Much of the Martial Arts Community Has Transitioned to Online Instruction — Here’s What You Need to Do to Keep Your Local Students From Going Virtual
by Cris Rodriguez
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”
— Charles Darwin
Change. Adapt. Pivot. Adjust. Modify. Revise. Develop. INNOVATE.
These are words often used to describe what we martial arts school owners were forced to do last year as a result of COVID-19 and the lockdowns that ensued.
While many of our peers now regard 2020 as their worst year ever, I prefer to view it as a great opportunity for growth. For me, it was the year I realized how tough I truly am. It was the year I watched my team step up. It was the year I discovered how strong the martial arts community really is.
It was also the year I learned that teaching punches and kicks and armbars and chokes isn’t enough. It’s about...
by Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
Have you ever found yourself stuck in the negative feedback loop of perfection? It’s an odd mind trap in which no matter what you do, your efforts never seem perfect. You look back and think, I could’ve done X, Y or Z just a little better.
Most of us have been there — unfortunately. While it’s true there are times when you have to push yourself to do better, there are also times when good is good enough.
Yes, hard work matters. However, it’s useful to consider something my late father used to say: “Work hard but work smart, too.” Sometimes your efforts and the results you achieve are simply good enough. Period.
A popular saying, often attributed to architect William McDonough, is “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” If you know anything about architects, you know that the pursuit of perfection is often a struggle for them. My wife Kimberly Phipps-Nichol frequently uses...
Boy Is Kidnapped — Learns Martial Arts for Self-Defense — Becomes Tournament Powerhouse — Founds Century Martial Arts — Vows to Pay It Forward by Creating Martial Arts Industry Association!
by Robert W. Young
I can’t say for sure how an incident in which my home was invaded, my mother was tied up and I was abducted would affect me, but I like to think it wouldn’t reduce my childhood to a kittenhood. I hope I’d be able to recover from the emotional trauma and at least live out my life with a semblance of normalcy.
Spend any time with Mike Dillard, and you’ll begin to see how, for some people, such adversity can breed success. Instead of being ruined for life, he channeled his anxiety into a drive to learn self-defense, then into a string of victories on the karate circuit and finally into a startup that exploded into a business empire, all using the principles and concepts he acquired from the martial arts.
After the crafting of...
by Kathy Olevsky
I’ve written this column for 10 years now, telling the world how I’ve survived 45 years in the martial arts business despite having made many mistakes. In fact, I have not even begun to cover them all. I share my stories to help you learn from them — and because it’s important to know that you, too, may blunder along the way but that your school can survive.
During the pandemic and the period that followed its darkest days, most martial arts schools had to contend with students who wanted to terminate their programs. Because of the unique circumstances, martial arts academies around the world had to relax their cancellation policies. I’ve talked with school owners who struggled with the new normal of letting students leave because of COVID-related issues.
This is the one time in our history when most of us have had to make concessions. I know that our schools drastically modified their cancellation policies. In speaking with other...
by Dave Kovar
To say that the past year and a half has been interesting would be an understatement. Most of us never saw 2020 coming — at least, I didn’t. I’m not going to lie: It’s been a challenging time for my school and me. But I’m proud to say that we’re coming out of it in pretty good shape. Thanks to the hard work of our amazing team, our loyal student body and a little help from the PPP, we’re coming back stronger than ever. In this column, I will share the nine steps we used to keep our momentum going in case your business needs a boost.
1 Acknowledge and accept where you are.
You can love your current situation or you can hate it, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are where you are. It’s a waste of time to try to wish it away. The sooner you acknowledge and accept where you are, the sooner you can start taking steps to get where you want to go....
by Philip E. Goss Jr., Esq.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a stark reminder of a simple fact: We all will die. No one has ever made it out the other side. Although we cannot control when or how we die, we can plan for it, to some degree, from a legal perspective. To ensure you’ve made all possible preparations before you leave this rock, keep the following rules in mind.
Rule 1: Make your body-disposal desires crystal clear.
Interestingly, it was more than a decade after the wedding when my wife and I had the “burial versus cremation” discussion. If nothing else, a cancer diagnosis certainly fosters a real-world prospective. As a 19-year cancer survivor, my dear wife and I went on to discuss this issue to death. (Sorry for the gallows humor.)
My advice to you is to articulate your wishes for what will become of your body well in advance. Typically, this is accomplished through instructions stipulated in your last will and testament. Be as precise as...
by Frank Silverman
I start this column with a bit of sorrow because usually I’d be giving one last push for the Martial Arts SuperShow. I’d talk about all the great topics to be covered. I’d bring up all the fantastic speakers and seminars and training ops. I would, of course, give a few reasons why all Martial Arts Industry Association members should attend — not just to further their own education for the benefit of the industry as a whole but also to show support for all the hard work that MAIA and Century put into the event.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 got the best of the SuperShow again this year. As I type this, Las Vegas is on its way back to normalcy, but many venues still are not fully open. In some ways, the success of the Show is what doomed it: Caesars Forum, which was supposed to be our venue this year, has maximum occupancy rates that are far lower than the numbers we draw. The social distancing requirements that will be in place in Vegas for...
by Karen Eden
My favorite Chinese eatery in the world happens to be located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It’s a very unassuming place, the kind of restaurant you would refer to as a “hole in the wall.” I’ve frequented this location for decades now and go there every time I’m in town. The flavor of the sauce, the texture of the rice — everything you would be extra picky about is accommodated. And I, my friends, am very picky about my Asian food!
During one visit, I noticed that somebody had opened a Chinese buffet next door to my favorite spot. The buffet was cheaper and, of course, featured an all-you-can-eat style of dining. There were bright balloons and banners placed across the entrance. But nope — no buffet for me. I know what’s good, and I stick with what I know.
As my family and I walked in to be seated, we noticed that the restaurant was emptier than normal. No doubt locals were giving the ballooned and bannered...
by Eric P. Fleishman
As martial arts schools reopen, school owners everywhere are seeing new sign-ups. Enrollment is rising because people are once again free to congregate safely, and the numbers are being boosted by the popularity of TV shows like Cobra Kai.
With all these new students trying out their new moves, keeping everyone safe and healthy becomes the priority. Nothing puts a damper on enlightenment-through-training like the pain of an unexpected injury. However, by implementing a proper warmup along with a comprehensive stretching regimen, you can dramatically decrease the chance of injury. With that in mind, I offer this list of the five most important yoga-based stretches to include in your program.
For the Hamstring
Located along the back of the leg, the hamstring is a critical muscle to keep flexible. Maintaining supple hamstrings can ensure higher, more powerful kicks and explosive capabilities that will propel the body forward when it’s time to...
by Nguyen “Tom” Griggs
Something that many leaders — and people in general — deal with regularly is the urge to overdo certain aspects of their jobs. We all know someone who was given a chance to run things and let it go to his or her head, or the person simply did too much to try to impress the boss. Here’s an example.
When I was in fourth grade, we had a substitute teacher. She was a regular substitute at our school and was known for being tough. Many students saw her as someone who tried too hard and was out to prove something. Those personality traits made her stubborn and unwilling to understand other perspectives.
One day when she was subbing in our class, she was her usual overcompensating self. In the class was a student who stuttered. She called on him to answer a question, and he was silent. She became irate and then berated him.
When he remained silent, she took things to another level and demanded that he go to the chalkboard to...
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