If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that over the last few months we have launched our own digital media business. This was to focus full time on our sites and also on the sites for our ever growing list of martial arts clients.
Now I would like to formally give you the opportunity to come on board with our business so that we can help to promote your business on-line.
What Exactly Do We Do?
At Zoogly Media we blog and manage social media. Sounds simple enough however behind this are a serious amount of professional tools and a lot of experience.
In the last 60 days we reached 2 Million People on line and we can help you to reach far more people than you ever thought possible.
Well lets say for a second that you are a club and have 60 students but you want to expand and grow to 100. How are you going to do this?
The answer is simple- marketing.
Like it or not the only way you are going to grow your business is by marketing, be it via leaflets, word of mouth, posters or any other form of marketing. This is really the only way you can grow.
However social media and internet marketing represents the best type of marketing you can employ. This is what we can do for you at a price that you can afford.
Zoogly Media who now own The Self Defence Expert.com and a range of other sites are here to take care of your Internet Marketing for a price of Just £15.67 per day!!!
Thats it!!!! So what do you get?
Blogging- We will not only blog for you but we will Build you a purpose built blog with cutting edge technology and image compression, your blog will be super fast and work on all devices. This blog will be optimised for Search Engines so your club is found by anyone looking for martial arts training in your area.
We will write articles for your business and these articles will help you to be seen by more people on line. Our articles always have an aim, that is why we are reaching a million people every month now. We want to help you reach far more people than you ever imagined within your community.
Google Domination- People go on line to search for martial arts training, this is a fact. We will make sure your site and club is seen multiple times on the web. Your internet presence will be much larger.
SEO Search Engine Optimisation- We will get your current site ranking higher on Google for the terms your customers will be searching for. We will even help you get in front of customers looking for more popular martial arts in your area. Our Google Ninja tactics will get you seen by a lot more people!
Social Media Management- Over the years we have developed a range of techniques that get you seen by the right people on social media. We take social media and expand your reach. We will post daily to your page members and help run competitions, give aways and much more.
Email Marketing- We will use email marketing in ways you never thought possible, we will take care of this aspect for you, emailing potential customers, current members and help you to reach far more people and get them coming on board as full time members of your school.
Detailed Reports- We will provide you with full detailed reports showing exactly how we have helped you.
No Contracts- We have a zero contract policy, if our work isnt benefiting you then just cancel at any time!
For a service like this most media companies would charge several thousand pounds, SEO work alone (search engine optimisation) can cost in excess of £5,000 alone!!!!
We will charge you just £470 per month!!!! This is a huge reduction against what we normally charge people for this same service!!!
Now we have a lot of work on at this moment so this offer will not be open for long, in fact we take on a limited number of clients so we can really focus on going a great service so if you are interested please get in touch with me either via Facebook
Why Shaolin Kung Fu and Wing Chun Could Be Bigger Than BJJ This Year!
The purpose of this article is to look at some things happening in the world of martial arts that you may have not spotted, in particular Kung Fu.
By the end I hope you might understand not only why I feel that Kung Fu Techniques will be seen more in MMA but why it could grow to the same popularity as BJJ over the next few years ( I am well aware that Kung Fu used to be huge). I will also examine the new science which shows the unique health benefits that arts such as Kung Fu Might possess.
It is in article that has just under 2000 words and is heavy on video so please take your time to read and enjoy the article. I also might point out that I do not do Kung Fu. I am a former boxer, Judo black belt and Vale Tudo guy. So I think to have an outsiders view on Kung Fu and offer some incite might be useful for other non Kung Fu people.
In the Beginning there Was David Carrdine and Kung Fu
When I was a little by I was obsessed by the David Carradine show Kung Fu. It was the story of a Shaolin Monk who went off and had little adventures week by week (or that's at least how I remember it). Back then Kung Fu was the art to be reckoned with and Shaolin Kung Fu in particular was the art that was the Grand Daddy of them all.
I had images of the Shaolin Monastery in my mind as being some kind of voluntary harsh labour camp where in exchange for mopping floors you were taught how to become a fighting machine.
I was pretty sure that if you wanted to be tough then you needed to be a Shaolin Monk or certainly learn Kung Fu at least.
My thoughts on Kung Fu became more intense over the years simply because I kept reading more about it in magazines such as Martial Arts Illustrated. I recall seeing guys wearing motor cycle helmets in training and was like "they must hit really hard" however I really lost any interest because when I was about 15 UFC Fever hit the world and everyone became a grappler over night.
I ended up getting a copy of UFC 2 on video and saw a a range of martial arts including Kung Fu get owned by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner Royce Gracie and ultimately this did end up fuelling my grappling journey later in life.
However recently I have been hearing, seeing and learning things that makes me think that Kung Fu and in particular Shaolin Kung Fu has a lot more to offer and because of one fighter we may see a huge increase in Kung Fu uptake again. I will explain why here:
Shaolin Kung Fu Techniques
There are lots of kung fu styles out there and to be honest I know next to nothing about any of them, however there are 2 that have always caught my eye. The first of course is the Shaolin Style and the next is Wing Chun.
Wing Chun first came to my attention when reading about Jeet kune Do and I liked it. I was a boxer those days and straight punches were my thing, speed of hand with correct technique is so misunderstood by most martial artists but to be honest I could never find enough footage of Wing Chun in action to warrant any belief in it as a fighting system. Yes it made sense to me, straight and fast punches on a single line. However when you can watch Mike Tyson destroy people on boxing Videos and watch Royce Gracie Tap out everyone in a cage your whole reference point or belief system on what works 'for real' can easily be determined on sports martial arts alone.
