MMA has fought countless rounds since it was derisively called “human cockfighting” many years ago. It’s now a recognized pro sport with schools teaching it springing up all over the country. However, while some are tapping out of business soon after opening, Orlando’s Jungle MMA and Fitness boasts 400 active students and is on a steady path to being the Ultimate Financial Champion!
This is a tale about myths. Now, believing in myths can anchor one into inaction through fear or, for those souls brave enough to discount them, it can springboard you to future success. One of the most widespread myths currently sweeping through the martial arts industry is this:
“You can’t make any money running an MMA school! It’s not a recognized traditional martial art that is kid friendly.”
It’s true that many MMA schools in the past, even some founded by major UFC champions, went out of business. That’s because most of them didn’t bother to learn how to run a business in the first place. They got in over their heads right from the start, discovered that MMA fans weren’t interested in actually training, and could never recover.
Despite the criticism, Orlando, Florida based Jungle MMA and Fitness is succeeding .For 10 years Mike Lee and his partner, former standout UFC-fighter Seth Petruzelli have proved critics wrong and have even opened a second Orlando school and a third in Lake Mary, Florida. They boast 400 active students and they gross about $540,000 a year.
The partners credit much of their success to the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” of martial arts, Mike Metzger, who helped them pull off a Jedi-level mindshift. Metzger showed them how they could be taken seriously, as an MMA school and be more of a professional business. To do this, he changed the entire focus of The Jungle’s business model.
The first change was to start marketing in a more focused and fruitful manner. No longer would they be marketing solely to draw in fighters or the “hardcore” fight fans. Lee and Petruzelli started teaching more introductory lessons and hundreds of people signed up.
After learning how to draw in more students the duo started focusing on keeping students in the school. They did this by promoting.
Their next target was to bring in more children and adolescents, the future of MMa schools. They did this through social media and their website mainly using Google and Facebook ads.
School owners Lee and Petruzelli have proved that long-standing myths about MMA schools aren’t always true. They have won the day by making their business a big success, providing quality instruction and producing champions. In these days of anti-heroes, Internet critics and general cynicism in society, isn’t it great to read an old-fashioned story where the good guys win?
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