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".
by Karen Eden
Years ago, while working as a TV reporter in Pittsburgh, PA, I was sent out to cover a story about a wildlife refuge not too far off from the city.
The former wildlife specialist I interviewed seemed to have a heart for the unruly animals who wouldn’t conform to zoo and circus life. He also adopted the animals that people from around the country had mistakenly taken in as pets at one time or another.
I’ll never forget his words to me.
“I don’t care how tamed you think an animal from the wild may now be. They are always going to be wired to be wild and you must always keep that in mind,” he told me.
With that, he brought out one of his latest orphaned, unwanted animals. It was a bobcat … with a sinus issue. I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. This poor bobcat was consistently blowing his nose. Yet, he of course didn’t have the...
by Dr. Nguyen "Tom" Griggs
When I was around 15 years old, my dad (a.k.a., “Pop”) and I were working on his old ‘79 Dodge Ram Charger. It was banged up, had no air conditioning and the radio could barely stay in place in its holding brackets. As we worked, my dad had a life talk with me. He shared five rules for living that he abided by and made him successful.
I was honored to retell these points during his eulogy in June 2016. Seeing friends and relatives laughing and nodding in agreement told me that these are true pearls of wisdom. Allow me to share these points with you. I’ll frame them in the context of being successful in the areas of teams, leadership and conflict management.
1. Work hard and work smart. My dad was a very hard-working person. He advocated common sense, but knew that determination could only take you so far. Armed with only...
by Philip E. Goss, Jr., ESQ.
You train your students to physically defend themselves in as an efficient manner as possible. The shorter the unpleasant “transaction” lasts, the better. Sometimes, involvement in the legal system is necessary and truncating the process, as in a fight, is always in your best interests.
Neither I nor other attorneys operate under the assumption that legal talent is sought to draft all corporate documents. The Internet places a vast library of potential and free (but questionable) legal resources at your immediate disposal. Ninety eight percent of the time, what you find on the Internet can work for its intended purposes. However, it is the 2% that will cause you angst and added expense.
Just about everyone is familiar with the concept of a “legal injunction.” In short, an injunction is an order of the court that requires someone to either do...
by Dr. Jason Han
One of the most common injuries we see on the mat are ankle injuries. The foot/ankle complex is your primary contact with the ground, making it a critical piece to all dynamic movements in your training.
You would be hard pressed to find a friend or student that has not suffered through at least one ankle sprain. And, chances are that if a person has had one, he/she has had multiple recurrences. It has been shown that an important predictor of an injury is a previous injury.
Ankle issues can keep students and teachers out of commission for weeks. So, what does this injury mean, and what can we do to prevent it?
The majority of ankle sprains happens when the foot “rolls inward” and stretches the ligaments on the outside of the foot. It’s important to realize that damage to the ligament and swelling in the area causes you more than just pain. It also shuts down...
by Dave Kovar
Forty years ago this November, I opened up my first school in North Highlands, CA, a suburb of Sacramento. It was a tiny school in a mediocre area, and I had no idea what I was doing. What I did have was cheap rent and a lot of enthusiasm.
The school grew relatively quickly in the first year. But I couldn’t tell you how many students I had because I didn’t keep any stats. Based on my memory, I’d say I had between 80 and 100. At the time, very few children were training in the program. As a matter fact, I only offered kid’s classes Monday and Wednesday nights at 5 o’clock. I think I had the largest youth program in the area and I only had about 12 kids enrolled!
Over time, I successfully identified lots of things that didn’t work and I struggled a lot up into the mid-1980s. Then, something interesting happened.
There was this movie, let me...
by Melissa Torres
Get ready! Next month is the official time to pack your bags and make your way to Las Vegas for the 2018 Martial Arts Super Show! There are so many incredible speakers, instructors, trainers, martial artists and fellow school owners you are about to meet. And there’s so much to see and do during the Show and at the chic Bellagio Hotel venue.
If you’re already signed up for the Show, you are no doubt looking for advice for growing your school. Or increasing retention. Or learning new ways of instructing. Or, you’rechecking out the latest products and services.
In this column, I wanted to point out a few highlights of in the Martial Arts Industry Association’s (MAIA) booth.
First of all, you must stop by to meet our incredible MAIA coaches. The entire team will be there, and will be excited to talk to you and answer any and all of your questions....
by Kathy Olevsky
I ‘ve been operating a martial arts school full time for 39 years. I think I may have made every mistake that can be made in this business. The reason I’m still in business, I believe, is because I asked for help. I learned quickly that others before me had already found solutions. In this reality-based column, I’ll point out key mistakes I made in my business career, which are common errors among school owners, both large and small, throughout our industry. Then I’ll share the solutions I applied to overcome them.
I was reminded recently that our business is ever-changing and I have to remember to respond to the changes. We have worked very hard on our marketing for the past six months and our influx of new students has been steady. In addition to that steady influx, we just added a project that brought in even more new business.
by Christopher Rappold
Though many school owners love to talk about how many students they enrolled, the language that has always resonated with me is how many students a school is keeping. Getting students is about making promises; retaining students is a sign of delivering on the promises made. And while we would all love to claim great retention, to do so requires you know your numbers.
To make it simple, imagine you have 100 students and, in a single month, you had four students discontinue their training. For that month, you could say your quit rate was 4%.
For schools that keep accurate statistics, when you average all 12 months the number tends to be in the 5–7% range. The schools that I think do a tremendous job average somewhere between 2-3%.
I’m sharing these numbers so you have a basis of comparison when you look at your school’s numbers to determine how...
by Frank Silverman
I just came across an old ad from 20 years ago that I ran in the local newspaper (yes, advertising in the newspaper). One of the bullet points on it was the cost: trial special, $19.95. We still apply this special in various advertising mediums today.
But what caught my eye was a bunch of the other beneficial bullet points that were part of that old ad:
• better grades
• great exercise
It took me back to when I opened my first school and why I got into the business of martial arts. What I found amazing is that some of — well, actually, most of — those reasons are the same and hold true today.
I wanted to earn a good living doing what I loved to do — and I loved to do martial arts more than anything else in the world. I liked helping others reach their goals. This was a triple win for me: make money, help...
by Herb Borkland
Illinois’ John Sharkey is in charge of overseeing all departments within the American Karate Association (AKA). He began studying martial arts in 1965, opened his first school in 1973, when he was a brown belt junior in high school, and a second location in 1976. He was elected president of the AKA in 1977 with the enthusiastic support of AKAfounder Ken Knudson.
John Sharkey: I grew up south of Chicago in Momence, Illinois. My father was an industrial parts
buyer who trained in karate and knew [controversial 1960s martial arts pioneer] John
Keehan, a.k.a., “Count Dante.”
I had a falling out with my instructor because I’d opened my own school. So, I contacted AKA
Founder and President Ken Knudson, who tried me out running a school and then asked me to
At 21, I didn’t feel ready. I struggled because of my age, looking to coordinate men 20 years my
senior. The workload was endless. So, I...
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