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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 5 Mindsets of Martial Arts School Success, Part 2

Last month, we discussed the first three mindsets of a successful martial arts school.

 

They were:

 

  1. We are the friendliest place in town.

 

  1. We are the cleanest place in town.

 

  1. We only teach great classes, never just good ones.

 

This month, we’ll address mindsets four and five.

 

  1. We are excellent at student/parent communication. It has been great to see how the level of professionalism has improved in our industry over the last 40 years. Clearly, we have learned a lot about running a friendly, clean school with great classes.

 

With that said, if there’s one area that we are still weak in as an industry, it is student/parent communication.

What I’m referring to here is the importance of giving consistent, quality feedback to all of our students and their parents on their progress. We do this by sharing with them what they are doing well and how they can become better. As simple as this may sound, it’s extremely...

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“L” is for Levity

This month, let’s discuss levity and its role in leadership and teams.

 

“Levity” is “cheerfulness” or “enjoyment.” As we work and try to manage successful businesses, it’s easy to lose sight of just having fun. Honestly, there are some days when we fight just to get out of bed.

 

However, there are always moments when some joyfulness and laughter can be found. Even when things seem hard or crazy, you have to be intentional in finding levity. Allow me to share a wild but true story.

 

In my previous column series, “Pop’s Pearls of Wisdom,” I stated that my parents owned liquor stores and then motels. One day, my dad and I were working the front desk at the motel when he received a call from a customer. The client complained that there was a rat in his room.

 

We were quite thorough about pest control and cleanliness. My dad was tired from several days of rowdy customers and the previous...

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10 Things Your Attorney Doesn’t Want You To Know, Part 1

lesson learned Dec 04, 2018

Attorneys are vital to the success and continued viability of your school. However, there is always an inherent and unavoidable conflict between you and your attorney. Any time people are paid for a service or you pay for a service, each party will act to protect his/her best financial interests.

 

Here’s my list of 10 things (some related to fees and some not) that your attorney would rather you not know (or ignore):

 

  1. All Fees Are Negotiable

I don’t charge the same hourly rate for all types of cases. Litigation is not charged at the same level as would assistance in filing administrative documents.

 

Let’s be honest. All things an attorney does don’t require similar sets of skills. Similarly, it never hurts to attempt to negotiate a reduced rate. If you’re a new client or even one that has a longstanding relationship, asking for a discount, or even a flat fee, is a possibility. As my father always said, “The answer to an...

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A Time for Everything

motivation Dec 04, 2018

This time of year I always think of my late friend, Ron Lyle. If you know boxing, then you know of Ron Lyle. But I don’t know him from that perspective. I know him from a different perspective that perhaps no one else would have even paid attention to.

 

World Heavyweight Champion contender Ron Lyle just happened to grow up in the neighborhood where I teach my inner- city martial arts program in Denver, CO. I always wondered who the older black guy was in the back of the room watching me teach classes. He didn’t say anything. He just watched and would emulate my moves as if he was trying to remember them.

 

When I found out that it was Ron Lyle, who was also teaching the boxing program downstairs, it became a running joke of “who could beat up who” if we both got in the ring. He always smiled and said I would win.

 

Over the next few years, we would spend many hours during the center’s down time talking about a lot of life, past and...

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Patrick Wrenn: Discovering He Could Not Quit Karate

motivation Dec 04, 2018

In 1974, Patrick Wrenn was invited by Elvis Presley, Elvis sidekick/bodyguard Red West and Bill “Superfoot” Wallace to help establish what has since been called “the greatest martial arts school of all time.” It’s the 4,300-square-foot, Memphis-based Tennessee Karate Institute (TKI). The original TKI only lasted four years, but, 39 years later, Wrenn has reopened it at its original location as part museum/part school.

Recipient of the Martial Arts Lifetime Achievement Award and Joe Lewis Eternal Warrior, the indomitable 10th-dan Wrenn has continued over the years to teach his Combative Arts despite continuous injuries and ill-health.

 

Herb Borkland: Where did you grow up, and what did yourdad do?

 

Patrick Wrenn: I was born in Massachusetts and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. My father was a self-made, multimillionaire real-estate developer.

