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".
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!
Melissa Torres is MAIA’s Division Manage. You’ve read her MAIA Report column in MASuccess, but you might not know just how much else she does for MAIA and the school owners who rely on MAIA. A multi-time marathoner, Melissa understands the importance of hard work towards goals, and she’s committed to helping school owners work achieve theirs!
What is your job at MAIA?
I’m the MAIA Division Manager. I work hand-in-hand with Frank Silverman and Mike Metzger on ways we can reach more school owners with coaching and programs to help...
Anyone who has been reading my column over the years knows that I don’t jump into political debates or hot topics. I have no issue discussing them, but written articles are one-sided and the opportunity to debate doesn’t exist, so I don’t use this avenue for such.
I’m not sure a discussion of small schools and large schools is a “hot topic,” but I do know that, depending on how the topic is approached, it gets people fired up. Ever since the martial arts industry in North America got started, this schism, real or imaginary, has continued to get airtime – especially in this heyday of social media, where we do most of our “talking” from the safety of our keyboards.
First and foremost, it’s important to remind ourselves that we are all in the same industry and throwing stones at one another is counterproductive. Big school, small school, teaching out of a garage or owning multiple locations – it really doesn’t...
Two of the greatest iconic fighters have had their methods combined to form the Superfoot-Joe Lewis Martial Arts Systems. This unique system merges the celebrated fighting styles of Bill Wallace and the late Joe Lewis into some of the world’s most effective martial arts techniques. This brilliant combination of fighting knowledge and skills will be introduced on a large scale at this year’s Martial Arts SuperShow in Las Vegas!
By Suzanne Pisano
Learning from the Legends
Bill Wallace and Joe Lewis met in 1968, when both were competing at the World Professional Karate Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. Lewis noted that he and Wallace had a similar stance. It turned out that, while serving in the military in Okinawa, Wallace in the Air Force and Lewis in the Marines, both had studied shorin-ryu karate with the same sensei — Master Eizo Shimabukuro.
So began a close and loyal friendship that lasted until Lewis' death in 2012 at the age of 68. The...
Do you want to grow your school, improve your teaching, excite your staff, and train with some of the best martial artists and best business people in the industry? Attend the Martial Arts SuperShow in Las Vegas this summer, June 30-July 3. It will be the best investment you make in time and money for your business this year!
The proof? Freelance journalist David Barnett to interview instructors and school owners from last year's convention — without any input from us. Here’s how they used what they learned at 2018’s MASuperShow to improve their profits and professionalism.
By David Barnett
The 2019 MASuperShow is the place to find your answers. Whatever you’re looking to learn or accomplish, you’ll find it in Las Vegas this summer. From opportunities to learn from the biggest and brightest (and most successful!) school owners in the country, to the chance to train with some of the best living martial artists, there’s...
By MAIA Executive Director Frank Silverman
In a recent column, I discussed the need for focusing on enrollments during the summer month. Even though summer enrollments are often less than stellar, it's important that we work towards getting new students.
I suggested ways to capture the low-hanging fruit: siblings and parents. Assuming you’re focused on new-member enrollment, a focus equal in importance during the summer is retention. It does no good to open the front door to a new student only to lose one through the back door.
There are quite a few reasons that summer retention is difficult. First, you are competing with the swimming pool and the season’s extended daylight hours. As much fun as it is to train in martial arts, in the summer months, staying out late and playing with friends is big competition.
There’s no getting around heat and nice weather being an issue for many students. Just as important is the fact that families break their normal...
By the Editors
On July 24, 1936, Dan Inosanto was born. As a 4th-grader, he received his first exposure to the martial arts when his uncle taught him te [the Okinawan word for “hand.”]. In college, he studied judo, then dabbled in the Korean, Okinawan and Japanese striking arts.
“The exposure to the various schools in the beginning taught me not to be one-sided, because everyone had his own philosophies and each school seemed to have its good points and bad points. When I learned from Bruce [Lee], we never classified whether a technique was from taekwondo or boxing. If it was usable, we used it.”
While he was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Inosanto was impressed by a kenpo brown belt he met. Specifically, he liked the fluid manner in which the martial artist moved. As soon as he was discharged, Inosanto relocated to Southern California.
“In 1961, I started taking kenpo from Ed Parker at his...
By MAIA Division Manager Melissa Torres
Recently, a poll ran on Century’s Facebook page asking how many schools have a children’s program and, if not, the reasoning behind choosing not to offer one. Children are a huge part of the martial arts industry, and teaching them is an opportunity to instill the life skills they need early on.
One person who has dedicated her life to teaching kids is SKILLZ and PreSKILLZ creator Melody Johnson (née Shuman). I asked her a few questions that pertain to teaching children, for those of you who have been curious about the topic!
If you have specific questions I didn’t cover, please feel free to ask on Century Preschool Network’s Facebook group page and tag Master Johnson. She’ll be happy to respond!
Melissa Torres: What made you choose a career working with children?
Melody Johnson: My story starts off like that of many people in the martial arts. I was bullied a lot...
By MAIA Division Manager Melissa Torres
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed from working with martial art school owners and instructors, it’s that no one wants to admit they need help. We will get the occasional call through our MAIA phone line from school owners asking for ways they can improve their businesses; however, those are rare.
Even when people reach out to us via our website and admit they want help, they won’t pick up the phone when we try to call them to find out what they need. They know they need help, but they aren’t even sure what they need help with. They know they can be more successful, but don’t see the path there. They want to make their dream a career, but don’t even know what next step to take.
Most people want to show off their successes, not admit what they don’t know –especially on social media. It’s become a place where we post how we want to be perceived, not necessarily our reality....
By Sarah Lobban
The Night of Champions
July 7, 2018, just after 6 pm.
Mackensi Emory was tired — and justifiably. She had just come from a day of competing, having just won the NASKA (North American Sport Karate Association) Double Overall Grand Championships for Women’s Forms and Weapons. However, the biggest performance of the night — of the entire season, in fact — was still ahead of her: the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) Night of Champions.
The Night of Champions is the premier sport karate event in the world. It’s held at the close of the U.S. Open tournament, which draws thousands of competitors from around the world and nearly 10,000 spectators. The Night of Champions itself is a sport karate showcase featuring the best of the best, and it is broadcast to the world on ESPN-TV, the distinguished all-sport’s network.
Emory had been invited to compete for the Night’s Forms and Weapons title. The previous year, she...
By Terry L. Wilson
The Ultimate Challenge
Veteran ninja Hakim Isler had very little interest in becoming a celebrity when he submitted an application to the producers of the hit reality television series Naked and Afraid.
What started as a good-natured verbal sparring contest between a ninja and his Special Forces buddy evolved into one of the most exciting episodes in the history of the show. It also launched Isler onto a new career path as a TV celebrity, survival instructor, public speaker and survival-course creator.
“I contacted the show as a joke because a Special Forces friend of mine dared me to do it,” explains Isler. It was one Alpha male daring another Alpha male. So that night I went online and filled out an application form for the show.”
Predictably, the producers of Naked and Afraid jumped at the chance to have a real-life ninja who was also a Psychological Operations soldier and survival specialist on their survival series.
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