What chance to we have?

I’m sat at my laptop responding to emails, message and updating records. Standard administration day!

Facebook plays a huge role in my business presence and around 25% of all communication happens through this platform. As I run a karate school, my algorithm is set to sell me ‘7 figure martial arts companies’ or ‘getting “high paying” clients through the door’, etc

I can (for a fee) let someone tell, show or do my advertising to get people through my door. Sounds good, right?

The latest one has a video of around 100 people in a room doing something crappy and calling itself martial arts. It starts by asking me if I am adding 20-40 high paying students each month? A 7 figure Dojo jumpstart program you say? So people pay a fortune for this I am seeing in front of me?

‘High Paying Members’ is my first issue. Straight away you create something that excludes something that we should all have access to. 7 Figures? So I could earn a million on the back of something that benefits who? And why are you not asking – Do you run an ethical business, do you have the right qualifications to teach, are you in good standing with your community. The sad fact is….

Many sports have fallen victim to American Franchise models

Money is needed. I absolutely accept that. Making a living from what I do is stressful but rewarding. I’ve made no money and I’ve made lots of money and I know that lots of money made my life easier.

Most people don’t know much about the things they sign their children up to (especially martial arts), and I’m going to assume that they assume that that club has the students best interests at heart. But this is not a level playing field.

People invest money into clever advertising campaigns and those selling those services do not care about the quality of what they are selling

The sad fact is some of the best clubs out there do not have the advertising budget or (like me) wont use funds to give unscrupulous snake oil companies, money which will push prices up for their members.

I accept that the amount of choice out there has made people work harder to provide a better product – so consumers have both more choice and access to some fantastic sports coaching. But, they also stand a chance of being led by donkeys who care more about profit than the people they have built there fortunes upon.

Remember. Sports that sell products (ie kit) and membership fees make the most amount of money in the first few months of you joining. So if you quit and they replace you – they can make vast amounts of money than if they kept you.

The cycle goes – they invest in getting you in the door, sell you stuff (get the whole family to join) and repeat the process.

Not all clubs are equal

It may (or may not) disturb you know that there is a chain of martial arts schools that let anyone teach from any grade (as long as you attend regular lessons for them to give you a script). So you can teach after a few months, should you wish to.

It may (or may not) disturb you to know that you can teach without ANY qualifications and many grades are self awarded. The truly frightening thing is – Did you know it’s assumed that I have a DBS (criminal record check) and in theory you could teach without one! It couldn’t happen if you belong to a reputable organisation as they will check. But, of the 9 venues I teach in only one has ever asked to see my DBS and insurance – which means 8 take it on face value. (Kudos to Radcliffe St Mary’s Church who wont let me take a foot through the door without


And NO ONE has EVER checked my teaching qualifications. Let that sink in for a moment.

Clever marketing. Hiring apathetic venues. You could be a karate instructor straight out of prison with no qualifications.

What chance do the good schools have when you are more likely to hear about your clubs through clever marketing than word of mouth? When you hand over outrageous sums of money which propagate greed over product and deny those who need sport a chance.

PRICE IS WHAT YOU PAY. VALUE IS WHAT YOU GET. They are not necessarily the same thing.

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