Archive for the ‘Martial Arts Schools’ Category

Know Your History

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Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

I was at a tournament last weekend and asked a boy (he was about 9) what style of martial arts he did.  He was wearing patches all over his uniform and they didn’t make much sense.  Some were Kungfu, some Taekwondo, and some were Karate.  So I asked him his style and he didn’t know.  I asked him the name of his school.  That also was a bust because it was named after the instructor.  As the day went on I asked several other students decked out in similar patchwork fashion the same questions and received the same answer.

Later on I met his instructor and found out it was a mix of several systems. No problem.  Not my cup of tea but I respect diversity.  My only problem was that his students had no idea what they were studying.  That to me is like growing up in the United States and not know the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, or Preamble. Oh, wait, ask around most Americans don’t know this either.

The Martial Arts is full of stories of violent deaths caused by the insulting of ones Martial Lineage.  Am I showing my age?  The day of the Mixed Martial Artist is here but I think that to not know your lineage is to not know who you are.  Part of my training included the history of the art.  That’s part of what makes Martial Arts what it is.  Without history we are a sport for sports sake.  The word Martial relates back to the military past that we came from.  Our teacher’s teacher’s teacher fought for survival, honor, and love. Not for plastic and metal. He protected his culture, his family, and his life.

To forget that brings shame to yourself and your Martial family.  For those of you reading this who are instructors, take a moment, after kicking and playing and laughing to make sure and remember and teach your students were the sport they are playing came from.  We are doing a kick and throwing a punch that was practiced a thousand years ago.  In the age of Innovation we must never forget our past or we will one day forget who we are.

“Chuck Norris once ordered a Big Mac at Burger King and got one.”

To Contract or Not to Contract: That Is the Question

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Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Every blue moon (or maybe a little more often), I have a conversation with a school owner that I find important enough to share with other school owners….be it for learning styles/techniques, school tips, money savers, etc…

Today, I had one of those conversations with one of our pick up customers from San Jose, CA. Three years ago he bought an established school from his instructor and has since increased the student base from approximately 75 students to approx. 125 students (with a fluctuation of 110 – 150 students at anytime). For his school to maintain fiscally, he needs a minimum of 85 students (anything over that is “gravy”).

Before he bought the school, they did not do contracts, and he continued the same policy. A few years ago, it became practically standard to make students have contracts, and the few schools that chose not to follow this were considered “small time.” But in today’s economic atmosphere, maybe it makes sense not to “pressure” students into long-term agreements, or to offer them a no contract option. (more…)

Kicking Your Way to an Economic Upswing

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Friday, November 14th, 2008

The economy has been the lead story on every news channel, magazine and newspaper you see. Headlines scream of major bailouts for banks and the Big 3 automakers, unemployment rates dropping to 1983 levels, and Wall Street closing at record lows; it seems the only glimmer of hope is that gas has dropped below $54 a barrel.

Everyone is starting to feel the effects of this economic downturn, especially small businesses like martial arts schools; so how can martial art school owners turn this bleak outlook to a positive?

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