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The Martial Arts Industry Association's MASuccess Magazine exists to help grow martial arts participation by helping school owners succeed.

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Define Your Own Success

maia Dec 13, 2019

by Frank Silverman 


Success has many forms, and everyone defines what it looks like for himself or herself. But no matter how different their views of success, there is one time of year when nearly everyone turns to contemplate their goals: January 1.

If you jump into the new year like I do, you find that your thought process begins to revolve around goals. The start of the year is a springboard for introspective evaluation and, often, change. We do this in our personal lives, as well as in our work and business lives.

Focusing on business success is what I do as Executive Director of MAIA. That said, I cannot determine what success looks like for your school. My definition may not be the same as yours. But what I do know is everyone should be driving toward a picture of success as they see it. And you must first define success in order to achieve it.

Think about it: No one wakes up in the morning and says, “I’d like to fail today.” But without a clear,...

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Sticks and Cones Make Strong Bones: Ideas of Drills for Kids

enroll students Dec 12, 2019

Project Dojo is a nonprofit community outreach program in Pueblo, Colorado, that works with at-risk children. Through the power of martial arts, Project Dojo seeks to inspire and motivate kids within a safe environment, while continuing to teach the traditions of martial arts. This is the story of Project Dojo co-founder Michelle Hodnett’s experiences in her martial arts journey.


When you work with children, parents want to know you care about safety. Specifically with children in martial arts, there are three things parents look for when they first walk in:

  1. A First Aid Kit. It is always advisable to have a first-aid kit on hand, preferably somewhere in plain view. It goes a long way in reassuring parents. And if you teach or have kids, you probably already know the seemingly instant healing effect a Band-Aid can have on minor injuries.
  2. Posted Rules. Parents want to know what the expectations for their own children are, and for the other children in the class. Posting...
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In Memory of Hirokazu Kanazawa Soke (1931-2019): One of the Last Great Traditional Karate Masters

Uncategorized Dec 11, 2019

Hirokazu Kanazawa Soke passed away in December, 2019. Andries Pruim, MAIA guest blogger and MASuccess featured writer, was one of those fortunate enough to train with the Soke, and remembers him in this post.


I first met Kanazawa Soke in 1991. It was the first time I had ever travelled to Japan. Being extremely self-conscious about my lack of “traditional” training, I had some trepidation attending the International Budo Culture seminar, held at the Internation Budo University in Katsuura, Japan.

                                     The author (center) and Kanazawa Soke (left). 

Fortunately, at the beginning of the seminar all the Budo instructors put on demonstrations of their talents. After watching some incredible judo, kendo and naginata displays, it was the karate sensei’s turn to take the stage.

I was at the IBU by invitation, having already studied...

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Add Value. Add Weapons

flow system Dec 03, 2019

By: Jackson Rudolph, The Flow System Creator


No matter what style you practice or what level of knowledge you possess, adding weapons programming provides a more exciting curriculum for your students. Weapons are a vital cornerstone of martial arts dating back to ancient agricultural civilizations in China and Japan.

Weapons add a multitude of benefits for your students:

  • Perseverance
  • Discipline
  • Homework
  • Creativity
  • Physical improvement

As well as benefits for your school: 

  • Merchandise sales
  • Multiple weapons sales
  • Reorders
  • Apparel
  • Upgrades/Retention revenues
  • Reinforced basics
  • Curriculum booster
  • Revenue opportunities
  • Basic model
  • Packaging
  • Customized models

Weapons training brings a new level of excitement to your classes. It encourages younger students to talk to their parents about what they learned in class and train harder at home. It shows a commitment to martial arts that persuades parents to continue bringing their kids to class and recommend martial arts...

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To Boost or Not to Boost?!

digital marketing Dec 03, 2019

By: Cris Rodriguez, MAIA Digital Marketing Expert


When a school owner fills out an application to work with my company, Grow Pro Agency, to see if we are good fit, one of the questions we ask is, “have you advertised on the Facebook Ads platform before.”

About 80% of our prospective clients end up saying something to the effect of, “Yes, I boost posts all the time.”

