Rank Up Podcast: Organizing Curriculum

By Michael Hodge | Instructors

Aug 11

Listen to This Episode

Introducing Rank Up, my new podcast that will teach you how to become a world-class martial arts instructor, which leads to growing a thriving martial arts school. This podcast is for instructors looking to rank up; both as teachers and business owners. We go in-depth on running classes, managing your team, marketing, teaching with purpose, and secrets that other instructors either don’t know about, or are too lazy to take action on.

About this Episode

In this episode, Michael Hodge (the founder of the GMAU and lead contributor of the Certified Martial Arts Teacher course), takes you through how and why you should organize your curriculum. What you’ll learn:

  • Why you need a curriculum.
  • Linear curriculum – the pros and the cons.
  • Rotating curriculum – what it is, how to create one, and the big benefits.
  • Use upgrade programs to teach your advanced material.
  • Why making curriculum changes on a whim is a very bad idea.
  • The importance of having all of your instructors on the same page.
  • Why you should have a video curriculum, and how it greatly benefits you, your students, your instructors, and your entire school.
  • A question from a listener about changing a traditional curriculum. Should you adapt or be more conservative with your curriculum?

Why You Need an Organized Curriculum for Your School

Welcome to Rank Up, where you will learn how to grow your martial arts school and become an elite instructor. My name is Michael Hodge, and I’m the founder of the Global Martial Arts University. I’m also one of the contributors to the Certified Martial Arts Teacher Course and Certification, where we actually work with individuals who want to become world-class instructors, and not just know how to teach martial arts, but make a really deep impact in all their students’ lives, and be very successful professionally in what they do.

And this episode, we’re going to talk about organizing your curriculum, why you need a curriculum, what’s the difference between a linear and a rotating curriculum? What’s the issues with making curriculum changes on a whim, whenever you want to, and everything else related to this.

So, first of all, why do you actually need a curriculum in your martial arts school? Whether you’re teaching 500 students in a facility, or you have an association with 50 schools under you, or you’re just teaching 10-20 students out of your garage, you need a curriculum, you need a written, clear, stated curriculum that you can use for rank requirements.

You can use this to make it easy to plan classes. You can use this for a variety of reasons. Now, many martial artists that start teaching don’t really put thought into their curriculum, or they just take what was given to them, and they pretty much make copies of it and continue to use it.

You really need to put some time into understanding why this curriculum was made, if you didn’t make it, and potentially modifying things to fit this purpose of your school.

Again, it comes down to, what is the purpose of your school? Are you trying to create world champion competitors? Are you teaching realistic self-defense? Is it more about fitness? Is it more about self-improvement, or really, you know, respecting the traditional martial arts themselves? What is your school all about?

So, whenever you consider your curriculum, you need to use this, so that you can have rank requirements that are set. You need to know what it’s going to take for you to rank a student up. Your students also want to know this, and it needs to be clear. Because if not, you’re kind of just pulling things out of your hat, and that’s not going to be a good class environment, a good structured, organized program.

Students can see things falling apart around them, whenever you change something, and they earned… They had to do something to earn their yellow belt, six months later you change things without really telling everyone about it, or you’re making special adjustments for one student.

Those aren’t things that will please anyone. So it also makes it a lot easier to plan classes when you know, “Hey, this is my curriculum, this is what we’re supposed to work on for the next three months for this reason, because it’s our rotating curriculum,” or, “This is everything my students that are trying to earn their yellow belt, have to know their green belt,” whatever it is.

You can more easily plan classes. You kind of just pick and choose techniques that you need to work on, create drills for those, and your class planning will be much more successful.

You can also properly schedule the appropriate number of classes. So when you know what your students are going to need to learn, in advance, you’re going to do a better job of scheduling the right amount of classes. You don’t want to start teaching 20, 30, 40 classes a week for 80 or 100 students, right? You need to be intelligent about your class planning and your class scheduling.

