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".
When I was a kid, I watched the Superman show on TV. Many of you younger folks may ask, “What TV show?” A few of you might also have fond memories of watching. The narrator’s dramatic introduction to that show was: “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look! Up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman!” The bottom line is, none of us, nor our students, are Superman. We are mortal. Bullets kill mortals. When I was a white belt, my first instructor, Sensei Mike Smith, taught me that gun defense was all about getting the person with the gun to go away. I was taught to give him every material thing he asked for. The only time I was to attempt to disarm him was if he were trying to get me or a loved one into a car. My mindset had to be: “I’m already dead. Let’s see if this can be a more pleasant death than it will be if I get in that...
What George Fujii, a former member of Ernie Reyes, Sr.’s West Coast Demo Team, built in the rural town of Gardnerville, NV, is pretty amazing. His modern 5,500-square-foot facility, which he owns outright, offers many family-oriented programs and boasts everything from trampolines to a complete nutrition store. Sound business practices, combined with the good karma from his very extensive community-charity work, has rewarded Fujii’s school with some 275 active students.
George Fujii’s grandfather immigrated from Japan to America in 1912, and went to work on the railroad. He served as a cook and gardener and, in the style of a real-life Mr. Miyagi, would go on to open the first commercial nursery in Reno, NV. His four children and many grandchildren would learn the Asian cultural values consisting of personal discipline and hard work.
The renowned, hard-core work ethic, however, certainly got passed on, and it served Fujii well the rest of his life.
You’ve probably heard that “TEAM” stands for “Together Everyone Achieves More.” Organizations love the “achieving” and “more” part of the acronym, but everyone still struggles with the “together” part. Dr. Nguyen “Tom” Griggs of TNT Jujitsu in Houston, TX, has been able to use his multiple backgrounds in martial arts, education and business to develop black belt leaders and high-functioning teams. Here’s how he does it.
Dr. Griggs says there are three primary types of team models he has experienced. The first is the “Patchwork” model. This is where the sensei would tell the class about their techniques and everyone simply trained and helped teach as needed. All the higher belts understood what was asked of them, and helped to build the knowledge “quilt” by teaching techniques in the way that they felt was best.
In schools with an informal and easygoing teaching style, this...
Unlike the busy fall season, summer tends to be a slower and less-profitable time for martial arts schools. When the weather turns warmer and the kids get out of school, the “summertime blues” set in. Many academies struggle to enroll new members and keep students on the mats. Here’s a reality-based plan on how to chase those blues away and have a fun and successful summer.
The mere mention of the summer months can make even veteran school owners cringe. Many owners have visions of empty classes, students looking to freeze their memberships, low enrollment numbers and kids that take a break for the summer and never return. Some owners assume that a slow summer is a foregone conclusion. They look to make up ground when the (hopefully) busy back-to-school season rolls around. Others try hard, but find it difficult to enroll students. They have quality classes with exhausted kids who have been at summer camp, the playground or the pool all day.
Over two decades of...
At just 30-years-old, Justin Wren already holds many titles: professional fighter, national-champion wrestler and cast member of Spike TV’s Ultimate Fighter. Despite those accomplishments, there’s one title he is most proud of — humanitarian. Wren founded “The Fight For The Forgotten,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to securing land, freedom and clean water for the formerly-enslaved Mbuti Pygmy tribe in the Ituri rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He’s now teaming up with Century Martial Arts to bring additional relief to the impoverished area and is challenging you to join the efforts.
Before Justin Wren was the professional fighter we know him as today, he was a young child who fell victim to constant bullying. The bullying got so bad he had to change schools several times. It was at the age of 13 when he came across something that changed his life forever.
“I stopped at a used VHS tape store and found UFC 2 through...
Philip Gattone, Jr. was attacked in the dead of night. Without warning, his body was invaded by an invisible adversary leaving the four-year-old twisting uncontrollably on the bedroom floor. This was the beginning of a battle with epilepsy that he would fight for the rest of his life. Armed with a will to win and the martial arts, Gattone, now 30, is beating the odds.
Philip Gattone, Jr. had his first seizure at just 4-years-old.
“That night was just the start of it,” says Gattone, Jr. “I began having other types of seizures, called ‘Absence Seizures.’ “With that type of seizure, it looks almost like you’re daydreaming, but you’re wide awake.”
An Absence Seizure causes the individual’s eyes to flutter and, at times, cause the person to blank out. This type of seizure usually lasts between 15 to 30 seconds. But for a young boy who has no control over his body, those few seconds can feel like a lifetime.
“So, if anyone...
Schools struggle to keep staff members. Ensure you are doing everything you can to keep the young professionals in which you have invested. Stop creating temporary solutions and develop permanent ones for instructor professionalism in your school. You can do this by mentoring your young professionals so they grow in and outside of your business.
Today’s young professionals are a unique crew. They come with real skills in the areas of technology, collaboration and brainstorming. However, it’s not uncommon for them to struggle in the face of temporary setbacks and disappointments. Many of them are searching, yet they don’t even realize it.
It’s no secret that many believe young professionals are ill-equipped to survive in today’s highly competitive global economy. The reasons cited for this lack of preparation for life in the “real world” are commonly repeated across the board. They are: overprotective parenting, coddling by...
Steve Butts, owner of three Martial Arts America schools in the general Pensacola, FL, area, has found a niche in what is often an oversaturated marketplace. By combining gymnastics and a mix of martial arts styles, Butts has kids flipping, tumbling, punching and kicking by the hundreds into his Ninja Nation program.
With more than 30 year’s experience under his 6th-degree black belt in moo duk kwon taekwondo, Steve Butts was quick to recognize an opportunity. He integrated a gymnastics program into his already successful martial arts curriculum.
“I noticed a lot of kids doing gymnastics in their forms, but they were mostly self-taught,” Butts says. “Their mechanics were not sound, which wasn’t safe for the student. Being safe and teaching gymnastics properly was very important to me. So, we built out our school to include trampolines and spring floors. We started teaching gymnastics in our school under the supervision of professional gymnastics...
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