Page 1

December 2008 NOVEMBER 2008

NOAH SETS HIS ARK SAILING AT THE EFC SUMMIT See the passengers who embarked on this life-changing voyage

Are you making any of these 5 mistakes in managing your martial arts school? å Failure to have in place an effective internal and external marketing system that generates at least 20 new members per month

ç Lack of a deep understanding of how to have excellent student retention

é Not charging the correct tuition amount

è Not owning your own school building

ê Wearing the hats of both martial

Nicholas Cokinos EFC Chairman

artist and bill collector


Many Educational Funding Company clients


Today, they are teaching 300 students and more!

Rock Solid Integrity

started with only 50 students in their schools. Call today to order your free audio CD entitled “Double Your Gross at No Additional Cost”

Call today to begin solving these problems EFC Tuition Billing Rate as low as


EFC USA/ Canada 4740 Chevy Chase Drive Suite 200 Chevy Chase, MD 20815

EFC UK/ Ireland 6 Barton Court 11-12 High Street, Highworth Swindon, England SN6 7AG

EFC Australia/ New Zealand 3/13 Bon Mace Close Tumbi Umbi, NSW 2261




or visit us at








2008 Summit in Panaroma

14 16 20

Summit Presentation Reviews

Findings from Summit 2008

2008 EFC Summit Award Winners




Being Different and Being Successful Interview with Master Hung Tran



23 26 34

Inside Scoop

Take a Minute With the Chairman Staff Training Dojo Drills & Skills

EFC Publications Team Nicholas Cokinos, EFC Chairman Mark Cokinos, EFC Vice President John Cokinos, EFC President Ned Muffley, General Manager Joe Guiton Ananya Bhattacharyya Shavanthi Mendis Suchandra Maity Jairo Rodriguez Sumana Samanta

Publisher Editor-In-Chief Executive Editor Talking Newsletter Host Talking Newsletter Editor Editor/Writer Graphics Manager Graphic Artist Web/Graphic Designers

Contributing Writers & Consultants

EFC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dennis Brown Jim Clapp David Deaton Buzz Durkin Garland Johnson Steve LaVallee Nick Patakos Chris Robinson Joyce Santamaria Greg Tearney Keith Thompson

EFC UK ADVISORY BOARD John Lynn Ken Pankiewicz Ken Robson

EFC ADVISORY BOARD Anthony Arango Tim Barchard Charles Chi Kathy Faust John Godwin Ivan Kravitz Teri Lee Steve Sohn Bill Taylor Debbie Thompson Angelo Vitale Liz Mahler David Durman

EFC Headquarters


4740 Chevy Chase Dr. Suite 200 Chevy Chase, MD 20815 Tel: 301-654-8677 Fax: 301-654-7750 E-mail: General Manager: Ned Muffley

Visit our website at

EFC UNITED KINGDOM/IRELAND Unit 6 Barton Court 11-12 High Street Highworth Swindon, England SN6 7AG Tel: 01793-764550 Fax: 01793-764557 Email: General Manager: Mike Allen

EFC AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND 3/13 Bon Mace Close, Tumbi Umbi, NSW 2261 Tel: 02-4389-0808 Fax: 02-4389-0818 Email:

SATORI ROCKS! All EFC Gold Package Premium subscribers can access two training videos—covering business and staff training—via the web every week.


Our job is to make people more successful. We recognize that each job in our day-to-day operation contributes to the success of others. We pledge ourselves to the pursuit of excellence. By consistent example, we develop the passion for excellence in others. The Eagle Express is published monthly by the Educational Funding Company.

“I always appreciate the knowledge I receive from you, including the Satori System. I want to grow my school and help many people in their lives. One of the things I have noticed is that you seem to understand my goals. All the information not only helps to make better martial artists, but also better people. Thanks for all of your help.”

—Larry H. Adams



INSIDE SCOOP EFC CLIENT WINS TITLES IN TWO IMPORTANT EVENTS Mark Staniszewski, who co-owns the Combat Judo Academy in Massapequa, NY, competed at the 2008 Pan American Games in October for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and won two gold medals—in the Ultra Heavyweight and Absolute divisions. This is the largest tournament of its kind in North America, with competitors from all over the U.S., Brazil, Puerto Rico and Canada. On November 8, he also won two expert divisions at the North American Grappling Championships (NAGC), which enabled him to boost his ranking to #1 in the country. Staniszewski is a local police officer, with a black belt in Judo and is a ranking Gracie Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Combat Judo Academy website is at

DEFYING THE ECONOMY BY JOE DICKENS Despite the dismal news about the economy, a surprisingly large number of our clients are doing better than ever. Joe Dickens, who owns Dongʼs Karate at Harbour Pointe in Midlothian, VA, is one of them. In the months of late September and October he sent the Educational Funding Company 26 new contracts. His schoolʼs gross is poised to hit the $20,000 mark, with his renewals being up as well. We asked him what was the reason behind his success and hereʼs how he summed it up: Newspaper advertisements. Advertising in the local Chesterfield newspaper, which is called The Community Weekly, has always worked well for us, as Iʼve found that most of Chesterfieldʼs residents read this publication, which is available to them for free. So I havenʼt backed off on advertising at all; in fact I have increased my advertising budget. I make sure our ad is colorful and catches the eye. I also advertise in The Yellow Pages, as well as The Yellow Book, which goes to a broader audience. Freebies. We have also started a limited time offer of two free trial classes and a uniform, which allows potential students to come and try our school without making any commitments. We make sure that the classes are not over-crowded and that everybody coming in gets individual attention.



