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The Martial Arts Industry Association's MASuccess Magazine exists to help grow martial arts participation by helping school owners succeed.

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Helping Ourselves Through Helping Others

lesson learned mentor Feb 23, 2021

by Kathy Olevsky

 

I’ve operated a martial arts school full time for 45 years. I may have made every mistake that can be made in this business. The reason I’m still in business, I believe, is I asked for help. I learned quickly that others before me had already found solutions. In this column, I’ll point out key mistakes I made in my career, which are common errors among school owners, both large and small, throughout our industry. And I’ll share the solutions I used to overcome them.

Near the end of 2020, one of our locations was contacted by a fellow martial arts school owner looking to rent some space. He’d been forced to close his school because of COVID and was trying to restart his program while keeping costs as low as possible.

This is just one of many ways that we martial arts instructors can consider helping each other. Those of us who have managed to stay afloat and continue to teach in our commercial space might benefit from some extra...

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Richard M. Morris: A War-Hero Father

mentor motivation Feb 23, 2021

by Herb Borkland

 

As a 10th-degree black belt under Pat Burleson, Richard M. Morris is one of the seminal figures in the modern American martial arts. His longtime admirer Jhoon Rhee, before his death, officially entrusted the future of American taekwondo to Burleson and Morris. Morris retired in 2014 after nearly 36 years with the Fort Worth Police Department, where he was a living legend. He has not missed a week of martial arts training since 1971, and today he conducts seminars in his reality-based shizen-na karate (“natural way of fighting”) for police departments, federal law-enforcement agencies and the U.S. military. Morris is also the exclusive personal safety coach for the Zig Ziglar Corporation and a certified Ziglar legacy speaker, trainer and consultant. Currently, he is collaborating with Lt. Col. Dave Grossman on a book titled On Fighting.

 

MASuccess: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?

Richard Morris: I grew up in Fort Worth,...

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Pet Rocks

mentor motivation Feb 21, 2021

by Karen Eden

 

In 1975, a man named Gary Dahl decided to design the “perfect pet” as a joke after listening to friends complain about their real pets. It was a mere rock in a cardboard box. Little did Mr. Dahl know that in six months’ time, he would become a millionaire from of his over-the-top sense of humor.

I remember being in elementary school when my classmates began bringing their pet rocks to school. The “no pets allowed” rule was overridden by kids everywhere who would take out their rocks after finishing their classwork. They somehow took comfort in their own personal rocks being present with them, as they petted and coddled them before putting their beloved “pets” back in their crates.

Each pet rock came with an owner’s manual on how to care for the rock and even teach it tricks (of course, the rock just sat there, regardless). I can only imagine what a kid would think today if he or she opened a gift, only to find a...

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A Teacher’s Mindset

mentor motivation Feb 20, 2021

by Dave Kovar 

 

It has been my experience that you share with others what you most need to hear yourself. Today, I’m going to share with you what I call “teacher’s mindsets.” These are specific mindsets that I have made a conscious effort to adopt, especially when I’m interacting with students. Although I still have a long way to go, they have enabled me to make great strides with my students.

We all have a series of beliefs about how a classroom works and how we work within it. Unfortunately, most of us don’t consciously choose our mindsets. They come to us. We pick them up from the environment we were brought up in, the education we received and the experiences we’ve had.

Let’s imagine that in third grade, you ran a foot race with two kids from your class. Unbeknownst to you, these kids were the fastest sprinters in all of third grade. You gave it your best shot and still trailed behind them. Your perception of your...

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Preparing for Our New Future

business coach mentor Feb 18, 2021

by Frank Silverman

 

  

As we continue to work — and work our way back to normalcy — in 2021, I cannot help but reflect on how unique, tough and crazy 2020 was. The scariest part for me was the realization of how fragile our economy is and how fragile a business can be.

A business, whether a martial arts school or something else, is almost like a living being. It needs certain resources (air, food and water for us; income and patrons for a business) to survive and thrive. Without them, a business will slowly begin to “starve” and then will cease to exist.

