Every rep you do, changes you..

“Every rep you do, changes you..”

This is a phrase I use often with my fitness clients.

This is valid for anything in life.

Good or bad.

I think everyone would agree that ife has changed over the last 6 months.

We have learned new patterns of behaviour, the “new normal”, not all of which are good.

We need to break these habits

Getting back to work is a start, most people have been isolating or furloughed for months.

It will feel awkward at first, but the more you repeat your daily tasks the easier they become.

You’ll get quicker and more confident, able to achieve more in the same amount of time.

Once you’ve faced the world it’s time to start exercising.

You might have put on weight and feel more self conscious but we are all in the same boat.

Start with walking, any exercise is better than nothing.

The fresh air will do you the world of good, you’ll burn calories, sunshine will boost your mood and increase vitamin D.

Go to the gym, It doesn’t matter the size of the weight you use, even the lightest weight with reps will impact muscle shape and size.

Over time the workout will get easier, weights you use will increase and you will see the change.

Join a martial arts class, we’ll help you regain self-confidence while burning calories and learning new skills.

Your social life will also improve, martial arts is a great way to meeting new people.

You’ll also have an interesting new hobby to talk about on social media.

It will be difficult at first but each class will get easier.

Repetition improves technique through improved muscle memory..

Complicated moves will become easier, fine motor skills will increase.

But to see any changes in your life, you’ll need to master the most important rep of your life..



“Every rep you do, changes you..”


Born again students, longtime, no train..

So it’s 6 months since my last blog and I guess it would be an understatement to say things have changed a little.

I usually only post a blog when I feel something needs to be said and with so much going on, i’ve been shocked into silence.

Normality has been suspended and things have been pretty dire.

After 3 months of lockdown the world is a different place, our daily routines have been abandoned and most businesses have been thrown into turmoil.

As we head into July, the health implications are starting to show.

People are desperate to get out and exercise, walking and cycling is great but unfortunately martial arts schools  and gyms are still closed.

Martial arts schools usually lose students over the summer due to holidays and sunshine.

Kids playing outside with mates are often too tired to come to class.

But this has been something none of us planned for.

Sure many classes are running on zoom but how many have lost students?

For instructors, it’s been a “dark time for the force”.

But as restrictions are lifted there is an opportunity that cannot be missed.

I’m talking now to the “EX-STUDENTS”

The ones that, for whatever reason, stopped training.

You know who you are!!

You’ve wanted to come back for years, considered it every New Year, but for whatever reason, never actually made it back to class.

So this blog goes out especially to YOU..

Maybe you were embarrassed, thinking you’ve been away too long.

You’re maybe older and want your kids to train, just so you can watch and get the buzz again.

You’ve let your fitness drop and are bothered you’ll struggle coming back.

Well now is your time..

There is no need to be embarrassed, everyone has had 3 months off and will be apprehensive about coming back.

The hardest bit is walking through the dojo door.

Techniques will be rusty and memory will let you down, but everyone will be in the same boat.

Classes will, by nature of the restrictions be smaller, so you’ll definitely be made welcome.

Intimate classes will offer more personalised instruction, making it easier to learn.

I love seeing old students, especially the ones who now have kids of their own and want to share their love of the arts.

Fitness won’t be an issue, most people have put on weight with people being stuck inside with little or no options to exercise.

instructors will need to take that into account, building intensity slowly to prevent injuries.

This will give everyone a chance to work on basics, flexibility, reduce weight and build confidence.

Obviously there will be some issues, we aren’t sure of a re-opening date and there will be a need for special measures.

But we can support one another as a school and meet these new challenges together.

Get in touch, and hopefully we will see you at class sometime soon..






Happy New Year, the best of times or the worst of times..

It’s a New Year and a New Decade.
That means it’s time for those:

– “New Year, New Me” memes
– New Year Resolution s
– New Gym membership

This is the worst time of the year for anyone training in martial arts.

As an instructor, we get a large uptake of our free or trial programs.

The phone rings off the hook with potential students looking for info.

Websites get more views and the dojo is full with new and returning students.

