by Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
In this column, I would like to share some perspectives on the value of yielding when it comes to working with others. First, I must make a distinction between yielding and surrendering.
In Japanese jujitsu, the principle of yielding is often essential to the proper execution of a technique and the successful defense of oneself. Yielding can be understood as going with another person’s energy or movement instead of fighting it. Surrendering means giving up and letting the other side have its way at your expense. I hope this helps you see how these two concepts differ.
When I was in my early 20s, I earned my MBA. Our family insurance agent helped me get a job at a local firm. When I left, I went to work for a much larger corporation. My manager — I’ll call him Phil — was a great example of how not to act as a leader.
Phil was self-righteously moralizing, inconsistently strict and condescending. The worst part was, he...
Guest Blog by Michelle Hodnett
Project Dojo is a nonprofit community outreach program in Pueblo, Colorado, that works with at-risk children. Through the power of martial arts, Project Dojo seeks to inspire and motivate kids within a safe environment, while continuing to teach the traditions of martial arts. This is the story of Project Dojo co-founder Michelle Hodnett’s experiences in her martial art journey.
Halloween is a childhood-favorite holiday. However, due to the dangers in today’s world, many parents aren’t comfortable with the idea of letting their children roam around after dark. And, unfortunately, many children live in neighborhoods that are genuinely unsafe. Holding a Halloween event at your dojo gives them a safe way to enjoy Halloween, and gives all your students a family-friendly, fun event! Also, making your event open to the public, or giving your students “tickets” to use to invite friends, is a great way to get new...
by Karen Eden
One of the hardest things for me to master during my time as a TV news reporter was learning to “hurry up and wait.” You have to hurry up and get to the scene so you don’t miss anything. But once you get there, you just stand around — sometimes for hours. You try to figure out what’s really going on, which information is relevant and which is superfluous, whom you can interview and how you can get them to talk.
That’s usually the way it is when it comes to covering any kind of breaking news. As I’m sure my directors would attest, it was never my favorite thing to do.
Seasoned reporters are the best at this. They can show up and wait from high noon until sunset — and still present the story with smiles on their faces. Why? Because they’ve done it a million times, and they don’t even entertain the thought of going back empty-handed. They’ll find a way to get people to talk and to get that story on...
by Richard Blaine
Many martial artists dream of earning a living doing what they love. But when that dream meets the harsh reality of running a business, it can feel like being woken with a bucket of ice water to the face. Declining enrollments, departing students, the never-ending search for quality staff members, and turning just enough of a profit to pay bills and eat, then repeating this process month after grueling month — these things can turn that dream into a nightmare.
Yet a few school owners are running businesses that not only survive but also succeed beyond all expectations. At the top of that list of success stories is Premier Martial Arts.
With more than 100 schools in the United States, as well as branches in Canada and Great Britain, PMA stands as one of the world’s largest and most successful chains of franchised martial arts schools. And in a market saturated with everything from cardio-kickboxing gyms to Brazilian jiu-jitsu academies, every PMA...
by Justin Lee Ford
Shoshin is a word one encounters in the traditional Japanese martial arts, as well as in Buddhism. It doesn’t refer to a technique or form; rather, it’s a general concept. Translated, it means “beginner’s mind.” The term is used to remind practitioners to keep an open mind akin to that of a beginner in any endeavor.
In the martial arts, having a beginner’s mind can foster humility and make you receptive to new ideas. In the business of martial arts, having a beginner’s mind can help you connect with new students and retain current students.
How so? When you, as a martial arts instructor, remind yourself of what it’s like to start learning a new physical pursuit, you better connect with white belts. This is because there are many things newcomers don’t know but you take for granted. Adopting a beginner’s mind reacquaints you with their stage of training, and it aids you when it’s time to...
Every year, for as long as I can remember, Century Martial Arts and the Martial Arts Industry Association have published materials to help schools have the most successful holiday season possible. Even though I believe we help a great deal, we can always do better. With that in mind, in this column, I’m taking the opportunity not only to give a few more tips but also to explain why the last quarter of the year is crucial to our businesses.
The holiday season — from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day — offers the perfect chance for reflection, relaxation and “profitization.” First, as the year winds down, it’s a great time to reflect on 2019 and evaluate how well you were able to accomplish the goals you set for your business. If you were unable to attain them all, this is when you should determine what can you do in 2020 to make sure you achieve the goals you set.
Reflection also is about defining your priorities and deciding if you have set...
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!
Like many MAIA consultants, Jason Flame first entered the organization as a client then. He quickly realized two things: that MAIA’s strategies worked, and that not enough school owners were taking advantage of them. He became a MAIA Elite consultant in order to help other schools reach the same heights of success, adding his own experiences and skills to the ever-growing pool of MAIA resources.
When did your martial arts journey begin?
It was my mom who originally wanted me to enter martial arts. It was always her dream to train...
By Dave Kovar
I do not know if other martial arts instructors have experienced this, but in my world, there seems to be an assumption that because I teach martial arts for a living, I must have all the time in the world to train. It has been my experience the reverse is often true. We are so busy working to grow our businesses that we hardly have time for ourselves, let alone the extra time we might need to keep ourselves as healthy and fit as we would like. With that said, if we’re not careful, we can use this as an excuse to let ourselves go.
I’m often amazed at the disconnect many smart and talented school owners have with regard to how their personal health affects their level of success. It might be possible to achieve or maintain a high level of success temporarily without taking care of yourself. However, in the long run, that abuse will catch up to you. There is an ancient proverb that says, “Those who have their health have 1,000 goals. Those...
By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
Hello, friends! I want to thank everyone who provided valuable feedback regarding my B.L.A.C.K. B.E.L.T. series. I promise to continue delivering valuable insights and information.
During the next five articles, we’re going to discuss how the concepts from Japanese jujitsu can be applied to your teams. I know that all our arts share similar principles, so feel free to apply them accordingly.
My instructor Torey Overstreet constantly reminds us that if you must use force to make a technique work, then you are doing it incorrectly. Now, some functional strength is necessary when applying a technique, but force implies a rough and harsh application of strength.
Effective leadership requires you to be strong all the time, but rarely forceful. I’ve known several leaders who firmly believed that if you had to raise your voice in anger or frustration, then you...
Guest Blog by Michelle Hodnett
Project Dojo is a nonprofit community outreach program in Pueblo, Colorado, that works with at-risk children. Through the power of martial arts, Project Dojo seeks to inspire and motivate kids within a safe environment, while continuing to teach the traditions of martial arts.
However, you don’t have to be a nonprofit school to hold a great free event! Holding a free event to help youth in your community is a great way to rally your school around a worthy cause. Your students can work as volunteers at the event, or contribute to the planning. In this article, Project Dojo head Michelle Hodnett shares how she’s held successful free events and how you can get started on yours!
Why do a backpack giveaway in the first place?
Everyone loves free stuff! If you’re looking to advertise, boost morale, or want to connect with your community, a free backpack giveaway might be a perfect event. It seems easy: just give away...
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