Want to grow your school, improve your teaching, excite your staff, and train with some of the best martial artists and business people in the industry? Attend the Martial Arts SuperShow in Las Vegas this July! We asked two instructors and business owners from last year's convention to weigh in on their thoughts. Here's what they said.
By: David Barnett
Each year, the Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA) stages the premier training and networking event for martial arts instructors and school owners, the Martial Arts SuperShow.
Is your school growing the way you want it to, or are you struggling with your business? Are you excited every day when you head to your school, or are you missing the enthusiasm you used to have?
Whether you’re happy or not, maybe you aren’t entirely satisfied. You know there’s always room for growth and improvement, the same lesson we try to instill in our students every day.
Are you asking yourself questions like:
• How can I grow my school?
• How can I help my students improve faster?
• How can I add value for my customers?
• What do I need to do to make this year better than last year?
• What impact can I have on my students this year?
• How can I get motivated and re-energized?
• How can I motivate and energize my staff?
• How can I improve myself in 2018 and beyond?
The 2018 MASuperShow is the place to find your answers. Whatever you’re looking to learn or accomplish, you’ll find it in Las Vegas this July. From opportunities to learn from the biggest and brightest (and most successful) school owners in the country, to the chance to train with some of the best martial artists around today, there’s something for everyone at the 2018 MASuperShow. It will be the best investment you make in time and money for your business this year! Here are two profiles of success from the Show.
REYMUNDO GONZALEZ, JR. WARCATS TAEKWONDO, CORPUS CHRISTI, TX
He adopted student agreements, and the opportunity to help parents save money if they paid in full for his 12-month basic program.
Reymundo Gonzalez, Jr. is a 7th-degree black belt in taekwondo, holds rank in several other martial arts styles, and is a certified instructor in Verbal Judo. He’s the owner and head instructor of his Corpus Christi school, where he also offers aikido training.
Gonzalez recalls why he began attending the Martial Arts SuperShow in 2010.
“I was curious to see what the SuperShow was all about, and I was looking for ideas to improve my school,” he explains.
He found what he was looking for and has been attending the Show ever since.
“The first few times I went, I would just go with an open mind. I’d look at the seminar schedule, mark the sessions I thought sounded pretty good and felt I could benefit from, and attend those.”
Gonzalez says the convention is a great place to meet like-minded martial arts professionals, learn new things, and motivate both yourself and
your staff. He’s also a fan of the variety of seminars and various topics, from how to run a business, marketing techniques, instructing and training. He says the trick to succeeding and growing your school is to take what you learn at the Show and implement some new ideas. Gonzalez has nearly 150 students and is growing. He talks about some of his successes.
“We implemented student agreements, and the opportunity to help parents save money if they pay in full for our 12-month basic program. This helps with our financial stability.
“We also implemented a rotating curriculum,” which is something Gonzalez learned about at the SuperShow. “It’s so much easier than trying to teach five different levels in one class with only three instructors. This allows our instructors to teach a larger group with one main instructor facilitating and additional instructors assisting students to learn the same material.”
Another change he made to make his classes more efficient was his class schedule.
“We have a new class schedule with no breaks between classes,” he explains. “This forces us to start and end classes on time, while also maximizing student engagement during instruction.”
Gonzalez will definitely continue to attend the SuperShow in 2018.
“I use the SuperShow for staff development to help my staff, including myself, stay motivated and excited, and continue to learn and grow.
“Joining the MAIA Elite Team was probably the best decision my daughter/partner, Alexia Gonzalez, and I ever made. The benefits have been incredible. Not only have we doubled our student enrollment, but everything recommended by our consultant has improved our business and student retention.”
CHRIS HAMM LEGACY MARTIAL ARTS, HARKER HEIGHTS, TX
In 2015, his school was about to close when he and his wife attended their first SuperShow. They returned with ideas, knowledge and motivation that turned their school business around. Now they have 210 active students!
Chris Hamm is a 4th-degree black belt in taekwondo. He’s the owner and head instructor of his Harker Heights, TX, school, where he teaches taekwondo and krav maga. In addition to his regular classes, his school has a Tiny Tigers program for 3- to 4-year-olds, and Black Belt Club and Masters Club programs for his 210 students.
In 2015, Hamm’s school was on the verge of closing.
“Our school was on its last leg,” says Hamm. “We were out of money, out of patience, and the school just wasn’t growing.”
Attending the MASuperShow was their last hope to keep the school alive.
“My wife and I, at the suggestion of another school-owner friend, decided to give the SuperShow a try. We literally emptied all of our accounts and made the trip to Vegas, in the hopes that the knowledge we gained would save our school.”
The Hamms come to the Show with goals in mind.
“We wanted to gain the knowledge that would save our school, to discover that ‘missing piece’ that we didn’t have,” he says. “It was like having a huge puzzle with missing pieces and no reference. We knew that the puzzle could be a masterpiece, but we didn’t know what those pieces even were.
“So, really, the goal was to just soak up everything that was said or done, take massive notes, and coordinate a game plan at the end of each night for what our school needed when we returned.”
Hamm adds, “Thank goodness that I had such a supportive and awesome wife!”
Their first SuperShow gave them the ideas, knowledge and motivation to turn their school around. Now, they want to continue building on those successes and keep growing.
“Now that our school is doing (literally) three times better than it was three years ago, our goal is different at each SuperShow. Our current goal is to reinvigorate ourselves and to glean a little more knowledge to help our students and staff.”
People who succeed are those who take things they learn at the Show and implement them.
“We jumped on [joining the] MAIA Elite [program], the number-one, biggest, most impactful, amazing, life-saving decision we ever made!” Hamm says with obvious great enthusiasm. “The knowledge and accountability have allowed us to actually take home money!”
Hamm learned about the importance of creating systems within his school, to make his business run more smoothly and efficiently.
“Creating systems is a ‘way of doing things’ so that our staff all handle things the same way, every time. This consistency helped us easily train others on our culture, and helped us grow exponentially.”
Improving their school also gave Hamm the confidence to increase their prices.
“We found out that we were undercutting our services by a lot. We were afraid that our market wouldn’t support higher prices, but we tried anyway. We [increased our rates], and it actually increased our student count and growth.”
At the SuperShow, Hamm also learned techniques and methods for marketing in local schools.
“We redoubled our efforts to do Career Days and School Talks. We help out [local academic schools] with Field Days and school-supply drives, and give [to them] without expectation. Since then, we’ve been requested almost every weekend for more events and participation in local schools. [Now,] parents and kids alike recognize us all over.”
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