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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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Are You Good?

mentor motivation Jun 20, 2021

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...

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So Many Mistakes

lesson learned motivation Jun 20, 2021

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.

 

 

After the major changes and constant unpredictability of 2020, the martial arts industry started to come back strong in 2021. During this time, we had to get experimental — sometimes successfully and sometimes not. At this time, I would like to share some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my years of running a school (not just 2020) in the hope that the solutions I found can help you as our industry continues to revive.

 

Pay and Charge Your Black Belts. In our early years, we followed the tradition that holds that when students reach black belt,...

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Don’t Overdo It

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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Armed for Success!

Navy SEAL and Air Force Fighter Pilot Team Up to Inspire and Educate at the 2021 Virtual SuperShow

by Perry William Kelly

 

What happens when you put a master motivational speaker who used to be a Navy SEAL and a master business consultant who used to be an Air Force fighter pilot together and task them with inspiring and educating martial arts business owners? Well, no one knows because the 2021 Virtual SuperShow hasn’t happened yet. (At the event, which is scheduled for July 7-9, they will be the keynote speakers.)

One thing we do know now is that you won’t get “reel life” versions of a SEAL and a top gun — sorry, Mark Wahlberg and Tom Cruise. You will get “real life” versions of American heroes, specifically Brent Gleeson and Robert “Cujo” Teschner, both of whom have put their lives on the line for your freedom. These warriors went on to become successful businessmen and consultants, and when you sign up for the...

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The Bad Haircut

motivation Apr 21, 2021

by Karen Eden

 

I had just landed my first TV anchor job at age 22 when I found what I thought was the perfect hairstyle. This was back when hair was bigger and hairspray was an absolute necessity. I couldn’t believe that I had to go all the way to Toronto, Canada, to find a hairstyle I actually liked. The giant poster was hanging there like an oversized invitation for me to come on in and get the latest fashion trend in haircuts.

At first, I was happy to sit in the chair and listen to the stylist talking in French, but after about 10 minutes, I started to panic. I’ve always had long hair, and he was taking off pieces all the way up to my ears. Then I thought, Surely, he knows what he’s doing. Besides, if I was to maintain a professional look for my new job, I could no longer don a long, free-flowing style.

Finally, the stylist was done. He spun me around to get a look in the mirror. “Oh, my God!” I exclaimed.

“You wanted the haircut on the...

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Barry Guimbellot: Being Offered a School to Manage

mentor motivation Apr 20, 2021

by Herb Borkland

 

Barry Guimbellot received his first dan from Allen Steen in 1976 and in 2015 was promoted to 10th-degree by Steen, Pat Burleson and Keith Yates. A legendary school owner and director, Guimbellot first ran and then bought Steen’s Texas Karate Institute schools. Along with Walt Mason and later Dave Mason, Guimbellot continued to operate those schools until 2010. He also co-promoted the Southern Karate Championships for 37 years and the Big “D” National Karate Championships for 35 years. From 2008 to 2017, he served as President of the Amateur Organization of Karate.

 

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

Barry Guimbellot: I was raised in Richardson, Texas. Dad began by inspecting airplanes and later worked as a salesman.

 

MAS: How did you first hear about martial arts?

BG: A high-school friend started taking karate from Allen Steen, and then my brother did, too. It was cool, but I never thought about it for...

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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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Caroline Goodspeed: No Turning Point

martial arts motivation Dec 29, 2020

by Herb Borkland

 

At ninth degree, Caroline Goodspeed is Keith Yates’ highest-ranked Black female grandmaster. Her martial arts career spans amateur boxing, aikido, goju karate, taekwondo and kobudo. She is especially proud of the girls, including her daughter, she has taken to black belt. Goodspeed also ranks among the most delightful personalities in the American martial arts.

 

MASuccess: Where did you grow up?

Caroline Goodspeed: I grew up in little Port Arthur, 83 miles southeast of Houston, Texas.

 

MAS: Do you remember the first time you heard about martial arts?

Goodspeed: I was a scrappy little girl — 5 feet 2 and 98 pounds — and when I was in my teens, I liked boxing with my amateur brother. It’s why I use my hands so much. When I was 19, this aikido instructor tried to recruit students. I told myself, “Here you go!” Lasted a year and a half. I got tired of being thrown to the ground by men.

After that, there was no more...

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