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Focus on What Matters Most

maia retention Mar 12, 2019

By MAIA Consultant Jason Flame


As school owners and professional martial artists, we often lose sight of why we got into this business and industry in the first place. It’s not the number of students we can enroll each month. It’s not how big our billing check is or how much we gross each month. And it’s not how big our school is.

We got involved in this business because teaching martial arts is our passion, and changing people’s lives is our goal. Now, of course, running a successful business may be about the numbers. But operating a successful martial arts school is about much more than that.

We know that if our students are getting great results, they’re going to talk about us to everyone they know, which may lead to more referrals. If the parents of our students truly value what we have to offer, they will stay longer. The bottom line is, we need to think much more about giving than receiving. If everything you do is about getting something back in return, you may never be satisfied or have a sense of fulfillment.

This month, let’s focus on what matters most.


1. Consider Each Student’s Goal(s)

Every student who enters your school comes to you for a different reason. There are many benefits to martial arts training. So it’s essential that we help students to not only get what they need, but also what they are specifically looking for. Each student should be treated as an individual as well as a member of the team.


2. Concentrate on Individual Progress

It’s important that we focus on the individual progress a student makes. Often, it is far too easy to compare them to a set standard or to other students. Stay focused on where the student started and how far he/she has come as a gauge of their success.


3. Teach Quality Martial Arts

Teach a solid curriculum which offers a well-balanced skill set that’s not only functional, but is realistic for your students. Much of what we teach can focus heavily on tradition or on the way we were trained. Less is more; focus on high-quality technique and less quantity of curriculum.


4. Promote a Team Atmosphere

Everyone in your school should feel like part of your team. Most of us have heard or read that Together Everyone Achieves More. This couldn’t be truer for an endeavor like martial arts. Although the martial arts are an individual activity, the support from the instructors, parents and other students is unlike other team sports.


5. Perpetuate Your Own Personal Growth

Your example and focus on your own personal growth is a very important factor in the success of your school. When you take the time to improve yourself, everyone involved in your school will benefit. Lead by example and continue to grow as an instructor, a mentor, a leader and as a student.

As much as we focus on our business and growing our school, we must focus, too, on what matters the most. When you concentrate on the success of others—and on giving rather than receiving—you’ll find that you will be far more fulfilled.

Perhaps British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said it best: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me.



Jason Flame can be reached at (805) 657-1775 or [email protected]






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