How One Man Overcame A Life Changing Injury to Become World Champion

Your life can change in fractions of a second. 

On December 2018 Master Jon Powell was on an airplane getting situated. Holding a cup of coffee while trying to put his luggage in the bin. Not paying enough attention. Excited about the trip. Not knowing where his life would go due to a second of inattention. 

And in fractions of a second, everything changed when he hit his head and sustained a life changing concussion. Suddenly he couldn’t do the martial arts he lived for without being nauseous and barely able to stand afterwards. 

What he couldn’t know is one of the toughest times of his life would prepare him to become a global martial arts champion at the age of 37 and to  score a historic triumph  at the first ever 2020 Armor Combine

But again that would come down to fractions of a second. In fact, the difference between victory and a defeat would be 1 thousands of a millisecond. But this story doesn’t start at a martial arts moment as memorable as the Karate Kid’s Crane Kick. 

No, we have to begin when Master Jon Powell was in the worst pain in his life. We’ll follow him through his long journey to recovery as he begins to train at home with 2020 Armor. To the moment he was shocked to discover he’d made the Top 8 in the first ever 2020 Armor Combine and that two of his students had made it as well. All the way to his stunning victory.  

“I didn’t think I’d ever compete again after my head injury,” says Master Powell. “I thought that part of my life was done forever.” 

For contest the 2020 Armor Combine was the first ever Data Driven Tournament where athletes from all across the globe competed remotely for the Title of World’s Fastest reflexes using 2020 Armor’s patented technology. Over 300 athletes entered from 20 countries for a chance to win a $1,000 Scholarship and a one-of-a-kind golden Champion Chestguard. The entrants included several world Champions and Olympians. 

No one thought Jon Powell would make martial arts history on September 12th at the World’s First Data Driven Tournament,  especially not Jon. In this article you’ll learn how he surmounted almost impossible obstacles and became a hero, not only to his students but to the entire martial arts world.

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A Long and Ugly Journey To Recovery 

Striking his head on the airplane in December 2018 impacted his balance, his functional vision, cognitive processing and his central nervous system. Master Powell worried it would make it necessary for him to give up martial arts altogether. But this wasn’t even the worst case scenario. 

“Dealing with a brain injury that doesn’t get better after a week is probably one of the most frightening things in the world,” says Master Powell.  “It’s your sense of control. When you ask, “Can I walk?” That’s not normal. You shouldn’t have to ask that. Can I do the things I did? When things don’t get better right away there is a lot of anxiety. There was a real question of “Will I ever be the same person I was before?” 

Faced with the anxiety and intense physical symptoms Jon went looking for solutions to his life changing problem 

To get back his functional vision Powell did exhaustive vision therapy with doctors located in his home town of Jacksonville, Florida. The next step was finding a concussion doctor who could help him deal with his physical symptoms and become comfortable with jolts to his balance system. 

“Our balance systems are wired with our emotional paths,” says Powell. “You’ll actually feel anxiety around your balance. That anxiety makes you not want to move. The best concussion doctor in the world who treated Dale Earnhart Junior wrote a whole book about it. I was lucky to have him as a doctor.  That second half of the year was working through the plan he set for me. It was painful: Massive headaches and constant nausea but it was all part of that plan” 

How 2020 Armor Got Me Back Onto The Mats

The problem for Jon was that any form of impact on his body would trigger intense symptoms. Even running would produce symptoms that would linger for days afterwards. His doctor–knowing Powell was a martial artist–recommended that he hit something to gradually become more comfortable with the impacts on his body. So that his body could get used to it and stop reacting so intensely. 

Master Powell had already been training with 2020 Armor and knew that it allowed him to record the power of his strikes on the vest itself. What interested him was the potential of the 2020 Armor mobile app to measure impact on a level more granular than ever before. Down to the kilojoule and hundredths of a millisecond. So he could slowly ratchet up the power of his strikes and minimize potential blowback.  But what got him truly excited was the Live Training Mode. 

“I fell in love with the new Live Modes on the app,” says Powell. “They made it fun and addictive to train at home. Sometimes I wouldn’t feel good as I was training. Then I would watch the Live Mode video and I’d be able to see how well I’d actually done. Because sometimes you feel like you are doing terrible but you aren’t.  Being able to see it made a real difference and kept me motivated.” 

Training on Live Mode turned his recovery into a game. And that game helped him get closer to a 100%. So he played it obsessively, posting online to keep himself accountable. Jon found his reaction time was rapidly improving on Reflex. Only for Jon it didn’t matter that he was getting faster, it was that he was feeling better. 

“I’d focus on the stats and that would get me through the symptoms,” says Powell.  “Next thing you know in July I’m not feeling anything when I’m hitting things. Now I am taking the hits and can see how far my symptoms are relative to where they were. Once you have a plan in place, once you go down that road. it’s indescribable. All the pain you have is adding up to something. I wasn’t thinking about the competition. I was thinking about feeling better. I’m feeling better now. That’s amazing. What happened next with the Combine..well that was something I’d never have imagined possible. But being able to get back on the mats and do what I love that felt like a miracle.” 

One School With Three Contestants In The Top 8

Master Powell has been running a free drop in martial arts program at FACM Taekwondo in Jacksonville Florida for the last 12 years. 

“Everyone loves Master Jon,” says his student 17 year old Darian Morales. “Master Jon is a humble teacher. When he teaches he likes to demonstrate and even he messes up. It’s a good feeling that not even he’s perfect and we all make mistakes. He’s a great guy.” 

The program caters to the local Filipino community and helps immigrants adjust to their new home by perfecting their skills in martial arts.  Since the program is free, Powell used to have a problem with retention as monthly payments don’t hold students accountable for attendance. He had to rely on keeping their attention. 

Since introducing 2020 Armor his retention has skyrocketed because the instant feedback gives students measurable goals they can strive to reach every class. 

He passed on his obsession with 2020 Armor’s mobile app to his students. He also invited them to watch 2020 Armor’s weekly classes focusing on Reaction Time with Master Yvette Yong and 2020 Armor CEO Ali Ghafour

During the weekly clinics the students learned how to cut unnecessary steps out of their kicks to score faster. They trained hard to improve so they can do well at the first ever 2020 Armor Combine.  

This might explain why two of his students also made it into the Top 8 for World’s Fastest Reaction time in 2020 Armor’s first ever Combine.

Darian Morales was the only colorbelt to make the final 8 and Rochelle Cabanas,  16, was the only female and the youngest person to make the top 8. 

“I was nervous and so happy,” says Cabanas of her experience qualifying for the Combine, her voice shaking. “It was my first time competing on such a big stage. I am about to cry just talking about what it was like finding out. Nothing like that had ever happened to me.  I was really happy. That I got into the top 8. I didn’t expect it. It’s thanks to Master Jon!” 

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Injured at exactly the wrong moment 

When Powell was alerted that he and his students had made the top 8  he was thrilled. They were then informed that they each had to create two more videos in case they reached the semi finals and the finals. This created a dilemma for Jon since he had recently injured his leg while training.

Master Powell knew he could train hard and do better but he wasn’t willing to risk permanently injuring himself. So he needed to rely on videos he had recorded in the 24 hours before the initial submission. 

“I was so proud of Darian and Rochelle for making it,” says Powell. “I was really more excited for them than I was for myself. So I put the time in to get them ready and hoped that the times I’d already recorded would be enough. But I figured I didn’t have a chance. Not when I learned that an Olympian would be competing. I just wanted to make sure that the day of the Broadcast everyone had a great time.” 

The Day Of The First Ever 2020 Armor Combine

On September 12th, 2020 they all gathered together at FACM Taekwondo. Jon and his wife made snacks and set up the Combine to play on the big screen. Despite being nervous about the results Jon was focused on making sure the experience was the best it could be for the kids who participated. 

The first round started. Jon leaned in to watch his battle against 22 year old Jarin Tchicaya of Choi’s Taekwondo. Tied at 20 seconds left. Then Jarin pulled ahead and was in the lead. 

As the seconds ticked down the match shifted quickly. It was like watching Basketball in the NBA finals as you moved to the last second and realized everything could change. This was a  whole new way of participating in martial arts tournaments that put your heart in your throat. And Jon was on the verge of losing. 

“I was pretty nervous,” says Powell.

Then the last two kicks pushed him ahead. Winning by 3 milliseconds. Scoring an average reaction time of 589 MS to Jarin’s 592 MS. 