Exciting times, right?


This is the time of year which can kill your club.

Surely not?

After all you have all these new people, more customers equals success.

It’s good to be busy..

Unfortunately that is the problem.

You have a full class of free or reduced fee students. Most of which will quit once their “trial period” is over.

This is also the time when you lose your regular students.

You will naturally focus on the “new customers” leaving existing students to work on their own.

Remember the 80 / 20 rule, 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers.

That means your established students are your repeat business and you are alienating them with poor service.

Over the festive period, most dojo’s close.

People get 2-3 weeks when class completely disappears from their minds.

Training, which is a learned habit, is put on the back burner.

Fitness drops, eating habits change.

It only takes between 15-30 days to break a habit and you’ve just had a 2 week break.

Families get used to your students being around, pressure is added to busy schedules when classes restart.

Add in the lack of attention the regular students get when beginners fill the class and it becomes easier for them to justify skipping.

Skipped classes, increases the “habit breaking” time and makes it easy for procrastination to creep in.

How do we beat this cycle?

Keep in touch with students over the holiday break, plan social media posts to keep things fresh in students minds.

Post about planned events, seminars and trips away..

Send personal festive messages to current students to show you care.

Stay open over the holiday period. Rather than costing money, reduced class size will allow a personal touch.

I know it’s too late for this year but it gives you time yo plan for next year.

Plan “Holiday Decompression Classes” giving students a safe place to let off the stress.

Organise beginners only classes for new students.

Ask seniors to assist in teaching and keep regular classes for established students only.

As an owner, you want classes full but not over crowded.

Limit the number of new students you accept, Having a “waiting list” will spread your intake and increase income.

Hopefully you found this helpful and it allows you to grow your student base.

As ever, please get in touch if you have questions..


Acting Appropriately?

Was it appropriate?

That’s a question which is important in every walk of life.

We are judged by what others think is appropriate.

The way we look, the way we act, even the way we speak.

But what is appropriate changes depending on your situation.

Let’s look at food.

What would you eat if  you were starving?

Snakes? Bugs? Other passengers?

On a desert island you do what you NEED to do to survive, just watch an episode of “Bear Grylls”

He’ll eat anything, survival is all that matters.

It should be the same when you train self-defence.

There are no rules, no off limit targets and definitely no “gentlemanly conduct”.

Too often, as self-defence instructors, we worry about “reasonable force” and the law.

Personally, I prefer the cliche saying;

” I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6 ”

Before anyone gets up on their high horse, I do advocate studying the law.

Every instructor should have a thorough understanding of the laws applying to their sector.

But the key word is “understanding”, not just repeating a few phrases they remember from a lecture they saw on YouTube.

I saw this on Facebook earlier.

“There is also the difference in evaluating whether someone wants to kill you or rape you or mug you and responding accordingly..”

If we look in the dictionary, we find:


1. in a way that is appropriate to the particular circumstances.


“we have to discover what his plans are and act accordingly”

The instructor who posted, was asking us to consider the situation and respond appropriately.

But our time for effective reaction is limited.

Should we “waste time” on evaluation of intent and circumstances

In my opinion, no.

In the news, we heard about a vehicle plowing into a group of people.at s Christmas market.

Was it a drunk driver or an act of terrorism?

Does the cause really matter?

While the incident is taking place, we have no idea of the drivers intentions but the consequences are the same, people die.

How often have people said “it was an accident, I didn’t mean to kill them”

But that situation doesn’t happen often, right?


how about this..

You get into a heated argument down the pub,

You didn’t mean it to happen, but it turns violent.

Now you’ve seen all the movies and are a trained martial artist.

As a trained individual you understand reasonable force and so try not to cause harm.

After all, you understand the consequences; you will be arrested and charged.

So you don’t hit back

His punches are like windmills

You bring all your years of martial training to this moment.

You parry each strike like Neo in the Matrix.

Controlling your emotions and using your superior skills to evade his attacks.

Just like Sensei showed you.

It’s even easier than class, this guy is drunk and untrained.

