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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You Hurt His Feelings,So His Mom Sues You!

lesson learned Dec 04, 2018

 

 

Many of us like to help other people. We are in a teaching art. My instructor told me years ago that the best way to learn our martial art is to teach it. I’ve been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to share what I’ve learned in the studio with the ranks coming up behind me.

 

I’ve also noticed that many of us who share our martial art with others often help people. We know the value of martial arts to change and empower people. One of the studio owners I’ve spoken to recently is exactly that kind of person.

 

He had the opportunity to bring a child into the school that was struggling with social skills. The child was struggling with home-life and academic problems, and bullying by other kids. Those types of problems usually occur together for kids.

 

The studio owner had a lot of heart for this child. So, the child was brought in on a scholarship and was enthusiastic about class. He made sure his mom got him to...

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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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“L” is for Levity

This month, let’s discuss levity and its role in leadership and teams.

 

“Levity” is “cheerfulness” or “enjoyment.” As we work and try to manage successful businesses, it’s easy to lose sight of just having fun. Honestly, there are some days when we fight just to get out of bed.

 

However, there are always moments when some joyfulness and laughter can be found. Even when things seem hard or crazy, you have to be intentional in finding levity. Allow me to share a wild but true story.

 

In my previous column series, “Pop’s Pearls of Wisdom,” I stated that my parents owned liquor stores and then motels. One day, my dad and I were working the front desk at the motel when he received a call from a customer. The client complained that there was a rat in his room.

 

We were quite thorough about pest control and cleanliness. My dad was tired from several days of rowdy customers and the previous...

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The Kick You Never Saw Coming - July 2018

lesson learned Jun 22, 2018

by Beth Block

As humans, our reactions slow down immensely in emergency situations. Therefore, as martial artists we repeatedly practice the same self-defense techniques for years, even decades, to prepare for the event of a real attack.

As instructors, we know that our students’ responses in an emergency will be flight, freeze or fight. This is hardwired into humankind’s DNA as the “survival instinct.” The goal of repetitive training is to shorten students’ reaction time when attacked and to provide them with the tools to allow muscle memory to take over in self-defense mode.

Now, let me ask you some questions. Is physical confrontation the only type of emergency you or your students will face? Is that all you’re preparing your staff and students for? Or, are you preparing them for any type of battle that may occur?

Are we looking to develop self-discipline?...

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The Legal Landscape - July 2018

lesson learned Jun 22, 2018

by Philip E. Goss, Jr., ESQ.

You train your students to physically defend themselves in as an efficient manner as possible. The shorter the unpleasant “transaction” lasts, the better. Sometimes, involvement in the legal system is necessary and truncating the process, as in a fight, is always in your best interests.

Neither I nor other attorneys operate under the assumption that legal talent is sought to draft all corporate documents. The Internet places a vast library of potential and free (but questionable) legal resources at your immediate disposal. Ninety eight percent of the time, what you find on the Internet can work for its intended purposes. However, it is the 2% that will cause you angst and added expense.

Just about everyone is familiar with the concept of a “legal injunction.” In short, an injunction is an order of the court that requires someone to either do...

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You Messed Up! Now What? - July 2018

by Kathy Olevsky

I ‘ve been operating a martial arts school full time for 39 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.

 

I was reminded recently that our business is ever-changing and I have to remember to respond to the changes. We have worked very hard on our marketing for the past six months and our influx of new students has been steady. In addition to that steady influx, we just added a project that brought in even more new business.

...

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The Legal Landscape - June 2018

lesson learned Jun 18, 2018

by Philip E. Goss, Jr., ESQ.

The next time I celebrate a New Year’s Eve toast, I will be less than two weeks from my 60th birthday. I’ve been happily married for more than half of these years and a parent for just a few years less. A lesson I have learned over the years of being a parent is that just sharing my experiences and expecting my children to accept my recommendations, without explanation or context, is a fool’s errand.

Such belief that my children should follow the old “Because-I-said-so” mantra is wrong. And thus, when I do that to you, my valued readers, it is wrong as well.

Several columns ago, I opined how you should handle worker’s compensation (WC) issues. I told you what to do, but forgot the why. In this column, I’ll remedy my shortcoming.

In the previous column, I stated the following (in truncated form):

“The concept of...

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Doctor's Orders - June 2018

lesson learned Jun 18, 2018

by Dr. Jason Han

As a physical therapist, I take the fundamental movements of the human body and connect them to an activity — not just physically, but mentally, too.

I probably didn’t know it at the time, but I applied this mind-body connection throughout my career as a martial artist. Any student can work to achieve a mind-body connection, but it’s a process that requires a shift in mindset.

Coaches Tim Thackrey and Antony Graf from the Juice Athlete Compound and I had an important discussion several years ago about the efficiency of a training session. We asked ourselves, “How were we able to get so much out of a single 60-to 90 minute training session, where it seems some of our opponents had to do two to three trainings to match our benefit?”

The answer was simple: We valued quality over quantity. When we stepped on the mat, we were all business. We left...

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You Messed Up! Now What? - June 2018

lesson learned Jun 18, 2018

by Kathy Olevsky

I‘ve been operating a martial arts school full time for 39 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.

 

Summer is approaching, and some schools see a considerable drop in new business during these summer months. If it happened last year, they assume it will happen this year, too. 

In reality, this is a great time to make sure you drive new business to your door. There are families that stay home during the summer months and enjoy...

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The Kick You Never Saw Coming - June 2018

lesson learned Jun 02, 2018

by Beth Block

Many of us believe in the value of tournament participation for our students.

Tournaments can enhance our students’ competitive spirit. This assists them outside the martial arts world as well as within. It also helps our students learn to both win and lose. Additionally, we learn that challenging work is often rewarded.

So, for all those valuable reasons, we utilize the tournament platform within our studio. It provides all the character development we’ve just mentioned. It has the added advantage of helping with our student attendance and retention, as they work toward their goals in preparing for the tournament.

We spend time informing the students and their parents about the date, venue and rules for the tournament. We devote our time to working with the tournament hosts on planning, coaching and judging at the tournament. We have a lot invested in...

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