Internal events. We invest in internal events such as picnics, parties, safety days (in cooperation with the police force and the fire department), which boosts retention and introduces people to our school. Along with the other three full-time branches in the Richmond area, we have also helped to contribute over $220,000 to The Childrenʼs Hospital of Richmond through our annual school charity tournament. We believe in giving back to the community that has supported us over the years. Strong curriculum. We have a strong, proven system created by Grandmaster Seung Dong, a 9th degree black belt, which is the highest rank in the martial arts. Grandmaster Dong is the only 9th degree in the Richmond area and over the last 38 years has promoted over 5,000 people to black belt. He is a 9th degree in Tae Kwon Do, Kum Do (swordsmanship) and Pro Tae Kwon Do. Clean studio. In addition to having a spotless studio, we also have an Olympic quality safety mat and the latest in safety equipment. All of our instructors have come up through our system and are all adults and certified by Grandmaster Dong. Word of mouth. We focus on providing great student service to both new and existing students. We make sure our classes are high energy and fun. Word of mouth is the number one recruitment tool for us.




summit in panorama





We would like to thank all the participants of this yearʼs Summit for making it a resounding success. This commemorative edition of the Eagle is not only for those who attended, but also for those who did not. We hope, though, that you will consider attending next year! We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to network and witness what others are thinking and doing. Also many of our clients run programs in their schools that help staff members raise money for their trip to the Summit; owners donʼt spend a dollar. For example, 45 staff members of Kyoshi Steve LaValleeʼs organization attended, without him having to pay for any of them. Stay tuned for articles on this subject in subsequent Eagles and plan to start your own staff travel program as soon as possible. See you at the Ritz next year!

Jason and Vice President Mark Cokinos talk about Gabrieles’ Karate’s record breaking year

A room full of champions


LaVallee repeats, “I like it, I love it, I need more of it”

The Chairman says, “There are men in the ranks who will stay in the ranks”



Ernie Reyes always delivers front page news!

Tennessee’s high society welcomes EFC: The Deatons’ with their Program Director, Candy



John Lynn: “Keeps it real”


New England’s Finest: Tokyo Joe, Board Member Buzz Durkin, Robert Young and Jr.



❰❰ 8

David Deaton’s Demo pays tribute to the people who serve the counrty

John Godwin has 5 good reasons to get the gross up! Here is one of them

❰❰ CDR Muffley as Noah

❰❰ Bridget Johnson: “What you want, baby I got it... what you need, you know I got it... All I’m asking is for a little respect!”

❰❰ Robyn & Mark Gildemeester run one of the highest grossing schools in Canada


Kim Andrello of LaVallee’s Black Belt Champions: a 5th degree black belt and a mother of 4.

❰❰ Katherine and Mathew Van Wolput: Loving their success & working at the summit to relieve their growing pains

The Wise Words of CDR Noah

The following is a transcription of CDR Muffleyʼs speech at the Summit: “Remember, I am six hundred years old. My advice to you is, stay fit. When you are 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something very big. Time is short and you must start now. Donʼt miss the boat of opportunity. We are all in the same boat together. Donʼt get in the boat and let the stream carry you down. All good things are upstream. Miss nothing; visit and talk to all the experts that are here. Start doing these things today so you can ensure a better and more prosperous tomorrow. Plan ahead. Remember, it wasnʼt raining when I built the ark. I too was criticized, but I watched all my critics drown in the sea of financial despair. Donʼt listen to the critics. I have heard all the critics—people who say, “It canʼt be done”; “It wonʼt work for me”; and “I have already tried that.” People said I couldnʼt do it either. And I thought of quitting many times, but I did not. After 120 years, I survived. Iʼm not worried, for Iʼve built my ark on high ground and on the rock solid foundation of EFC principles. With these, you will be able to build your own financial ark. I must go now and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Remember, the pain of discipline lasts for a few moments, but the pain of regret lasts a lifetime. Which do you choose? Remember the ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals. Also the ark had only one entrance, and that entrance is EFC. No matter the storm, when youʼre with God, thereʼs always a rainbow waiting.” EAGLE EXPRESS | DECEMBER 2008



EFC Advisory Board: Bill Taylor, Charles Chi, Steve Sohn, Tim Barhard, Kathy Faust, Anthony Arango, John Godwin, Terri Lee, Ivan Kravitz, Debbie Thompson, John Lynn, Mike Allen-EFC General Manager, (Angelo Vitale not in picture)


EFC Board of Directors: Steve LaVallee, Keith Thompson, Chris Robinson, Greg Tearny, Garland Johnson, Dennis Brown, Nick Patakos, Buzz Durkin, David Deaton, Jim Clapp (Joyce Santamaria not in picture)

❰❰ 10

Saturday Night Live presents... the Chairman (John Cokinos as the Chairman)


Tearney’s Transforming Power!


EFC’s Aruna with Neil Stone (a student of Buzz Durkin) who has had dramatic recent results

“There is no business like show business.” CDR Muffley joins in the act




Liz Mahler and David Durman: heading up EFC “down under”



Tyron and Joti Clark: “She makes his hair stand on end”

Mammi Barchard brings a smile to the academy team

Presenting the Chi’s: Charles Chi a PhD, Myra a lawyer, and 2 children studying martial arts EAGLE EXPRESS | DECEMBER 2008


Dennis Brown takes us on a journey to OZ, “we must have a heart, a brain, and most importantly... courage!”


The smile of a champion... Bob Myer of Middletown, NJ

Dr. Ned counsels Angelo and Kim

❰❰ All eyes on Gene Dunn

❰❰ 12

Jennifer and Paul Holley make their appearence on the red carpet


Rick Bethel Wynette - A flood of success. Bethel’s martial arts located in Harrisburg, IL suffered a flood that dumped 1 foot of water in his school. With martial arts spirit his school is back stronger than ever!


The Bold and the Beautiful!

Kentucky Derby here we come!


EFC’s Saiqa and Yetti have a Kodak moment with Jeff Wilson of LaVallees.


