Sharpen Your
Greatest Weapon: Your Staff

wning and operating your own dojo can be a dream come true for some. Passing along the knowledge is a tradition as old as the martial arts themselves. But for this process to succeed, would-be teachers must first secure a building, purchase insurance and market themselves.

The next step is just as crucial: Assemble a staff. You might start out working solo, but to grow, you'll need more people. Finding the best instructors is essential, and keeping them happy and motivated will put you on the road to long-term success. The following are my suggestions for maintaining a ship-shape crew:


Send them to school.

The best instructors are the most educated instructors. Send them to seminars. Bring them to hear a motivational speaker. Invite them to join you at the Martial Arts SuperShow in Las Vegas. Encourage them to register online for a certification and offer to cover the cost.

By broadening their skill set, you're allowing your business to grow from the inside out, priming the pump so you eventually can promote from within. Part of what's needed to grow your bottom line is growing your instructors along the way.A fringe benefit is they will appreciate your investment in their future. It's a win/win for everyone!

Shout it from the mountaintop.

Everyone likes being acknowledged for his or her hard work, be sure to give shout-outs to your staff whenever they provide terrific service.

Also, refer to them by name when you're being interviewed by local news crews. Brag about their accomplishments on social media. Call them onstage to be recognized during parent's night festivities. Your praise will let them know how much you appreciate their dedication and commitment to excellence, and your students will realize how lucky they are to be at your school.

Lend them your ear.

Many times when excellent instructors decide to permanently leave a dojo, they'll tell you that they felt like their voice wasn't being heard. That means their suggestions, opinions and needs were falling on deaf ears.

These people are intimately entwined with your business. Their perspective should be listened to and duly noted. Your dojo will benefit from their insights, and it's likely that small changes can be made from their suggestions in a way that will benefit your school. Of course, not every suggestion must be implemented, but simply by taking the time to listen and granting them the respect of your undivided attention, your leadership abilities will rise.

Get thee to a gym.

It takes physical prowess to perform martial arts at a high level. However, many instructors fall out of shape because of busy schedules, outside stress and poor eating habits. Take a proactive approach by setting up a corporate membership at a local gym so all staff members can work out for one low price.

Besides improving their physical appearance, the endorphins that exercise releases will do wonders for everyone's mental health. One way to accomplish this is to offer your students the SLEEK NINJA program. It will help align their exercise, diet and sleep patterns, and the transformations they undergo will inspire your instructors to get in shape, too.

Show them the Golden Path.

How do you give your employees room to grow? Yes, eventually you will retire, and then one of them can advance to your position — but until then? They may believe that the only way to advance is to leave your dojo, and neither side wants that.

Look for ways to expand your dojo by adding incentives, such as title changes. Being Head Instructor or Demo Team Coach adds appeal and merit. Encourage your instructors to become ambassadors of the school, helping increase membership and overall interest. Show them a solid path for career development, and they'll remain your faithful foot soldiers deep into the battle.

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Dustin Poirier has knocked out Conor McGregor in the second round at the UFC 257 Main Event. This spoils McGregor's long-awaited UFC return after his win over Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone last January. Poirier hinted after the match that he would be open to another bout against McGregor, as this fight brings their rivalry to a 1-1 record. The impressive wins of Poirier and Michael Chandler on Saturday night set the UFC's lightweight division up for a very exciting future.

The Legendary Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame has never before been documented in a single location. Now, you can learn about all the icons that have achieved one of the greatest honors in all of martial arts.

Black Belt Magazine is proud to announce the NEW Member Profiles feature for the Hall of Fame. At the time of this article, the online records account for every inductee from the inaugural year of 1968 all the way through 1990 (upwards of 200 martial artists). The page will be updated continuously and will include every inductee through 2020 in the near future. For now, you can enjoy images and facts about the legendary members for each induction they received before 1991. Take advantage of this never-before-seen opportunity to learn about many of the martial artists who contributed to the lifestyle, culture, and community that every martial artist experiences today.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE BLACK BELT HALL OF FAME

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The UFC returned to American network television for the first time in more than two years Saturday on ABC while former featherweight champion Max Holloway returned to his winning ways following two straight losses, earning a unanimous decision over Calvin Kattar in Abu Dhabi. Holloway showed he still has plenty left as a fighter dominating Kattar from the opening bell of the main event with a mix of punches and low kicks.

It appeared as if the former champion might stop his opponent in the fourth round landing a series of vicious body blows followed by hard elbows to the head as a bloodied Kattar sagged against the fence. But Kattar somehow survived managing to keep himself upright through the fifth stanza as well, only to lose a lopsided decision. After dropping his title to Alexander Volkanovski and then losing a controversial rematch, Holloway may have put himself in position for one more crack at the championship following Saturday's impressive performance.

SportMartialArts.Com

Jessie Wray's Virtual Fight Tour brought the heat in their fifth promotion with a call-out match, massive "Draft Edition" team fight, and a surprise bonus bout to bring sport karate fans an action-packed event.

The call-out match featured the Canadian veteran Ben Stewart as he challenged Black Belt Magazine's #3-ranked point fighting heavyweight in the world, Anthony Merricks of Team Next Level. After a new Virtual Fight Tour record was set in that bout, the action just kept getting more intense as Team Jadi Tention took on Team Richard Plowden in twelve total rounds of team fighting. Even after a thrilling team fight with numerous momentum shifts, promoter Jessie Wray still brought out one last fight to keep the fans happy. Keep reading to find out how it all went down at Virtual Fight Tour V: Draft Edition.
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