You can often observe what someone wears and what music they listen to conclude when they stopped advancing in style. It’s common for most people to settle into what they like the most at the time they were feeling the best. You know “the glory days”.
You can wear 80’s hair and listen to Billy Idol and there are know consequences accept social observations and people passing silent judgment in their minds.
What’s with the analogy? We see this trend in businesses and especially the Martial arts / self-defense industry. It’s crippling for those who follow this trend and hard to watch.
Not progressing in business has many consequences and very few rewards yet so many maintain this trend.
Tradition is a quality you hold with pride and that is the correct way to maintain tradition. Tradition doesn’t add zero’s to your checking account in a significant way. Many instructors task their old school traditions to make them a living and they are constantly frustrated.
This months featured instructor has impeccable clarity. Randy Brown is the embodiment of tradition as a “martial artist” yet leads with a business mind. He understands what he likes vs what generates revenue which is a super important mind set to have.
Randy heads up the Dojo LLC. in Ft. Collins Colorado. This is a crew of operators and instructors who have a tremendous range of in depth talent and credentials. The team at COBRA Ft. Collins have been in business a long time and they constantly refine and improve their services.
Every business that wants to stay in business and succeed must constantly improve systems and eliminate that which is a waste. Randy and his team give their community the ultimate professional experience with a wide range of courses . Anyone can be diverse but the secret is to be successful at it which they are.
A High Profile Track Record Of Success: Randy and his team don’t start their day thinking about what they have accomplished they think about what they will conquer next.
Recent News & Media Features
Want to see successful program diversity in action? Watch this promotional video about the Dojo LLC. / COBRA Ft. Collins.
Now let’s hear from this months featured instructor, Randy Brown.
1.Tell us your best MA story.
I’ve been involved in the arts for over forty-five years and a lot of water has passed under that bridge, so I don’t know that I can actually pick a “best” martial arts story. Most of my memorable moments center around lessons learned and situations that changed my understanding of functionality and applicable fighting methods.
Getting knocked unconscious by boxers, rolled into oblivion by wrestlers and witnessing the stark and brutal realities of what a properly trained military man can do in a fight with a knife, those are my stories. Pretty boring for the most part. Sorry .
2.If you could start all over what would you do and why?
I wouldn’t change much other than to avoid the training methods that eventually took their toll in this injury or that. My school has always been one of exploration and I like that. We were doing an unpolished version of MMA as far back as the late 1980’s. Being in a college town has given us access to most arts and styles through black belts and fighters relocating here to get their degrees. I guess if I were to start over I would spend more time with my favorite teachers trying to gain a deeper understanding of their arts.
3. What has the industry shown you over the years? The good-bad and ugly.
Don’t chase trends. For many years’ movies, TV and magazines controlled and dictated the direction of the industry. They determined what became “hot” and set the trends. Now the internet has the same power to create or destroy public opinion, so we all need to be internet savvy.
Let your skill speak for you. A lot of martial artists tend to be fantasy prone and love attention so much that they couldn’t care less if what they teach works as long as they get a following and make money in the process. To that end most jump on any “hot market” that the public shows interest in. The result is always the same, watered down arts and sub-par black belts that all but destroy the prestige and meaning of the rank.
The public is ignorant of what constitutes a good martial art and/or teacher. To be successful we must enlighten them. In their minds, the seventeen-year-old brown belt teaching a few students in his garage is a better deal than paying higher fees to the thirty-year-old black belt with a professional school.
All of that being said, it is a wonderful business and once you understand the inner workings it’s rewards greatly outweigh any negatives.
4. What is/was your inspiration for getting into the industry.
Central Florida in the sixties and seventies was something of a fighting culture. In a lot of instances your worth among your peers was determined by your ability to hold your ground. Being a good fighter was immediate social recognition, especially if you had any social graces as a compliment.
Saying that you were a black belt at that time held little sway and you would be called upon to physically prove that your rank meant something. I saw some amazing black belts from the Foster, Liquori and Kelley camps prove themselves with style and restraint.
My older brother Mike was an ex-Marine and a black in karate. He was a real inspiration and something of a guiding force for many years. He passed away last year and while I still feel his influence, he is greatly missed. I probably wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for him.
5. What advice would you give a rookie wanting to get into this business.
Master your art of choice and then learn to grapple, learn to kick box, learn Filipino weaponry and most importantly learn about public relations and running a business. Be honest, treat your students with respect and never let anyone forget who the boss is.
6. How has Cobra changed/added to your business?
It is like opening a second school without needing a second location. It has brought in some wonderful people and opened us up to a brand new demographic that has proven to be very rewarding. Hearing how the students praise their C.O.B.R.A. training and knowing that we are offering them something so effective and so unique is gratifying beyond words.
Understand that I avoided teaching self-defense courses for many years because I simply did not believe that they were effective. Now C.O.B.R.A. is one of my favorite classes to teach. At this time, we have ten C.O.B.R.A. instructors on staff, two of which are Top Guns. That just goes to show you that even our black belts love C.O.B.R.A. training.
7. What is your favorite book – movie and pure style (not self-defense related)?
My favorite martial arts book is The Art of War. My favorite martial arts movie is Billy Jack. If I were to pick a favorite pure style it would have to be Kali. I love blades.
8. Fun question. You stuck on an very hostile island for 2 years what two items do you take and if you could have any two people who would they be,?
Interesting. The two items I would take would be a medical kit and a cross bow (I could fashion as many bolts as needed). The two people I would take would be my doctor and Bear Grylls.