by Christopher Rappold
Recently, a friend shared with me an experience about going to see a chiropractor. The person was highly recommended and had a mystique about him. Over the years, he’d worked with many pro athletes, and he wasn’t shy about showing it on his website and in his lobby.
When my friend met with the doctor, he was treated more like the next number in a factory line of patients rather than a person seeking healing. The chiropractor poked and prodded my friend in all his injured and inflamed areas, creating enough pain to cause him to nearly fall off the treatment table.
As I listened to his story, I was thinking about many similar experiences I’ve witnessed in the martial arts. Here’s one example: A student takes a seminar conducted by someone he admires. He’s picked to go to the front of the class for a demonstration and surrenders his arm to the instructor. The subsequent application of force is so painful that the student has a...
by Christopher Rappold
I have often said that I could learn the most advanced form of math provided I had access to a teacher who possessed the ability to meet me where my clear understanding of math comes to an end and build my knowledge from that point. In fact, I’m quite sure that most people, given a strong desire and a great teacher, would experience similar success.
If you follow this line of thinking, you know that your success as a martial arts instructor lies in your ability to break down concepts into small incremental-learning modules that build on each other.
When I was introduced to martial arts, the start of the journey was a rite of passage to see if I was tough enough to stick out the training. I learned how to spar by sparring. I remember my instructor telling us to find some boxing gloves in the closet, then grab a partner and start sparring. Simple as that. While there’s no denying that this can work, the percentage of people who are able to...
by Christopher Rappold
In 2020, most martial arts schools had to put their teaching on hold because of the pandemic. We were told that we had to close our schools. We came back swinging on Zoom. We were told that we could open at 20-percent capacity, then at 40-percent capacity; with 6-foot distancing and 100-percent mask wearing; with no masks if we trained outside; and so on. Many schools were able to maintain their student body; unfortunately, some did not.
Now, here we are, more than a year later. Most schools still have some restrictions in place. Even if there are no legal restrictions, regaining the community’s confidence is a hurdle many of us must overcome because of the uncertainty COVID created. One form of marketing you should consider employing at this time is the kind that comes from the inside out.
I’m talking about the students who currently train with you in person, the ones who believe in you and trust you. They are vital to the success of your...
by Christopher Rappold
If you’re reading this column while this issue of MASuccess is current, chances are you’re a martial arts school owner who’s still dealing with COVID. Never has this industry taken such a hit!
So what are you going to do about it? The answer is you must rebuild, but you need to do so in a way that makes your school stronger and better because of COVID, not in spite of COVID. In this column, I’ll focus on two key areas you should explore to help your school have an epic comeback and sustained retention rate.
To get a clear perspective on this challenge, imagine that an outside expert has been hired to evaluate the scope of the damage that has been done. (Unless you take this step, you’ll be too close to your school to make an accurate evaluation.) Naturally, that third-party inspector would want to talk with you about your staff. The person might start by asking the following:
by Kurt Klingenmeyer
As all school owners know, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of running a martial arts academy. The hours pass quickly when they revolve around teaching great classes and helping students reach their potential. Unfortunately, while that’s happening, some things can slide to the side and get forgotten.
Listed below are five things that you, as a martial arts instructor, should incorporate into your daily routine.
“Great Job” Calls
Make it a point to speak with five families every day to tell them what a great job their children are doing in class. Giving families individualized attention and letting them know about their children’s progress are key to the development of martial arts students. In addition to talking about a child’s martial arts progress, ask how the whole family is doing. Oftentimes, parents come to the martial arts for support — maybe the child needs more focus or...
by Frank Silverman
Every now and then, we all can use a reminder of how special our profession really is. Of course, there’s the daily regimen of training, teaching, coaching, etc., but as you all know, those things add up to so much more. I received that reminder again just last week and thought now was as good a time as any to share it with you.
I was at karate class watching my 6-year-old. She had just moved up to the beginner’s class, having graduated from the Lil’ Dragons program. Since we’re still social distancing and this school’s waiting area accommodates only eight to 10 parents, I was standing outside to watch so all our members and clients could squeeze in.
As I stood there, I noticed another family watching from inside their car. They had parked where they had an unobstructed view of the class. In the car was a mom, her daughter and an aunt, and inside the school was the 6-year-old son and father. They told me they were heading off...
by Cris Rodriguez
Most people in the martial arts industry who know me know that I’m a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Few are aware, however, that I got my start at a Jhoon Rhee Institute of Tae Kwon Do when I was just 8 years old. Yes, I’ve been a mat rat since 1993.
As a former lover of forms — specifically, musical forms — I had the power of repetition drilled into my head from an early age. My classmates and I practiced our musical routines so much that cassette tapes would get stretched out and become unplayable because we constantly were pressing the Play, Stop and Rewind buttons. At least they weren’t 8 tracks or vinyl. …
Looking back on my childhood on the dojo carpet — mats weren’t popular at the time — I’m still impressed at how my instructor was able to get us to practice our forms over and over by disguising the repetition of the techniques we were using. Back then, we didn’t know what he was...
by Floyd Burk
The primary function of MASuccess is to help you overcome any obstacle that stands between your martial arts business and financial success. In 2020, the main obstacle for most schools was the pandemic. Sadly, it remains so in 2021.
This has spurred endless discussion, most of it based on this all-to-common premise: “My school has been closed for a long time and I still have to pay rent. My state says I can’t teach inside, so I’m planning to start holding class outside soon. Do you have any suggestions?”
In this article, I’ll shed some light on this subject and related ones that focus on teaching outside your regular establishment.
Let’s start by assuming that you live in a locale where state and local officials have issued orders keeping you from conducting class in your school or orders that restrict the number of people allowed inside. I’m a school owner in San Diego County, so I know of what I...
by Cris Rodriguez, Mike Metzger and Shane Tassoul
At the macro level, you have to implement just three systems to achieve success in your martial arts academy. If you’re thinking that sounds too easy to be true, know that Tony Robbins teaches something similar in his business-coaching programs. He says a business must do these three things to grow:
1 Get customers.
2 Get those customers to pay more.
3 Get those customers to pay more, more often.
At the Martial Arts Industry Association, our recipe for success focuses on the three R’s: recruitment, retention and revenue. In this article, three of the industry’s leading consultants — Cris Rodriguez, Mike Metzger and Shane Tassoul — will explain how this simple strategy can help you take your school to the next level in 2021.
Recruitment • Cris Rodriguez, MAIA Consultant
One year on vacation in Hawaii, I was relaxing at the beach when a fisherman, obviously a local, drove up in his...
by Christopher Rappold
Not long ago, I was visiting with Don Rodrigues, one of my dearest martial arts friends for nearly 40 years. Although we speak on the phone often because of our roles with Team Paul Mitchell Karate, this was the first time in nearly eight months that I got to see him in person because of COVID concerns. We had lots to discuss, but for a good chunk of the time, we took a walk down memory lane.
This led to a discussion of how each of us had come to find the martial arts. Coach Rodrigues is my senior by 14 years, and he has deep roots and an almost computer-like memory of old-school karate from the 1960s and ’70s. We laughed the way most martial artists do when they look back in time and talk about things that would not be accepted today.
One of the topics we reminisced about was the sacrilege of asking your instructor when you would be ready for your next rank. If you did, your time was automatically doubled. Back then, we also witnessed instructors...
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