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 Karen Eden
This column originally ran in the November 2015 issue of MASuccess and is being reprinted here because of its popularity.
Those who know me have learned to accept me with all my eccentricities. So I know that, as many years have gone by, surely they must be true friends. But for those who desire to know me better, I always air a disclaimer.
I’m a different breed of person. It used to bother me early in life, but now I am comfortable with that fact, and it doesn’t bother me one bit.
I often think about how much time it would save if I could just hand out a resume to everyone who wants to know me better. That way, if I wasn’t their “cup of tea,” they could just never call me. I wouldn’t be offended!
I am a deeply religious person. I’m also a diehard traditional martial arts woman with a master’s rank in a Korean, military-based, hand-to-hand combat art.
If that isn’t scary enough to the average person,...
By Christopher Rappold
Finding out that a student is going to be leaving your school is never fun. If you care about making an impact on someone’s life and sincerely enjoy teaching, news of a departure can create some sleepless nights. While there is no magic answer to ensure this never happens, your time will always be well-spent ensuring that the highest percentage of your students remain dedicated to their training at your facility.
As I look back over 25 years of teaching, I do so with pride in what our team has produced. But, like you, I’ve been stung with the unexpected news of a student discontinuing his or her training more than once. Since we preach, “You can either get bitter or get better,” I offer the following preventative measures designed to keep such surprises to a minimum.
1. Know Your Students Beyond the Mat
It’s easy to forget that our students have lives outside the few hours they spend training with us each week. They...
By MAIA Executive Director Frank Silverman
It’s the most wonderful time of the year — for martial arts schools, that is. We’ve hit the trifecta: the end of the hot days of summer, the start of back-to-school time and the edge of the holiday season. Any one of these three warrants an individual column, or even a full- fledged article, but I have only 700 words. Since that’s the case, I will attempt to wrap everything into one column. I want to cover the essential details of the question, How do we handle the transition from summer’s end through back-to-school and into the holidays?
First, regardless of how good or bad summer was, we need to focus on getting everyone who took a break, no matter how long or short, back to regular class attendance. We know it’s always less expensive to keep a client than to find a new one, so hop on the phone, send emails and post to Facebook. You need to do whatever it takes to get your students back on...
By Beth A. Block
None of us ever wants to face the situation one of your fellow school owners was forced to confront a few years ago. It came out of nowhere and left the owner absolutely shocked.
This particular school employed a part-time instructor who had worked there for years. He was super with children. He was patient and caring and inspired even the youngest and most reluctant kids.
Then one day, the studio owner received a phone call from a mom. She said her son would not be returning to camp or class. When the owner asked why, Mom said her son told her that the part-time instructor punched all the new kids in the privates. When her son complained that it hurt, the instructor took him into the bathroom and looked at his genitals and touched him.
This is everyone’s nightmare!
The school owner called me shortly after she spoke to the mom. Over the next several days, the owner and I spoke several times. I want to break down the most important parts of our...
By Philip E. Goss Jr., Esq.
Each year as we change to a new calendar, we look toward a new beginning and new goals. In most United States jurisdictions, the law typically has two “new years”: one that begins January 1 and another that commonly starts between July and November of the same calendar year. These are the timeframes in which newly enacted laws become effective.
You have probably seen newspaper columns or internet posts outlining the recent law changes in your jurisdiction. These notices are not usually exhaustive. They just highlight the changes that are most interesting to casual consumers. Issues that could adversely affect your day-to-day business operations may not be covered or may be buried deep within the news release. It’s interesting to learn how tips must be divided among restaurant servers, and it’s good to know that driving while using a cellphone is unlawful. However, these things have limited value to your martial arts...
Children’s martial arts classes not only tend to be profitable for schools but also are an amazing way to improve the lives of the kids, their families and the communities. This is because of the values the martial arts impart to children. Those values include the following:
The kind of courage that young people learn in martial arts is one that encompasses a certain spirit of bravery. It is not simply acting without fear; it is channeling an internal energy to act in spite of fear. Courage is a transferrable skill that allows students to set goals, overcome challenges and attain success both in the dojo and in life.
One tenet of martial arts is respect. Children are taught to respect the masters who came before them, as well as their instructors, their peers and themselves. Quality martial arts instructors focus on this value consistently, encouraging students to carry it with them beyond the studio. Self-respect and respect those who are above...
By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
Hello, friends! I want to thank everyone who provided valuable feedback regarding my B.L.A.C.K. B.E.L.T. series. I promise to continue delivering valuable insights and information.
During the next five articles, we’re going to discuss how the concepts from Japanese jujitsu can be applied to your teams. I know that all our arts share similar principles, so feel free to apply them accordingly.
My instructor Torey Overstreet constantly reminds us that if you must use force to make a technique work, then you are doing it incorrectly. Now, some functional strength is necessary when applying a technique, but force implies a rough and harsh application of strength.
Effective leadership requires you to be strong all the time, but rarely forceful. I’ve known several leaders who firmly believed that if you had to raise your voice in anger or frustration, then you...
By Kathy Olevsky
I believe most martial arts school owners and managers spend a great deal of time wondering what they should do to bring in new members. This is a dilemma I am well acquainted with.
One of the most important lessons I learned in this business came at a time when our numbers were dwindling. I couldn’t figure out how to get more leads. I had already reviewed all my notes from previous martial arts events and tried to double down on referrals — but to no avail.
Then a thought occurred to me: “I can’t be the only one dealing with this!” So, I went through the phone book and gathered the numbers of 10 other school owners. I called them one by one and asked each of them to give me three tips about things they did that garnered new leads. That was a great lesson in networking, as well as an excellent source of inspiration. The other owners were all very forthcoming, and we had a nice exchange of ideas, including what tactics were...
By MAIA Division Manager Melissa Torres
Facebook is dying. Social media is officially coming to an end.
And now that I have your attention — no, it absolutely is not. Hopefully, none of you got your hopes up. The fact is, social media is growing in prevalence and in importance to our industry. We can’t escape Facebook, Instagram, Twitter — you name it. The great news is, when used correctly, social media can help you tremendously.
I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t know how to run paid ads.” “I don’t even have a Facebook page for my school.” Or maybe, “I have Facebook and Instagram pages, but they don’t get me new students and they’re not worth the headache to keep up with!”
Hopefully, some of you are already ahead of the curve and know a thing or two about what and when to post. You may even have an idea of how to drive new students to your doors. But most school...
How Two Instructors Guide Their Students to Black Belt — and Then Retain Them as Contributing Members of the Dojo!
Rob and Kathy Olevsky (author of MASuccess’ “You Messed Up! Now What?” column) took over a struggling school in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1979. Forty years later, they not only have a thriving business but dozens of black belts who are happy to pay full tuition. Learn what they did right — and a few things they did wrong — along the way!
By Keith Yates
It was the late 1970s, and Kathy Kilmartin was a 21-year-old taking karate lessons at the only martial arts school in Raleigh, North Carolina. She caught the eye of one of the instructors, a man named Rob Olevsky, but the dojo had a strict policy against teachers dating students. However, after repeated requests, the school’s owner says Rob could ask her out on a date — but only if Rob bought out Kathy’s contract in case she quit.
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