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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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Adapt to Changes and Move Forward!

mentor motivation Sep 01, 2020

by Kathy Olevsky 

 

Over time, I’ve found that change is uncomfortable for me. I’m sure that many of you have experienced the same. When you become good at something and therefore successful, it’s hard to watch it all slip backward to the point where you have to start over.

Case in point: As a result of the stay-at-home orders, most martial arts instructors transitioned to online learning and teaching. I was in shock when I first realized that our once-thriving business would not be operating at a capacity even close to what it was pre-pandemic.

After the shock came the fear. How was my business of nearly 45 years going to survive this?

Finally came the research, the brainstorming and the planning. We vowed to do what it took to survive. We always had, and we always will. We are martial artists, and we know how to rise above. Everything is hard, but that doesn’t mean we quit. It means we work harder.

Now, months later, we still offer online...

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Back-to-School With a COVID Twist

maia mentor Sep 01, 2020

by Frank Silverman

 

 

It’s hard to believe that as I write this column, we’re still talking about COVID-19. Although to be honest, it’s not so much that it’s hard to believe; it’s more that I don’t want to believe it. When I received an e-mail saying it was time to send in my essay, I — probably like everyone reading this — was at a unique spot: I had some extra time on my hands because the world has not yet returned to the pre-pandemic “norm.” At the same time, I’m crazy busy trying to adjust to the new norm and figure out how to operate a business under these conditions.

I also wasn’t sure if I should continue writing about how to reopen martial arts schools or if most already will have done so by the time this goes to print. Maybe I should I address how to handle a second wave of COVID-19? Will there even be a second wave?

Then it occurred to me that we’re in back-to-school season. What will...

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Lessons From a 17th-Century Samurai

mentor motivation Sep 01, 2020

 

by Dave Kovar

 

Hagakure is a book written in the 17th century by a samurai named Tsunetomo Yamamoto. It’s claimed to be one of the first books to document the samurai lifestyle. Mikio Nishiuchi, my iaido teacher, required us to read it before a belt test a few years back. It was interesting, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

There was one thing Yamamoto wrote that really stuck with me. I didn’t fully understand it at first, but it felt profound. I’m now starting to grasp it, at least a little. I’m paraphrasing, but essentially Yamamoto says that a samurai is always aware, and in every situation, every encounter, there is a chance for growth and improvement if the person is paying attention.

I think about this often and try to find ways to apply the concept to my life. I travel frequently, and with travel comes inconvenience and unpredictability, so I try to think of my trips as chances to practice growth and improvement. Here are some of the ways I do...

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It Starts With Irritation

mentor motivation Sep 01, 2020

by Karen Eden

  

I never thought that anything good could come out of being irritated — until I read up on one of my favorite gems: the pearl. I didn’t know that pearls usually aren’t perfectly round, and I didn’t know that it takes so long to create one. But what was most surprising was how something so beautiful could come out of something so irritating.

Take, for instance, the pearl of the rare and fragile Tahitian Black-Lipped Oyster. Each pearl takes up to two years to cultivate, and then only three in 100 are deemed to be of high quality. If you are fortunate enough to get a string of “high-quality” pearls, it will cost you the price of a luxury car.

Perhaps my favorite part of the pearl success story is knowing that every single pearl starts with a tiny grain of sand. The piece of sand is placed inside the mollusk. Because it’s irritating to the mollusk’s delicate insides, the animal secretes a natural liquid that...

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5 Experts Are Here to Help A Virtual Roundtable on Coping With COVID

MASuccess brainstormed with five prominent martial arts instructors to obtain their best advice for their peers during this global pandemic. Here is what they offered.

 

Immediately Start Teaching Your Art Online

Sometimes it’s best to begin with the end in mind. Do you want to help your students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic? Do you want to support your local schools, businesses and communities? Do you want to provide leadership during this a time of uncertainty? I’m guessing that you will answer yes to all these questions.

Now more than ever, people need to feel connected, and many of them need you to continue to serve as their instructor and their leader. Likewise, communities need leaders to provide certainty and security. Again, they need you to continue to be a martial arts leader to provide stability and structure. To do that, you’ll need to rely on technology, perhaps to a degree you never have. The good news is, it’s not that...

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It’s Not Enough to Survive During COVID - This Software Will Help You Thrive During the Pandemic!

maia mentor Jun 24, 2020

Martial artists change lives. It’s what we do as teachers and school owners. That’s exactly why we created Spark, the industry-leading software for running and automating your school. And it’s why the martial arts industry will always be our home.

But there are parts of running a school that are soul-sucking and daunting. At times, they can even make you want to quit.

It makes total sense. We’re guessing that you became an instructor for the same reasons we did: You have a passion for spreading the martial arts – a passion for changing lives. You love to see the look on a parent’s face when a child finally shows respect. You’re ecstatic when you see an adult feel confident for the first time in his or her life.

We’re going to take another guess and say things like seeing to administrative tasks and transmitting emails and SMS follow-ups aren’t exactly what you feel excited to do when you wake up in the morning. “I...

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7 Strategies for Success: How to Reach Your Audience Online — for Free!

mentor programs Jun 23, 2020

by Cris Rodrigues

 

In March 2020, our industry was shaken to the core. COVID-19 hit us like a ton of bricks, leaving many school owners feeling helpless. For some, switching to online classes was pretty simple; for others, it probably felt like preparing for a quantum physics exam.

Resources that my team and I put out, like the Virtual Martial Arts Blueprint and the Ultimate Facebook Ads Workshop, flew off the shelves as school owners searched for digital tools to help them survive. Many schools, however, took a hard hit. Freeze requests poured in. Cancellation emails and phone calls happened daily. School owners watched as their tuition billing declined.

When a mass exodus of clients happens with any business, often the owner will have a knee-jerk reaction to eliminate expenses. Unfortunately, said owner frequently eliminates the one expense that actually can bring in more revenue, and that’s marketing.

With many of the traditional forms of marketing thrown out the...

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It’s Time to Show the World What We’re Made Of!

maia mentor motivation Jun 22, 2020

by Frank Silverman, MAIA Executive Director

 

In February 2020, the stock market hit an all-time high of 29,348. Unemployment was at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent. And the martial arts school business seemed to be riding an infinite wave of new student signups.

Then BAM! We were knocked on our collective butts by an invisible foe that has gone on to kill thousands of people, shut down the economy around the world, drive up the U.S. unemployment rate to an estimated 20 percent and, literally, terrorize people in ways not seen in modern times.

And that wave of student signups? It disappeared. Nearly every martial arts school in America was shuttered as cities and states implemented the recommended quarantine procedures.

It served as a stark reminder that life can — and sometimes does — change on a dime.

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, I received countless email messages and voicemails from school owners:

“I don’t know what to do!”

...

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Consolidation: The Future of the Independent School Owner? Part 3

marketing mentor May 29, 2020

IS STAYING INDEPENDENT AN OPTION?

 

There are still many school owners who choose to remain independent. Their reason – whether fully justified or not – is that by remaining independent, they will avoid teaching a “watered-down” style, or teaching solely for profit.  

These independents feel that by not affiliating or franchising, they have more control over what is taught in their curriculum and how it is taught. Many schools that teach traditional styles remain independent to avoid modernization.

However valid their opinions on franchises may be, many school owners also have business reasons for staying small and independent. Many of them have realized that economies of scale do not always work out (i.e.: more/bigger schools for bigger profits). Simply put, bigger is not necessarily always better.

These successful-but-small martial arts school owners have figured out that in some industries getting bigger does not always means more money in your...

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