“I knew from then on that it was going to be super close,” says Powell. 

Jon moved onto the Semifinals. Now he had to just watch his students and hope they made it through. 

Rochelle fell to her opponent, the fan favorite Ranphy Félix, from famed Puerto Rican martial arts school Guayama TKD, in a fight to the finish that came down to a 6 millisecond difference in time. 

“I was so proud of Rochelle,” says 2020 Armor Combine Host and World Ranked#1 Yvette Yong. “Rochelle showed so much heart! I can’t wait to see her come back for the next Combine.” 

IT FELT LIKE MY DREAMS COULD COME TRUE 

Darian Morales faced off against Irish Olympian Jack Woolley. A match Darian couldn’t imagine he could win. Despite being ahead for a few seconds. 

“To be honest when I was watching it.  My heart was racing,” says Darian. “I couldn’t process it at the moment. I was super nervous. I wasn’t worried about losing. I was just excited to compete against someone of that level. It was a crazy experience. Going against an Olympian of all things. I think I made a friend in Jack Woolley. We talked on Instagram after. He was really encouraging and said maybe next Combine I might beat him. It gave me a feeling of confidence hearing someone like him say that, someone I admire so much. I’m going to be rooting for him in the Tokyo Olympics when that comes.”

This moment didn’t just give Darian confidence. It showed his parents what their truly remarkable son was capable of. 

His parents Carlos and Ivy Morales posted movingly on Instagram about how proud they were of their son for being the number one color belt in the world after just two years of martial arts practice. 

“Training with 2020 Armor with Master Jon made all the difference,” says Morales. “It really pushed me to get better.”  

Ready to learn more about how at home training can help you leave your competition behind? Discover how we can elevate High Performance Athletes.

2020 Armor Combine: The Semi Finals Against Jack Woolley 

Before we go any further, we need to talk about Jack Woolley.

Jack qualified for the Olympics for Ireland, he won the silver medal at the European Championships and he joined the Combine because he loves competing and has the courage to try something new. His fighting style is exciting and exactly the style we love at 2020 Armor. 

Most high level athletes wouldn’t risk their reputation by entering a competition like this. Jack Wooley proved why he’s known as a fearless competitor and pushed himself to compete to motivate students at his school South Dublin TKD to participate in the Combine. Jack is the type of athlete who goes out of his way to inspire even his opponent. 

“I’ve seen this guy fight,” says Jon. “He’s unbelievable. And he’s much younger than me. I couldn’t imagine beating him. I was really on the edge of my seat the entire match.” 

The match was close. Just a few milliseconds difference between the two. Both athletes gave it their all.  Back and forth into the last 20 seconds. Then Jack pulled ahead. Then they were tied in the last 15 seconds. Tied again with five seconds. Then Master Powell pulled ahead in the last few seconds shocking the commentators, pulling off the biggest upset in the tournament. 

“I fell out of my seat,” says Master Powell. “That’s never happened to me. But I literally fell out of my seat.” 

2020 ARMOR COMBINE: THE FINALS AGAINST MOKWONDO 

Master Powell would face off against Moseh Cho aka Mokwondo in the finals. 

Mokwondo had distinguished himself with his incredibly relaxed style, winning tough matches against fan favorite Ranphy Felix and Australian martial arts phenomenon Timothy Parkes from Australian’s famed Eclipse Taekwondo. 

Jon couldn’t imagine that his kicks with their hip rotation could possibly be faster than Mokwondo’s whip fast relaxed style.  Jon’s had more movement, more hip rotation, more possibility for slowing down and he was almost ten years older. 

“I promised myself that I’d enter this competition and I would use a technique that would make my master proud,” says Powell. “That was more important to me than winning.”

Across the world, martial arts students all the way from Dublin to Florida leaned in and waited with bated breath for the results. 

In Florida, fans at USTKDI began to cheer Jon’s name. They were amazed that his traditional martial arts technique had landed him in the finals and that his powerful kicks could compete against Mokwondo’s laid back style. 

As the clock ticked down Mokwondo was ahead. The result seemed inevitable. 

Jon’s heart was hammering in his chest. But he didn’t think of himself as the type of person who wins tournaments like this one. He was just glad to make it this far. After all, he’d thought he’d never compete again. But still….could it really happen?  

In the last five seconds Jon pulled ahead. They both did their last kicks. 

And at that moment everything was decided. 

By literally a 1000th of a millisecond difference between himself and his competitor. His score was 570 MS. Mokwondo was 571 MS.  All because of two kicks Jon threw in the last seconds of the match. 

And he was the winner of the first ever 2020 Armor Combine. 

And it happened because of a difference of just fractions of a second. 

Master Jon Powell thought he might never train again. He suffered a brain injury that changed his life after hitting his head on a flight in December 2018. Where he couldn’t trust his vision. Where even jogging made him so nauseous he would have to throw up. Somehow he fought through it all and stood tall on the global stage as Champion. 

But those fractions of a second that changed his life weren’t an accident like bumping his head on a plane in December 2018. 

They were hard won accomplishments earned by training at home with 2020 Armor. Each day he made the choice not to give up. To push through the pain.  Until the jolt of impacts didn’t make him sick. Until the headaches went away. 

His 37 year old body so determined it would do things he could never have done 10 years before. Proving what could be accomplished when you measure your progress each day and set goals you show up to surpass. Until he exceeded every expectation he set for himself and made martial arts history. 

His students rose to their feet, literally screaming they were cheering so loudly as he watched on in disbelief, unable to process a moment like this.

Darian and Rochelle screamed with their classmates, so proud of their Master. Reflecting back on it days later, Master Powell’s voice fills with emotion. 

“It was such a happy ending to such a long and ugly journey,” says Master Powell. “I couldn’t take it in for awhile. It was just too much. There are so many people to thank for helping during this really hard last couple of years. There is this match called the Miracle on Ice in hockey in like 1980 between the Americans and the Soviets. This Soviet team was just incredible and there was like no way the American team were going to be able to beat them. The Soviets were four time defending champions. And the Americans scored a goal at the last possible second.  I looked at Mokwondo’s style and I looked at mine and I couldn’t imagine any way I could beat him. It was my Miracle on Ice.” 

And as one last question loomed after talking to Master Powell before the tournament began. Where he described himself as a person too old to win a tournament like this. Where his goal was just for some of his students to make the top 25. Has this experience changed his view of himself as an athlete and a martial artist?

“"I would say “yes, I guess I’m no imposter after all,” says Master Powell with trademark honesty and courage.  “ At my rank, many of us sort of struggle with imposter syndrome. We convey confidence to our students, and even to ourselves... but deep down many of us doubt it I think. And to an extent that is healthy.. pushing us to try harder, to never stop learning. But there’s a part of that where it gets in the way. It keeps us from being students ourselves around our students. From experimenting, trying, failing. Because we’re afraid of possibly confirming that. And believing we can actually surprise ourselves and others. After going through this, I see myself as a student that can actually play at the levels I always wanted to play at, even at this age. Yes, there is more pain, more recovery. But clearly anything is possible now."

And that’s the story of how one man faced seemingly insurmountable odds and became our first ever 2020 Armor Combine champion. He won a $1,000 Scholarship and a one of a kind championship 2020 Armor Vest  to mark his accomplishments. 

Thanks to all the amazing athletes who participated and the schools who gave their kids something so incredible to look forward during this difficult time. 

THE FUTURE OF THE 2020 ARMOR COMBINE

Want to earn your own place in martial arts history like Master Jon Powell? 

Get ready for our next Combine. The competition will be fiercer. The prizes are going to be bigger. And Master Jon isn’t going to give up his title lightly. You’ll have to train every day at home to have a chance to beat him. More details are coming very soon. 

If you’re going to make history you need to get 2020 Armor to compete. Place your order today!

“Physically Distanced Drills” Seminar with Samery and Melany Moras

We believe nothing is more important than helping our customers thrive during these uncertain times so school owners can focusing on teaching martial arts to students who need their lessons now more than ever. We know you pride yourself on your high energy classes. But we also know it’s been a little harder to bring excitement to the mats with physically distanced drills.

We got you covered with a full hour seminar with incredibly popular martial arts influencer Samery Moras and Coach Melany Moras demonstrating 20 Physically Distanced drills guaranteed to get your classes excited and get the energy back up where it’s supposed to be while still keeping six feet distanced between your students. We did 20 Physically Distanced drills with 10 you can do with 2020 Armor and 10 without.

