Quick and Dirty Tips for Starting a Martial Art School

start-up Oct 31, 2022

Every week or so I get an email from someone who is starting a school and wants the low-down on how to do it right.

It’s a pretty tall order to sum it all up in an email, which is why I wrote a book about starting a dojo. However, there are a few things I’d like to share on the topic – kind of a quick and dirty list of tips and suggestions for prospective school owners:
1. Don’t Burn Bridges – Make sure your instructor is aware of everything you’re planning to do, every step of the way. That way, you won’t step on any toes or burn any bridges – I’ve seen guys do that in the past when it could have been avoided through simple communication.

2. Before You Lease – Most of your students will come from a 3 to 5 mile radius of your location. Find a good spot where there are lots of people and little competition, and start a part-time program. That way, you can test the waters before you drop a lot of money getting started....

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Why Your Martial Art School's Social Media Marketing Isn’t Working… And What To Do About It

marketing Oct 16, 2022

Social media marketing for martial art schools isn't as simple as you think. Social media marketing—that is to say, FREE social media marketing—isn’t always easy to get a handle on. One reason for this is it’s a lot like doing PR work for your school.

Meaning, you can do a lot of it for a long period of time and not really see a direct impact on your school’s growth or profits, because the results are difficult to quantify.

However, what can be quantified is the direct and immediate effects of running an ad or boosted post to direct traffic to a specific lead capture or sales page. You can see the results based on how many leads or sales that page generates from the traffic you sent in a given period of time.

When Every Post Is An Ad…

You can also see the direct results of creating a free post in local parent and resident Facebook groups that directs traffic to your site. And, often these free posts can pay off… that is, if you...

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Why You Should Follow A Martial Art School Marketing Plan

marketing Sep 30, 2022

On The Fence About Purchasing My Marketing Course? The Following May Change Your Mind…

Recently I coached one of my clients on setting up a marketing system. Just the other day, he posted his final results for his first 30-Day marketing push:

Well, I hit my goal and a few over. I’m sitting on 34 this month. This is the craziest month ever. I have got around 36 intros this month. I have had some busy months before but I don’t think any like this. Thanks for your help!

Hmmm… from 3 or 4 enrollments a month to 34 in one month. There must be some amazing secret, right? I bet you’re wondering, what was this mysterious system we implemented?

Honestly, it was not that far off from the exact marketing plans I share in my martial art school marketing course, and in my martial arts business coaching groupNo lie, that’s the honest truth.

Besides a few minor tweaks to customize it to Tony’s area, it was the...

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Why Small Dojos Are Better

start-up Sep 28, 2022

More Time, Fewer Headaches

The holidays are coming up on us fast. Halloween will be here before you know it, then Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve. Then another year will have passed—how time flies!

I sincerely hope that by this time next year, you’re kicking back and enjoying the rewards of all your hard work during the previous year. I love the holiday season as much as anyone else, but it’s even better when you are a small dojo owner. Why, you may ask?

Before I opened my studio, I was a nursing student and EMT and had worked in the health care field for some time. Every year without fail, I always managed to pull a shift during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year (or a combination of the three).

However, owning a small studio changed all that. Once I opened my doors, I was able to shut down my operations every year for one week during Christmas, and one week during the Fourth of July holiday.

Also, I always take major holidays off, like...

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The Martial Arts Business Basics

management start-up Sep 21, 2022

Do you have your martial arts business basics down?

You know – those top priority concepts, skills, and tasks that are essential to running a successful martial art school?

Maybe you haven’t given much thought to what those are… but if you’ve read Small Dojo Big Profits, you know about the 80/20 rule (Pareto’s Principle).

Pareto believed that eighty percent of your results come from just twenty percent of your efforts, and I’ve found this to be true in my own businesses.

That’s why it’s so important to know what those “20% activities” are. Once you do, you can focus in on those activities, and cut out most of the extraneous stuff. By doing so, not only will you become more productive, but you’ll also have more time away from your school.

So, let’s examine the “basic foundation” of running a successful martial arts school, and then we can look at which daily tasks and goals we need to focus...

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What It's Like to Start a Martial Art School

management start-up Sep 09, 2022

Life As A New Martial Art School Owner

Being a new business owner is scary, mysterious, and exciting all at once. On the one hand, starting your new business represents an exciting new adventure, as well as the potential for financial freedom and getting to do what you love for a living.

On the other hand, not knowing what to expect can work on your nerves and make your first few months that much more difficult. Starting a martial art school is stressful enough; the last thing you need is additional stress based on uncertainty.

In addition, you may have unrealistic expectations that can later work against you when life as a school owner doesn’t turn out to be the smooth trip you thought it would be.

So, I thought I’d quickly share the following with you...

A Typical Day In The Life Of A New Martial Art School Owner –

Chances are good you’ll be working at your “day job” while you’re getting your school off the ground. So, your day will start...

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Starting and Running Your Own Martial Art School

management start-up Sep 09, 2022

So, you want to know what starting and running your own martial arts school takes? For starters, a lot of guts, plus a willingness to do what it takes to make it a success. Plan on spending the first year or two working harder than you ever have in your life.

Now, if you can handle that, here is a bare-bones breakdown of what you need to do to start your school…


The very first thing you need to know about how to launch a martial arts school that is how to write a martial arts business plan. There are two very good reasons for this:

1. If you are going to seek outside funding, there isn’t a lender in the world that will consider giving a prospective entrepreneur a loan if they don’t have a solid business plan.
2. More importantly, you need to have a clear picture of the steps you will take to successfully launch your martial arts school, from start-up through the first 3-5 years you are in operation.

We discuss planning and budgeting in chapter seven of my...

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