EFC staff with Bridget Johnson and Elvis


Jeff and Maryann Sgarlata: Jeff is the man behind Sgarware


Elton John, Tina Turner and her gents “Rolling Down the River” EAGLE EXPRESS | DECEMBER 2008


Summit Presentation



The EFC Summit Nashville proved once again to be a great opportunity for my family and staff. We were energized by all of the positive messages throughout the weekend. Every time we attend the Summit, we know for sure that we will always come home with new information. We look forward to learning things that will be the foundation of a new action plan. One of the seminars that gave me quite a few great new “take home points,” was the seminar taught by Keith Thompson on Top Notch School Must Haves! Some of these were gentle reminders of systems we had in place but were not using properly. Other points were clearly things we need to implement to grow to the next level. Mr. Thompson’s 10 Must Haves: 1. Motivated enthusiastic instructors 2. Well trained instructors 3. Structured, exciting curriculum 4. Well-executed class plan 5. Realistic Tip and Belt testing 6. Clear feedback and Communication 7. Quality Life Skills Curriculum (Character Education) 8. Proper Training Environment

9. Safety First Policy 10. End Every Class on a Win! Two Bonus Must Haves 1. Prophylactics vs. Therapeutics. Have systems in place to solve problems, rather than waiting for the problems to happen. 2. Remain Students Themselves. Train, Train, Train! For our group, we picked 10 new strategies from Mr. Thompson, to improve our teaching: 1. Mat vision. Be aware of everything going on in your school. Donʼt get tunnel vision working only with the students in front of you. Be aware of each student on the floor and every person in the lobby. Use communication between instructors. Use of hand signals to avoid yelling across the floor at each other. 2. Train instructors to teach with influence, not authority, as seen on the EFC website with Mr. Kovarʼs short video in the Satori Drills section. 3. DDD. Demonstrate, Detail, Drill. 4. SSL. Smiling, Sweating, Learning in every class.

5. Three Times Rule. With every student, use their name, appropriate physical touch, eye contact. 6. Public praise, private reprimand. 7. Disguise repetition. How many different ways can you do a side kick? 8. Zero downtime. Renew the commitment to keep all students active all the time. 9. Prep zone: an area designed to get students ready, early, for their class. Keith told us they end every class with, “What time is on time? Ten minutes early!” 10. Curriculum. Start with what your “perfect black belt” looks like and work backward from there to set up a great curriculum.


There is a common fact that whenever there is a fire, people usually gather together within just a few short minutes to watch it burn. Well, this year EFC advisory board member Steve Sohn set himself on fire and a crowd



of EFC All-stars gathered together to watch him burn (figuratively of course) as he presented his success secrets for growing an outstanding school to a capacity crowd. For the last 12 months, Master

Sohn and his staff have been on fire, burning with a passion to deliver outstanding customer service and grow their school to new heights while maintaining quality over all their programs. In the span of just one short year (despite a challenged economy) they have been able to double their student count. What does Master Sohn attribute this unparallel streak of success to? Relationships! The common thread throughout his entire presentation was that without building appropriate relationships with your students and parents there will be no lasting commitment on their part to continue to come to your school. Not just a casual hello, but knowing what is going on in their lives so that you can continually talk to them about the things that are most important to them. Goodwill! Help enough people get what they want and you will get what you want. On a regular basis Master Sohn will

give away free drinks, toys, hand wraps, t-shirts, and a variety of gifts in an effort to show his appreciation to his students. Because his students feel his appreciation, they reciprocate by providing a continuous stream of referrals. I was personally afforded the opportunity to spend a week with Master Sohn over the summer and the one thing that stood out was the atmosphere in the school. People were overly nice. Starting with Master Sohn and his instructors there was a trickle down effect that continued on with his students and parents. Because everyone was so happy the atmosphere in the school made for a pleasant experience for everyone who walks through the door. When Master Sohn arrives at his school the first thing every day, he goes over his EFC reports with meticulous detail, every single line. During staff meetings, not only are student successes and challenges discussed but also what Master Sohn could do to

help the staff achieve their personal goals as well. The staffʼs success is directly linked to the schoolʼs success, so the growth of the school is every instructorʼs concern. Because of the relationships he has built with his students, the staff had no problem asking for referrals everyday, and they get them! If you missed this yearʼs breakout with Steve Sohn you really missed out on the details of how one man was able to light himself, his staff and his school on fire and achieve the kind of success that some school owners only dream about. Now here is the big question you must ask yourself; how can you set yourself on fire to achieve the greatness you deserve? Maybe you should give Master Sohn a call. Youʼll be glad you did.


Can you imagine that every action you take and every interaction you have counts? Can you imagine that everything you do is building relationships… and do it without thinking? Can you imagine constantly recreating yourself and your school? Can you imagine creating and adding value every day, in every way? If you can, then you can imagine celebrating 35 years as a successful school owner; 35 years of being an amazing leader in your community and your industry; and knowing you need to be passionate, hungry and have the drive to take action! These are just some of the gems that Sensei Buzz Durkin shared with us very eloquently at the EFC Summit this year in Nashville, Tennessee. He had us imagining that parents of

students felt like his school was like an oasis in the desert, that he and his staff cared about them like their own family, and that it was important that they (as parents) were in his school to support their children. You have to be able to keep your students around long enough to make them into serious students and be in business long enough to make an impact on your community. Quite simply stated, Sensei Buzz Durkin “enrolls the parents and teaches the kids!” It is a lot more than customer service. Sensei Buzz Durkin creates students for life and relationships of a lifetime!



Findings from Summit 2008

The Quit Book or Reactivation Book


When the authors of this piece shared this idea with other EFC clients during the EFC Summit, they saw tremendous interest. We have included the brochure mentioned in this piece in our Marketing CD for your benefit. Scenario: You are waiting in the waiting room talking to parents, greeting students, lifting everyone’s spirits with your awesome attitude. Or, you are talking to a mom whose child just took an awesome intro class when suddenly you are approached by a parent wit a crying child, who says, “He wants to quit,” or “I don’t know what to do,” or “He doesn’t want to come any more,” “He doesn’t like it,” or “I can’t force him,” and the list goes on. Besides the annoyance of the student wanting to quit, did they have to mention it in front of everyone, or during the new intro? I feel your pain, and it happens to all of us. When the parent approaches you, it is never a good time to talk. They are at an emotional high, and nothing you say

Summit’s A Winner:

Excerpts from Letters Like always, we received some great responses regarding the EFC Summit. Because of space constraints, we are publishing excerpts from a few of these.



