Peter Grootenhuis possesses one of the most brilliant scientific minds in the world, but his body is fighting a losing battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Teaching from his wheelchair, Grootenhuis is an inspiration to everyone at Pacific Martial Arts in San Diego. His message — “Quitting is not an option!” — is one of many legacies he will leave in his wake.
By Terry L. Wilson
“My World Is the Dojo”
Before moving to America, Grootenhuis began his lifelong journey in the martial arts in his native Netherlands, training in shotokan karate. The intricacies woven into those kata proved to be a perfect fit for a man who excels in unraveling the secrets of the universe.
“Strange as it may sound, martial arts gives me complete relaxation,” Grootenhuis says. “When I’m in the dojo, I think of nothing else. My world is the dojo. I am totally focused on what I...
If you're reading this blog, chances are, you're familiar with MAIA, or the Martial Arts Industry Association. But just because you know MAIA as an organization, you may not be familiar with all the individual team members. They do an amazing job, and are just as passionate about the work they do as you are. We're making this series of blog posts to shine the light on our MAIA team members and the amazing work they do!
And if you know MAIA, you know Frank Silverman. MAIA’s Executive Director is a longtime martial artist, as well as the owner and operator of 10 martial arts schools in and around Orlando, Florida. He is the author of Business is Business: Passion and Profit in the Martial Arts Industry, and has been one of the most impactful figures within MAIA for nearly two decades.
How long have you worked with MAIA?
I’ve been with MAIA for nearly 20 years (19, to be precise), and it’s been an amazing experience since the start!
Guest Blog by Andries Pruim
While everyone enjoys participating in a class taught by a wonderful instructor (sensei), we also sometimes wonder how the sensei manages to train him or herself. Clearly the majority of their martial arts involvement now comes from their time in class. But how do they continue to train and improve, or even practice, when they are constantly moving around the class correcting and assisting their students?
This has always been the sensei’s dilemma. How should he or she obtain their required training/practice, while ensuring the progress of their students?
There are many opinions on whether instructors should be “training while teaching.” We can all agree that during class, most of the instructor’s focus should be on the students who are paying to be there. Any debate stems from differences in opinion of just how much that focus needs to remain on students, and how much it can be devoted to personal training.
Not sure how to get your studio featured at the top of Google's Search Engine Results Page? Read MAIA Social Media Specialist, Cris Rodriguez' tips on dominating Google.
By: Cris Rodriguez, Social Media Specialist
Social Media (love it or hate it) is an absolutely effective communication and marketing tool for your Academy.
While there are many different platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram to help build your audience as well as brand awareness, today we are going to cover one of the least leveraged platforms: Google My Business.
Before we learn how to leverage it, we have to understand the type of marketing that Google is versus Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook and Instagram are interest based marketing. Meaning, our ads will be shown to users based on the data that they have provided while surfing the internet (websites they have visited, products they have purchased, etc).
Think about why people are on social media in the first place. It’s usually because they...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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...
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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