98% of students never make it to Black Belt!
80% quit within their first 6 months of training!
The numbers are shocking and indicate that the odds ARE AGAINST YOU in most schools, regarding your chances of achieving your self-defense and/or martial arts dreams. Many schools drag-out your training, by focusing the second you walk-in the door, on teaching skills that take years to become effective at. I'm convinced many schools intentionally do that, along with leaving out certain exercises and techniques that will speed up your progress, just so you'll hand them a check EVERY month for as long as possible! I believe most students quit within their first 6 months because they either recognize all this, or because they simply wanted to learn how to effectively defend themself in a much shorter amount of time. In my school there are (2) types of training. The first focuses on teaching students certain techniques that will allow them to quickly become effective in defending themselves in the street. It primarily focuses on techniques anyone can do! The second type of training is more long-term and for those who want to take their skills to an even higher level. The reason for this type of approach? There are skills anyone can become great at quickly, then there are skills that typically take a couple of years to become great at. Most schools focus on the latter, thus putting a students well-being at risk, should they run into a street situation before long-term proficiency is achieved! We believe our simultaneous short-term/long-term training approach provides "A Better Way of Self-Defense".
I'm convinced the dream of becoming a black belt is more achievable than most people realize, yet 98% of people never make it! Why? I think alot of it has to do with the way some schools focus entirely on a long-term training approach to make someone street proficient, versus most students wanting to become proficient much sooner. There's no magic, nor anything mystical to becoming a black belt, quite the contrary!
There's a VERY CLEAR and EASY formula that creates black belts in most ANY school!
So what is that formula? Simply, a black belt is a white belt that never quit (before achieving their goal)! The challenge all school owners face is getting students to stick-around long enough to achieve that! I feel the blame for students not sticking around more often rests on an instructors shoulders than most instructors want to either acknowledge or admit! ANY PERSON that keeps showing up for classes, puts forth their best effort, does their scheduled tests, should make it to black belt! So the problem again is why students don't stick-around to achieve that! As for me, I'm committed to going way beyond the mediocre efforts of most instructors, regarding the key components I've identified they should provide so students stick-around and achieve their goals!
It takes no initial athleticism, no magically gifted body, and no born-with Van Damme type flexibility for splits, to become a REAL black belt. If having any of that was truly necessary, than I'm living proof of someone who should've never made it to black belt! I was initially the most unathletic and clumsy person who ever tried martial arts! Additionally, I'm probably one of the most unflexible people who made it to black belt in a kicking art (TKD)! I still can't get past 130 degree splits (180 being full splits), I only have an 80 degree ballet turnout, and after 25 yrs certain kicks still aren't head-high. Most of my kicks are no higher than stomach level. I'm still very UNFLEXIBLE, and I've been told after X-Rays and MRI's that the top of my femur is square instead of round, and due to that type of fit into my hip socket there's limited range of motion, and its unlikely I'll ever be able to do splits or head-high Van Damme type kicks! Furthermore, I started Karate at age 18, at a point when most people said "Hey, you're too old to be doing that or hoping for head high kicks/full splits". However, I'm convinced that I can take adults (over 18) who can't do splits, or who think "they can't" become good in Karate, and if they stick-around, work hard, remain dedicated, I can make them good! In fact, I bet most adults will be completely SHOCKED at how good they can become in a very short amount of time!
Listen to what a couple of our students had to say:
I am a 50 year old man who decided to take up martial arts for the first time. After looking around I decided to try Mr. Mannís school because I liked the philosophy of learning several martial arts instead of focusing on just one. Since joining Mr. Mannís class I have increased my confidence and feel that I could defend myself quite well if necessary. The classes are a lot of fun and I look forward to going to them each week. Mr. Mann is very open-minded and flexible; he will modify his lessons so that anyone can perform. I would recommend Mannís Martial Arts to anyone interested in self-defense. - J. Faerber
In addition to learning important self-defense skills, Mann's program is great for a cardiovascular workout. I've lost about 20 pounds over a six week period, and I am more motivated to work out on a weekly basis because I enjoy what I'm doing. - J.M.
Any instructor can teach kids to become great, while their bodies/muscles/joints are still developing, thats easy! But you know what impresses me? Someone who can consistently take ANY ADULT who is unflexible, unathletic, whose body has already developed, who doesn't have the energy level of most children, and make them great. Now that my friends is impressive, a whole different level of teaching, and one I'm making a personal goal to become great at! In essence, making the dream of becoming a REAL high-quality black belt achievable for any adult, no matter their age, gender, or physical condition!