You smile knowing that you are safe and that his actions are useless against such a formidable opponent.

A part of you even hopes someone is filming it, you will look really good on Facebook.

Not that you’d share it on your wall cos that’s just egotistical..

You continue blocking, waiting for the moment when your attacker tires and his brain catches up with what is “really” happening.

in time he will see the futility of his attacks and sees the error of his ways.

You know that he will come to his senses, given time, you will shake hands and he will buy you a drink.

Unfortunately, fate has a twisted sense of humour.

Although he continuously misses with his attacks, you trip and hit your head on the way down.

The last thing you think; why was there a handbag in the dojo..

Unconscious, you no longer have the ability to block with your arms but instead opt for the little used “chin” block.

Hospital awaits, but only if you’re lucky.

Did your attacker mean to kill you?

Probably not, but the argument ended in your death or severe injury.

Now what if the attacker had also injured staff and police during the incident.

Maybe your family or friends who tried to protect you.

Terrorism is rare but fights occur daily.

If you had used force, you could have subdued the attacker reducing the chance of harm to yourself and others.

Would your actions have been appropriate?

What about the other situations mentioned by the instructor in his post?


People have died during muggings.


People have died during rape.

And murder, yes people definitely die during murder.

Are use of force options appropriate?

Positive obligation to preserve life should be the ultimate aim of self-defence,

Remember, it starts with the protection of one life..


Hopefully, this will put your training into a new different perspective.

There is one legal quote I would like to share with you, before I go.

It is on how your actions should be judged under self-defence law, from Lord Morris..

“If there has been an attack so that self defence is reasonably necessary, it will be recognised that a person defending himself cannot weigh to a nicety the exact measure of his defensive action.

If the jury thought that that in a moment of unexpected anguish a person attacked had only done what he honestly and instinctively thought necessary, that would be the most potent evidence that only reasonable defensive action had been taken …”

Lord Morris in (Palmer v R 1971 AC 814);
Stay safe,..


Four letters that could cost you your business..

May 25th 2018 saw the introduction of the new rules on Data Protection (GDPR) and now, over a year on, many martial arts instructors still aren’t compliant.

With fines of over 20 million Euros, the first question you need to ask is; does GDPR apply to me?

The short answer is YES.

If you operate within the EU or offer goods or services to customers or businesses in the EU and process personal data, then GDPR applies to you.

Think about that for a moment, even groups outside of the EU are affected.

But what is personal data?

Personal data is classed as any information which can be used, either directly or indirectly, to identify a person.

This can be anything from a name, photo, email address, bank details, medical info, computer IP address, cookies or even posts on social media and networking sites.

This has far reaching consequences for martial arts groups worldwide.

It’s not just the larger associations that need to consider GDPR compliance.

Small clubs and self-employed instructors are just as responsible for protecting the personal data of their customers.

Like every other part of your business, you need a plan.

Start by working out, who in your business is responsible for data protection.

If you are a larger organisation, you want to consider appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO).

For the majority of small businesses, this isn’t a legal requirement.

Legally, you only need a DPO if handle lots of data. In the UK advice can be requested from the information commissioner office (ICO)

What areas of your business does GDPR affect?

Most people think that GDPR is an “IT department” issue and only applies if you do a lot of online marketing, sales or have a larger association,

That’s just not true.

Information Technology (IT) is part of daily life. I would be surprised to hear of any business not using a computer, laptop or mobile phone.

Therefore, GDPR has implications for your whole business.

While this might sound extreme, especially for smaller businesses or self-employed instructors, but understanding the two key areas below, will make compliance easier.

You need to collect information about students to successfully run your classes.
Medical details, emergency contact information and payment plans are all covered by GDPR.

You need to plan how you will collect, store and share this information.

How you control access is very important and should be restricted.

Even paper copies of information, will need to be securely stored

You also need a plan for how staff share information.

Yes share, there are times when you need to share information between staff and possibly people outside of your business,

Certain third parties, like the police and your insurance company, have the legal right to request information.

Marketing is arguably the biggest area impacted by GDPR.

