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Grow Your Martial Arts School

Since 1993, MATA has been the must-have membership for martial arts school owners. Get all the tools, connections, and answers you need to succeed.

The Martial Arts “Teacher of Teachers”

“On his path of inspiration, motivation, and unparalleled success, John Graden has had a profound impact on the manner in which thousands of martial arts are operated worldwide.” — Martial Arts World magazine

WHO ARE MATA MEMBERS?

Black belts working hard to create a great living for their families so they can focus on their passion for changing lives through their schools.

Earn more income

Learn how to create the revenue that you deserve for your hard work and the life-long benefits you provide your students.

Enroll more students

We’ll show you the programs to offer to move a stranger to a student and a student to a black belt and staff instructors.

Become the "go to" school

Learn how to become the school people think of and talk about when “martial arts” are mentioned in your town or area.

Recent MATA Certification Graduates

The MATA Instructor Certification Program provides teachers an effective process
to create and maintain a productive classroom environment.

“MATA is a professional and quality organization. I wanted my Instructors and myself to be certified by the best.”

— Sidney Burns, Blue Ridge Martial Arts

I am continually looking for ways to improve my teaching knowledge and the MATA Instructor’s Certification is one of the finest and most updated courses an instructor can take.

I was impressed by the honesty of the content and detailed explanations of the various issues surrounding the teaching of Martial Arts these days.

Sidney Burns, Blue Ridge Martial Arts Academy

LATEST NEWS AND TRENDS

The Coronavirus and Your Rent

With the coronavirus pandemic blanketing the world, many martial arts school owners can’t conduct group classes for at least the next month or two. This creates beehive of complexity and questions. Our guest, The Lease Coach, gives us the answers.LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE...

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The Coronavirus and Your Martial Arts Insurance

Understanding Your Insurance Coverage From Jennifer Urmston of Sports & Fitness Insurance Corporation “It is important to remember that viruses are excluded from standard Commercial General Liability insurance policies. This means that insurance companies will...

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The Rent Market for Martial Arts Schools

Interview with the Lease Coach Dale Willerton In case you don’t know my full history I worked for landlord’s managing and leasing commercial properties for many years only to realize it was Tenants that needed my help, not landlords.  In 1993 I quit landlords and...

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What Makes a Good Weapon?

Former police officer, sheriff, and prison guard Chris Sutton, the founder of Cobra-Defense explains the 3 Traits of an Effective Weapon. SelfDefenseBusiness.com

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The Coronavirus and Your Rent

With the coronavirus pandemic blanketing the world, many martial arts school owners can’t conduct group classes for at least the next month or two. This creates beehive of complexity and questions. Our guest, The Lease Coach, gives us the answers.LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE...

read more

The Coronavirus and Your Martial Arts Insurance

Understanding Your Insurance Coverage From Jennifer Urmston of Sports & Fitness Insurance Corporation “It is important to remember that viruses are excluded from standard Commercial General Liability insurance policies. This means that insurance companies will...

read more

Summer Camp Insurance

Martial Arts Summer Camp Insurance

It’s very important if you’re holding a summer camp, to reach out to your agent and make sure that your current insurance policy will cover the summer camp.

Your martial arts insurance agent needs to know how many students are going to come and how many hours of the day they are going to stay there. 

If you are taking them off property, you need to tell your insurance company. Make sure your liability waiver states clearly that might be taken outside of the school walls.  

Make sure the parents are signing off that they know their child is going to be off premises. 

When you do have kids for summer camp, make sure to always have two adults in your group of kids. This is important for protecting yourself from sexual abuse or molestation claim.  

If kids are changing clothes, make sure kids of the same age are in the dressing room, changing clothes, versus, kids that are significantly older. 

Make sure that again you are aware of the need to protect the children and supervise the children at all times. 

Also, make sure you’ve done background checks on any extra instructors that are going to be helping you out in the summer.

It’s very easy to perform background checks online these days. Check every volunteer over age 18 that are working with your kids, and that they haven’t had any priors for abusing children. 

Keep a copy in your file that you did everything you could ahead of time to protect your students.

Many martial arts schools experience far more claims related to bodies of water than anything else. Most insurance policies do exclude communicable disease, so that’s something important to be made aware of in your waiver, that you’re telling the parents that the kids are going to be outside.  

Your liability is that you are prepared to administer first aid and that you are prepared to get that child safely the care that they need. 

Make sure your instructors have been trained in first aid and in CPR. Have an emergency plan if you’re taking kids off-site, how you are going to get them to the emergency room, if they fall and break something or if they get bitten by a snake, etc. 