A good curriculum can give your students a plan. So giving your students a handbook, whether it’s a digital PDF handbook that is e-mailed to them, or that’s on your student website, or that you even print out, and give to them when they sign up, can be very helpful.

Because they’re like, “Hey, this is my road map. This is what I need to do to get from white to black.” Well, this is the sort of thing you could actually give to your students, whether you do a linear or rotating curriculum, because you could basically have it as an index or a reference for them.

And another reason to have an organized curriculum is it keeps your own thoughts clear. You know, as martial arts instructors, you’ve probably done different styles. You might have multiple black belts, and things can kind of cross over, right?

They can kind of merge and blend. And what can happen is that we don’t really have a crystal clear view on what we’re teaching right now to this group of students. You really need to have that clear. You can easily basically create those distinctions.

Now you really want to have a written curriculum, literally, just a Word document, and type it all out. Very simple, have each belt level, and then have each subsection. So whether it be strikes, forms, self-defense, things like that, that are subsections within your curriculum, and a good written curriculum that you can easily open up and edit, print out whenever you need to, is going to be helpful.

Even better, create a video curriculum, and we’ll talk about this a little bit later on in our episode today, but having your curriculum on video is going to be incredibly useful for yourself, for your students and for any instructors that you ever hire to work with you on your team.

There’s not going to be a question about how you guys do something. We realize there are millions of, thousands of different ways to throw punches, right? But how is it supposed to be done for this punch in your school? That’s something that really should be hashed out, and whenever it’s just written, it can be left to an open-ended conclusions. I mean, it’s hard to tell what that means. Even photos can be left to open into conclusions often times.

Whereas, video really does capture exactly what you want. And for your curriculum, definitely have white all the way to black belt. Or if there are levels, you might not use belts, you might use sashes, you might use chevrons, you might use levels, levels one through six, or whatever it might be. And ideally also, the first few master black belt levels, such as second degree black belt, third degree black belt.

Now, if you’re just starting out, you might just have white to black belt, but at some point, you’re definitely going to want to have those next levels ready and prepared, so that you know what you’re going to be telling your advanced students. Their requirements are to get to that point.


What is a Linear Curriculum?

Okay, so let’s talk about a linear curriculum. So, many martial artists went through a linear curriculum, especially if you’re in a traditional school. When I was a kid, I went to a school that was a mixture of karate and TaeKwonDo, mainly based in Shotokan karate. But we had a linear curriculum, so we had a printed curriculum handbook that we were actually given when we signed up, which was awesome because I’m like, “Okay, this is exactly what I need to learn to get my yellow, but this is exactly what I need to learn to get all of my different belts, all the way to black belt.” And I can look at that, and I could study it, and pretty much cross things off my list.

So I knew exactly what techniques, what one steps we had to learn, what forms or Katas that we had to learn, and what sparring requirements there were. And it was for each level. So you had to do these specific things in order to pass a test to get that belt. That’s a linear curriculum. It’s chronological, it’s sequential. It really is a great way to learn.

So in the Global Martial Arts University, in our online courses, we actually do use a linear curriculum, and it’s an amazing experience. But the thing is, students are able to learn on their own, on their own time. They go through lessons and classes. Whenever they have time, they can go exactly in order. Whenever they’re ready, they do their assignments and they do their test. There’s not a group class that they’re being given by their instructors, so a linear curriculum works great in this situation.

It works really good in online classes. In setups like this, it works really good, if you’re doing private lessons or even very small groups. Linear curriculums can create problems whenever you have lots of different belt levels, right? So it might be easy in the first three, six, nine months. You go, “Everyone’s a white belt, everyone’s kind of all on the same page. I can teach everyone the same thing.”.

Once you’re a couple of years in, and you’re teaching a linear curriculum, it can really create difficulty, and it can give, put a big strain on your schedule. A lot of schools have to open up a beginner class and intermediate class and advanced class. Whenever it’s time to do forms, or a very level specific type of technique, they have to break their class up into three or four or five groups. Do you have three or four or five instructors on the mat?

