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This San Antonio, TX-based martial arts instructor found a way to defend against student dropout during the pandemic.

When COVID hit, Geno Guevara, owner of Alamo Ranch Martial Arts in San Antonio, TX, faced the daunting task of teaching complex taekwondo forms and martial arts skills via Zoom to his students at home. 

After a few stressful attempts, he switched to the Empower Kickboxing™ curriculum, making it much easier for students and staff to continue training with enthusiasm.   

Inspired by The Karate Kid film in 1984 (more familiar today as Cobra-Kai), Guevara knew from a young age that he wanted to teach martial arts as a career. 

However, after nearly two decades of teaching traditional taekwondo, Guevara realized that what he was teaching was not providing the benefits he wanted for his students. 

After some research, he found the Empower Kickboxing™ curriculum created by world kickboxing champion John Graden of Tampa Bay, FL. Graden, too, was trained in taekwondo and also realized after opening his schools in St. Petersburg, FL, that what he was teaching was not providing the benefits that he wanted for his students. Sound familiar? It does, but Graden came to this realization back in 1993. 

Graden’s solution was to create a martial arts system that would only teach the most simple, effective, and easy to learn tactics and techniques. 

According to Graden, “Traditional martial arts are bogged down with overly complex techniques that are difficult to learn or apply. I wanted more people to enjoy the benefits of the martial arts, so I started to create a system that’s easy for people to learn.”

That program is Empower Kickboxing, and Guevara joined after hearing Graden on a podcast describing the unnecessary complexity of traditional martial arts. He explains, “What Mr. Graden was saying was true, but at first, it was so different that it took a while for it to sink in. But, once I did, everything changed.”

Guevara has reduced the number of classes he has to teach by half, and he’s retained all of his students through the transition to Empower Kickboxing and the COVID pandemic. 

He is one of many martial arts school owners to realize that if you want the public to enjoy the many benefits of martial arts, the program has to be less complicated and easier to learn than in the systems they earned their black belts. 

He describes how he transitioned from a traditional Taekwondo school to the Empower Kickboxing program and the positive benefits his school is enjoying as a result in the upcoming Truth About the Martial Arts Business Podcast episode 22 at