OUR TEACHERS FOR PHYSICALLY DISTANCED DRILLS SEMINAR

Master Samery Moras grew up in an entrepreneurial family and is now one of the owners of 2 Martial Arts Schools in Utah. She has now also founded Live Martial Arts, an Online Martial Arts training academy, and has grown a social media audience of over 250k followers and +10 million views!

Coach Melany Moras earned a spot on Peru’s national team at age 15, specializing in Olympic style Taekwondo and beginning a career competing at a high level of competition. For the next few years she was highly devoted to everything Taekwondo, competing throughout South America and as far away as Korea. She took third at the Pan American Games, second at the South American Games and won gold at the World Taekwondo Open. Along with the family came their Taekwondo school and years of teaching experience, which they put to use opening facilities in Orem and Draper. Eight years later, they teach more than 250 students and were ranked as the top school in Utah in 2012 after an impressive performance at the Utah State Championships.

Watch the live stream above to get all their best insights and ideas to keep your class exciting while maintaining physical distancing! We wrote down the best insights from the live stream for a quick read through for school owners on the go. Estimated 3 Minute Read.

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Insights for Physically Distanced Drills without 2020 Armor:

Note: To find the different drills you can look at the title card on the screen and it will tell you the type of drill they are focusing on.

Make sure that all your students have something they can do while the drills are going on (whether counting down the other students kicks, keeping time, doing exercises at a secondary station.) Keep them occupied so they stay focused.

Minimize waiting time between activities. Have secondary stations going where students can stay active.

Giving students a goal to work off keeps things exciting for the kids.

Focus on specific skills like endurance, flexibility and stamina and record student scores so they can compete against each other and themselves on a leaderboard.

Incentivize students to beat their own scores with push ups if they haven't beaten their own best score. This keeps energy high and pushes them to their limits.

Provide gentle encouragement and correction to get them to push. PCP = Praise, Critique, Praise.

Insights from Physically Distanced Exercises With 2020 Armor:

We did 10 drills with 2020 Armor focusing on stamina, reaction time and power. To find the drills just follow the super( title card) on the screen and it will tell you what the drills featured are focusing on and whether they use 2020 Armor.

It's easy for students to set up the 2020 Armor because it's so simple to operate. The students instantly knew how to use the system.

Track scores on reaction, reflex and power to get precise measurement that students can measure to keep them excited about the drills and motivated to beat their own personal best. You can do this on the vest or in the app. On the vest is less precise but takes less set up time.

Set short times for the drills to keep them fully committed and pushing themselves the entire time. Also gives the option for more attempts to do the same drill and best personal scores.

Students will self correct their technique to get higher scores as the system incentivizes proper technique.

Get students cheering each other on to create a mini tournament like environment in class. To create even more excitement have different training groups training against each other with the 2020 Armor.

Make sure that your students are in the right areas and separated in the dojang so they don't come together when they are excited while playing the games.

The app shows you how strong you can kick. Kids wanted to stay a half hour after class to get the most powerful kick. With 2020 Armor you have to kick kids out of class. No one wants to leave. This can really get enthusiasm up by holding these little in class competitions.

Shouting a little encouragement to push themselves a little further can work wonders for getting students to improve their scores. Whether it's trying to reach a different color goal on the vest itself or a more precise number driven goal on the app. The more clear the goal, the harder they'll train.

Students get excited by the tension in the game survival. The game modes keep students on the edge of their seats because they are never exactly the same.

Your students often think they are faster or stronger than they actually are. But you can't argue with the technology because it's objective. This can give them a baseline to strive towards surpassing.

The bonus round was physically distanced sparring matches. Very worth checking out if you're looking for a way to get sparring into your drills despite physical distancing!

If you don't have enough vests for every single student, use 2020 Armor as an independent station you can use as a reward. Because kids get excited to do it!

Take Your Physically Distanced Drills To The Next Level With Data Driven Training

Want to get your students more invested in their training? Give them the ability to track their stamina, reaction time and power so they have measurable goals they can strive to reach. Learn about how we can change the game for your high performance players!

Learn what we are doing to make at home training exciting and keep your students invested in their martial arts education to dramatically increase retention even when they are stuck at home.

Key Note:

Use 2020 Armor's objective measurement to motivate your students. Reward them for having the fastest kick in the dojang for the month.

Make More Money When You Need It Most

2020 Armor is designed to help schools attract more students, increase retention and thrive with new revenue.

Learn how 2020 Armor helped Mr. Cruz get 9 new students and make over 25K extra during a pandemic.

Discover how Jue Taekwondo was able to run a decentralized tournament during the worst pandemic restrictions and make 1K in one event!

Learn why Puerto Rico's National Coach is using 2020 Armor to make his team faster than the competition.

Get 2020 Armor in your school today!

How I Signed Up 9 Students With 1 Event During COVID

We don’t have to tell you that attracting new students is more difficult during a pandemic. But does it have to be?  

“We held an open house last year and we got 2 students from it,” says Mr. Anibal Cruz, of USTKDI in Florida. “This summer we held another open house. Only this time we used 2020 Armor to promote the event in special flyers and we let prospective students use the equipment at the event.  During a pandemic we got 9 students to sign up from one event. It’s sort of incredible.” 

The average student pays $140 a month for martial arts training.  For each student that stays a year is $1680 in yearly income from just monthly fees. But that doesn’t include special events, gear, testing, lab fees, seminars, summer camps which can make the total around $2,800 per student per year. For nine sign up that adds up to $25,200. 

 That’s a pretty big win from one event. In this article you are going to learn how he did it and you can too. 

Step#1: Attract More Students By Grabbing Attention With An Exciting Flyer

Mr. Cruz advertised to his community with this flyer. Not only was it visually exciting but it discussed what would make the experience special for potential students.  

He highlighted the 2020 Armor so that kids knew that they would have a chance to use the equipment and be able to measure their own speed at the open house. This gets the kids excited to attend. 

Mr. Cruz also offered a great special where if you signed up during the Open House you’d get 50% off your first three months. This creates urgency for the parents. 

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Step#2: Attract More Students By Reaching Out To Your Community 

Publicizing the event began with posting on his blog. Then the school’s Facebook group then Facebook groups he knew local parents frequented. Local parents shared it on their own pages. He reached out to a service that emailed four local schools in his areas. He created a landing page for the event to provide more details on his website. 

Landing pages for your event are a great idea. Because you can tease people’s interest and get them excited about the event with your poster but then answer their more detailed questions on your landing page. You can also get them to book spots to go to your open house to make sure that you can properly physically distance during the event.

Mr. Cruz promoted the event without paying for digital advertisements relying on his strong ties to the community and knowledge of where local parents spent their time online. But you could also promote your event using Facebook advertisements as well as creating an event which you could target to your ideal customers. 

3) Attract More Students by Making Your Open House Special

Getting people to the event is only half the battle. You have to get them excited about taking classes so that they convert and become your customers. For some of these kids it’s one of the most important moments of their life. When they discover what they love. 

“Before they even entered the school they saw the 2020 Armor,” says Mr. Cruz. “They instantly understood how it worked because it was like the video games they played. We had two set up on B.O.B.S and two on Bully B.O.B.S for the small kids. We had it set up with the app so they could play Reflex and test their speed. They were so excited to play with the armor!”

After that they met the senior team members from the dojang and did a small class with half the students doing drills inside and the other half doing it outside. The kids got warmed up. Then they let them play Reflex. It served as both a reward for their attendance and a promise of what they’d one day be able to achieve. 

“They went crazy for it,” says Mr. Cruz. “But the great thing is you can give them a little instruction and improve their scores. That way their confidence gets raised. They believe they can do it. You forget how intimidating martial arts can be when you’ve never done it before. This really gets them over that hurdle.”

How Real Metrics Dramatically Increase Retention

But that baseline score isn’t just important for students. It’s important for parents.

“Every school says they’ll help your kids get better,” says Mr. Cruz. “But at my school we prove we actually have. I can show how much faster your student got over a period of time with 2020 Armor’s technology. I can talk to parents about it. Give their kids advice for how they can reach their goals. We take it seriously. If you show up and you put in the work you deserve to know that your effort matters. Offering these metrics makes us accountable and able to hold our students accountable. The results have been pretty incredible. We were already known for being fast. But now people don’t want to fight our colour belts at tournaments. They are too fast!” 

Want to make 25K from just one event? Place your order today!