Probably not. So there are some challenges there. It could obviously be done. There are many schools that do this very successfully. So how can you have a very successful linear curriculum? Well, of course it can still be done. It’s a way, the way you manage your class, it’s how you run a group class.

So you could actually do somewhat of a mixture. You could actually rotate between your basic techniques and your self-defenses every three months, if you want to. But when it’s time to do forms or kata you could actually split up your class into a couple of different groups as they work on their Katas. That is one way to do it. Or you can actually keep your whole class together for the warmups, for the black belt skill drill, for the kicking drill, or the blocking drill, or the sparring section. But when you do Katas, you might break everyone up, because it’s very level specific. That’s one way that could be done.


What is a Rotating Curriculum?

Now let’s go ahead and look at a rotating curriculum. So I, like I told you, I always did a linear curriculum growing up. That was the style that I worked through, and when I first started my school, I continued to teach that style and we had a linear curriculum.

It was in 2009 that I switched over to a rotating curriculum. I just literally switched everything, and my students weren’t like, “Oh, what are you doing? Why are you starting a rotating curriculum?” They didn’t really know what that meant, but a rotating curriculum or a performance-based curriculum, is one where you take your entire curriculum, and you break it up into, let’s say, four three-month rotations. You take everything, you just pull, dump it all into a pot, and dump all of your strikes, your blocks, your kicks, your self-defenses, your counter combos, or whatever you have, dump it all into a pot, and just split it up into four groups.

Or you might have eight. You might want eight groups, eight different rotations that are three months each, maybe six rotations that are three months each. Those are all different options. And the idea behind this is, in most martial arts styles, it really doesn’t matter what you learned first, you could learn an elbow strike or a palm strike first. You could learn a back kick or a front kick. You can learn many Katas before the other Katas.

Of course, there are some very simple Katas at the beginning, and styles that teach you the pattern of footwork. But beyond that, many basic techniques are simply interchangeable. So it’s important to realize that we’ve been kind of conditioned in martial arts to think, “Oh no, you can’t learn that kick until you’re a red belt.” Or, “There’s no way you can teach someone that self-defense move until…” There are some advanced types of training, such as full contact fighting, some ground defense materials, some weapons defenses, and I’ll get into how we can actually address that with upgrade programs in a little bit.

But for our rotating curriculum, we actually want to focus this on our basic or our general class. And that’s what I’m going to talk about in a moment. The way I do it is, I have a basic general class that all of my students go to. Whether you’re a white belt or you’re a brown belt, you still go to this class. This is where we have our core curriculum, and I currently do four three-month rotations.

At the end of each month, there’s a stripe test over the material that was practiced and trained on during that month. At the end of three months, they should have already earned three martial arts stripes. They also had to earn three stripes, for their character development or homework assignments. So once they earn their six stripes, they’re then able to test or graduate up to the next belt level. What happens with the rotating curriculum is, you end up repeating material, so the material we do in February of this year, we’re probably going to do again in February of next year, but we’re going to drill it in different ways.

We’re going to keep it fun and exciting and dynamic, but clearly, you need to disguise that repetition. You need to embed these techniques into muscle memory, and this is also a benefit with linear curriculum. Sometimes you’ll work on material for your green belt, and then you never really do it again, because you don’t cycle back through. So rotating curriculums allow you to cycle back through material.

Now, the biggest benefit of rotating curriculum is you’re able to teach all ranks in one class. Again, you’re probably going, “What? How am I going to teach a red belt and a yellow belt the same thing?” Because the red belt might have already done this same material one or two years ago, but again, you’re probably drilling it in different ways and keeping it fresh. The yellow belt is learning for the first time ever. When you learn it for the first time ever, clearly going to be more challenging, it’s going to take them more time.

