Roar With The Lions


Your Martial Arts Plus You = Success


            The following are principles that will make you and your school a success now and in the future. These principals will work and are the very reason why you should be forging ahead.


1.         Live With Integrity And Lead By Example.   Simply stated, we teach health, self defense and discipline. You cannot teach breathing exercise, meditation and physical exercises if you smoke, do not exercise yourself, nor train, are very heavily overweight, or indulge in alcohol to excess. It does not work. Students will see through this sham and realize that you are a talker and not a doer. This also teaches students that it is okay to do things halfway right and halfway wrong.


2.         The Instructor Who Does Not Train And Workout Begins To Teach From Faulty Memory, And Memory Soon Fades Away. Katas and techniques become watered down, and in time unworkable principals emerge. The only way to stay sharp and up to date is to practice these routines yourself.


3.         You Cannot Discipline Others Until You Discipline Yourself.   Check your lifestyle to see if it needs improvement. To stay young, healthy and in physical shape you will have to make a concerted effort to impose self discipline. This will not be easy but, you are a martial arts instructor from a very prestigious organization. Let’s keep the word “professional” in your martial arts.


4.         Develop A Winning Attitude And Strategy To Fulfill Important Customers Needs. Be a “big idea” person instead of focusing on fine details. Yes we want our techniques and kata to look like our kata in all our schools but, some instructors get so hung up on fine details that they miss the big picture of the martial arts. Not everyone is excellent in kata, or fighting, nor are all skills and talents equal. Our goal is to get each student to improve his/her lifestyle-reflex skills, physical stamina, balance, coordination, attitude, self defense skills, etc. It takes a talented instructor to motivate the slow learning student, or the handicapped student. We often brag about our super students and fast learners. However, they are only a few of our customers. The “big idea” is to work hard to develop all our students (customers).


5.         Build A Great Management Team.  We have come to a stage in life where many of us (30 years and older) are realizing that our masters are aging rapidly. Some of your finest past instructors may be returning back and mixing with the fine core of your current instructors. Stern, no nonsense past values and methods of teaching are blended with the new, mother/father way of teaching. The two seem to be doing quite well together. Everyone is learning from each other. There is plenty of hard training mixed together with friendship and laughter. Happiness and satisfaction with your management team is of first priority. A happy team produces a happy customer (student).


6.         Inspire Employees (Instructors) To Achieve Greatness.   Your new plan of action will do exactly that.


            A.        There should be no more test dates for instructors to start preparing for rank tests. They should be preparing all year long.


            B.         You probably have a long waiting period between black belt degrees. Constant training and teaching could shorten this waiting period in some martial arts styles.


            C.        To solve the formula A+B=C, these instructors who train on a regular basis should be promoted by their skill level. Knowledge and hours of training, coupled with their tournament participation (entering or refereeing), teaching on a daily basis, and attending meetings and special events. Those who dabble and do not do all the above must be satisfied with the rank they now have.


            D.        A+B=C instructors could be nominated for the various halls of fame and special events taking place around the country.


            E.         A+B=C instructors will now come to realize that things can be done on a quicker and grander scale, and that they can push themselves as hard as they want. They can earn rank and recognition by their own schedule, and not by past, obsolete schedules. This will open a whole new field of incentives.


            F.         For you math majors A+B=C (xT+T÷S+K) + TxH=P+S.

                        A (no test dates) + B (no long waiting periods) = CxT (training) + T (tournaments) ÷ S (skill) + K (knowledge) + T (teaching) x H (hours) = P (promotions) + S success). Eat your heart out Einstein.


7.         Create A Flexible And Responsible Organization.  This means that all head instructors have the right to conduct their classes as they see fit. To promote whom they so desire, to develop their own exercise regimen and training schedules, and to develop a personal program within style guidelines. Each head instructor should be bowed into their own school as “Sensei”.


8.         Tie It All In With A Merit Based Compensation Plan.       


            A.        All head instructors of their own schools, and those who teach their own nights at your main

                        studio should be compensated by the organization that they are teaching for.


            B.         All black belts could receive a 10% discount on clothing and gear bought through your studio.

                        On larger items such as stretchers, gym equipment, etc., the discount could be much larger.


            C.        All head instructors could receive test fee incentives.


            D.        All head instructors and those who have their own nights at your studio could enter

                        tournaments free of charge. All your other black belts could receive a discount and enter at a lower cost.


            E.         All devoted, formula satisfying black belts could be nominated for various halls of fame.


            F.         All black belt instructors could be promoted by their own personal training schedules, plus skill and knowledge.


            H.        New incentives could be introduced in the future.


9.         Don’t Stop Learning. As the CEO of your martial arts it is your job to continually update your instructors on new health discoveries relating to the martial arts, improved teaching methods, safe and beneficial exercise routines, how to handle problems and ADHD children, new legal proceedings, laws and regulations pertaining to martial arts, “Soke” philosophy, motivation and success. These articles could be placed in your studio mailboxes. Now it is your instructor’s responsibility to take this information, place it in a loose leaf binder, and to study it. To receive any promotion they could report on each paper and demonstrate that they understand this information. There will be no uneducated instructors associated with your organization. You should be constantly moving, updated and changing with the times. Get use to it folks!


10.       What Successful Instructors Must Remember To Stay Successful – A To Z.


            A.        Your example is more important than your advice.

            B.         Treat all students fairly.

            C.        Get the whole story before making a decision.

            D.        Don’t worry about who’s right... worry about what’s right.

            E.         An idea can turn to dust, or to magic, depending on the talent you rub it with.

            F.         Reward assisting instructors who have good ideas, it’s contagious.

            G.        No matter what the situation, always act as you think the master would act.

            H.        One of the biggest mistakes is not complimenting instructors – often.

            I.          Know where to get news and information concerning the martial arts.

            J.          Always stay up to date on current industry trends.

            K.        Any meaningful idea should be able to be stated in one minute.

            L.         Revise your teaching plan every six months.

            M.        Success is a journey, not a destination.

            N.        Good planning always cost less than good reacting.

            O.        Your memory is made of paper...keep great notes.

            P.         People in meetings agree on decisions that they, as individuals, many times know are stupid.

                        Stand up for your beliefs.

            Q.        Sometimes the most impressive or intelligent thing you can do is to say very little.

            R.         Find out what your competition is doing right and share with your team.

            S.         Share your success, and you will be more likely to repeat it.

            T.         For every complaint you receive, assume there are two dozen more people who didn’t complain,

                        but still feel the same as the complainer.

            U.        Treat problems like opportunities.

            V.        Don’t let group thinking keep you from expressing your thoughts and ideas.

            W.       Support your organization in all its endeavors, so it can support you.

            X.        Become totally involved in your teaching career.

            Z.         Think before you react. Trace all stories and rumors to their sources.




            A swimmer should look like a swimmer and should be able to swim. An Olympic swimmer should live a healthy lifestyle and swim often to improve his/her lap times. This is actually what we see at competition. On the other side of the coin, we see overweight martial artist masters, who take frequent smoke breaks, curse a lot, and tell the same old worn out war stories. Let me repeat again, “A swimmer should look like a swimmer and be able to swim.” Unless you go up into the mountains and enter the caves, and roar with lions, you will never achieve ultimate success.


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This page was last updated on 02/20/11    

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