By Christopher Rappold
When I walk into a school and see two or three high-level students training at the prime time (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm), with no other members in site, my eyebrows raise. When I see a class full of students who are not performing the technical skills correctly, I get restless. Each of these extremes are different, but, in both cases, the school owners or instructors are probably making one of the 5 Mistakes that can sabotage a sparring program. So what are the 5 Mistakes? Well let’s take a look at each one so you can make certain you aren’t making them.
Mistake Number 1 – Teaching offense first.
Sparring is learning how to move with another partner. To do it well, a student needs to be able to relax. They can only relax if they feel safe. Instructors have to remember to perceive safety though the eyes and feelings of a beginner. Help everyone feel safe by teaching defense first.
Mistake Number 2 – Developing speed...
By Herb Borkland
Among other distinctions, cardio kickboxing and Impact Fitness entrepreneur Steve Doss grew up down the street from kickboxing pioneer Jim Harrison and knew pre-fame Chuck Norris. He trained with Bill Wallace at Elvis Presley’s legendary co-owned Tennessee Karate Institute and, in Corpus Christie, learned from pioneer karate champion Pat Burleson.
Herb Borkland: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?
Steve Doss: I grew up in Kansas City. Dad was a business man.
HB: How did you first hear about martial arts?
SD: Jim Harrison lived next door. His school was across the street from the high school I went to. He ran two floors: one for judo, the other for karate. Sparring was a bunch of men beating each other up and bleeding. Harrison’s [style of] kickboxing was holding up your hands like a boxer and jumping around.
I was a little scrawny guy and I was scared to death, but I took some classes. I never saw Jim,...
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!
Mike Metzger is a longtime MAIA Elite consultant and longer-time school owner and martial artist! He’s a regular at the SuperShow, and will be back with another seminar alongside Shane Tassoul this year! Get to know a little more about Mike in this post.
How long have you been a MAIA Elite Consultant?
I’ve been an Elite Consultant for 17 years!
What part of your work as a MAIA Consultant do you enjoy the most?
MAIA consults with school owners at all levels: some are doing well and just need help sharpening specific skill sets....
By MAIA Consultant Adam Parman
Learning how to properly market your martial arts school can often be confusing, expensive and frustrating. As small business owners, we are consistently being approached about new advertising opportunities that promise results, but offer no proven track record.
While nothing in life is guaranteed, I’ve found that there are some basic steps to marketing Hollywood movies that can help align your school’s name with larger national brands like major movie franchises and movie theaters. These movie tie-ins are low-cost, potentially high-profit opportunities. Just about every action film, including the mega-budget summer releases, contain plenty of martial arts fight scenes which makes the promo tie-in very credible.
Follow these easy steps to avoid common mistakes and generate new students for your school.
Step #1: Get a Booth
While doing demonstrations in the front lobby of a theater might cause an inquiry or two, it doesn’t...
By Justin L. Ford
The Many Benefits of a Great Demo Team
Do you hear that?
It's faint, but it sounds like a heartbeat.
Is that. . .the sound of your school?
While your students can be likened to the heart of your school, the reputation of your school can be considered the heartbeat. It is the echo of your success. If your “heartbeat” is weak, then your school is likely on the decline to death.
Simply put, your reputation comes from word of mouth. And you should be aware that people will talk about everything! This includes the cleanliness and appearance of your school, what happens on the training floor and, especially, how your...
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 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 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 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...
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