That red belt’s going to be able to set the example, set the pace for the class and not, not really have to just mentor, and not get their own training in, but they’re also getting those additional cycle through reps, taking them to that black belt level of excellence. That’s what you need to be a great martial artist. You don’t need to do a technique once, and just memorize all the moves so you can pass your test.

Clearly, some people think that is a way to do it, but even if you have a linear curriculum, you don’t want to subscribe to that, right? You need to be cycling through in some way. You need to make sure your students are polishing the things that they’ve already learned somehow, right? We don’t want it just to be about cramming, memorizing, just to pass the test, and then kind of forget everything, you know?

“But now I have my belts.” That’s really not the point. So I talked a little bit, oh, actually, I have a very important point. Rotating curriculum, another huge benefit, is going to be regarding your scheduling.

So you’re able to offer a couple of classes a week or more, as many as you want, but at different times. So you might have for a kid’s program, like, a four o’clock class and a six o’clock class, and a four o’clock class and a six o’clock class a couple of times. And it’s a general class.

It doesn’t matter what rank they are, so you’re able to offer different time slots, but now, you’re not having to offer a beginner, intermediate and advanced class, four o’clock and a six o’clock type of class. You’re going to have 12, 14, 16 classes just for the five- to seven-year-olds, or eight- to 12-year-olds, and it gets way out of hand. And then you’re going to have some classes with, like, four kids show up.

You’re going to have your advanced class with two kids that come to it. Your beginner class will have 14, your intermediate class has four. You’re going to be teaching a Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. class that has six people in it. You don’t want to do that. You want to make sure your classes are close to full capacity always.

Because first of all, the entire classroom floor has much more energy, which gives you a lot more energy. As an instructor, it’s much more fun to teach, and you’re maximizing your time. I mean, as an instructor, it gets demoralizing to teach 10 or 20 classes a week that have five kids or under in each one. That is a sign you need to modify your curriculum and your scheduling.

So if you have not yet started your own school, or even if you’ve been running a school for two or 20 or 30 years, please consider switching to a rotating curriculum, or something like a rotating curriculum, even if it’s a mix of the two, and simplifying your schedule, so that you can be as close to your max capacity as possible, in every class that you do offer.


Use Upgrade Programs to Teach Advanced Curriculum

So earlier, I hinted at upgrade programs, and by that I mean black belt club or elite training, or black belt training, or whatever you call it. So, this could be an entire different episode, and it probably will be in the future, but an upgrade program gives your students the opportunity to have a bigger, larger, fuller experience with you. They want that. They don’t just want your basic general class.

At first, that’s great. They’re just totally enthralled by you as an instructor, by the training, by the group, by their peers, it’s awesome. Down the line, they kind of want more. Your biggest fans want more of you, want more from you. It’s not wrong to give them more value, and to give them more benefits.

So you can add on an extra 15 minutes to the end of each of your classes, called black belt training, or whatever you want to call that, where everyone else goes home, that’s just in basic training. But once you’re in black belt training, you stay for that extra 15 minutes. On A Day, you might do sparring, and on B Day, you might do weapons.

For example, it could be something totally different. A Day, you do advanced self-defense drills, B Day, you do Brazilian Jujitsu. Your upgrade program might be Brazilian Jujitsu, but what you do with your upgrade program, as well is, you can create, you can do your advanced material, you can put that advanced material that you’re thinking , “Oh, well how am I supposed to teach white belts? You know, jumping, spinning kicks? That doesn’t make sense.”.

So you can have multiple upgrade programs, such as black belt training, and elite training, or whatever you want to call it, even leadership training. The way that I did it in my school, whenever I ran a full time commercial school is, we had basic training, black belt training, elite training and leadership training, okay?

So, basic training, you would come twice a week, a couple, two or three times a week to your general class. This is where you train your meat and potatoes of the curriculum. Black belt training, we did it, again, an extra 15 minutes at the end of each basic training class, if you’re enrolled in the black belt training. And on A Day, we did sparring drills, on B Day, we did weapons.

