The MAIA Blog

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".

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How to Solve the Two-Inch Problem

By Christopher Rappold

 

What is it that separates a good competitor from a great competitor? I have asked that question many times, and I have heard many answers. To be great, someone must be fast. Or must be strong. Or must have a long reach. Or must have superior strategy. The list of answers goes on.

While all these are valid, I believe that the biggest deciding factor between good and great is whether a person can control distance.

This answer is what I would call “the elusive obvious.” It is self-evident, but sometimes we are so close to it that we don’t appreciate its value. If distance is controlled, then offense, defense, blocks, punches and kicks all work. If distance is off, they all are rendered useless.

If distance is such a critical element of success in martial arts, why is it that most schools place a premium on punching and kicking and only teach distance as a necessary evil? As I reflected on the answer and spoke with others, two answers...

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Seasons Change

motivation Aug 09, 2019

By Karen Eden

 

Two days before school closed for summer break, it snowed in Denver, Colorado. It had been a long and grueling winter on the front range, and though springtime in the Rockies is notorious for bringing a wide range of weather surprises, few people had predicted this. Old Man Winter just didn’t want to go home.

“Will it ever end?” people asked themselves while defrosting their cars and shoveling the sidewalks. It’s a phenomenon that can really mess with your sense of time: watching it snow the week of Memorial Day celebrations.

As a former weather anchor in the Denver area, I know that TV ratings rise with the inches of snow. The more terrible the weather you forecast, the more the management will applaud, hoping the dire warnings will lead to increased viewership.

But I have news for everybody, and I say it every year. Our planet doesn’t stay still around the sun. It’s basic science. Seasons must change, and they always do.

...

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Phil Wilemon: Training With Legends

motivation sparring Aug 09, 2019

By Herb Borkland

Tenth-dan Texas “Blood-and-Guts” era phenomenon Phil Wilemon started training in 1964. He won Allen Steen’s United States Karate Championships as a blue belt. As a brown belt, he either won or was disqualified in every tournament he entered, causing his longtime instructor Larry Caster to say, “Two out of three aren’t bad.”

Wilemon won 13 consecutive tournaments as a middleweight black belt and fought on national championship teams. A founding officer for the Texas Amateur Contact Karate Association, he also served as a representative for the Professional Karate Association in the Southwest. Wilemon refereed or coordinated more than 100 full-contact karate matches and is still in demand as an instructor and seminar leader.

 

Herb Borkland: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?

Phil Wilemon: I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and moved to Arlington in third grade. My father came from a long line of bankers but ended...

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How to Become a Social Media AND Business Guru

By MAIA Division Manager Melissa Torres

 

Times are changing. They have been for quite some time now. And as for social media, it seems to change daily! I’m sure that as busy full- or part-time school owners and instructors, most of you can’t honestly stand up and declare yourselves digital marketing experts.

Not many people can. I certainly don’t claim to understand every facet of the ever-changing world of social media. This is why MAIA brought in an expert on the subject.

Cris Rodriguez is MAIA’s newest consultant, specializing in digital marketing. She’s dedicated the past 10 years of her life to studying digital marketing and its impact on her school, Gracie PAC MMA. If you got a chance to hear her speak at the recent Martial Arts SuperShow, you know that she is the best in our industry!

When Cris joined the MAIA team, she knew right away that the social media aspect was something we were missing in our coaching. She started speaking at our...

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Motivate Your Masses: Part 2

Read part 1 here!

Motivate Your Masses: Part 2

 

In my last column, Motivate Your Masses: Part 1, I went over some ways that you can inspire your “masses:” your students, their parents and your staff. However, much as you won’t have the energy to work out if you haven’t eaten, you won’t have the mental energy to motivate others if you’re not keeping up with your own welfare.

Part of being a great motivator is promoting a balanced lifestyle to those you care about. Home life, work commitments, online distractions and hobbies can pull you in a million directions. Internally, things can quickly become unbalanced, causing stress and unease.

Many will come to you for answers about how to create a successful, balanced life. Your words hold weight because of your position, so hand out wisdom with care. The answers you provide will be implemented, and those outcomes are a direct reflection of your ability to lead effectively. Realize that some will...

