by MAIA Division Manager Melissa Torres
It was difficult to sit down to write this column because I knew that no matter what topic I chose to cover, I would have to mention COVID-19 in some capacity. Unfortunately, the pandemic is still part of our daily lives, and it continues to affect martial arts schools in countless ways. Our curriculums, instructor training, marketing and best retention practices all hinge on what happens with regard to the pandemic.
Since no one can predict when we finally will be out of the COVID woods, it’s essential to continue to adjust and “roll with the punches.” Recall Bruce Lee’s well-known quote: “Be like water, my friend.” We must be adaptable in these uncertain times in order to get to the other side. We’ve got to keep pressing forward!
No doubt you all have had time to take a step back to reevaluate your businesses and plan your next move. Well, MAIA has done the same. After the SuperShow Virtual...
by Michael A. Perri Jr.
This year has been one for the ages, with the wildfires, hurricanes, riots, a polarized country and, of course, the global pandemic. Many businesses have been so severely impacted that they’ve been forced to shut their doors for good. This includes some of our fellow martial arts professionals, people who were making a career out of sharing their passion. Although we’ve suffered setbacks, our industry still boasts people who are not only surviving but thriving. Schools that had the systems in place have managed to pull out record months financially regardless of the trials and tribulations they faced.
I’m talking about schools like Caleb and Heidi Collier’s Championship Martial Arts in Kaysville, Utah, where they took the systems and strategies of CMA’s Holiday Event and applied it to their “Christmas in July Sale.” It transformed what was regarded as a slow time of year into one of their most profitable months...
by Perry William Kelly
The pandemic has hit the world’s economy like a side kick that knocks the wind out of a white belt in his first tournament. It would have been simple enough if our industry had could have followed the example of other small businesses that shifted gears to stay afloat — for example, distilleries that started making hand sanitizer and clothing companies that began fabricating facemasks. This option, however, was not available to us. Our end product — martial arts instruction — simply cannot morph into something else.
To help school owners cope with the fallout of the pandemic and the shutdowns, MASuccess organized a virtual roundtable with professionals from across the country who agreed to speak about how they weathered the crisis. All are small-business owners not unlike you, and they were able to not only navigate the COVID chaos but also beat the odds that the pandemic had stacked against them.
Our Experts: the COVID...
by Frank Silverman
As I write this column, I reflect on the past year: where we started, where we came from and where we are now. For most of us, the year began second to none. Business was booming, and the future looked bright. Then the world stopped turning. In March, we witnessed the fragility of the world’s economy, not to mention life itself, as the pandemic took hold and forced a shutdown the likes of which we have never seen.
Today, we’re looking better than we did at the onset of COVID-19 — at least, things are looking that way as I write this column. (Who knows what tomorrow will bring?) However, we are by no means out of the woods. Many schools are still struggling, and business is nowhere close to where it was at the beginning of the year. And then there are the casualties: the schools that closed their doors for a final time.
I don’t want this column to be a message of doom and gloom. I’ve said it before and it’s worth...
by Adam Parman
As American states begin allowing businesses to reopen, many martial arts school owners are finding themselves in a strange new world filled with challenges, financial pressures, fears and, in many cases, far fewer students than they once had. This has made their lives anything but easy. Their minds are filled with self-doubt and apprehension.
As a martial artist, you know what it’s like to be pummeled in a fight — and what it takes to come back and win. But do you have the fortitude and the know-how to do the same with your business? No doubt you’ve heard about martial art schools across the country closing their doors for the last time, and you’ve vowed that even though it’s apparent that not every business will survive, you won’t be one of the victims. But that may not be enough. Chances are you also can benefit from a few pointers.
I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia, which means I live in one of the first states to...
by Perry William Kelly
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
Those well-known words come from the mouth of a fictional boxer named Rocky Balboa. The character, played by Sylvester Stallone, is telling his son what he needs to do to make it in life. I say that truer words have never being spoken, especially in our current times, when things are fine one day and the next, the world as we know it changes forever. Repeatedly.
Cris Rodriguez is like Balboa in that she won’t let setbacks define her future. Instead, she applies a counter to every submission attempt that life throws at her as she travels the path to success — even when one of those submission attempts involves running a...
by Frank Silverman
It’s hard to believe that as I write this column, we’re still talking about COVID-19. Although to be honest, it’s not so much that it’s hard to believe; it’s more that I don’t want to believe it. When I received an e-mail saying it was time to send in my essay, I — probably like everyone reading this — was at a unique spot: I had some extra time on my hands because the world has not yet returned to the pre-pandemic “norm.” At the same time, I’m crazy busy trying to adjust to the new norm and figure out how to operate a business under these conditions.
I also wasn’t sure if I should continue writing about how to reopen martial arts schools or if most already will have done so by the time this goes to print. Maybe I should I address how to handle a second wave of COVID-19? Will there even be a second wave?
Then it occurred to me that we’re in back-to-school season. What will...
by Melissa Torres, MAIA Division Manager
The past few months have been a wild ride. In these unprecedented times, we all have had to adjust to changes, pivot to a virtual world and learn to be flexible. It’s been a challenge — and a huge learning experience.
As you slowly make your way toward a new normal, many of you still may be wondering how you’re going to get back to where you were. You’re unsure how you’ll regain students who left. You’re uncertain how you’ll recover lost revenue.
I hope that you were able to attend our Martial Arts SuperShow Virtual Summit earlier this summer and that you picked up some tips and tools for reopening, recovering and returning to normal. You should know, however, that your road to recovery doesn’t have to stop there.
You may have heard of MAIA Foundations group consulting and the changes we recently made to our offerings. We now have live biweekly sessions that are held on Zoom. They provide...
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