Iron Fist and Martial Arts
Marvel Studios released the series Iron Fist on Netflix on March 17, 2017. The series based on the Marvel comic about Danny Rand, a young man presumed to have died in a plane crash. Rand is rescued as a child by monks, who teach him martial arts in the Himalayas. The series contains a number of great martial arts fight scenes.
While Iron Fist will probably lead to a big increase in kung fu class enrollment, most martial arts classes will probably see an increase. Enter the Dragon (1972) starring the incredible Bruce Lee inspired martial artists for many years.
The Karate Kid (1984) filled karate and taekwondo classes after movie goers watched Daniel LaRusso beat the Cobra Kai bullies. Royce Gracie’s early success in The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) led many students to seek out grappling training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Ju-Jitsu.
Unfortunately, students inspired by these movies often disappear after a few months. After they realize there are no shortcuts and only hard training will allow them to achieve the desired results, many students leave. It is a real shame because you can develop amazing skill through time and dedication to hard training.
Studies have shown that for every 10,000 students, who start a martial arts class, ten percent leave in the first month. Within six months, half of the 10,000 students drop out. By the end of a year, about a fourth of the original 10,000 students are still training in the martial arts.
100 of these students will continue on and earn their black belt. From the original 10,000 students, 10 students will advance past 1st degree black belt. Only 4 students will become instructors.
I normally don’t share these statistics with new students because I don’t want to discourage them. You see many students come and go over the years. It’s hard to see so many people leave but you have to focus on the students who stay.
If you are considering martial arts training, I encourage you to do two things. First, find a school you like and which teaches a martial art you are interested in. Second, commit to attending the class regularly for at least one year. Any less of a commitment and it will be difficult for you to make any real progress.