Now I wont lie, my closet love for Kung Fu was further enhanced by watching the new Ip Man films of which Mike Tyson is going to star in Ip Man 3. However the scene where by Ip man takes on a load of karate guys and whoops them is now part of the all time great fighting scenes. Take a look at it below:
Now you could forgive me for being a bit romanticised by this clip but a short while ago a bit of real life Karate v Wing chun footage came across my desk and I was shocked by what I saw. Wing Chun Kung Fu in action and yes it was amazing!!! Take a look:
It was all there, the Wing Chun stance, the calm solid fighting style and of course the superb chain punching. Wing Chun really did look amazing in the video.
So where am I going with this?
Yes I really do see the appeal of these classical arts, they are direct, powerful and fast! Whats not to like?
But hold on I said that Shaolin Kung Fu and Wing Chun could be bigger than BJJ this year didnt I! Yes I did so let me explain.
Enter Yi Long- The Shaolin Fighter
A young fighter named Yi Long who many say is a Shaolin Monk has been gaining a huge on line following recently. His very destinctive style in the ring and combined with his look certainly have drawn a lot of fans to watch his fights. The video below shows him in action and is a great fight to watch where he stops his opponent. His takes on a Muay Thai fighter in this match.
The next big fight Yi Long has signed will be to face the Muay Thai Tree Destroyer known as Buakaw Banchamek which takes place in June 2015 . Buakaw is one tough fighter and perhaps is most famous for his hugely popular video showing him kicking down a tree which I have included in this post:
This is the Mayweather v Pacquiao of the martial arts, a superfight that could be amazing.
But what if Yi Long wins? Well let me tell you this the world will start to go ever so Kung Fu mad again because when you add to this Mike Tyson starring in Ip Man 3 with Donnie Yen then we will yet again be gripped by Kung Fu mania.
But Do Shaolin and Wing Chun Techniques Work?
I hear what you are saying, this is all great in sport but its not MMA or Self Defence, so do the techniques work in those arenas?
Well if we take MMA which is heavily designed for the grappler then I would say all it takes is one very good wing chun person to enter the cage with some basic grappling and dominate.
How?- Well in MMA fights which have now become kind of repetitive, we see a lot of missed opportunities on the cage where people are wrestling for position. This is the ideal moment for wing chun chain strikes to be used, fast strikes that score punches and cause a lot of facial damage. Everyone is looking for the take down or defending the take down. They are not seeing the opportunity to land these shots.
Ground defence? In a fight where one person is a great take down artist and the other is a striker we have usually seen the striker taken down and submitted. But why? The answer lies in a lack if training on the ground. Now whilst Kung Fu people do not heavily focus on ground techniques there is grappling in Kung fu! Some very devastating forms as well. We just havent seen it in the UFC as of yet. It doesnt mean that it isnt out there.
In the video below I have included a some footage form a guy who trains in a variety of arts but here he is training in Chinese grappling. Looks a lot like Judo, and I am aware that many Kung Fu styles have this type of training incorporated into their systems. You just dont get to see them very often, but once we do it could really change the way people feel about Kung Fu and MMA.
Now there are of course a lot of if buts and maybes in this post, well that is because we have yet to see a truly world class Wing Chun or Kung Fu person enter MMA. When it happens I truly believe it will be something special.
But what about self defence?
This is a good question can Kung Fu work in self defence? Err hell yeah. Kung Fu really can work in self defense situations, just check this video of these Kung Fu Cops in action:
This is a fantastic video because you will start to see the great variety of ranges that Kung Fu has, from grappling to striking.
Shaolin Kung Fu Strength and Conditioning Training
One of the most interesting aspects of Kung Fu is its strength and conditioning aspects. Shaolin Kung Fu has become known for its Iron Shirt training whereby the internal energy and organs are strengthened, however there methods of basic training are still very impressive.
We see lots of body weight work, lots of stretching and I guess you good argue its like a fighting version of 'free running'. This is a hidden element in kung fu, yes we may not see the same type of training as in an MMA club but that doesnt mean they don't have strength and conditioning routines Check the videos below:
We have seen exercises like this across the world now in modern fitness clubs and classes, but the horse stance, rapid and explosive movements combined with fighting techniques are excellent strength and conditioning drills well worth exploring.
The Mind Body Element
To finish off we will also look at another reason we might see a huge uptake in Kung Fu students. For me this is the mind and body focus on training.
In a world where we rush around, we now have very little time for strong mental exercise. We are seeing our senses bombarded with a range of different stimulus and to be honest my own brain very often aches each day when I sit down at night.
So is it any wonder that now science has started to prove that things like meditation and internal energy might actually exist and have huge potential to impact on our health. They arent sure how or why this is happening but it does.
This article on IFL Science is a fact based article that discusses the use meditation on Cancer patients and how the mind can directly change our bodies on a cellular level. It is just one of thousands of articles out there on the subject which I will be examining in detail over the coming months.
So if martial arts like Kung Fu and Shaolin Kung Fu place a heavy focus on meditation and the mind body experience it is very likely that people studying these arts can both have improved ability to protect themselves and great leaps forward in health and conditioning.
The scope of this article was to look at why Wing Chun (or any Kung Fu system) and Shaolin Kung Fu could enjoy a resurgence in popularity to the kind of scale enjoyed by BJJ.
