The MAIA Blog

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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10 Things Your Attorney Doesn’t Want You To Know, Part 1

lesson learned Dec 04, 2018

Attorneys are vital to the success and continued viability of your school. However, there is always an inherent and unavoidable conflict between you and your attorney. Any time people are paid for a service or you pay for a service, each party will act to protect his/her best financial interests.

 

Here’s my list of 10 things (some related to fees and some not) that your attorney would rather you not know (or ignore):

 

  1. All Fees Are Negotiable

I don’t charge the same hourly rate for all types of cases. Litigation is not charged at the same level as would assistance in filing administrative documents.

 

Let’s be honest. All things an attorney does don’t require similar sets of skills. Similarly, it never hurts to attempt to negotiate a reduced rate. If you’re a new client or even one that has a longstanding relationship, asking for a discount, or even a flat fee, is a possibility. As my father always said, “The answer to an...

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A Time for Everything

motivation Dec 04, 2018

This time of year I always think of my late friend, Ron Lyle. If you know boxing, then you know of Ron Lyle. But I don’t know him from that perspective. I know him from a different perspective that perhaps no one else would have even paid attention to.

 

World Heavyweight Champion contender Ron Lyle just happened to grow up in the neighborhood where I teach my inner- city martial arts program in Denver, CO. I always wondered who the older black guy was in the back of the room watching me teach classes. He didn’t say anything. He just watched and would emulate my moves as if he was trying to remember them.

 

When I found out that it was Ron Lyle, who was also teaching the boxing program downstairs, it became a running joke of “who could beat up who” if we both got in the ring. He always smiled and said I would win.

 

Over the next few years, we would spend many hours during the center’s down time talking about a lot of life, past and...

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Patrick Wrenn: Discovering He Could Not Quit Karate

motivation Dec 04, 2018

In 1974, Patrick Wrenn was invited by Elvis Presley, Elvis sidekick/bodyguard Red West and Bill “Superfoot” Wallace to help establish what has since been called “the greatest martial arts school of all time.” It’s the 4,300-square-foot, Memphis-based Tennessee Karate Institute (TKI). The original TKI only lasted four years, but, 39 years later, Wrenn has reopened it at its original location as part museum/part school.

Recipient of the Martial Arts Lifetime Achievement Award and Joe Lewis Eternal Warrior, the indomitable 10th-dan Wrenn has continued over the years to teach his Combative Arts despite continuous injuries and ill-health.

 

Herb Borkland: Where did you grow up, and what did yourdad do?

 

Patrick Wrenn: I was born in Massachusetts and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. My father was a self-made, multimillionaire real-estate developer.

 

After college, I went into business for myself importing birds of prey, reptiles and saltwater...

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Watching Huey Lewis Grimace

motivation Dec 01, 2018

By Karen Eden

 

Huey Lewis and the News was a very popular Top 40 band for more than a couple of decades. Back in my radio days, I was backstage when Huey Lewis was coming off from a “standing-room-only” performance. I could tell he was more than pleased with his show; he was literally wiping the sweat off of his face.

 

Just then, I heard someone make a comment to him.

 

“I remember seeing you at the Aqua Knot nightclub when you were a start-up band,” said the man.

 

“Oh, wow!” replied Huey, with almost a look of pain on his face.

 

Huey wasn’t rude or impolite. But I could never understand why he had such a deflated look on his face when that guy told him that. Until now.

 

A lot of years have gone by since then. I’ve come into my own as an author of four books and a journalist with over 20 years of writing for martial arts magazines and newscasts.

 

I’m always honored when someone conjures up...

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Pre- and Post-Employment Checks: The Devil is in the Details

business coach Dec 01, 2018

By Philip E. Goss, Jr., Esq.

 

I believe we can all agree that pre-employment background checks are a good thing. They’re good for knowing if the prospective employee has any dark clouds that could affect her ability to perform the job in that she’s hired to perform. These checks are exceptionally good for determining if that person has any disqualifying events that could cause your school harm, things like any sex based adverse history or a criminal record.

