Martial Arts Consulting – When Platitudes Attack

martial arts business advice

My Greatest Pet Peeve: When Platitudes Are Passed Off As Solid Martial Arts Business Advice

I see it all the time in our industry. Some “guru” writes an article that at first gives the impression of providing solid business advice…

But as soon as you read past the opening paragraph, you know you’ve been had, because the article is nothing more than a bunch of platitudes masquerading as real-life business know-how.

  • “Keep your eyes on the goal…”
  • “Keep going…”
  • “Stay focused…”
  • “Believe it and it will happen…”

The list goes on and on.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with providing a pep talk every once in a while for other business owners, and Lord knows we need it on occasion. And certainly, cultivating a resilient spirit is a necessity for long-term business success.

Here’s What Gets My Goat About Martial Arts Consulting…

However, what gets my goat is when we see “experts” passing this stuff off – over and over again – under the guise of providing us with valuable and useful business advice.

A book I recently read on running a martial arts school is a perfect example of the vacuousness of some martial arts school consulting gurus. The front cover claimed this book would show you how to build your fantasy school, or some such nonsense.

I ordered the book. I read it. It wasn’t nonsense, but the entire book was filled with chapter after chapter of platitudes and vague advice…

And the sad thing is I found it to contain little, if any, solid and actionable advice on the real nuts and bolts of starting and running a martial arts school. It’s no wonder so many martial arts instructors are so confused when it comes to knowing exactly what it takes to start and run a successful martial arts school.

What It Typically Means When You’re Fed A Bunch Of Platitudes By “Experts”

Let me tell you something… and let this be your litmus test from here on out for what passes as useful business advice that you can bank your school’s financial future on:

Massie’s B.S. Advice Litmus Test

If it isn’t actionable, it’s probably B.S.

When I wrote Small Dojo Big Profits, I started with the goal that the book would provide actionable steps an instructor could follow to start and run a successful martial arts school. And that’s exactly what the book provides – an action plan.

The same goes for my martial arts business coaching services. I don’t prolong your problem in order to make more money. Instead, I take every client through a six to 12-month process that teaches you everything you need to know to start and run a successful martial art school.

But here’s the thing; you may not ever need to hire me as your business coach if you read and follow Small Dojo Big Profits. So, do yourself a favor and get the book, read it, and follow it in your school. Then, you’ll have a martial arts business plan that’s actually actionable, instead of a bunch of empty platitudes that are impossible to act upon.


  1. Kurt Schulenburg on November 19, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    How much extra? :-)

  2. Mike Massie on November 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Why, an arm and a leg, of course. ;)

  3. Chris Whamond on January 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Well put, Mike. Most people don’t have time for “theory” these days. While it is sometimes helpful to understand a particular strategy, what’s more important is a step-by-step approach and an action plan.

  4. Mike Massie on January 22, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Chris, my main point was that too many “consultants” are putting out fluff instead of meat when it comes to the advice they give.

    Once again, it goes back to the classic case of the consultant “prolonging the pain” by taking the roundabout way to solve the client’s problem.

    But, in some cases, I think it’s actually due to the fact that the “expert” has no idea what they’re talking about. :)

  5. Fernando Gomez on May 30, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Hey, Mike.

    Thanks for the article. I agree with you. It happens in many other disciplines: false experts trying to get advantage of business owners who put their trust on them.

    I’m a Spanish copywriter and marketing consultant, Krav Maga practitioner and I’d love to specialise in helping dojos build a strong and reliable marketing strategy.

    Which of your books do you recommend me to buy? And in which order should I read them?

    Take care,


  6. Mike Massie on July 19, 2020 at 8:05 am

    I wrote copy and ran a digital marketing agency for years, and I can tell you that the martial arts instruction industry is a very quirky market. I’d say if you haven’t actually run successful marketing campaigns for a martial art school, don’t become a consultant in this industry. Run some campaigns for local school owners first to find out what sells and what doesn’t, and then after you have some success stories you can take your services to a wider market.

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