will make them think reasonably. You have to think fast and the right words may not be at the tip of your tongue. Finally, is this really a conversation that you want to have out of nowhere? No! How do you respond? We have taken the approach of responding with, “I understand. Please do me a favor. Read this special brochure I have prepared for moments like this. Give me a call tomorrow and we can set up an appointment to discuss it.” Then we set up a meeting at an appropriate time where everyone is receptive to solutions. This is what we call a “Quit or Reactivation Book.” The copy [included in the Marketing CD] is the first draft that was distributed at the Summit in Nashville, TN. We’ve already implemented it in our Training Center. Twice now, kids who wanted to quit have decided to stay in the program. Parents said, “You are absolutely right. He is not going anywhere.” Wow! Powerful. We’ve saved tow parents from emotional torture and saved two students. The next time the situation comes up, because it will come up again, their parents know how to handle the problem, not just with martial arts but in applicable situations. This problem can come up with homework, practicing an instrument or doing chores. We have now given parents the right type of thinking—not stinkin’ thinkin’ (asah Kyoshi LaVallee). This was designed to make it easy for you to team up and solve the quit problem. Please let us know what you think. Let us know how we can improve this. Our plan is to make a book like this for adults. You can contact Sensei Steve Sohn at or

Sensei Erika Beintrexler at or call them at (914) 723-7818 with questions, comments or suggestions.

For us the trip was like a family reunion. We always look forward to our EFC martial arts family from all over the country and the world. We saw many of our good friends from the UK and even from Australia. (It is great to have Mark home. He was dearly missed). And of course, the relationships we have with so many of the USA EFC clients go way beyond business. The personal connection with them is very strong. The Summit is the place to catch up, network and keep our fingers on the pulse of the industry. I thank EFC for making the relationships possible. Mr. Cokinos, you challenged us and inspired us to shoot for

improving everything we do in life by 20%. We will take the challenge seriously and give it our best effort. Sincerely, Keith and Debbie Thompson

Mr. Cokinos, I have said this before, but it bears repeating. Thank you for allowing me the means to teach martial arts and having a real impact on my community. Kudos to Steve Sohn, Steve Lavalle, Keith Thompson, Garland Johnson, Mike Nebgen, and all of the

Innovative Ways to Keep Young Talent Plugged In BY JASON GABRIELE

Here is a handout from one of EFC’s triumphant Summit sessions: 1. Allow students to assist on the floor one night a week




5. 6.

and steadily increase their time if you are hearing positive feedback. Hold them accountable for their actions and assign them daily tasks. —You must teach them the proper Kaizen reporting at a young age. Create a ‘vision’ for them. —At a young age this is sometimes hard to see. Set realistic and visible goals for them. Having something to work hard towards makes work more enjoyable. Challenge them to be creative. —Allow them to be part of the developmental stages of your curriculum and marketing. Ask for their input and listen! Always monitor their progress and reward them publicly when they reach a goal. Teach them how to set goals and create a MAP (Massive

other speakers. David Deatonʼs closing ceremony was one of the most touching and inspiring moments of my EFC career. You certainly know how to surround yourselves with good people, a great example of your “smarts”! Respectfully, Bill Taylor

Garland Johnson is the epitome of a giver. He has a mentoring relationship with 175 EFC schools. If anyone needs help with a standard operational procedure or a script, they can always

Action Plan) and then have good follow through. 7. Believe in them!

—Have faith in them and let them grow, which means they will make mistakes. —This allows them to have more confidence in their decision-making and opens the door of creativity. 8. “LBEEE” – Leadership By Example with Energy for Excellence! Walk your talk. 9. Once they begin to grow, let them be mentors to other young instructors. —This starts them on the management path and keeps them on their toes. 10. Never allow them to plateau. —Never let them know that they are perfect where they are. Continue to push them to grow and improve, which shows them that you care. 11. Become their mentor, life coach, and friend, not just their boss. 12. Always use the drip theory. — “Can you imagine where you will be in five years? That’s going to be a good lifestyle at the age of 25!” 13. Never want it more than they do. They have to want it! 14. Don’t get stuck doing all the talking. —Let them learn and allow them to blossom. They will feel more vested. 15. Finally, lead by example. (This is most important!) —If you want others to follow in your footsteps, watch where you put your feet. You can’t tell your staff to work hard and train hard if you are not willing to do the same. They will eventually lose respect for you and find guidance from someone else. Gabrieles Karate Kickbox |

turn to him. He is always in tune with EFC and willing to help in any way he can. This year he won the President’s Award as a tribute to his contribution to EFC and its clients. Here is an excerpt from his response: Dear President John, I have watched you over the years and have seen astronomical growth. It is a true joy to watch you come in to your own. I am quick to realize that you are the person that opened the door and welcomed me into the Board of Advisers, and as a result allowed me to be around the best of the best. Your kindness changed the direction of our lives for the better. Bridget and

I owe you much and we want to say a healthy thank you…. It was quite a humbling experience to receive such a prestigious award. It is greatly appreciated, sir, because it came from you and because of what it represents. I will try my best to live up to it. You create a special moment in my life that I will cherish. I appreciate being appreciated. Kind regards, Garland, Bridget and the kids




Resembles a hand held paddle, but with some obvious differences. It’s bigger, has more padding, makes a great sound and can be strapped any height on large or medium bags. Excellent for punching drills, spin kicks, roundhouse kicks and all kinds of crescent kicks. Features highlighted target areas and hook and loop closures for a secure fit. Makes a great sound when struck. Your students will love it. Measures 14-1/2” long. #81300





Mention Dept. Code EFC8



Since 1972 The Leader In Human Contact Sport





Visit our showroom at 9400 Ashton Rd, Phila., PA 19114 ©2008 AWMA, Inc.


������������������� ��������������������������� ��������������

��������������� ���������������������������� ����������������������

����������������������� ��������������������������������� ������������������

��������������������� ���������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������

��������������������� ������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������������

�������������������� ������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� �����������������

�������������� ������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������

������������������������������������������� ������������������


©2008 AWMA, Inc.

VISIT OUR SHOWROOM 9400 Ashton Rd Philadelphia, PA 19114 �����������


800-345-2962 •



08 EFC Summit Award Winners

The 2008 EFC Summit Awards are designed to celebrate the achievements of top performers within the EFC family over the past year. We wish to honor individuals who have made progress and demonstrated what can and should be accomplished in the martial arts field.

