The Successful Taekwon-Do Upgrade Program

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ITF Taekwon-Do Instructor Business Training - Leadership Patch

I have to admit that I was SHOCKED when I looked at the instructor survey and discovered that 89.1% of instructors don’t have an upgrade program and that 33.9% don’t even know what one is!

If you fall into that either of those categories, PLEASE pay attention to this because you could easily double your income.  If you do happen have one I’d love to hear from you about how it’s going.

I am consulting school owners now who are implementing upgrade programs and they are achieving anywhere from a 50% to 100% increase in monthly revenue.

The basic idea of an upgrade program is having something you can offer in addition to your core Taekwon-Do program to your members that adds value, complements your Taekwon-Do program and is something that people want.

This is a strategy that nearly every business utilizes.  If you order something from amazon, they automatically show you what others who bought what you’re buying had purchased.  Ever been asked if you’d “like fries with that?”  If you’ve ever ordered anything from an infomercial it takes forever to complete your order because the person on the other end has a script a mile long with upgrade after upgrade to offer you.  When you order at a drive through they don’t ask you, “is that it?” They say, “What else would you like?”

It’s happening to you all day, everyday and it’s time you learned why, so that you can take advantage.  These companies have discovered that people who pay more, pay more frequently and pay longer.

Most schools with upgrade programs charge an additional $30-$50 per month for their upgrade program and those students also make longer commitments to your program.

At my school we have our Basic Program, our Black Belt Training Program and our Leadership Program.

Everyone starts off in our basic program and in the first 4-6 weeks choose whether they want to continue their training in the Black Belt Program (our core Taekwon-Do program) or our Leadership Program.

The Leadership Program is the Black Belt Club Program with Leadership Training and weapons training.

We simply added two classes per week.  For the Leadership Class we discuss that month’s Leadership Life Skill (we have 12) and train the students in public speaking, personal presentation, eye contact, powerfully introducing themselves and much more.  For the weapons training we focus on one weapon every testing cycle.

Our students currently pay an additional $40 per month and commit to an 18 month program.

You may read this and think “that’s ridiculous!” or think that no one would pay extra for that.  I assure you they will.  And when a parent sees their 5 year old child for the first time bow in a class with authority and command a room, they’ll wonder why you don’t charge more.

It’s not the extra classes they’re paying for.  It’s not the weapons they get to use.  What they are paying for is the idea of the person you are developing their child into.

Your job is to deliver that.


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About the Author:

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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