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 Deb Cupples
Repetition is critical to the improvement of technique. But finding ways to disguise the same old thing can diminish enthusiasm from both students and instructors. Injecting new life into old techniques, however, is not as difficult as you might think. Try this approach.
Inspiration sometimes comes from the most unassuming places. It may be hard to believe, but the inspiration I had for putting a new face on old teaching techniques came from a story that I was told, many years ago, in my teens. It’s a simple story about innovation to motivate out of desperation.
Here’s the story that crept back into my mind some 30-plus years later, and how it helped me keep the fire burning during classes when I’m not teaching anything new, but sewing down the seams of basic training.
I was told the following story when I was in my teens and it has stuck with me since then. It’s a simple story about a small town and how one man’s creativity...
By Christina M. Yuncza
What do you do when the person responsible for your school's existence – its very heart and soul, and the driving force behind it – is gone?
First, you mourn.
Then, at some point, you realize that if you are to honor the legacy of a man who was not only the love of your life, but a hero and a role model, a true sensei, to his family and his students, you have to pick up the pieces and carry on.
Ed Yuncza, a 6th-degree master, founded E.Y. Martial Arts and Self Defense Concepts in New Jersey in 1995. It was his first school; the location was not ideal and a hard winter made attendance sporadic, so that initial venture was short-lived and he closed shop.
Never one to give up, Ed started again a few years later and began working with a program called “Kidsafe” that was being run out of an elementary school in Lawrenceville, NJ. He held weekly classes and drew a respectable number of students. Ed's mother and sister helped out...
By the Editors
On July 24, 1936, Dan Inosanto was born. As a 4th-grader, he received his first exposure to the martial arts when his uncle taught him te [the Okinawan word for “hand.”]. In college, he studied judo, then dabbled in the Korean, Okinawan and Japanese striking arts.
“The exposure to the various schools in the beginning taught me not to be one-sided, because everyone had his own philosophies and each school seemed to have its good points and bad points. When I learned from Bruce [Lee], we never classified whether a technique was from taekwondo or boxing. If it was usable, we used it.”
While he was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Inosanto was impressed by a kenpo brown belt he met. Specifically, he liked the fluid manner in which the martial artist moved. As soon as he was discharged, Inosanto relocated to Southern California.
“In 1961, I started taking kenpo from Ed Parker at his...
By MAIA Division Manager Melissa Torres
Recently, a poll ran on Century’s Facebook page asking how many schools have a children’s program and, if not, the reasoning behind choosing not to offer one. Children are a huge part of the martial arts industry, and teaching them is an opportunity to instill the life skills they need early on.
One person who has dedicated her life to teaching kids is SKILLZ and PreSKILLZ creator Melody Johnson (née Shuman). I asked her a few questions that pertain to teaching children, for those of you who have been curious about the topic!
If you have specific questions I didn’t cover, please feel free to ask on Century Preschool Network’s Facebook group page and tag Master Johnson. She’ll be happy to respond!
Melissa Torres: What made you choose a career working with children?
Melody Johnson: My story starts off like that of many people in the martial arts. I was bullied a lot...
Don't let the summer time be a slow season for your school. Get the word out about your program today with the free Marketing Resource for June. Download it now.
Summer time might be the slowest season of the year, historically.
The temperatures rise, kids are out of school, summer vacations are in full effect and inactivity sets in.
However, that's where your program comes in to play.
Download and distribute these posters at local businesses or hang them in public areas and draw new students into your school for summer.
It's a great reminder for parents to get their kids off the couch and get some martial arts into their lives.
[This resource is powered by MAIA Edge. If you would like a one-stop marketing solution to simplify the way you do business, then sign up for MAIA Edge today]
By Herb Borkland
In this inspiring monthly column, we examine the pivotal point in a prominent black belt’s career that took him or her on to major success in martial arts business, sports or films.
Five-foot-six, seveth-dan Troy “The Destroyer” Dorsey was the first American black belt to become a world champion in both kickboxing and pro boxing. He earned two world boxing crowns, four world kickboxing titles and a world karate championship.
In full-contact kickboxing, he was a three-time WAKO Amateur World Champion, as well as a gold medalist in 1985 London and 1987 Munich events.
Turning to boxing in 1989, Dorsey’s all-out high-energy fighting style captured the IBF World Featherweight and IBO World Super Featherweight Championships. He retired from the ring in 1998.
Herb Borkland: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?
Troy Dorsey: Mansfield, Texas, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area. My father,...
By Karen Eden
When I walked out onstage as an 18-year-old contestant in a “Miss Virginia” preliminary pageant, I already knew things weren’t going to swing in my favor. I had watched the way the judges seemed to light up every time a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl strode out. Bottom line, I was an ethnic girl competing in a beauty pageant at a time when it wasn’t popular to be ethnic.
That was also the time that my grandmother from Japan was staying with us. I so appreciated her altering my gown and being so excited to see me compete in the “Miss Vinton Dogwood Festival” pageant.
There I was, standing out like a sore thumb. I was a dark-haired girl in a sea of white skin and yellow hair. I felt out of place and awkward, and I wanted to walk off the stage as soon as I got on. Within minutes, I would have that...
By Christopher Rappold
An ability to be tough is needed to pursue any high-level training. And while different coaches, teachers and instructors may have different definitions for what it is, for the purpose of this discussion, I will break down being, “tough” into two different categories. They are mental toughness and physical toughness, both of which have great value in sport and in life.
Elements of Mental Toughness
As I think of mental toughness, three things come to mind:
Within the confines of a martial arts class, how can you teach these important skills? A simple solution may be to set up a scenario that requires a student to come up with what a solution to a problem in a limited amount of time.
At times, we as instructors are in a rush maintain a schedule, and do not allow students to explore different options. We forget that this process, though not...
By Robby Beard
Summer is quickly approaching, and we need a plan! As most of us know, summer can be a challenging time to acquire new members. You’ll be competing with all kinds of activities, such as swimming, vacations, camping, and countless other outdoor pursuits. The key is to start planning now!
Parents are looking for something for their children to get into during the summer, so be sure that you have a summer special to offer. I like to do a six-week program. The goal is for the trial membership to run out before academic school starts back, not when it starts. You don’t want to hear the objection: “We want to wait and find out their school schedule before we sign up.”
Now that you have a program to sell, let’s get busy!
First, get some flyers and ad cards made. Set a goal to get out 200 flyers per week leading up to the summer. Hit shopping centers and parks, and make door hanger for neighborhoods. Place the ad cards in 100 businesses...
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