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Why Most Adults Drop Out of Martial Arts Classes
February 21, 2006
Hi ""

Why Most Adults Drop Out of Martial Arts Classes?
February 21st, 2006

From the Desk of
Jeffrey M. Miller

The most surprising statistic that most karate and martial arts teachers discover is the one that tells them "why most of their adult students quit shortly after enrolling." In fact, the greatest percentage of adult dropouts from martial arts classes occurs within the first 100 days!

This has sparked some groups to investigate the reasons behind this phenomena. Surveys have been conducted both in the United States as well as in Canada. Additional inquiries may also have been conducted in places like Europe and Australia as well.

What the researchers found was, to them, incredible. They found that, by and large, the number one reason for adult students dropping out of their programs was... real-world self-defense training early on in their training!

"How could this be?", was the question. The researchers were stunned. After all, they were martial arts teachers and they certainly taught self-defense as a part of their classes.

How could these adults say that they weren't being taught real-world self-defense techniques?

Perhaps, the problem was not that "self-defense techniques" were or were not being taught. Because, even after these studies were conducted and karate programs started to "import" third-party self-defense packages into their product offering, adult dropouts remained high.

Maybe the problem was in perception. Maybe students just couldn't see how the "stylized" movements of a centuries-old system could be applicable against a street attack against a stiletto or 'Saturday Night Special'-wielding assailant.

It's certain that students were not seeing and hearing what they thought they should in order to believe that they were getting what they needed to survive such an attack. Even if these students don't know what 'that thing' really looks like, their gut-level feeling was that, "this stuff isn't going to work."

Maybe the problem - what adult students are looking for - is in something even more crucial to learning self-defense against violent attackers. And maybe this "thing" was easier to identify by novices than by trained instructors who had been indoctrinated into sport systems.

Maybe what was lacking in all of these programs was something the real experts like to call...


Regardless of the subject, it's fairly easy to see when someone has experience with the information they have, isn't it? I mean, experience in actually applying that information to produce viable, proven results. As the old saying goes, "those who can - do; and those who can't - teach."

And, what adult students are looking for is someone who "can" AND "teaches" others how they can as well.

Now, this isn't to say that most martial arts instructors don't know their arts and the techniques and skills that come with them. Most certainly do. And these people are very good at what they do.

However; there is a huge difference between knowing how to 'perform' a skill - any skill - and being able to apply that skill in a particular context. And self-defense is no exception.

No matter how hard they try, most martial arts and self-defense instructors will not be able to convince most adults that they know what they're talking about without the experience to back it up. Adult students are not children. They have seen far too much in there lives to let these less-than-able instructors slide.

And with the new threat of terrorism being added to the ever-present concern with crime, most adults have no desire to learn martial arts for purely ascetic reasons. They want - no, they demand - and rightly so, that the person they place their trust in, not to mention their very lives, knows what he or she is doing.

So, what's an instructor to do if he or she lacks actual real-world experience? Should they rush right out and get into a few fights? Should they go hang out in the seedier side of town and wait to be mugged, raped, or beaten?

No, of course not. But, they can, like their students, go in search of real experts - people who have "been there" and who can help them learn what they need to know in order to help the people who come to them for this type of knowledge.

Of course, this may require that they suck in their pride and get a check on the old ego. But, as everyone knows who has been in an actual violent confrontation with a dangerous attacker, you need to "check your ego at the door" if you're going to survive.

Teaching self-protection skills to others is a huge responsibility. And one perhaps that's too great for a lot of people who are teaching for purely personal reasons.

There is another option available, however; just in case the primary one is totally unacceptable. And that option is simply to...

...stop trying to teach self-defense if they're not qualified.

By all means, an instructor can, and should, continue to teach his particular style of martial art. But he should stop trying to convince intelligent, grown adults, that he knows what he's talking about with regards to surviving a violent attack if he doesn't. He should remember that people are placing their lives in his hands every time he open's his mouth, or demonstrates a technique. I'm not sure whether or not many instructors have thought about this. But they should.

After all, most martial arts instructors teach honesty as one of the major tenets and character traits of a black belt master and leader. Wouldn't this be the "honest" thing to do?

The moral here is that, if a martial arts or karate teacher wishes to teach self-defense - if he or she wants to get and retain adult students looking for this type of training for the long-term, they really have no choice but to do what they must.

They, like every other information-based professional, are in business to provide a service. They must decide what that service is and whether or not it includes real-world self-protection against violent attackers who don't follow the rules of fairness and respect found in martial arts schools and karate tournaments.

They should also know this... company, whether it's a furniture store or a martial art school, stays in-business very long if it can't give its customers what they want and need. Their clients and students may never tell them that they don't believe or trust them. But, rest assured that if they're not getting what they've paid for, they're gone.

As a final thought, and one that I live by. What if, some day, "I" must depend on one of my students to protect me from a dangerous assailant for whatever reason. Wouldn't I want to make sure that what he or she learned was really going to work?

I know I would!


Look, if you really want to get a handle on being able to protect yourself against real attacks, being thrown by real assailants, in the real world, then you must get my latest book...

"The Karate-Myth" and find out why I say that 'Most Martial Arts and Self-Defense Programs are WRONG!'

You'll find the answers to these and many more questions inside this new book. But, unlike most self-defense books and videos that try to teach you step-by-step techniques that you can learn almost anywhere, "The Karate-Myth" teaches you what over thirty years of law enforcement, security, and military training taught me. You will benefit from my experience so you will be prepared when everything that you think, say, or do...


