If you're reading this blog, chances are, you're familiar with MAIA, or the Martial Arts Industry Association. But just because you know MAIA as an organization, you may not be familiar with all the individual team members. They do an amazing job, and are just as passionate about the work they do as you are. We're making this series of blog posts to shine the light on our MAIA team members and the amazing work they do!
Kurt Klingenmeyer is a regular contributor to our Consultant’s Corner column in MASuccess. You may also have seen him at the SuperShow, where he’s been both an attendee and, for two years, as a speaker! He’ll be a seminar presenter at the 2019 Show, and in the meantime, you can learn more about him here!
What martial art do you train in?
I’ve trained in traditional Shorei-Ryu karate for over 30 years now, and have earned a 4th-degree black belt.
What inspired you to start training martial arts?
As a child, I started reading books about karate from my elementary school library because I was being bullied at school. After my parents saw me trying to teach myself karate in our basement, they realized just how much I really wanted to learn martial arts. They enrolled me in classes at our local dojo, and I was immediately hooked!
What business experience did you have before becoming a MAIA consultant?
Before becoming a consultant, I was an elementary school teacher-turned-entrepreneur. I launched two martial arts schools, hired several full-time employees with 401k & healthcare benefits, while also branching into real estate investment.
How long have you been a MAIA Elite Consultant?
I first joined the team as a MAIA Elite Consultant after the 2018 Martial Arts SuperShow! It’s been a great first year working with school owners around the country.
What part of your work do you enjoy the most?
As a consultant, I get to help school owners attain their goals and dreams. Helping someone achieve their goal of changing their current part-time job into a career as a full-time martial arts school owner, or helping them enroll another 50 or 100 students, is an incredible feeling.
What topics are your specialties?
Because of my background in education, my prime specialty is helping martial arts schools partner with local school districts. As a former teacher, I know that schools are looking for different kinds of support: anti-bullying programs, character development instruction, fundraisers, and so on. Having worked on both sides of that partnership, I know how to better develop those relationships into something that is mutually beneficial. In our town, we have raised over $25,000 for schools and donated over seven tons of school supplies.
What are some common problems you see among school owners?
Every black belt knows how to teach martial arts, but most are first-time business owners. Many people want support navigating business systems that will help them grow their schools. Most school owners have a specific goal in mind. Sometimes it’s enrolling more students, hiring staff, making this your career, etc. But unfortunately, most are “winging it.” This can often slow their potential by months, or even years, when compared to proven systems that have worked for schools all over the country.
What is the single best piece of advice, overall, you give your clients?
Building a solid foundation of systems in your martial arts school will lay the groundwork for years to come. While it will take more time up front, making a few key changes will make all the difference in the long run. Don’t be afraid to try something new!
What are you presenting at the SuperShow this year?
For this year’s SuperShow, I will be discussing how to turn potential student leads into enrollments--on their very first visit. We’ll talk about the enrollment process and give you the steps you need to implement our systems after returning home.
If you could address every school owner in the country in person, what would you tell them?
If you have goals for your martial arts school (whether it’s developing future world champions, enrolling 50 new students, or making martial arts your full-time career), find someone who has the know-how and the ability to help you achieve your goals. Having a mentor or a coach will help you turn decades into days by learning from their experiences and knowledge.
Finally, tell us one fun fact or piece of trivia about yourself!
Before taking the leap into becoming a full-time martial arts school owner, I was an elementary school band and orchestra teacher for ten years. I have both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music education. As a musician, I played with several funk/soul bands and traveled nationally while performing with drum and bugle corps.
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