Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Martial Arts Instructor One Man Show Pt. 1

I remember when I opened my first Martial Arts School... I was teaching class, answering the phone, taking out the trash, and signing up students all by myself. Most school owners start out in this scenario, and unfortunately most get stuck and continue to operate in this scenario.

You have to ask yourself some questions: How long do I plan on doing everything myself? Did I plan on running a business or owning a business? If I got sick right now, for an entire week and could not get out of bed, what would happen? Would business continue as normal for that week, or would all hell break loose? What about 1 month?

Nobody will care about your business as much as you and (although many come very close) they will always fall short in their passion and dedication. This fact must be accepted. You have to be willing to let someone else do an OK job at cleaning the toilet several times until you can teach them how you want it to be done. You have to accept that when you put a new staff member in charge of the front desk they will bomb some sales. You have to learn to accept the fact that they are NOT as good as you.

I believe business owners make the same justifications I did for years: "I can't afford to let someone else sign a new student up!", "I can't afford to let (instructor X) experiment with the warmup because students will quit.", "I'll just clean the mat myself, because if you want something done right you have to do it yourself!"

Welcome to being a One-Man-Show! Look forward to years of working day in and day out doing the same repetitive tasks, limiting your student body growth, and living like a control freak. Watch awesome potential staff members come and go because you didn't provide them with an opportunity for growth. Put all your eggs in one basket, and assume you will have the desire and ability to kick and punch every single day for the rest of your life. Sound like a good plan? I didn't think so.

We want to establish our school so that we teach the classes we enjoy, we still have time for our family, we can take a day or week off when necessary, and we perform the tasks that are most productive and enjoyable to us because we want to; not because we have to.

How do we transition from a One-Man-Show to a delegating tasks and getting the pressure off our back? Most importantly, how do we do this for low or no cost? Most school owners in this position cannot afford to hire a staff member because they are stuck in the transitional phase. There are many FREE options to accomplish this even if you cannot afford to hire someone and we will discuss this in Part 2.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Actual FREE Martial Arts Drills Found On The Internet

This is a humorous collection of my absolute favorite FREE Martial Arts drills I have found on the Internet. Typographical and grammatical errors left for effect. You truly get what you pay for....




Date Added: 10/16/2004

This is a game aimed at children in the 4 to 8 year age group. 

The instructor has a focus opad and explains to the children the the pad is the face of a criminal. The criminal has just broken into their hoomes and is in their bedrooms holding a large knife or batton. The criminal is about to attack them and they have to defend themselves by punching or kicking the criminal's face, which is the focus pad.

Sounds like the perfect game for a 4-8 year old. Imagining someone breaking into their room at night with a knife or baton is fun fun fun!

If the student is too slow or punches/kicks too softly or for any technical reason does not perform the skill correctly, the instructor taps the kid on top of the head and shouts "you're dead" and gives the reason to the student for the tap. The instructor must tap the student on the head very lightly to prevent injury.

The kids shriek with exitement when playing this game. 

I don't think that is excitement they are shrieking with. That might have something to do with the fact that you are smacking a child on the head and shouting, "Your dead!"

 Tsung Sau Mo #1

From: Perry

Organization: ACA Combat

Date Added: 8/4/2008

Three students stand in a triangle pattern 10 ft apart. The student at the top of the triangle is the defender. Student in bottom left of triangle runs in and performs lunging side thrust kick at chest or head level.

Defender Ducks down completely and dives forward so that the kick passes right over their head and their shoulder impacts the kicker's inner thigh on the support leg or groin. The defender traps the support leg and stands up quickly so that the attacker is lifted completely off the ground and thrown.

You lost me somewhere around the part where someone runs in and performs a flying side kick to my groin.

Without hesitation the student in the bottom right of the triangle runs forward and tries a lunging side thrusting kick but low. This time the defender must jump over the kick and deliver a flying knee strike or punch and yell.

I was confused for a bit there, but then I read the descriptive title again and it cleared everything up for me.

Flying Fucus Pad
From: Derrick Maretti

Organization: Superkids Martial Arts FL

Date Added: 9/4/2008

Lightly hold a square fucus target so the student can strike it with any technique and send it flying as far as it will go.

What is a fucus pad and how exactly is that pronounced?

For Martial Arts drills that don't require extensive child therapy, local law enforcement involvement, and paramedics for groin injuries check out  or visit our facebook for tons of free Martial Arts drills and Martial Arts games for kids.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teaching Martial Arts to Children Utilizing Time Out

Whether you teach kids Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, or MMA, we all have children in our martial arts program that are difficult to teach. Watch this video for tips on how to teach kids martial arts, and utilize a time out box effectively!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Teaching Martial Arts to Children 4-6 years old

Here is a collection tips and advice for teaching Martial Arts to children 4-6 years old. Such as teaching little dragons, teaching little ninjas, teaching tiny tigers, etc...