I wanted to quickly go over whether or not you should be boosting posts and what type of results you will get from them.

First, what is a boosted post?

There are 11 different Campaign Objectives inside of the Facebook Ads Manager, and Engagement is one of them.

A boosted post is simply an “Engagement Ad” where Facebook will put your ad in front of the audience of your choosing with the purpose of getting you engagement (likes, comments, shares). The reason why it is so popular, is because it is one of the few types of ads that you can create without having to go deep into the...

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Doing Good Work!

mentor Nov 19, 2019

By Guest Blogger Dwight Trower


At St. Louis Family Martial Arts Academy, we recently held a special class in our year-long series: “Dads and Sons - Doing Good Work.”


Why “good work?”


You might be curious why we chose the phrase for this particular program. It actually goes back to my old boxing days from the late 1980's and early 1990's. In the martial arts, it’s traditional to show respect to your training partners or instructor by bowing or saluting at the end of the workout. The local boxing gym I trained at had a similar customary ending. A typical workout lasted about an hour and a half and was broken down into multiple sessions depending on what each individual boxer was working on that day.


We always began with a simple calisthenic warmup followed by fifteen to twenty minutes of continuous shadow boxing. Next would be up to ten three-minute rounds of work. This might include any combination of heavy bag work, focus...

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Organic Social Media Posting Strategies that WORK!

digital marketing Nov 05, 2019

Social media doesn't have to be hard. Try these organic posting today and improve your following. If you want a done-for-you Social Media Calendar, check out MAIA Edge.


By: Cris Rodriguez, MAIA Digital Marketing Expert

As most of us know, The Facebook Ads Platform is a pay to play platform. Or as I like to call it, an invest for success platform.

But I hear it all the time - “Cris, Facebook Ads don’t work for me.”

Or, “I boosted a post and I didn’t get any new students.”

Or my personal favorite, “Facebook Ads are too expensive.”

All things considered, Facebook Ads are the most cost effective way to advertise.

Tell me any other channel that you can target your EXACT Avatar (insert explanation of Avatar here), show them the perfect messaging, at the perfect time, and convert them.

It’s truly amazing the power of digital marketing.

However, what most school owners don’t understand is that your Organic efforts actually...

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5 Tips for Hosting a Holiday Event in Your School

free resource Oct 31, 2019

Give & get the gift of savings at your holiday event this year. Download your free Holiday Event Planner here.


By: Frank Silverman, MAIA Executive Director

Inside the Century Holiday Planner, you will find ideas and suggestions for making your holiday season a huge success! 

You’ll find ideas that will help you generate more retail sales, as well as advice for how to sell more upgrades, package sets, new memberships, and more.

Want a sample of what the Planner has in store? Below are five methods for improving retail sales, specifically, at your event.

(If you haven’t yet, make sure to download the Century Holiday Planner now.)


1) Make sure items’ prices are clearly labeled.

You wouldn’t buy an item that you didn’t know the price of. Often, people are reluctant to ask how much an item costs because they don’t want to look “cheap” if they then decide not to buy it.

2) Have a variety of items.

Have your...

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George Alexander: Choosing Martial Arts Over Being an International Real-Estate Executive

motivation Oct 21, 2019

George Alexander, a shorin-ryu karate pioneer and the president/founder of the International Shorin Ryu Karate Kobudo Federation, began training in judo and karate in the Marine Corps. He currently holds the rank of 10th dan hanshi, or “teacher of teachers.” Alexander has been inducted into six halls of fame, produced more than 200 instructional DVDs and published 10 books. He is a professor emeritus of East Asian history at the State University of New York and a distinguished research fellow and member of the faculty of the Institute of Martial Arts and Sciences in the United Kingdom. He teaches at the Budokan Martial Arts Honbu Dojo in Palm Coast, Florida.


MASuccess: Where did you grow up and what did your dad do?


George Alexander: I was born on Long Island and grew up in New York. Dad was in real estate there. We moved to Florida when I was 14.


MAS: When did you discover the martial arts?


Alexander: Dad was an officer in the Army Air Corps...

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