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".
By Dave Kovar
There are a lot of things that go into running a successful martial arts school. And there are a lot of different ways to be successful in this industry. For you, success might be having a chain of schools. Or, it might be running one supercenter or having a small but very efficient single school.
In the United Kingdom, there are a lot of people that have great success running once a week programs out of churches and school halls. With that said, there are some commonalities between all schools that are universal for success, regardless of your business model.
I believe that the level of success in virtually any school is directly related to the level of consistency that operators practice in “The 5 Mindsets.” That’s why, in our schools in California and New Jersey, we really try to focus on making these mindsets a priority in our daily actions. They are simple to articulate, but it takes time and effort to get in the habit of...
By Dr. Jason Han
As a physical therapist for a professional soccer team, I’m often asked how I help our players get ready, day in and day out. Running long distances each week — jogging, cutting, sprinting and shooting — will take its toll. The same thing happens in your martial arts program, only with kicks, punches, throws and blows to the body.
Most people focus on the training aspect of athletics, but not enough on recovery. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a weekend warrior or a youth competitor, recovery is critical to success and longevity.
I was recently working with a star multi-sport high school athlete who was complaining of aches and pains. His football team was wrapping up the regular season and heading into the playoffs. He had neck stiffness, shoulder pain from a football tackle and a sore hip from an older injury sustained a few months back. His coach was a little more “old school,” in the sense that he...
By Frank Silverman
When the calendar rolls over to the month of January, various groups of people ask me the same question every year: “What does the future look like for the martial arts industry, and what’s in store for martial art schools?”
This is a fair question any time of year, but I hear it more frequently in January. If I had a crystal ball, I’d gladly give a definitive answer. But, without that, here is my best "guestimate:"
This question really has two components. First is how I believe the schools will do relative to the economy and overall health of our industry. The second part addresses the trends and changes that we may see in the future.
As for the economy and the business health of the industry, I have strong sense that 2019 will continue on a positive path. Overall, I expect my own personal schools to enjoy a repeat of 2018.
On occasion, some of the schools had...
By Christopher Rappold
With 2018 behind us, it’s a good time to take a pause and assess how the year went.
I have always enjoyed taking half a day away from the office and looking at the cumulative results from that particular year. Though I look every day, week and month at how our schools are doing, there is something about looking at the total of 12 months of results that gives a different picture and perspective.
I start with my team. I take a look at their martial arts, fitness, personal and professional development from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
Did they make the kind of progress that both of us were working toward? Are their goals and the goals of the school intersecting in a way that creates a win-win, long-term relationship? Are there any tweaks that need to be made? What are things we did together that had the most impact, and what are the things that missed the target and need improvement?
Having excellent student...
I‘ve been operating a martial arts school full time for 40 years. I think I may have made every mistake that can be made in this business. The reason I’m still in business, I believe, is because I asked for help. I learned quickly that others before me had already found solutions. In this reality-based column, I’ll point out key mistakes I made in my business career, which are common errors among school owners, both large and small, throughout our industry. Then I’ll share the solutions I applied to overcome them.
When I first started in the martial arts back in the late 1970's, it was common to hear an instructor say to a student, “Only one in 1,000 will make it to black belt.” That statement was a source of pride. It meant that a black belt was to be truly honored. It meant that a black belt wasn’t a common man (or woman); they were elite.
The statement was made with good intentions, but it did irreparable harm!
Whether we like it or not, every time one of my staff members are in public they are representing not only Kovar's Martial Arts but also the martial arts industry. When we choose to become martial arts instructors, we also choose to become public figure. We stand in front of the class and lead our students in reciting the student creed. We challenge them not only to improve their martial arts skills but their mental attitude, focus, discipline and respect, too.
In essence, we become their success coaches, role models and more. To our students, we become a combination of teacher, parent, minister and motivational speaker, who also, in their eyes, has the awesome power of “death
and destruction.” This gives us a unique and powerful “presence” or sphere of influence.
After all, how many teachers, parents, ministers or motivational speakers can do a jump-spinning kick? Or can, in the blink of an eye, strike multiple times where it hurts the most?...
Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding. But when problems arise — and as a small business owner myself, I know they do! — you’re responsible for solving them.
So, whether you’re working on the financial success of your martial arts studio or improving the health of your students, it’s important to apply the same principle: Always address the underlying cause.
For example, if your business’s gross revenue is less than stellar this month, it’s easy to say that you simply need more students. So, you decide to focus on
marketing. But what if the real problem is retention? You aren’t able to retain your students because the instructors are not aligned with your program. To target the underlying cause, you may need to focus more on staff training and development.
The same thing happens when you see a spike in injuries within the bulk of your students. If you’re seeing a lot of hamstring injuries, an...
As we end the year and approach the holiday season, I’d like to ask that you all view leadership as a gift, and one that you currently possess. Now, leadership can be a special, unique and often challenging present, but it is truly worthwhile.
Allow me to share a parable that will illustrate this point. A group of children are playing in the jungle near their tribe in central Africa, when a group of explorers approaches them. The explorers observe the children playing a game where they use dirty but somewhat shiny stones. The explorers ask their translator if the kids would trade their stones for some chocolate and the kids agree. When the explorers returned home, they discovered that the stones were large, coarse diamonds.
Now, for the explorers, the diamonds were highly valuable and worth a great deal of money in their culture. But to the children, these diamonds were simply toys that brought them joy and happiness. The true value of the diamonds was relative...
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