Tip #1 - It's Not Chocolate
Remind them before every class to go to the restroom first. If you see something brown or dark colored on the floor don't pick it up with your bare hands!

Tip #2  - Colored Tape
I recommend putting small strips of colored electric tape on the mat in the places where you want your 4-6 year olds to line up or stand. This will make your lineup process 100% faster, gives them a place to stand so they keep still, and serves as reference point or markers for games and drills
Tip #3 - Age Specific Classes
I strongly recommend putting 4-6 year olds in their own class because they obviously require completely different teaching methods. If your methods are efficient you will be giving equal attention to everyone, but if a student isn't getting enough attention they will get bored, become disruptive, and/or quit.. If you place a 4-6 year old in a class with older children or... *cringe* ... with adults, you will be working harder to get much less results. Your class will not meet the needs of either the age group and you will continue to wonder why your program/school isn't growing.

 Tip #4 - Imagination
4-6 Year olds are still discovering the concept that they are not the center of the universe, so avoid games that involve too much teamwork. Many games that have more complicated concepts or directions will simply be out of the realm of possibility for them, limiting you to more simple games. However, kids in this age group love using their imagination, so take a simple game and make it fun or different by allowing them to use their imagination. Examples would be telling them they are ninjas during dodgeball, or they are kicking monsters, etc..

Tip #5 - Time Out
Have a Time Out Box and use it! If I have someone sit in the time out box, you should always ask them to restate why they are sitting out and what they need to do next time.
Tip #6- Discipline
You have to be silly at times, but always remain consistent with discipline. They will test you every class, and if you cave in 1 time its a major setback. How many times have you seen a parent in the lobby with a child saying," No jimmy, put it down, I mean it, I said put it down, come here jimmy, stop running from me jimmy, do you want time out jimmy, sit still, do you want me to take you home, I mean it, now sit here." It is my personal rule to never to tell a child to do something more than twice. If they do not follow directions after the 2nd time, they are sitting out on the side in the time out box. That is my policy and it works because it has always been and always will be. They know this. They learn to be "first time listeners" because if they don't do something the first time, they will be corrected, and if they don't do it again, they will be sitting out for a while. 

Tip #7- Emotionless Corrections
Never EVER get angry when you correct a child, and try to be almost completely emotionless and matter of fact about it. They don't take it personal when you do this and they understand its not me being mean, its simply just what happens when they don't listen. Its like when they put their hand in fire, it burns but they aren't upset with the fire. I believe this solves many issues with pouting and temper tantrums, which by the way you should completely ignore. If a tantrum distracts the class or continues longer than a few moments I escort the child into the lobby and have them sit with mom and dad and watch the rest of class. If this happens more than once we re-evaluate whether this program is for their child or not.

Tip #8 - Constant Change
Change activities every 3-5 minutes because 4-6 year old attention spans cannot handle anything more. If you are going to talk, keep it under 1-2 minutes max.

Tip #9 Short Term Rewards
I award my 4-6 year old with a sticker at the end of every class if they didn't have to sit in time out more than once that day. Its a great short term reward system. Many 4-6 year olds are not capable of understanding a goal such as a new belt in several months. We have to teach them this. Why do you think Kindergartners have a behavior system of colored cards that gets reset each day or week?

Tip #10 - Always Change It Up!
You shouldn't be doing the same boring games, and the same drills again and again. They will lose interest, and you will lose interest too. Check out some of the drills we offer:

Jeremy Molley is the owner of For more free drills, videos, and tips become a facebook fan. Also check out for hundreds of video drills including Martial Arts Warmups for children.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Martial Arts is Too Expensive!

I hear this statement from time to time and I think its important for your students and parents to know exactly where their money is going. Often I hear Martial Arts compared to team sports, gymnastics, YMCA memberships, etc.. If you are comparing Martial Arts lessons to any of these activities you are making a fundamental mistake. Lets examine a typical Martial Arts Program, in this case the Active Martial Arts Program, for a moment so you can understand exactly what you are paying for.

Martial Arts is not a “sport” or an “activity”, its a lifestyle. For thousands of years entire civilizations and cultures have lived by and continue to live by the values our program is based on. Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, Courage, Honor, and Community. Yes some aspects of martial arts have been taken a made into a sport, but that is not what our lessons are about. That is called a tournament and is completely different. We don't attend “practices” we attend lessons or classes. We don't have “games” we have testings. The entire purpose of our program is higher education. This is not a game, and we aren't just another afterschool "activity". To compare our program to something like swimming or gymnastics is like comparing a car to a roller skate. 

What are the biggest concerns in our society right now?

1.Lack of Confidence and Self Esteem
2.Lack of Discipline and Self Discipline
3.Protecting yourself or loved ones
5.Poor role models
6.Obesity and poor health conditions
7.Lack of respect for others and one's self.

This is a very bold statement, and I challenge you to prove me wrong.

Our program is the only program in the world that address all these concerns in 2-3 lessons per week in 1 hour or less.