2008 Outstanding Program Director Award Recipients USA CINDY YOUNG David Deaton Karate Studio HOLLY NICHOLS Kicks Martial Arts ELAINE HEIECK Satori Academy TANIKA THOMPSON Ernie Reyes’ West Coast Tae Kwon Do MATTHEW HOOSE USA Masters Academy TRUDY LOFRANCO Meyerland Martial Arts Center MELANIE GREGORY Maududo Federation CASSIE DEWITT Midwest Martial Arts Academy RAFAEL LIMA Renzo Gracie Academy CAROLYN PEEPLES Pak’s Karate LAURA VALLIERES Tim Barchard’s Professional Martial Arts Academy ROSSANO FLORES International Martial Arts Academy PERRI ROTELLA Greg Tearney’s All American Martial Arts BRIDGET O’BRIEN Buzz Durkin’s Uechi Karate School SANDY HUGHES Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts MARILYN LEE Black Belt Martial Arts Center


ANITA SETO Dennis Brown Shaolin Wushu Training Center LAURIEANN JOHNSON V.I.P. Black Belt Champions Training Center ALEXIS TEARNEY Greg Tearney’s All American Martial Arts JERRY COOPER USA Karate STACEY DELUCA Epic Martial Arts ERIKA BEINTREXLER Jujitsu Concepts/Krav Maga CANADA GOGI SIDHU Canadian Martial Arts & Wellness Centre Corp SANDY LEWIS Robinsons / Lewis Karate School UK LARISA RICE Yarm Martial Arts Academy Ltd SARAH DAVIS Kickfit Academy

JAYNE PAWSON Bujinkan Kokoro Dojo Martial Arts Academy 2008 Most Inspiring Instructor Award Recipients USA ANDREW CORNELL Gabrieles Karate, Inc. ANTHONY DEWITT Midwest Martial Arts Academy WILLIAM CLARK Greg Tearney’s All American Martial Arts RJ LEE Black Belt Martial Arts Center SETH DEWEY Pak’s Karate MARCUS KNIGHT Gabrieles Karate, Inc CARLOS TEARNEY Greg Tearney’s All American Martial Arts RANDY MCELWEE American Black Belt

Academy CHRIS SHELTON Tim Barchard’s Professional Martial Arts Academy ALLEN CLARK PRENTICE JR. Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts DIANE BARCHARD Tim Barchard’s Professional Martial Arts Academy MICHELLE CONSTABLE The Tae Kwon Do Institute KIMBERLY HEINZ Vitale’s Karate Academy DANNY BRENKA Degerberg Academy Martial Arts STEVEN BASTIEN Gabrieles Karate, Inc. SIBASIBEN BUSHEN Dennis Brown Shaolin Wushu Training Center UNITED KINGDOM RACHEL GORDON Shudokan Black Belt Academy

JAMES D. TOSOFF West Coast Tae Kwon Do, Inc. SHAWN CARPENTER Warrior’s Realm Martial Arts Academy UK MARK SCIBERRAS John Lynn’s Black Belt Academy-Mark Sciberras TONY RICE Yarm Martial Arts Academy Ltd NIGEL GLOSSOP Choi Kwang-Do Ltd MATTHEW HOBDEN The Choi Foundation

JOHN MACDONALD Kickfit Academy BRENT BURMAN John Lynn’s Black Belt Academy DAN KERNAHAN Bujinkan Kokoro Dojo Martial Arts Academy BRENDAN MORELLI Cassar Academy of Choi Kwang Do 2008 Blue Ribbon Martial Arts School Award Recipients USA NICHOLAS & STACEY DELUCA Epic Martial Arts RON SELL Karate Advantage

ENOCH PAUL, JR. Enoch’s Karate EDDIE A. CALLA Calla Karate Ltd MATTHEW VAN WOLPUT Oak Ridge Martial Arts Academy DAVE HERMAN New Generation Karate Inc. DANIELE RUOCCO International Martial Arts Academy DR. MARCUS IMSANDE Martial Arts USA ANTHONY BARKER Valley Tang Soo Do Academy BOB MEYER Middletown Martial Arts CANADA JOHN JOHANIS Johanis’ Karate School Inc

2008 Outstanding Martial Arts School Award Recipients USA LUIGI CUELLAR & ALEX CHAN Nubreed Martial Arts Academy KEITH & DEBORAH THOMPSON Tristar Martial Arts Academy of Westminster Inc. NEIL STONE Neil Stone’s Karate Academy Inc. TERI LEE West Coast Tae Kwon Do LEE LAWLER Lawler’s Tae Kwon Do Inc ROD SANFORD Rod Sanford’s Traditional Karate MICHAEL VACCA East West Karate CRAIG PEEPLES Pak’s Karate KATHY & ROB OLEVSKY Karate International Raleigh Inc BOB & SHEEBA LEE Black Belt Martial Arts Center RICHARD SPATOLA & ENZO ALIOTTA United Studios Self Defense GENE DUNN Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu CHUCK CORDOVA Peoples Kenpo Karate

IVAN S. KRAVITZ U.S. Black Belt Academy EDDIE SOLIS & JONATHAN ROXAS SAMA JASON GABRIELE Gabrieles Karate, Inc. SCOTT SANDT & LEE SANDT Rock Solid Karate TOM & JODY HOULD Red Dragon Karate MICHAEL & KAORI NEBGEN Meyerland Martial Arts Center BARAT & NASIMA JAN Eagle Martial Arts, Inc. CRAIG HALEY LaVallee’s USA Black Belt Champions CANADA ROBYN & MARK GILDEMEESTER Master Gee’s Academy VICTOR LUKE Luke’s Tae Kwon Do UNITED KINGDOM VINCE CASSAR Cassar Academy of Choi Kwang Do AUSTRALIA LIZ MAHLER & DAVE DURMAN Black Belt Martial Arts NEW ZEALAND TOM & OLIVIA KUPA Kupa International Martial Arts 2008 Martial Arts Spirit Award Recipients USA STEVE LAVALLEE LaVallee’s USA Black Belt Champions UK JOHN LYNN John Lynn’s Black Belt Academy KEN PANKIEWICZ Kickfit Academy KEN ROBSON Shudokan Black Belt Academy



