Professionalism in the Martial Arts Business

The idea of professionalism in the martial arts is a relatively new concept.

            While in the past most instructors haven’t been afforded the luxury of a degree in Marketing, Advertising, Sales and Education, when these are the essentials you all nee desperately today to survive.

            With the incoming advance of the major health and fitness clubs, the market share of potential students is an ever declining factor.  These new multi-million dollar facilities have the glitter that attracts the young corporate business executives who are seldom seen in our martial arts centers,

            This phenomenon is partially due to the social interchange that occurs within the fitness clubs.  This meat market, dating service is contrary to what we were taught in the arts but you can motivate new students to your center with easy to follow rules.

            Traditional martial arts center is a drab, dreary and oftentimes a filthy jumble of old gear and the lingering odor of perspiration.  The easiest and least expensive thing to do is change the image of your school.  Applications of fresh paint, having the carpet cleaned or the floor refinished can add a new luster.  The use of wall racks to hold all the equipment that lies scattered.  Installation of an inexpensive display case for uniforms and other resale items can add to the potential revenue of your business.

            It becomes further obvious that we are dealing with a separate world for most of you.  The first, the ancient, traditional school and second the modem business and administration technology of today.

            Professionalism will give an equal balance to these two worlds and show that added balance by weighing heavier in your financial arena.

            In America, with this day and age, most of the fad arts and instructors have long since faded away, unfortunately so have a lot of good instructors.  Time has shown the scales must be balanced in order to continue.  On the other hand just to have “business smarts” with a lavish training hall and poor technique and little concern for your students may be worse than being out of business.  Professionalism is to be proficient in both areas.  It can benefit no one to go out of business.

            The business world is more serious than ever.  The cost of opening and operating a full-time school is staggering.  However, a successful school can be a most rewarding experience, both personally and from the new found freedoms and security that a good cash flow creates.  What better life style can there possibly be than to be paid well for something you love doing?

            These challenges can be met with confidence and assurance knowing the Association will provide the needed tools to bring these two aspects of professionalism into balance.


            In dealing with the public, marketing firms conclude the first impression is formed within six seconds of contact.  What possibly can a person know of ourselves in just six seconds?  Obviously, the only feedback they will have is how the instructor looks, presents himself and how the studio looks and smells.

            When a potential client and these persons are clients, are approached by a gruff, cigarette smoking person, with a disheveled appearance they are immediately offended.

            Being dressed appropriately, whether in a crisp uniform or sports wear, will be sufficient to convince your client that you are serious at what you do.  To become lax with your professional dress code is an expensive mistake.  On the other hand, it would be just as out of place to be overly dressed.

            Therapists should be comfortable but sporty enough to represent a smart but sensible image.  Stay away from loud colors or faddish clothing, as this represents a slightly immature attitude, appealing only to younger people and these aren’t usually the ones paying for your professional services.

            Some more professional studios have required a staff uniform consisting of a smart sport shirt with the labeling “Staff’ or a logo usually in basic colors that can be worn with most dress slacks or skirt.

            When people know they look good they also have a strong tendency to feel good.  Now isn’t that the image you want?  Remember, you have nothing to lose for dressing smarter, and everything to gain.

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