The Martial Arts Industry Association exists to help grow martial arts participation by helping school owners succeed. Many school owners are never exposed to the foundational business concepts necessary to run and grow a successful business. At MAIA, we can help fill that need, as we are made up of school owners who have walked in your shoes, know your struggles, and can help with strategies to elevate you from novice to a "blackbelt in business".
By Kathy Olevsky
In every small business, lessons come to us when we least expect them. I have been one of the many schools who have carried a burden for too long. As a matter of fact, I have a list of situations that I prolonged.
For example, I have had employees who were not the best, but they were what I had at hand and I was afraid to be without them. I also have had family working for me. And because they were family, I hung onto them when I should have let them go, to save my business. I have had students who were toxic to the atmosphere in the dojo, too.
If you haven’t heard it before, let me say it now: Let them go and you will grow. If they have said they are going to leave, then they most likely will do that in the near future. Kudos to you for trying to save them. But there is so much energy spent on trying to save one employee who is unhappy. Or, for that matter, one student who complains about something different every day.
If you have...
By MAIA Division Manager Melissa Torres
It may feel like the new year has just started, but we are already driving full speed ahead at Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA) Headquarters! Lately, I’ve been writing inspirational messages in my column, trying to get you motivated in 2019 (which I hope worked for you, by the way!).
But this month, I just want to get you caught up on one of the many exciting things happening at MAIA. I’m thrilled to announce an addition to the Flow System from world champion, Team Paul Mitchell member, and sport karate star Mackensi Emory! You first saw Jackson Rudolph’s incredible bo staff program launch this time last year. Now, we have expanded it to include kamas.
You can teach your students the weapons’ fundamentals all the way up to advanced-performance levels of the bo and kamas. This is an awesome opportunity to expand your class schedule to add these done-for-you curricula. When you add a class...
By Dave Kovar
In 1958, Vince Lombardi took over as head coach of the Green Bay Packers pro football team. The Packers had not done well since 1944. In a press conference, Mr. Lombardi was asked what he was going to do to turn around this bunch of mediocre players.
He responded by saying, “I’m not going to change anything. I’m just going to make them brilliant in the basics.”
From there the legend grew and, by 1967, the Packers had won five NFL championships and two Super Bowls.
The concept of being “brilliant in the basics“ is pretty universal and certainly applies to running a martial arts school and teaching great classes. I recently had a conversation with one of my clients who was contemplating closing his second location because his attendance was dwindling and he was losing money. We discussed a few strategies that he could implement to help him get turned around, and then he got to work.
A couple of months...
By Karen Eden
Deep in the Black Forest of Colorado stand the relatively unknown Ute (pronounced, yute) prayer trees. The Ute tribe of Colorado is documented as the oldest known Native American tribe in the U.S. They once dominated the Rocky Mountains.
It seems there are certain parts of the mountains that the Ute chose to become their natural record-keeping area. these areas include “directional trees” which were manipulated to point to the most sacred parts of the forest.
Several others of these culturally modified trees are the grave markers of great warriors and the native royalty that once ruled and sacrificed for the tribe. Others are “agreement trees,” manipulated to twist together, possibly marking a treaty between two tribes, or a ceremonious wedding.
You have to understand that these trees are hundreds of years old, and they took several generations to manipulate. The medicine man/woman would teach their offspring how to...
By MAIA Consultant Shane Tassoul
Has this ever happened to you? You book a booth at carnival, festival or some other event and, when you get there, you have a great time. But then at the end of the day, you realize you haven’t collected any leads. Or, what about this? You collect a bunch of leads and then can’t get them to come back to your school.
Then, perhaps understandably, after doing several events like this with no results, you believe that booth events don’t work. Well, maybe you just need to know how to make them work for you!
Below, I’ll show you four surefire ways to maximize your leads at these events and have more people show up at your school than ever before.
What is the purpose of a booth or demo? The answer is simply to get us in front of our market. If you’re performing a demo, you should be using it to attract the attention of your target market, and then move into your presentation. You are presenting the leads/prospects with...
By Dr. Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
In this column, I will continue using acronyms to spell out the words BLACK BELT, as they relate to teams and leadership. This month, I’ll address “A” for attitude.
Your attitude, of course, is essential to successful leadership and building great teams. Attitude’s two very important components are acumen and adaptability.
First, a quick story. My 5th-grade teacher was named Mr. George Pope. He was a passionate, gregarious and caring person who always pushed us to excel. One day, we were being unruly and he decided to teach us a lesson about attitude.
The lesson was simple but exceedingly difficult. Our participation in recess was dependent upon class behavior. I remember that Mr. Pope’s discussion/lesson on attitude was on a Tuesday. Sadly, we were such a bunch of miscreants that we kept messing up each day and didn’t have recess for the remainder of the week.
By Herb Borkland
Facing 1970’s tournaments ruined by a lack of standard rules or consistent refereeing, then - Inside Kung-Fu magazine’s editor Paul Maslak introduced statistical analysis to sport karate and pushed for safety gear and mandatory seeding of top competitors. In 1979, prominent tournament-karate and kickboxing referee Tom Schlesinger and Maslak co-authored the Schlesinger Rules System of Martial Arts Competition, one of the decade’s most valuable contributions to sport karate and professional kickboxing. In 1982, Schlesinger also published his period-classic book “Fighting Strategy: Winning Combinations.”
Herb Borkland: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?
Tom Schlesinger: I was born in Detroit, where my father managed the state for Four Roses and other major liquor companies. We moved to California in 1960.
After graduating from high school sports, I wasn’t good enough for semi-pro ball. Now...
By MAIA Executive Director Frank Silverman
As we begin to approach the 2019 Martial Arts SuperShow, the world’s biggest martial arts business convention, this summer, I want to address the six groups of schools we market to that attend the show. They are:
Of the group, we tend to get the highest participation among the middle three: small, medium and large. That said, in any given year there can to be more of one than another, with no rhyme or reason as to why.
First, let me address the idea among some school owners about attending the event. They believe their school is too small, or that it’s too big, or that they are not a success, or that they are too successful to benefit from the Show. This last statement is not true and, in fact, is exactly the opposite.
Whether you are ready to...
By Christopher Rappold
A student gets punched in the nose and starts to bleed. He’s embarrassed and fear starts to set in. He thinks to himself, “Maybe this isn’t for me.”
A woman in her 40s gets partnered up with a 17-year-old boy. Try as she might, she’s in a position where she can’t do anything. She is self-conscious and feels like she’s diminishing his workout.
Another student enjoys the martial arts class until the instructor says, “Everyone get your gear on and find a partner for sparring.”
Yet another student secretly hopes to not be partnered in sparring class with one particular peer who lacks control.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? If the answer is yes, then, like many others, you have a very real problem that’s killing your ability to grow your school.
Let’s face it: Getting a new student isn’t easy. It requires time, effort and money. Why, then,...
By Beth A. Block
Your studio is the biggest billboard you have. When your potential new students walk in the front door, they learn a lot about the kind of martial arts you teach just by looking around. When the public drives by, they see your signage. They can also look through your front windows and see classes going on at night. When your students walk into your studio, they see how seriously you take the art.
When you look for a place to open, you’re thinking more about the marketing benefits of your location than problems that might come up in a year. This is normal and, actually, savvy. You have to study the demographics of the territory. You have to consider location and the amount of rent for the space. Can you afford it?
Presumably, you are not thinking about what might go wrong if you’ve found a great location. But there’s good reason to consider that, too.
Recently, a studio owner found herself in a bad spot because the...
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