Great Martial Artists Make Great School Owners! | ITF Taekwon-Do

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Biggest Martial Arts Business Misconceptions (3 of 8)

ITF Taekwon-Do Istructor Business Success Training System - ITF Awards

I’ve seen many schools and instructors come and go over the years and great martial artists who think their physical skills are all they need to be a successful school owner. This is probably one of the biggest issues that leads to the demise of many of their schools.

This problematic thinking impacts small businesses in every industry.

You think you are good at something (Taekwon-Do, baking, clothing… you name it) and you think just because you are good at something, then you’d be great in the business of that something.

There are many great martial artists out there, world champions, many great competitors and many who can put their leg straight in the air, put their foot or fist through many blocks or do a 720 turning kick.  You might even be one of them.

That is all great for that individual, and that person probably has many people around him or her telling them that they should follow their passion and start a school.  Or their instructor might want to hire that person to run a school because of their skill.

Unfortunately none of that has anything to do with being a great teacher or running a business.

The skill set required for you to be great at Taekwon-Do is not the same skill set required for you to deal with large numbers of students and parents, or the same skill set required to successfully run a business.

You don’t have to be a World Champion or be able to do a perfect split to be a successful Taekwon-Do instructor and school owner.

Gen. Choi, Hong Hi outlined in his ITF Taekwon-Do Encyclopedia eight qualities of an ideal instructor.  If you are not familiar with these, GET FAMILIAR!  As an instructor these should be on the wall in your office and burned into your mind.

1. Strong moral and ethical standards.
2. Clear outlook and philosophy in life.
3. Responsible attitude as an instructor.
4. Scientific mind in matters of technique.
5. Knowledge of the vital spots of human anatomy.
6. Unshakable integrity in political and financial dealings.
7. Dedication to spread the art of Taekwon-Do throughout the world.  This is where your commitment to running a successful comes in.  By running a successful school you reach more people, can open more locations and make Taekwon-Do available to more people.
8. One who gains confidence from his seniors, is trusted by his fellow instructors, and is respected by his juniors.

Nowhere in there does he make any mention of having the perfect side kick or being a World Champion.

It is the example you set as a person for others to follow, your commitment to others, and your willingness to forge the relationships you need and learn the business skills you need to do what it takes to spread Taekwon-Do.


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taekwon-do phoenix, taekwon-do arizona, taekwondo phoenix, Phoenix taekwondo, itf taekwondo, taekwondo itf, tkd phoenix, taekwondo az, taekwondo Arizona, martial arts phoenix, martial arts Arizona, martial arts az, Phoenix Martial Arts, Arizona Martial Arts, Phoenix Karate, arizona taekwondo, karstadt, karstadt taekwondo, ITFJohn Karstadt

Senior Instructor – Karstadt Taekwon-Do

Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt.  He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline,  leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world.  He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do.  He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy.  Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children.  Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at

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