The most important thing to remember, is that you’re not allowed to contact prospects or even reach out to your existing customers unless they’ve given you permission to do so.

It is good practice to get permission renewed annually.

if you’re sending out emails or text alerts, then everyone on your list needs to have given clear consent to receive them.

GDPR rules state that subscribers need to express their consent, In a freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous way, which is reinforced by a clear affirmative action.

Gone are the days of automatically subscribing someone to your list or assuming they want to receive marketing communications from you simply because they’ve dealt with you in the past.

They need to opt-in.

The best way to prove consent is through an opt-in form.

This is where you ask students or customers to give their permission to store and use their personal data.

As i’ve said above, it must be asked for in a clear, unambiguous way and you need to tell them what you will be using their information for.

Any opt-in options must not be pre-ticked, the customer must actively and expressly give consent by ticking the box themselves.

While double opt-in isn’t compulsory under GDPR, it’s a good way to gain permission as it gives customers a second chance to refuse.

Double opt-ins are usually when someone is signing up to your email list and they receive an email they need to click on to confirm their subscription.

Until the person has clicked on the confirmation button, they won’t be added to your email database.

If you would like help on compliance or the issues raised by GDPR please get in touch, by emailing scottishbudo@aol.com


Are you a “Ju-liar?”

We’re now in July, a full 7 months from the beginning of the year.

Yeah, it has flown in.

It seems like only yesterday my facebook book feed was full of “New Year, New Me” memes.

But what has really changed?

For those that planned to lose weight for summer, how much did you lose?

Have you kept it off or returned to the usual routine?

For those that posted about returning to training, did you?

How often are you making class?

Is it regularly or just when it’s convenient and fits with your busy schedule?

And what about those career changes that you were going to make?

Did you take action?

Really my question is, have you achieved what you resolved to do?

Or are you a “Ju-liar”

All is not lost, you still have time.

There are still 5 months of the year left.

That’s 5 months, where with a little work, you can turn it around, make the changes so that when 2020 comes isn’t the “Same Sh!t, Different Year”

Ah, I hear you, “What have you done in 2019?”


I may not have posted resolutions, but I knew I had work to do.

I’ve lost weight, over 20 kilos and managed to stay on track keeping it off.

Even spending a month stateside didn’t affect me, amazing with their portion sizes and Barrette’s cooking.

I’ve been working on my CPD, continuing professional development, and done a few courses to improve myself.

Self improvement through learning and education is something I openly promote to all my instructors and I try to lead by example.

I set my self new goals every year, often doing totally new subjects or taking myself out if my comfort zone.

But it hasn’t all gone to plan.

I’ve let the blog slip a little lately but on a positive note, I have posted more this year than ever before.

I still have some stuff to do but I never claimed to be perfect.

And as I said, I still have 5 months left.

See you at class…


Shapes not sizes..

Once again, a cracking discussion on a social media site has provided me with the inspiration for a blog post.

The discussion was on the hidden use of geometric shapes in the martial arts.

Here is what I have been taught, learned through practice and believe.

Geometric shapes are everywhere we look.

They can be found throughout nature.

It makes sense that we use them as a learning tool.

They are an easy way to give students a visual representation of what can often be a difficult concept to explain with only words.

Each art has it’s own point of reference, usually discussed while the student learns the Kata or forms of the art.

To keep the forms secret, these were recorded as simple line drawings, with no techniques or directions.

You could only learn the techniques from your instructor.

This maintained a certain level of mysticism, as instructors may use the same line drawings but the Kata was unique to the teaching of the instructor.

This is one explanation of the subtle differences we see across the styles for Kata with the same names.

During my martial journey, none of the line drawings were quite as mystical as the “universal pattern.

I was taught that the “universal pattern” was a template for all the possible techniques in Kempo/Kenpo.

I was told the technique “patterns” would show themselves to me as my knowledge and understanding of the arts increased.

And eventually, if I trained long enough, I would see the “heart”

As I’m a scientist, I’m not big on mysticism.

I needed to understand the principles to morally buy in to what was being taught.

