want to get ten
new students this month? Put a milestone to distribute 100 flyers
by the 15th of the month with another 100 by month’s end. Timetables
make projects tangible for everybody on staff and help you
move projects along faster.
Never assume. That means not taking for granted that your staff
and business associates are silently toiling away on every detail of
the projects you’ve given them. Check in weekly and get updates
on what your staff is doing. Projects change organically and occasionally
need your input to make the right adjustments. Doing
this early will keep staff from wasting time on projects going in the
If you’re experience difficulty with streamlining your martial arts
school, my Marketing Consultants can help you. Simply give them
a call at 800-275-1600 and they’ll be happy to assist you.
SEAN LEE is the Executive Director of Sales and Marketing for hundreds of martial arts schools
and specializes in online and social media marketing using his extensive professional experience in
sports and martial arts marketing, contract negotiation, and investment.
60 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by coffeekai
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NINJA BUSINESS TACTICS
Teaching Child Students in 2022
By An-Shu Stephen Hayes
If you’re teaching the type of curriculum that’s more applicable on the street, how do
you translate that to the much younger audience?
Well, that is a very awkward question. Where my Dayton/Centerville,
Ohio school is located, it’s middle and upper-middle class,
and nobody gets in fights! Kids in general don’t get into fights.
Martial arts are all abstract to them, and yet it’s a very pragmatic
self-defense system. How do we approach youth?
Sometimes my wife will comment, “Oh gosh, I wish we were
teaching Tang Soo Do, it would be easier! ‘This is upper-block, this
is the punch.’”
But what we’ve done is create exercises where we have to be
so careful. With a nine year old, you don’t want to scare them, but
you do know more than they do and that they’re going
to be driving in a couple of years, and they’re
going to be out on their own and could be
victimized—they could go away to college, to
a party, and get victimized—so we’re really
training the way the person thinks. Because
when a young woman goes to her first fraternity
party, she thinks she’s all grown up.
She’s 19, she’s probably not going to get
into a fist fight with some guy, but things are
going to be offered. For her to be confident
enough in herself to know that, “No, this is of
more benefit to you than it is to me; no thank
you,” is a major thing. So, we can emphasize
that kind of thinking.
At our school we have a
series of four elements—
earth, water, fire, and
wind—that come from
the ninja tradition.
Earth is holding
your ground. And
some people are
just naturally that
way if they get
into a conflict or confrontation. Then there’s water, which is being
overwhelmed, so I tactically position myself so that the person
comes in and I can’t hold my ground. We say, “If you had to fight a
shark in the ocean, would you punch him in the teeth or would you
sneak over here and hit him in the gills?”
Then there’s fire, which is interrupting, and wind, which is evading.
We’re constantly emphasizing to kids, “Hey, you’re little! What
if a big kid comes around and pushes you around, or somebody
tries to grab you?” We use these principles from age six or seven
on. We have a very different program for four, five, and six year
olds. There we use a lot of obstacle courses and brightly colored
pool noodles so they don’t look threatening, but we use them
like swords and kids have to get out of the way as we try to wrap
that around their head and they get away. It’s a lot of fun and a lot
of giggling, but every now and then we’ll tell them get in line. I’ll
be honest, I’m looking for more ways to relate to kids with what
we have. It’s so pragmatic and yet kids don’t see violence in the
school; where they do run into violence is keyboard stuff—cyber
bullying is a big deal. A little kid is forming their identity and they’re
cheerfully reaching out to their friends and getting that kind of
feedback and Mom tells them she loves them; well, that’s just
Mom. Dad says he’s proud of you, Oh, that’s just Dad. I want positive
feedback from my friends at school, and then it goes haywire.
We teach them the technique, but secretly, the technique transmits
a state of mind. We have to teach these kids who they are, the
value they provide, the gift they are, so that when they come up
against this inevitable onslaught, they can believe in themselves,
that they have a value, and we have to teach them some tricks and
ways of dealing with that. I call them “tricks,” but you could call
them “techniques” or “methods.” They’ll think, “I learned this at the
martial arts school! I did this, it got the response from the person
that my teacher told me they would!” They’ll be so stunned they’ll
laugh and try to call you a name, but that means you got under
their skin. You won! We need to work on developing some of those
aspects as we go into the future.
AN-SHU STEPHEN HAYES has authored more than 20 books, worked as a body guard for the Dali
Lama, supervised over 30 school locations worldwide, and was named “A legend; one of the 10 most influential
living martial artists in the world” by Black Belt Magazine
62 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Browse the Martial Arts World News
Do You Have Items to Sell?
Is There Something You Need?
Selling Your School?
Looking To Buy A School?
Are You An Instructor Looking
For A Career In The Martial Arts?
Are You A School Owner
Looking To Hire Instructors?
MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1 63
Are You Overwhelmed and Confused
About How Social Media Can Help Grow Your School?
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PILLARS OF SUCCESS
How Do You Know if You Have
Physical Fitness? (Part 2)
by Grandmaster Y. K. Kim
Our Martial Arts World family and I are 100% committed to make America healthier by
losing 3 billion pounds.
Create a Healthier Lifestyle: The number one secret to losing
weight is to change your lifestyle. How? Change your habits
and create a healthier lifestyle.
Set a Positive Goal: To lose
weight and get in shape requires
that you fight for yourself. How? Set a
positive goal. A positive
goal will give you hope,
and hope gives you the
strength to win.
1. Say, “I will get rid of 30
pounds within three months. My
target date is 0-00-0000.”
2. Make a commitment. Say, “I never
give in until I win.”
Plan for Success: A proper plan motivates
you. It’ll be easier and more
fun to lose weight and get
in shape. Develop an
eating and exercise
Goal: Show your commitment
will help you lose
weight and get in shape. Ask your family and
friends to support you. Post your goal and
commitment on social media. So many
people will support you in achieving your
Execute Your Plan: Focus on your
plan 10,000% and never give up until
you get in shape. Throw away all junk
food at home and at work. Weigh
yourself every day so you can adjust
your plan properly, and report your
experience to your family and friends
After you achieve your goal,
share your successful methods with
someone else that needs to lose
weight. Keep practicing the Four
Wheels of Physical Fitness. You
will enjoy healthy living for the
rest of your life. Extra fat is
your enemy, my enemy, and
I strongly believe that together
we can turn this obstacle
into a steppingstone. We will save
a trillion dollars in healthcare
costs, and we will be healthier,
stronger, and happier.