Make sure whatever pool or a body of water you bring them to, has expert lifeguards there, and are trained to administer CPR. 

Summer camps can generate great revenue for your facility, expose new people to your facility, and get more students in the fall. Always be cautious and make sure you have spoken to your insurance carrier. 

Write down all the activities that they are going to do and disclose that to the insurance carrier and the parents.

If you’re going to make thirty or forty thousand dollars over the course of a summer camp and there is going to be an additional premium for two or three hundred dollars, it’s worth it to make sure you have coverage, for all these things that you want to do with kids that aren’t familiar with your normal business.  

Don’t take that liability on yourself. Communicate it to your insurance carrier and make sure they are covering you for those summer camps because they are an outstanding way to grow your business.

Summer camps are great for the kids, it’s great for the parents, it’s great for the business. Just do your homework ahead of time to know what you’re doing and communicate it to the parents and the insurance company.

A Typical Martial Arts Summer Camp Day

A Typical Martial Arts Summer Camp Day
Structure two classes per day each day with one class at 10:00 a.m. and the other to coincide with your after-school program from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. On field trip days, you may only want to do one class for a total of 8 classes instead of 10.

Kids start to arrive at 7:30 – 8 am.

9:00
They can spend that time in quiet activities until the program officially starts at 9:00 with a morning snack. They will have to bring a snack or purchase a snack. It’s against code in most areas to provide snacks. Kids help to clean up.

10 – 11 am
Board games and a short movie or TV show will fill the time until the first martial arts class of the day. This is a martial arts class just like your evening classes.

11 – noon
Martial arts class.

12 – 12:30
Lunch

12:30 – 1: 30
Downtime as kids watch a G-rated movie or play board games.

1:30-ish
Maybe a field trip or a guest comes in to teach and speak with the children. Local police and firefighters are great options. Amateur magicians looking for stage time can work as well. Get creative.

4 – 5 pm
Second martial arts class of the day.

5-6pm
Clean up and prepare to go home. Pick-up is between 5:00 and 6:00 with a late fee for anyone after 6:15 of $3.00 for every 15-minute block of time. During the summer, you will have late drop-offs and early pick-ups, because of the nature of summer camp.

3 Reasons to Host a Summer Camp

3 Reasons to Host a Summer Camp

3 Reasons to Host a Martial Arts Summer Camp

3 Reasons to Host a Summer Camp

While regular martial arts classes can dip in attendance over the summer with students going on vacations, there are still plenty of families that need a safe, structured place for their children to be at Monday – Friday. Here are three strong reasons why to promote and host a summer camp. 1. Tuition Income According to Care.com, the average rate for a sports camp ranges from $500 – $1,000 per week. On the lower end, a summer camp hosted by the local community recreation center can be a little as $50 per week. Most martial arts schools range from $75 – $275 per week for an 8 – 10-week summer camp. Here is what the income potential is for a $149 per week camp. This doesn’t include snacks, exam fees, uniforms, and sparring gear.

Weekly tuition   Students         Weekly tuition    Weeks                Total Tuition $149.00                      10                      $1,490.00            10                      $14,900.00 $149.00                      15                      $2,235.00            10                      $22,350.00 $149.00                      20                      $2,980.00            10                      $29,800.00 $149.00                      25                      $3,725.00            10                      $37,250.00 $149.00                      30                      $4,470.00            10                      $44,700.00 $149.00                      35                      $5,215.00            10                      $52,150.00 $149.00                      40                      $5,960.00            10                      $59,600.00 $149.00                      45                      $6,705.00            10                      $67,050.00 $149.00                      50                      $7,450.00            10                      $74,500.00

2. Feed Your After-School Program. One of the main reasons schools host summer camps is that a high percentage of the kids in the camp will transfer into your after-school program. 3. Massive Retention If you host an exciting summer camp, you have a great chance of enrolling the kids into your after-school or regular evening classes. However, there is a big difference in retention. Evening/standard classes struggle to keep kids for even 8 – 12 months. However, because an after-school program is structured to be part of the weekday routine, the kids stay with the program for years. It’s not uncommon for kids to stay with your after-school program for 5 – 8 years. They just get used to it like going to school each day.

See 7 Videos on How to Run a Successful Martial Arts Summer Camp with Jim King.

