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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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George Mink: The Bionic Karateka/Triathlete!

motivation Jul 02, 2019

Interview by Perry William Kelly


“Some men see things as they are and ask why.

I dream of things that never were and ask why not?”

—Robert F. Kennedy


George Mink is a little bit of Steve Austin (TV’s rebuilt Six Million Dollar Man character), some real-life Rambo and a pinch of Bruce Lee all rolled up into one.

A 7th-degree black belt in shorin-kempo karate, Mink has trained around the world for over 47 years, earned black belts in five different styles of martial arts and competed in full-contact matches.

Currently, Mink and his business partner Penny Pitassi run two schools in Illinois and have a main school in San Antonio, Texas. They also have affiliate schools in California and Colorado. They teach students of all ages, and have specialized classes for women’s self-defense and law enforcement.

In addition to running a school, Mink also spends a great deal of time pursuing his passions outside the dojo: fighting for the freedom of...

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Zen Planner's Annual Martial Arts Benchmark Report

continuing education Jul 02, 2019

Zen Planner is the leading software suite for martial arts businesses. The company’s Annual Martial Arts Benchmark Report is the most comprehensive collection and analysis of business data in the martial arts industry. 

The purpose of the report is simple: to provide valuable insights to martial arts school owners, so that they can master their businesses and transform more lives. The data from this report is backed by 465 survey respondents, and helps school owners make better business decisions — whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for decades! 

How does Zen Planner determine what questions to include in its survey?

When we first launched the Benchmark Report, we formed our questions based on conversations that we had had been having with school owners for a decade. We have a good understanding of what martial arts schools are thinking about, from sales to customer support, what their pain points are, and what things...

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Let the Sunshine into Your Dojo!

curriculum retention Jun 24, 2019

By Eric the Trainer


Running a martial arts school can be a challenge. Forking out money for marketing to attract new students, keeping the students that you do have enrolled, and staying current with billing can be time-consuming and grueling tasks.


Under these conditions, it can be difficult to find time to stay in shape, let alone maintain a positive outlook on life. Caught up in the daily grind, too many people lose sight of the fact that positivity is the ultimate key to success. For, like a bad case of the flu, a truly positive attitude can be wildly infectious, spreading like wildfire throughout your school and even beyond.


But how do you spark this process, and where does the magic begin? It all starts with you! The easiest way to initiate positivity in your life is to make the conscious decision to see the proverbial glass as half full. There are other steps you can take to supercharge this process, such as:


1. Go to bed earlier and cherish sleep....

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Box of Rocks

mentor motivation Jun 23, 2019

By Karen Eden


I’ll never forget this story that my former brother-in-law Gary shared with me. He was on his first voyage overseas in the Navy, and couldn’t wait to debark with his friends onto the shores of a Caribbean island.

            It seems the island was all set up to receive the sailors, too. It had everything a lonely boy far from home would find intriguing, including rock-bottom prices on otherwise rather expensive merchandise. One in particular caught his eye.

            “I couldn’t believe the deal I was getting,” my brother-in-law told us.

Posted right outside the door was a sign that read: “Stereo system on sale for $100.” Knowing that the same stereo system back in the states would cost four times that amount, he went in to check out the deal.

Evidently, it was a state-of-the-art system complete with...

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Merrill “Bobby” Matthews: Breaking with Roy Kurban

motivation Jun 20, 2019

By Herb Borkland


Washington insider and Texan 7th-dan Merrill “Bobby” Matthews, Ph.D., is an internationally respected public policy analyst specializing in health care, entitlements and energy issues. His pioneering martial arts roots go back to the “Blood-and-Guts” era of Grandmaster Alan Steen, the first taekwondo instructor in the Lone Star State. Matthews joined the Southwest Tae Kwon Do Association, founded in 1976 by Keith D. Yates, one of Steen’s original black belts. In 1996, it became the more inclusive American Karate and Tae Kwon Do Organization (AKATO).


Herb Borkland: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?


Merrill Matthews: I was born in Longview, Texas and moved to Dallas in 1963. My father was a banker.


HB: How did you discover martial arts?


MM: In 1967, I was a high school sophomore. One day, Bob Beasley came in wearing a windbreaker with the Southwest Karate Black Belt Association logo. That...

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MAIA Team Member Spotlight: Melissa Torres

maia supershow Jun 18, 2019

If you're reading this blog, chances are, you're familiar with MAIA, or the Martial Arts Industry Association. But just because you know MAIA as an organization, you may not be familiar with all the individual team members. They do an amazing job, and are just as passionate about the work they do as you are. We're making this series of blog posts to shine the light on our MAIA team members and the amazing work they do! 

Melissa Torres is MAIA’s Division Manage. You’ve read her MAIA Report column in MASuccess, but you might not know just how much else she does for MAIA and the school owners who rely on MAIA. A multi-time marathoner, Melissa understands the importance of hard work towards goals, and she’s committed to helping school owners work achieve theirs!


What is your job at MAIA?

I’m the MAIA Division Manager. I work hand-in-hand with Frank Silverman and Mike Metzger on ways we can reach more school owners with coaching and programs to help...

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MAIA Elite Consultant Spotlight: Adam Parman

maia mentor Jun 17, 2019

If you're reading this blog, chances are, you're familiar with MAIA, or the Martial Arts Industry Association. But just because you know MAIA as an organization, you may not be familiar with all the individual team members. They do an amazing job, and are just as passionate about the work they do as you are. We're making this series of blog posts to shine the light on our MAIA team members and the amazing work they do! 

Adam Parman is a longtime MAIA Elite consultant who operated three martial arts schools. He, along with several other MAIA members, is a regular contributor to the Consultant’s Corner column in MASuccess. Get to know the man behind the paper in this post!



How long have you been a MAIA Elite Consultant?
I’ve been one since 2012.


What part of your work as a MAIA Consultant do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy to opportunity to work with other school owners in helping them overcome the obstacles and challenges of running a martial arts...

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5 Steps to Winning Workshops: Programming Product for Profit

maia student retention Jun 15, 2019

Programming product for profit is when you pick a retail item and create a workshop to go around that item. Examples could include, but are not limited to, a square hand target, focus paddle, body shield, Wavemaster or even a stretch rack.

            Hosting these workshops will not only increase retail sales and profitability, but will also increase retention. Students who spend money in your school today are less likely to quit tomorrow. Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Schedule a Day and Time for the Workshop

            In this example, we will often host square hand target workshops, as this is a simple-to-use item that anyone can benefit with from at-home training. We like to do these workshops on a Saturday from 11:00-noon. You can pick any day and time that will work for your schedule.

Step 2: Set a Limited Number of Spaces


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“E” Is for Empathy

mentor motivation Jun 14, 2019

By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs


For this column, I continue using acronyms to spell out the words BLACK BELT, as they relate to teams and leadership. This month, I’ll address “E,” which stands for empathy. Empathy means to relate to or understand another person’s experiences and thoughts.

In the early 2000s, I taught business courses at a local community college in Houston. One fall semester, I had a fun-loving and bright student named Jose. He was doing well in the course.

            During the last five weeks of class, however, Jose disappeared. He missed the remaining exams and his group-project assignment. Jose failed the course in spectacular fashion. His final grade for the entire course was almost a 37.

On the first day of the spring semester, I saw Jose in my classroom. He had an expression on his face that can only be described as shame, mischief and utter disbelief. After class, he...

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