Master Snorrason makes $12K a year holding 20/20 Rumbles
Master Sigursteinn Snorrason runs Mudo Gym in Reykjavik, Iceland. He was the fourth person in Iceland’s history to be awarded first dan and is one of the very few still practicing from that era.
“The scoring systems they teach today don’t help you in a real situation,” says Master Snorrasson. “They teach students to let their opponent hit them so they can score a point. They teach kicks that have no power. You can’t just tap someone. That is of no use when you are trying to teach a child how to defend themselves. 20/20 has created a system that teaches students a fighting style they can use in the real world. It teaches the Taekwondo I grew up with.”
He uses the armor to host semi-formal competitions called Rumbles. He used these Rumbles to generate revenue, speed up his tournaments, reduce tournament staff and upgrade his student's membership.
Each Rumble features sparring matches with 120 students. He breaks the students into groups of eight. Each match is best two out of three rounds. Snorrason can finish a tournament in just over two hours since the armor doesn’t need socks or extra computers. With other scoring systems, the same tournament takes 6 hours and involves a slew of added delays. He also saves money because he doesn’t need the same number of staff and judges since the scoring is done on the vest itself. A ring normally needs 4 referees and with 20/20 Armor only needs 1.
Each of the 120 students pays a $25 (USD) entrance fee for the right to compete. He makes $3K from each Rumble and he holds four Rumbles a year. That’s $12K per year. Yet that isn’t the only financial benefit to holding a 20/20 Rumble.
The rumbles also help Snorrason upgrade his students from taking beginner’s classes to competitive training classes.
If he has 100 kids in the beginner's classes competing in the Rumble they get between 20 and 30 recruits into the competitive training classes. The beginners attend class 1-2 times a week and the competitors attend 4-5 times a week. With 20 or 30 new recruits taking twice the number of classes the benefits are obvious. Not only does it increase the value of each student to the school owners but it also has a transformative effect on his student retention.
“The kids in the beginner's classes aren’t really committed yet and are prone to drop off,” says Snorrason. “You get them into the competition classes and they stick with it. They also pay 40 percent more and get a lot more out of the experience.”
Snorrason hosts four unofficial 20/20 Rumbles each year for which he charges no entrance fee. He holds them just for fun and practice. These unofficial Rumbles are exclusively for beginners and encourages children who aren’t yet students to come and participate. He uses these Rumbles to attract new students and create social reinforcement for students to continue their training.
Key numbers from the story:
Profit from tournament: 120 students x $25 dollars x 4 events a year = $12 K a year
Students upgrading: 30 beginner students upgrading to competitive classes = longer retention plus 40% monthly income from each student
Less overhead for referees because you can score a match on a vest (1 judge needed per ring compared to 4 necessary to run it on other systems)
Less time to run a tournament (2 hours compared to 6 hours)
Attracts new students through Unofficial Rumbles