How World Champions Cope With Failure And Learn To Win

No one likes to lose. Especially not world champions like your instructors at TKD Kicks Corona. What if I told you that even world champion regularly face failure, but how they reacted to failure was their secret to success? We are going to teach you how to cope with failure and learn to win.  

You know that feeling when you feel that you never want to try again and expose yourself to the shame of losing? We are going to give you the tools to face that fear and succeed in the future whether it’s on a school project or in a competition on the world stage. 

Watch the video at the top of the article and learn how your instructors reframe losses into learning experiences and find the mindset that helps them succeed.

Home Work: Learning How To Positively Cope With Failure And Learn To Win

Think of at least one example of where a loss taught you something. Could you have learned the lesson if you hadn’t been forced by failure? Contemplate the thing you are most proud of accomplishing. Ask yourself if there was a moment in the process where you got discouraged or contemplated quitting? Find the places where failure taught you a lesson.

The second part of the homework is to go out and fail at something. Yes, we absolutely mean it. Go and find something you’ve always wanted to do and take the first faltering steps towards doing it. Believe in yourself!

We know that you can do it!

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TKD Kicks Corona Organizers 20/20 Armor wants to give you a little help recovering from failure.

When you fill in your order just put in this coupon code: https://store.2020armor.com/discount/TKDkicks50 to get $50 dollars off your purchase. 

PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY

How To Open Safely and Successfully Seminar With Master Tony Kook – May 14, 2020

We went live today on Facebook.com/2020armor for our webinar with Martial Arts Industry Expert Master Tony Kook on how to reopen your School Safely and Successfully. The seminar ran from 2PM EST to 3PM EST. The video for the Live Seminar will be posted above for you to watch in its entirety.

Master Tony Kook discussed best practices for re-opening your school when your local health authorities allow it in your area. He not only provided the baseline precautions everyone in the industry must be taking but also how to take extra precautions that make your school stand out from the crowd. 

Master Kook is a successful school owner with 4 schools and over 1200 students. He is an industry expert with over 30 years experience and a sought after Speaker for the Martial Arts industry specializing in “Small School Success”.

The most important bulletpoints from the discussion will be posted shortly. For now please take a moment to check out our How To Open Your School Safely and Successful guide where we collected best practices from across the industry.

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Most Important Bulletpoints: 5 Minute Read

Master Tony Explains His Own Situation:

We have flattened the curve in Vancouver. Our provincial health authortities has announced on May 19th we can reopen the club. We can go back to some level of normalcy with safety precautions. I have made the decision to reopen Monday, June 1st. We are installing some extra safety precautions and use the 2 week gap to communicate to our students. 

I read the article 20/20 Armor prepared and was loaded with great information. The first thing it mentioned is that you have to communicate the changes to your students and parents. We communicate through mobile apps, through emails, on a regular, weekly if not daily basis. Things about what you are doing. The signage for physical distancing. The classes will be smaller. Use facemasks. Use hand sanitizing stations. The point is that you are communicating with parents and studnets. It has to look visibly different than it did before they left. Going back to the old normal is now negligent . 

HAS TO BE A DIFFERENT FEEL:

The feel has to be different. Students and parents have to feel you have gone the actual steps. It’s not enough to say to wash their hands or stay at home if they are sick.

New protocols need to be implemented. Safety measures must be implemented to keep our students and parents and our staff safe. But Perception is also important. Parents are going to want them to do these programs to have time to themselves. Getting new students is dependant on the optics and public perception of showing its safe. 

A Lesson From An Elderly Lady At Starbucks

Starbucks is taking orders through mobile order or through the window. Three baristas could make the coffee but she only wanted the one in the mask. The elderly woman wanted the person in the mask to make it. It wasn't that it was safer but it felt that way. Some of your parents and students will live with grandparents. You are catering to some students who have members of their family who are at risk. Yes, it might be considered over the top. Lets put ourselves in our parents and students shows. To increase safety measures in our dojang to make people comfortable to come back. Let’s push ourselves to go further than we are being asked to go. 

How Trends At Returning To Public Schools Might Reflect People Return to Martial Arts Schools

Schools are reopening but they are having less than 25% going back to school. If you are a small school operator, you have a 100 students, maybe only 30% will return. Before you are opening you need to show the measures that you are taking. Send video, text messages, show safety is the number one concern. 

Extra Steps:

PROFESSIONAL CLEANERS:

We are using professional cleaners. We are going to have them do a professional spray of the whole facility. Where they kill 100% of bacteria and viruses and spray the whole facility. Its a financial investment and shows we are going the extra step for our parents. To provide them the safety they need. 

UVC FILTERS:

We are doing UVC filters and UVC lights that kills harmful bacteria and viruses. Used afterwards. Because you can’t look at the lights directly.  These are hospital grades. 

Special Glass Partitions:

Ordered lexicon glass, to create 12 stations so that each student will be training in their own glasses off training. They each get their own wave master or kid kick. In between classes all of that will be sprayed and wiped down for the next kids to come in. These are extra measures we are taking to reinsure a successful reopening. 

Ozone Machines:

We have considered ozone machines. We have already ordered it. A lot of professional cleaning companies can offer that service. We call associations and call professional services and see if we can do it together with other schools. Its hospital level grade. It’s a wonderful way to communicate to everyone at the dojang to ensure a safe return. You take video and some pictures and have safety stickers and signage in place. You show them this is how they are preparing when they come back to class. 

No Holding Regular Targets or Paddles:

The majority of our industry has transitioned to zoom. We have been doing it through the TV screeen. They can’t kick a target. There will be no contact between students or instructors. They can only kick the target. They can kick on the spot. They can do self defence drills. We need to be creative. You want to disguise repetition. The reality is that class sizes will be smaller. Class content will be different. You need to come up with a new training template for your class. 

Risk Management

One template is risk management and safety guidelines is revised and modified class content. Punching and kicking you can use music and use the long noodles and instructors can hold it at a safe distance. You can’t hold a hand target and have your students kick it. You may need pool noodles or training equipment that allows you to be further away from each other. 

20/20 Amor is connecting to the kid kicks and doing the optics and improving the class. It’s not just what you did before but doing it better with that level of never before seen interaction. With 20/20 Armor you can actually add to the experience you had before this by providing real analytics for their scores.

How Often Do You Clean:

How often do you clean? We clean everyday. Professional service comes in two times a week. it’s expensive. It’s an investment we are putting in to let everyone feel good about returning. My approach is to communicate in advance this is the limit in class sizes.

Transform smaller classes into scarcity and eagerness: You need to reserve your spots. Which class slots you are going to be using. I think it will be very worthwhile to do a hybrid of live classes and online training to provide for students who aren’t ready to come back to class. One or two classes online and online live. 

Facemasks:

We are implementing the use of Facemasks. We are asking students to wear one. Part of the training policies. If they don’t have one, then we will some on site they can purchase. We have some branded facemarks we have ordered. We ask them to come in socks or Taekwondo shoes to wear. 

Gaps Between Classes:

Even though we are allowed on the 19th. We are opening on the 1st. My locations are larger. We have to limit our class sizes. We are finalizing our schedule next week. So that they are five minutes shorter to allow a gap to control flow of people. 

Going More Than 2 Meters Apart:

If you have 10 people two meters apart that are inside a room it looks crowded. That’s another thing we have to take into an account. Maybe it’s 3 meters apart inside. It comes down to public perception.  

With precautions, we need to go overboard. Nothing is better than keeping people safe. Bad reviews can really sink a business. You need to gain public favor. 

Using Your Online Training As Your Main Form Of Training. Live classes as an upgrade to private lessons.

Are you limiting the number of days people can train with 10-12 students?

If return to class is your main curriculum then we limit to 2 days a week. Monday or Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday. Another way you can do it is use your online platform as your main form of training.

Right now your students can do as many zoom classes as they want. Now that you are coming back, and say you are doing semi privates. All the white belts come in, we limit to 2,4,6,10 in class. For the rest of the week do your zoom classes. You can structure it that way. You don’t need permanent time lines. Until we feel safer returning to our old lines. No reason why online couldn’t be your normal and use smaller classes as a supplemental. 

How are you planning to recoup the loss from the new equipment? Are you charging more?

When they come back they return to regular tuition. We had been offering lower prices for just online training. The professional services you scale it back. Thats an expense i can control. Lexion Glass is bullet proof and I can easily resell it. I’m not modifying the sheets, just securing it with duct tape on the corner so they are free standing. When I’m done with those I’ll be able to sell those. I’ll keep the extra equipment. So I can allocate that through our locations. Its an expense we wouldn’t have to incur. I’m asking what will allow students and parents to return.  My hope is that there are waiting lines after we tell them we are limiting class sizes. 