JENNY MARTLAND John Lynn’s BBA – Chris & Gemma Pritchard AUSTRALIA SANDY & BRIAN HAYES Hunter Valley Martial Arts Centre LIZ MAHLER & DAVE DURMAN Black Belt Martial Arts 2008 Martial Arts Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipients USA RENZO GRACIE Renzo Gracie Academy STEPHEN SOHN Jujitsu Concepts/Krav Maga ZULFI AHMED Bushi Ban International 2008 Award for Outstanding Contribution to EFC



Martial Arts Publications Recipients USA DEBORAH THOMPSON Tristar Martial Arts Academy, Inc STEVE LAVALLEE LaVallee’s Usa Black Belt Champions FARSHAD AZAD Azad’s Martial Arts Academy CHARLES CHI Chi’s Martial Arts 2008 Legion of Honor Award Recipients USA RENZO GRACIE Renzo Gracie Academy GARLAND & BRIDGET JOHNSON Universal Kempo Karate Schools Association TOM & JODY HOULD Red Dragon Karate

UNITED KINGDOM NICK CLARKE Wcka Pontypridd & Welsh Valleys

DANIEL WALKER The Tae Kwon Do Institute GARY STEELE Gary Steele Karate Studio

Martial Arts Tribute of the Year 2008 Recipients KENNY KUEK USA Masters Academy FRED & KATIE DEGERBERG Degerberg Academy Martial Arts

2008 President’s Award Recipient GARLAND JOHNSON Universal Kempo Karate Schools Association


Will you be having a Summit next year? Chairman Cokinos: Of course! Itʼs at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Key Biscayne, Miami, FL.

In the meantime, what about the economy? Chairman Cokinos: I can sum that up by the use of the phrase “value vs. price.”

Please explain. Chairman Cokinos: People are cutting back.

Freelance spending is at a halt. Expensive restaurants, high-fashion stores, luxurious trips, vacations and extravagant mall shopping centers are taking a hit.

So how do we survive? Chairman Cokinos: We are so fortunate to be in the martial arts field. People not only want what we have but need it. The life-long lasting benefits that we teach are invaluable, especially at a time like this.

Give us some feedback from the Summit. Chairman Cokinos: Our point of view: Our EFC

staff was absolutely thrilled with the interaction with our clients—their enthusiasm and excitement.

What about the clients? Chairman Cokinos: Typically we have been inun-

dated with e-mails and phone calls telling us about their great learning experience and the enthusiasm that they feel over the 2 and ½ days of meetings.

I hear the speeches were outstanding…. Chairman Cokinos: With names too numerous to

mention, I can only say we are all grateful for the contribution, cooperation and fellowship displayed by all. It was truly a heartwarming experience.

Bottom line? Chairman Cokinos: Get better, do better, work

harder, make your school more attractive than ever. Make your classroom so exciting, productive and meaningful that students will never give up on this valuable activity.

Easy to say, but do you have any examples? Chairman Cokinos: Look up the names Stephen

Sohn, Zulfi Ahmed, Keith Thompson, Mike Nebgen, Angelo Vitale, Ernie Reyes. Their schoolsʼ growth is going through the roof. Their monthly grosses are $50,000, $60,000, $70,000, all the way up to $82,000! The answer is simple: they are providing a dynamite experience for all their students. Remember this statement: “If they can do it, then I can do it!” EAGLE EXPRESS | DECEMBER 2008


s r e d Leaare saying!

w hat the

“ “ TM

“ “ “

The shoe designed by Mr. Patakos is a real breakthrough. Even a traditionalist will be comfortable wearing them during practice.

Hy-Gens shoes are an innovative product that is overdue. They are comfortable, attractive and they will enhance cleanliness in our dojos. I’m eager and excited to share them with my students! Master Steve LaVallee EFC Board Member

Master Buzz Durkin 8th Dan Okinawan Uechi Ryu Karate

This shoe will sell like hotcakes. Our school already has footwear that is far too expensive for kids. This is a perfect alternative to keep our schools clean, our students safe, and address people’s concern for hygiene and price. This could revolutionize the martial arts field!

At last a product that takes the worry out of students possibly picking up planters warts and other infections from working out in bare feet.

Master Keith Thompson Tri-Star Martial Arts EFC Board Member

Grand Master Greg Tearney EFC Board Member

I believe that your concept on your martial arts Hy-Gens shoe is a great idea that is long overdue. I can see where this is practical, affordable and makes perfect sense. Count me in.

As a kung-fu stylist who always wore shoes, I’ve always had problems going barefooted. We’ve had parents asking why students couldn’t wear socks with their safety gear. This solves that problem completely. Good Job. I’m on board.

Sifu Dennis Brown

The martial arts shoes designed by Nick Patakos are an absolute necessity for the industry. They would be a benefit and a hit in any school. This would increase our bottom line, sanitary conditions and make training more comfortable for all.

©2008 AWMA, Inc.

Our 900 students love the Hy-Gens shoes. It keeps their feet clean and keeps my schools beautiful. The new no-scuff bottoms are awesome and I am delighted that we finally have a soft shoe to wear in the classrooms. My student’s parents are also purchasing the shoes to wear at home. Thank you AWMA! – This is the best thing since sparring gear. Master Nick Patakos Family Karate Super Center EFC Senior Board Member

Professor Garland R. Johnson

Master Chris Robinson Canada EFC Board Member

This is a great product. As a long time sufferer of foot fungus caught from the dojo floor, I highly recommend this. Mark Cokinos EFC Vice President

s n e g y h


e By Proforc

Since 1972



Learn more about hy-gensTM at

The leader in human contact sport



1-800-345-2962 • www . awma . com EAGLE EXPRESS | DECEMBER 2008




• • •

The only martial arts shoe that can be worn on the floor during practice Reversible And Washable manufactured by awma® Patent pending

Can be worn while breaking boards.

Great for kicking drills.

16 50PR.






Thin enough to wear with sparring gear.

Since 1972 The leader in human contact sport


1-800-345-2962 • www . awma . com �������������������������������������������������������������������� ©2008 AWMA, Inc.




being different & being successful 26


Left: Master Hung Tran; Extreme Left: Muay Thai Juniors practising in class

How much of your budget do you spend on marketing and what are the areas in which you concentrate? We spend about 8% of our monthly budget on marketing. We have moved away from print advertisements, which we find are not as useful. Instead, we concentrate on internal marketing and direct mailers.