GRANDMASTER Y. K. KIM is the most successful martial arts business leader in the US, having written
over 30 books on martial arts, business, leadership, and success. He has won numerous public service
awards and is the founder of the leading martial arts marketing and management company in the US.
66 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by warrengoldswain
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THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI
Children and the Art of the
Sword, Part 1
by Shihan Dana Abbott
When we think about swords and martial arts involving swords,
we seldom think of children.
It seems that the cutting blade and young people don’t mix
well…or at least that’s the belief in America, when in fact, I suggest
that there are ways to introduce the sword at early ages with extraordinary
benefits without introducing major risk of injury.
If we look at Japanese culture, we find that many Kendo
students begin their practice in the early years of grade school.
Learning Kendo in Japanese grade school is like American kids
Early in my teaching experience in Kendo, I had the pleasure
of having a young Japanese girl in one of
my classes. When my American students
first began competing with her, they
severely underestimated her abilities.
at her diminutive
size and young
age and assumed
her abilities would
match her American
counterparts’ skills. In
reality, her skills were
way beyond what would
normally be expected,
an advantage of
her early start in
comes with a price.
students may practice
many hours a day, doing strenuous training exercises that can
eventually result in stunted growth. It is a well-known fact that extreme
exercise in young people does affect development. Energy
from the nutrition children take in is diverted to their muscles to
support their exercises, rather than being used for growth development.
Olympic gymnasts are good examples of this. Think of
the small stature of gymnasts, as well as the delays or absence of
menstrual cycles in young girls.
Obviously we want to avoid affecting a student’s growth
potential, and allow them to learn the art safely while reaping the
benefits of the early cycles of learning. Today’s modern Chanbara
weaponry provides a safer alternative to the bamboo (Shinai) or
wooden (Bokuto or Bokken) swords used by older students.
By starting with soft weaponry, instructors don’t need to worry
about the inability of children to handle bamboo or wood to teach
basic sword strikes. Students can also begin learning sword techniques
earlier through the use of games and simple exercises. In addition,
the fear of injury that we often see in students when they’re
concerned about being struck by the Shinai or Bokuto is removed.
In the next part of this column, I will provide some suggestions
on how to integrate the sword into martial arts for young children.
Adapted from Lin Conklin
Samurai Sports, Inc.
Children’s Curriculum development
SHIHAN DANA ABBOTT Is a 7th degree black belt in Kenjutsu, starting his 14-year education
in Tokyo. He has published five books and designed a US Patent. Abbott has also conducted seminars in
over 30 countries and obtained his black belt at the Hombu dojo in Yokohama. He currently offers online
classes on LearntheSword.com, his unique swordsmanship academy.
70 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by master1305
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Is Everyone in Your Boat Rowing
in the Same Direction? (Part 1)
by Grandmaster Stephen Oliver
Do you have anyone on your team who is constantly pulling in
a different direction? It doesn’t have to mean that they are right or
wrong, stupid or brilliant.
As owner, you’re the leader. Everyone’s got to be on your
page. They’ve got to march to your drumbeat. If you have students
or staff (especially staff) who are constantly pulling in the wrong
direction, they’ve got to go.
They may be very successful somewhere else. Don’t feel bad
about moving them on to a new path. But you CANNOT have staff
or students who are pulling in a different direction. At best, they’re
a distraction. At worst, they’re a cancer that spreads. Be ruthless in
fixing this RIGHT AWAY.
Over the years I was VERY good at developing
this esprit de corps within my schools.
One significant reason is that it wasn’t
about me. It wasn’t about having everything
revolve around me as the teacher
or “Master.” It was about introducing new
students to each other. About introducing
new students to the black belts and other
senior students. It was about making the
black belts responsible for each other.
It was about creating situations
and opportunities for parents
to bond with one another.
I would organize carpools.
to each other during class
during class transitions.
I’d create various
“teams.” Black Belt Prep
was a team activity. Senior
“nonpaid” students were
assigned leadership roles.
In many cases, the staff
was much less important
than the senior students in
being the glue that held things together.
I also made sure that NO ONE fell through the cracks. All staff
would talk about every student every week. We’d notice if someone
missed a class. We were on the phone and sending notes
QUICKLY if someone didn’t show up, fell behind, or slacked off.
The other key is held in a comment that Jeff Smith made about
me years ago.
He said, “Before he was an MBA, he was an ABM: Always Be
In my turnaround role with my own schools, I was VERY good
at filling the pipeline with new students. Of anyone I’ve seen, the
number one and two people in our industry for running a school
up FAST are myself and Jeff Smith respectively. I haven’t seen
anyone else come close.
How I did that varied greatly over the years. In some cases I
could take a school that was doing only four or six enrollments a
month and do 20 or more just by keeping track of all the Introductory
traffic and being effective at closing EVERYONE. In just about
every case, this was where I started. In other cases, I MASSIVELY
ramped up the traffic on new introductory students. Sadly, even
with extensive training, most people only scratch the surface on
their various marketing opportunities.
The same basic strategy, almost no matter what it is, can
have five, ten, sometimes even 30 times the difference in
results with someone who’s maximizing opportunity and really
With everything you do, ask the question WHAT ELSE COULD I
DO TO IMPROVE RESULTS?
GRANDMASTER STEPHEN OLIVER, is a 9th degree black belt and is the founder and CEO of
Mile High Karate schools, and founder of the Martial Arts Wealth Mastery Program.
72 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by VectorInspiration
AFTER SCHOOL EXCELLENCE
Why You Must Start Your
In The Middle of Winter
That’s right! A profitable Summer Camp with lots of enrollments begins right smack in
the middle of winter. Are you surprised? Well, so are the many school owners who get
excited about the possibilities of running an exceptional Summer Camp who begin in
March or April only to be disappointed in June and July. On the other hand, schools
that begin Summer Camp now can earn $100,000 to $250,000 for their camps.
Why must your Summer Camp begin now?
Just go and take a look at your local newspaper’s
upcoming events or social section and
you’ll find out why the beginning of the year
is the time to begin your Summer Camp.
Surely, you’ll see that there is a whole bunch
of competition: YMCA’s, Sports’ Camps, Music
Camps, Traditional Camps, and of course,
other Martial Arts Summer Camps.
If you think you can wait until the
Spring to begin your Summer Camp,
you will give an edge to all of your
competition and they’ll take advantage.