 

After college, I went into business for myself importing birds of prey, reptiles and saltwater...

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You Hurt His Feelings,So His Mom Sues You!

lesson learned Dec 04, 2018

 

 

Many of us like to help other people. We are in a teaching art. My instructor told me years ago that the best way to learn our martial art is to teach it. I’ve been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to share what I’ve learned in the studio with the ranks coming up behind me.

 

I’ve also noticed that many of us who share our martial art with others often help people. We know the value of martial arts to change and empower people. One of the studio owners I’ve spoken to recently is exactly that kind of person.

 

He had the opportunity to bring a child into the school that was struggling with social skills. The child was struggling with home-life and academic problems, and bullying by other kids. Those types of problems usually occur together for kids.

 

The studio owner had a lot of heart for this child. So, the child was brought in on a scholarship and was enthusiastic about class. He made sure his mom got him to...

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Put a Sleek Ninja in Your School

Fitness icon Eric Fleishman (a.k.a. “Eric the Trainer”) has earned celebrity status among his pumping-iron peers and Hollywood’s elite with his unique training programs. Also a high-ranking black belt, Fleishman has combined his two biggest passions to create “Sleek Ninja,” a fitness program designed especially for martial artists and school owners.

 

 By Terry L. Wilson

 

 

CREATING NEW CLIENTS WITH SLEEK NINJA

After earning black belt status in multiple disciplines, Los Angeles’ Eric Fleishman (pronounced, fleesh’man) saw a way for schools of any style or system to upgrade their fitness program and make a profit in the process.

“My martial arts background spans nearly 40 years,” says Fleishman. “Combine that with my being a Hollywood physique expert, creating Sleek Ninja was a natural fit.

“When I heard that martial arts dojos across America were starting to feel a financial crunch because of the...

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How to Be Crystal-Clear on Your Goal to Get More Students

Every year, many school owners ask, “How do I get more students?” To properly answer this question, you have to keep in mind this maxim: “To be terrific, we must be more specific.” So, let’s do a couple of things in this column to be more specific with the student base that you want. As your consultant and someone who teaches the Law of Attraction, I would ask you, among other key questions:

 

“Do you want students who pay late or more students who don’t pay at all? Do you want more children, teens or adults? Younger or older children? Children with learning challenges? Students who are always late for classes? Parents who leave their children at your school well after their class is over? Students with bad hygiene?”

 

With these answers, you are building a Clarity List, using contrast (people, places, events you don’t like) to get a clear vision of the students you want to manifest. Remember, contrast creates clarity,...

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Mastery of the Mat: 5 Ways to Improve Your Teaching!

“Who’s the Master?” No, that isn’t just a callback to the famous line in The Last Dragon. That’s the question new students and their families have when they walk into your dojo. Our job as teachers and school owners is to show them a professional level of service in teaching the martial arts. Here are the three tips to do exactly that.

 

By Justin L. Ford

 

Your school’s revenue comes from. . .

What? I’m waiting.

Meditate on this.

You could trace your school’s revenue to the tuition payments that get made, and the activities and events you host, the merchandisesales and testing fees, etc. But while there are plenty of different streams your money can flow in from, it all boils down to one source:

students.

It’s important to remember that your school is driven by your students. And while big classes don’t automatically equate to big bucks for your school, having lots of students is definitely a step in the right...

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The Champion Who Conquered the Ring and the School Business!

marketing motivation Dec 04, 2018

Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, legendary fighter Jeff Smith pulled off a dual goal unprecedented back then and extremely rare even today. He became a world kickboxing champion while simultaneously mastering the martial arts school business! Furthermore, he pioneered savvy business techniques still practiced by current school owners. Read Smith’s extraordinary story and prepare to come away inspired! 

 

By Herb Borkland

 

In the early 1960s, when Americans were first meeting the Beatles, Jhoon Rhee, the “Father of American Taekwondo,” owned four schools in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland. He also regularly traveled around the country to a dozen taekwondo clubs, where he tested students trained by some of his black belts. One such club was located in Kingsville at Texas A&M University, where teenaged Jeff Smith’s mother worked and Jeff delivered daily newspapers.

“One day on my route, I noticed a sign for a karate...

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