Elite training was a once a week class. We did advanced weapons, we did competition, we did full sparring. So this is where we had more advanced material. And in leadership training, it was really more about being a leader, helping out on the mat, even an instructor- and training-type program. And we would do demo team training and very advanced stuff.

So you can use your upgrade programs to introduce that advanced material, as they’re still working on their general core fundamentals in their regular class, if that makes sense.

And the way you can do your upgrade program is, a couple of belt levels in, you can invite the student to try out. If they pass the trial, they get to be in the class. The way I have it in my program right now is, most students get invited five months into their training, and that’s when they usually move into black belt training.

But after nine months, which is the first three belts, you have to move into black belt training, or you can’t continue. Because we start doing sparring drills, and things like that, and we actually start doing sparring as well. And that’s a requirement. That’s a requirement for my curriculum. But what we, the way it’s worded, the way it’s tiered out, is that you continue to come to your basic training class, and you do the black belt training.

So upgrade programs allow you to do rotating curriculum and still do your advanced material only for the intermediate, advanced students, but in a way that’s very manageable on your schedule. And of course you can do upgrade programs with the linear curriculum as well.


Don’t Make Curriculum Changes on a Whim

So let’s talk about some other things to consider and keep in mind with our curriculum. Don’t make curriculum changes on a whim. Don’t just decide because, some guest instructor came in, or some dad of one of your students is like, “Oh, you know, I used to do Goju Ryu, whenever I was a young adult, and blah, blah, blah,, and this isn’t how we did this and this isn’t how we do that.”.

Or you go to a seminar, and someone kind of changes your mind about something. Don’t make curriculum changes on a whim, just because one person’s told you to do it, or one person got upset about it. One person doesn’t consider the full scope of what you’re doing, okay? So whenever you make a curriculum change, really… Take it to heart, you know, talk or work with your whole instructor team. Maybe even ask your instructor, ask your association, things like that.

And yeah, you might even be part of an association or Federation, where you’re like, “Whoa, what are you talking about, making a curriculum change? I’m not allowed to do that.” And that is possible. But you know, some instructors just decide to omit things or to add things. It’s really adding things that can be dangerous.

Because you know, if you admit something, and you really pare it back to the most essential, that’s not going to make the training worse. I mean, if I see a curriculum that’s pretty bare bones, but the instructor is just amazing and dynamic, and changes their drills up, and their warmups, and keeps things fresh, they’re going to have a rocking school, and their students are going to be incredibly impressive martial artists.

I know a student who works on 20 or 30 techniques most of the time, even 10 or 20 is probably going to beat, in combat, you know, in a fight, or in self-defense, or just a demonstration, someone who works on 100 different techniques, right?

So adding things can be dangerous sometimes. You’re like, “Oh, this is a really cool choke defense from this,” or, “This is a really cool wrist lock defense or whatever, from aikido, we want to add that in,” and et cetera. Be very careful not to distort what you’re doing too much, and don’t take that lightly.

That’s the nice thing about having your curriculum not just written, but on video, because you have to go, and you’ve got to re-film that. You’ve got to make sure it’s really something you want to change, and that’s awesome. With the Global Martial Arts University, we take this to heart. We do not change curriculum on a whim.

If it’s something that, after several months or a couple of years, where really, we’ve kind of been stewing on it, and really considering it, and if it’s an evolution of some sort, or it would really add a lot of value and not distort what students have already been learning, we will go for it and make that change. We’re not dinosaurs that are just going to sit there and keep things the same way forever, but we take it seriously.


Educate all Instructors On Your Curriculum

You’ll also need to make sure all of your instructors are fully educated on your curriculum. I’m talking about paid head instructors, assistant instructors, leadership team members. Now, parents that come out and help on the mat, possibly, depending on to what capacity they’re helping.