The saying, “The early bird
catches the worm” is true with
regard to running a successful
Maybe you’re not quite so
sure how to begin a Summer
Camp now. Have you
ever heard the expression,
“You don’t have to reinvent
the wheel”? AMS guided school owners just like you to achieve
tremendous success in their Summer Camps by following a simple
step-by-step path that works no matter what style you teach. In
other words, there is a proven path that will help any school owner
earn $100,000 or more with their camp.
There are lots of secrets within the AMS Summer Camp Kit to
give you the edge you need over the competition. Just consider
some of the topics in the kit:
1. How to Prepare to Succeed – everything from facility, staff,
equipment, field trips, ads and form, etc.
2. How to Promote Successfully – ideas like internal and external
promotion, brochures, signs, sales presentation, getting
into the public school system, etc.
3. How to Operate for Success – all the direction you need
from organizing students and staff to scheduling and specific
Now can you see why Summer Camp must start now? It’s a big
undertaking that is well worth the effort in the financial and enrollment
rewards you’ll receive. Breathe a sigh of relief because with
the AMS Summer Camp Kit you’ll have an easy to follow step-bystep
guide, activities and customizable ads to begin a successful
promotion right away! Don’t delay find out about the kit today - call
AMS at 1-800-275-1600.
CHIEF MASTER MIKE BUGG is an 8th degree black belt and the owner of a $1.52 million-per-year
location, with one of the largest after school and summer camp programs in the country.
74 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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Have Your School, Organization,
Accomplishment, or Event Featured in
As professional martial arts school
owners and instructors, it’s important
that we stay up to date with the
latest tools, tactics, and strategies
for operating a successful martial
arts school or organization.
We here at Martial Arts World News
Magazine are on an unstoppable
mission to help our industry grow,
and one of the best ways to do that
is by sharing “what’s working” and
So, we want to feature schools,
school owners, instructors,
organizations, students, and industry
contributors that might have a story
our readers would find valuable!
No story is too small or too big for
consideration so long as there is
value to our readers.
Send your Story Idea to us.
Or Contact us at: 407-895-1996
• One of your students
overcame great obstacles
to achieve their black belt?
• You’ve opened a new
location? We’d love to hear
• Your martial arts
association just set a new
record? Great! Send us
like a champ
C H I P T O W N S E N D
14x ISKA World Champion, Multiple World Record Holder
"I knew Break Like a Champ could really help our school. We
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BLAC has made such a huge difference in our school! In a few
months, we will have made back what we spent just by being
associated with BLAC! I really believe BLAC will add
tremendous value to any school!"
-Chance Burleson, owner Chance Legends Dojo
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One Shot to Survive
by Grandmaster Tom Patire
One of the key EP defenses to learn is the ability to disarm an assailant who has a
firearm locked and loaded on your client.
Many systems preach different tactics for disarming a person
with a gun, but most of those disarms were not made to disarm a
gun that’s being held at a third party. When a weapon is pointed
at or on another person and you have to intervene to disarm that
weapon, many different factors come into play, such as getting to
the weapon with precise movement, redirecting it out of the way,
or getting your client out of the direct line of fire as you disarm the
assailant, which can mean the difference between life and death.
Should you get close enough to the weapon itself, the key to
survival is to stop, or at least limit, the discharge of the firearm.
So my philosophy is simple when it comes to in-close
weapon disarms: you get one shot to survive, so
make it count!
It’s not impossible to redirect the weapon or
stop the weapon from discharging. Most shooters
that go after clients in the private sector
target them because of work-related situations
or obsessions, thus wanting to get up close and
personal before firing their first shot. In certain
situations, they want to vent and say what’s on
their mind before blazing away. These
types of shooters often miss
their target completely from
the first shots, and if they hit
them, it’s usually in a nonvital
area. With this being
the framework for an assassination
look at the word GUN
and break it down into a
positive term so that the
chances of your survival,
as well as that of your client
and team, increase.
G is for GET
GET the client
or loved one
out of harm’s
way. GET your vitals
out of the shooter’s direct
line of fire. GET to the weapon as
quickly as you can. GET your hands
on the mass of the weapon and redirect
it towards the ground or the gunman, but away from you
and your client. GET control of the weapon as fast as you can. GET
the shooter distracted and off balance. GET to the shooter and apply
your disarm as quickly and precisely as you can so he doesn’t
GET you or your client! GET the gun at all costs!
U is for UNDERSTAND
As the situation unfolds, you need to UNDERSTAND all the
variables. UNDERSTAND that your mind will be racing and your
body will be filling with adrenaline. UNDERSTAND that you ‘ve
trained for this moment and are ready. UNDERSTAND your client
is scared, surprised, and confused. UNDERSTAND that what you
do will decide who may live or die. UNDERSTAND that you need
to maintain focus and act out your skills. UNDERSTAND that the
entire situation will feel like it’s in slow motion but will be over in
a few seconds. UNDERSTAND you have what it takes, so do the
deed and live on!
N is for NOW!
When a gunman appears, the time is NOW. Know the situation
and act on it NOW. Make sure the client is out of the line of fire
when you make your move to disarm or redirect NOW. NOW is the
time your training has to take over. NOW is when speed counts
and cooler heads prevail. NOW is the time to execute your ONE
SHOT TO SURVIVE!
GRANDMASTER TOM PATIRE, is known as “America’s Leading Personal Safety Expert” and has appeared
on Good Morning America, The CBS Morning Show, The Colbert Report, Montel, plus in mainstream publications such as
Family Circle, Redbook, Fortune Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. He has written several books and has personal
safety programs that can be incorporated into your martial arts school, available at TomPatire.com.
78 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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COMPLETE MARTIAL ARTS CONCEPTS
Dreams Do Come True
by Professor Willie “The Bam” Johnson
Wake up and stop dreaming! You’ll never see that come true. Take those magazine
covers off your wall. You’ll never meet those people. Snap out of it and live in reality,
and not in a dream world.
Dreams are valuable, and when your daily reality involves
abuse, bullying, drug dealing, violence, addiction, poverty,
homelessness, incarceration, suicide, and so much more,
dreams are the only thing you have. You feel them in your soul
and taste them in your mouth. This was the case for me 48 years
ago. The only thing I had was a dream, and that was to use martial
arts to get out of the Baltimore city projects and help
youth feel empowered through martial arts, like my
hero Bruce Lee did for me.
During the early years of martial arts instruction,
I didn’t understand the beauty of it, so it
was really hard back then. So, my faith had to
be strong, and I had to find support from action
movies, music books, and magazines. The
most influential support came from an issue
of the world’s legendary magazine of
martial arts, “Black Belt Magazine.”
