The MAIA Blog

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 Merits Of Creating A Tournament Team

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2017

Many school owners struggle with the idea of tournaments and competition. Exposing students to tournaments comes with risks, but also many benefits. If done well, a tournament team can provide financial gain, improve student growth and develop a retention-based esprit de corps around your brand.

It is important to remember there are pros and cons with tournaments in the areas of finances, student growth and retention, professional development, working with parents, and staying true to your art when developing a tournament team that will work for your school. 

Many schools choose to create a tournament team for the sole purpose of increased camaraderie, training and competition experience, which is fine, but keep in mind there is an opportunity to gain financially. Of course, you’ll have to invest money in travel but if your develop your team correctly the profit will outweigh those expenditures in the end.

Tournament teams are a tool for student growth and retention....

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10 Inexpensive ways to market your small-town school

Uncategorized Oct 01, 2017

At last, you’ve done your research and found a small market that has an adequate population, limited competition and, undoubtedly, lots of people eager to train in the martial arts. Filled with optimism and fueled by excitement, you launch your dream dojo.

Unfortunately, it’s a small market, so it has few media opportunities for advertising. There are none of the traditional ways of creating awareness, promoting your programs and building your brand. But that’s okay. You believe that “if you build it, they will come,” because word of mouth in a small town spreads fast — right?

Well, yeah. Word will spread, but it won’t necessarily result in throngs of potential students lining up at your front door, eager to register and begin their path to enlightenment through the martial arts. So, what are the options?

As a starter, here are 10 activities that have been very successful for our small-market dojo in Marion, NC (population 7,885).

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Community Unity Defines School Owner’s Big Success

Uncategorized Oct 01, 2017

Columbia, SC’s Mike Genova runs a thriving school with some 400 students and another 200 in his after-school programs. A big part of his success was his early evolution from a competitive fighter’s mindset to that of a businessman. That continual self-growth led him to a role as a community figurehead, where Genova even extends help to other local martial arts school owners!

Mike Genova opened his Columbia, South Carolina martial arts school in 1975. He already had a reputation as a fierce, top-10-ranked fighter on the national tournament circuit and had trained regularly with the likes of Bruce Brutschy and Keith Vitali, who rose to prominence as America’s number-one-ranked semi-contact tournament champion. 

At first, he primarily focused on teaching fighting techniques and winning trophies in competition but as he saw students start to drop out of the martial arts he took a different approach emphasizing not on fighting but on life skills.

“Today,...

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Martial Arts Supershow: Our Industry’s Education Sensation!

Uncategorized Oct 01, 2017

More than 2,000 attendees flocked to the ritzy MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on July 6-8 for the 2017 Martial Arts SuperShow. This year marked the 16th annual of this extravaganza, the world’s largest martial arts business convention and tradeshow. Like its predecessors, MASS17 offered big educational benefits to everyone who attended, regardless of their martial art and style or the size of their school.

Century, the world’s biggest martial arts equipment supplier, and its subsidiary, the Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA), co-produce this three-day extravaganza each year.

The event started with opening ceremonies where the MGM Grand’s elegant Ka Theatre went completely dark and dancers in electronic, glow-in-the-dark suits came to life accompanied by loud cheers from the audience. The dancers put on an incredible show for the audience. After that  acrobats took the stage, followed by a demo from Team Paul Mitchell Karate and Benny...

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You Can Run An MMA School And Generate Over A Half-Million Dollars A Year!

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

MMA has fought countless rounds since it was derisively called “human cockfighting” many years ago. It’s now a recognized pro sport with schools teaching it springing up all over the country. However, while some are tapping out of business soon after opening, Orlando’s Jungle MMA and Fitness boasts 400 active students and is on a steady path to being the Ultimate Financial Champion!

This is a tale about myths. Now, believing in myths can anchor one into inaction through fear or, for those souls brave enough to discount them, it can springboard you to future success. One of the most widespread myths currently sweeping through the martial arts industry is this:

“You can’t make any money running an MMA school! It’s not a recognized traditional martial art that is kid friendly.”

It’s true that many MMA schools in the past, even some founded by major UFC champions, went out of business. That’s because most of them didn’t...

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10 Core Reasons Why Parents Enroll Their Children In Martial Arts.

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

Children under 13 represent the majority in our field and offer a greater revenue opportunity than adult students. But closing a sale with this group can be challenging. Children don’t make purchases, parents do. This article is based on a recent cutting-edge study on parent-purchase motivation. The author provides insight to attract more students and close more sales.

When making a sale we are faced with many challenges, including a perceived value, ability to use services and convenience. We must also know our customer. In the martial arts industry, children 13 and under represent the largest and most profitable market. These children represent more than 60% of the martial arts student base. However, children don’t make purchases. Their parents do. This article is based off the 10 reasons parents buy (called purchase motivations) identified in a recent study.

#1 Physical Fitness

Physical fitness has always been a core benefit of martial arts. In the study, parents...

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Houston’s Unlikely Dynamic Duo

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

Joshua Hong and Katarina Conrad are the diverse business partners who own and operate two thriving Eternal Martial Arts schools in the Houston area. Part of their success is based on how they changed the approach to kids and women’s programs. And their business has tripled since joining the Martial Arts Industry Association in 2014.

Joshua Hong started martial arts at just 4-years-old. He earned a black belt at the age of nine, by 16 he started teaching and by 19 was in charge of his own school.

“I had a partner at first,” Hong remembers, “but I bought him out and went totally on my own in 2009.”

His first school had 2,400 square feet, but he eventually expand it to 3,600. Then, he purchased his own land and built an 8,500-square-foot facility in Northwest Houston that also houses a separate child-care center. He named the school Eternal Martial Arts.

“It is pretty much its own operation,” he says, “with babies, toddlers, even food...

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