The struggle against COVID-19 has rightly been described as a war. Some martial arts school owners did nothing as the coronavirus attacked, and their businesses perished. Most school owners took defensive action, and they survived. A few, however, went on the offensive. Even as they defended themselves against the hit brought on by the lockdowns, they explored new territory where they saw good chances for growth. These are the success stories of seven of them.
School: Black Tiger Martial Arts
Headquarters: Houston, Texas
Co-Owner: Robin McLeod Ingram (with husband Bill Ingram)
When COVID-19 started to affect businesses in March 2020, our first plan was to have separate class times throughout the day with brothers and sisters training together — and maybe a few other kids for a maximum of four per class. We would make sure they were more socially distanced than was suggested. Furthermore, we would require everyone to wear a mask.
When local businesses...
Boy Is Kidnapped — Learns Martial Arts for Self-Defense — Becomes Tournament Powerhouse — Founds Century Martial Arts — Vows to Pay It Forward by Creating Martial Arts Industry Association!
by Robert W. Young
I can’t say for sure how an incident in which my home was invaded, my mother was tied up and I was abducted would affect me, but I like to think it wouldn’t reduce my childhood to a kittenhood. I hope I’d be able to recover from the emotional trauma and at least live out my life with a semblance of normalcy.
Spend any time with Mike Dillard, and you’ll begin to see how, for some people, such adversity can breed success. Instead of being ruined for life, he channeled his anxiety into a drive to learn self-defense, then into a string of victories on the karate circuit and finally into a startup that exploded into a business empire, all using the principles and concepts he acquired from the martial arts.
After the crafting of...
by Perry William Kelly
“I always say that the path to greatness for all of us, for every single person on this planet, is suffering — suffering through failure, through adversity, through tragedy, through setbacks, obstacles, mistakes. It is that journey of suffering that brings out our greatness.”
— Chatri Sityodtong
You, the readers of MASuccess, probably are better acquainted with suffering than almost anyone else these days. You suffered through however many years it took you to become an instructor in your art. You struggled through the growing pains of building your school from the ground up. And over the past two years, you persevered through the worst health and business crisis in 100 years. Even though you’re bruised and battered, you’ve remained in the fight because you possess the warrior spirit — much like the hero of our story.
Chatri Sityodtong is the CEO of ONE Championship, a Singapore-based martial arts...
by Kathy Olevsky
I’ve written this column for 10 years now, telling the world how I’ve survived 45 years in the martial arts business despite having made many mistakes. In fact, I have not even begun to cover them all. I share my stories to help you learn from them — and because it’s important to know that you, too, may blunder along the way but that your school can survive.
During the pandemic and the period that followed its darkest days, most martial arts schools had to contend with students who wanted to terminate their programs. Because of the unique circumstances, martial arts academies around the world had to relax their cancellation policies. I’ve talked with school owners who struggled with the new normal of letting students leave because of COVID-related issues.
This is the one time in our history when most of us have had to make concessions. I know that our schools drastically modified their cancellation policies. In speaking with other...
Let’s face it, online advertising works awesome, but it costs money.
It’s a pay-to-play platform.
And it’s one that requires skills and strategy — two things that many martial arts school owners have when they are on the mat — but put them in front of the Facebook Ads Manager, and they are tying on a white belt.
When times are tough and your marketing budget is low, leaders adapt and overcome.
And while paid advertising is the fastest way to gain new students, it’s not the only way.
Smart school owners leverage the power of Social Media and the Internet every single day.
And while you might not have a large marketing budget, that doesn’t mean you are out for the count.
This is why I put together 7 ways for you to reach your audience online…for free.
These techniques and strategies won’t cost you a dime.
So what’s the catch?
It will cost...
Being that this is a very male-dominated industry, sometimes more vulnerable topics don’t often get spoken about.
Let me preface this by saying that I don’t have a degree in psychology, and I am definitely not a psychiatrist.
But stress and anxiety often go hand-in-hand with owning a small business, especially with the past year and a half that we've gone through.
So I wanted to share my mantra for when I am feeling anxious.
And that is: Action Alleviates Anxiety
I have been through quite a lot in my 10 years of being an entrepreneur.
And 2015 was almost the year that broke me.
First, I was audited by the IRS.
It was almost an entire year of having my accountant on speed dial, my employees being interviewed, and every financial document in my business under a
I took action and made sure that my accountant and auditor had everything they needed at the exact time they needed it.
You’ll never believe what the final resolution...
There is no shortage of knowledge in our industry.
There are great coaches and consultants out there (and some not so great ones too) that will give you all of their knowledge.
Information is plentiful thanks to Google and YouTube (I joke all the time that I built a 7 figure business off of using those two platforms as resources).
So the issue isn’t information and knowledge. The information is WHERE DO I START?
All of us are in unique places in our martial arts schools.
Some of us are just getting started. Some of us have been at this for decades.
Some of us are struggling with recruiting, others with retention.
So where do you START?
I think why most coaching and consulting programs fail is because they word vomit all of their knowledge onto a school owner without providing them with a timeline of what they should implement based on where they are in their business.
This is why MAIA is a step above the rest. Our model provides a Pathway...
With many school owners in the industry seeing record enrollment months this year post-pandemic, it’s making for a very exciting Back to School Season.
The kids are going back to school, the masks are coming off, and people are ready to be back to their regularly scheduled programming.
While some kids go back to school after Labor Day, many states and counties go back to school in August, so we figured it’s perfect timing to break down 5 simple steps so you can have an EPIC back to school season.
With there being so many things you CAN do during the back to school season, it’s imperative that you choose the RIGHT things to do.
Let’s break down the game-plan.
Step 1 - Schedule Important Dates
Jim Rohn said it best, “Plan your work. Work your plan.”
School owners who sit down and take time to plan out their Back 2 School efforts will be the ones who find the most success.
Fuzzy targets don’t get...
by Eric P. Fleishman
As martial arts schools reopen, school owners everywhere are seeing new sign-ups. Enrollment is rising because people are once again free to congregate safely, and the numbers are being boosted by the popularity of TV shows like Cobra Kai.
With all these new students trying out their new moves, keeping everyone safe and healthy becomes the priority. Nothing puts a damper on enlightenment-through-training like the pain of an unexpected injury. However, by implementing a proper warmup along with a comprehensive stretching regimen, you can dramatically decrease the chance of injury. With that in mind, I offer this list of the five most important yoga-based stretches to include in your program.
For the Hamstring
Located along the back of the leg, the hamstring is a critical muscle to keep flexible. Maintaining supple hamstrings can ensure higher, more powerful kicks and explosive capabilities that will propel the body forward when it’s time to...
by Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
Something that many leaders — and people in general — deal with regularly is the urge to overdo certain aspects of their jobs. We all know someone who was given a chance to run things and let it go to his or her head, or the person simply did too much to try to impress the boss. Here’s an example.
When I was in fourth grade, we had a substitute teacher. She was a regular substitute at our school and was known for being tough. Many students saw her as someone who tried too hard and was out to prove something. Those personality traits made her stubborn and unwilling to understand other perspectives.
One day when she was subbing in our class, she was her usual overcompensating self. In the class was a student who stuttered. She called on him to answer a question, and he was silent. She became irate and then berated him.
When he remained silent, she took things to another level and demanded that he go to the chalkboard to...
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