 

It’s absolutely vital to prove that you took proactive steps to weed out someone who could commit any crimes against your student population, (again there’s that nasty issue of sex-based harassment or assaults). Background checks will not act to dismiss a case against your school, but they will act as an affirmative defense when faced with a negligent hiring or negligent retention lawsuit.

 

As with many things, conducting pre- or post-employment background checks is not the easy thing it...

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“B” is for Boundaries

Uncategorized Dec 01, 2018

By Dr. Nguyen "Tom" Griggs

 

Happy 2019, my friends. For this new year, I’m launching a series of columns using the acronym BLACK BELT, as it relates to teams and leadership. Let’s begin.

 

B Stands for Boundaries

One of the biggest issues clients and loved ones constantly grapple with is conflict resulting from violated boundaries. We all have had an experience where someone violated a boundary.

 

Boundaries are exceedingly important to your happiness and maintaining healthy relationships with other people. I remember a moment from 5th-grade recess that illustrates the value of respecting boundaries.

 

As we were playing in the schoolyard, one of the boys was teasing another kid and made a “your momma” joke. The kid on the receiving end warned the mouthy kid to not talk about his mother. The mouthy kid had this smirk on his face, which indicated he was going to test this boundary. A few minutes later, the mouthy kid made another joke...

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Recovery is Just as Important as Working Out

retention Dec 01, 2018

By Dr. Jason Han

 

As a physical therapist for a professional soccer team, I’m often asked how I help our players get ready, day in and day out. Running long distances each week — jogging, cutting, sprinting and shooting — will take its toll. The same thing happens in your martial arts program, only with kicks, punches, throws and blows to the body.

 

Most people focus on the training aspect of athletics, but not enough on recovery. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a weekend warrior or a youth competitor, recovery is critical to success and longevity.

 

I was recently working with a star multi-sport high school athlete who was complaining of aches and pains. His football team was wrapping up the regular season and heading into the playoffs. He had neck stiffness, shoulder pain from a football tackle and a sore hip from an older injury sustained a few months back. His coach was a little more “old school,” in the sense that he...

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The 5 Mindsets of Martial Arts School Success, Part 1

Uncategorized Dec 01, 2018

By Dave Kovar

 

There are a lot of things that go into running a successful martial arts school. And there are a lot of different ways to be successful in this industry. For you, success might be having a chain of schools. Or, it might be running one supercenter or having a small but very efficient single school.

 

In the United Kingdom, there are a lot of people that have great success running once a week programs out of churches and school halls. With that said, there are some commonalities between all schools that are universal for success, regardless of your business model.

 

I believe that the level of success in virtually any school is directly related to the level of consistency that operators practice in “The 5 Mindsets.” That’s why, in our schools in California and New Jersey, we really try to focus on making these mindsets a priority in our daily actions. They are simple to articulate, but it takes time and effort to get in the habit of...

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Go Fast…or Go Far?

maia mentor Dec 01, 2018

By Melissa Torres

 

Think about your greatest successes in 2018. Now think about how you achieved them. Was it a goal you met? Perhaps it was a resolution you kept. No matter what it was, take a moment to ponder each step you took to accomplish it.

 

There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I was successful.” It’s not a false statement. You were successful. But, you didn’t do it all on your own. You had a person, a couple of people, or perhaps an entire team helping you achieve your goal.

 

Sometimes it’s hard to admit, but we weren’t meant to do life alone. I know that I tend to want to get things done by myself. It’s faster. It’s easier. I don’t have to explain it to anyone. I don’t have to follow up and make sure it gets done.

 

But the truth is that we need people on our team to support us: Someone to cheer us on, help us solve problems, encourage us to be better, and remind us of our own goals. We...

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Show Them Who You Are!

I‘ve been operating a martial arts school full time for 40 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.

 

When I first started in the martial arts back in the late 1970's, it was common to hear an instructor say to a student, “Only one in 1,000 will make it to black belt.” That statement was a source of pride. It meant that a black belt was to be truly honored. It meant that a black belt wasn’t a common man (or woman); they were elite.

 

The statement was made with good intentions, but it did irreparable harm!

 

Anyone...

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