We have not only seen that footage of Wing Chun in fights is now on line but it is very impressive, we have also seen that Shaolin Kung Fu techniques are being seen in the ring and being used to great efffect.
Add to this the clear uses in self defence situations, potential for MMA and the clear increase in evidence of a mind/ body connection we start to see that Kung Fun really could sweep the world again. However the real interest may come from the new IP Man Film which stars Mike Tyson.
In a world of various martial arts I like to try and predict trends and I see that the Kung Fu trend may be just around the corner!
They say that men aren't the same as they used to be, and that our Grandads generation are made from far harder stuff!
Well if you are looking for proof of how tough Grandads actually are then look no further because here we have the proof.
Andrew Adamson a Grandad of 4 came home following a night out to find that 3 burglars had broken it to his house. So what does this Grandad do? He shows them who is boss and throws them right out of his house.
One of the burglars even had a razor blade that he pulled and one attack him with a pole.
Andrew suffered injuries that required seven stitches but during the incident, but as if throwing 3 armed masked men out of his house wasnt enough he even managed to pull one of the masks off. That mask was handed to the police and the DNA from the mask later lead to a conviction.
So there you have it, but I know you want to watch the video so here you have it, CCTV footage of the incident. Well done Grandad!
This is a post specifically aimed at my regular readers. It will hopefully give a real insight into myself and this blog and in the process reveal some things you might find really interesting. I will also talk about FAST Defence, Defence Lab and a few other things.
Now a lot of people reading this blog do not know my true background but here it is:
I am a black belt in Judo
I have studied numerous martial arts
I was a boxer
I was a Fitness Instructor and a Pro Boxing official.
Now I have never thought that any of this makes me more of an expert in self defence than any other martial artist, however the one thing that does give me a unique perspective is that I also spent 17 years in the police as a police officer.
Its only recently that I left the service after being diagnosed with chronic asthma which has changed my life . I have always had to keep my professional background quite separate from my on line activities however I feel that this post deserves some weight to my opinions and I have never disclosed this before
Why Am I an Expert?
The term expert is an interesting one and has in many ways a lot of meanings, however I must add that I have never felt that I am THE only person who is an expert in self defence. In fact I believe that there are numerous people out there with much more experience and skills than I, some who have public persona's and some that don't.
I have always maintained the view that I have more experience than some but less than others and that the only thing that makes my views unique is that I forged them through experience.
I joined the police as a 16 year old under their strange Cadet programme which saw 16 year old males and females join the police in an early entry scheme. From there I became a regular officer at 18 and as such my martial arts studies adapted very quickly.
I never had the culture shock that my martial arts needed to adapt to deal with reality because I was so young my skills were based around the reality that I was facing every day.
I recall going to a martial arts club for one session and never going back because I knew what they taught would just fold under any pressure. But how do you tell that to a person or an instructor that their skills would end up getting them hurt if they ever had to use them?
That is not my place to tell people that because if what they study keeps them happy who am I to burst that bubble.
My personal training would be forged in the boxing gym where I would learn my skills and I later became the British Police Boxing Champion and represented The British Police in International Events as part of their team.
I would later go into Vale Tudo and Submission wrestling but found Judo and fell in love, becoming the PSUK (Police) Judo champion Kyu Grade champion and later earning my Dan Grade.
KFM, Defence Lab and Andy Norman
For those that dont know I previously wrote an article for Martial Arts Illustrated (the Number 1 Magazine in Martial Arts) This was a dream come true for me because I had spent so long reading their magazine and to get a chance at writing for them was amazing.
However the true story behind this may surprise many.
At work myself and another had set up a martial arts training group with the idea of getting seminars for us all. The group was pretty hardcore with some very skilled martial artists of all arts and grades who wanted to try new things. I had been reading all about Andy Norman in Martial Arts Illustrated and I wanted to see what this KFM thing was all about.
So we booked a seminar and Paul Strauther and James Boyle came along with other instructors to our group and our minds were blown away. Needless to say I thought that this system of self defence was simply brilliant.
Footage from that seminar
Alas I didn't actually stay training KFM as I was so heavily into Judo at the time but many of my friends did and they became high level keysi students in later days.
How My Club Ended
I kept in touch by reading about Keysi and looking on line. I guess it was seeing their success that I decided to start my own martial arts club, it was a weekly class I called Masac Ju Jitsu and my friend Georgi who is a top Sambo and Judo guy set it up.
It seemed logical because at that time I had become an Judo black belt and combined this with my boxing background, police experience and some KFM drills I thought combined with Georgis skills we would be packed out.
So without ever even logging onto Facebook I handed out a few flyers and expected the rush through the door. I even paid for a newspaper advert but still the club struggled. It took me months to get to the point where 10 people would come but that was not consistent.
But I knew nothing then about lead generation, websites, class plans or anything else. I had only ever taught short seminars over the years and they were always on request so we ensured they were packed out. But the weekly class model eluded and confused me.
So I studied a little on marketing and got a website which was you guessed it The Self Defence Expert.com. And after many months we started getting consistent numbers but we had an issue, we were a Ju Jitsu Hybrid and as such we needed decent mats and the facility had terrible mats that slipped over the floor. I couldn't afford to buy a load of mats and I made a decision that this was not going to work, not to any level that was right so I pulled the plug before anyone got hurt, we so nearly had a broken arm from a slippy mat incident and I couldnt have a self employed builder break his arm and lose money because we used 'crap' mats.
