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 Perry William Kelly
As a society, we’re fascinated by people who can contort and maneuver their bodies in extreme ways. One example of this comes from the Olympic Games. Every four years, we’re enthralled by the gymnastics competition. Our fascination with this one sport has resulted in more than 5 million of our kids enrolling in gymnastics programs every year.
Another example comes from cinema. We flock to theaters to watch martial arts/action heroes like Daniel Craig (James Bond), Keanu Reeves (John Wick) and Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible movies) leap from building to building and flip vehicles end over end while kicking butt and taking names.
Our last example — and the most important one for this story — comes from a television series called American Ninja Warrior. On average, 7 million of us tune in every week to watch competitors push their bodies to the limit on obstacle courses that challenge them in aerobic and anerobic...
by John Bussard
Whenever I meet aspiring multi-school owners and they find out that I have 14 schools, the questions start to fly: Where do you find the staff to run that many schools? How do you manage them? How much do you pay your instructors?
In most cases, they’re really asking me how to better scale up their own martial arts business for growth. The answer is to that question is, it’s not easy. However, there are certain strategies that can help you prepare for growth, sustain growth and continue growth if you’re so inclined.
Let’s begin with a few simple strategies that can help all school owners, regardless of whether they have one facility or many.
No. 1: Strive to teach great classes that are safe, exciting and impactful.
Obviously, accidents and injuries can and will happen occasionally. Your job as a full-time instructor should be to teach with a safety-first mentality during all training activities.
Make sure your classes are...
By MAIA Division Manager Melissa Torres
Not quite sure what you’re going to teach tonight? Tomorrow night? Next week? I don’t blame you. Teaching as much as you and your other instructors do, plus running a full-time school, training, and trying to balance a home life, can leave you mentally drained and lacking in the creative area.
Are you afraid your students are getting bored or losing interest in the day-to-day drills and techniques? Retention is a huge pain point for so many schools. We hear it all the time. Schools can get students in the door, but the main struggle is keeping them for a week, a month, a year and many years beyond that.
It’s time to break out of some of your routine teaching habits and make keeping your classes fun and interesting a top priority. If students are having fun, they will come back. If they are learning new techniques and see themselves improving, they will come back.
Bring back that first-day excitement to your mat, every...
By Jenny Wolff
Haeng Ung Lee was a multi-faceted individual. He was a military man who loved to golf, run, and tell jokes.
He also loved martial arts.
It was his passion for this pastime that led the now-infamous Eternal Grand Master and his dear friend, Richard Reed, to establish the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) in 1969.
Since then, ATA has become a household name in the industry and remains the largest North American martial arts organization dedicated to the discipline of taekwondo. What began with a simple vision to change lives and make a difference has turned in to a global phenomenon.
This summer, ATA celebrates its 50th anniversary during its annual Worlds event. This is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the last five decades and look forward to the promising future.
How It All Began
Lee began studying martial arts as a teenager in Korea in 1954. By 1956, he was in the Korean Army, teaching...
By Eric the Trainer
Running a martial arts school can be a challenge. Forking out money for marketing to attract new students, keeping the students that you do have enrolled, and staying current with billing can be time-consuming and grueling tasks.
Under these conditions, it can be difficult to find time to stay in shape, let alone maintain a positive outlook on life. Caught up in the daily grind, too many people lose sight of the fact that positivity is the ultimate key to success. For, like a bad case of the flu, a truly positive attitude can be wildly infectious, spreading like wildfire throughout your school and even beyond.
But how do you spark this process, and where does the magic begin? It all starts with you! The easiest way to initiate positivity in your life is to make the conscious decision to see the proverbial glass as half full. There are other steps you can take to supercharge this process, such as:
1. Go to bed earlier and cherish sleep....
Fitness icon Eric Fleishman (a.k.a. “Eric the Trainer”) has earned celebrity status among his pumping-iron peers and Hollywood’s elite with his unique training programs. Also a high-ranking black belt, Fleishman has combined his two biggest passions to create “Sleek Ninja,” a fitness program designed especially for martial artists and school owners.
By Terry L. Wilson
CREATING NEW CLIENTS WITH SLEEK NINJA
After earning black belt status in multiple disciplines, Los Angeles’ Eric Fleishman (pronounced, fleesh’man) saw a way for schools of any style or system to upgrade their fitness program and make a profit in the process.
“My martial arts background spans nearly 40 years,” says Fleishman. “Combine that with my being a Hollywood physique expert, creating Sleek Ninja was a natural fit.
“When I heard that martial arts dojos across America were starting to feel a financial crunch because of the...
by Antonio Fournier
I had a message from a Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA) member asking if it is was still beneficial to conduct a Mat Chat in her situation. She had transitioned from a one-hour to a 45-minute children’s-class format, and she was having a hard time fitting it in.
My response was, “It’s not only beneficial, it is a must.”
Her thoughts were that taking five minutes to do it shortened the amount of punching and kicking time.
I used the analogy of a river that is one mile wide and a foot deep, or one that’s one foot wide and a mile deep. It isn’t the width of the message that’s important, it’s the depth of the message that is.
So, why is the Mat Chat so important? It’s a start — and only a start — at connecting life skills to your martial arts program.
First, you’ve made lots of promises in your ads and...
So, you’re running a part-time school and thinking of taking the leap to full time. I never ran a part-time school. But I applied 5 Laws of Success to launch a new school and build a sensible plan to grow to 100 students. Following these same laws can help you move forward into a professional career as a school owner.
If you’re running a part-time school today and pondering the jump to full-time ownership, you will want to pay strict attention to this article. I’m going to share with you what I call the “5 Laws of Success.” I faithfully applied these laws in 2012 to change careers and open a full-time martial arts school, Durham Modern Martial Arts in Whitby, Ontario, Canada.
Further, those laws were part of my reasonable plan to reach 100 active students over a period of years. Today, in our sixth year of operation, we have exceeded my original goal of 100 students.
These laws worked for me, and I believe they can work for you, too. Admittedly, I...
The Flow is a dynamic new weapons training system designed by World Champion Jackson Rudolph. The program is designed to provide up to a year of bo staff training and push your students to learn new techniques and be more creative. In his article, Jackson reveals why he created the program and details how it can improve your curriculum.
Jackson Rudolph has taught seminars for owners of small schools with less than 50 students and no staff members, to owners that have a chain of 10 or more schools and thousands of students. The common theme, regardless of school size, is that the most successful instructors train students that have positive role models and a drive to improve their art.
These experiences inspired Rudolph to partner with MAIA and create “The Flow.” The Flow is an innovative, modern weapons curriculum designed to motivate your students to train harder and think more creatively. Starting with a bo staff program, schools that purchase The Flow will benefit...
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