As a kid, I would work
to earn money for a copy
of “Black Belt Magazine,”
and even steal it. With
such daily pain going on
inside of me, that magazine
would relieve me
of my inner pain. After
more than 40 years in
the martial arts industry,
I was featured on the
cover. Wow, dreams
do come true! With all
of the world’s greatest
martial arts teachers,
champions, leaders, peers, and celebrities coming before me, it’s
I was teased when I was a kid, and called “the black Bruce Lee.”
I’m now featured on the cover—the same cover as Bruce Lee, in
the Black Belt Hall of Fame with Bruce Lee, and starred in a hit TV
show with Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon: the Saturday morning
live-action martial arts competition on Fox that was ranked number
one among kids 17 and older, called “WMAC Masters. I played
myself, and in recent days, fans from all over have been asking for
a Netflix or Hulu reboot.
These are the most exciting moments of my life, as I stand on
the shoulders of martial arts legends. What an honorable and humbling
moment in my life. The irony here is that the magazine saved
my life as I dreamed of getting out of the Baltimore projects and
breaking the negative cycle that many people face in an environment
like Baltimore. “Black Belt Magazine” hit the newsstands in
1961 as the first and only source on the martial arts industry and its
heroes. Only the legends of martial arts would grace the cover, like
Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Jet Lee, Billy
Blanks, and so many more—and now myself. To be on the cover
of the world’s leading martial arts magazine, talking about a new
sport to empower today’s youth, still feels unreal. It’s the bible of
the martial arts industry.
Yes, I made it to the mountaintop of martial arts achievements.
I am an example of dreams coming true when you keep God first,
family second, community third, and entrepreneurship fourth in
your efforts to lead a fearless life for the sake of being a genuine
servant leader. Effective leadership starts from the inside out,
and those that have earned such a title are humble servants to
others. They’re on a constant journey of the renewal of mind,
body, and soul, the ultimate achievement of becoming a complete
PROFESSOR WILLIE “THE BAM” JOHNSON is a 7th degree black belt and seventime
sport karate and Kung-Fu world champion. He has appeared in four movies, 16 plays, and 11 television
shows. He is also the national spokesperson for the Stronger than Drugs Foundation and the Champions
80 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
THE MILLIONAIRE SMARTS COACH
by Ms. Lee Milteer
It is better to be over rehearsed than ambushed!
You must have visionary thinking when it comes to your future. I
call this “flying into the future” with your mind so you can acknowledge
the possible changes happening in your world. When you
know something might come your way, prepare yourself so you
aren’t caught off guard. You must arm yourself with information
that keeps you balanced and conscious to prevent stress and panic,
regardless of whatever little mess you find yourself in. No one
makes good decisions when they’re trapped in an unresourceful
state of mind or caught off guard. In fact, most of us can trace bad
decisions to when we reacted to a situation instead of acting in a
manner that served us. I want to remind you of the importance of
prescriptive behavior, or arming yourself with the tools and information
that will help you deal with whatever changes come your
way so you can achieve your goals.
When you decide to choose your response to circumstances,
you powerfully affect the outcome. By
taking responsibility of the decisions in your life
and business, you change the circumstances
and the outcome. When you focus on the
highest and best outcome possible, you
don’t allow challenges to make you a
victim. You go from victim to powerful.
When you give yourself permission
to let go of what doesn’t work and
make a decision on what you want,
you clearly start to take control
of your life and future.
Instead of dreading
your life. Think about
the possibility of new,
for operating your
business so you can be
happy instead of being
afraid and dreading what
might happen. Remember,
you’re always a self-fulfilling prophecy. YOU design your future
with your thoughts, expectations, behaviors, and actions. If something
hasn’t worked well for you in the past, it’s TIME TO CHANGE
IT. Shift your mindset to get new results.
The old saying “success in life is 80 percent attitude and 20
percent aptitude” is true. You can learn anything if you’re willing to
spend the time and energy to learn. It’s your attitude that will make
the difference if you are open to change. So, ask yourself what
your attitude is toward change.
No matter what kind of business you run, there are going
to be days that are filled with problems. The news is negative,
employees let you down, and competition is beating you up. You
feel exhausted from making decisions, and challenging things
constantly happen. In the end, the people who thrive and prosper
are the ones who have the prescriptive attitude. The people who
succeed are the ones who take charge of the caliber of information
that reaches their brain. In other words, a habit of the wealthy
is having the skill of awareness to stop negative self-talk and keep
from having a negative view of life that will impact your future and
keep you from reaching greatness.
You get in life what you focus on. If you dwell on limitations, you
will reach them. You’ll have a better life in every way if you make
the least of the worst while making the most of the best.
MS. LEE MILTEER is an Intuitive Business Coach, award-winning professional speaker, and TV personality
who has counseled and trained over a million people throughout her career. Lee is Stephen Oliver’s Martial Arts
Wealth Mastery’s Millionaire Smarts Coach and is also a best-selling author of educational resources.
82 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by Olivier Le Moal
Boxing & Martial Arts Sneakers
Martial Arts Gear
Our Little World
by Shidoshi Alfredo Tucci
“Feeling important makes one heavy, clumsy, and vain. To be a warrior one needs to
be light and fluid.” –Carlos Castaneda
How small we all are! Our inconsequential lives are filled with
importance, especially because, whether we like it or not, we live
them in the first person. With some totally wrapped in the character
they represent because, justifying themselves in such fiction,
end up living alienated in a role or dream in pursuit of their personal
conviction, paranoia, or melodrama. But, all of us in our little
world under the sheets, at some point unmasked, have to know
about our inferior condition. No matter how fast we erase that image,
even if we hide behind the excuse of sustaining our personal
courage after a difficult life, as a justification for an ego that must
fight and stand firm and live for the sake of our dignity and selfesteem,
the truth is that what Castaneda brilliantly defined as “the
personal importance” ends up being a treacherous
trap that consumes, cajoles, and confuses all of us.
Everything that gives value and sustains the ego,
whether positive or negative, is “personal importance.”
It implies exactly that for all of us: personal
importance is the quotation marks we continue
adding to everything in life.
It’s as if the facts lacked all thrust on the balance
scale until we put them in quotation marks.
As a matter of fact, the same event that for one is
bad can be magnificent for another one. Personal
importance is responsible for placing
the adjectives in our minds, coloring the
images, and uploading them. Everything
that gives value to things is based on
this curious recital, capable of making
beautiful the horrible, or justifying
the most extravagant outburst in the
context of the plainest normality.