I felt defeated and deflated after putting so much effort into developing a club, but it was the start of a learning curve that would lead to my current work.
Oddly despite the close of my club I kept the website and for some reason I enjoyed writing about martial arts so started I started blogging, I was one of the first blogs on self defence that got any real traction and the result was one day I get a call from the BBC!
One Site Gets Exposed to 7.3 Million Listeners
I answered the phone and it was a radio producer was speaking too me and asking questions about my views on self defence and after a short interview I was asked if I wanted to go on BBC Radio 2 that day on the Jeremy Vine show.
I am told that its about 7.3 Million listeners that tune in to that show and 45 minutes after the call I was on the show talking about self defence.
Suddenly I was on the map of martial arts and from that day I realised that a few web pages could be more powerful than an advert in the local paper and I was hooked.
With Growth Comes Discomfort
All of a sudden my blog started to grow and I started to study more about on line marketing than actual martial arts. It became an obsession and I vowed that I would never open up another martial arts club again unless I knew all I could about marketing, business and the on line world.
I tested everything I could and my next big break came when I was asked by the head of corporate training of the British Judo Association if I would do some research for a self defence project they were launching. I did this and the head of corporate training sadly left the role a few weeks later so I never got to help implement any of the ideas we looked into and the project was moth balled after his departure.
It says a lot that 3 years later the British Judo Association still has no self defence product.
My Old Primal Logo
As my site grew I became under pressure to start my own system of self defence and something called Primal Combatives was born. It was a success from the out, people were interested and we had 20 sign up within a week for our first instructors 'top team' course.
But we attracted more and more 'heat' as we got seen by more people. On line battles and abuse commenced and you would have thought I was trying to rip people off. However people slagged off everything but it was generally from people who were really heavily involved in their own systems or arts.
Eventually I had enough of all the 'keyboard warriors' and as such I decided to leave it all behind. I mean here I was working full time hours as a police officer, writing internet articles and trying to create a system of self defence. In the end I had my fill of the martial arts community. So I stopped teaching any self defence.
After dusting myself off a few months later I got back involved in on line writing and I started studying on line media with serious drive and before I knew it my site started to grow but this also came at a time when my health was really changing.
I would soon be diagnosed with severe and chronic asthma which meant my sporting career would drastically changed. This of course gave me a few options, either moan about it or get on with it. I decided to start learning more but in the end my career was over.
Out of the Ashes
Me in a Judo event
Out of the ashes of my old career has already a begun a new career which has seen me start my own media business. I'm 14 days into that now and I'm working with some amazing people and brands.
Three of the brands I work with are FAST Defence, SAFE International and Defence Lab. For myself these are real pioneers of self defence and martial arts and each has really unique product.
Defence Lab as we know is the creation of Andy Norman and in my opinion is the best weekly class structure programme and martial arts business there is. Not only are the techniques original, practical and really do work. The system is really fun. Andy Norman is one of the best martial artists in the world, a great man and really nice. So is his whole team including Grek, who comes across as the most humble of guys but moves like lightening and hits like a sledge hammer!
FAST Defence is the science based training that looks at how we conduct ourselves in the presence of fear and adrenalised states. It is amazing what these guys and girls at FAST are actually achieving with events like 48 hours of Adrenaline. These are experts in military and law enforcement tactics but unlike others they are combining their knowledge with scientists. FAST Defence is really going deep into how conflict, Fear and Adrenaline affects us and how we can improve how we react in bad situations. With guys like Bill Kipp, Wayne Hubball and Woody Boyd involved this brand is going places FAST (pardon the pun)
SAFE International is the Global self defence business that is focused on providing self defence information to all and training programmes for high school females. They are on a mission to teach self defence to 500,000 by 2020 and they have already taught 193,000!!
Headed by Christopher Roberts a true expert in self defence SAFE International are doing great work!
All three are very different yet they are in my opinion the best out there. I am working with others in sports and different industries also, its now my passion to help others get their messages to more people.
My journey in martial arts has taken a strange and unexpected turn as I have gone from a struggling club owner to working with some of the best brands in martial arts but despite illness I am very happy with how it has gone.
I will be talking more about FAST, Safe and DL over the coming weeks and also taking this blog into a new direction which focuses on the things that its readers want.
It was kind of a personal article but it needed to be done to form some form of closure of this section of my life and for the blog and myself to go onto a new journey.
Over 50 % of Martial Arts Schools Could Go Out Of Business This Year
This may come as a shock to some of you but the vast majority of martial arts schools are going to go out of business and fast! But how do I know this? I'm not a psychic, but I do know about the internet and web sites and Google is about to stop sending web traffic to some martial arts websites on 21st April 2015.
Now before you flip out let me explain. On 21st April Google will roll out its latest search algorithm update. This update is focused on one aspect alone, mobile searches on the internet.
So what does this mean? Well Ill put it like Google did, either your website is mobile friendly or it isnt. This is as cut and dry as it gets. So how will this effect your business? Pretty badly to be honest as it is estimated that as much as 50% of Google searches take place on mobile devices. So in essence if your website is not mobile friendly then it will not rank as well as a mobile friendly one. Potentially Google wont even show the site at all in its search results on mobile devices.
I did a check and there are about 50% of martial arts clubs or schools with websites that arent mobile friendly. Most of the big martial arts organisation and governing bodies don't even have mobile friendly websites.
This means that when a person searches on a mobile device for your club, school, martial arts in your area or whatever keywords you target for your business then a Google is likely to bring the mobile friendly sites first. This means that your competitors sites could come back above your own or your site simply doesn't even appear in the results at all.
