Tuesday, December 11, 2018

What I Learned about Business at Judo Con, Part 2

Several times during his presentation, James Wall of confidently stated,

“We are the best at what we do.”

If you really, truly are the best at what you do and are confident about that, you should be able to sign up customers. Not surprisingly, Wall to Wall Martial Arts is quite successful.

You may not have heard of James Wall. He’s a credible, competent judo player, a legit fifth-degree black belt. He was never on an Olympic team. He hasn’t coached any world team members .

You may have heard of James Wall if you are interested in judo games for teaching young students , because he’s fairly well known nationally for that .

If you are somewhat impressed with yourself and asking,

“Who is James to say he’s the best? I’ve won X, Y and Z.”

Good, I hope you are happy with yourself. However what James does is provide a friendly, fun atmosphere for children to learn martial arts and be healthier and better disciplined in the process. He offers a comfortable environment for women to get some exercise and learn self-defense. He, and his fellow instructors, provide a collegial training environment where people who didn’t have to just Google the meaning of the word “collegial” can get in better shape, learn some judo and compete in regional tournaments.

That’s what Wall to Wall Martial Arts DOES. If you are in their area of Louisiana, no one does it better. Hypothetically, there may be a better school in Delaware, but seriously , if you live in Dedham Springs you are not taking your nine-year-old thousands of miles away to a judo class.

James truly is the best at what he does and he’s perfectly fine with that .
This made me think about my business. I know our software is good. Will it teach your preschooler to count or prepare your high school student for the SAT?

No, we focus on grades 3 to 8. If your child needs to learn multiplication, division, factors, how to solve those pesky time-rate-distance problems, find a mean or median, we’re awesome for that .

Rather than trying to teach every subject at every grade level, what I think we need to do is reach the parents and teachers of kids who need to learn what we are teaching.


Have an Android device? No problem.  Making Camp premium for Android has you covered.

People in startups often say they are in the “fintech space” or the “medtech space” which I have always found a kind of pretentious way of saying you are in finance or medical technology.

However, both James Wall and Lester Martell, from High Impact Martial Arts in New Jersey, were very clear on what their space was. It was the city and county where they are located and probably no more than a 30-minute drive from their location.

If you’re a teacher and you have kids in your class who speak Spanish, we have videos, games , PowerPoint presentations, everything you need, even if your Spanish is limited to “Adios” and “Dos cervezas, por favor.”

If you teach Native American students and you’d like to include some of their history and culture in the curriculum but you didn’t really learn any of that in school ( because who did?) , we have games that include those stories. You want to include cultural content without skimping on the math and language arts standards? We have that covered, too.

What I learned at Judo Con was to focus on what we are best at rather than worrying about all of the parts of the market we don’t cover. That’s not our thing , just like training Olympians isn’t James’ thing . And that’s okay.

I’ll be honest. I went to Judo Con for a personal reason . Steve and Becky (Rebecca) Scott and I have been friends for over 40 years . It isn’t coincidence that this girl is named Julia Rebecca De Mars.

So, when I heard they were organizing this event , even though I was literally on the other side of the world , I bought a ticket . I did think about it, for about a minute , but then I concluded, “Fuck it! These are two of my best friends.”

Even though I went for personal reasons, as I’ve said previously, it was definitely worthwhile from a business insight perspective. I’ll definitely be going again.

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