Although only people possess this
magnetic unifier of adjectives, every
society or culture ends up gathering
around a set of rules that are
deposited as a barrage of personal experiences in a moral norm.
In turn, this will sooner or later have to be overcome when the
protective bubble it creates will begin to be perceived more as a
suffocating cage than a protection. How can we not have personal
importance? How can we stop being vulnerable to this titanic
There’s only one way for it; a path that entails ceasing to be
human. The detachment and self-abandonment proper to a
renounced monk, without being so, must be mixed with absolute
domination of a self, which is no longer personal. But what shall we
be then, to have everything of something of which we don’t want
anything? Clearly, the wisest among the wise have come to rescue
us at this point to differentiate the soul from the Ego. But, beyond
semantic tricks, for most that difference is no greater than the
thickness of the wing of a butterfly. How can you measure a priori
something you don’t even know exists until you find it? The higher
you ascend in the path of consciousness, life, or knowledge, the
more evident it becomes that choices are getting shorter. Differences
become more and more subtle, as well as more radical, and
therefore prices are more expensive. A small mistake when you
start climbing up the mountain is not the same as a mistake when
you’re about to reach the top. That’s why the sage slows down
his temper, reproves his reactions, and measures his facts much
more than the ignorant, which enters situations like an elephant
in glassware. More control with greater detachment? These two
virtues seem indispensable, whatever the path of growth through
which your feet may lead you. We cannot be great without both
things having nested in our souls, for neither can be feigned or
faked. Deceiving ourselves at this point is always dangerous
because personal importance acquires multiple forms and justifies
everything in the name of our understanding. Good and evil, the
crucible of all the best and worst of humans, far from being black
or white, enjoy the infinite range of grays in which they slide, and in
their flow, the confusion to which they submit us. In our little world,
in the end, it’s surprisingly a child who decides.
SHIDOSHI ALFREDO TUCCI is the CEO and General Manager of the Budo International Publishing
Company, a leading publisher in the martial arts with over 35 years in the industry. He is also author of several
books: The Immaterial Dimension, The Way of the Warrior, and The Spirit. He currently lives in Valencia, Spain.
86 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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Martial Arts Professionals in
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Email Sponsors@MartialArtsWorldNews.com or Call Jeff @ 407-895-1996
PRO SHOP POWER
Find the Missing Piece of Your
School with Puzzle Mats
by Mr. Sun Kang
It can build retention through innovation and safety.
There was a time when many of the
martial arts were almost solely limited to
punches and kicks. If a person could not
perform big kicks, they usually weren’t
considered a well-rounded martial artist.
Many schools didn’t teach grappling
because it wasn’t a part of their traditional
Now, with puzzle mats, there are
cushioned surfaces that provide surefooted
support for stepping and kicking
drills, and are also great shock absorbers
for jumping and falling drills. Puzzle
mats also have a nonslip surface that
improves safety for your students, no
matter which drill they’re performing.
When you use puzzle mats, you can
teach grappling and throwing techniques.
By adding new techniques and
practices into your martial arts training,
you offer more for your students.
Adding the variation of grappling to your curriculum can boost
your retention. Students who don’t feel as confident in their kicking
techniques might feel much stronger with grappling. Even
students who are strong in kicking techniques should learn the
usefulness of grappling.
When they know more techniques, a martial artist
becomes better rounded.
Puzzle mats can also lead to more enrollments
as well. Grappling and throwing techniques are
things that people look for when they are looking
for a school for self-defense purposes. In addition,
when someone is looking for a martial arts school,
they want to know that they’ll be safe.
Puzzle mats will show them that you are
concerned for your students’ safety.
Grappling involves students hitting the floor more often. With
puzzle mats, students will be safe when they fall. Puzzle mats also
provide a safe surface for a student who missteps and falls during
any drill. An added bonus of the puzzle mats is less fatigue on the
body. Standing on a firm, cushioned surface puts less stress on the
bones and joints. That means that your students can train longer
Puzzle mats are a reasonably inexpensive way to boost your
retention and vary your curriculum. They are worth the investment
compared to the gains that your school will make.
AMS member schools get discounted pricing when ordering
from Vision USA, so visit VisionMA.com or call 1-800-424-5425
to place an order or get more information!
MR. SUN KANG is the President of Vision Martial Arts Supply, Los Angeles Branch, who helps school owners all over
the US maximize their retail sales and drive more revenue into their schools.
88 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by ilen nalishawa
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MASTER THE BASICS
Developing Your Students’
Devotion to Becoming Black Belts
by Master Tina Bane
A diamond is one of the most precious and sought-after gems on Earth. They’re strong
enough to cut glass while being beautiful and elegant symbols of love and devotion.
But how long does it take for a diamond to form?
Scientists don’t agree on how long it takes because there are
many factors that contribute to a diamond’s progress from rock
to diamond, and because the elements that make up diamonds
aren’t useful in determining their age. However, estimates range
anywhere from a couple days to millions of years.
Your school is full of young students who are diamonds in the
rough. Going from novice to black belt is a similar process to
diamond formation. There’s no way to know exactly
how long it’s going to take, but everybody knows
a diamond when they see one. It’s important
that along this long and uncertain journey your
students maintain their devotion to their quest
of becoming black belts and, more importantly,
maintaining their commitment to mastering
their art. This kind of devotion needs to be
nurtured, just like their front kicks and
Here are some ways you can
help your students stick to their
martial arts goals during the
often difficult but rewarding
Becoming a black belt
will take a minimum of
a few years. Depending
on the age of your
students and the regulations
surrounding your ranking
system, some of your students
may not be able to become black
belts until they reach a certain age,
regardless of their
current skillset. To
reduce some of the
feel when their goals
seem so far away,
break the journey
down into shorter
How far apart
are depends on the patience of each individual student. You may
need to keep some students focused on their next belt test. Other
students may need really short benchmarks, like increasing their
number of kicks a little bit each day. Focus your students on the
farthest goal they can handle and they’ll rise to the challenge.
Be a broken record. Don’t assume that once the goal has been
set your students will stay focused. Once your students state their
goals, remind them every day. Instilling a sense of purpose takes
time, but if you repeat yourself like a broken record, your students
will internalize their goals and hear that voice inside their head
driving them on every time they think about quitting.
Take mental breaks. Just like diamonds, getting your students
to black belt means keeping the pressure on them to keep going.