So what can you do?
Id like to say that this is going to be easy but for a lot of people you will need a whole new website making for you. I googled a lot of schools and they are not mobile friendly and in the age of internet and mobile devices this will have serious impact on martial arts club that are slow on the uptake.
You may at first notice less traffic or leads form your web site or potentially you may experience your site simply give virtually zero website returns.
How do you check if your website is mobile friendly? Simple, Google has a free tool for you to check: click here
All you need to do is to enter your site and let google check for you, it takes a few seconds to get the verdict.
Feel free to google all about the 21st April update as the web is full of information about it but if you want some personal free advice fill in our contact form on our home page or message us via facebook.
Sorry to give bad news but you have until 21st April to get it sorted!
If you are struggling to understand how this will change your business then please get in touch
There has been a lot of negativity in the press and world at large about Judo. The recent decision by the European Judo Union to take the European Judo championship out of Britain over a sponsor ship issue caused both floods of support for the decision and outrage at what occurred. However at some point the dust settles and one thing is clear, we need to get back to the task at hand which is growing Judo in Britain, and in this post and am going to explain just how to do it!
Like it or not Judo is not anywhere nearly as big as it should be, especially here in the UK. but why?
Over the years I have heard every excuse going, from 'people just don't like it', 'its because of the use of Japanese language', 'people like punching and kicking' (the Gracie s proved otherwise), 'its too expensive', 'its too cheap'.........the list could go on and on.
However there is absolutely no reason why Judo cannot be as big as any other sport in the UK.
"The number of people in England who regularly take part in sport is rising.
During the year up to October 2014, 15.6 million people aged 16 years and over in England played sport at least once a week. That’s an increase of 1.6 million since 2005/6 – the first year of the survey."
Now current Judo participation in Britain is estimated to be around 26,000 members (my estimate based of a few figures). if we are to look at the recent surveys done by Sport England we can see that Judo has had 'no change' in active members however that isnt a good thing.
With the increase in overall sport activity increasing we need to catch some of that traffic and this is how you do it. Ready
This is the very basic recipe for success that exists for all business, I use the term traffic broadly because it basically means 'interested people' and that can take the form of website visits, phone enquires or even simply reading a leaflet.
The next part of the process of course is key- Conversion. After all you can have all the traffic in the world but unless you can convert them into customers then it wont make any different to your business/ sport. Once converted you will see your membership grow, profits grow and opportunities grow.
Judo needs to be focused on one thing, Growth!
The major slap in the face for Judo is that boxing has grown to around 145,100 weekly users and so has Taekwondo with 29,100. All these figures are for the ages 16+
This of course really is more of a power slap in the face for Judo because it blows every excuse out of the water as Taekwondo is an Eastern Martial Art.
OK, so enough about the bad, how do we grow?
Focus on 5 Areas
5 areas of business need to be focused on to grow Judo and this comes from data that shows the core motivating factors for taking up Judo.
SOCIAL- Making New Friends
The fifth area of change needs to be communication!
The sad part of all this is that the road map for things is pretty much already laid out, you just have to borrow the best things others are doing and then make them unique to British Judo.
If we were to look at boxing for example we see a sport that has grown a lot. We now see Boxercise, White collar, tournaments, team events, Club shows, University programmes and many more.
However Judo needs to follow this route, its thought about it but never has really done this.
The aspect of self defence training can not be ignored, there is a huge market out there for the self defence aspect of Judo to grow, hell even cross fit now has 'cross fit defence'!
Now many people will have their own opinions about what Judo Self Defence should be and I am not going to argue this here, I would just say look at what's out there and doing well to give an indication. However the self defence strategy is more complex that just putting a self defence programme together it acts as a conversion tool.
Data shows ghat there are 8.2 million pupils in 24,372 schools in England. This is what I refer to as 'easy pickings'
Imagine that in each of those schools you had just 20 more children doing Judo. The effect this can cause is:
20 x 24,372 = 487,440 new members
Just doing this sees a huge amount of increase, but the trick is what you sell. Judo for Judo's sake is not right, you need to use the various elements of Judo as a separate product to drive more customers into full judo. It works like this:
The basic idea is that these areas all offer something that provides an aspect of Judo to increase funds for the main association and then also acts as a lead generation tool for Judo.
In the form of street safety, a programme I devised a long time ago (but have never sold or taught it) the idea is to bring martial arts and self defence together to build respect among children of all ages. The idea is based around respect. However if you look at what the Gracie family have done with their anti bullying programme you get the basic premise.
Watch these videos
It doesnt matter what you think about these programmes just think of the scope.
Fitness and Increased Strength
I am going to focus on these things together because its a key part of growth. At this time we know that the fitness industry is huge, any idiot can seen this and its growth is estimated in report to be worth a huge £3.92 billion (2013 figures) According to this site we can see the following:
Total Market Value (public and private sectors combined) is estimated at £3.92 billion, up 1.5% on 2012
12.6% of the UK population are now registered as members of a private health and fitness club or a publicly-owned fitness facility contrasting with 12.1% in the previous year
Total industry membership base is the strongest growth indicator, up 4.5% to 7.9 million over the past 12 months
167 new public and private fitness facilities opened in the 12 month period ending 31st March 2013, up from 163 in 2012, 149 in 2011 and 122 in 2010
There are now 6,019 fitness facilities in the UK, up from 5,900 last year
So why didnt Judofit take off? The simple answer is marketing.
