Thread: The Minset of Success
06-26-2005, 09:46 #1
The Minset of Success
Now The Learning Begins
The scene: a black belt exam. The tired but happy candidates have just learned that they have passed, and as they cinch the knots on their new, stiff belt for the first time, some member of the review board proclaims “Now the REAL learning begins!” This scenario is repeated every week, in dojo and dojang all over the country. It’s an almost essential part of the ritual, and it’s seldom omitted.
Sometimes, it’s true. Some black belts continue to train regularly, seek out instructors who can broaden their knowledge, and endeavor to grow in the arts. However, all too often, they are content to wear the belt, teach an occasional class, and for the most part stop taking an active role in their own continuing education.
This is especially true of many martial arts instructors and studio owners. They open their studio, run it pretty much like their instructor ran his or her dojo, and struggle along without achieving much success.
Now, success doesn’t have to be defined by having a great number of students, or making a high income. An instructor can define his own parameters of success by virtue of his or her own standards.
My first instructor in 1977, John Hutchcroft, taught out of his garage, and I doubt if he had more than twelve students at any one time, although they included such future champions as Mike Wall and Guy Holtzman. He didn’t teach as a full time business, but rather as a labor of love. He was successful by achieving what he set out to do. But once an instructor leases a space and hangs up a shingle, this is now a commercial studio, like it or not.
The majority of these commercial operators struggle along with a meager number of students, getting the bills paid and maybe even making enough to get by without taking a day job. They’re often dissatisfied and frustrated, however, bitterly resenting the studio owners that do achieve success, labeling them as “McDojos” and assuming that they hand out black belts as casually as licorice. Rather than seek out more successful owners, from whom they can learn, they “flock together” and reinforce each other's negativity. Often they have a ready excuse. “I’m just not a business person,” they’ll say. “I’m not good in business.”
The truth is, NO ONE is BORN “good in business.” Learning good business skills takes the same sort of self-discipline and hard work that earning a martial arts black belt takes. The formula is pretty much the same - find good instructors, learn the curriculum, study, take a proactive role in seeking out knowledge, and then - practice, practice, practice.
A little over a decade ago, there was no readily available source of information on how to run a martial arts business. Studio owners pretty much had to figure it out on their own, along with trial and error. John Graden’s NAPMA and Martial Arts Professional magazine were the first widely accepted and respected professional association and trade journal. (Note: Mr. Graden no longer has anything to do with NAPMA) Now there are two professional magazines, numerous consulting companies, monthly support boxes, and other resources, all available to today's studio operator. Not to mention, of course, Mr. Graden’s Martial Arts Teachers’ Association.
So why do so many instructors still struggle so? Perhaps because they refuse to give themselves permission to succeed. Why would they do that? Maybe they’re afraid that they’ll have to compromise their martial arts standards. Or they feel that there’s something inherently wrong with making a good living from teaching martial arts. Maybe they fear that their friends will feel differently about them if they become financially successful.
Or maybe they’re just too disorganized and undisciplined in their personal lives to be able to take the meaningful action necessary on a consistent basis to do what’s needed to move forward.
The Greek writer Epictetus (50 - 138 AD) wrote: "It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows." The truth is, any commercial dojo/dojang owner can choose to improve his or her level of success, as defined by increased student retention, a higher student count, and greater financial achievement, without diluting anything in the arts taught, simply by implementing simple, common sense concepts. All it takes is the willingness to learn, the desire to achieve, and the self discipline and perseverance to make it happen. You know, the same values we all teach to our students! In future articles, we will cover some of the basic ways that instructors can improve their business waza."Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." - Sun Tzu
06-28-2005, 18:36 #2
Are these your memoirs, or are you plagiarizing someone else's work? If you are posting someone else's writings, the author should be given credit.Paul Smith
06-28-2005, 19:32 #3
- David Craik
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
- Martial Art
- Sweatin' to the Oldies
- Post Thanks / Like
- Blog Entries
It was written by Mike Anderson of the Goshin Karate & Judo Academy in Scottsdale, AZ.
06-28-2005, 21:34 #4
Seems Jack doesn't understand plagiarism. He has loaded the threads with this stuff and it isn't even his.
Last edited by Gene Williams; 06-28-2005 at 21:36.
06-28-2005, 23:37 #5
That would be a violation of ITF Chang Hon TKD tenet, Karate tenet, not to mention the Ten Commandments and copyright.
06-29-2005, 05:42 #6
Check out the rest of the stuff he posted and see who wrote that.
08-04-2005, 17:57 #7
Thats all fine and good to say, and I know there are dojos out there that do very well and don't compromise much, but I would not say that is the norm. In running any full time dojo the owner will always have to compromise to some degree, the problem is that dollar bills often determine to what degree. The best comparison I can think of is to look at McDonalds, they make millions every year, and are a household name, but I've never been in one with a "best burger in town" award. I have also read many of the "MAsuccess" magazines as well as others like it, and I find all to often very motivating articles that offer few solutions.
09-08-2005, 16:19 #8
Its a Decision
Like the McDonalds theory;
They might not have "the best" burger in town, but they have a lot more burgers.
Large schools may not have the "best" black belts in town, but the impact of the martial arts has reached far more students than those of smaller schools.
They have impacted for the better, far more students, in the same way McDonalds has served far more people its burgers.
Good fighters and students come from big and small schools alike.
09-08-2005, 17:44 #9
They may have "impacted" more students, but many of them I doubt for the better. I'm not saying that you can't benifet from learning martial arts at a McMoneymaker, but the quality of instruction often is just not there.
09-09-2005, 13:26 #10
I know what your saying
You put impacted in parathensis like its Mc Money dojo talk.
Your talking only about McDojos...and I've seen them in all sizes.
Definetly. But I think we agree on that.