How Our Instructor of the Year Went From Struggling Karate School Owner to Successful After-School Operator

How Our Instructor of the Year Went From Struggling Karate School Owner to Successful After-School Operator

Tim McCahan is the 2017 Martial Arts Teachers Association Instructor of the Year.

Tim McCahan is the 2017 Martial Arts Teachers Association Instructor of the Year. Tim and his family generate over $400,000 a year running their school in St. Petersburg, FL PART TIME!

Yes. PART TIME! Most school owners grind out 30 – 50 classes a week and barely make rent.

Tim and his family arrive at the school at 2pm and lock up by 6:30pm after teaching just ONE CLASS and they are closed on Saturdays!

Also, while most schools get $100 – $149 per month per student, Tim has 100 families happily paying him $428 per month.

So, how does Tim:

  1. Work less than five hours a day and get Saturdays off?
  2. Generate 3 – 6 times as much tuition as most schools?
  3. Only have to teach one class per weekday?

In 1997, Tim and his wife Debbie made the decision to forego the traditional business model of running a martial arts school. Instead, they became one of the first schools to use a 100% after-school martial arts model.

I know. I know. I know. What does babysitting have to do with martial arts? That’s exactly what I thought back when we profiled Jim in my Martial Arts Professional magazine over a decade ago.

The truth is that after-school martial arts programs are not babysitting because, by law, it can’t be babysitting.

I’m not a mind reader or a psychic, but I bet you a dollar that you already teach a martial arts class after school. Right? Are you getting over $400 a month per student for that class? I didn’t think so.

Read more: Questions to Ask Before Buying into a Martial Arts After-School Program

Do you know why you are not getting that kind of tuition? I’ll tell you. But, I have to warn you. You will never look at your classes or your business the same way again.

Before I tell you, let me add this nugget. When the country goes into a recession, business goes UP for Tim McCahan and after-school programs.

So, are you ready to find out why after-school clients earn 3 – 6 times as much revenue while working part-time with weekends off while teaching just one class per day?

The answer is that to families, after-school martial arts is a necessity whereas your standard evening martial arts classes are a luxury. That’s it.

Kids have to be somewhere after school. The hours between 3 and 6pm are the danger zone. Right now, you already have students that are attending daycare because parents have to work. The parents place the children in the daycare or after-school care out of NECESSITY!

To be clear, Tim’s school is NOT daycare. It’s a structured alternative to daycare that follows the after-school system. After-school kids take a martial arts class every day. They progress in rank and even earn their black belts, just like a regular school.

To be sure, there are some important systems and protocol that TASMA schools have to adhere to, but that’s where after-school has been so successful. All MATA after-school clients are coached on how to remain compliant with state laws.

So congratulations to Tim McCahan on being named the 2017 MATA Instructor of the Year. Along with the advisory board and all of the MATA members, we are impressed with the amazing business you’ve created and greatly appreciate your coaching to help other owners have similar success with the after-school system.

Martial Arts Instructors: The Old School on After-School

[video_player type=”embed” style=”1″ dimensions=”640×360″ width=”640″ height=”360″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″ ipad_color=”black”]PHAgc3R5bGU9InRleHQtYWxpZ246IGNlbnRlcjsiPjxpZnJhbWUgc3JjPSJodHRwczovL3BsYXllci52aW1lby5jb20vdmlkZW8vMjQ1MDQ0MzU3IiB3aWR0aD0iNjQwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjM1OSIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbj0iYWxsb3dmdWxsc2NyZWVuIj48L2lmcmFtZT48L3A+[/video_player] Teaching martial arts for a living can be frustrating, especially if you’re in your second or third decade. Sometimes it can feel like the martial arts are passing you by. What were once proud principles and methods are dated and “old school.” It’s funny that we used to be proud to perpetuate “old school.” Today, it can be a sign that your hair is as grey as your belt. As someone who’s been teaching teachers since the early 90s, I’ve tried to stay ahead of the curve. From curriculum to certification, I take my role in the martial arts seriously. However, there is one area that I completely blew it and ignored for over 20-years. When I first heard of after-school martial arts, my immediate thought was that it was babysitting and the sign of a sellout. You could say that I took an “old school” stance. What the heck does tutoring kids have to do with martial arts? I am happy to tell you that I have learned the answer. Babysitting and tutoring have nothing to do with martial arts, and neither has anything to do with a compliant after-school martial arts program. That’s excellent news for those of us who still enjoy teaching, but would rather teach one class a day instead of four or five. That’s also the news that I presented to Florida State Senators last week. I wanted to help legislators understand that what we do is nothing new. We’ve been teaching martial arts for decades, and we do not need their regulations. If I were to open a school today, I would make it an after-school program teaching Empower Kickboxing and COBRA-Defense. Why Empower Kickboxing? Because it was created to be one all-rank class that challenges all students. COBRA offers single day seminars and ten-week academies that are easy to teach and profitable. I can set them up anytime. I’m not locked into a 30 – 40 class a week endless ordeal. Typical Martial Arts School Schedule * Arrive at school by noon. * Teach back-to-back classes from 4 pm to 9 pm. Get home around 9:30 pm. * Teach a morning class or conduct exams on Saturday. * Tuition average of $129 per month or $1,548 per year (if the student stays that long) * 65 students needed to pay for 12-months to gross $100,000. Typical After-School Martial Arts School Schedule * Arrive at school 2 pm. * Teach one class from 4 pm to 5 pm. Get home around 6:30 pm. * Closed on Saturdays. * Tuition $79 per WEEK or $4,108 per year. ($2,560 more per student) * 24 students needed to gross $100,000. * 65 students would gross over $260,000. Let’s see. Do you want 65 students creating over a quarter million dollars or $100,000 for four times the work? WARNING Any decent marketer can show you how to start and enroll students in an after-school program. It’s not hard because families NEED to put their kids into an after-school program, so it’s an easy sell compared to regular martial arts classes which are a luxury. That part is not rocket science. However, keeping your after-school compliant and open is what you are paying for in a program like TASMA. If the authorities shut you down, that can be a disaster as we’ve seen recently here in Tampa Bay. It’s the experience and skill to make sure you stay compliant and open for business that you want in your corner. That’s why I’m proud for MATA to partner with the “Godfather of After-School Martial Arts,” Jim King. Mr. King has been helping owners for over 20-years stay compliant and profitable. Jim King is as old school as any of us, but here is the beauty of his Transported After School Martial Arts (TASMA). It worked 25 years ago, and it will work 25 years from now. Parents will always need after-school programs. They do not need standard martial arts programs. We’ve recorded a series of videos where Jim King himself explains how the TASMA program works and why it’s different from the “fly by night” opportunists peddling after school as a get rich quick scheme. You can see the videos at