by Herb Borkland
Illinois’ John Sharkey is in charge of overseeing all departments within the American Karate Association (AKA). He began studying martial arts in 1965, opened his first school in 1973, when he was a brown belt junior in high school, and a second location in 1976. He was elected president of the AKA in 1977 with the enthusiastic support of AKAfounder Ken Knudson.
John Sharkey: I grew up south of Chicago in Momence, Illinois. My father was an industrial parts
buyer who trained in karate and knew [controversial 1960s martial arts pioneer] John
Keehan, a.k.a., “Count Dante.”
I had a falling out with my instructor because I’d opened my own school. So, I contacted AKA
Founder and President Ken Knudson, who tried me out running a school and then asked me to
At 21, I didn’t feel ready. I struggled because of my age, looking to coordinate men 20 years my
senior. The workload was endless. So, I...
by Karen Eden
My dog is from the local dog pound. He is a very expensive breed-combination of American Eskimo and cattle dog. Somebody bred him with the intention of showing him in competition. But there was just one problem: he came out blemished.
It’s as if somebody spilled coffee on his nose. The poor dog is a throwback,and it’s something he had no control over. But there’s a beautiful side to this story. My dog couldn’t care less. He thinks he’s great, and evidently that’s all that matters. It seems that all of my dogs have taught me a lesson or two at one time or another.
There was the time that I was asked to serve my country through the department of Homeland Security. It was shortly after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and there was a need for females to teach anti-terrorist tactical maneuvers. I was truly honored and excited. But I also...
by Melissa Torres
It was February in Oklahoma City when I was listening to news reports of an ice storm heading my way. I had a flight scheduled to take me to my first MAIA Elite event in sunny Orlando, Florida. And, fortunately, I was able to escape the city just before the storm hit.
It was perfect weather in Florida. But I wasn’t there for vacation, I was there to work. I had the opportunity to hear the MAIA consultants speak and I realized why I’m so thankful I took this job. Each day, I left the sessions inspired and motivated, along with a number of school owners in attendance to focus on their growth and financial future. One thing that really hit home for me was the importance of setting goals for myself.
I got home and decided to dig deeper into goal-setting and the concept of positive thinking to achieve those goals. I started reading a book by success coach and...
by Frank Silverman
As we approach the Martial Arts SuperShow, scheduled for July 1-3 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, I want to give one last push for everyone to sign up. As you have heard before regarding not only this but events similar to it, you only need one great idea to make the trip both worthwhile and affordable. Think about it. If you enroll just two students at a rate of $100 a month, and your average member stays only eight months, that amounts to $1,600.
My guess is you can pay for your SuperShow ticket, two hotel nights and airfare for less than $1,200. And any good idea will surely generate more than two new members.
That said, I have a way to guarantee that you get far more than just a few members and return home with the other big “problem” — having too many ideas! (I’ve heard that before and I think it’s the world’s worst...
Want to grow your school, improve your teaching, excite your staff, and train with some of the best martial artists and business people in the industry? Attend the Martial Arts SuperShow in Las Vegas this July! We asked two instructors and business owners from last year's convention to weigh in on their thoughts. Here's what they said.
By: David Barnett
Each year, the Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA) stages the premier training and networking event for martial arts instructors and school owners, the Martial Arts SuperShow.
Is your school growing the way you want it to, or are you struggling with your business? Are you excited every day when you head to your school, or are you missing the enthusiasm you used to have?
Whether you’re happy or not, maybe you aren’t entirely satisfied. You know there’s always room for growth and improvement, the same lesson we try to instill in our students every day.
Are you asking yourself questions...
He is perhaps the most celebrated traditional sensei in America today, and for good reason. Master Fumio Demura was the first professional martial arts showman. He wrote the first best-selling books on Okinawan weapons. He was the inspiration (and stunt double!) for Mr. Miyagi in the original Karate Kid films. And he was a champion fighter back in his native Japan. This year, we’ll celebrate this living legend’s legacy at the 2018 Martial Arts SuperShow.
As a youth, Master Fumio Demura was so shy he couldn‘t speak without stuttering. He was so frail that he flunked his first white belt test. When he immigrated to the United States in 1965 to introduce shito-ryu karate to Americans, he so struggled with learning English that it brought him to tears. Yet Master Demura, 79, overcame all of these obstacles and rose to astonishing heights in our industry. For decades, and all over the Western world, he’s been universally heralded as a superb technician, a dynamic...
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