by Kathy Olevsky
We all know someone who seems to stir up drama like it’s their job. There’s one in every dojo. Sometimes this person is your most talented student, so you try to overlook the attitude you get on or off the floor. Sometimes this person is the family member paying for several of your students, so you grin and bear it for the sake of income. Sometimes this person is the parent of a student who excels in class and who personally does not give you any problems. Whoever he or she is, such a person is the cause of “dojo drama.”
You can ignore the person or make excuses, but sooner or later you have to make a decision. In the second scenario, you might decide that the monthly tuition for multiple students is worth putting up with the drama-causer who’s footing the bill.
However, the decision is more difficult when it involves a student who has talent you want to keep but an attitude you want to lose. When a student belittles others in...
by Philip E. Goss Jr., Esq.
I am all at once amazed, befuddled, frightened and impressed by one of the most common things I see people do: rely completely on their cellphone for maintaining their schedule, paying bills, navigating unfamiliar terrain and God knows what else. They do all this with the apparent confidence that every action they complete, including executing legally binding agreements, is made valid by the mere fact that it’s accomplished through technology.
Much of my hesitancy to develop comfort with a paperless world was hardwired into me by my early office experiences. My formative years occurred when fax machines were the size of small refrigerators and printer paper was secured by steel teeth running on parallel tracks, requiring the removal of serrated edges before use. If you really needed to get a document somewhere in a hurry, you had to use a company that guaranteed overnight delivery. No email for the masses in the early 1980s!
The definition of...
by Karen Eden
One of my contributions to community service is that I volunteer as a hospital chaplain every week. I see about a hundred people from all walks of life during this time, and they all have something in common: Either their bodies have reached a state of disrepair or they’ve come to the point where their bodies are failing them. I find the job very rewarding. I am often the last person to hold a hand before someone takes either their next step in life or their final step in life.
But there was one particular visitation that left me pondering for days. A 91-year-old woman was hospitalized for congestive heart failure. She was old, and her heart was giving out. Yet there was something about her that struck me differently than did the other patients.
“I gotta tell you,” I said. “You have a difference presence about you — were you famous or something?”
She paused and looked back at me. “Well, yes, but that was a long time...
by Beth A. Block
The next time you’re in your school, set aside five minutes for a tour of the space. Look at everything: the entryway, guest area, office, bathrooms and floor. Try to see it all through the eyes of someone who’s never been inside your building before. Take some notes on what you see. When you’re done, come back and pick this column up again.
OK, ready? Check your notes. Do they include the need to clean the entryway floors? Did you see a leaky faucet in the bathroom? A leak in a ceiling tile? An exposed sharp counter edge? Did you notice whether plug protectors are in the unused electrical outlets? Are there support pillars from the floor to ceiling? Where are they located, and are they padded?
During my years in martial arts studios, I’ve seen students and guests get hurt in many ways. One incident involved a studio that had a 15-year-old fall into a steel support pole. This student was participating in the adult class. On this...
by Eric P. Fleishman
You started this journey years ago as a student with a deep desire to learn all the beautiful subtleties of your martial art while simultaneously capturing its grandness. Eventually, you transitioned from student to teacher. In this new role of instructor, you implored your followers to embrace the martial arts with the same passion and commitment as they would a spouse. It was your mission to be the best, to communicate to others the form and function, and to keep ancient traditions alive with you as their advocate and protector.
And now, as the proud owner of your own dojo, you not only have the ability to shape the minds of those around you, but you also can impact their lives physically, emotionally and spiritually.
However, to impart your teachings, you must have students. They are the lifeblood of every martial art and every school. In this day and age of smartphones, digital media and increased stress, attracting and retaining students can be a...
Every year, we get questions about our industry-leading event - The Martial Arts SuperShow. Learn more about the show and lock in your ticket today. https://www.masupershow.com/
By: Frank Silverman, MAIA Executive Director
I’m often asked if I could invest in just one thing what about it be...stocks, real estate, etc. and my answer is almost always the same- YOURSELF.
Most people think that investing has to be with putting money somewhere and getting a return. I would agree.
So, how about investing in your education or the education of your TEAM (staff).
The returns for knowledge far outweigh and outpace the return of buying a simple stock.
This is why MAIA and CENTURY have been hosting the SuperShow for 19 years.
If it cost you $1500 to fly, stay at and attend the show (which it could be far less) all you need is one new member to pay that back over a year.
And if you get two or three new members or learn something that helps you retain your students better the...
by Mike Metzger, MAIA Consultant
When I speak with school owners about the challenges they face, one of the most consistent themes is the struggle to keep business thriving during the summer months. One way, of course, is to run daylong camps. These camps can last for one week or several and are a great way to generate revenue. However, not every school owner wants to or can spend all day at his or her dojo. It’s for these martial artists that I offer the following four ways to create value, excitement and revenue during the summer while working normal afterschool hours.
Regardless of when summer break starts in your area, you can offer a private-lesson package based for eight weeks. Bundle those private lessons as once-a-week hourlong sessions and offer as many or as few as you have time to teach. An eight-week, eight-lesson private training package can sell for $480.
To make this package even more appealing, offer different themes. For...
By Andries Pruim
Continued lack of small business support
When I started out as a junior commercial lender, my portfolio consisted of a large number of small businesses, which in today’s banking world would not even be considered for a business loan. It was near the end of my banking career when most small business owners were transferred or referred to the consumer lending department. This meant that all credit decisions were based almost exclusively on your personal finances, with your business success taking a back seat in the qualification for financing.
This lack of accommodation for the small business community is even more apparent today, especially after the 2008 recession. Most banks talk a good story about assisting small businesses, but still focus on more medium-sized business with lending requests in the $1-million range and up. Most small businesses neither need nor want this large a loan. A majority of martial arts schools fall into this range.
by Frank Silverman
Over the past few months, I’ve done quite a bit of shopping and buying: holiday gifts, upgrades and repairs to the house, a new car, kids’ birthday gifts and more. I was in an in-store and online buying frenzy — my own perpetual Black Friday.
My overall experience with all this shopping was great. Ultimately, I was able to purchase every item I wanted or needed. I paid what I consider fair prices, and I’m enjoying my purchases. That said, when I put on my consultant’s hat afterward, I couldn’t help but evaluate my transactions. How is the quality of the items I bought? How was the service leading up to the purchases? Do I have any buyer’s remorse? Was my shopping experience as good as it could have been? Was it better than expected? Were the salespeople friendly and the online retailers straightforward?
Evaluating everything in detail made me think of my schools in Orlando, Florida. I think I offer a great product....
by Beth A. Block and Andrew J. Horner
Many people involved with youth sports programs don’t know what the Youth Safe Sports Act (YSSA) is, despite the fact that it’s almost two years old. This legislation is important for two reasons: First, it’s designed to keep our students safe from sexual predators, which is something we all want. Second, failure to comply with the law can result in severe consequences for martial arts school owners — even if the failure was merely one of ignorance and no actual assault occurred.
We’ll start with a brief review. Congress passed the YSSA in February 2018. The legislation was written in response to the abuse scandals that surrounded Jerry Sandusky (Penn State), Larry Nassar (USA Gymnastics) and Kristofer Bland (Pop Warner). The bill passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Donald Trump. With the enactment of this law, all businesses that teach, train or work with youth, as well as all...
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