MAIA, Did I hear this guy right?

Flying Crane

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I don't think the typical local martial arts school is qualified to teach anything. It doesn't seem to stop them.
Sure, but for the sake of discussion I am willing to assume they are experts in, and qualified to teach, a set of physical martial arts skills. I think the point is, people should teach what is their expertise and not try to teach what they lack a certain baseline of expertise in.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Sure, but for the sake of discussion I am willing to assume they are experts in, and qualified to teach, a set of physical martial arts skills. I think the point is, people should teach what is their expertise and not try to teach what they lack a certain baseline of expertise in.
Should covers a lot of territory. They won't, and no one can make them, and this is the reality of the situation. Many of their customers don't care either, in my experience.
 

WaterGal

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I just watched an hour long MAIA Edge video that was about how to run increase revenue for Martial arts schools and at the 13:25 mark it really seemed like they were openly admitting to promoting "McDojo" type schools purely for the sake of increased revenue. Here is a link to the video I saw The Metzger Tassoul Show: I Just Need More Students it's on the CENTURY martial arts school owner page which is a private page so it may be difficult for some to see. I really want to hear other's thoughts on this. Did I misunderstand this guy? Or is MAIA really all about using the moniker of "Martial Arts" purely as a means for getting rich regardless of the legitimacy and quality of the martial art instruction they are promoting?
I haven't watched the video, but MAIA is one of a number of companies that offers business coaching to help make your martial arts school more financially successful. "Increased revenue" is their raison d'etre.

There is nothing wrong with being financially successful. Just don't do it by sacrificing quality or using shady business practices - instead, offer more value. Have the nicest facility, the most fun and engaging classes, cool merch that people want to buy, summer camps for the kids, etc.
 

Damien

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I think it's important to make a distinction between three things here:
1) Making money
2) Martial arts schools focussed on getting people in the door and churning them through their programmes quickly
3) Blatantly false or misleading practices

1 is perfectly fine; martial arts teachers need to make money! If you make people pay membership and then lessons, and have contracts, sell uniforms, charge for gradings etc. that is all fine, as long as you are upfront about the ongoing costs. People can chose to train with you or not for that price.

I think 2 is what people would often think of as a McDojo, they just so happen to do a lot of the above too. You get people churned through quickly and end up with a blackbelt in 18 months. You may not get great martial artists out of it, but you're keeping kids occupied, probably making people a bit fitter and have them enjoying themselves. Is it self defence? Often no. Is it the traditional approach? No. Is it bad? Not necessarily. If people are just looking to have fun and exercise there is nothing wrong with it. It's like boxercise or Body Combat. I can see why people do it too, most people quit training after 12-18 month apparently. So if you want to maximise your revenue, you need to have as many touch points within those 18 months as you can.

The only problems with it are that it can cheapen the idea of a black belt (though that is massively misconstrued by the public at large anyway), and can lead to a false sense of confidence, which leads into aspect 3. Again so long as they are honest, let them be.

3 is where things get bad. Either lying about pricing structure, lying about what it is you are teaching (genuine style, your experience and lineage, its effectiveness) or descending into full blown bullshido. I distinguish the latter because you can teach all sorts of techniques that are real, but probably not particularly effective, or high success % moves, but they are real. No touch knockouts, qi balls, magic energy etc. are all just lies.

This recent video featuring McDojoLife talks about signs he looks for to identify McDojos. I don't necessarily agree with the labels, I think you can distinguish a McDojo from a con, as above, but some good general points on what to look out for.

In general though, doing whatever you can to make your business a success so that you can live happily and continue to support your students is a good thing, so long as it is ethical. So do kids parties, sell extra seminars, charge for gradings etc. whatever your customers want. Help them reach their goals and help them have fun and enjoy a community, whilst helping yourself pay the bills. Ideally the martial arts instruction would be good too, but if your customers aren't looking to be the best martial artists, it doesn't matter that much. Generally people want something they know isn't bad, not the best.
 

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