Master Hung Tran, one of EFC’s very successful school owners, teaches a martial arts form that not many others have taught with such success: Muay Thai. One of the reasons behind his accomplishment is obviously his forward-looking marketing. We recently had a conversation with him about that and other matters.

Can you give us a background about your school? Three years ago, we made a change from being a Tae Kwon Do school to a Muay Thai Kickboxing school. We had to go all the way with this change, including a change in the staff’s mindset, and, obviously, a change in curriculum. Naturally, our website and our marketing approach underwent a complete modification, along with our uniforms and our language to prospects. The main reason behind this switch was that we wanted to cater to adults, especially moms, who are the decision makers. They love the fact that they can lose 800 calories in one session as well as the fact that they are learning self-defense. When we started, we knew there weren’t any very successful Muay Thai schools. One of the reasons for this is that there is no belt system in Muay Thai. I came up with a belt system from white to black belt, which allows our students to see the progress they’re making, which helps with retention. For every class a person attends, she earns a stripe. After a certain number of stripes, depending on the belt level, she earns her new belt. We teach Thai Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Mixed Martial Arts fitness classes. We also have one-on-one personal training programs. Most of our staff members are certified personal trainers. We also host monthly boot camps. There are some innovative direct mailers on your website, http://www.transkickboxing. com. What were your primary thoughts behind coming up with these, and what is your overall marketing strategy? Kickboxing is about self-defense, as well as confidence, empowerment and fitness, which are emphasized through



our marketing. We portray high-intensity classes in bag training, cardio and strength training and weight loss. The content and images in our promotional material reflect real moms, who are our target audience. Our current kids to adults ratio is 50:50, while before our switch to Muay Thai, children composed 70% of our students. We have a mailing list of target households within a five-mile radius of our school who make around $75,000 or more annually, and have kids who are four to fifteen years old.

Top: Muay Thai knee strike, Below: Muay Thai punch

What are the benefits of teaching Muay Thai Kickboxing? Anyone can do Muay Thai, whether overweight or with a knee injury. For instance, we don’t teach jumping kicks, so it’s a very realistic martial arts form. It fits adults well, as there are minimal chances for injury. How do you emphasize these benefits to your prospective students? We discuss the values and benefits of Muay Thai during our intros. Prospects come to us saying they want to lose weight. We ask why, and they usually say in order to gain confidence. We tell them that if they give 110% in class, they will lose about 800 calories in one session. We assign a life coach (known as program directors in other schools) to each prospective or new student. These life coaches meet with prospects and assist them. The life coaches give a fitness and flexibility test, then recommend the best type of class, depending on students’ lifestyles. What internal marketing strategies have worked best for you? Boot Camps: These cost $99 for a month of biweekly 45-minute sessions where we teach kickboxing, strength, and endurance training. After the four weeks, we do a call for action and let attendees put the $99 toward a down payment for the regular program. We encourage all attendees to bring their friends along. Usually, we have about 13–15 people each month. Constant Contact: We have collected numerous e-mail leads throughout the years. Through a program called Constant Contact, we do mass e-mailing to around 450 leads. We request that they forward our e-mail to their friends. After-School Program: We go to local schools and teach an after-school program to kids. Four lessons are taught at their school, but the fifth lesson, which is their graduation from the program, is at our school. We offer these kids two weeks of free lessons, and try to enroll them into our regular program. Community College Promotions: We have a community college nearby, where we promote our programs. Wind Banner: This has worked surprisingly well. In order



to put up this 10-foot-tall banner, we had to get permission through the city, but the effort was worth it. We get numerous phone calls from people who notice the wind banner. Is there anything else you would like to mention to the readers of Eagle Express? Since my transition to Muay Thai, I have been contacted by many other schools wondering how I introduced the curriculum and belt system for Muay Thai. I have created a series of DVDs for school owners/instructors around the country who are interested in implementing my Muay Thai Belt System. This system has been endorsed by Kyoshi Steve LaVallee, president of MAUI, and Professor Garland Johnson. Anyone interested in learning more about this system can contact me by phone at (303) 7761887, by e-mail at or visit our website at


Beginning Level One Curriculum

Muay Thai



The Next Generation of Martial Arts is here! Master H.D. Tran shows you how to incorporate authentic Muay Thai into your curriculum to add an exciting new dimension to your program. This style is designed for EVERYONE to participate and enjoy the benefits of traditional Muay Thai. Safe, powerful and effective - your students will love this program so much they will bring their friends and family to join. This curriculum has been developed and tested in the classroom with students of all ages and abilities. The time is now to capitalize on the trends that are revolutionizing the martial arts business. Get the word out - EVERYONE can do it! Authentic Muay Thai training is not just for elite level fighters in dingy gyms any more. Millions of people are being exposed to martial arts and they want to try it - now they can and YOU can help them fulfill their dreams. Empower your students to be successful. Show them the power of REAL Muay Thai through a safe, healthy system that emphasizes fitness, respect and self development with IMMEDIATE results. Kids and Adults alike LOVE this program because they GET INTO THE ACTION right from the start. You will have more new students and more retention than ever before. Master Tran takes you through his breakthrough curriculum step by step so you can put it to work for you immediately. Each section is explained and organized so it’s easy for instructors at any level to implement right away.

Self Defense

Self Confidence

Life Success

Beginning Level One Curriculum DVD

Would you like to grow your membership with a PROVEN system that’s guaranteed to increase student interest? Our system has been tested and proven successful in the classroom. Students love it and you will too! Do you want a program that’s simple, easy to learn and can be put to work immediately? Even if you or your instructors have little or no experience with authentic Muay Thai this system is for you. Are you looking to increase revenues and become more profitable? Reduce your student to teacher ratio. Teach more efficiently. Keep students motivated and injury free. Add apparel and equipment to your pro shop.

Do you want to separate yourself in a crowded market? This is a brand new first ever system. Authentic Muay Thai training is not just for elite level fighters in dingy gyms any more. Be a trend setter!