Unfortunately, I found many instructors knew little or nothing and tried to “baffle with bullshit”

So this is my theory on the Universal Pattern and hoe to use it.

It will hopefully answer some questions or at least point you in a direction

We have four planes of movement.

Height, width, length and time.

If the pattern is a 2 dimensional drawing, how can it applied in 4 dimension?

Consider the universal pattern as a representation of movement in a single plane.

If we mark it out on the floor. It gives us a “template” to work from.

Starting with the pattern of foot positions on the floor, we use triangles.

Then move on to circles and finally squares, allowing for “sanctuary points” to be developed.

Eventually the pattern, will describe all possible directions of movement.

Change the plane on which you draw the pattern, for example by drawing it on the wall and it will give the angles of attacks/blocks that can be delivered by your limbs or weapons.

It will describe inner and outer gates, straight line attacks continue to circles but only as far as your understanding will allow.

Then apply the pattern to movement of the head and body in the vertical plane and you have the basis for static evasion, bobbing and weaving.

I believe the jumping and hopping techniques taught by Mitose may fit in here but I don’t know for sure, as I have never seen them.

The final plane is time.

I’m not sure how to apply the principles of the universal pattern to “time”.

We are taught that time is measured in such a way that it should be considered a constant.

But it isn’t a constant, it is relative, individual and unique to the person observing it.

If I’m enjoying myself, time flies. If I’m bored it drags.

It is the same during your training.

As a beginner, you will see all techniques as fast and explosive.

While a senior grade will experience moments of clarity, where time will slow as if to give us extra “time” to react.

I have experienced these moments of clarity.

But my journey is not complete.

Hopefully, one day, I will be able to discuss and explain the application of the pattern on the fourth plane.

Until then, thank you for your “time”,


Reasonable, Gross and the Great Lie..

Many people believe, that if they study martial arts then they will be able to protect themselves and their loved ones.

That is simply not true, self-defence is something completely different.

This is further complicated by the common belief amongst instructors that if you teach martial arts you are automatically qualified to teach self-defence.

These are two of the greatest misconceptions of our time and should be added to the other great lie, the check’s in the post.

In the past, most martial arts were combat arts but today, the majority are taught as sport by instructors who are professional coaches and athletes.

There are 3 key aspects to self-defence:

– Technique
– Law
– Conflict Management

It could be argued that martial arts is predominately about students learning combat and fighting technique, therefore they will gain knowledge of self-defence.

On deeper inspection most of the techniques are not fit for purpose.

The majority of techniques taught, rely on many hours of repetition, as they require the development of fine motor skills and balance.

Self-defence should be quickly learned and easily replicated.

Anyone, regardless of size, physical fitness, gender or age should be able to use the techniques in real life situations.

We should consider the effect of fear and combat stress on our physiology and have an understanding of how this will affect an average person.

With this in mind, self-defence techniques should be designed around the use of gross motor skills and based on the scientific principles of Hicks and Guthrie.

Most martial arts instructors have know idea about combat stress as they are sportsmen and women.

They have little or no experience of real conflict as their combat has rules.

They train for bouts lasting 3 mins, with safety considerations in place and medical teams ready to act.

Self-defence has no such niceties.

Physical encounters last between 12-30 secs, just check out YouTube.

An average person has the physical resources for at most 3-6 seconds of response.

That is why I mentioned real life scenarios.

Instructors should discuss modern risks.

These should be based on real events and situations outlined by local and national crime statistics.

Do you know the 10 most commonly used physical attacks?

No, then how can you design techniques to defend against them?

Being able to defend yourself with a long pole against a sword wielding horseman might have have been useful in the middle ages, but it isn’t likely to help on a saturday night out or be of use to a child being bullied at school.

So keep it real..

Moving on, lets look at the law.

In today’s world, if you defend yourself you will need an understanding of the law.

By this, I mean the real laws and not urban myths.

The urban myth I like most, is the one where I have to warn someone three times that i am a trained martial artist before I can defend myself.

That’s nearly as bad as only being able to fight in bare feet or the “no touch” policy advocated by schools.

