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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".

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The Value of Yielding

mentor Oct 06, 2019

by Nguyen “Tom” Griggs

 

In this column, I would like to share some perspectives on the value of yielding when it comes to working with others. First, I must make a distinction between yielding and surrendering.

In Japanese jujitsu, the principle of yielding is often essential to the proper execution of a technique and the successful defense of oneself. Yielding can be understood as going with another person’s energy or movement instead of fighting it. Surrendering means giving up and letting the other side have its way at your expense. I hope this helps you see how these two concepts differ.

When I was in my early 20s, I earned my MBA. Our family insurance agent helped me get a job at a local firm. When I left, I went to work for a much larger corporation. My manager — I’ll call him Phil — was a great example of how not to act as a leader.

Phil was self-righteously moralizing, inconsistently strict and condescending. The worst part was, he...

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Affordable Ways to Grow Your Martial Arts School

by Kurt Klingenmeyer, MAIA Consultant

 

Over the past year, I’ve had the incredible experience of working with many growing martial arts schools via MAIA’s Small School Forum. It’s a dedicated Facebook group for school owners with 80 or fewer students. The forum provides tools and advice to help them develop their schools.

One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How do I grow my martial arts school with only a small budget?” The following are five proven ways to do that.

 

Lead Boxes

This is an old-school form of marketing, but it always delivers results. Visit 10 local businesses that are community owned and tell the owners that you have students and families who may be interested in them. Ask if they have any business materials you could place at the front desk in your dojo.

If they have materials to share, ask if they can reciprocate by allowing you to leave a lead box on their counter. On the outside of the box, feature an enticing...

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The Power of Coaching

by Melissa Torres, MAIA Division Manager

 

There’s an old saying about coaching from the late, great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden that I think about a lot when it comes to MAIA: “A good coach can change the game; a great coach can change a life.”

The quote strikes a chord with me. A good coach can help you become better at your hobby or career, but a great coach can instill something deeper. Something life-changing. Something that alters the course of your world forever and opens your mind to possibilities never before seen.

Here at MAIA, we truly believe that great coaching and mentoring can be the catalyst for unexpected growth and life-changing discoveries. We understand that no man or woman is an island. We did not get where are today by ourselves. We all needed some help along the way.

That’s why we recently rolled out a new feature on the MAIA website that’s going to allow us to better connect with you for coaching. With this addition,...

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To Retain the Best, You Have to Give Your Best!

by Chris Rappold

 

It is always exciting to enroll new students. In most cases, it’s a fresh start with no history, only the promise of a bright martial arts future. The students enter your school and take their first class, receive their first promotions and win their first trophies. Everything is new and exciting.

Through continued hard work — both yours and the students’ — they continue to advance. At first, you may have just one advanced student, but in what seems like no time, you have a class full of brown and black belts. It’s a dream come true.

Then, without warning, one of those advanced students, perhaps even one you had mentally tagged as an assistant instructor, discontinues training. You feel like you got punched in the stomach. Why would the person suddenly stop training? Isn’t this what he or she always wanted? Why would the student come so far, only to quit? These questions and others race through your mind.

While you’ll...

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Ideas for Holding a Dojo Halloween Party

mentor Oct 04, 2019

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. This is the story of Project Dojo co-founder Michelle Hodnett’s experiences in her martial art journey.

 

Halloween is a childhood-favorite holiday. However, due to the dangers in today’s world, many parents aren’t comfortable with the idea of letting their children roam around after dark. And, unfortunately, many children live in neighborhoods that are genuinely unsafe. Holding a Halloween event at your dojo gives them a safe way to enjoy Halloween, and gives all your students a family-friendly, fun event! Also, making your event open to the public, or giving your students “tickets” to use to invite friends, is a great way to get new...

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Get Your Dojo on the Map — Or Make a New Map!

marketing Oct 03, 2019

by Eric P. Fleishman

 

Running a martial arts school can be challenging. Before you can teach the most basic of techniques, you must lease a school, obtain proper signage, build a website and enroll your first students.