Judo has the fittest athletes in the world and now thanks to Neil Adams we have huge opportunities with the equipment he has created that offer the potential to take Judo exercises to the general public. Take a look at his battle belts for an example and his uchikomi bands.
By creating a programme based on fitness that is branded for Judo we see an opportunity to grow Judo revenue and also increase revenue for clubs by holding sessions at Judo clubs and also by running them at leisure centres. You could even sell courses to non Judoka because at the end of the day its one big advert for Judo!
After all who wouldn't want to stake part in an exercise programme designed to increase fitness to the levels of Olympic Athletes!! Cross-fit move over, enter Judo-Fit.
The Judo Newaza League
My post about the Judo Newaza League or JNL as I call it was a huge success and resonated with so many. BJJ is great but I find Judo Newaza far more fast paced, and the lack of leg locks and use of Pins really changes the groundwork game.
The idea for the Newaza league was to provide a focus point for groundwork fans and centred around some key facts:
Get the Newaza experts together and pay them- well!
Create a Syllabus to improve Newaza based on these experts
Create an online membership site with this information
Create a competitive structure with an on line league table
Charge an optional £5 per member to join the league and get access to all the above
If Judo has say 26,000 members and only 50% of them opt in to this you are talking about an additional £65,000 income. More than enough to pay the people involved and for set up etc.
However more importantly you actually stop or slow down any desire that Judoka have to leave Judo for BJJ. It also offers an opportunity for older Judoka with injuries to stay in the sport and excel on a competitive basis. This again means more income for Judo and increased retention.
Kosen Judo has been around for a long time and this project really embraces this. It also offers the older kyu grade Judoka a chance to embrace the sport. Yes they might not want to get thrown a lot but this offers them an alternative.
Im not going to go over this as its all pretty obvious but Judo creates great friends and a truck load of respect. It has a huge social aspect because it is the only sport where International athletes train together and barriers of race and religion are totally dissolved and everyone is seen as Judoka, everyone is human.
I see no other combat sport on the planet where this level of mutual respect is achieved, check it out below:
This is a huge advertisement for Judo, where different nationalities can train and compete in a combat sport that is not destructive and brings people together. This is the way forward.
I have saved the most important aspect for last because how we communicate the above to people is perhaps the make or break of this. Judo wont sell itself and you have to be clear on the benefits of Judo. People buy benefits!
There needs to be increased presence on Youtube because we know that from youtube own data the following is seen:
12 Million adults in the UK aged 16-34 years use Youtube every month
78 5 of those 12 million share links to content at least once a month
35% use social media whilst watching sports content on Youtube
29% Say that sharing sports videos with others is part of the overall experience
78% say that when they find a brand they like they stick with them!
I cant underestimate just how important that You Tube is to growing Judo but then so is email marketing. The science of sending the right emails to the right people at the best time is far beyond the scope of this post.
I could go on about communication but I think you get the point!
The last hidden element I will talk about is business systems. Judo needs to grow and to do this both financial stability needs to be obtained. This isnt done by 'mat fees'. It isnt done by people giving up their spare time.
It is achieved by a far more professional outlook and programme. However again this is a very complicated subject.
So after 1800 words I think I have made a point. Its time to forget about the loss of the Euro's and concentrate on Judo Growth. What do you think of these ideas? Any good?Let me know by commenting below
One thing is certain. Judo wont grow itself and by starting a lot of solid data driven campaigns we will see Judo grow.
The Drug that Turns Normal People Violent-Cocaethylene
Over the last few months I have been on nights out with friends and I've been shocked by what I have seen. The UK night life scene is pretty much in decline. It saddens me to come to this realisation as I recall going out in my younger days and hitting the town around 8 pm after going to the local pub first, when you arrived there you would find almost every bar busy and you would have to get to the nightclub early to queue up. If you weren't wearing a shirt, shoes and trousers then you simply wouldnt be allowed into the venue!
The current UK night life scene doesn't really resemble that, and to be honest its pretty much down to the males! The females still dress to impress and you can easily see that ladies on nights out spend a lot of time and effort on their appearance yet when you look at their male counter parts you see the current UK male fashion sense on display! Short and tight fitted T shirt to display muscles which look enhance by steroids and of course the tattoos on full display, and of course not forgetting the jeans and trainers!
Now before people who have tattoos jump up and shout let me say this. I have no issues with tattoos, but when you combine all of the above we have seen a new male fashion sense that is all about 'aggression'. This is alpha male creation at its finest and trust me when I went out it was on display everywhere I looked. You could almost smell the aggression in the air.
The posture on display by this younger generation was in short "up for a fight". It was as if the goal was to find a woman or fight! It certainly didnt fill me with feelings of safety, the bars were generally dumps and the glitz and glamour of a night out faded quickly.
But if you peel back the initial layers and dig a little deeper you will see that the sensations of aggression I felt weren't in my head they were real and caused by a combination of drugs that turns normal people into violent street thugs, and worse of all one of these drugs is legal!
Enter the world of cocaethylene
What is Cocaethylene ?
Cocaethylene is a substance formed when cocaine and alcohol meet the liver, So everyone that takes cocaine and then drink alcohol on a night out will create this substance inside their own bodies.
So what? That's possibly the response I would get from my younger readers. Well the following section is from the site "drinking with Charlie"
"when mixed with alcohol, the effects of cocaine last up to two and a half times longer.
cocaine counteracts the effects of alcohol giving you the feeling you can drink more.