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My Friend and Colleague, John C.

maia masuccess mentor Aug 09, 2019

By MAIA Executive Director Frank Silverman

 

In early May, I was in Boston at an MAIA Wealth seminar. The event was on Thursday and Friday. Since I was also hosting a business forum seminar on Saturday, my wife flew in Friday evening for one day. We had a nice dinner, and the next day I taught the seminar. We grabbed lunch in Little Italy on the North End (I love the food in Boston) and caught a flight home around 7 p.m.

It was a great weekend: a one-day getaway with my wife, great food, a successful Wealth seminar and a hugely successful business forum. But none of those things are why I will always remember this particular trip.

We were coming home from dinner at 10 p.m. As I hopped out of the Uber, my cellphone rang. The screen showed the caller’s name: John C.

“John C” is how I have had the late John Corcoran saved in my phone’s contact information and address book for 18 years. That late at night, I might not normally have seen the call, let alone...

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Why Am I Not Growing?

By Kathy Olevsky

 

All martial arts schools go through phases of growth. Conversely, there are times when their numbers dwindle. The biggest lesson I have learned over the past 45 years in business is that you must properly analyze your numbers to find out why you are not growing and what you have done in the past that has promoted growth.

Prior to using my statistics, I simply went off what I thought was happening. This process of guesswork rarely helped me correct a curve in my business. However, as a small-business owner, I found it difficult to actually access the proper statistics.

Today, there are many software programs designed for martial arts schools. They can help guide business owners by providing all the necessary statistics to correct any depression in business. Before these programs became available, I kept track of our numbers using written charts, which I would periodically review to see what we might be overlooking or doing wrong. This might not be as...

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T” is for Trust

mentor motivation Aug 06, 2019

By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs

 

Well, friends, we've come to the end of our series on B.L.A.C.K. B.E.L.T. leadership! The last letter, “T,” stands for trust. This is arguably one of the most important concepts for effective leaders and teams.

            The number of relationships that have been solidified or ruined by the degree of trust within is innumerable. We all have stories of being on the giving and receiving ends of both good and bad trust-related stories. But leaders and teams grow or fail based on how well trust is nurtured or withheld. Here’s a quick lesson on trust that I know you’ll find helpful.

            I have an older cousin who worked for a big chemical plant in a rural town in southeast Texas. The workers there didn't have a union, so they were largely dependent on their supervisors to represent them and their...

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My Student, Joe Hammel

By Dave Kovar

 

Every now and then, you meet someone who immediately grabs your attention. Joe Hammel was one of those people. I’ll never forget the day in the early 1990s when he walked into my school. He was 53 at the time, and I remember thinking how old he was. He told me that he had wanted to do martial arts since he was a teenager but never had the courage to get started.

I told him that it was never too late to start! Now was just as good a time as any! I didn’t really believe it, but I didn’t tell him that part.

Joe was no dummy. He was an English professor by day and a concert pianist by night. Smart he certainly was, but coordinated he certainly was not. During his first lesson, I remember thinking that he was the most ungraceful person I’d ever worked with. I asked him about prior athletic endeavors. He said he’d never done anything remotely like a sport in his whole life. It showed.

At first glance, the lack of previous physical...

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Call an Employee a Contractor and You Might Be Wearing a Scarlet Letter!

By Philip E. Goss, Jr., Esq.

 

I have a question for you: What do you call a person you have brought into your business to provide a service that relates to your core product (teaching martial arts)? The answer might seem obvious — clearly, that person is an employee.

Issues arise when businesses choose to turn a blind eye and categorize an employee as an independent contractor. This must end now! New laws require that you err on the side of caution in how you classify your personnel.

 

A Seismic Shift in the Law

As is frequently the case, California is a trendsetter with respect to this employment law. I won’t bore you with legal details, but the short of the matter is that California, along with a growing number of other states, now uses a greatly truncated test to determine whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee. There are three determining criteria: First, do you control the worker or direct that person’s activities? Second,...

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