Stagger online and in person classes:

Are they tied together? My plan is to have some of my instructors teach live classes. Go to a modified schedule. Concurrently we will be running a live classes at a separate location. They can do Zoom or the Live class. If they miss the Live they can do the Zoom class. You can do pre-recorded videos or allocated different days or times to have room to keep both types of classes going to suit students needs. Come up with a creative solution that is flexible. 

Summer Camps?

Everyone is thinking July and August and have summer camps. We need to adjust to the new reality.  With 2 meter distance at all times we have to see if its feasible and what modifications we can make to make it successful. Usual Taewkondo is under an hour to safely manage that. How can you do that for 6 hours? Which is a typical summer camp.  

How do you make after school programs work in this way? My tip is to contact local health authorities. A lot of the parents rely on us and we are providing an amazing services that allows families to do what they want to do. What are some safety measures and best practices I can implement to carry out in a safe manner. DO you have resources I can share with my parents? 

Local authorities have been so helpful. Their agenda is keeping people safe. Talk to them to find a way of making us move back to normal. No one has been restrictive or defensive. It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it. It’s this is my program, what resources do you have that can help me do this in a responsible measures. DO you have extra guidelines to keep my students safe? Don’t sit back and rely on the news. Get out there. Network. Make phone calls to ensure a successful return!  

The Black Belt Mindset:

We aren’t in control of what happens to us. We are only in control of how we react. We had our doubts about our yellow belt tests. But they loved it. We have another online test coming up. You learn from each experience. My last piece of advice is a general piece of advice. But truly embrace what’s happening and tackle it like the Black Belt Master and leader we are perceived it to be. Run towards problems and find solutions. We are presented with this big challenge. Embrace it. Look for solutions. We are going to get through this together. Our primary concern is the development of our students through martial arts. This situation isn’t going to stop us. With your support. Thanking the parents for showing the kids indomitable spirit so we can out even stronger through all of it. We are going to teach them the resilience they need to survive situations like this. 

Want more information?

Read our How To Open Your School Safely and Successfully Guide Here.

GUIDE TO RE-OPENING YOUR SCHOOL SAFELY AND SUCCESSFULLY

Shutdown has been hard on martial arts schools across the world– it’s kept us from being able to teach our students in person and caused us to rely on virtual training to cut down attrition. But soon your state or province will begin opening up schools. But there won’t be a return to the old normal for a long time. You can still thrive in the new normal if you take proper precautions to allay fears around training at your school and transmission of COVID 19.  

The keys to doing this are preparation, communication and follow through. 

20/20 Armor has prepared this guide by collecting resources from leaders in the industry and consulting school owners preparing their plans to get up and running. In it you’ll find tips that will help establish the trust parents will need to let their students train in your martial arts school and provide strategies for moving your school into the future.

Let’s get started!

First Steps: Communication Plan

It’s up to your local government when you’ll be able to open. But that messaging can change very rapidly. So you need a good communications plan in place that can be used at a moment’s notice. You have to communicate your plan and safety measures to your instructors, students and their parents to make sure that everyone feels safe to return to your school.  You should start working on this plan right away. 

Once you have your plan organize a video call with each student and their parents before you reopen to make them aware of the procedures that are in place and their parts to play in them. This both makes them more likely to follow and assures families that you are actively working to keep them safe. 

Be clear with what you’re doing, how you’re meeting the challenges and what you expect from your students and parents going forward to minimize risk. 

Next Steps: You Have An Opening Date, What Next? 

  1. Communicate Your Plan: You know your opening date. Put out those communications to your staff, parents and students. They need to be clear on the procedures so they can follow them. Use every means at your disposal to get the word out: phone calls, text messages, Facebook group posts, emails, etc.
  2. Create a temporary schedule: Make it clear that your online classes are going to continue for the near future and that your classes at your school will be smaller to meet your local safety guidelines. Your students need to be spaced apart and no more than 10 students per class. (More information will follow concerning scheduling and what needs to change for the new normal.)
  3. Get the Necessary Cleaning And Safety Supplies: Be prepared to take temperatures before people enter the building and provide masks and gloves to the people who need them. (More details to follow). 
  4. Set up a Time To Teach Your Instructors And Staff the right procedures before you open your doors. Your staff needs to know you have their best interests at heart and that you are going to make sure they are safe at your studio. 

Class Scheduling: 

The biggest switch to your class structure will be the size of your classes. You’ll need to keep them much smaller to meet safety protocols.  Aim for no more than ten students at a time (or what you’re allowed within your phase protocol for the area.) So if you had thirty students  in a class you are going to need to have 3 live classes instead of one. 

 If you had multiple classes scheduled with them in a week, you are going to want to split this into virtual training and in class training. Because you’ll have to have more smaller classes to meet the demand but there won’t be enough time in the day to do all of your classes in person under these circumstances.

It’s important that students who are comfortable with returning get at least one live training session per week. Think of it like your Zoom Private lessons, a way of deepening personal connection. To keep your classes as large as they can be under the circumstances considering limiting parent attendance of your classes. 

Some parents and students will still not feel comfortable attending in person classes for a while.

That’s okay.

Continue to provide virtual training as long as necessary. You can even use virtual training as a way to continuously allow your students to train online in the future. But what’s important is that you reached out to those families with a phone call. Telling them what you’re doing and figure out what the best time is for them to come in and do their live classes. This personal attention will pay off in your retention and provide opportunity for new students to try the class out without coming to the physical location

Remember the level of personal attention = retention.

In Class Adjustments: 

  1. Space out markers or dots on the mats 6 feet apart to clearly mark where students should stand.
  2. Start classes earlier in the day to fit in more time for more classes.
  3. If you have larger number of students then consider shortening classes to 30 minutes from 1 Hour long so that instructors don’t get burnt out by increased number of classes.
  4. Build a space between your classes to allow one class to have and proper disinfection before the next class arrives. 

The more thought out your plan the more students are likely to come in and train at your school. 

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THE SUPPLIES YOU NEED: 

It is of the utmost importance that you have the supplies you need to keep your school safe. In this part of the document we are going to go into what you’re likely to need for supplies.  Remember these are suggestions current to what is happening as of: May 6th, 2020. These may change.

Here are some items you need to keep in stock:

  • □  Mask – disposable surgical mask
  • □  Nitrile gloves
  • □  Infrared thermometer
  • □  Disinfectant spray – 10% bleach solution made fresh daily or a hospital-grade disinfectant
  • □  Spray bottles – 1-liter plastic spray bottles
  • □  Hand sanitizer dispenser floor stand
  • □  Hand sanitizer refills
  • □  Hand soap
  • □  Paper towels

DISINFECTANT SUPPLIES

  • □  Confirm you have an adequate supply of soap, disinfection spray, hand gel, paper towels and tissue.
  • □  Schools should keep a minimum quantity of 30-day supply of disinfectant supplies.

PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)

  • □  Confirm stock of face masks and gloves on-site and on-order with proper lead time.
  • □  Schools should keep a minimum quantity of 30-day supply of PPE.


MASKS

  • □  Require all parents/siblings inside building to wear masks.
  • □  Require all non-teaching staff to wear masks.

GLOVES

□ The top priority is always protecting people. Based on CDC findings, the company does not require or recommend that employees wear gloves except for those performing disinfection of common surfaces. However, the company should provide gloves if mandated by local laws.

PRE-OPENING DISINFECTION MEASURES

According to the CDC website, “If it has been more than 7 days since a person with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.”
However, you may wish to go to the extra measure of disinfecting your school in order to put students’/parents’ minds at ease before restarting classes. If this is the case, here are some points to pay attention to:
□ All surfaces (benches, chairs, countertops, etc.)

 □ All equipment/gear
□ Bathrooms/locker rooms
□ Replace HVAC air filters

DAILY DISINFECTION 

In order to help mitigate virus transmission, you and your employees will need to be diligent on regular routine disinfecting protocols using hospital-grade disinfectant or fresh 10% bleach solution as appropriate.

This protocol should be conducted at least at the end of every class with the exception of wiping down general objects such as doors, handles, faucets, sinks, and bathrooms which should be done a minimum of 4 times per day. 

