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 Christopher Rappold
The successful retention of students in a martial arts school is of paramount importance. It saves the school money by cutting down on monthly advertising budgets and replacing them with free referrals. It increases the cash flow by creating happier students who stay and train for longer. And it enables staff members and owners to earn a higher pay for the great services they provide.
All around, everyone wins when retention is high and the quit rate is low. But if this makes so much sense, then why, for some, does it seem to be so hard to do?
One answer to this that I would like to explore is the quality of the teacher. As you may well know, if you replace a bad teacher with a good one, all of a sudden, a school that was limping along will start to grow.
Conversely, I have seen a great teacher replaced by a teacher who was only “good” and the exact opposite happened. Perhaps you have seen the same. So, what is it that makes the difference...
By MAIA Division Manager Melissa Torres
At the Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA), we are truly committed to helping you, the martial arts school owner. We brainstorm different ways we can help you get where you want to go, whether that’s with consultations, programs, Facebook Live content, our four-week Launch webinar class, or in-person workshops.
We want to make it convenient for you to take the leap. We understand that watching webinars or talking to someone on the phone may not be everyone’s best learning technique. Some need to talk face-to-face. No matter how you learn, we want you to be able to make a commitment to yourself, your family, and your staff that you will be successful.
Last year, we held the very first MAIA Mastermind in Orlando at the Championship Martial Arts headquarters. It was extremely successful and we got amazing feedback. The participants had the chance to see a holiday event held live, walk through the behind-the-scenes setup...
By Beth Block
Recently, I watched a 32-year-old martial arts instructor teaching a full-rotation, head-level roundhouse kick. He was teaching this kick in the first class of the day. He had not yet worked out because he had been driving, picking up students at school and bringing them to the studio for the after-school program.
At 56, I know I need to warm up my muscles before straining them. When I don’t, I pay for it with pulls, strains and pain. Sometimes, I’ve paid for it with rips.
I also know it’s a good idea for students of any age to warm up their muscles before challenging them. My chiropractor has explained the long-term effect of abusing my muscles. Even if I don’t feel the strain, my muscle gets a micro-tear. Over the years, those micro-tears result in knotty, scarred muscles. Owww!
At 32, the instructor was young enough to think he could still do the full-rotation kick cold. At 32, he was old enough that his hamstring tore. A hamstring...
By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
For this column, I continue using acronyms to spell out the words BLACK BELT, as they relate to teams and leadership. This month, I’ll address “C,” which stands for community.
Originally, I considered using words like “courage” or “compassion.” But after our recent rank promotion ceremony at my school, TNT Jujitsu in Houston, I realized that community is what truly matters.
Community is essential because it is one of the key components of loyalty and retention. You can have a great facility and teach a dynamite curriculum. But if members don't feel that they are part of a community, it’s easy for them to leave. This is especially true of your instructors and staff.
However, a wonderful community can help ensure that people will stay and even follow your organization and leaders.
Here’s an example that illustrates this point. My dad’s side of the family was mostly black...
By Joshua Page
Being a Black Belt Inside and Outside the School
As instructors, we spend a great deal of time trying to develop our students into black belts. We equip them to deal with all types of dangerous situations and attacks. We arm them with kicks, punches, throws and submissions.
Even the mental side of self-defense is addressed, like how to keep calm under pressure and dealing with overwhelming odds. All this takes place while developing humility and learning the importance of constant improvement. These lessons are powerful and life-changing, and prepare our students for adversity on the practice mat and in the arena of sport.
We spend thousands of hours redefining techniques, perfecting form, and forging the absolute best martial artists we can. The results can be truly amazing. The transformation from a day-one student to a black belt is, at times, awe-inspiring.
When you see those students on the mats training and teaching, they seem to have a certain air about...
By Herb Borkland
Richardson was born in Charlotte and took his first martial arts training there at age 13. But, as is true of every aspect of his highly successful school, he says he opened LMA only after a great deal of study, planning and research.
Location Is Everything!
Charlotte is the most populous city in North Carolina, boasting around 860,000 diverse citizens — 45.1% white, 35.0% black, 13.1% Hispanic and 5.0% Asian. It’s the third-fastest-growing major city in the United States and the nation’s second-largest banking center, housing the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo. The NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA, and a strong NASCAR All-Star Racing presence are among the local major sports attractions.
Why is all of this so important to a martial arts school owner? Because location is everything.
“I began with demographic research on 64 markets in the...
By Keith D. Yates
Can you have a successful mixed martial arts (MMA) school geared towards children? Can you come back from looking insolvency square in the face? Can you overcome years of weight gain, even having reached the point where you’re considered morbidly obese?
The answers to these questions are yes, yes, and yes, if you are the resilient David and Suzana Chacon, owners of Dominion Martial Arts Institute of Mentorship in Oswego, Illinois!
David began his martial arts training at Gen-Ki Karate in Chicago as a child. He also spent a few years in a taekwondo school, earning only a red belt because his parents divorced and he had to stop training. In his early 20s, he developed an interest in ground fighting because, like many stand-up fighters, he felt insecure about what to do if he ever found himself on the ground in a real-life street situation. So, when he was 23, he looked around for a solution and found an MMA coach.
But David says it...
By Philip E. Goss, Jr., Esq.
In a follow-up to last month’s What Your Attorney Doesn’t Want You to Know, here’s part 2:
6. Your Attorney Likely Bills You for Travel Time
Many attorneys will bill you their full hourly rate for travel time to and from events related to your case. I do understand the argument that every minute spent toward your case is appropriately billed. However, I don’t agree that all circumstances support that theory.
Every time I attend court in downtown Miami, I leave my home office two hours before the appointed time. I drive to public transportation and then ride the Metrorail to the court’s doorstep. If my client chose to retain a lawyer with a downtown office, her travel time could be as little as five minutes.
What is fair in this situation? For this reason, I do not charge for my travel time.
This is not to say someone who charges for travel is unethical or necessarily wrong. I’m...
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.
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