I love the Martial Arts. I thoroughly enjoy teaching martial arts. I continue to be in awe of what martial arts do for people. And…. I find great pleasure in coaching other school owners….at least most of the time. Occasionally I will come across school owner that does nothing but whine about how hard it is to run to a school. Whenever I hear this, two thoughts pop into my head. The first one is “Yes, it IS hard running a Martial Arts school”. And the second thought is “Who ever said it was going to be easy?” What worthwhile career is easy? What career allows you to make a good living, has a profound, positive impact on society, creates little or no stress, and doesn’t require a lot of hard work? I can’t think of any, can you? I thought so. It has been my experience that once I understand that it is hard work, and I am willing to do it, it becomes easier.

Here are a few tips that I have learned along the way. Perhaps you will find some of them useful.

  • My travels to other schools have shown me that there are lots of different ways to be successful in the martial arts industry. The key is to find out which way works for you.
  • If you’re not willing to work hard and smart, you probably won’t be in business for very long. There was a time, in the 80s and 90s, that you may not have had to work as hard to generate new members as you do today. But it is what it is. And it is still a great time to be in the martial arts profession.
  • If you don’t know what you’re doing, you probably won’t be in business for very long. If you are new at this or aren’t happy with your current results, find a mentor. There are lots of great business coaches out there. Find one that you’re comfortable with, listen to their advice and then take action. Don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to.
  • Forget about what the School down the street is doing. There is not a lot you can do about it and it is a waste of energy. Just hope that they good program. No one benefits from a badly run school. That hurts all of us. In most cases, when someone has a bad experience at a martial arts school, they don’t quit and enroll at another school. They just plain quit. And they often will view all Martial Arts in a negative way. We shouldn’t spend our time fighting over a small percentage of the public that is currently interested in training. We spend our time getting others interested. That way, there’s plenty of students for everyone.
  • Try to be the best example that you can be. YOU represent the Martial Arts to your circle of influence. This may be a cliché, but it is also very true.
  • Never forget the impact that a well-run martial arts school you can have on your students and on your community. Try to be a positive force in the lives of others. For me, this means being a martial artist first, a teacher seconds in a businessperson third.