During this routine, be sure to wipe down all seating areas, locker rooms, countertops, equipment/gear, etc. For electronics (tablets, keyboards, phones, etc.), follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting products.

Employees performing these routine disinfection measures should be wearing PPE in the form of nitrile gloves. Along with that, proper training for safe glove removal/disposal will be needed. 

SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOL

Social distancing is a simple yet very effective mechanism to prevent potential infection that relies on simple distance to avoid infection. In practice, this means:

  • □  Staying 6’ away from others as a normal practice
  • □  Eliminating contact with others, such as handshakes or embracing
  • □  Avoiding touching surfaces touched by others, to the extent feasible
  • □  Avoiding anyone who appears to be sick or who is coughing or sneezing

To help facilitate social distancing, it’s recommended to place signage/markers in your seating area to help parents to maintain the 6’ distance while observing classes.You may also ask parents not to attend classes during this time. 

SOCIAL DISTANCE DURING CLASS CHANGES


Class changes must be managed thoughtfully to reduce infection risk and to leverage the opportunity they present to ensure optimal disinfection of the school. Classes should be separated by enough of a gap in time to allow for one class to leave and for employees to perform disinfection protocol before the next class begins to arrive.

Helpful Tips to Communicate to Parents & Students:

□  Avoid gathering when entering and exiting the school.

□  Encourage students to stay in their car if they have arrived early until the previous class has exited.

□  Ensure 3’ to 6’ space between each person while entering the school or waiting to check in.

□  Do not touch your face before you have had a chance to wash or disinfect your hands after entering.

TRAIN YOUR STAFF, STUDENTS AND PARENTS: 

Part of your pre-opening plan is to be sure that all staff, students, and parents are trained on the new procedures that apply to them. Safety protocols are only as good as the information provided on them.  

For staff, it’s imperative they know exactly what the daily protocol is and who’s responsible for which tasks during the day. The last thing you want is for the door handles to not get wiped down because it wasn’t assigned to anyone. Be diligent and specific when assigning tasks. They need to be as aware of these protocols as they are of what they are going to be training the kids in class. Your business depends on insuring the safety of your students. 

Staff should also know ALL of the protocols concerning students and parents and should be encouraged to help enforce them, for example — kindly reminding friends grouped too closely together upon entering of the social distancing rule or encouraging parents to stay outside the building when dropping off their kids.

It takes a great communication strategy, careful preparation and great follow through to make this work. But it’s worth it because you are doing the work you love and helping children grow into responsible adults prepared for the future in challenging times. 

But no matter what you do there will be a level of risk. Keep up to date with your local guidelines as they will change regularly and you'll need to be compliant with them. In this document we are providing frameworks and areas to focus on but there is of course much we can't know about the future.

Good luck and can’t wait to see our amazing community come back stronger than ever! 

Want to regain the students you've lost during Coronavirus.

Check out our step by step guide to bringing them back to your school.

TKD KICKS CORONA WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!

We (you) did it!!!

We had 1,500 participants who showed up for the amazing TKD Kicks Corona training session. We have never heard of a taekwondo class that big. Well done!!

You should be very proud of yourself for standing with the TKD community and fighting for the doctors and nurses on the frontline protecting our families. 

The event has raised $8000 dollars so far! To put that number in perspective, that’s enough for 25,000 masks! You can still donate by going here https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/taekwondo-kicks-corona/ 

Let’s get to $10,000!!!

For those of you who missed the class, it’s at the top of this post for you to watch whenever you’d like.

We’d like to thank our incredible instructors. Here are their social media handles if you want to thank them or ask them to do a seminar in the future with you:

Master Tim Thackrey@timthack 

Master Johnny Nguyen @jwintkd

Master Claire Kim Facebook.com/theClaireBear

Master Stephen Lambdin @stephenlambdin

Master Yvette Yong @yvetteyong.canada

Thank you for creating such a high energy training session and sharing your insights on facing failure, learning from defeat and how to be brave in times like this. It was a truly inspiring experience for everyone who attended. 

We Think You’ll Find These Guys Useful. 

We handpicked these companies to sponsor this event because they make their living helping martial arts practitioners, club owners and parents. Here is what they do, and their websites:

Juice Compound – They do remote coaching – you got a taste from coach Tim Thackrey in class today. There’s a reason Olympians rely on Juice Compound.  They bring  out the best in athletes across the globe. 

2020 Armor:  They provide Martial art scoring vests for your school, home training and high performance teams. 20/20 Armor generates revenue for club owners AND elevates individual practitioners by providing them the analytics they need to level up their performance. 

Prima IP – They do intellectual property for big and small businesses, and this brilliant company is run by Master Marcelo Sarkis. He is an expert in the field and a martial artist. if you need IP services, he is the person to go to.  

Block Insurance: Ms Beth Block is no stranger to the martial art community.  She’s helped school owners for 30 years. If you are a club owner and need to talk to someone who knows their stuff when it comes to insurance and martial art schools she is the leading expert in the industry. There is no one better.

Spark Membership:  Spark Membership provides best in class software for your martial art school. The owners are very successful school owners themselves – so they developed a system to make it easier for you to run your club. Whether it’s automations, marketing or upgrades they’ve got you covered. 

Pulse Taekwondo: The man running this whole thing behind the scenes is Master Emerson Wong. An expert in martial art training, video, stunts, XMA. He also runs three amazing schools. Please check to see if you are close to any of his locations by visiting his link.

Akross – If you need martial art supplies, these are the guys to go to in Canada. Again, this company is run by martial artists who are passionate about the business and have top notch customer service.  

Thank you to everyone in our community who came together with us to make history.  We couldn’t appreciate you more. 

TKD Kicks Corona: World’s Largest Global Taekwondo Class Raises Money For Supplies for Front line Workers to fight Coronavirus

On May 2nd, TKD Kicks Corona will hold the largest online Taekwondo class ever to raise money to armor the doctors and nurses on the front lines heroically fighting against Coronavirus. The event is raising money in support of Doctors Without Borders to make sure that the supplies get where they are needed most. On May 2nd TKD practitioners around the world are going to join together to kick Corona.

“Right now, there is nothing more important than making sure that the doctors and nurses fighting for our families have the equipment they need to do their job,” says Master Ali Ghafour, CEO of 20/20 Armor and organizer of the event. “Martial Artists aren’t passive people by nature. We need to take action. We’ve seen our schools close across the globe. But our community still stands tall.  We wanted to give the global Taekwondo community  a chance to fight back against Coronavirus. So we are holding the Largest Taekwondo class in history with the best instructors in the sport to raise money to armor the frontline.”

The class is completely free so that everyone can participate even if they don’t donate.  It’s for people of all experience levels from white belts to black belts and their parents. 

The response from the martial arts community was immediate.  Schools around the globe hurried to enlist their students to join the fight. 

“With our school closed, my students are missing each other and the sense of purpose our community offers,” says Anibal Cruz, owner of US TaeKwonDo Institute in Clermont, FL. “But this event gives my students a reason to come together, not just with each other but the global TKD community and gives these students motivation and purpose for their training. Friends and family of mine are fighting COVID-19 on the front lines without the proper equipment. I’m so happy that we are all joining together to get them the supplies they need. My school is going to give this their all. We challenge you to do the same with yours.”

Volunteer world-class instructors like Yvette Yong, 3x World Military Champion, Tim Thackery – Trainer to Olympians, US Olympian Stephen LambdinJohnny Nyugen, World Poomsae medalist, and World Poomsae Champion Claire Kim offered their expertise without hesitation. 

“This is an amazing opportunity for us to come together on a global scale when we can’t be in the same room together,” says Yvette Yong, one of the most celebrated Taekwondo athletes of her generation.  “At times like this, it’s important to know you’re a part of something greater than yourself and that you aren’t helpless. You can do things to help. I love that we are giving students stuck at home something to look forward to while raising money for this truly important cause. It’s going to be so much fun!” 

 All funds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. To donate go to: 

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/taekwondo-kicks-corona/

For Media Contact:

Ali Ghafour, Founder and CEO 20/20 Armor

1 (844) 963-2020

Ali@2020armor.com

To learn more and register: 

Go to Tkdkickscorona.com

Watch our promo video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YShM5DiVvg&feature=emb_title

Businesses wishing to sponsor the event can contact info@tkdkickscorona.com

SOURCE 2020 Armor Inc.

