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".
By Christopher Rappold
With 2018 behind us, it’s a good time to take a pause and assess how the year went.
I have always enjoyed taking half a day away from the office and looking at the cumulative results from that particular year. Though I look every day, week and month at how our schools are doing, there is something about looking at the total of 12 months of results that gives a different picture and perspective.
I start with my team. I take a look at their martial arts, fitness, personal and professional development from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
Did they make the kind of progress that both of us were working toward? Are their goals and the goals of the school intersecting in a way that creates a win-win, long-term relationship? Are there any tweaks that need to be made? What are things we did together that had the most impact, and what are the things that missed the target and need improvement?
Having excellent student...
By Frank Silverman
When the calendar rolls over to the month of January, various groups of people ask me the same question every year: “What does the future look like for the martial arts industry, and what’s in store for martial art schools?”
This is a fair question any time of year, but I hear it more frequently in January. If I had a crystal ball, I’d gladly give a definitive answer. But, without that, here is my best "guestimate:"
This question really has two components. First is how I believe the schools will do relative to the economy and overall health of our industry. The second part addresses the trends and changes that we may see in the future.
As for the economy and the business health of the industry, I have strong sense that 2019 will continue on a positive path. Overall, I expect my own personal schools to enjoy a repeat of 2018.
On occasion, some of the schools had...
Kenpo 10th-degree black belt Professor Bob White began teaching in 1968 at the Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate school in Garden Grove, California, before opening his own location in 1972. He won numerous 1970s state, national and international fighting championships. He also fought on the National All-Star Black Belt Team, which went undefeated in 1973 and 1974. During his more than half-a-century teaching, White has produced 225 black belt graduates and trained thousands of students.
Herb Borkland: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?
Bob White: Garden Grove, California. Dad was a carpenter.
HB: How did you first hear about martial arts?
BW: When I was 10, in the early sixties, comic books ran ads for a masked guy teaching the dim mak “death touch” [laughs]. I’ve always been athletic, and fighting was part of growing up, so it was something I was no stranger to.
I studied shotokan with a high school teacher. There were...
Recently while attending a martial arts event in Washington, DC, I took the opportunity to do something that I’ve had on my bucket list for quite some time: View the actual Declaration of Independence. Evidently, I wasn’t the only one whose bucket list included this experience. The line was long, and I barely got in in time before they closed the doors.
What was most shocking about finally getting to enter the rotunda was discovering that there wasn’t just one “Declaration of Independence.” There were several. I never knew this. And I know that, like many other things, these details are not taught in our general history classes.
“Now, why didn’t they tell us that?” I asked myself. I was under the impression, like many Americans, that Thomas Jefferson just whipped out a quill and some paper, and an hour or so later said, “There you go.”
Nothing could have been farther from the truth. There were changes...
I have mentioned in the past that my wife and I volunteer between 20-25 hours per week at a South Florida-based, not-for-profit pet rescue. It started as a way for me to regain strength after chemotherapy, but became a labor of love for us to help protect the unwanted and abandoned animals in our “pet-disposable” society. Last year, the organization I volunteer with successfully completed the adoption of more than 350 pets into forever homes.
A national controversy has arisen over the last several years regarding where and under what circumstances an animal may accompany its owners. Many people believe that if they purchase a “service animal” vest on the Internet and strap it on their pet, they can take this animal with them wherever they go with impunity. This is patently incorrect and clearly creates confusion for small businesses, perhaps including your school.
There are very strict federal and state laws regarding the use of animals for...
As we end the year and approach the holiday season, I’d like to ask that you all view leadership as a gift, and one that you currently possess. Now, leadership can be a special, unique and often challenging present, but it is truly worthwhile.
Allow me to share a parable that will illustrate this point. A group of children are playing in the jungle near their tribe in central Africa, when a group of explorers approaches them. The explorers observe the children playing a game where they use dirty but somewhat shiny stones. The explorers ask their translator if the kids would trade their stones for some chocolate and the kids agree. When the explorers returned home, they discovered that the stones were large, coarse diamonds.
Now, for the explorers, the diamonds were highly valuable and worth a great deal of money in their culture. But to the children, these diamonds were simply toys that brought them joy and happiness. The true value of the diamonds was relative...
Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding. But when problems arise — and as a small business owner myself, I know they do! — you’re responsible for solving them.
So, whether you’re working on the financial success of your martial arts studio or improving the health of your students, it’s important to apply the same principle: Always address the underlying cause.
For example, if your business’s gross revenue is less than stellar this month, it’s easy to say that you simply need more students. So, you decide to focus on
marketing. But what if the real problem is retention? You aren’t able to retain your students because the instructors are not aligned with your program. To target the underlying cause, you may need to focus more on staff training and development.
The same thing happens when you see a spike in injuries within the bulk of your students. If you’re seeing a lot of hamstring injuries, an...
Whether we like it or not, every time one of my staff members are in public they are representing not only Kovar's Martial Arts but also the martial arts industry. When we choose to become martial arts instructors, we also choose to become public figure. We stand in front of the class and lead our students in reciting the student creed. We challenge them not only to improve their martial arts skills but their mental attitude, focus, discipline and respect, too.
In essence, we become their success coaches, role models and more. To our students, we become a combination of teacher, parent, minister and motivational speaker, who also, in their eyes, has the awesome power of “death
and destruction.” This gives us a unique and powerful “presence” or sphere of influence.
After all, how many teachers, parents, ministers or motivational speakers can do a jump-spinning kick? Or can, in the blink of an eye, strike multiple times where it hurts the most?...
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