Monday, June 23, 2008

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Kiwi visit

I realise I am definitely a frequent flyer when as I pass through customs this morning, the officer opens with ‘Lucky New Zealanders – more BJJ training!’ And this is not the first time this has happened. I run into students all over the place – the world is definitely becoming smaller and my travelling allows me to connect with fellow martial artists more frequently than perhaps any other instructor I know of.
As mentioned, I’m off to New Zealand for the second time this year. Visiting Christchurch, Auckland, Napier and Wellington before returning home late next week. I really enjoy catching up with my Kiwi students – it’s a pity I can only make it over three times a year – but plenty of other duties call!
As I wait for my boarding call, I had time to flick through the manual for my new Alpha MMA curriculum, which I just received last night. In fact I am packing a few sets to carry across the Tasman to school owners who have already invested in it. I am very excited about this project; it is far and away the best thing I have done to date. The Alpha MMA website will be up and running in about two weeks, just in time for the official launch of the program in Orlando, Florida at the MAIA convention. It has turned out better than even my own expectations (which were quite high) – this is a tool that is going to make a lot of money for a lot of school owners. I know it’s not all about the dollars – that has certainly never been my motivation – but school owners need to pay their bills and attract good numbers of students if they are to stay in business and live the ‘train for a living’ lifestyle.
One school in Melbourne, an early adopter of the program, told me that one of his female students, after taking her first lesson in the program, was throw to the pavement in a Melbourne carpark and assaulted – whereupon she proceeded to re-enact the ground & Pound drill she had learned only days earlier – and emerged the victor in the encounter. As a result, she returned to the school and signed up for three years. The instructor called me up and thanked me for the program – it had already saved a new student from what could well have been some serious physical and psychological injury, and got him a fully committed and forever grateful student at the same time. We’re all still smiling.
Whoops – rambling on a bit here. It’s pretty early and I am half listening for my boarding call. Better go. I’ll keep blogging from NZ – although it may be a day or two before I come up for air.
Best wishes,
JBW

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