Although mixing the two substances together can create an additional high, it can also cancel out the effects of both alcohol and cocaine and have much more serious side effects, the downside, get ready...
The effects of taking cocaine and alcohol together are far more dangerous than taking either drug alone. Cocaethylene is formed when alcohol and cocaine meet in the liver. This ‘metabolite’ remains in the body much longer, subjecting the heart and liver to a prolonged period of stress. That’s why some of the recorded deaths from Cocaethylene occur up to 12 hours after the user has mixed substances. The risk of sudden death is 18 times greater when alcohol and cocaine are used together. And what’s even worse is that you can’t see it coming, you could be feeling completely fine one minute and the next minute, BANG."
Now as if this concern about health isnt enough to worry you then the fact that Cocaethylene will make you more aggressive should. The issue occurs in the body because when you take cocaine and alcohol together the Cocaethylene that is produced actually causes you to drink far more alcohol. In effect you start to binge drink. So you start off really happy and on top of the world and shortly afterwards you end up extremely depressed.
The end result is a tendency to become more aggressive!
Stats on Drug Use
Ok so I appreciate not everyone out there takes cocaine but there is a large amount of people that do. According to government figures:
Those who went to nightclubs or pubs more often were more likely to use drugs frequently. Levels of use of any illicit drug more than once a month on average in the last year were higher among those who went to nightclubs four or more times in the last month (10.9%) compared with 2.3% of respondents who had not visited a nightclub in the past month. A similar pattern was found among those visiting pubs more often.
So what does that mean for you? Well I think it paints a picture that drug use on the town centres in the UK exists and with that comes a very real risk of increased aggression, and whilst I have no data to confirm this it is clear that there has been a definite move towards 'alpha male fashion'.
Some would say that this is simply down to an increase in the fitness industry. More people care now about their physical body than ever before. But hold on!!! According to data from CRI that run needle exchange programmes in the UK they state that in 2o13 there had been a 645% in steroid users!
Last time I checked, steroid use was pretty un healthy and is all about gaining strength and improving muscular appearance.
Now according to NHS Data steroid use is on the rise and in 2010 around 250,000 people in the UK had used steroids. Other data on the web suggest increases in teen usage of steroids as well but you can google to your hearts content to read all about it.
We now start to see a very real problem emerging that we will have a culture of steroid filled coke heads getting ridiculously drunk and heading up to town centres and given that steroids naturally increase aggression and we know that taking cocaine combined with alcohol also increases aggression there can be a conclusion made that being on a night out will see you mixed with potential 'ticking time bombs'. People so wound up due to chemicals in their bodies that normal behaviour and rationality goes out of the window.
From a self defence point of view this create a lot of problems, for starters your verbal communications skills will have little effect on a person whose aggression is out somewhere in orbit, This is before you talk about the decreased ability to feel pain. I would ask are you currently training for these types of people? If not perhaps your training needs to be evaluated.
When I first started this site I got some grief from people because of its title. So many people got annoyed about the fact I had started a blog and dared to have opinions on martial arts, even worse people were angry that the site was called The Self Defence Expert.com
The comments came from martial arts instructors who believed they were self defence experts too and there was some sort of unwritten rule which I had breached. Despite this critique I carried on and 250,000 visits later and 40,000 + facebook shares the site is still here. We have been copied often and just lately I am seeing more and more people try and replicate the success I have had with this site.
One of the core issues is that people seem to think that being a martial artist automatically makes you a self defence expert or even worse they belive they are experts after reading some personal safety books. So far I have seen blogs and even 'charities' being set up calling themselves personal safety and self defence experts. At the core of this is a simple goal, for them its all about making money.
How do I know this? Well because you don't need to have an app, a website or even a huge fundraising event to teach self defence and start making a difference to the lives of people. You actually need to go out and start offering personal safety advice! I taught self defence for years without the use of a website, an app or anything other than word of mouth!
I so often see articles on 'awareness' and people pretty much churn out the things they have read in books and blogs. Its ok and I get that but there are a lot of people who really do think they have all the knowledge and answers around martial arts and self defence. They dont and neither do I!
We all have different levels of knowledge and I learn all the time and from everyone! I never stop learning and I adapt my knowledge and opinions based on new data all the time. Sadly not everyone in martial arts is actually that flexible and so many are fixed in their views an opinions.
Breaking the Ego Cycle
One of the ways I often try and get people to break down this ego cycle is to ask questions and although Im not teaching any more due to ill health I taught self defence for a long time and very often this was to people with a lot of experience in martial arts, often instructors and a lot with their own schools.
When I encounter someone who has this ego it usually proceeds by them telling me all about personal safety and self defence. Often it is lead by talks about their years of experience and titles they have won. This is 'chest' puffing at its best.
So after a few minutes I ask them this question.
"Do you sell personal attack alarms in your school?"
Trust me they stop in their tracks! Some start to stutter and most say no. However occasionally they say:
"err yeah we do"
So I ask "oh cool, which ones do you sell?"
After a pause the answer is "the black ones that have a button on them"
If I feel like I need to, I ask them things like " oh great where do you get them and how much do you sell them for?"
As you can imagine I see them offer far less opinions after that point because so often they dont have the answer because they dont actually sell them.
For the ones that do say directly they dont sell them I ask them why not? I get a wealth of reasons including things like:
"I train them so they dont need them"
"They dont need to have them they promote fear"
" We teach awareness so they dont get themselves into situations where they would use them"
Now if I am feeling devilish I usually then go on to ask, oh what about selling them to parents or for the families of students. I get a blank look.
