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".
In the production process of MASuccess magazine, when I write a column based on an activity or event, there’s a natural time delay between the event, my writing about it and the date it’s published. Therefore, as I write about the Martial Arts SuperShow Europe, held in August in Dortmund, Germany,
the report appears in the most current issue possible.
With that said, it was an honor for me to have participated in the recent Martial Arts SuperShow Europe. The event, spearheaded by Markus Liedtke, Sascha de Vries and Toni Dietl, was, in a word, phenomenal. It was well-attended and, more importantly, wellreceived.
Participants trained, attended business seminars and participated in a show that is sure to become a yearly event, just as the original SuperShow is in Las Vegas every year.
This event was not limited to just schools in Germany; schools from all over Europe attended. In addition to me, attendees from the United States included Caitlin...
Coming from a generation and environment that at times demanded compliance, it’s understandable how some people act when they move into the position of power. Many grew up in a culture that demanded respect for your elders. Martial arts tradition always centered around respecting your sensei.
Now that you’re in that role, how are you going to uphold the ideals of tradition? Will you create an environment based on love or one steeped in fear? Though it may seem simplistic, those truly are your two choices.
For me, the answer was always a supportive, encouraging environment based on love. Sounds kind of soft, right? Once again, we sometimes confuse context (how we communicate) with content (the techniques that are taught). I believe that when trust is high and support is strong, you can get more out of a person’s performance with sincere encouragement than belittling or demeaning them. And while everyone is, of course, different, what would you prefer?...
I‘ve been operating a martial arts school full-time for 39 years. I think I may have made every mistake that can be made in this business. The reason I’m still in business, I believe, is because I asked for help. I learned quickly that others before me had already found solutions. In this reality-based column, I’ll point out key mistakes I made in my business career, which are common errors among school owners, both large and small, throughout our industry. Then I’ll share the solutions I applied to overcome them.
This is a time of year when we really need to be on our toes with our students if we don’t want to lose them to other activities. It is common for students to miss quite a few classes from late November to the end of December. Most people have other events that take up their time and steal them away from their martial arts classes. The holidays have a way of doing that.
So, it is our job to make them want to come to class and,...
As a school owner or instructor, you’re considered a community leader. Whether or not you think about it, owning a business helps your local community. You’re teaching children, teens and adults, and possibly employing others. You are a leader. People look up to you. Kids especially will notice how you treat others, when you give back, and how you help those in need.
The holidays tend to be when everyone starts planning ways they can give back. But really, it’s something we should focus on year-round. I encourage you to review your 2019 calendar and start planning what community activities you could get involved with throughout the year. Find things you can get your students thoroughly involved in, too.
Participating in community events is not just a good way to teach your students about helping others, but it’s also an excellent way to get your name out there in public. You can create positive buzz about your school. If you’re consistent...
Whether we like it or not, every time one of my staff members are in public they are representing not only Kovar's Martial Arts but also the martial arts industry. When we choose to become martial arts instructors, we also choose to become public figure. We stand in front of the class and lead our students in reciting the student creed. We challenge them not only to improve their martial arts skills but their mental attitude, focus, discipline and respect, too.
In essence, we become their success coaches, role models and more. To our students, we become a combination of teacher, parent, minister and motivational speaker, who also, in their eyes, has the awesome power of “death
and destruction.” This gives us a unique and powerful “presence” or sphere of influence.
After all, how many teachers, parents, ministers or motivational speakers can do a jump-spinning kick? Or can, in the blink of an eye, strike multiple times where it hurts the most?...
Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding. But when problems arise — and as a small business owner myself, I know they do! — you’re responsible for solving them.
So, whether you’re working on the financial success of your martial arts studio or improving the health of your students, it’s important to apply the same principle: Always address the underlying cause.
For example, if your business’s gross revenue is less than stellar this month, it’s easy to say that you simply need more students. So, you decide to focus on
marketing. But what if the real problem is retention? You aren’t able to retain your students because the instructors are not aligned with your program. To target the underlying cause, you may need to focus more on staff training and development.
The same thing happens when you see a spike in injuries within the bulk of your students. If you’re seeing a lot of hamstring injuries, an...
As we end the year and approach the holiday season, I’d like to ask that you all view leadership as a gift, and one that you currently possess. Now, leadership can be a special, unique and often challenging present, but it is truly worthwhile.
Allow me to share a parable that will illustrate this point. A group of children are playing in the jungle near their tribe in central Africa, when a group of explorers approaches them. The explorers observe the children playing a game where they use dirty but somewhat shiny stones. The explorers ask their translator if the kids would trade their stones for some chocolate and the kids agree. When the explorers returned home, they discovered that the stones were large, coarse diamonds.
Now, for the explorers, the diamonds were highly valuable and worth a great deal of money in their culture. But to the children, these diamonds were simply toys that brought them joy and happiness. The true value of the diamonds was relative...
I have mentioned in the past that my wife and I volunteer between 20-25 hours per week at a South Florida-based, not-for-profit pet rescue. It started as a way for me to regain strength after chemotherapy, but became a labor of love for us to help protect the unwanted and abandoned animals in our “pet-disposable” society. Last year, the organization I volunteer with successfully completed the adoption of more than 350 pets into forever homes.
A national controversy has arisen over the last several years regarding where and under what circumstances an animal may accompany its owners. Many people believe that if they purchase a “service animal” vest on the Internet and strap it on their pet, they can take this animal with them wherever they go with impunity. This is patently incorrect and clearly creates confusion for small businesses, perhaps including your school.
There are very strict federal and state laws regarding the use of animals for...
Recently while attending a martial arts event in Washington, DC, I took the opportunity to do something that I’ve had on my bucket list for quite some time: View the actual Declaration of Independence. Evidently, I wasn’t the only one whose bucket list included this experience. The line was long, and I barely got in in time before they closed the doors.
What was most shocking about finally getting to enter the rotunda was discovering that there wasn’t just one “Declaration of Independence.” There were several. I never knew this. And I know that, like many other things, these details are not taught in our general history classes.
“Now, why didn’t they tell us that?” I asked myself. I was under the impression, like many Americans, that Thomas Jefferson just whipped out a quill and some paper, and an hour or so later said, “There you go.”
Nothing could have been farther from the truth. There were changes...
Kenpo 10th-degree black belt Professor Bob White began teaching in 1968 at the Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate school in Garden Grove, California, before opening his own location in 1972. He won numerous 1970s state, national and international fighting championships. He also fought on the National All-Star Black Belt Team, which went undefeated in 1973 and 1974. During his more than half-a-century teaching, White has produced 225 black belt graduates and trained thousands of students.
Herb Borkland: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?
Bob White: Garden Grove, California. Dad was a carpenter.
HB: How did you first hear about martial arts?
BW: When I was 10, in the early sixties, comic books ran ads for a masked guy teaching the dim mak “death touch” [laughs]. I’ve always been athletic, and fighting was part of growing up, so it was something I was no stranger to.
I studied shotokan with a high school teacher. There were...
Fill in your information below and we'll send you new blog content when it's released.