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How to Host a Sizzling, Safe Summer Camp

How to Host a Sizzling, Safe Summer Camp

How to Host a Sizzling, Safe Summer Camp

Two Important Notes: 1. Be sure that your summer camp is following local codes and laws regarding activities, snacks, and how the day is spent. You do not want your camp shut down in the middle of the week because you were providing snacks. 2. Review your camp in detail with your insurance provider. Make they provide Workman’s Compensation and that every activity is previewed. You may even have to name your city or town in your policy. Read more: 3 Reasons to Host a Summer Camp Focus on the Needs of the Family While most martial arts schools and fitness centers dread the dog days of summer, others are making the summer months their best months of the year. What’s the difference? Rather than focus on the potential drop off of business due to vacations and competing sports, the successful schools take full advantage of the opportunity that summer really offers. Parents have to put their kids somewhere safe during the day. Even many stay-at-home parents want their kids out of the house and involved with something fun and different during the summer. How to Price Your Camp Depending on where you live, summer breaks range from 10 – 12 weeks. Many families take vacations or go visit relatives for a portion of the summer. This dictates that you build your summer camp programming and tuition around one-week segments. You can combine weeks into packages such as a six or eight-week package for 10% off of the one week price. If you regular summer camp week is $149, offer a package of six weeks for $799 for about a 10% discount. You want to be careful with discounts though. The kids have to be somewhere. You will probably get the money anyway, but it’s also nice to have cash up front. Make sure that your agreement stats that you do not give refunds, only credits and make that clear to the parents. It’s a bit of a risk-reward ratio for both of you, so be upfront about it. Call local daycares to see what they are charging and their terms. Do they include field trips? Do you have to pay for missed weeks or is there credit? Get to know what market is like in your area. That doesn’t mean you undercut them. Your summer camp includes martial arts training, uniforms, belt exams, and safety equipment. The local daycares will not usually have those additional revenue streams so you can undercut their tuition because you will make it up on uniforms, exams, equipment, and snacks. Field Trips It’s a proven success to provide two field trips per week at no additional charge. This requires planning and an excellent insurance plan, but it can really make a difference to your kids’ enjoyment of your summer camp. However, it’s equally important that you maintain martial arts discipline on site and while traveling to and from the field trip. That means children are quiet on the bus. They line up when you tell them to. They say “please” and “thank you” and show respect when addressing staff at the facility. Even though you’re teaching martial arts and self-defense at your camp, you still want the kids to enjoy swimming, soccer, tennis and other sports and activities that add up to a memorable experience that they want to return to next year. Staffing Running a summer camp can be exhausting. That’s why you have to choose and schedule your staff wisely. Summer camp is full-time and you will need to have enough staff to overlap the hours into the evening or be prepared to work 65 hour weeks. Read more: Training Staff Members as Martial Arts Summer Camp Coaches Make sure your staff are not on their cellphones or texting when at your school working and especially on field trips. They need to pay attention to the students at all times. There are three important components to successfully staffing your summer camp. 1. Run background checks on everyone. 2. Get comprehensive insurance that includes workman’s compensation. The odds of an accident happening are much higher when running a summer camp than your regular evening classes, so be smart and protect yourself. 3. Stagger the day. Let the person who opens the school at 7 am go home after lunch while the person who arrives at 10 pm can stay until the end of the day. A Typical Summer Camp Day Structure two classes per day each day with one class at 10:00 a.m. and the other to coincide with your after-school program from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. On field trip days, you may only want to do one class for a total of 8 classes instead of 10. Kids start to arrive at 7:30 – 8 am. 9:00 They can spend that time in quiet activities until the program officially starts at 9:00 with a morning snack. They will have to bring a snack or purchase a snack. It’s against code in most areas to provide snacks. Kids help to clean up. 10 – 11 am Board games and a short movie or TV show will fill the time until the first martial arts class of the day. This is a martial arts class just like your evening classes. 11 – noon Martial arts class. 12 – 12:30 Lunch 12:30 – 1: 30 Downtime as kids watch a G-rated movie or play board games. 1:30-ish Maybe a field trip or a guest comes in to teach and speak with the children. Local police and firefighters are great options. Amateur magicians looking for stage time can work as well. Get creative. 4 – 5 pm Second martial arts class of the day. 5-6pm Clean up and prepare to go home. Pick-up is between 5:00 and 6:00 with a late fee for anyone after 6:15 of $3.00 for every 15-minute block of time. During the summer, you will have late drop-offs and early pick-ups, because of the nature of summer camp. Typical Summer Camp Revenue Streams
  1. Weekly tuition ($129 – $325 depending on your location)
  2. Daily snacks (50 kids purchasing $2 in snacks is $100 a day)
  3. Safety equipment ($100+)
  4. Uniform ($40. Suggest 2 to make laundry easier)
  5. Exams ($45 per belt. Kids typically will advance one belt in the summer)
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