All a student has to do is show up twice a week for class, and on a couple of "off days" work on certain techniques and exercises for 10-20 minutes at home, keep coming back non-stop to class for a couple of years no matter how frustrated they get, and I'm convinced anyone who does that WILL MAKE IT, especially in my school! That my friends, IS the magic formula to becoming a black belt!
Having been an assistant instructor of Grandmaster Becerra's for many years, co-owning a local TKD school in the early 90's that wasn't financially successful, and being invited to visit other schools due to my martial arts instructional video reviews website, I've seen first hand what attracts and keeps tons of students in some schools, and what makes them flee others! I have visited and talked with countless instructors, in detail, who were on both sides of that fence. Furthermore, I often get emails from students all over the world expressing their training frustrations and why they either quit a certain instructor, or are thinking about it. I have made mental notes of all this over the years, and carefully designed the training program I have in mind for my students, so that it avoids ALL PITFALLS and students REACH THEIR GOALS!
One of the questions we're often asked is:
What style do you teach? - Simple answer, it is a mixed style! Somedays it looks like we're doing kickboxing, and on other days it looks like we're doing jujitsu. So why would someone want to consider a mixed style? It has been estimated that there are over 100 martial arts schools in the Dallas area. Let's first look at what most of them are. 80-90% of them are TKD schools! Tae-Kwon-Do seems to be the most popular martial art in Dallas that people recognize and take. Yet if a person really opens the door and looks inside most TKD schools they'll often notice that kids are mostly what fills them up, and there's hardly any adults! Quite often adults over 30 who try TKD don't even last but a few weeks in most schools. They quit because they quickly felt the training demands, and what they were taught and told to do, was unrealistic for their aging bodies. Well guess what? I couldn't agree more! It's fairly obvious that TKD fails to attract and retain a majority of adults over 30! I think alot of that is due to what we hear adults say, the head high kicks that are demanded, the jumping 3-4 feet off the ground to try and do certain kicks, the time requirements at home one has to spend in the splits to increase flexibility so one can try to do head high kicks, etc. Heck, if most gymnasts can't even make it to 30 or 40 doing their jumping-and-turning stuff in the air, how insane is it for a martial arts intructor to try and convince aging adults they should learn to jump 3-4 feet off the ground, and do a 180 degree turning kick in the air?
What I most often hear adults say is that they just want to learn how to defend themselves, get a great workout, and have the opportunity to earn rank in something! Well that's exactly what we deliver, without alot of the non-sense most schools keep trying to force upon adults! Thus, we simply and generically label what we teach as "American Karate", although somedays it might be more appropriate to call it American Jujitsu, or even American Street Fighting. What we do is more hands oriented than what most TKD schools, it has lots of hand strikes, locks, chokes, and throws, lots of dirty fighting tricks, limited kicking with mainly stomach level kicks, and no jumping off the ground and spinning in the air like a gymnast! What we teach is very different than what most TKD schools teach, in fact we don't require forms for rank advancement! We encourage at least 50% punching (hand techniques), and some of our aging adults even do 80% punching. Why? We mainly teach an "over 30" crowd, so lets look at things realistically. There are those past that age who aren't going to be easily or willingly jumping 3-4 feet off the ground and spinning in the air, due to age, physical limitations, injuries, risk of injuries, etc. Also many past that age are entering an age group that even many professional sports define as "passing ones athletic prime", so why try to make them jump in the air and do Olympic type gymnastic techniques, when 30-40 yr olds won't typically be able to do them better than someone half their age? I have yet to find even one person over 30 who has a big interest in all the crazy acrobatic, aerial, gymnastic type techniques that kids and teenagers learn at most TKD schools! Thus, what we teach is more hands-oriented, has limited low kicks (we only do 3 main kicks), that we feel are the most realistic ones for street defense.
If you look around, you'll see that there are typically very few aging adult black belts who remain active in kicking-oriented styles as they get older. Kicking can be very demanding on ones body, especially as they age. Yet due to leg muscles being larger than those in our arms, kicking delivers the most powerful strikes, and if one trains properly, there's a good chance kicking can last many years. Kicking does however present some risk, as many great kickers who train excessively (more like obsessively) have been known to experience problems later on in life with their knees, hips or back, due to the wear-and-tear and focus on remaining an active kicker. Also, as one ages and tries to remain a highly active kicker, their risk for injury increases, as they attempt to retain high levels of skill and flexibility, both of which can become more challenging or burdensome to maintain as one ages. As someone in a kicking art ages, they often have to work much harder to retain their high level of kicking skill, than they had too when they were much younger! Thus they may arrive at a point when their body tells them they should place more of a focus on their hands. If one listens to their body, they should know when that time is approaching!
