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 Elite Consultant Jason Flame
Making a sale and providing excellent service go hand-in-hand. This has been on my mind a lot lately, and I’ve had many staff meetings focused around building this mindset. If we place just a little more focus on providing first-class service, we will not only generate sales now but also promote future sales through repeat business and referrals.
This is a challenge in any business. It’s easy to get caught up in the sales numbers alone. But if you take good care of your students, they will take care of you.
Here are five simple reasons this mindset is essential:
1. You’ll Attract New Students
This one is obvious! If you teach awesome classes, recognize and treat every student as an individual, pay attention to small details and genuinely take interest in your students, they will be happy to refer new business to you. When your students experience results, they will tell people. When they learn something of value, they...
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...
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 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...
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.
However, you don’t have to be a nonprofit school to hold a great free event! Holding a free event to help youth in your community is a great way to rally your school around a worthy cause. Your students can work as volunteers at the event, or contribute to the planning. In this article, Project Dojo head Michelle Hodnett shares how she’s held successful free events and how you can get started on yours!
Why do a backpack giveaway in the first place?
Everyone loves free stuff! If you’re looking to advertise, boost morale, or want to connect with your community, a free backpack giveaway might be a perfect event. It seems easy: just give away...
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 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,...
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...
What if I told you that there was a system that you could implement in your school to generate tens of thousands of dollars in sales in only four hours on a weekend? What if I also said that some schools have used this system and made over $100,000 in those four hours? These results are not an anomaly. The Championship Martial Arts system of holiday sales has helped many schools turn a slow season into the year’s most profitable month!
By Michael A. Perri Jr.
There is a common belief among martial arts school owners that there are two times during the year when your school has to brace for a struggle. The first is during the middle of the summer. The second is during the holiday season in December.
For the latter, the winter’s cold and holiday parties, coupled with the excitement of boys and girls unwrapping their gifts, all play a part in creating a challenging — albeit festive — month for school owners. School owners have found it hard to...
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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