Go ahead, pull out the yellow pages or google and see what you can find. The only thing that comes even remotely close is the Military which is not an option for children and is a far greater commitment than a few lessons per week for an adult.

Lets now focus on the benefits of martial arts and exactly how we accomplish this because you deserve to know exactly what you are paying for:

Our reward/ranking system improves self esteem. Every time you earn a new belt, stripe, etc.. you know you have worked hard for it and it wasn't given to you. Through board breaking, sparring against larger classmates, and performing in front of others you will learn to handle stressful situations without relying on teamwork or others. Martial arts is all about YOU. We make the weak strong, and the strong even stronger! Nobody sits on the bench in our program and there are no star players.

2. Our class structure teaches Self discipline. For the past twelve years I have had parents coming to me at least once a week thanking me for doing what they have the most difficult time doing: making their child sit still, making their child listen and follow directions, setting boundaries, sticking to them, and holding them accountable for their actions. We train students to have self discipline. Discipline is where I tell you to do something and you do it because I said so. Self-Discipline is when you do something on your own because you know you should. See the difference? “Mr. Molley how do you get him to listen! I don't know how you do it!” Well, I know how I do it. Spending years studying child development and social dynamics, and practicing every day through Martial Arts Teaching.

3. Our program teaches you Self Defense skills that could save your life. I will repeat that: Save your life. I have had more than one student placed in a life threatening situation and thank me personally for giving them the skills/ and or confidence to protect themselves. Words cannot describe how I feel when a parent comes to me to tell me how their child stood up to the bully at school. The words many of them used were “Priceless Training”. Don't take my word for it, watch one of my students who fought off an armed attacker in a home invasion last year in Monroe. Read the news.

4. Our program teaches you to deal with stress in a healthy way. Stress is normal, and we teach you to manage it in many ways such as proper breathing, relaxing, learning to handle a failure/defeat, and confronting problems before they become huge problems. In fact, one of the reasons we bow when entering the training floor is to symbolize emptying the mind of all the problems going on outside the training floor. Forget your issues and focus on the here and now because that is all that matters.

5. We provide positive role models. We don't just talk the talk, we walk the walk. Our instructors undergo criminal background checks and are selected based on character and not simply skill. We are not professional athletes paid millions of dollars to play a game. We are professional life coaches and role models for the students. I take this very seriously and have removed some of the most physically talented martial artists from the program in the past because they did not meet our standards. I don't care if you can fly through the air and break bricks with one finger, if you can't follow the tenets you will not be an instructor, and I may not even take you as a student.

6. Our lessons will get you in great shape, and educate you on how to take care of your body for the long term. We do not develop short term athletes such as Football, UFC fighters, etc.. Our program is designed to develop lifetime martial artists. In fact a university study was done on our specific style of Taekwondo (which our striking program is based in) with years of research into body mechanics and hip/posture alignment. Many traditional methods can cause injuries over time. We have improved upon these techniques and have a program that is designed to be safe throughout your lifetime. I have had black belts at my family's school that were in their 70's and have even trained students in their 90's. My original Taekwondo instructor is in his 70's and is still in amazing shape looking decades younger than his age. The most dangerous and hardest contact you will receive in our program is if you trip and fall on the ground, and you can do that just walking to the mailbox. I doubt you have 1.5 inch olympic grade Judo padded training mats by your mailbox.

7. We teach respect for others and respect for one's self. From the moment you walk through the door and are greeted by an instructor (by name) and are expected to say “Hello sir/mam!” to the moment we end class by bowing to the instructors and saying “Thank you sir/mam!” you will realize how much respect is a part of our lessons. We bow to partners and others as a greeting and mutual sign of respect. When I was training in Korea I watched an entire elementary school line up in attention as they got on the bus, even bowing to the bus driver! A complete stranger commented that one of my 4 year old Wolf Pup students was on the playground and helped her daughter down the slide because she was afraid. He looked her in the eyes and shook her hand with a polite greeting that is part of our curriculum. Again, nothing can match our lessons of respect.

8. You will enjoy training because its fun! Why not surround yourself with others who are living healthy lifestyles, improving their lives, and having a great time. In the children's classes it may look like they are just playing a game but I assure you it has an important purpose that will be the subject of an entirely different post.

So again, I challenge you to find something that matches what we do, period. There is no comparison. I am not even talking about the price. I remember my first semester of College cost me $600 for books. Just the books! That's almost 6 months of tuition in our program! I have asked a question to the hundreds of black belts I have trained and their parents. It is the same question my instructor asked me. I am getting teary eyed just thinking about it...

“If I were to give you $100,000 dollars, but everything you have learned throughout your training was forgotten, and every single memory of the journey disappeared. Would you do it?”

When he asked me this it took me 5 seconds to say, “No sir”. Then he upped it to $1,000,000. I really thought about this for a while because that's a lot of money. Eventually I said “No Sir.” That was a defining moment in my life. The moment I realized that martial arts training was priceless.

-Jeremy Molley

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