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".
Anyone who has been reading my column over the years knows that I don’t jump into political debates or hot topics. I have no issue discussing them, but written articles are one-sided and the opportunity to debate doesn’t exist, so I don’t use this avenue for such.
I’m not sure a discussion of small schools and large schools is a “hot topic,” but I do know that, depending on how the topic is approached, it gets people fired up. Ever since the martial arts industry in North America got started, this schism, real or imaginary, has continued to get airtime – especially in this heyday of social media, where we do most of our “talking” from the safety of our keyboards.
First and foremost, it’s important to remind ourselves that we are all in the same industry and throwing stones at one another is counterproductive. Big school, small school, teaching out of a garage or owning multiple locations – it really doesn’t...
By Kathy Olevsky
I've been operating a martial arts school full time for 35 years. I think I may have made every mistake that can be made in this business. The reason I'm still in business, I believe, is because I asked for help. I learned quickly that others before me had already found solutions. In this reality-based column, I'll point out key mistakes I made in my business career, which are common errors among school owners, both large and small, throughout our industry. Then I’ll share the solutions I applied to overcome them.
How many times has something negative been said about you by another martial arts school owner or by the student of another school in your area? I’ve heard this complaint from various martial arts school owners. Some degree of rivalry is inevitable, but it can lead some people to aggressively criticize others. In reality, this is a form of adult bullying.
I have had this happen multiple times over the years. Most often, the...
By Christopher Rappold
There’s an old business adage that reads, “It costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer.” And when it comes to operating a martial arts school, it has never been more true.
Think about it – what does it cost you in actual dollars to get a new student? Even if your school has great systems in place, and you only spend time, effort and energy doing low- or no-cost activities, you have to admit that it is still labor intensive.
Now, contrast that with taking steps to ensure that your students are making progress and moving towards their goals – something you should be doing anyway. When you compare actual time and money spent keeping students on track to their goals versus the efforts and money it takes to add a student, it may make you take a second look at how you prioritize your time.
Try some quick math. Review all the memberships you have in your school. How many...
By Philip E. Goss, Jr., Esq.
Ah, the standard contract! How many of you reading this column have used that term many times in the past, or believe that such a document exists? Frequently, clients call me seeking my review of a vendor contract or other written obligations, which is described by the client as a “standard contract.” Urban legend holds that there exists a document known as the “standard contract” that abides by with some form of legal standard consistent worldwide.
We can all agree that 12 inches equals one U.S. foot and that 2.2 pounds equals one international kilogram. But there is no document with terms and conditions that coalesce into a “standard contract.” While many contracts set forth similar language, none are ever the same.
Neither contracts nor written obligations need be complicated. But, to be enforceable, each must set forth the “parties” to the agreement, the “subject matter” of the...
By Beth A. Block
I’ve talked to many studio owners about security cameras. When we begin, the owner sees all the positives. I see the positives, too. I also see the negatives.
One of the first positives is the security. One of my clients was robbed. The robber wasn’t the brightest criminal. He looked straight into the camera before shooting it. The local police caught him within hours.
In another case, the studio owner found the cameras were a great training tool. She could not understand why new students were leaving so her school quickly. A review of 30 days of film showed she had an instructor using old-school discipline on her students.
She spent a couple of weeks working closely with this instructor to improve his methods. Now, he gets more positive feedback on...
Two of the greatest iconic fighters have had their methods combined to form the Superfoot-Joe Lewis Martial Arts Systems. This unique system merges the celebrated fighting styles of Bill Wallace and the late Joe Lewis into some of the world’s most effective martial arts techniques. This brilliant combination of fighting knowledge and skills will be introduced on a large scale at this year’s Martial Arts SuperShow in Las Vegas!
By Suzanne Pisano
Learning from the Legends
Bill Wallace and Joe Lewis met in 1968, when both were competing at the World Professional Karate Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. Lewis noted that he and Wallace had a similar stance. It turned out that, while serving in the military in Okinawa, Wallace in the Air Force and Lewis in the Marines, both had studied shorin-ryu karate with the same sensei — Master Eizo Shimabukuro.
So began a close and loyal friendship that lasted until Lewis' death in 2012 at the age of 68. The...
Do you want to grow your school, improve your teaching, excite your staff, and train with some of the best martial artists and best business people in the industry? Attend the Martial Arts SuperShow in Las Vegas this summer, June 30-July 3. It will be the best investment you make in time and money for your business this year!
The proof? Freelance journalist David Barnett to interview instructors and school owners from last year's convention — without any input from us. Here’s how they used what they learned at 2018’s MASuperShow to improve their profits and professionalism.
By David Barnett
The 2019 MASuperShow is the place to find your answers. Whatever you’re looking to learn or accomplish, you’ll find it in Las Vegas this summer. From opportunities to learn from the biggest and brightest (and most successful!) school owners in the country, to the chance to train with some of the best living martial artists, there’s...
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...
The nicest instructor in BJJ offers some insights into his teaching methods, his famous students like Keanu Reeves and Stephan “Wonderboy” Thompson, how to succeed in business and what he has in store for the MAIA SuperShow.
by Perry William Kelly
“Life in the martial arts is all about opportunities. Each student offers the instructor the chance to make a difference. His or her life will be changed if you do it right. In the process, your life will be changed as well. It is the greatest reward to make a living by changing lives.”
- excerpt from Carlos Machado’s Putting the Pieces Together: Truths You Learn AFTER You Get Your Butt Kicked!
While growing up, Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Carlos Machado’s nickname was Soneca (Sleepy) for the naps he used to take between training sessions. It’s good that he took the chance to rest while he had it, because these days, everyone wants to roll with now-black belt and...
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