It is the Chief Instructors belief that a person should be trained so that they are well-rounded in all fighting ranges (long, mid, close, ground), not just kicking (long-range), so that as they age, or possibly face physical problems later in life, they can adapt what they know and their fighting style to those possiblities. Specifically, they may at a later age in life have to do less kicking! Thus, the idea of simultaneously training in a large assortment of hand techniques may have an appeal to certain individuals as a backup plan to learning how to do certain kicks.
Some students may find that kicking is best for them, or something they're excited about, during their childhood, teens, 20's and possibly 30's. Yet as a student who is heavily involved in kicking gets in their mid-to-late 30's, 40's, or 50's, they may start noticing physical wear-and-tear due to kicking, and decide they want to start moving away from kicking and become more hands-oriented. This is an area in which the Chief Instructor feels he has something unique to offer that most schools don't. The Chief Instructor has seen countless instances in his life, when someone becomes a black belt in a kicking art, and shortly thereafter, or a few years later, quits martial arts. Then a couple of years after that, an individuals kicking skills digress significantly, and eventually diminishes to the point where all the time they spent training in something they hoped was lasting (kicking), ends up eventually wasted and gone. The Chief Instructor feels that showing students an approach that addresses "all fighting ranges" provides them more complete training, that will last their entire life, and unlike 99% of all other martial arts schools, provides young-and-old a 2 path approach (hand and feet options) that allows a student to choose or adapt too whatever mix of either they need too, should they later in life have too, due to age, lifestyle or physical challenges they may incur at some point. He feels its "A Better Way of Self-Defense" and martial arts training. Unlike most instructors more narrow training approach, Mr. Mann's goal is to make sure his students are much more broadly exposed to various techniques from numerous styles, and that his students truly are trained to enjoy a lifetime of benfits from their training, and not just a few years (like many predominant kicking styles).
Mr. Mann is known as an authority on evaluating martial arts styles, instructors, training methods, and techniques due to his website "Martial Arts Video Reviews"! In the 80's and 90's martial arts instructional training videos began flooding the market, an unregulated business, often making false promises, while making many unscrupulous instructors millionaires. Often these individuals or their marketing companies would put full page ads in magazines claiming things like "My tapes will teach you overnight to defeat any Black Belt". Many times these videos failed to provide the consumer quality training, offered misleading advertising, and the industry overall had a "No Refund" policy unscrupulous instructors hid behind, for single VHS tapes that often cost $40-$100 each! There was no recourse for consumers, nor resource or individual that took-on the daunting task of providing unbiased reviews of all these various types of videos. In 1997, after having earned black belts in 2 different styles, Mr. Mann started an internet website called "Martial Arts Video Reviews". That website became one of the the most visited site on the internet for martial arts video reviews! 19 yrs online, Mr. Mann's website was getting at it's peak over 10,000 visitors a month. Martial arts consumers have come to trust his opinion and seek his advice before making these type of "no refund" purchases! This has put Mr. Mann in-touch with martial artists, instructors, and companies from all over the world, many of which Mr. Mann has talked too or met, often asking questions or sharing ideas, that broadened Mr. Mann's knowledge and perspective on training.
Now having nearly 2000 instructional videos in his personal collection, Mr. Mann is confident he has more information, techniques, knowledge to share, along with training secrets to get faster results, than most other instructors in the Dallas area. Mr. Mann states "We will find out on a student-by-student basis, what works for each of you! Many instructors try to put you into what-worked-for-them, versus putting you into what-works-for-you!" One of his favorite quotes that should put a persons training choice into perspective is this..."It doesn't matter what your instructor can do. He won't be there to save you in the street. The only thing that matters is what you can do - David James"
If you tried martial arts but dropped out due to training frustrations, or you thought about it and didn't due to age or injuries, come try Mann's Martial Arts and see how quickly you can become good at defending yourself. The schools approach to training is different than many other schools and your results will be too!
Call us today at 214-579-4682 to schedule a visit!
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