The Battle of Atlanta is one of the most iconic karate tournaments in the world. From the event’s first winner, karate superstar Joe Lewis, to its present-day champions, the tournament has featured a veritable Who’s Who of martial arts stars and a treasure trove of historical fights and forms presentations. In this dual interview, we examine the Battle’s rich history, innovations and reasons for its enduring success. Read the exciting plans for its June 14-16 50th-anniversary celebration and for its future.
When you mention the name Battle of Atlanta, for most folks, scenes from the movie Gone with the Wind come to mind. But, five decades ago, in a scene much like one out of an old movie, Atlanta-based nationally rated point fighter Joe Corley decided to rent a school gym and put on a show — the first Battle of Atlanta karate tournament.
Half a century later, these grainy black-and-white memories have faded. They’ve been replaced with full-color,...
You’ve probably heard that “TEAM” stands for “Together Everyone Achieves More.” Organizations love the “achieving” and “more” part of the acronym, but everyone still struggles with the “together” part. Dr. Nguyen “Tom” Griggs of TNT Jujitsu in Houston, TX, has been able to use his multiple backgrounds in martial arts, education and business to develop black belt leaders and high-functioning teams. Here’s how he does it.
Dr. Griggs says there are three primary types of team models he has experienced. The first is the “Patchwork” model. This is where the sensei would tell the class about their techniques and everyone simply trained and helped teach as needed. All the higher belts understood what was asked of them, and helped to build the knowledge “quilt” by teaching techniques in the way that they felt was best.
In schools with an informal and easygoing teaching style, this...
Unlike the busy fall season, summer tends to be a slower and less-profitable time for martial arts schools. When the weather turns warmer and the kids get out of school, the “summertime blues” set in. Many academies struggle to enroll new members and keep students on the mats. Here’s a reality-based plan on how to chase those blues away and have a fun and successful summer.
The mere mention of the summer months can make even veteran school owners cringe. Many owners have visions of empty classes, students looking to freeze their memberships, low enrollment numbers and kids that take a break for the summer and never return. Some owners assume that a slow summer is a foregone conclusion. They look to make up ground when the (hopefully) busy back-to-school season rolls around. Others try hard, but find it difficult to enroll students. They have quality classes with exhausted kids who have been at summer camp, the playground or the pool all day.
Over two decades of...
Schools struggle to keep staff members. Ensure you are doing everything you can to keep the young professionals in which you have invested. Stop creating temporary solutions and develop permanent ones for instructor professionalism in your school. You can do this by mentoring your young professionals so they grow in and outside of your business.
Today’s young professionals are a unique crew. They come with real skills in the areas of technology, collaboration and brainstorming. However, it’s not uncommon for them to struggle in the face of temporary setbacks and disappointments. Many of them are searching, yet they don’t even realize it.
It’s no secret that many believe young professionals are ill-equipped to survive in today’s highly competitive global economy. The reasons cited for this lack of preparation for life in the “real world” are commonly repeated across the board. They are: overprotective parenting, coddling by...
Philip Gattone, Jr. was attacked in the dead of night. Without warning, his body was invaded by an invisible adversary leaving the four-year-old twisting uncontrollably on the bedroom floor. This was the beginning of a battle with epilepsy that he would fight for the rest of his life. Armed with a will to win and the martial arts, Gattone, now 30, is beating the odds.
Philip Gattone, Jr. had his first seizure at just 4-years-old.
“That night was just the start of it,” says Gattone, Jr. “I began having other types of seizures, called ‘Absence Seizures.’ “With that type of seizure, it looks almost like you’re daydreaming, but you’re wide awake.”
An Absence Seizure causes the individual’s eyes to flutter and, at times, cause the person to blank out. This type of seizure usually lasts between 15 to 30 seconds. But for a young boy who has no control over his body, those few seconds can feel like a lifetime.
“So, if anyone...
At just 30-years-old, Justin Wren already holds many titles: professional fighter, national-champion wrestler and cast member of Spike TV’s Ultimate Fighter. Despite those accomplishments, there’s one title he is most proud of — humanitarian. Wren founded “The Fight For The Forgotten,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to securing land, freedom and clean water for the formerly-enslaved Mbuti Pygmy tribe in the Ituri rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He’s now teaming up with Century Martial Arts to bring additional relief to the impoverished area and is challenging you to join the efforts.
Before Justin Wren was the professional fighter we know him as today, he was a young child who fell victim to constant bullying. The bullying got so bad he had to change schools several times. It was at the age of 13 when he came across something that changed his life forever.
“I stopped at a used VHS tape store and found UFC 2 through...
After years of perfecting his physical martial arts skills, 6-time karate world champion Mike Guido of Clovis, CA attended his first Martial Arts SuperShow convention in 2011. For Guido, it was love at first sight. The energy of the event, the contacts and, most importantly, the insights he gained on how to become his own boss were life-changing.
Learning to teach the martial arts masterfully requires decades of practice and training. The mark of an expert instructor is the ability to pass those lessons on to their students.
The same applies to the business end of martial arts training. Somewhere, somehow, the prospective school owner needs to learn how to become a black belt in business. For Mike Guido, as for so many other school owners across the U.S., his business training came at the annual Martial Arts SuperShow in Las Vegas. It was the MASuperShow, the industry’s foremost trade show and business convention, that offered him the opportunity to learn the...
Steve Butts, owner of three Martial Arts America schools in the general Pensacola, FL, area, has found a niche in what is often an oversaturated marketplace. By combining gymnastics and a mix of martial arts styles, Butts has kids flipping, tumbling, punching and kicking by the hundreds into his Ninja Nation program.
With more than 30 year’s experience under his 6th-degree black belt in moo duk kwon taekwondo, Steve Butts was quick to recognize an opportunity. He integrated a gymnastics program into his already successful martial arts curriculum.
“I noticed a lot of kids doing gymnastics in their forms, but they were mostly self-taught,” Butts says. “Their mechanics were not sound, which wasn’t safe for the student. Being safe and teaching gymnastics properly was very important to me. So, we built out our school to include trampolines and spring floors. We started teaching gymnastics in our school under the supervision of professional gymnastics...
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