by Herb Borkland
At ninth degree, Caroline Goodspeed is Keith Yates’ highest-ranked Black female grandmaster. Her martial arts career spans amateur boxing, aikido, goju karate, taekwondo and kobudo. She is especially proud of the girls, including her daughter, she has taken to black belt. Goodspeed also ranks among the most delightful personalities in the American martial arts.
MASuccess: Where did you grow up?
Caroline Goodspeed: I grew up in little Port Arthur, 83 miles southeast of Houston, Texas.
MAS: Do you remember the first time you heard about martial arts?
Goodspeed: I was a scrappy little girl — 5 feet 2 and 98 pounds — and when I was in my teens, I liked boxing with my amateur brother. It’s why I use my hands so much. When I was 19, this aikido instructor tried to recruit students. I told myself, “Here you go!” Lasted a year and a half. I got tired of being thrown to the ground by men.
After that, there was no more...
by Karen Eden
Franklin D. Roosevelt won his first term as president of the United States in 1932. The country was going through one of the roughest times in American history. It was FDR who was responsible for steering the U.S. not only through the Great Depression but through World War II, as well.
Life wasn’t going to cut this beloved president any breaks. By 1939, he was battling full-blown polio. It would take away the use of his legs and make him a paraplegic for the rest of his life.
I find it astounding to think that any human being would have the strength and courage to remain “leader of the free world” while battling paralysis. There was, of course, no cure for polio at the time. FDR found himself being dragged to various “health resorts” and to all kinds of unorthodox treatment centers, yet nothing could bring back the use of his legs. The thing is, he refused to be seen as an invalid in the public eye. Even though he was in a lot of...
by Christopher Rappold
Not long ago, I was visiting with Don Rodrigues, one of my dearest martial arts friends for nearly 40 years. Although we speak on the phone often because of our roles with Team Paul Mitchell Karate, this was the first time in nearly eight months that I got to see him in person because of COVID concerns. We had lots to discuss, but for a good chunk of the time, we took a walk down memory lane.
This led to a discussion of how each of us had come to find the martial arts. Coach Rodrigues is my senior by 14 years, and he has deep roots and an almost computer-like memory of old-school karate from the 1960s and ’70s. We laughed the way most martial artists do when they look back in time and talk about things that would not be accepted today.
One of the topics we reminisced about was the sacrilege of asking your instructor when you would be ready for your next rank. If you did, your time was automatically doubled. Back then, we also witnessed instructors...
by Kathy Olevsky
“Pivot” and “adapt” have become buzzwords in business during the past year. Add “survive” and you have probably the most important words of 2020. Small businesses had to recreate themselves to make it through a year of economic turmoil. It will be a time we talk about for years to come.
In September 2020, I was looking for a solution to get my current students back through the doors. There was great concern about resuming self-defense training and sparring because they involve a high degree of partner contact. We had no problem getting new students to come in, but we were struggling to get our older students to return.
Around that time, I noticed that many people in the martial arts were doing their best to try new things and share them with anyone who would listen. One of the best qualities of the martial arts community became apparent: We have more than our share of creativity. So many of us were trying to survive that we...
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 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 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...
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