You know, I learned this a long time ago, the hard way, to not just let parents come out and and basically help be an instructor. Now, I do have parents come out and help with drills. So, “Hey, do I have any parents who want to help me with this class right now?” Or even friends, et cetera, if it’s an adult class, and they’ll walk on, they’ll hold mitts, they’ll do some fun stuff. But they’re not really in an assistant instructor type of situation.

The point is, you need everyone to be on the same page. If you hire someone, and you just kind of start paying them, and they immediately start teaching, and you were too lazy to educate them on their curriculum, they’re going to pull out habits from their martial arts style if they’re from a different school or a different association, even if they’re from the same style, if they do WTF TaeKwonDo, or the same general style, like Shotokan.

There are so many differences that you’ll see from instructors. Things change so fast, right? You don’t want it to become cancerous in your school. You have one instructor teaching it sort of one way, you’re teaching it another way, you get another way, another person… it’s confusing the heck out of your students. You don’t want that for your students. It makes you look bad, like you don’t really have control over the whole organization, and you’re going to have some interpersonal conflict.

So again, having a written and video curriculum that is more or less the say all, be all of, “This is how it should be done for testing.” That doesn’t mean your instructors can’t use their own personality and flair, and have secret techniques sometimes or show something that they know, but making it very clear that this isn’t a testing requirement.

So, want to point that out, especially if you don’t have a lot of instructors yet. Down the line, if you keep listening to all these episodes, you’re going to grow your school, you’re going to have a lot more instructors, and these things are going to be problems for you if you don’t take them into account.


How to Create a Video Curriculum for Your Benefit

Again, I mentioned video curriculum. I want to mention it again. It’s not that hard to film a video curriculum. Even if you’re just using an iPhone and a Lavalier mike, and you film every single technique, you film every form, you can do the whole thing in probably a day or two. You could upload the whole thing to YouTube, or as unlisted videos, or to Vimeo, or to your own website.

You can make DVDs out of it and sell the DVDs to your students. You can make an online membership site, just for your students, and charge $100, a couple hundred dollars, and they get full access to the whole curriculum. Then they can practice it at home and stream it on their TV as they’re working out, whatever, but you’ll have it there. You’ll have it for your students, you’ll have it for your instructors.

You’ll have a living, breathing curriculum, and don’t think that this is going to replace your classes, right? I’ve been using video curriculums with our martial arts schools for the last 10 years. We made DVDs just for our students. We would sell them, and every, actually what I started doing is, whenever you graduated or took your belt test, we added an upcharge of $15 to every single exam. And then you got your DVD for the next belt level.

So what it did is it, we could increase our testing costs a little bit, and at the same time add value, and sort of like force the students to get the next belt level of video, because we know how beneficial they are. But if you’re like, “Hey guys, if we’ve got some curriculum videos available, they’re $20, please buy one, I recommend it,” you’d be surprised that a lot of your students won’t actually buy it. I mean, obviously your hardcore students will obviously get it, but not everyone will.

So what I did is, I packaged it into the graduation fee, and that, okay… So when you started the school, you had to buy a basic equipment package when you first enrolled, that had your gloves and your uniform and things like that. And it had the first DVD, right? For the white belt level. But going forward, you get it with the testing fee, again, that was a really good idea. I just wanted to point out that little nugget there.


Listener Question: Evolve Your Style or Stay Conservative?

Okay, so we’re going to wrap up here with question time. I’ve got a question from Rick Langevoort, and his question is, “How do you feel about changes to a certain style, any style karate, Jiu-Jitsu, TaeKwonDo? Are you more of a conservative person that would want to keep the style as it has always been, or would you be willing to adapt, change certain aspects of the style, mainly techniques and things like that?

So that is his question. And first of all, I will say, just in general, I’m not a conservative person, I’m an innovator. I like to do things that people have never even thought of, or that are obvious next level places for the world to go. But no one’s willing to really take that risk and be ridiculed. You know, with the Global Martial Arts University, we started back in 2007, 2008, whenever home study was just something that was really taboo, and we would get hate mail.

