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MAIA Team Member Spotlight: Cris Rodriguez

maia marketing mentor Jun 03, 2019

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! 

Cris Rodriguez is one of the newest additions to the MAIA team, so you may not know her yet – but you will! If you’re attending the 2019 Martial Arts SuperShow, you’ll have the chance to meet her in person and attend her seminar, but in the meantime, let this interview be your introduction.


How did you come to team up with MAIA?

In 2015, my wife Stephanie and I went to a MAIA Seminar in Tampa hosted by Mr. Frank Silverman. At the end of the seminar he suggested we meet with his business partner, Mr. Mike Metzger, because he thought he’d be a great mentor for us. We drove over to Orlando the next week to meet with Mr. Metzger. After spending about five minutes with him, we knew that he was the mentor that we needed!


We have been working with MAIA Elite (and now MAIA Wealth) and Mr. Metzger for the past four years. It was a decision that forever changed our Academy and our lives for the better! Over the past 10 years, I have been obsessed with personal development and digital marketing and have used my skill set to help drive traffic into our martial arts schools as well as launch multiple online businesses.


Mr. Metzger has been following my journey very closely and knew that digital marketing was a missing piece on the MAIA Team, so he waited until he thought I was ready, then invited me to be a part of the team. To be able to now call my mentor a colleague has been awe-inspiring.


Can you tell us a little bit about what you’ve got planned with MAIA (the 8-Week

Marketing Mastermind Course or MAIA Foundations)?

The 8-Week Marketing Mastermind is an intensive, live course where we deep dive into Facebook Advertising, Instagram, and Google - the three main platforms that all martial arts academies should be leveraging to drive traffic, build their tribes, and ultimately, thrive!


So many martial arts school owners are struggling with online marketing. Being a teacher at heart, these live courses allow me to take my passion for digital marketing and my passion for teaching and help change the way hundreds of schools are advertising and representing their brand online.


What business experience did you have before joining MAIA?

In high school, I got bit by the entrepreneurial bug. My friend and I started a DJ business (Hit & Run Entertainment) where we charged $100 per hour for house parties. We were booked almost every weekend and it was my first real taste of being an entrepreneur.


However, I knew at a very early age that I wanted to own and operate a martial arts school. I’ve worked as a paid employee of a martial arts school since I was 15 years old and it’s the only “job” I’ve ever really known. I bring to the table 24 years of martial arts experience, and 19 years of instructing and operating martial arts schools.

Over the past 4 years, I have launched three online businesses:

  • Jitz University - an online platform for BJJ school owners with my wife Stephanie, and business partner David.
  • The A Team Mastermind - an online group coaching and consulting company.
  • Grow Pro Agency - a social media agency that runs Facebook ads for martial arts school owners.


What are some common problems you see among school owners?

People are working too hard IN their academies and not enough ON their academies. Before working with MAIA and Mr. Metzger, I owned a job. Now, I own a business.


What is the single best piece of advice, overall, you give your clients?

I believe there are two “secrets” to gaining success quickly:

1 - Find a mentor whose core values are in line with yours and do what they say.

2 - Find an accountability partner to help keep you motivated and inspired.


What martial arts do you or have you trained in?

I am black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a 3rd-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.


What got you interested in martial arts?

My Mom did judo in the Bronx when she was a child and would talk to me about it when I was growing up. When I was four years old, she would take an aerobics class at the YMCA and in the room next door was a martial arts class. I would watch in awe. One day she picked me up from school and asked me if I wanted to try martial arts. That day was March 15, 1993, and it was a day that forever changed the course of my life


What are you most excited for about the SuperShow in 2019?

Speaking! This will be the largest group I have had an opportunity to present in front of and I’m ready to blow everyone’s minds with actionable steps to help them improve their online marketing.


What are you presenting at the SuperShow this year?

Digital Marketing 101: How to use Facebook and Google to Get More Students!



If you could address every school owner in the country in person, what would you tell them?

Comfort is the enemy to ultra-success… get comfortable being uncomfortable.


Finally, tell us one fun fact or piece of trivia about yourself!

I love playing World of Warcraft!


It's not too late to get your tickets to the 2019 Martial Arts SuperShow! Don't miss out on your chance to network, train, and learn from industry and business pros like Cris. Secure your spot now!

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