About 20/20 Armor

20/20 Armor is a sports technology company that develops martial art scoring equipment and software, transforming martial arts into a mainstream professional sport like soccer. The company’s flagship product tracks impacts through a vest that shows the score on the vest itself using scoring from popular video games. Customers include the largest martial art clubs in the world. Founders & investors of 20/20 Armor are former professional martial art athletes. leAD Sports, founded by the family members of Adidas, is a major investor.

My Kids Didn’t Want To Stop Training

Notice that your kids aren’t as excited about their training? Worried they might drop out of martial arts before they have a chance to learn it’s most important lessons? Our engineers, software developers and team of martial arts professionals have been working on an answer for you.

My kids said the magic words every coach and parent wants to hear when they are training: “Can we do it again?” says Master Helgi Rafn Gudmundsson. “They asked may I try again? May I do another? We were doing at home training with the 20/20 Armor app and we had it in our  homeschooling schedule. They’d get five tries with each technique of their choice (punch, roundhouse kick and back kick) and we had the app up on our television screen so they could see their scores. They got so excited seeing their points and worked so much harder. And at the end of their five tries they’d ask to go again. Instead of five tries at each technique they’d go 15-20. That shows perseverance. You can’t get this experience training with a paddle or a regular chestguard. When I’m holding paddles, I’m the guy saying “do it again” and after a while they want to stop. The vests are incredible by themselves but with the app, it’s next level.” 

WHAT HE DID:

Master Helgi decided to make training as easy as possibly and wore the video game scoring vest on his body.  He set the game to Hitmeter, which measures the power of your strikes. He used the 20/20 Armor mobile app and telecasted to his wifi enabled screen so that his kids could see their scores as they practiced. To get a baseline score for power he gave them three techniques to try (Punch, Roundhouse and Back Kick) 

He had scheduled for 60 minutes of training. He expected it would be like other activities scheduled throughout the day. They’d do the 60 minute block and they’d move onto the next block. They ended up doing 100 minutes. They only stopped because it was lunch. They played so hard that they lost track of time.

“We had to drag them out of training!”

“We had to drag them out of their training,” says Master Helgi proudly. “They are doing the same techniques we were doing on paddles or other chest guards, but the intensity is completely different. They were drenched in sweat, because they wanted to do more and more.”

Want tips for raising your child’s confidence and discipline through martial arts training? Submit your email below.



WHAT GETS MEASURED, GETS IMPROVED

After each strike his kids would look at the screen and see their score. His son Viginir, 5, would get particularly excited to see the graphs that showed the variance in his power. He liked the way it looked when the graph spiked. His daughter Heidi, 8, is older and began to notice the difference between the high and low scoring strikes. 

Helgi due to his training as Head of Coach TKD Keflavik  saw a deeper meaning in the data. By coincidence he’d been filming the session to send videos back to 20/20 Armor to show his training session went. So he had a video of his children’s most impressive kicks and punches and real analytics matched to each individual strike. He showed the kids. This instantly provided feedback that powerfully reinforced proper technique. 

THEY COULD SEE HOW TO DO IT CORRECTLY

“They could see it was because they turned their hip,” says Master Helgi.  “Every coach video tapes athletes doing the technique. But now we have the data on the same page as the technique. As a coach I could give this technique a score of 1-10. But it was just your opinion that the strike was a 7. With the 20/20 Armor mobile app there is an objective measurement. And they can see the difference. That was because you turned the base of your leg, put your shoulder that way, and do your kiyap that way."

"There is such a difference between doing something because your coach tells you to and something that shows you how much better you are doing," notes Master Helgi. "So they abandoned techniques that didn’t work and focused on the ones that did. The whole point isn’t getting a higher score on the board, it’s improving their overall technique. And even in one session you could see the improvement.” 

THE FUTURE

Helgi recorded his son and daughter’s baseline scores from their first session and they’ll try the same three techniques every week and track their improvement over time. 

“I can’t wait to see how much better they get,” says Master Helgi.  “I’m so excited to see what happens when this training becomes a part of high performance. This is going to change the way we train our athletes. But for now I’m just excited that my kids love their Taekwondo training more than they ever have. And I can’t wait to do it again.” 

*We wanted to thank Vignir and Heidi not only for being the stars of the videos but also the camera people and directors. Can't wait to see the Taekwondo stars you become when you grow up.

Want to follow Helgi's lead and train at home with your kids?

Not a Master Taekwondo teacher? We got you covered with videos for beginners, intermediate and advanced students that your kids will be able to do no problem. The system is so easy to operate your kids can do it themselves.

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Virtual Belt Testing Webinar with Master Tony Kook (April 8th)

We all know how crucial belt testing is to your students and your business. Students need to know they are progressing in their training or your retention will drop drastically. But how do you do belt testing virtually?

We hosted an incredible Live Seminar with Industry Expert Master Tony Kook streaming at April 8th, 7PM EST. Master Kook is a successful school owner with 4 schools and over 1200 students. He is an industry expert with over 30 years experience and a sought after Speaker for the Martial Arts industry specializing in “Small School Success”. You can see the whole live stream in the video above. The most important point is that you should be doing virtual testing. Without it your students won’t be getting the feeling of making progress that they need and you’ll lose out on retention.

Don’t have time to watch the whole seminar? Don’t worry we got you covered. Below we have a summary of all the most important points from the talk. But we highly recommend you watch the entire stream to get Master Tony Kook’s masterful wording. Because it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. We’d like to offer a sincere thank you to Master Tony Kook for gifting us his wisdom on this crucial topic.

Bulletpoints: 6 Minute Read

Pre Talk: A Look At Our Industry

Talking to a lot of club owners. Everyone is closed down but its amazing to see the creativity in a lot of club owners are doing. A lot of people are using Zoom. A lot of club owners are really making use of the online classes and doing more creative things. We are going to be adding story time with the Master as part of our online curriculum. And mat chats. Some schools are bringing in other Masters from across the country to teach a class. Some instructors are adding in their natural talents like singing and dancing. Students are looking forward to their ability to connect. It’s the highlight of their day.

Virtual Belt Testing: 

Why is it important to do virtual testing

It’s paramount for our retention right now.

What are the keys to retention:

1) students have to fun, 2) it’s about building relationships and having a sense of progress. Online helps us stay connected and lets our students know we are thinking of them. We also want them not to feel stale and that they can be progressing while they are at home.

If you are not open till June 1st what are you going to do with those students waiting for a belt test. Some of those kids haven’t had one for more than two or three months already. You can’t make them wait. You need to reconsider from a retention stand point because its very important. 

Belt Test Scenarios:

We hashed out three different scenarios. We will do white belts, green belts, brown belts all the way up.  You need to do a minumum amount of classes before you are qualified and you know your curriculum you qualify for tests. We are tracking attendance at our online classes. Breaking it down into groups of 10. Ten people test with the instructor. We run through the whole curriculum, they show us their basic movements, all their kicks, all their poomse, all their philosophy then there is a physical portion like push ups.  The only thing that will be difficult online is board breaking.

Challenges of Online Boardbreaking:

We struggled back and forth on the board breaking from a risk management angle. If the parent holds it incorrectly and they don’t break it, and the kids hurt themselves that will be negative. So what we decided to do for all the kids who are testing, we are mailing them the board with the belt and make a memento of this. We will mail the package to them and while we are doing the test we make the board breaking optional. We will ask the parent if they give their permission to board break. If not we do it when they come back. We do a nice ceremony for everyone when they pass. Make it feel special. 

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Testing Fees: Do I charge the full price?

We are charging full testing fees. The reason for that is I anticipated we would be closed for two to three months. I took the initiative to reduce tuition by 50%. We made it accessible to everyone. We have families who have 2 or 3 students training that’s a lot of money. We charge per household. If you have a brother or sister you are only paying one flat fee per family. We make it financially accessible to everyone. We want to retain as many students as possible during this time. Because we are giving them a substantial tuition discount, we are giving it as the full price of our belt testing. We don’t want to devalue the process. There is a perceived value and we don’t want to set up a precedent if we have another shut down. So we are doing full testing fees. We do everything we do in a real test.  But we do it at home through video. 

You can custom make your own testing procedure to make it intimate and valuable to your students. For smaller clubs you might want to do online privates. If you divide 40 by 20 or 30. minutes of private tests. That’s one week of testing. If you are a medium sized category they’ve tasked their instructors to do the youth, their senior instructors to do the youth intermediate, we do the teens and adults. 

