In most martial arts schools, there are predictable events that you can time your review requests with.

1. When a student advances in rank.
2. When a student or family member praises the school.
3. When a student wins a tournament.
4. When a student or family member describes defending him or herself.
5. During or after a special event.

Quick Capture

It’s a good idea to train your staff to “whip out their phones” when a student or family members praise the school.

For instance:

A student or parent says, “That was a great class.”
The staff member politely asks, would you mind telling our Facebook followers about it? It’ll just take a second.”

Staff member pulls out the phone and shoots a waist up clip.

If the student flubs it, just say, “No problem. Ready for take 2?”

Keep it light and fun.

It’s also okay to ask the student questions to answer.

For instance, “What were you looking for in a martial arts school?”

If you don’t like the answer, just ask for a “take 2” and coach on what you’d like to hear.

Here are some examples 

While the event was happening, I was pulling instructors aside, placing them next to the COBRA banner and doing short interviews that I edited into bite-sized testimonials.


Even the best testimonial is useless if you can’t hear what the person is saying. I attached a collar microphone so that their voice would be captured above the event background noise. 

This COBRA-Defense testimonial is from Sidney Burns, the MATA 2018 Instructor of the Year. He didn’t just add COBRA-Defense to his school, he opened a new location that only teaches COBRA-Defense. He explained why in his testimonial. 

Rather than stop there, I asked him, “What is the difference in value that parents see in a COBRA-Defense class versus a martial arts class?” His answer was spot on. This is how you can lead a student down the path of saying what you want them to say in their own words. Stay curious.

Martin Lopez is another good example. He made his first statement and I followed up with questions to pull more out of him and he delivered. 

Keep in mind, both Sidney and Martin are good speakers. It’s much harder to get through a bunch of “ums, ahs, and um…” zzzzzzzzz

Take 2

Most people will not get it right on the first try.

People are relieved that they get a “take 2.”

Ask them to hold up 2 fingers, so it’s easier for you to find the edit spot later.

Sometimes, you go on to 3 fingers, but if you get that far, it may be time for a different question or excuse them from the process. 

When people get stuck, ask this, “What would you tell your friends if they were considering joining our school?”


You may want to edit out some words or change the order of the comments using one of a ton of video editors. is a treasure chest of great tools and information that covers all of your post-production tasks such as:

  1. Caption the video. Most social media video is watched in mute, so make sure your message gets delivered by captioning the video.
  2. Transcribe the video. Take the captions and turn them into a couple of paragraphs under the video. Lot’s of people, like me, will not take the time to watch a captioned video and would prefer to read it. However, because the speaker is on the video saying nice things about your school, it still has more impact than if it was just a written review.
  3. Title the video with the student’s name and topic. Here I used a lower thirds from iMovie.