My point is that none of us have all the answers on self protection or martial arts but often we cant see the wood for the trees.
Why You Should Sell Personal Attack Alarms
Personal attack alarms are fantastic methods to promote you school and I suggest that you go out and get ones that have your school name and logo on them. They are great talking points and whenever people see them they ask "whats that?"
So here are the top 5 things I would do right now if I ran a martial arts school.
Go out and get some club branded personal attack alarms
Sell them at your club reception
Start a female and young females self defence course
Give each participant a free alarm
Contact your local newspaper and tell them about what you are doing+ Free publicity
Personal attack alarms work, its simple. THEY DRAW ATTENTION TO YOU AND YOUR SITUATION!!!!
In basic terms they are a huge shout for help and even if you dont think people are listening to them they are. I know I look out of my window when I hear an alarm and so do many people. But attackers dont like noise or attention and for this reason they are a low cost method or technique that you can teach that requires zero skill!
So do you sell personal attack alarms at your martial arts club or do you sell them at your self defence classes or courses? If not why not?
I have sold a lot in the past! And no matter what you think about them they get the person who has them thinking about their own personal safety every time they look in their handbag or at their keys ( you can get ones with a keyring attached)
So here is my challenge, go out and get some personal attack alarms and let me know who you get on selling them and adding them to your school curriculum.
If you are a regular reader to this blog then you will know we love Defence Lab. Founded by Andy Norman I have been following this system for some time and even dabbled in it as well.
I have reviewed Defence Lab here and I can tell you that after 25 years in the martial arts with experience in Boxing and Judo that this system rocks! It really blows your mind with its self defence applications.
As you can image when Andy Norman and Defence Lab announced recently that they would be selling a new dvd programme that was entirely online then I got a tad excited. But then something I could never have imagined happened. One of my all time favourite actors announced to the world on youtube that Andy Norman and DNA Fight science was a fantastic self protection method. That actor was of course Liam Neeson, star of TAKEN 3, Batman Begins and star wars!
Here is that video:
So when DL offered and early bird price which was less than the cost of a takeaway pizza I jumped at the chance to get this new training package and wow I wasnt disappointed.
The package has a range of short but very informative videos and study manuals to support learning in DNA or Defence n Attack as it is known. DNA is a core component of the Defence Lab system and is pretty dynamic.
The package itself has the following sections:
DNA- Empty hand
Ground and pound
and for those who purchased the early bird you were treated to a range of cool bonuses and I wont review these as Im not sure if they will be kept in the package for people to buy at the higher price but trust me they are awesome bonuses.
Each section has a range of videos which show the techniques in slow motion, full speed and they have some amazing graphics which show case the exact things you should be focused on whilst you are watching and then replicating. This was for me a new and very superb concept. Graphical overlay is new to the self defence instruction industry as a whole and the videos are crisp, high definition and very informative.
The 4 Man Fight
One of the key aspects of the DL system is that they have always focused on fights where you have the odds against you, and this package explores this. To find yourself against 4 opponents is rare but this is the system that deals with this from day 1! The online package looks into this and this is very impressive to watch.
I really find this kind of training very thought provoking and I think you will too.
The other additions to the training package show the real depth of DL and DNA and how it appeals to a variety of people. MMA lovers will find the ground and pound section 'game changing' whilst the knife and stick fans will be blown away with Andy Normans skills and techniques and yes you get to see the man himself in action.
Without doubt I highly recommend you get this training package and see for yourself what Defence Lab and DNA is all about to learn more click here. After all if Liam Neeson recommends the system and I recommend the product you cant go wrong!
I have met and had support from truly great martial arts experts including Anthony Pillage and overall it has been a great experience and without the support of my friend and FAST Defence Instructor Dave Stretch the site would have folded years ago.
In truth I reached the 250,000 mark a while ago because this isnt the original self defence expert site, in fact there have been a lot of modifications and I started on a wordpress.org hosted site before moving on to my own domain. However I have reached 250,000 people via google on this version of the site.
So what is the goal? To be honest that is a secret, I have so many people trying to copy what I have done I am not going to tell until the time is right but the goal is simple. To get 1 million visits, not in a few years but per month!!! That is the goal now.
This site was never meant to turn out like this and I started out writing some very poor articles, and Ive tried every trick in the book to grow the site and get traffic and I have also recovered from not 1 but 2 google updates that halved my traffic each time! I saw one of my biggest posts go from page 1 to page 40 of google overnight! I have written articles that have gone 'viralish' overnight (I call 17,000 people in one week pretty viral) and last time I checked we were at around the 46,000 facebook share mark.
I've made a ton of mistakes along the way too. I was late in linking setting up subscriber options to email, I let a few people with negative attitudes effect me until I found a writer called James Altucher online who gets more grief from his writing than anyone else Ive read.
So this is a big thank you to all involved. We are a small blog that gets on average about 11,000 views per month and 20% of that overall 250,000 people have been returning visitors so I have a cool amount of regular readers.
At the moment I love the fact I am meeting some truly amazing people in martial arts and for those that don't know my personal health isn't that great right now, in fact the last few years has been a bumpy ride for my health which has made me appreciate the small things in life a lot more
Right now I can tell you that more articles are on their way which will really showcase some great martial arts people and great systems of self defence and martial arts.
So here's to the next 250,000 and thank you so much for your support.