If you teach self-defence you should have a thorough understanding of the law.

You should be able to define the aspects of reasonable force and list the laws which govern the use of force.

You should also, as part of what is reasonable, cover de-escalation and conflict management.

This is a topic seldom covered in martial arts.

Disengagement is a great life skill, having the ability to remove yourself from situations of danger, before the need for technique, reduces the chance of injury.

Remember as an instructor, you are deemed to be offering professional advice.

You could be held liable for the actions of your students and will need to defend what you taught in court.

Criminal cases aside, you are betting your house on your knowledge, civil suits are expensive.

For free advice on any aspect of self-defence drop an email to scottishbudo@aol.com


A Dying Breed..

People’s attitude to training has changed.

Please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an anger filled rant or a needy expression of emotions.

It is just the voicing of quiet disappointment.

So, how have things changed?

With instant gratification available now, people’s attitudes to the arts have changed.

You can have anything now, or at the latest, tomorrow with next day delivery.

You no longer need to earn stuff.

Sure you need money but with the welfare state you can even get that for free.

You can have anything you want, as you are entitled.

It is your right as a citizen to have everything you want, when you want and anyone saying different is denying you your human rights.

Therefore, nothing has value.

Training in martial arts used to mean something.

It meant you understood the reality of life, the need to protect yourself and your family.

The need to harden yourself for battle.

You realised your training needed to be hard to prepare you for what was to come.

Sweat shed in training was blood spared in war..

That changed in modem times, it became a need for self-improvement.

To become something more.

Students still trained hard, understanding the hardship would transform then into better people.

You learned the discipline and hard work changed your life.

Principles that stood you in good stead for the outside world. Having a solid work ethic will improve your circumstances.

With the change in society, the need for self-protection has been replaced by protection by state.

Unfortunately, society believes violence no longer exists. This is a believe I do not hold, but that I will cover at  another time.

This paradigm shift has changed our arts into nothing more than a social acceptable form of fitness.

No talk of violence, no talk of law, no discussion of the need for vigilance.

Instead classes revolve around fitness, calories burnt and excessive water breaks, which allow you to take “selfies”, tag social media while checking your phone for notifications.

People no longer value the lessons the arts teach

No more do we need discipline or work ethics, everyone is a winner for participating.

Students want a holistic learning experience.

Classes need to include:

– Light physical training
– Emotional counselling
– Life coaching

We are no longer instructors but fitness and nutrition providers, customer service practitioners and marketing specialists.

In a week we deal with more issues than an internet help desk.


Students no longer respect their instructor or classmates, they turn up late or just skip lessons completely.

Not fully realising how this impacts learning, they complain when their skills do not improve.

Knowledge doesn’t accept apologies or excuses, that is if you actually offer them.

You were late because of other commitments, but still want your full lesson.

You had an appointed class time and we have other commitments too.

You didn’t come to class because you were too busy.

And yet you expect us to be available when you drop in unannounced because you need someone to talk to.

Only martial art instructors offer 24 hr advice and counselling service, for the payment of a 2 hr class..

As I said at the beginning, this isn’t a rant.

I’m not suggesting you don’t pop in for coffee when passing.

If you need advice, ask, we’d never ignore our students.

We will continue to provide the help and support you need.

Just pay your class fees

Parents haggle over discounts, as if your knowledge is a cheap rug being sold in a Persian market.

You are learning something that will save your life.

Whether that is by reducing the chances of a heart attack or illness through improved fitness or by giving you techniques to survive a violent attack.

Our knowledge is valuable, our teachings have worth.

Late and unpaid fees.

“I can’t pay this week because of your bills..”

That’s ok, just train and we’ll sort it out later. We would rather you continued learning but guess what,?

We have bills too,this is our job.

Most people don’t appreciate the time, effort and sacrifice needed to become a competent instructor.

It isn’t 2 hours, twice a week with a couple of weekends thrown in a year.

Unlike most professions, which needs 3-5 years of higher learning or apprenticeship, it takes decades of dedicated training, both inside and outside of the dojo, to become a good instructor.

