by Kathy Olevsky
I recently read a post in a Facebook group about how an instructor wanted to ban phones in the lobby. The idea, I believe, was to get parents to engage more with their children — with fewer distractions from their phones. Many experts in the martial arts business have said that we need to take giant steps in 2021 to get our businesses back to normal after a year of difficulties due to the COVID pandemic. However, there are ways to encourage parent participation and ways to alienate parents.
We instructors need to take into account that many parents and adult students have moved on to working remotely. In our school, there are parents who bring their children to class but are still on the clock for their jobs. They continue their work hours in our lobby or in their cars while their child trains. Some come in with their phones on because they’re on call. For this reason, we’ve decided to do whatever we can to help them improve their lives. Our...
by Eric P. Fleishman
This past year was a doozy for personal fitness. With gyms closed, an overall increase in stress and home confinement constituting the new normal, waistlines expanded like never before. Many people claim that they’ve already gained “the COVID-19” in pounds by spending time on the couch watching their favorite shows, while others worry their way to the refrigerator each night.
It’s time for you to help your students and their families find their way back to looking and feeling like champion martial artists. To achieve this, they’re going to need the motivation and inspiration that only a martial arts teacher can provide. This is the secret opportunity the pandemic has created: You have the chance to help your students and their families unlock their inner action-hero bodies before summer rolls around. Presented below are tips for doing this while you increase revenue and enthusiasm in your dojo.
Get Everybody on Board
by Kurt Klingenmeyer
As all school owners know, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of running a martial arts academy. The hours pass quickly when they revolve around teaching great classes and helping students reach their potential. Unfortunately, while that’s happening, some things can slide to the side and get forgotten.
Listed below are five things that you, as a martial arts instructor, should incorporate into your daily routine.
“Great Job” Calls
Make it a point to speak with five families every day to tell them what a great job their children are doing in class. Giving families individualized attention and letting them know about their children’s progress are key to the development of martial arts students. In addition to talking about a child’s martial arts progress, ask how the whole family is doing. Oftentimes, parents come to the martial arts for support — maybe the child needs more focus or...
by Karen Eden
I had just landed my first TV anchor job at age 22 when I found what I thought was the perfect hairstyle. This was back when hair was bigger and hairspray was an absolute necessity. I couldn’t believe that I had to go all the way to Toronto, Canada, to find a hairstyle I actually liked. The giant poster was hanging there like an oversized invitation for me to come on in and get the latest fashion trend in haircuts.
At first, I was happy to sit in the chair and listen to the stylist talking in French, but after about 10 minutes, I started to panic. I’ve always had long hair, and he was taking off pieces all the way up to my ears. Then I thought, Surely, he knows what he’s doing. Besides, if I was to maintain a professional look for my new job, I could no longer don a long, free-flowing style.
Finally, the stylist was done. He spun me around to get a look in the mirror. “Oh, my God!” I exclaimed.
“You wanted the haircut on the...
by Herb Borkland
Barry Guimbellot received his first dan from Allen Steen in 1976 and in 2015 was promoted to 10th-degree by Steen, Pat Burleson and Keith Yates. A legendary school owner and director, Guimbellot first ran and then bought Steen’s Texas Karate Institute schools. Along with Walt Mason and later Dave Mason, Guimbellot continued to operate those schools until 2010. He also co-promoted the Southern Karate Championships for 37 years and the Big “D” National Karate Championships for 35 years. From 2008 to 2017, he served as President of the Amateur Organization of Karate.
MASuccess: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?
Barry Guimbellot: I was raised in Richardson, Texas. Dad began by inspecting airplanes and later worked as a salesman.
MAS: How did you first hear about martial arts?
BG: A high-school friend started taking karate from Allen Steen, and then my brother did, too. It was cool, but I never thought about it for...
by Frank Silverman
Every now and then, we all can use a reminder of how special our profession really is. Of course, there’s the daily regimen of training, teaching, coaching, etc., but as you all know, those things add up to so much more. I received that reminder again just last week and thought now was as good a time as any to share it with you.
I was at karate class watching my 6-year-old. She had just moved up to the beginner’s class, having graduated from the Lil’ Dragons program. Since we’re still social distancing and this school’s waiting area accommodates only eight to 10 parents, I was standing outside to watch so all our members and clients could squeeze in.
As I stood there, I noticed another family watching from inside their car. They had parked where they had an unobstructed view of the class. In the car was a mom, her daughter and an aunt, and inside the school was the 6-year-old son and father. They told me they were heading off...
by Floyd Burk
The primary function of MASuccess is to help you overcome any obstacle that stands between your martial arts business and financial success. In 2020, the main obstacle for most schools was the pandemic. Sadly, it remains so in 2021.
This has spurred endless discussion, most of it based on this all-to-common premise: “My school has been closed for a long time and I still have to pay rent. My state says I can’t teach inside, so I’m planning to start holding class outside soon. Do you have any suggestions?”
In this article, I’ll shed some light on this subject and related ones that focus on teaching outside your regular establishment.
Let’s start by assuming that you live in a locale where state and local officials have issued orders keeping you from conducting class in your school or orders that restrict the number of people allowed inside. I’m a school owner in San Diego County, so I know of what I...
by Cris Rodriguez
Most people in the martial arts industry who know me know that I’m a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Few are aware, however, that I got my start at a Jhoon Rhee Institute of Tae Kwon Do when I was just 8 years old. Yes, I’ve been a mat rat since 1993.
As a former lover of forms — specifically, musical forms — I had the power of repetition drilled into my head from an early age. My classmates and I practiced our musical routines so much that cassette tapes would get stretched out and become unplayable because we constantly were pressing the Play, Stop and Rewind buttons. At least they weren’t 8 tracks or vinyl. …
Looking back on my childhood on the dojo carpet — mats weren’t popular at the time — I’m still impressed at how my instructor was able to get us to practice our forms over and over by disguising the repetition of the techniques we were using. Back then, we didn’t know what he was...
by Cris Rodriguez, Mike Metzger and Shane Tassoul
At the macro level, you have to implement just three systems to achieve success in your martial arts academy. If you’re thinking that sounds too easy to be true, know that Tony Robbins teaches something similar in his business-coaching programs. He says a business must do these three things to grow:
1 Get customers.
2 Get those customers to pay more.
3 Get those customers to pay more, more often.
At the Martial Arts Industry Association, our recipe for success focuses on the three R’s: recruitment, retention and revenue. In this article, three of the industry’s leading consultants — Cris Rodriguez, Mike Metzger and Shane Tassoul — will explain how this simple strategy can help you take your school to the next level in 2021.
Recruitment • Cris Rodriguez, MAIA Consultant
One year on vacation in Hawaii, I was relaxing at the beach when a fisherman, obviously a local, drove up in his...
by Harinder Singh Sabharwal
At least 90 percent of success in business boils down to mindset and the ability to “be like water” as you adapt to change. The fact that you’re reading this article indicates that the martial arts are your business — as well as a way of life for you. The education you’ve received stretches far beyond the physical and impacts every aspect of your existence. This includes how you perceive situations, how you interact with people and how you make decisions. The arts provide you with a philosophy of action that’s powered by a disciplined mind, and this sets you apart from people who are into other pursuits.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has thrown our industry into chaos. It’s pushed us to transform how we conduct business and how we provide services for our students. As martial artists, we’re trained to make ourselves comfortable in uncomfortable situations, which is why, as an industry, we’ve stepped...
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