Here's the link where you'll be able to order this awesome book and get some free insider tips for increasing the value of your own training right away. Go there right now and start curing yourself of the dreaded "karate-myth":

It's ready for immediate download to your computer so, you can make this information yours in just minutes. Do it!



We've just re-released the "Danger Prevention Tactics" video...

...on DVD!

If you're like me, you prefer to do your self-defense from a distance...

...before the attacker ever gets close enough to pick you as his next target. This powerful video is full of the best information available for using awareness and the same tricks used by security professionals to avoid and/or escape from danger before it has a chance to touch you.

you can order the video right now at

It also comes with two extra bonuses that are designed to increase the power in your self-defense techniques within minutes of receiving them.

Click on the link about to be taken to the page.

"SPECIAL NOTE": We experienced a delay in getting the DTP video converted over to DVD format and a few other 'technical' problems. I apologize to all of you who placed an order for these materials over the past three or four weeks. Rest assured that your order will be shipped this week and, as a special gift for your troubles, I will be emailing each of you a special ebook , at no extra charge.

You'll be able to access your download from within the confirmation letter that I'll send as soon as your DTP video hits the mail. So, watch for it this week.

Again, my sincerest apologies to all.



I am looking for a few extremely motivated individuals who want to be my partners and help me get this life-empowering information into the hands of people who desperately need it.

Watch for the new "Affiliates" page coming soon to the web site. Or, better yet, send me an email and let me know why you think that you would make a great partner.

I'd love to hear from you!


Book and video aside though, there REALLY is nothing like participating and learning in a live training event. So...

...don't forget about my new Sunday Private Training sessions at WCI Central. You must call ahead or send me an email and reserve your place in these powerful, closed-door training sessions.

Please note: These sessions are not for the idly curious. And I must have enough people registered to hold them. They are limited to WCI Black Belts and Shinobi-kai program students, as-well-as other Ninjutsu and Mikkyo students from other schools and/or training groups.

The schedule and cost for the Sunday Private Training Sessions are as follows:

Mikkyo Training: 1 - 2:30pm $10/ea

Ninpo Training: 3 - 4:30pm $25/ea

Cost for both: $30

Space for these events is extremely limited so that everyone gets plenty of hands-on attention from me.


The tentative date set for Spring Ninja Training Camp is May 19 - 21. I am still waiting to here from Camp Mt. Luther as to whether or not they can accommodate us. As soon as this date is firm, I will be placing the flyer up and attaching a link so that you can register and pay for camp online.

As for other training opportunities, I will have that schedule worked out in the next few days.

So check the website often for updates.



Can't seem to make it to my events here at WCI Central Academy? No problem! Why not take the initiative and bring the knowledge to you're area?

Send me an email at and put "Sponsor Info" in the Subject box.

I'll send you information for sponsoring a seminar in your local area and how you can get your training for free and maybe even make some extra money for yourself in the process!

Now, who can beat that kind of situation?!

Sponsoring a seminar is really easy and can be a lot of fun. In fact, that's exactly what I did when I first started in Ninjutsu. I was living in Germany and working for the US ARMY as a military policeman. So, getting to training back here in the States, or anywhere for that matter was practically impossible.

But, instead of hoping and wishing that I could do it, I did the next (and probably) best thing...

...I brought my teachers TO me!

And, trust me, if I can do it, you can too.


Again, thanks to everyone for your great questions. In the next post, I'll be answering those from a few more students so, don't be shy and send me some stuff.

The most important thing for everyone to remember is to make this training very personal. Make sure that you're getting what you need and sewing up any loose ends in your own training, skills, and overall ability to handle yourself... least in the most common situations that YOU are likely to encounter in your life.

Remember that...

...if it bothers you and you want to be able to handle a certain type of situation, others probably want to know also. So, get personal and start the ball rolling by asking about it. Don't be like everyone else who is sitting there on their duff waiting for everyone else to ask the questions!

Well, until next time.

Here's wishing you Peace, Happiness, and much safety...

You're Friend on the Path,

Shihan Jeffrey M. Miller


Please send in those testimonials and comments. Many of you tell me on a regular basis why you come to my camps, seminars, and classes and how you think I'm doing. NOW it's time to tell everyone else!

Seriously. It sounds very conceited and "sales-like" when I say how great something is but, when YOU say it, people take notice and listen.

Why? Because you are a student just like them. You are the ones who return class after class and year after year (many of you coming in for private lessons with me separately from Camps and Seminars). This says something about yourselves but, it also says something about what you believe you're getting from me and these powerful events.

So, please. Send me something to post so others will know what they're missing.


Want to send me a question or comment....

Enter the word "QUESTION" or "COMMENT" in the subject box and email it to me at

Please keep your submission short and to the point. Any submissions that stray from topic, require too much in the way of editing (please use the spell-check and grammar check functions on your word processor - after all, you paid for them!), or are self-serving and abusive will simply be deleted.

I'll try to answer your email personally, especially if it's of a personal nature but most submissions will be answered here.

Talk to you again in a few days.

Be Safe!

Jeffrey M. Miller, Shihan
10 Degree Black Belt
Founder and Director
Warrior Concepts International

Self-Protection & Personal Development

Do NOT respond directly to this email. Click on the following link to make sure that I get your submission:
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