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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".

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Take it to the Street

Uncategorized Aug 06, 2019

By Beth A. Block

 

Many new cars and trucks these days come standard with all sorts of safety features. Cameras and sensors cover all 360 degrees around a vehicle. In theory, the driver of one of these “smart cars” should be aware of not just the road immediately ahead of them, but also what is behind them, what’s in their blind spots, and any potential hazards.

With all this technology designed to protect us, why are roadside fatalities still not declining? The problem is the human element.

I bet we’ve all seen the following while driving:

  • A semi truck drifting out of its lane on the highway
  • Drivers looking at their cellphones instead of the road
  • Drivers yelling into their phones
  • Drivers ducking below the window and fishing around on the floorboard (presumably to find a dropped cellphone)

In January of this year, I was on my way to catch a red-eye flight when I saw a truck weaving across four lanes. The truck didn’t just swerve once and correct...

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T” is for Trust

mentor motivation Aug 06, 2019

By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs

 

Well, friends, we've come to the end of our series on B.L.A.C.K. B.E.L.T. leadership! The last letter, “T,” stands for trust. This is arguably one of the most important concepts for effective leaders and teams.

            The number of relationships that have been solidified or ruined by the degree of trust within is innumerable. We all have stories of being on the giving and receiving ends of both good and bad trust-related stories. But leaders and teams grow or fail based on how well trust is nurtured or withheld. Here’s a quick lesson on trust that I know you’ll find helpful.

            I have an older cousin who worked for a big chemical plant in a rural town in southeast Texas. The workers there didn't have a union, so they were largely dependent on their supervisors to represent them and their...

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Call an Employee a Contractor and You Might Be Wearing a Scarlet Letter!

By Philip E. Goss, Jr., Esq.

 

I have a question for you: What do you call a person you have brought into your business to provide a service that relates to your core product (teaching martial arts)? The answer might seem obvious — clearly, that person is an employee.

Issues arise when businesses choose to turn a blind eye and categorize an employee as an independent contractor. This must end now! New laws require that you err on the side of caution in how you classify your personnel.

 

A Seismic Shift in the Law

As is frequently the case, California is a trendsetter with respect to this employment law. I won’t bore you with legal details, but the short of the matter is that California, along with a growing number of other states, now uses a greatly truncated test to determine whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee. There are three determining criteria: First, do you control the worker or direct that person’s activities? Second,...

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My Student, Joe Hammel

By Dave Kovar

 

Every now and then, you meet someone who immediately grabs your attention. Joe Hammel was one of those people. I’ll never forget the day in the early 1990s when he walked into my school. He was 53 at the time, and I remember thinking how old he was. He told me that he had wanted to do martial arts since he was a teenager but never had the courage to get started.

I told him that it was never too late to start! Now was just as good a time as any! I didn’t really believe it, but I didn’t tell him that part.

Joe was no dummy. He was an English professor by day and a concert pianist by night. Smart he certainly was, but coordinated he certainly was not. During his first lesson, I remember thinking that he was the most ungraceful person I’d ever worked with. I asked him about prior athletic endeavors. He said he’d never done anything remotely like a sport in his whole life. It showed.

At first glance, the lack of previous physical...

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Budo Banker: Careers Colliding

business coach Aug 02, 2019

By Andries Pruim

Separate Philosophies

 

When you begin your martial arts training at a young age, it is nearly impossible not to incorporate their traditional philosophies into your daily life.

For the most part, this is a good thing! The life lessons taken from martial arts have created many upstanding, well-respected members of society. However, some of the philosophies can restrict a modern martial artist from becoming financially independent – and, ultimately, even curtail the number of people they are able to help.

There is a common misconception that teaching martial arts is a worthy cause, and, therefore, is its own reward – with or without adequate financial compensation. This has resulted in many talented martial arts instructors having to maintain a separate career outside of teaching in order to pay bills, raise a family, and (hopefully) own a home.

            This practice of asking for less than...

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A BBJ World Champion Comes To Grips With Cancer

motivation Aug 02, 2019

By Terry L. Wilson

 

A Low Kick

People often say of a martial artist, “He was training as soon as he could walk.” In Joao Gabriel Rocha’s case, this was almost literally true. His introduction to Brazilian jiu-jitsu came from a summer camp for toddlers. At a mere two years, eight months, Joao had embarked on the journey of a lifetime. But this path would not be without struggle.

 

Joao worked hard and saw payoffs, in the form of a series of impressive victories as a junior (not yet black) belt. In 2013, Joao was promoted to black belt, earning him a spot to compete in the elite Submission Wrestling World Championships.

 

This grappling competition involves professional athletes of the highest level, from a variety of grappling styles, including jiu-jitsu. Joao worked his way to the finals in the 99 kg division but lost to Marcus “Buchecha” Almelda in the finals.

 

Despite the loss, Joao was skyrocketing to the top of his profession....

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John Corcoran: The Pen is Still Mightier than the Sword

Uncategorized Aug 01, 2019

In May, 2019, longtime MASuccess Editor John Corcoran passed away after a series of health complications. The martial arts writing and publications industry lost a preeminent champion, and many of us lost a good friend. He leaves behind shoes that will never be filled, and a legacy that will always be honored.

By Karen Eden

 

“Writing is a talent. You can either write, or you can’t.”

Those are the words of the late John Corcoran, who passed away on May 17, 2019. I have to laugh, because if you could write, he’d be the first to let you know. And if you couldn’t write, he’d also be the first to let you know.

To the best of my knowledge, John Corcoran only went public about his life one time. It was in a two-part write-up in the now defunct “Inside Tae Kwon Do” magazine from 1995 (CFW Enterprises, “The Pen is Mightier than the Sword,” Oct/Nov 1995, by Andre Alex Lima).

The biographical story “The Pen is Mightier...

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Who Will Teach When I Am Sick?

By Kathy Olevsky

 

Most martial arts school owners have humble starting places. There are a few who were given the opportunity to take over an existing, thriving program. But, for the most part, we all start in a small, single-instructor setting. The struggles of that type of program are universal from one style to the next, and we all face obstacles.

 

It is certainly not uncommon to find yourself in a conundrum because you are not feeling well, but you know that, because you are charging your students money for classes, someone still has to teach. I’ve talked to many school owners who don’t know how to resolve this issue. In our early days, we had one instructor and one person who answered the phone. Sometimes it was the same person. When one of us got sick or had a family emergency, it was hard to know what to do.

 

You have to begin somewhere. One method we found to develop assistants was to start using people in leadership roles during class. This...

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What Do You Mean I Can’t Require (or Even Suggest) a Pre-Employment Polygraph Test?

employee matters Jul 17, 2019

By Philip E. Goss, Jr., Esq.

 

As I have stated many times, I get the best subjects for this column from the issues each of you face daily. I represent a medium-size school operating in a mid-sized town in the South. The owners are a conscientious husband and wife team. Operating their school is a second career for each of them. While their previous business lives allowed them to gain a great deal of knowledge that ties nicely into school ownership, there are still issues they face that are foreign to them. When that happens, they contact me for an opinion.

 

Typically, we end our discussion with them telling me that they have, once again, given me fodder for a future column. My conversation with them last week was no exception.

 

These school owners do everything they can to follow all rules and regulations. Shortcuts do not exist in their school. The laws of the state where they are located permit pre-employment drug screening, and detailed background checks...

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