The commitment and costs are high.

It has cost thousands of pounds in fees, equipment, travel and accommodation.

None of which was assisted by student loans, grants or apprentice wages. We had to work at another job to fund our learning.

And then there are the lost relationships.

Arguments with loved over time.

Missed family events, parties and funerals.

Missed social events, nights out with friends and date nights.

Missed holidays, saving days off for seminars and gradings.

All sacrificed in search of our knowledge.

And yet we don’t charge you the earth for our services.

We are a dying breed, train with us before we’re gone..


How Big is Yours? Hosting martial arts events.

I have been asked to post a blog on hosting martial arts events.

It would probably be helpful if I tell you a little bit about my background..

You mightv not know this, but I have been involved in the entertainment industry, on and off, for 30 years.

Tired of working for others, I started a company specialising in event entertainment and management in  April 2000.

I have the personal experience of planning and coordinating thousands of events.

Events ranging from intimate Highland weddings at local castles and estates for millionaires and foreign dignitaries to fashion shows for an internationally renowned clothing retailer,

And as the head of the SBA I have hosted many martial events.

We have had individual guest instructos from across the globe and larger events with multiple mats operating with 11 instructors from varying styles.

Now You have an idea of my background, it should give more weight to my insight.

As with most things in life you have to consider size, cos size matters.

Let’s start with small, in-house events.

These are usually with a guest instructor or to cover a specialist topic.

You are only looking to involve your own students, which means you can use your class venue or dojo.

Planning can be ad-hoc and could be done by one person.

Marketing is easy and should include class announcements or texting and will need a months notice.

Timing is important, make sure it doesn’t clash with other events or holidays.

Running a Kata day on a Sunday might sound like a good idea, but if it clashes with “Mothers Day” it’s going to be a quiet class.

Schedule towards the end of the month to take into account when people get paid.

Medium sized events will require a little more planning and resources.

As they are bigger there needs to be communication.

You will have to source a larger venue, meaning you have to consider your budget. This could mean an increased costs to students attending.

Suitable venues often have peak times which you need to consider, for example most hotels are busy during the wedding or festive season.

This means space is of a premium and hire rates can go through the roof.

Inviting other instructors, clubs or association’s will increase numbers and therefore revenue.

But with increased numbers comes scheduling issues as there are only 12 “Pay” weekends a year and everyone is working on the same calendar which affects instructor availability.

From a planning point of view you need to look 3-6 months and have a small team to work on the coordination.

Big ticket events..

These bring you the largest revenue

There will be more opportunities to upsell with branded event products and merchandising.

But big ticket events needs organisation and longer planning.

There needs to be a competent team of organisers. experienced in hosting and marketing large events.

Planning should be minimum of a year, allowing people to save and book travel and accommodation.

As the host, you will needs access to big name instructors.

You are looking for headliners, people capable of drawing a crowd.

Scheduling for larger events will be difficult but you’ll need confirmation of participating instructors before you can even think about advertising.

No one will register for an event without knowing who is teaching.

Now, let’s consider the logistics:

Firstly location.

Location location location..

Yes, it is really that important.

Is your town suitable to host a large event?

I’m sure it’s a lovely place to live, with loads of local sites that people could visit but if you are looking for large numbers of people to attend, then it needs to be accessible.

In reality it has to be in a location with a hub airport and great transport links.

If your town/city is known for hosting conventions, then you should be good to go.

You need a larger training venue,

Depending on the number of guest instructors you may need to think about a venue big enough for 200+ people per day.

During the day, attendees will need to be fed and watered.

Does the venue supply catering or will you need to out source.

The venue has to have attached or nearby accommodation preferably with a variety restaurants.

If the location is family friendly you’ll get a larger audience. People are more likely to make it into a vacation.

Lastly to host any kind of event, you’ll need deep pockets.

You need strict budget control as revenue won’t flow until registrations occur and that will be after everything has been booked and payed for.

Obviously I can’t cover everything in a single blog post, but If you would like further advice on event hosting, please get in touch..

Speak to you soon..