However, too much pressure can cause your students to feel anxious
and have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for. Take
time to have fun by running exciting promotions, exhibitions, and
taking short breaks in intense training.
There’s a reason why diamonds are so rare: they’re difficult
to make, and they take time and the right amount of pressure to
come out just right. By keeping these tips in mind, you can help
develop the devotion your students’ need to shine brightly in
MASTER TINA BANE is a 6th degree master instructor and owner of a Top Ten martial arts school
with successful after school and summer camp programs.
90 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by robertcicchetti
The Value of Failure, Part 2
by Grandmaster Tim Mccarthy
Of course, in class, not every technique will be perfect.
During practice, we offer constructive criticism to help the student
improve. I believe in
positive instruction using
the PIR method: Praise,
For example, “Nice front
kick! If you raise your knee a
little higher, you’ll kick a little
I praise the student,
instruct on how to improve the
technique, and motivate
him by predicting
Another opportunity is in
tip testing. Tip tests serve several
purposes. First of all, for those with a
short attention span (most kids in the 21st
century), it provides an immediate goal to
work toward. Younger, lower-ranking children
may have a hard time working toward a new
belt that is three or four months away. They can
more easily focus on a tip test that is happening
in the next week or two.
Second, it provides practice
under pressure. They know
they can pass or fail, so they
feel the pressure and get
practice performing under
Third, it provides an
opportunity to fail and
learn. Students should
fail tip tests often so they
get used to failing and
recovering. With failure they should get an opportunity for private
help and instruction, plus an opportunity to tip test again
in a day or two. They learn to fail and recover, and
learn that failure is a
necessary step on
the road to success.
for the belt test
know they have all
As I have
often said in
most of us are
We’re training children, moms, accountants,
and other everyday people who
may not be strong enough when they
come to us, but who count on us to help
them become stronger.
We need to structure our schools using
failure at the right times to help them learn to
bounce back from mistakes and use feedback
to improve, but never to encourage them to quit
because we asked them to do more than they
are ready to do.
Step by step, belt by belt, we can help them
become stronger physically and emotionally until
they’ve truly earned their black belts in technique,
character, and indomitable spirit.
Nothing breeds success like success.
GRANDMASTER TIM MCCARTHY is a 9th degree black belt and is a martial
arts educator with a master’s degree in education. He has been instrumental in developing two
industry-changing programs, plus has directed and been featured in hundreds of martial arts videos
92 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by SerhiiBobyk
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Statistics, Part 3
by Grandmaster Lawrence Arthur
There are certain key numbers you should keep track of.
These numbers will help you maintain control and know if
you’re doing the right kind of work to make your school successful.
Remember, “What gets counted gets done.”
Gross—Know where you are all the time. This isn’t something
you add up at the end of the month. You have to know
where you’ve been to enable you to project where you’re going.
You need to keep your eye on the pulse of your business
to know if you need to speed up or pat yourself on the back for
achieving your goals. Each day, make your plan and take the
necessary steps to make sure you’re on track to ask for whatever
amount of money you need to hit your daily,
weekly, and monthly goals. We use a daily
report to keep track of statistics numbers
one through nine, plus ten. The daily report
also has a reminder list for times of the day,
days of the week, and certain days of the
month. There’s also a daily planning chart
where you plan where, whom, how much
you’re going to ask for that day. It includes
all nine areas of income:
1. New enrollments
4. Tuition compressions
5. Graduation fees
7. Activities and
8. Past-due purchases
whom and how
much you’re going to ask for, you’ll collect more. Chances are
you will collect 20% of what you ask for.
Goal—What’s your monthly goal? To be in the top
10% of schools nationally, you have to gross $30,000 per
month. The average school grosses $70,000 per year!
There are different sets of problems for schools trying to
gross $10K a month and those trying to get from $50K to
$80K per month. Your goal should start with your minimum
gross that you need to take in before you enjoy any
profits, including rent/mortgage, utilities, payroll including
yourself, supplies, marketing (3–10%), and miscellaneous
expenses. After you meet minimum gross, you can start
giving/receiving bonuses and commissions for additional
incomes. The best way to figure what you should be grossing
is to average your last three months’ gross, and then
add 20% as a goal. Unless you change things drastically,
you’ll probably do the same thing this month as you’ve
been averaging. We use a Monthly Revenue Goal Projection
form that will help keep track of our goals and income.
Make a list of the following items and then add it up to see
what you’ll gross this month:
1. How much is your monthly tuition income?
2. Do you have any postdated deposits to make?
3. How many beginners will you enroll?
4. How many of them will prepay (20%)? Or the amount of
5. How many upgrades will you enroll and get them to prepay?
Or enrollment fees?
That will give you your membership revenue total. List
the numbers of equipment packages you’ll sell based on
the numbers of enrollments and upgrades (80%). List how
many belt promotion fees you’ll register including multi-belt
prepays. Finally, project how many people will register for
your monthly seminar and activities. I have one school that is
projecting to gross $30,000 next month just in seminars and
activities! This one idea will put $50,000 to $100,000 in your
account this year!
GRANDMASTER LAWRENCE ARTHUR has been a martial artist, specializing
in Karate, Kung Fu, Kenpo, Shotokan, and Goju Ryu, since 1968. He owns 40 Super Kick Karate
locations and is founder of the American Freestyle Karate Association (AFKA). A world champion
and hall of famer, Lawrence also runs the Black Belt Success Systems consulting firm, which trains
martial arts instructors on proper business practices and is used by schools all over the country.
94 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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MARTIAL ARTS PHILOSOPHY
A Diary of a Black Belt, Part 3
by Sensei Gary Lee
My First Sport Karate
Very exciting, to say the least: hundreds
of people watching you perform
and the pressure of representing your
school, but mainly your Sensei. Tanaka
Sensei has got me here. Now I do this
day for Sensei. I have told no one my
thoughts, but this is what my hearts
says. I’ve trained hard for this, thrown
thousands of punches on the Makiwara,
hundreds of kicks, takedowns,
sweeps, and follow up.
I am defensive, ready. I can be offensive
also. Back fist, reverse punch,
spin back kick, I owned them.
Sensei has taught me to have
confidence in your technique, pure
PMA, live for the Ippon. If you’re going
to do sport Karate, do the best that you
can and go for the win!
Got disqualified for excessive contact—reverse
punch to the body—he couldn’t continue!
Judges said it was excessive with no control.
Oss, sorry, Tanaka Sensei, please forgive
One year later
6th Green Belt
The test was hard but different
this time. I was totally prepared
because I want this! I want
this real bad!
