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.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday life of running a martial arts school that we often forget the key components of our success in the arts. When running a business, certain issues rise to the top and get our attention. It’s easy to assume that these are the important issues. In reality, the things we let sink to the bottom are often the ones that make or break us.
In the early days of owning my first dojo, my instructor used to say, “You...
by Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
In this installment of Black Belt Leadership, we’ll discuss the power and versatility of the word “no.” Being on the giving end and the receiving end of a “no” can be difficult. Leaders know all too well the hardships of having to give someone a negative answer when the person really wants you to help. On the other side, being told “no” when you’re wishing for a definitive “yes” can sting.
However, it’s essential to understand that “no” can be helpful in a variety of ways. In Start with NO ... The Negotiating Tools That the Pros Don’t Want You to Know, by Jim Camp, we’re reminded that “no” is a powerful tool for setting boundaries and creating opportunities for learning and growth.
Many people have learned how to elicit several small “yes” responses from someone and then turn those into the big “yes” they were seeking...
Worried about the coronavirus closing down your school? Download the Financial Check List and learn what we recommend to do should you hit a pinch. Download the COVID-19 Financial Checklist
By: Frank Silverman, MAIA Executive Director
With the coronavirus now having a global effect on the world population, there has never been a stranger and more troublesome time for the small business. Fear is widespread and people are actively being told to stay home.
That’s why we want you to be prepared in case you are asked or required to close your school. So download this quick checklist to help you in the event you have to shut down.
Here is my Facebook from earlier today if you want to watch what I recommend.
by Kathy Olevsky
We all know someone who seems to stir up drama like it’s their job. There’s one in every dojo. Sometimes this person is your most talented student, so you try to overlook the attitude you get on or off the floor. Sometimes this person is the family member paying for several of your students, so you grin and bear it for the sake of income. Sometimes this person is the parent of a student who excels in class and who personally does not give you any problems. Whoever he or she is, such a person is the cause of “dojo drama.”
You can ignore the person or make excuses, but sooner or later you have to make a decision. In the second scenario, you might decide that the monthly tuition for multiple students is worth putting up with the drama-causer who’s footing the bill.
However, the decision is more difficult when it involves a student who has talent you want to keep but an attitude you want to lose. When a student belittles others in...
by Philip E. Goss Jr., Esq.
I am all at once amazed, befuddled, frightened and impressed by one of the most common things I see people do: rely completely on their cellphone for maintaining their schedule, paying bills, navigating unfamiliar terrain and God knows what else. They do all this with the apparent confidence that every action they complete, including executing legally binding agreements, is made valid by the mere fact that it’s accomplished through technology.
Much of my hesitancy to develop comfort with a paperless world was hardwired into me by my early office experiences. My formative years occurred when fax machines were the size of small refrigerators and printer paper was secured by steel teeth running on parallel tracks, requiring the removal of serrated edges before use. If you really needed to get a document somewhere in a hurry, you had to use a company that guaranteed overnight delivery. No email for the masses in the early 1980s!
The definition of...
by Karen Eden
One of my contributions to community service is that I volunteer as a hospital chaplain every week. I see about a hundred people from all walks of life during this time, and they all have something in common: Either their bodies have reached a state of disrepair or they’ve come to the point where their bodies are failing them. I find the job very rewarding. I am often the last person to hold a hand before someone takes either their next step in life or their final step in life.
But there was one particular visitation that left me pondering for days. A 91-year-old woman was hospitalized for congestive heart failure. She was old, and her heart was giving out. Yet there was something about her that struck me differently than did the other patients.
“I gotta tell you,” I said. “You have a difference presence about you — were you famous or something?”
She paused and looked back at me. “Well, yes, but that was a long time...
by Beth A. Block
The next time you’re in your school, set aside five minutes for a tour of the space. Look at everything: the entryway, guest area, office, bathrooms and floor. Try to see it all through the eyes of someone who’s never been inside your building before. Take some notes on what you see. When you’re done, come back and pick this column up again.
OK, ready? Check your notes. Do they include the need to clean the entryway floors? Did you see a leaky faucet in the bathroom? A leak in a ceiling tile? An exposed sharp counter edge? Did you notice whether plug protectors are in the unused electrical outlets? Are there support pillars from the floor to ceiling? Where are they located, and are they padded?
During my years in martial arts studios, I’ve seen students and guests get hurt in many ways. One incident involved a studio that had a 15-year-old fall into a steel support pole. This student was participating in the adult class. On this...
by Eric P. Fleishman
You started this journey years ago as a student with a deep desire to learn all the beautiful subtleties of your martial art while simultaneously capturing its grandness. Eventually, you transitioned from student to teacher. In this new role of instructor, you implored your followers to embrace the martial arts with the same passion and commitment as they would a spouse. It was your mission to be the best, to communicate to others the form and function, and to keep ancient traditions alive with you as their advocate and protector.
And now, as the proud owner of your own dojo, you not only have the ability to shape the minds of those around you, but you also can impact their lives physically, emotionally and spiritually.
However, to impart your teachings, you must have students. They are the lifeblood of every martial art and every school. In this day and age of smartphones, digital media and increased stress, attracting and retaining students can be a...
Every year, we get questions about our industry-leading event - The Martial Arts SuperShow. Learn more about the show and lock in your ticket today. https://www.masupershow.com/
By: Frank Silverman, MAIA Executive Director
I’m often asked if I could invest in just one thing what about it be...stocks, real estate, etc. and my answer is almost always the same- YOURSELF.
Most people think that investing has to be with putting money somewhere and getting a return. I would agree.
So, how about investing in your education or the education of your TEAM (staff).
The returns for knowledge far outweigh and outpace the return of buying a simple stock.
This is why MAIA and CENTURY have been hosting the SuperShow for 19 years.
If it cost you $1500 to fly, stay at and attend the show (which it could be far less) all you need is one new member to pay that back over a year.
And if you get two or three new members or learn something that helps you retain your students better the...
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