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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Are You Taking Great Care of Yourself?

mentor motivation Sep 02, 2019

By Dave Kovar

 

I do not know if other martial arts instructors have experienced this, but in my world, there seems to be an assumption that because I teach martial arts for a living, I must have all the time in the world to train. It has been my experience the reverse is often true. We are so busy working to grow our businesses that we hardly have time for ourselves, let alone the extra time we might need to keep ourselves as healthy and fit as we would like. With that said, if we’re not careful, we can use this as an excuse to let ourselves go.

 

I’m often amazed at the disconnect many smart and talented school owners have with regard to how their personal health affects their level of success. It might be possible to achieve or maintain a high level of success temporarily without taking care of yourself. However, in the long run, that abuse will catch up to you. There is an ancient proverb that says, “Those who have their health have 1,000 goals. Those...

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The Difference Between Force and Strength

By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs

 

Hello, friends! I want to thank everyone who provided valuable feedback regarding my B.L.A.C.K. B.E.L.T. series. I promise to continue delivering valuable insights and information.

During the next five articles, we’re going to discuss how the concepts from Japanese jujitsu can be applied to your teams. I know that all our arts share similar principles, so feel free to apply them accordingly.

            My instructor Torey Overstreet constantly reminds us that if you must use force to make a technique work, then you are doing it incorrectly. Now, some functional strength is necessary when applying a technique, but force implies a rough and harsh application of strength.

Effective leadership requires you to be strong all the time, but rarely forceful. I’ve known several leaders who firmly believed that if you had to raise your voice in anger or frustration, then you...

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Why You Should Do a Free Backpack Giveaway at your Dojo

mentor Sep 02, 2019

Guest Blog by Michelle Hodnett

 

Project Dojo is a nonprofit community outreach program in Pueblo, Colorado, that works with at-risk children. Through the power of martial arts, Project Dojo seeks to inspire and motivate kids within a safe environment, while continuing to teach the traditions of martial arts.

However, you don’t have to be a nonprofit school to hold a great free event! Holding a free event to help youth in your community is a great way to rally your school around a worthy cause. Your students can work as volunteers at the event, or contribute to the planning. In this article, Project Dojo head Michelle Hodnett shares how she’s held successful free events and how you can get started on yours!

 

Why do a backpack giveaway in the first place?

Everyone loves free stuff! If you’re looking to advertise, boost morale, or want to connect with your community, a free backpack giveaway might be a perfect event. It seems easy: just give away...

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Being the Cheese

mentor motivation Sep 02, 2019

By Karen Eden

This column originally ran in the November 2015 issue of MASuccess and is being reprinted here because of its popularity.

 

Those who know me have learned to accept me with all my eccentricities. So I know that, as many years have gone by, surely they must be true friends. But for those who desire to know me better, I always air a disclaimer.

I’m a different breed of person. It used to bother me early in life, but now I am comfortable with that fact, and it doesn’t bother me one bit.

I often think about how much time it would save if I could just hand out a resume to everyone who wants to know me better. That way, if I wasn’t their “cup of tea,” they could just never call me. I wouldn’t be offended!

I am a deeply religious person. I’m also a diehard traditional martial arts woman with a master’s rank in a Korean, military-based, hand-to-hand combat art.

If that isn’t scary enough to the average person,...

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RETENTION DONE RIGHT!

How Two Instructors Guide Their Students to Black Belt — and Then Retain Them as Contributing Members of the Dojo!

 

Rob and Kathy Olevsky (author of MASuccess’ “You Messed Up! Now What?” column) took over a struggling school in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1979. Forty years later, they not only have a thriving business but dozens of black belts who are happy to pay full tuition. Learn what they did right — and a few things they did wrong — along the way!

 

By Keith Yates

 

It was the late 1970s, and Kathy Kilmartin was a 21-year-old taking karate lessons at the only martial arts school in Raleigh, North Carolina. She caught the eye of one of the instructors, a man named Rob Olevsky, but the dojo had a strict policy against teachers dating students. However, after repeated requests, the school’s owner says Rob could ask her out on a date — but only if Rob bought out Kathy’s contract in case she quit.

Rob agreed...

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MAIA Spotlight: Executive Director Frank Silverman

maia mentor Aug 30, 2019

If you're reading this blog, chances are, you're familiar with MAIA, or the Martial Arts Industry Association. But just because you know MAIA as an organization, you may not be familiar with all the individual team members. They do an amazing job, and are just as passionate about the work they do as you are. We're making this series of blog posts to shine the light on our MAIA team members and the amazing work they do!

And if you know MAIA, you know Frank Silverman. MAIA’s Executive Director is a longtime martial artist, as well as the owner and operator of 10 martial arts schools in and around Orlando, Florida. He is the author of Business is Business: Passion and Profit in the Martial Arts Industry, and has been one of the most impactful figures within MAIA for nearly two decades.  

 

How long have you worked with MAIA?

I’ve been with MAIA for nearly 20 years (19, to be precise), and it’s been an amazing experience since the start!

 

What is...

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Training While Teaching: Do's and Don'ts for Martial Arts Instructors

mentor Aug 30, 2019

Guest Blog by Andries Pruim

 

While everyone enjoys participating in a class taught by a wonderful instructor (sensei), we also sometimes wonder how the sensei manages to train him or herself. Clearly the majority of their martial arts involvement now comes from their time in class. But how do they continue to train and improve, or even practice, when they are constantly moving around the class correcting and assisting their students?

 

 

This has always been the sensei’s dilemma. How should he or she obtain their required training/practice, while ensuring the progress of their students?

There are many opinions on whether instructors should be “training while teaching.” We can all agree that during class, most of the instructor’s focus should be on the students who are paying to be there. Any debate stems from differences in opinion of just how much that focus needs to remain on students, and how much it can be devoted to personal training.

...

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My Friend and Colleague, John C.

maia masuccess mentor Aug 09, 2019

By MAIA Executive Director Frank Silverman

 

In early May, I was in Boston at an MAIA Wealth seminar. The event was on Thursday and Friday. Since I was also hosting a business forum seminar on Saturday, my wife flew in Friday evening for one day. We had a nice dinner, and the next day I taught the seminar. We grabbed lunch in Little Italy on the North End (I love the food in Boston) and caught a flight home around 7 p.m.

It was a great weekend: a one-day getaway with my wife, great food, a successful Wealth seminar and a hugely successful business forum. But none of those things are why I will always remember this particular trip.

We were coming home from dinner at 10 p.m. As I hopped out of the Uber, my cellphone rang. The screen showed the caller’s name: John C.

“John C” is how I have had the late John Corcoran saved in my phone’s contact information and address book for 18 years. That late at night, I might not normally have seen the call, let alone...

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T” is for Trust

mentor motivation Aug 06, 2019

By Nguyen “Tom” Griggs

 

Well, friends, we've come to the end of our series on B.L.A.C.K. B.E.L.T. leadership! The last letter, “T,” stands for trust. This is arguably one of the most important concepts for effective leaders and teams.

            The number of relationships that have been solidified or ruined by the degree of trust within is innumerable. We all have stories of being on the giving and receiving ends of both good and bad trust-related stories. But leaders and teams grow or fail based on how well trust is nurtured or withheld. Here’s a quick lesson on trust that I know you’ll find helpful.

            I have an older cousin who worked for a big chemical plant in a rural town in southeast Texas. The workers there didn't have a union, so they were largely dependent on their supervisors to represent them and their...

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ATA International Turns 50

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...

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