Real Estate Lessons From The Karate Kid

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What can a four-year-old karate student teach real estate investors about the power of coaching?

The Coaching Dilemma

For some, real estate coaching just makes sense. They believe there is no benefit to get started without the proper instruction. Then there are many others that have sadly rushed in with a few nuggets of ‘wisdom’ gleaned from online forums, and have promptly lost a lot.

Read the profiles and advice of any leading athlete, business mogul, or real estate entrepreneur, and they’ll recommend coaching, or at least attribute their success to one person or another. you will find that many recognize others for getting them to where they are today. We know some of the most successful people in the world wouldn’t be where they are without the right coaching. We know, in theory, that great coaching can more than pay for itself, unlock potential, and speed up success. Yet, many still try to justify the DIY route.

Ironically, even watching a 4-year-old in martial arts classes can put everything into perspective, and truly open eyes to the value of coaching. Maybe you’ve already put a few kids through karate class. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about it yourself. Here’s are some powerful insights you’ll take away from the experience:

1. Energy under Control: Aspiring real estate investors and entrepreneurs are rarely short on energy sometimes; it comes with the territory. Once they get a whiff of what is possible, it is energizing. That youthful energy and excitement comes rushing back. Most martial arts schools won’t take toddlers. They wait until they’ve learned enough to be able to listen and have more self-control. Still, you can instantly see the difference between a four or five year old, and even a seven to ten year old. It takes a good instructor to help channel that energy into the right actions, at the right moments. Without this guidance, they can’t even train effectively, never mind actually sparring, and competing.

2. Honing Technique: Even with size and strength, a new martial arts student isn’t just a danger to others, but to themselves. Technique helps them turn knowledge and talent into effective moves. Before gaining the privilege of learning more advanced moves and being able to spar, they must learn how to perform safely. This is just as critical in real estate.

3.Muscle Memory: One of the main reasons for training is to develop muscle memory, and the ability to act instinctively. In a martial arts competition, or in the trenches of real estate, there isn’t always time to stop and think. You don’t have time to think about what’s next. It needs to become instinctual. Acting on instinct is only effective if you’ve been practicing a good and proven system.

4. Peak Performance: If you’ve ever watched the UFC, you’ll have heard how competitors have invested years in training, and specifically seeking out the best possible coaches in various aspects of their game. Without that, it is unlikely they’d ever realize a fraction of their true potential. Just like in martial arts, coaches can help real estate investors realize their potential.

5. Preparation:  In most cases, a brand new white belt is no competition for a black belt. That said,  it’s interesting how many new investors and real estate entrepreneurs rush in to take on the world with no coaching at all.

6. Point Sparring: Some martial arts fans prefer the brutal, full contact aspects of the UFC. The popular Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do is better known for point sparring. You’ll have seen it in the Olympics. Point sparring teaches students that they don’t have to destroy each other or themselves, but to love healthy competition. It also takes greater skill to compete on points. But that takes coaching.

The Value of Good Instructors

If you’ve been to a handful of martial arts schools, you will have seen terrible and great examples of coaching. Not every coach is good. And not everyone that can practice martial arts (or real estate) makes a great instructor. Look for a coach that represents what you want to achieve, and who has proven to have a successful coaching style.


Coaching just makes sense when you are getting into real estate. Investors, buyers and lenders all respect a professional that has invested in coaching from a good mentor.