How to get rich fast teaching martial arts

I often get asked the question of how to get rich fast teaching martial arts and this is as good a time as any to answer it. But first, some background information on what triggered this post:

Jason asked me a question on something I posted on my Facebook Page the other day. It was in response to something Bobbe Edmonds posted on his own page. So first of, here’s what Bobbe said:

There’s a little meme going around about the supposed “big bucks” in teaching martial arts for money. That selling aspects on DVD, or in seminars is somehow “selling out”, and betraying your teachers. There’s a rumor that somewhere, someone is raking in boatloads of cash from students, and living the high life.

Let me bring the room to order and state for the record: People who teach martial arts solely as a means of income are usually the POOREST people on Earth. There are a few exceptions, of course, but the common example is a pauper in pajamas. The ones who make it with a commercial school are predominately day care centers that offer Aerobic-Kickboxing and half a dozen other “peripheral” services just to keep the doors open and the lights on. (nothing wrong with that, by the way.) Most of us, myself included, must hold down actual full-time jobs and juggle out free time with commitments to our students. We have learned that precarious tightrope walk between family, work, and training. We have discovered how misguided our priorities were, and often learned how to correct them the hard way. We have done a hell of a lot more, laid a hell of a lot of groundwork and suffered a hell of a lot of grief for no other reason than to cross hands with another human being who is seeking the same knowledge we once sought.

So, a little free advice for all of you who are the next generation of teachers, the up-and-coming with your eyes on being an instructor of the arts: There is no money to be made in martial arts. None. The top-paid MMA fighter in the world today makes HALF of what I do per year as a computer geek…on his best day, and my worst. The best most of us can do is make some gas money or spare change for this art that we’ve dedicated our lives to learning.

We do this because we love it, period. Any teacher of any subject worth their salt will tell you the same.

Also – there’s nothing wrong with charging for your time and effort. Teaching for free doesn’t make you “noble” in any sense of the word. That’s nothing more than an illusion used to cloud your mind from the sacrifices you must make when you assume the role of a leader. Leadership means accepting responsibility.

If you feel led to teach in the bottom of your heart and the very limits of your soul,
If you love leading people to knowledge, and being a part of their growth,
If you can suffer the backstabs and betrayals of students who lied to your face while plotting your downfall, (and it WILL happen, sooner or later) and retain your dignity and integrity through it all, and STILL want to get up each day and give everything you have to your class,
If you have your student’s best interest at heart, and strive to be the best instructor you can every day,
If you survive your first ten years as an instructor, and you still love your art as much as you did your first year as a beginner…

Congratulations. You’re a teacher, no matter what anyone says.

Here’s what Jason asked me: [Read more…]

Video update: Combat Sanshou

Next month, I’ll shoot the next part of my Combat Sanshou series. It’ll focus on the two main strategies and tactics I teach for the system. One of the things I will add to this new video is a couple scenarios. I have several in mind but wanted to ask you guys first:

Which type of attack would you like to see me cover in the new video? What kind of scenario do you find most interesting for an instructional video?

Just leave a comment here on this post and I’ll consider it. Of course, “Fight 27 ninjas!” type scenarios will be ignored. :-)



Combat Sanshou, striking

Why I’m not a martial arts millionaire (yet)

In the last few weeks, a couple things came together and the result is this (long) post. Here’s the list of events:

  • Somebody asked about blogging and I responded. Part of my response was this:

If you really want to make money blogging, you’ll have to work hard and probably go for business models that aren’t always as cool. Not my thing, but to each his own.

  • I had a discussion with another instructor/author about training methodology, cross training and the value of traditional martial arts. It took me a while before I figured out we weren’t talking about the same thing. I think he’s right in what he said. I also think I’m right in what I said.
  • Branimir Tudjan said the following in the interview I did with him

First I would like to thank you for your interest in my MOSS video and for conducting this interview. You know, in the so called martial arts world which is nowadays unfortunately full of big ego “grandmasters” or “guru’s” and where every “expert” perceives others (and their systems) as a potential threat or less “realistic & effective” system then their own, it’s a pleasure to meet a person and a colleague like yourself who is competent, mature, confident and open minded. I am also genuinely impressed with your work with Paladin Press.

  • Somebody got the ball rolling on important life lessons, things that suddenly clicked. I wrote:

Mine was: just because I’m right about something, somebody else isn’t necessarily wrong about the same subject. And vice versa.

All these things combined are what lead up to the title of my post here.

Why I’m not a martial arts millionaire (yet)

[Read more…]

So you want to be a writer, Part 7

Here’s another interview in my series on how to become a writer. This time, I asked a couple questions to Steve Perry. I first learned of him via the Net Force series and later on by reading his blog, which has great info for both authors and martial artists. Steve’s written a gazillion novels in a wide range of franchises: Star Wars, Tom Clancy, Aliens, Conan and much, much more. So let’s just say he’s a pretty experienced writer.  Enjoy the interview!

Steve Perry, training Silat

Steve Perry, training Silat

Q: How did you start out writing your first book?
A: I was looking for an agent, and I’d been writing short stories, which weren’t going to get me one. So I pitched a novel. The potential agent wanted to see chapters and an outline, and I didn’t really know how to do that, so I wrote the book in a hurry, then used that as a basis for the outline. [Read more…]