Like, “What are you doing, teaching martial arts through videos,” et cetera? Well, first of all, people have been doing this for a couple of decades, anyway, with VHS tapes and DVDs, and sending it in, and grading it and everything. But we have had definitely been proponents of kaizen. I mean, we have really high standards. You have to log hours and do assignments, and a large majority of students don’t pass their tests, and we would give them needs corrections, and that’s a good thing, though. We have real standards.

What I’m saying, though, I don’t know if this has to do with someone’s personality. I think it probably does, but I’m sort of more of a maverick anyway, so I’m not highly conservative. Although, I also do really, really respect aspects of traditional curriculums. So I’m the creator of Ultimate Bo, which is a white to black belt ranking Bojutsu style, which again, that’s kind of innovative to create an entire style around a weapon.

No one had really ever done that before with a bo. But the style itself is rooted in Okinawan Bojutsu. And a lot of the techniques, of course, have already existed. I mean, I didn’t just make up moves out of air. So on one hand, I think you should be, you shouldn’t be totally conservative about your style, but it really depends on who you are, depends on what style you’re teaching. It depends on what you’re trying to achieve, right?

If you’re trying to achieve the most realistic fighting style ever, to go and compete in an MMA match, well, that’s almost, you know, sport as well, but, to win an Ultimate Fighting Championship. Or, are my students and myself trying to just totally be battle ready for, literally, war and combat situation, or maybe civilian self-defense on the street, without any weapons in our hands?

Or is it about kind of, preserving the traditions of this Kata, and preserving what it’s all about? You need to know who you are, and you need to know what your purpose is. I think that’s really, really important. Like, I know what I do with my students. My purpose is to teach self-mastery. My purpose is to help my students become the very best version of themselves, at the same time, through learning real, realistic martial arts and understanding what they are, how they work, embedding it in their muscle memory, getting into the best shape of their lives physically, as well. Those things are really important to me.

So if I’m going to teach a traditional Shotokan Kata, I need to actually know the realistic applications behind these things. I’m not going to teach some sort of, you know, jumping, spinning X block, just because it wasn’t the curriculum that my instructor handed to me, or I’m not going to teach some form that obviously makes absolutely no sense.

If I can put some sort of backing behind why we’re doing it, even if it’s for aesthetic, or beauty, or the artistic aspect, that’s fine. Martial arts has two meanings, right? We have two words, “martial,” meaning “combat or warfare,” and arts meaning, “a creative expression of oneself.” So I respect both sides of martial and arts, and … long story short, or to answer the question, I tend to be a little bit more innovative, although it’s important to respect why things were created originally.

I don’t like seeing schools and curriculums and students that are doing these really crazy forms and moves, and they’re just doing it, because it’s, their instructor taught them, but they don’t really know what it is. They don’t know what it’s for.

If your students don’t know what all this is for, that definitely means you don’t know what it’s for, and you need to spend a little bit more time as a student before you start teaching, I think.

So I hope you guys really enjoyed this episode, and I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback, and getting more questions for future episodes. And until next time, keep training hard, keep improving yourself and keep spreading abundance to others. Take care.


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Simply ask your question in the comments section below, and I will do my best to answer it in a future episode. Thanks for participating!

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I am a Lead Instructor at the Global Martial Arts University. I live with my three energetic kids on a prairie in Texas. I also lead The Abundance Projects.

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(2) comments

Dan August 15, 2019

This is a fantastic new series. Thank you!
Interested in some compliance stuff for future episodes (eg safety, insurance etc). Mainly the basics around this and nothing country or legal specific as regions vary a lot. It can be a bit dry but is essential to any club. Thanks!

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    Michael Hodge August 15, 2019

    Excellent idea. I will use that as a future question at the end of an episode. Thanks for supporting Rank up!

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