Pre-recorded Tests:

Whatever your testing requirements are you have your students do a short video, where they go through it all and you can grade them on it, is another option. The thing I like about the prerecorded is you give them the format it’s like homework. You get all the time in the world and then you can submit the polished product. You give your students the chance to redo their kicks. I know a lot of club owners who are doing it. 

I know some club owners who are doing a combination. They are doing a video where they do a, b and c of their qualification actions. Then in the group testing everyone does d.  

Distribution of Boards and Belts:

You can schedule the pick up time with different parents so there is proper social distancing for picking up the belts and boards. If you have a small school you can take the initiative and go drop off the boards at your students house. We are going to be using Fedex overnight delivery because we are a larger school. 

Virtual Belt: An interim Step Some School Owners Are Taking

You earn a virtual belt, but when you come back we do an in person belt ceremony. Which encourages your students to come back for the real deal at their dojang. 

Not currently doing any Blackbelt testing. We are going week by week and our plans change. Currently we have made the decision to postpone our Black Belt testing. We have let all our students know that we have postponed the Blackbelt tests until the summer.  Since its such an important ceremony we want to give them the best experience. We are offering special blackkbelt classes in our online schedule but we want to provide the best experience to our students. Because they'll remember getting their Blackbelts for the rest of their lives.  

You need to maintain your connection with your students. What I am doing is not the only way to do it. I hope by the end of this we give club owners some extra ideas that can be catered to their needs. 

Different Schools, Different Belt Testing:

This will be different based on your small, medium and large schools. 

Last week I was on a group call with the most successful club owners in the US. Anywhere from 1000-3000 students. Some said their testing fees would remain the some. Some Masters they aren’t charging anything because testing is free and their main concern was retention. Some said they would do a nominal fee. Even the most successful club owners are taking different approaches. The main goal is to keep students going and progressing. 

WHAT NOT TO DO: Live One on One Testing, Not Doing Testing

I know of some club owners that are trying to do live one on ones. You are putting your student at risk. Your putting yourself at risk. Your risking damaging your own reputation. You can’t be meeting people during this time. Another clear no no is that we have anticipate we are going to go into July or into September and not doing belt testing. I think that’s a clear no no. If you have students who haven’t tested in three months, that another theree months. You have to do something. You can even give it as a virtual pre test. Creative ideas are coming up. Online training is going very well. But if you are just doing the same thing over and over again the novelty is going to wear off and attrition is going to skyrocket. 

After three or four weeks kids are going to go and find stuff on Youtube if you aren't giving them the interaction they need. If you are keeping it curriculum specific, now you are giving them incentive to practice on their own. Not just doing the live training. You are keeping them engaged. If you are not doing online testing that would be a no no. 

What you can’t do on just Youtube is the direct one on one. With Peloton they are successful because they are providing them with metrics. They have live and pre-recorded.  They will urge to push harder. That’s why they are so successful.  Progress is being measured as well. Which is what testing is. 

Communicate your plan to your parents. Even just communicate that you are working on a plan for testing. 

The more club owners communicate with their parents, the more likely they are to come back to you. Because you maintained the relationship. There is no such thing as overcommunication. 

PARENT INVOLVEMENT DURING THE TESTING

Part of my friend's testing program is a parent evaluation. Has your son or daughter been showing the principles of Taekwondo at home? Have they been up to date with school work and they submit that with their testing application? This makes them responsible for their behavior at home. He has the parents complete that part and before each belt tests they need to obtain stripes before they can test. Once they get their virtual stripes they can do their test. When they pass, he’ll arrange a time for parents to pick up the belts. 

We are inviting our parents to the live (online) test. Asking parents to help them tie the belt. If they are adults, have their spouses do it. Make it fun. 

Some schools are letting people borrow the 20/20 Armor vest, they get their kids to measure their power on the vest. Basic reaction for reaction, power and a stamina one. 

You Can Learn From Everyone:

I hope people take away from this because of the whole idea of virtual testing. It’s not something to be worried about it. Don’t think of quality control. This is a once in a life time opportunity for many people. For many people it’s the first time doing it and it’s going to be fun. I want people to walk away thinking I can do this. The important thing is you put together a plan and execute. I’m continuously learning about it everyday. I’m learning something new everyday. I see what people are doing at other schools and think I could implement it in my clubs. If you have questions or ideas please post it on the 20/20 Facebook group and we'll get back to you. Lets have a dialogue. We are all here for each other so we have this industry when we come back. 

Deeper Insight On Promotions:

Each of our belts we don’t wing it. Students come to promotion tests knowing exactly what is expected of them. Maybe you are a club that doesn’t have that, is you could announce when you are doing, you say white to greenbelt these are the requirements. You tell them what it’s going to be in a simple format. Nothing different. The only difference is that we are doing it through TV online platform with option to board breaking. 

Do You Fail Students During Online Testing:

We do fail. We praise what they can do. We know that with a little more practice we know that you will be able to do it. We look forward to pass you. Because I know that you aren’t the type of person who would want to accept an award when you hadn’t earned it. You don’t cut them down. You offer them good words of encouragement. Thats what we do with in person live testing. We try to get them as prepared as possible and many tests everyone passes. 

It’s going to be awkward failing kids on a virtual test but you want to prepare them for the test so they can accomplish their goals. Make it clear you believe in them and are proud of them for doing as well as they did. Then offer to reschedule the test.  

How Do You Address Sparring?

You obviously can't do real sparring. You get students to do their kicking combinations. Each class has kicking combination they are responsible for. When we do sparring they do that against eachother. So what you can do here, is you could add in an imaginary opponent. I want to see good footwork, good focus, good speed. It’s like non contact sparring. It’s like step sparring. Obviously there is no real contact with no other person.  

You can also make sparring requirement as a final element when you return.  Then after that you get your blue belt. Especially if you are a spar heavy school. It gives them motivation to stay. You are keeping them engaged. I can’t stress that enough. You can’t just send someone online tools. You need some form of interactive platform. You need to give them progress reports. They need to get feedback. 

Pay It Forward Retention Strategy:

Someone told me that they were doing something called paying it forward. If you pay for two months with online training, when we come back to live training your getting two months for free. And throwing in a free summer camp. The money in that alone makes it all worth it for the parents to stay on. Ask questions all the time. 

Obvious things you should do:

Most of us are very good at inspiring students before and after a test. We are good at powerful words of encouragement. 100% of our students after the test are so pumped up. Use that same principle with the online test. Deliver the same message you would with a live in person test. Give a pre-test speech and a post test speech and offer them words of encouragement and excitement. Now they can’t wait to get back onto the live training. Really use the online platform to offer good words to parents and students. Telling them to thank their parents for giving them the chance to train and use martial arts in all the platforms they can use it in their lives. 

The thing we have to focus on is retaining our students. If you have one hundred students you need to come up with strategies to keep all of those students. If you’re hiding over 60 percent you are doing a great job. Now you need to shoot for 80 students. Much easier to keep students than to create one. Now you are thinking of attracting new students, you have to reach out to students who have cancelled or on hold. We have asked people for their support. What can we do to support you? Some people aren’t going to have the money. So you can offer them a special deal to get the kids back onto training and that helps you retain one more student. There are some clubs who are doing well, who are hitting 70 to 80, some even 90. If that’s you amazing I’d encourage you to help out others on how they can do that. I think that’s critical right now. Trying to retain as many students as possible. Reach out to students to see where they are at. Work something out with them so they can come back. 

Looking for more strategies to mitigate financial loss during Coronavirus?


Go to our Rebuilding From Coronavirus Page to get all the latest business insights from industry experts or check out our stories on the US Stimulus Package to get tips you can use to secure relief for your business. 


We have also been working tirelessly on our own solution to your problems with retention due to shutdown. We agree with Master Tony. Nothing is more important then giving your students metrics to measure their progress. But not just at belt testing time. Learn how training at home with 20/20 Armor can keep your students passion for martial arts going during this difficult time and radically decrease attrition. 

We've also drafted a leader explaining the value to parents that you can pass onto your students. Get more information here on this exciting program to create more connection with your students and avoid online drop off.

ALREADY A 20/20 ARMOR OWNER
We've also prepared an in-depth strategy for how you can use 20/20 Armor for revenue generation during the coronavirus shutdown and provided three essential strategies to help your business succeed during these difficult times.

Have anything we can help you with? Talk to our head of Sales Scott Granger at scott@2020armor.com. He is a martial arts school owner just like you and he'd love to help you make sure that your online strategy succeeds. You can also give him a call at 844-963-2020.