Would you like to have a consultant to work with who can show you how to do it? Tran’s Kickboxing systems give you a roadmap to help you become successful.

Listen To What The Experts Are Saying About This Groundbreaking Program:

To order please call 303-776-1887

Grandmaster Toddy - Trainer of World Champions, Master Toddy’s International Muay Thai Academy, “I am totally impressed and beyond satisfied with Kru Hung Tran’s Muay Thai Training system DVD. It as good as my class here right now. As a Grand Master I recommend Master Tran’s DVD for your step by step training system. Good explanation, nice and clear, Well done Master Hung Tran.” Kyoshi Steve LeVallee - CEO / President Martial Arts University International, “Master Tran has put together a cutting edge Muay Thai Curriculum that is broken down into a step by step Belt Level format that can be used in any professional Martial Arts school. Whether you want to use it as a supplemental program, or as your primary curriculum...this series can help you implement Muay Thai into your school.” Assistant Professor Garland R. Johnson - Universal Kempo-Karate Schools Association, “I have seen many training videos in my time studying the martial arts. However, I must say this is by far one of the best explanations and demonstrations of technique, power and passion on the Martial Arts System of Muay Thai. You can tell Master Hung Tran has done his homework and is not only a great student; he is also an outstanding instructor. He is very detailed and complete in his explanation and teaching of the beautiful and powerful martial art known as Muay Thai. Master Tran is a true 21st Century Leader in our Martial Arts Field. This Muay Thai Training DVD is an absolutely must for anyone serious about expanding the knowledge, technique, power and passion in the Martial Arts. Job “Well Done” Master Tran. Keep up your outstanding work, Sir. Paul Reavlin - Owner Revgear Martial Arts , “I have worked with Master Tran for many years. I have found everything he works on to be of the highest quality and done with the highest levels of professionalism. This DVD set will enable you to quickly and easily start making money with your Muay Thai program.”






Here is a simple process to follow: 1.

When a person approaches you with a complaint, stop everything else you might be doing and give them your full attention. Admittedly, sometimes this isnʼt possible. If you are driving a city bus through traffic and a passenger wants to complain about something, youʼll have to politely ask them if it can wait until you can give them your full attention.


Listen to everything they have to say, even if they repeat themselves. And, they may very well repeat themselves. Remember, they are upset. They are not just trying to explain the problem, they are also trying to give vent to some intense emotions. Keep listening until theyʼve finished talking and venting.


While they are talking, use your empathy skills. Say to yourself, “How is this person feeling?” Put yourself in their position. You would probably feel just as they do! Respect the intensity of their feelings!


Validate their feelings and repeat back what theyʼve said. As in, “Gee, Mrs. Koback... I can understand why you are upset. You got here early, checked in, and waited. Then, nobody came and got you. Now youʼve got to leave for another appointment. I would be upset too, if that happened to me!”


Then, and only then, attempt to solve the problem. A good problem solving question is, “Mrs. Koback, weʼve really messed this thing up, havenʼt we? What can we do to make it right for you?”

PERSPECTIVE 1 BY KEITH HAFNER We bring to you another great student service strategy from the desk of Keith Hafner.

Itʼs absolutely essential that you train your entire staff in handling complaints. Not just a few members. Everybody who has any contact with the customers, vendors... or other employees!



These steps will need to be taught to your employees and rehearsed over and over again.


PERSPECTIVE 2 COURTESY OF KOVARS, INC. Handling Complaints and Challenges

Proper handling of situations can actually strengthen your relationship with your students; however, even the best of schools, teachers and business people make mistakes upon occasion. You are no exception.

Key steps to handling complaints and challenges: 1. 2. 3. 4.


6. 7. 8.

Encourage a thorough description of the complaint or challenge. Listen responsively to the student and recognize his/her feelings. Do not argue. Avoid hostile or defensive responses. Take responsibility even if itʼs a shared fault. Most likely they just want to be heard and understood. They will let you help. State the schoolʼs viewpoint calmly and objectively, ONLY after you are sure they feel you understand their viewpoint. Agree on the appropriate follow-up steps. Thank the student for bringing this challenge up with you. Follow through—do not drop the ball!

Overcoming Resistance to Change

Sometimes it is necessary to introduce minor changes to your school and to your students. This can often become a challenge as many people are resistant to change.

Key steps to overcoming resistance to change: 1. 2.

3. 4.


Explain how and why this change will benefit the students and the school. Describe the details of the change and how it will affect the students. (Again, emphasize how they will benefit.) Make sure they understand the howʼs and whyʼs so that there will be no misunderstandings. Acknowledge and re-frame the potential downside. (Take the “wind out of the sails” of any potential downside.) Ask for their support. (Do not demand it; just ask for it.)

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.

—Albert Einstein

Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.


You canʼt wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

—Jack London

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for thatʼs the stuff life is made of.

—Benjamin Franklin

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

—Henry David Thoreau

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.

—William James

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.


Where is there dignity unless there is honesty?


The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others.

—Hasidic Saying

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.


Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

—Abraham Lincoln





The best breaking partner you will ever have! Holding boards was never so easy. Break MateTM is unlike any board holding device in the world. Portable, not cumbersome, lightweight and space saving. No tools or assembly required. Break MateTM holds up to six standard 12” wide wood boards held by an elastic strap or placed on the ground for heavy downward strikes. Designed to keep the boards from flying into the holder’s face, the broken boards tend to stay in the cavity so that they also do not fall on top of the holder’s feet. Cushion grip handles absorb impact so that the holder feels

Center padding protects the striker’s hands and feet

little or no pressure. Handles are also set behind the unit so that the fingers are TOTALLY protected. Plus the 4-1/4” thick center padding protects the strikers hands or feet. Constructed of ABS plastic this partner will last a long time without any broken fingers. Patent Pending. Another unique product by Patakos designs. Weighs approx. 6 lbs. Measures 11” tall x 13” wide x 10-1/4” long. Available in Blue #80021 or Red #80022







©2008 AWMA, Inc.

Since 1972 Learn more about break mateTM at The leader in human contact sport




1-800-345-2962 • www . awma . com �������������������������������������������������������������������


A Management Guide to Martial Arts School Owners


A Management Guide to Martial Arts School Owners