The fight doesn’t end there. Now you have to expand your enrollment, keep those signs maintained, promote your business online and see to the upkeep of the property. This constant “battle of the business” can leave you so weary that the joys of teaching in general and shaping young minds in particular are lost.

That’s why it’s imperative to create a plan grow your school. One of the most important components of that plan will be promoting your dojo in every way possible, including on local television, in local newspapers and on websites that feature local news. Even if you operate a traditional martial arts school, you are not limited to traditional advertising.

So how do you go about orchestrating this positive PR blitz? Here are...

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Life Lessons From When I Was a White Belt

mentor motivation Oct 02, 2019

by Karen Eden

 

One of the hardest things for me to master during my time as a TV news reporter was learning to “hurry up and wait.” You have to hurry up and get to the scene so you don’t miss anything. But once you get there, you just stand around — sometimes for hours. You try to figure out what’s really going on, which information is relevant and which is superfluous, whom you can interview and how you can get them to talk.

That’s usually the way it is when it comes to covering any kind of breaking news. As I’m sure my directors would attest, it was never my favorite thing to do.

Seasoned reporters are the best at this. They can show up and wait from high noon until sunset — and still present the story with smiles on their faces. Why? Because they’ve done it a million times, and they don’t even entertain the thought of going back empty-handed. They’ll find a way to get people to talk and to get that story on...

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Increase Your Year-End Revenue With A Holiday Event!

free resource Oct 02, 2019

Now that October is here, it's time to begin planning your biggest event of the year: the Holiday Event. Download our free Holiday Event Planner here.

 

By: The MAIA & Century Team

The 2019 holiday season is right around the corner!

If you’re not ready yet, it’s time to start wrapping your head around the idea of holding your school’s largest event of the year.

But how do you have a successful holiday event? Where do you begin? What are the benefits? What is the best day to hold the event?

There are so many questions that need answers – and that’s where the Holiday Event Planner comes in! Whether you’re a longtime fan of the planner or you’ve never even held a holiday sale before, this handy guide has everything you need in a convenient step-by-step format. Download yours here now!

Words of Wisdom from MAIA Executive Director Frank Silverman:

“People are looking for holiday shopping events anyway, if you don’t...

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Balance the New With the Old

by Kathy Olevsky

 

I’ve operated a martial arts school full time for 45 years. I may have made every mistake that can be made in this business. The reason I’m still in business, I believe, is I asked for help. I learned quickly that others before me had already found solutions. In this column, I’ll point out key mistakes I made in my career, which are common errors among school owners, both large and small, throughout our industry. And I’ll share the solutions I used to overcome them.

 

Over the years, I have realized the importance of balancing the addition of new things with the maintenance of tradition and integrity. In my school’s karate program, we adhere to the same high standards as we always have. The black belt of today is the same as the black belt of many years ago. However, many of our students also partake in our yoga-stretch class, our cardio-fitness class, and our judo and jujitsu classes.

In this industry, it’s essential...

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The Beginner’s Mind: How Black-Belt Teachers Can Benefit From Adopting a White-Belt Mentality

mentor retention Oct 02, 2019

by Justin Lee Ford

 

Shoshin is a word one encounters in the traditional Japanese martial arts, as well as in Buddhism. It doesn’t refer to a technique or form; rather, it’s a general concept. Translated, it means “beginner’s mind.” The term is used to remind practitioners to keep an open mind akin to that of a beginner in any endeavor.

In the martial arts, having a beginner’s mind can foster humility and make you receptive to new ideas. In the business of martial arts, having a beginner’s mind can help you connect with new students and retain current students.

How so? When you, as a martial arts instructor, remind yourself of what it’s like to start learning a new physical pursuit, you better connect with white belts. This is because there are many things newcomers don’t know but you take for granted. Adopting a beginner’s mind reacquaints you with their stage of training, and it aids you when it’s time to...

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