All I think about is
class and Sensei
Tanaka. I can’t
year and am now in the advanced class. I mean this is a big deal.
My background, my attitude when I first came here—a complete
turnaround! I AM ALLOWED TO WORK OUT IN THE ADVANCED
I am so excited! Oss!
I have learned so much and my life has changed. My attitude,
just believing in something is cool, and now I get to work out
with Mr. Tanaka. Sensei, he is so different than the other black
belts. By different I mean he’s sharper, more precise, almost
scary he’s so fast.
Now I get to hit the Makiwara boards covered in hard rope
at punching and kicking heights. I would sometimes watch the
advanced class and black belts would hit the Makiwara 500 times,
exhausted, knuckles bleeding. Back then I thought they were
crazy and I would laugh at it, now I can’t wait to get permission to
do it and work on my kime and get my knuckles bleeding! Bull in
the ring, pure self-defense and street application, Kata, application
of Kata, Bunkai, precision movement of the Kata applied to uki’s
attacking, this is what I’ve learned and I want my black belt.
SENSEI GARY LEE, the American Samurai, is a 9th Dan black belt, a USA Karate
Federation gold medalist, winner of five Super Grand National Titles, a featured actor in
the movie Sidekicks, and is the founder of the National Sport Karate Museum.
96 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Would You Spend a Dollar to
Save a Dime?
by Chief Master Kirk Pelt
It seems like everybody is talking about the economy and looking for ways to save
money. Well, how far would you go to save money?
Would you drive ten miles out of your way to save two cents a
gallon on gas? Would you drive across town because a store has
soap on sale? Or do you realize that you’d spend more on gas for
the drive than you’d save at the register? Or maybe you’ve tried
fixing something around the house, like a leaky pipe, only to break
it even more, turning a $100 repair into a $300 repair?
Saving money is good, but you have to be smart
enough to know when being cheap actually costs
you more than being smart. I learned this lesson
early in my career in the martial arts. I wanted to
collect my own tuition because of that old saying,
“If you want a job done right, do it yourself.”
I soon found out that it wasn’t such a good
idea when I got into an argument with a student
over money. The same student who was saying,
“Yes, Sir!” in the dojang was cussing me out in the
office. That was not the kind of martial arts master I
wanted to be.
Even when I had one of my staff members
try to do the billing, it still created an
adversarial relationship between
the student and the school. Again,
this is not what I wanted.
I found that by using a billing
company like AMS to handle
my student accounts, I solved
a whole bunch of problems
at once. First of all, my staff
and I were no longer the bill
collectors. When students
wanted to talk about
money, I just told them
to contact AMS. Not only did that prevent an adversarial confrontation,
it saved my staff and me a tremendous amount of time,
and time is money. Second, I found out that the AMS professionals
were better at collecting money than I was. I’m sure you can
imagine that my heart wasn’t really in it. I didn’t want to be a bill
collector, so if a student came to me with a sob story, it was really
easy for me to be the nice guy and help him out. Unfortunately,
every time I helped a student, I hurt my school and my family. I really
needed an unrelated professional to be firm enough to collect
the tuition for me.
So, I found out that paying a small percentage to AMS actually
increased my income because they were able to collect more,
plus I got a free bonus of extra time to think about teaching better
classes and enrolling more students instead of dealing with money
Using AMS is kind of like calling the plumber to fix a leaky
pipe—you may think you’re going to save money by doing it yourself,
but you can easily end up spending, because you really didn’t
know what you were doing. It’s just one more example where being
smart is much better than being cheap.
In our modern world, “When you want a job done right, hire a
professional.” For martial arts schools, that professional is AMS.
To learn more about how AMS Billing can help your school
thrive, contact a friendly Billing Consultant at 1-800-275-1600.
CHIEF MASTER KIRK PELT is an 8th degree black belt and is the President of a multimillion
dollar, multi-school organization, has a 30-year track record of success, and is currently on
the leading edge of martial arts curriculum and business innovation.
98 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
A Touch of Zen
85 Kids Point MMA
2, 38, Atlas Martial Arts Software
50, 93 AtlasMartialArtsSoftware.com
55 Kovar Systems
Action Hero Photos
89 Learn the Sword
83 Action Mega Weekend
17 Adventures of Harry & Friends
11, 79 Amazing Martial Arts Websites
107 American Martial Arts Alliance
19, 68, AMS Billing
61, 75 AMSkids
26 Black Belt Principles
77 Break Like a Champ
81 Budo International Magazine
73 Extraordinary Marketing
15 Karen Eden
64 Kick Start Kids
91 Lee Milteer
53, 101 MA Biz Academy
105 Martial Arts Business Institute
95 Martial Arts History Museum
97 Sport Karate Museum
31, 45 Stephen K. Hayes - To-Shin Do
32 Tom Patire
30 Warrior Defence Lab
43, 67 Grandmaster Y. K. Kim
21 Grandmaster Zulfi Ahmed
MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1 99
THE WARRIOR WAY
Twenty Ways To Keep Your
Attitude Positive, Part 1
by Grandmaster Bill Clark
The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our
circumstances.” –Martha Washington
Being happy is not about circumstances or any other outside
force. Happiness is a decision we make. Choose to be happy. Be
responsible for your attitude.
Create a Positive Morning Routine
Begin your day on a positive note by creating a positive
morning routine to set your day off right!
• Get up with plenty of time to get ready leisurely.
• Turn on some happy or rousing music.
• Put on clothes that make you feel good (get
rid of the ones that don’t).
• Savor the smell of that first cup of coffee.
• Play motivational or inspirational audio in
your car rather than listen to the news or
mindless disc jockey banter.
• SMILE and say hi to everyone you
meet before they say hi to you!
I start the day with a
light martial arts workout,
followed by a protein
breakfast. I then start
my work, taking a
relaxed but focused
approach to each
Rid Your Day
Yourself With Happy People
If you want to live a positive, joyful and happy life, you cannot—absolutely
CANNOT—be surrounded by negative people
who aren’t encouraging your happiness. You know the type of
people I mean. The ones who think their lack of happiness in life
can be blamed on their spouse, boss, family, job, or the economy.
I’ve designed my life to be with my instructors, friends, and
other people that build each other and me up. I’ve made a conscious
decision not to allow negative people to stay in my life.
These people’s attitudes can quickly grow in you like a cancer.
