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".
Guest Blog by Michelle Hodnett
Project Dojo is a nonprofit community outreach program in Pueblo, Colorado, that works with at-risk children. Through the power of martial arts, Project Dojo seeks to inspire and motivate kids within a safe environment, while continuing to teach the traditions of martial arts. This is the story of Project Dojo co-founder Michelle Hodnett’s experiences in her martial art journey.
Halloween is a childhood-favorite holiday. However, due to the dangers in today’s world, many parents aren’t comfortable with the idea of letting their children roam around after dark. And, unfortunately, many children live in neighborhoods that are genuinely unsafe. Holding a Halloween event at your dojo gives them a safe way to enjoy Halloween, and gives all your students a family-friendly, fun event! Also, making your event open to the public, or giving your students “tickets” to use to invite friends, is a great way to get new...
by Chris Rappold
It is always exciting to enroll new students. In most cases, it’s a fresh start with no history, only the promise of a bright martial arts future. The students enter your school and take their first class, receive their first promotions and win their first trophies. Everything is new and exciting.
Through continued hard work — both yours and the students’ — they continue to advance. At first, you may have just one advanced student, but in what seems like no time, you have a class full of brown and black belts. It’s a dream come true.
Then, without warning, one of those advanced students, perhaps even one you had mentally tagged as an assistant instructor, discontinues training. You feel like you got punched in the stomach. Why would the person suddenly stop training? Isn’t this what he or she always wanted? Why would the student come so far, only to quit? These questions and others race through your mind.
by Eric P. Fleishman
Running a martial arts school can be challenging. Before you can teach the most basic of techniques, you must lease a school, obtain proper signage, build a website and enroll your first students.
The fight doesn’t end there. Now you have to expand your enrollment, keep those signs maintained, promote your business online and see to the upkeep of the property. This constant “battle of the business” can leave you so weary that the joys of teaching in general and shaping young minds in particular are lost.
That’s why it’s imperative to create a plan grow your school. One of the most important components of that plan will be promoting your dojo in every way possible, including on local television, in local newspapers and on websites that feature local news. Even if you operate a traditional martial arts school, you are not limited to traditional advertising.
So how do you go about orchestrating this positive PR blitz? Here are...
by Karen Eden
One of the hardest things for me to master during my time as a TV news reporter was learning to “hurry up and wait.” You have to hurry up and get to the scene so you don’t miss anything. But once you get there, you just stand around — sometimes for hours. You try to figure out what’s really going on, which information is relevant and which is superfluous, whom you can interview and how you can get them to talk.
That’s usually the way it is when it comes to covering any kind of breaking news. As I’m sure my directors would attest, it was never my favorite thing to do.
Seasoned reporters are the best at this. They can show up and wait from high noon until sunset — and still present the story with smiles on their faces. Why? Because they’ve done it a million times, and they don’t even entertain the thought of going back empty-handed. They’ll find a way to get people to talk and to get that story on...
Now that October is here, it's time to begin planning your biggest event of the year: the Holiday Event. Download our free Holiday Event Planner here.
By: The MAIA & Century Team
The 2019 holiday season is right around the corner!
If you’re not ready yet, it’s time to start wrapping your head around the idea of holding your school’s largest event of the year.
But how do you have a successful holiday event? Where do you begin? What are the benefits? What is the best day to hold the event?
There are so many questions that need answers – and that’s where the Holiday Event Planner comes in! Whether you’re a longtime fan of the planner or you’ve never even held a holiday sale before, this handy guide has everything you need in a convenient step-by-step format. Download yours here now!
Words of Wisdom from MAIA Executive Director Frank Silverman:
“People are looking for holiday shopping events anyway, if you don’t...
by Richard Blaine
Many martial artists dream of earning a living doing what they love. But when that dream meets the harsh reality of running a business, it can feel like being woken with a bucket of ice water to the face. Declining enrollments, departing students, the never-ending search for quality staff members, and turning just enough of a profit to pay bills and eat, then repeating this process month after grueling month — these things can turn that dream into a nightmare.
Yet a few school owners are running businesses that not only survive but also succeed beyond all expectations. At the top of that list of success stories is Premier Martial Arts.
With more than 100 schools in the United States, as well as branches in Canada and Great Britain, PMA stands as one of the world’s largest and most successful chains of franchised martial arts schools. And in a market saturated with everything from cardio-kickboxing gyms to Brazilian jiu-jitsu academies, every PMA...
by Justin Lee Ford
Shoshin is a word one encounters in the traditional Japanese martial arts, as well as in Buddhism. It doesn’t refer to a technique or form; rather, it’s a general concept. Translated, it means “beginner’s mind.” The term is used to remind practitioners to keep an open mind akin to that of a beginner in any endeavor.
In the martial arts, having a beginner’s mind can foster humility and make you receptive to new ideas. In the business of martial arts, having a beginner’s mind can help you connect with new students and retain current students.
How so? When you, as a martial arts instructor, remind yourself of what it’s like to start learning a new physical pursuit, you better connect with white belts. This is because there are many things newcomers don’t know but you take for granted. Adopting a beginner’s mind reacquaints you with their stage of training, and it aids you when it’s time to...
by Sarah Lobban
For the 2,000-plus who attended, the 2019 Martial Arts SuperShow will go down as one for the record books. Held at the stylish Bellagio Las Vegas, the event attracted martial artists from around the world for three days of learning, networking and even some partying.
Let’s start with the obvious: One of the things that made the 2019 SuperShow a hit was a guest appearance by Chuck Norris. On the first night of the convention, the martial-arts-master-turned-movie-star took the General Session by storm. He ended his speech by telling the assembly, and the martial arts community as a whole, “I consider you all my friends.”
Without knowing it, he uttered words that set the tone for the rest of the SuperShow. The organizers and presenters have always emphasized camaraderie between martial arts school owners, but this year, it was more apparent than ever. The prevailing attitude was obvious: When one of us wins, we all do. And when that happens,...
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.
Over the years, I have realized the importance of balancing the addition of new things with the maintenance of tradition and integrity. In my school’s karate program, we adhere to the same high standards as we always have. The black belt of today is the same as the black belt of many years ago. However, many of our students also partake in our yoga-stretch class, our cardio-fitness class, and our judo and jujitsu classes.
In this industry, it’s essential...
by Beth A. Block
Trick or treat; give me something good to eat! Many fall celebrations revolve around food. That’s not surprising because food has brought human beings together since the beginning of our history. Many studies have shown that food fosters relationships between people and helps build communities.
Halloween, in particular, is all about sweets. In our martial arts studios, we offer parents a safe alternative to taking their children from house to house trick-or-treating. Our celebrations usually include games, prizes and candy — which means they’re guaranteed to keep young students happy.
Thanksgiving follows on the heels of Halloween. What do you visualize when you think of Thanksgiving? Turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and other favorite foods, most likely. Of course, the other thing that comes to mind is family.
Celebrations offer you a chance to strengthen the family and community bonds that are present in your martial arts studio. It...
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