by Melissa Torres, MAIA Division Manager
Well, we made it to the end of 2020. It was a tough year for everyone, whether you had to pivot and learn a new virtual technology or were forced to make difficult decisions like laying off staff or even closing your doors. But the end is finally here. We are closing the doors on 2020 — once and for all!
As happy as I am to see the last of 2020, the practical side of me knows that just because we turned over a new page in our calendars doesn’t mean that everything will automatically return to normal. No one knows when our lives will be normal again — or what that “normal” will look like. (Hopefully, it will be a nicer, better normal.)
It’s more important than ever to be prepared and plan for the unexpected. While no one saw the pandemic coming, I hope you were able to switch to virtual classes quickly or at least continue to keep in touch with your students.
It’s vital to keep yourself and your...
by Philip E. Goss Jr., Esq.
In this new COVID-19 world, many of you are using videoconferencing in lieu of in-person classes. Is teaching virtually in this manner without potential liability? The short answer is no.
As you know, classes conducted on your school premises have many built-in liability protections. For example, no student will be injured by a rambunctious pet or younger sibling running across the studio floor. No misplaced pieces of furniture will get in the way of full-power kicks.
Furthermore, should a student be injured at your school, you’ll have immediate knowledge of the incident, as well as the ability to take remedial action and then create an incident report that records all the facts while they’re fresh in the minds of witnesses.
Clearly, these protections do not apply when instruction takes place via videoconferencing. Nevertheless, many instructors are using video. Assuming you’re one of them, I offer the following cautionary advice.
by Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
One of the best tools for growth is the mirror. If you have the right mindset, the mirror can help you answer two crucial questions: Who is looking back at you? And who will you become?
When I was about to take my first wife to the hospital to give birth, I thought, OK, after you leave, you’ll return with a baby. You’ll be a dad, and your life will never be the same. There were definitely some fearful emotions that day, but there was also a sense of excitement and joy. The person in the mirror was scared but filled with hope.
A few years later, I came home one Saturday to an empty house after my now ex-wife had departed with our son. I was met with a deafening silence. The furniture was gone, my family was absent and I was left to look in the mirror at the one person I blamed for what had happened. The person in the mirror was angry, hurt, resentful and lonely.
Some years later, my son and I stood in front of a mirror as we got...
Beth A. Block
Flu season is upon us. American citizens, including martial arts studio owners and martial arts students, remain divided over masks. Some people have legitimate medical reasons for why they cannot wear a mask; others simply will not wear one.
To minimize liability, I recommend following the guidelines issued by your county, your state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You also need to consider the Americans With Disabilities Act. Walking the tightrope between these two mandates can cause problems for business owners. An issue already has cropped for one of my clients.
A studio owner encountered a parent who claimed not to be able to wear a mask for a medical reason. The owner reminded the parent of the studio’s published policy of mask wearing. The parent threatened to get an attorney involved. The owner came to me for help, and I did some research. If you find yourself in a similar situation, what I learned could be useful to you, too.
by Frank Silverman
As we prepare to enter 2021, we have an opportunity not only to look toward the future but also to reflect on the past. Nobody could have predicted how 2020 would turn out. It’s hard to believe that the pandemic has rolled over into the new year with us. In March, I had a conversation with my business partner Mike Metzger, and we agreed that COVID, although serious, would blow over soon. We figured it was a blip on the map of life with no real consequences. After a couple of weeks, life would be back to normal, we thought.
As we all know now, that prediction could not have been more wrong. We stopped in-person training and closed our schools in mid-March, then pivoted to virtual training. Not until June did we begin to allow students back into our schools. That’s when we quickly learned something that most other school owners likely discovered: Although we were ready to resume in-person training, our students were not so eager. They still wanted...
by Mike Metzger
If you want to maximize the odds that you’ll be successful — in anything — you need to set goals. No matter what you do in life, you should have a clear destination in mind, and when you think about it, a goal is a destination.
Assessing your needs, setting goals that will get you there and, when necessary, reevaluating those goals are crucial elements in the process, and the beginning of the year is a great time to address them. On a personal level, your goals might pertain to having better relationships, earning a college degree, acquiring a bigger house or even becoming a better person. However, because MASuccess is about the martial arts business, I will assume that you’re reading this article because you want to set and then achieve goals related to your business.
There are many goals you can set for your business, and most of them likely relate to some type of growth. Therefore, to achieve them, you must understand what mechanisms...
by Kurt Klingenmeyer, MAIA Consultant
As the Small School Specialist for the Martial Arts Industry Association, my job is to help school owners make the transition from part-time instructor to full-time business owner. Key to that transition is recruiting more students. Although the task can seem daunting or even impossible, especially during the era of COVID, there are some strategies that will help you reach this goal without spending your hard-earned dollars on advertising. Listed below are five.
The first strategy provides a great opportunity for your current students to share their passion with their friends. When those friends — adults and youths, alike — are brought to class, have them engage in themed drills with the person who invited them. Those can include self-defense drills, focus-mitt speed challenges, partner drills — anything that has the newcomer punching, kicking or grappling with his or her buddy is a win. Collect the...
by Dave Kovar
I love the martial arts. I thoroughly enjoy teaching. I’m continually in awe of what martial arts training does for people. And I find great pleasure in coaching other school owners — at least, most of the time.
Occasionally, I come across a school owner who does nothing but complain about how hard it is to run to a school. (Just to be clear, 2020 has been an extremely challenging year for all of us, and I understand the need to vent. That’s not what I’m talking about here.) Whenever I hear such complaints, two thoughts pop into my head. The first is, “Yes, it is hard to run a martial arts school.” The second is, “Who ever said it would be easy?”
What worthwhile career is easy? What career allows you to make a good living, has a profound and positive impact on society, and doesn’t require a lot of hard work and occasional stress? I can’t think of any. Can you? I didn’t think so. It’s been my...
by Kevin Nevels
When my wife and I opened our first martial arts academy more than 10 years ago, we didn’t know much about running a business. To be honest, we hardly knew anything about running a business. However, we were sure about a couple of things: We knew how to teach good martial arts, and we knew that we needed to get out into our community and let people know what we were doing.
These two ideas turned out to be the beginnings of a blueprint for success.
In the years that followed, I’ve observed that most school owners know they should go out and tell people about their schools, but they don’t know how or where to get started. Some school owners say they don’t see the value in getting involved in their community because it doesn’t lead directly to the acquisition of new students. If you’ve read MASuccess for any length of time, you’ve seen the recommendations that MAIA consultants have shared to help you organize events that...
by Terry L. Wilson
In the past four decades, Cynthia Rothrock has accomplished what many of us dream about but few of us achieve, and that is to nurture our traditional martial arts skills into an international career in fight films. Here’s a look back for those who are too young to have witnessed the rise of Rothrock.
Before she graced her first silver screen, young Cynthia Rothrock was a force to be reckoned with on the East Coast. She won numerous forms and sparring championships on the regional circuit, then graduated to the national scene, where she continued to dominate in weapons and kata. Known for blending disciplines — including tang soo do, taekwondo, eagle-claw kung fu, wushu and Shaolin kung fu — Rothrock used flashy moves that happened to catch the eye of a Chinese movie producer in 1983. Soon after, she found herself in Hong Kong starring in her first film.
It didn’t take long for the martial artist from Wilmington, Delaware,...
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