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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Building a Lead Right from the Beginning

We’re about to kick off a new year, and can you believe it? It’s already almost 2019! I have always enjoyed the start of a new year. Last year’s in the rear-view mirror and only goals and opportunities lie ahead.

 

If you haven’t yet taken the time to decide what’s going to make 2019 worthwhile from a martial arts, teaching and business perspective, now is the time to do it before it’s too late. Get yourself and your team ready to avoid making this just a continuation of what has been done in the past. Instead, use it as a chance to do it the right way by clarifying your purpose and bringing your “A” game!

 

I remember back when I was competing in sport karate. The best scenario was to jump out front with a lead against your opponent. When I was able to start with the lead, I was able to “game-plan” the match on my terms. That means I wasn’t being forced by a time limit into being behind, which would require...

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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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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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International Initiatives for MAIA

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2018

In the production process of MASuccess magazine, when I write a column based on an activity or event, there’s a natural time delay between the event, my writing about it and the date it’s published. Therefore, as I write about the Martial Arts SuperShow Europe, held in August in Dortmund, Germany,

the report appears in the most current issue possible.

 

With that said, it was an honor for me to have participated in the recent Martial Arts SuperShow Europe. The event, spearheaded by Markus Liedtke, Sascha de Vries and Toni Dietl, was, in a word, phenomenal. It was well-attended and, more importantly, wellreceived.

 

Participants trained, attended business seminars and participated in a show that is sure to become a yearly event, just as the original SuperShow is in Las Vegas every year.

 

This event was not limited to just schools in Germany; schools from all over Europe attended. In addition to me, attendees from the United States included Caitlin...

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The Preskillz Program: Bridging the Gap of Teaching Preschoolers

melody shuman Nov 01, 2018

PreSKILLZ is an innovative way to effectively teach 3- to 6-year-olds. At the same time, it enhances what every martial art school owner covets — increased enrollment and revitalized retention! 

By: Andrea F. Harkins

 

Veteran black belt Melody Shuman bridges the gap of teaching preschoolers by showing that every three- to six-year old can learn valuable martial art skills, if taught the proper way. Additionally, every school owner can increase enrollment and improve retention by using these teaching methods. 

Shuman spent many of her years in martial arts as an instructor. At 19 years old, she began working as a program director and instructor in Orlando, Florida. For six years, she co-owned and operated four schools in south Florida. During that time, she won the title of World Champion in forms and coached many young world champions ages seven and up. 

In 1997, she presented her first innovative program, Little Ninjas, to the martial arts industry. It...

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5 Affordable Ways to Grow Your Martial Arts School

marketing Nov 01, 2018

Over the last year, I have had the incredible experience of working with so many growing martial arts schools via the Martial Arts Industry

Association’s (MAIA’s) Small School Forum. The Forum is a dedicated Facebook group for school owners with 80 or fewer students. It provides tools and advice to help them grow and develop their schools.

 

One of the most common questions I have received is, “How do I grow my martial arts school with only a small budget?”

 

Here are five great ways to do just that!

 

  1. Lead Boxes

 

This is an “old-school” form of marketing, but it always delivers results. Visit 10 local businesses that are community-owned and tell them that you have students and families who may be interested in their businesses. Do they have any materials that you could place on the front desk at your dojo?

 

If they have materials to share, ask if they would be able to reciprocate by allowing you to leave a lead box...

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