Self-Defense Professional October 2015 Vol. 110
We speak with prospects and school owners all over the world on a regular basis who are thinking about opening up or currently own a martial arts / self-defense and or fitness center. When we say open up we mean get into “the business” not necessarily leasing a physical location. Some of our most successful COBRA members have no fixed location.
It’s hard to listen to some of the reasons/excuses as to why they are not or can’t be successful., especially when you know the reality of the situation.
* I live in a small town that’s why we are slow /or can’t open a business
* My area is lower income so it’s hard to do well
* There are schools all over my area so competition is tough
* There is a “ insert style” across the street which makes it hard to get new clients
* My grandmaster doesn’t want me to expand our programs.
Becoming a licensed COBRA center you get exposed to completely different experience.
A few points to consider:
1. If you are selling something that the market isn’t really interested in then know matter where you live you will not be successful. A few examples of products you couldn’t make a living at in any market in 2015 – Yellow page advertising – Beepers –VCR’s ect.
2. COBRA Training centers realize that they stand alone in their market. They aren’t concerned with any of the Do. Fu, Kwon, Itsu styles because that’s not what they are selling. They are also not concerned with the random variety of other combative courses. COBRA is a Law Enforcement based Self-Defense program which allows it to stand out exclusively in the market.
3. Instead of a small 3-5% of the market COBRA attracts all ages, genders and experience levels which increases the market to just about everyone.
Sometimes the business owner is the biggest road block to success.
At the end of the day it’s a simple formula:
This months featured instructor is a great example of no excuses. Graeme Campbell is from Scotland and relocated to the Whitehorse Yukon Territory a few years ago. The Yukon is remote with extreme temperatures and landscapes. It can stay daytime or nighttime for extended periods and the culture is as divers as it gets.
I traveled to the Yukon and while I was there I was very impressed at how dominant Graeme’s influence was as an instructor. We had Canadian members of parliament attend our training session just to speak to us about COBRA and everywhere we went someone knew Graeme. Even as I was going through security at the airport I was asked if I knew Graeme once the agent noticed our COBRA brand.
Graeme promotes the COBRA brand so well he dominates a very small remote city in the Yukon Territory. He’s a personal trainer with a very diverse background in fitness and martial arts. By the way Graeme has no permanent physical location and still runs a successful COBRA self-defense and personal training business. With all this going on he is a married , father of one with one due in December.
Throwing out all excuses and dominating his market is why Graeme Campbell is this months featured instructor. Graeme has also entered the COBRA Fighting systems to earn his CFS Black Belt – Congratulations Graeme!
Graeme has been involved in martial arts since the age of 10 eventually training with the jnr national squad. In later years kickboxing and various other martial arts had an impact on his life, Japanese jiu jitsu, krav maga (as it was starting to boom) and of course karate.
Training in the local gym turned into working in the local gym and personal training certificates soon followed, spinning, FitRanX, MetaFit and fitness kickboxing, an international fitness franchise was bought and his T.V show is currently being aired. Re kindling his passion for kickboxing by teaching the ever popular fitness kickboxing Graeme decided it was time to re investigate the idea of martial arts instruction considering kickboxing to be top of his list… Then he found and fell in love with COBRA. Thankfully his passion for judo, kickboxing and helping others stay safe are encompassed within the COBRA syllabus or can easily be added in to turn little movements into big movements and interested parties into dedicated students.
1. When and how did you start training in the self-defense / Martial Arts
industry/ fitness industry?
I was 10 when I started in martial arts, judo, then went on to train in kickboxing, japanese jiu jitsu, krav maga and karate. I worked as a gym instructor for 7 years and gained coaching qualifications in spinning, gymnastics and swimming.
After many years off I decided to re train as a personal trainer and got my specialist certificate along with fitness kickboxing FitRanX, MetaFit and a few others.
2. How has Cobra added value to your training/business?
By becoming a COBRA instructor I have managed to wriggle myself into a number of niches previously closed to me. For example real estate agents don’t want personal training per say but jump at self defense and this is something I am really trying to develop into. Another niche idea is cab drivers, these guys are at such risk and nobody realizes, think about it. One man in a little box with a huge bag of fares and you can attack him from behind!
3. What are your training/business goals for the next 3 years?
1. Achieve my Judo 1st Dan – I have since been inspired by a friend who recently went back and got his, Thanks Craig! And well done!
2. Gain my C.F.S black belt – I was recently awarded my apprentice instructor.
3. Achieve 1st dan rank with Joe Lewis Fighting System
4. Turn myself into the go to man in Canada for real estate agents self defense. I want to dominate that niche.
5. Do more public speaking on matters of self defense – generally become an expert in the field
6) I have a friend we are training for his first armature fight – I would like him to win and train others maybe have a couple of trainers running my gym.
4.What do you enjoy most about being a Self-Defense Instructor?
I enjoy teaching everybody. I enjoy the surprise people have when I say yes, I can teach you self defense. We recently had a number of Special Olympic athletes attend one of our courses and they excelled. One young lady was in a wheelchair and she loved it. Its so refreshing to offer everybody the chance to be able to stay safe and feel confident.
5. If you only had 5 minutes to train someone what would be the most
valuable survival skills you would teach them?
There are a couple, turning any rings round so the damage end is on the inside of the fingers is a clear winner, shopping for fruit instead of flinging kicks, kids don’t be afraid to bite kick scratch and shout. 5 mins is enough to teach somebody how to slap an attackers ear and make it ring really badly. I also like the home made weapons, windex, broken, cd etc.
6. Describe your school , it’s location and all the programs you/ your
Our location is actually a traditional Aikido dojo, which is great as the place is very well respected. Its based in Downtown Whitehorse up here north of 60 in the Yukon!
My school is brand new, its 2 months old. I have actually been with COBRA for 11 months now give or take a week or two. I had one or two private students I taught on a personal training level. It wasn’t until I found the Aikido dojo I started to consider classes and regular programs. Having a purpose built training facility helps for sure. We teach Kickboxing and will affiliate with CASK (council of amateur sport kickboxing , Canadian branch of WAKO) very shortly. I have a trainer by the name of Greg who will be teaching Mauy Thai classes. I have 2 kids classes a week for kickboxing and two kids CFS classes, two adult kickboxing and two adult CFS. I also host an open mat session where the guys and galls come down to spar and roll around the mat. This is a free session. We are based in the city of Whitehorse (within the Yukon Territory) downtown on Baxter Avenue.
7. If someone interested in joining as a Cobra Instructor / School what
would you tell them?
Do it. Make sure though you can commit. The self defense industry is extremely diverse and offers a lot in regards to income opportunities however working with the public it is also a very personal business. I have had conversations with ladies who have shared their stories and reasons as to why they are in my course and really you have to have a degree of wisdom (dare I say it myself) to handle such situations. It is a very rewarding job – done well people will keep coming back and rave about you. It will separate you from other trainers and schools and its a lot of fun.
To Contact Graeme Campbell For Questions / Training:
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