Don’t Forget Your Morning Stretch With Bill Wallace!
Even though the 2019 Martial Arts SuperShow is just around the corner, you still have time to make plans to attend
In my opinion, one of the highlights is Bill Wallace's world-famous “morning stretch" class. Why is it a highlight? At the SuperShow, I always find so many things to do, often with other martial artists, that I stay up a little too late while having a little too much fun. To make up for that, I love to get in an early workout before the expo opens.
At Superfoot's morning stretch, it doesn't matter how many stripes you have on your belt, how many tournaments you've competed in or how many students you have enrolled. What matters is that you're interested in bettering yourself by working out with the undisputed authority on flexibility, conditioning and kicking.
Need another reason to cut your sleep short and drop in on Wallace's class? Well, there's always the chance that a celebrity will be there — stretching, kicking and punching right beside you. Two years ago, kyokushin stylist/film star Michael Jai White showed up with his wife, and the energy the couple put into their workout inspired attendees to push themselves even harder.
An even better reason to commit to the morning stretch is it gives you a chance to benefit from a bit of Wallace wisdom. That appeals to you as a martial artist because it means improving some aspect of your technique. It appeals to you as an instructor because it means being exposed to some of Wallace's fitness teachings, which you can take back to your school and transform into programs that pay dividends. His fighting methods can become dynamic — and ring-proven — course content guaranteed to attract new students and keep regulars coming back.
Clearly, though, the best reason to go is it's good for you. A morning stretch puts you in the zone. It's exhilarating when you're doing it, and you leave feeling primed to attend the business-development classes that are scheduled for the day.
Bonus: If you have students with you, you'll feel good knowing you've set a good example in Sin City. And playing the student along with them can be refreshing. When you get back to the dojo, you'll have much to talk about — memories that will last a long time, as well as ways you might be able to modify what you learned from Wallace to meet the needs of your student body.
Case study: I've had fantastic results implementing the ways of Wallace, which include much more than just stretching, in my schools for more than a decade. Everyone — whether they're young or old and whether they're into sparring or forms — seems to love it. No one has ever walked up to me and said, “I'm tired of doing all these adductor stretches and kick combinations." Instead, they say, “Can we please do some of grandmaster Wallace's stretching and kicking drills today?"
The bottom line is I've kept more students around longer because of this addition to our training. This is how it translates financially: If 10 students continue to train at my school in part because of Wallace's material, that adds up to at least $12,000 a year. Multiply that by 10 years and you have $120,000. There's a lot more to the martial arts than money, but as a business owner, you can't argue with increased revenue.
To give you a taste of Superfoot's morning stretch, I sought help from Matt Stonerock, owner of the Nashville, Tennessee, branch of the American Karate Academy. Because my memory isn't improving with age, I asked him to provide a typical morning-stretch menu. He's a good person to ask because he attends at least one morning stretch per year. This is what he said:
In Part 1, Wallace focuses on stretching. After he explains the fundamentals, including the muscles that are targeted, he puts everyone to work standing and on the ground. In Part 2, he concentrates on kicking. Superfoot demonstrates combinations, analyzes the individual components and then starts the drilling process. Throughout the session, he hits on different kicks and their corresponding targets.
If you're wondering how such a straightforward program can enable you to bring value back to your school, you must not have been paying attention when you started reading. That's OK. Here's another answer.
No doubt you know that Wallace, besides having been the undefeated world champion, is the most successful seminar instructor on the planet. What you may not know is that he chooses to continue to teach when, at age 73, he could easily retire. Why? Because showing you and your students how to be fast, fit and flexible is his passion in life.
And finally, there's the inspiration factor pulling you in. Every time I start sweating at a Bill Wallace morning stretch, I'm surprised to see that he's come up with some new tricks. He strives to bring something different and something special to each show, and he usually succeeds. It's downright motivational to see Wallace do everything — new and old — right in front of my eyes.
Without fail, it makes me say to myself, “You know, I think I'll be able to do these kicks and combinations when I'm 73!" Ready to sign up yet? If so, maybe I'll see you at the SuperShow. This year, it runs from June 30 to July 3 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
For more information, visitmasupershow.com.