by Michael A. Perri Jr.
This year has been one for the ages, with the wildfires, hurricanes, riots, a polarized country and, of course, the global pandemic. Many businesses have been so severely impacted that they’ve been forced to shut their doors for good. This includes some of our fellow martial arts professionals, people who were making a career out of sharing their passion. Although we’ve suffered setbacks, our industry still boasts people who are not only surviving but thriving. Schools that had the systems in place have managed to pull out record months financially regardless of the trials and tribulations they faced.
I’m talking about schools like Caleb and Heidi Collier’s Championship Martial Arts in Kaysville, Utah, where they took the systems and strategies of CMA’s Holiday Event and applied it to their “Christmas in July Sale.” It transformed what was regarded as a slow time of year into one of their most profitable months...
by Frank Silverman
As I write this column, I reflect on the past year: where we started, where we came from and where we are now. For most of us, the year began second to none. Business was booming, and the future looked bright. Then the world stopped turning. In March, we witnessed the fragility of the world’s economy, not to mention life itself, as the pandemic took hold and forced a shutdown the likes of which we have never seen.
Today, we’re looking better than we did at the onset of COVID-19 — at least, things are looking that way as I write this column. (Who knows what tomorrow will bring?) However, we are by no means out of the woods. Many schools are still struggling, and business is nowhere close to where it was at the beginning of the year. And then there are the casualties: the schools that closed their doors for a final time.
I don’t want this column to be a message of doom and gloom. I’ve said it before and it’s worth...
by Karen Eden
This is a true story about too much of a good thing. When Hurricane Katrina hit with such devastation, the entire nation would have to come to New Orleans’ rescue. I was just coming out of a TV contract and teaching martial arts through The Salvation Army. I was asked if I could help TSA by acting as the division’s Public Information Officer. No problem, since I knew most of the media members on a first-name basis anyway.
When the now-homeless victims of the hurricane were bused into Denver, they literally had no possessions to bring with them. They needed everything — from basics such as shampoo and toothpaste to food and especially clothes. I made the executive decision, along with the Corps Officer of the thrift-stores division, to put out a public plea for donated clothing items.
The city of Denver generously responded, like it so often does. Seventy-two hours later, I got a call from the officer: “Karen, you got to stop with the...
by Kathy Olevsky
I’ve operated a martial arts school full time for 45 years. I may have made every mistake that can be made in this business. The reason I’m still in business, I believe, is I asked for help. I learned quickly that others before me had already found solutions. In this column, I’ll point out key mistakes I made in my career, which are common errors among school owners, both large and small, throughout our industry. And I’ll share the solutions I used to overcome them.
First, the good news: Many of us are back to teaching in our schools.
Now, the bad news: Some of us are dealing with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, and our states are taking action to address it. I know a few martial arts school owners who could not sustain their businesses. As a result, they had to close their doors.
Basically, we all are operating on the same premise: We will open our schools if we can, and if not, we will operate virtually until in-person training is...
Productivity is one of the most underrated skill sets to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Learn these 5 productivity hacks today and start improving your daily habits.
By: Cris Rodriguez, MAIA Digital Marketing Consultant
Productivity is a skill set that you have to develop and it truly goes hand in hand with organization.
I get asked almost on a daily basis how I am able to juggle running 4 companies on top of being MAIA’s Digital Marketing Consultant.
My answer is pretty simple: I have adapted daily habits that allow me to be organized and productive.
Let’s dive into my Top 5 Productivity Hacks.
1 - Plan Your Day the Night Before
Going to bed each night having a clear vision of what the next day is going to look like not only helps you become more productivity, it actually helps you sleep better. Create your “To-Do List” before you settle in for the night and when you wake up you will have all of your priorities for the day ready to crush....
by Adam Parman
As American states begin allowing businesses to reopen, many martial arts school owners are finding themselves in a strange new world filled with challenges, financial pressures, fears and, in many cases, far fewer students than they once had. This has made their lives anything but easy. Their minds are filled with self-doubt and apprehension.
As a martial artist, you know what it’s like to be pummeled in a fight — and what it takes to come back and win. But do you have the fortitude and the know-how to do the same with your business? No doubt you’ve heard about martial art schools across the country closing their doors for the last time, and you’ve vowed that even though it’s apparent that not every business will survive, you won’t be one of the victims. But that may not be enough. Chances are you also can benefit from a few pointers.
I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia, which means I live in one of the first states to...
by Perry William Kelly
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
Those well-known words come from the mouth of a fictional boxer named Rocky Balboa. The character, played by Sylvester Stallone, is telling his son what he needs to do to make it in life. I say that truer words have never being spoken, especially in our current times, when things are fine one day and the next, the world as we know it changes forever. Repeatedly.
Cris Rodriguez is like Balboa in that she won’t let setbacks define her future. Instead, she applies a counter to every submission attempt that life throws at her as she travels the path to success — even when one of those submission attempts involves running a...
By Terry L. Wilson
According to the dictionary, the definition of racism includes the belief that certain ethnic groups are inferior to others, which supposedly justifies discriminatory behavior. In 1985 Tommy Gilbert, an African-American police officer in Oakland, California, and a part-time kajukenbo instructor, ran up against just such an attitude as he searched for a location for a new school. He found the perfect building in an ideal spot — which is when the trouble began.
Tommy Gilbert inquired about renting the facility and came face to face with a woman whose photo could have accompanied any dictionary’s definition of the word “racism.”
“Back in 1985 and ’86, my dad was teaching in the backyard of our home,” said Damon Gilbert, Tommy Gilbert’s son. “As the classes grew, Dad started looking for a storefront to open a school. The area he was looking in was San Leandro, California. It was a very nice, diverse area.
By Herb Borkland
Ninth-dan Tom Thompson holds the record for the fastest brown-belt promotion in Skipper Mullen’s system. In 1971, at age 21, Thompson partnered with Allen Steen to become the fourth importer of martial arts supplies in America. An active lecturer, researcher and author, Thompson is also the founder and former director of the Fellowship of Christian Martial Artists. On November 14, 2009, he became both the oldest football player in NCAA history and, at age 59, the oldest to score a point during a game. He and his wife own AFC Management, Inc., which operates the Alpha Fitness Centers in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.
MASuccess: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?
Tom Thompson: I grew up in Dallas, Texas. By age 15, I lived alone with my father because of a dysfunctional family. He did a number of things before passing.
MAS: How did you first hear about martial arts?
Thompson: I was in 10th grade and knew of a...
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