Disassociate yourself from this type of person at once. Those
people are destined to go nowhere. You, however, because of
your excellent attitude, have a ticket to the TOP! Remember,
you choose whether you soar with the eagles or live with the
Minimize Your Exposure to Negative Situations
Stay out of negative conversations on social media. Limit TV
time, especially the news.
I don’t get into negative conversations with or about people.
I stay up to date with the news but I don’t spend all of my time
paying attention to the news.
Maximize Positive Input
Instead, read a positive book, start a project, pick up a new
hobby, spend some quality time with your family or friends, do
something that will enhance your life. Manage your time around
your goals. I constantly read and listen to positive recordings in
my cars. I regularly attend classes and seminars to keep improving
myself personally and professionally.
GRANDMASTER BILL CLARK is a 9th degree black belt and a former PKA Fighter of
the Year. He is widely considered one of the top experts in martial arts business with over 50 years
of leadership and innovation, having been inducted into almost every Hall of Fame in the industry. He
is one of the largest multi-school owners in the world.
100 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Mining for Instructors:
Planting the Seed, Part 3
by Grandmaster Zulfi Ahmed
Make Teaching a Part of Your Brown Belt Curriculum
Many schools already require black belt candidates to start
teaching to fulfill requirements towards their black belt-earning
process. The required amount of assisted teaching hours can vary
widely from 20 hours to over 200 hours. I recommend that you
start the teaching requirement process as early as a brown belt
and not wait until they begin the testing cycle.
The earlier you begin their indoctrination into
instructorship and other leadership roles, the
earlier you’ll see the benefits come to fruition
as they begin forming better teaching habits.
Early As White Belt
development as early as white belt?
Of course encourage leadership development
as early as white belt! After all, most
students come to us seeking confidence and
self-esteem development, so why not start the
process of giving them responsibility and earning
recognition as early as white belt? Start by
giving them simple, fun responsibilities
such as organizing the pads or bags,
helping with simple classroom management,
taking roll, calling class to
assemble in formation, or assist with
stripe awards. Once they reach the
intermediate level, begin giving
them larger and more important
responsibilities. They can even
lead warm-ups, count out loud
a certain skillset, or assist
younger, more junior students under the supervision of an adult
instructor. There’s always someone out there on your floor who
can one day become an outstanding instructor.
Have a Robust Instructor Training Program
Simply implementing all of the above ideas without actually
having a well-developed instructor development
and training program that clearly outlines the
process, guidelines, and requirements from white
belt to instructor will only keep students engaged
for so long. If you truly want to grow an instructor
base and have a good number of students benefit
from your education, it’s imperative that you
have a robust and systematic instructor, and even
a master instructor training program accessible
and available to all your qualified instructor candidates.
To achieve this, you need to clearly define the process and
curriculum for your school and get it organized in a manner that
allows you to start teaching and implementing it in your school.
A Clearly Defined Process For Your Students
When your students can actually observe other students
participating and benefiting from your instructor training program,
they, too, will want to become a part of this exciting process. But
they must first see the teaching and training in action for themselves.
The culture of instructors differs from that of the student
body in that there are many privileges and various aspects to instructorship
that differ from normal student life, such as invitations
to special events, discounts, beautifully adorned certificates of
achievement, and many other tangible and intangible benefits that
come with being an instructor. But, most of all, the status, respect,
and skill level of the martial artist must be visible by everyone.
Every student is a potential future instructor.
GRANDMASTER ZULFI AHMED has amassed acclaim as a world-class competitor, martial
arts educator, and is most notably founder and designer of the internationally renowned style, Bushi Ban.
With over 45 years of martial arts experience and over 300 martial arts awards, his schools include ten
locations across Texas.
102 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
Photograph by JackF
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Tools & Tactics
Let the Retention Rise
by Ms. Chris Lee
For starters, enrollment is the growth of a martial arts school business, and retention is
the maintaining of enrollment.
Right there, you can already see the connection. However,
many schools promote themselves in a manner such that their
purpose focuses entirely on enrollment. This is fine since, after all,
bringing in new students is what helps the school grow. Yet
what’s being overlooked is the importance of retention.
Some schools create goals such as bringing in ten
new students this month—difficult, but achievable.
All of their goals are based on growth. This coincides
with all businesses’ customers as well, but
why? There’s something
missing in this picture.
If they achieve
their goal and bring in
twelve new students,
what good is it if ten leave?
I wouldn’t consider that a goal
reached. Sure, there’s an addition
of two students, but that’s not an
accomplished goal because there
isn’t enough focus on keeping
students enrolled in martial arts.
The goal of enrolling new
students is a great mindset
and action to take, but
schools need to find a way
to incorporate retention as
well. The best way to do
this is to alter your promotions,
deals, and attention
from not only on the
outside audience, but also
to the current students
of your school. I suggest
allowing your students
to bring a friend for free
whenever they like. This
doesn’t cost you anything and may be all a new visitor needs to be
attracted to martial arts and your school.
By improving the focus of our promotions, we can assure our
current students to stay while bringing in new students, thus creating
more enrollments. It can’t be enrollment if you’ve lost
just as many students in the time being. Acting now on
this path will not only make your school grow, but it
will strengthen it as well. If a school begins focusing
on maintaining retention a little more than just more
enrollments, the enrollments might benefit from this
move. For example, let’s say a martial arts school
enrolled 28 new students in September for their
after school program, but lost 19 students—a surplus
of only nine students. These 19 students are likely to
never come back.
The next month, there were only two new students, but five
more students left, because their friends left the month before
or because parents were frustrated by the massive changes
in the school with its dramatic gains and losses. By December,
the school may be in the negative since the school year began
because of the amount of losses it had. This kind of situation is
not only due to a lack of enrollment, but to an even greater lack
of maintaining the students that were already enrolled. Now, if
we reversed the direction to promoting retention just as much as
enrollment, this will be a likely scenario. The school will add 16
new students for the after school program and lose a low amount
of two students—a surplus of 14. The next month, it only adds six
new students and loses only one. By December, no students are
leaving and the school is in a surplus of 30 or more students and
counting. This action will develop a minimum of students lost while
still gaining enough students to see growth. Remember, a student
staying is a student gained.
Follow these rules and your school shall prosper in coming
For more information regarding retention, please feel free to
call my Marketing Consultant colleagues or me at 1-800-275-1600.
MS. CHRIS LEE is a martial arts business development consultant with a background in online and
social media marketing.
104 MARTIAL ARTS WORLD NEWS VOLUME 22 | ISSUE 1
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