That by itself isn’t scary. We all know this. What is scary is that something we had never heard of, something that didn’t even exist two years ago, could be the force that suddenly cuts off these resources and changes our lives forever. What is really scary is that it can happen again, without warning, at any time. And most likely, it will. Even if we don’t see another...

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More Change

lesson learned mentor Oct 01, 2020

by Kathy Olevsky

 

I’ve operated a martial arts school full time for 45 years. I may have made every mistake that can be made in this business. The reason I’m still in business, I believe, is I asked for help. I learned quickly that others before me had already found solutions. In this column, I’ll point out key mistakes I made in my career, which are common errors among school owners, both large and small, throughout our industry. And I’ll share the solutions I used to overcome them.

First, the good news: Many of us are back to teaching in our schools.

Now, the bad news: Some of us are dealing with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, and our states are taking action to address it. I know a few martial arts school owners who could not sustain their businesses. As a result, they had to close their doors.

Basically, we all are operating on the same premise: We will open our schools if we can, and if not, we will operate virtually until in-person training is...

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The Mountain of Clothes

mentor motivation Oct 01, 2020

by Karen Eden

 

This is a true story about too much of a good thing. When Hurricane Katrina hit with such devastation, the entire nation would have to come to New Orleans’ rescue. I was just coming out of a TV contract and teaching martial arts through The Salvation Army. I was asked if I could help TSA by acting as the division’s Public Information Officer. No problem, since I knew most of the media members on a first-name basis anyway.

When the now-homeless victims of the hurricane were bused into Denver, they literally had no possessions to bring with them. They needed everything — from basics such as shampoo and toothpaste to food and especially clothes. I made the executive decision, along with the Corps Officer of the thrift-stores division, to put out a public plea for donated clothing items.

The city of Denver generously responded, like it so often does. Seventy-two hours later, I got a call from the officer: “Karen, you got to stop with the...

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3 Crucial Decisions You Need to Make

mentor motivation Oct 01, 2020

by Nguyen “Tom” Griggs

 

 

Hello, my friends. I hope you all are doing well and finding ways to successfully navigate these difficult times. In this column, I want to talk about three crucial decisions that leaders need to make to survive our current chaos.

I ask that you bear with me. The stories I will use involve airline crashes, and the details are not pleasant. However, all are relevant to the situation that now faces the martial arts community.

In 2015, Maria Murillo, 18, and her 1-year-old survived the crash of a small Cessna airplane in the Colombian jungles. They spent five days on the banks of a river, surviving on coconuts and collected rainwater. When they were found, rescuers were astounded to learn that despite having sustained burns and broken bones, the woman had been able to run from the burning plane while carrying her child.

Bahia Bakari, 14, was the sole survivor of a 2009 crash of an airliner that claimed the lives of 151 people. She spent...

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Kelly Cox: Following Keith Yate’s Example

mentor motivation Oct 01, 2020

by Herb Borkland

 

Although he’s acknowledged by his peers to be a ninth-degree grandmaster, Kelly Cox prefers not to use the title. Even more rare among notable American martial artists is that online searches for either Cox or his Rendokan Dojo return nothing. This lifelong student of karate and sword fighting inherited one of the first martial arts schools in the United States and has formed his life around its tradition of severe humility and a ceaseless work ethic. He is currently writing a book that explores the boundless wisdom of original scrolls from the 1800s that he inherited from Christine and Ken Carson, who founded Rendokan in 1946.

 

MASuccess: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?

Kelly Cox: I grew up on a farm in East Texas. Dad was a farmer. We toiled in the dirt. I grew up picking vegetables, riding horses and herding cattle.

 

MAS: How did you first hear about karate?

Cox: I was 9 years old, and I heard about it on Steve...

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Improvise, Adapt and Overcome! 6 Lessons I Learned When My Dojo Reopened After the COVID Pandemic Shutdown

maia mentor Sep 01, 2020

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...

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