Martial Arts Business Success – Here’s What It Takes

Martial Arts Business Success Is Possible, Just Ask Tony

Martial arts business success

Sure, martial arts business success requires all these things… but I’m about to break it down for you so you know how simple it really is.

A few years back, I ran a contest among my coaching clients to see who could enroll the most students in 30 days by following my marketing advice. Sifu Tony Welker (formerly of Brownwood, TX – a small isolated town way out in the west Texas desert) participated in my 30-Day Challenge and enrolled close to two dozen new paying students!

He actually had a total of 34 students on an introductory membership during the month of October, and enrolled 23 of them. (Great job, Tony!)

Now think about this for a second… before the challenge, Tony was enrolling only 3 to 4 new students a month. What changed to create a 600% increase in his results?

  • Did he receive some secret marketing system from me? No, the system he used was the same marketing plans I’ve posted on the membership site ($29 a month for those results – quite a bargain)…
  • Did he hire a bunch of new staff to help him? No, he did it all himself…
  • Did he get some new website in place? No, he had the same website I built for him a year ago…

So what was the difference? That, my friends, is the topic of my post today, which is “What It Takes To Achieve Martial Arts Business Success.”

Three Pillars of Martial Arts Business Success

There are three pillars of success in any pursuit, including martial arts business:

  • Proper Knowledge
  • Proper Mindset
  • And Proper Actions

Think of these three components like legs of a three-legged stool. If one is missing, the stool simply will not stand; you must have all three for it to function.

Let’s examine each one and see why each is so critical to your martial arts business success.

Proper Knowledge

This is perhaps the easiest one to get, because good business knowledge is sitting right in front of you. Each and every month, I serve up a proven system to make “your phone ring and your email inbox ding” with new leads. And, my martial arts business materials outline a simple, no-nonsense system for taking those leads, enrolling them, and using the marketing system on the website to build a successful school.

This isn’t hype, it’s not just a sales pitch – it’s a fact. School owners have been using my martial arts business guides and manuals since 2003 to build successful schools.

Just ask folks like Paul Halme of Peak BJJ in Ft. Worth, Jamel McCurry of Jamel’s BJJ in Clinton Township, Jim Mahan of Absolute Self-Defense and Fitness in Killeen, Tony Welker of Heart of Texas Martial Arts in Brownwood, Louis Charron of Close Combat and Fitness in Metairie; I could go on and on.

The point is, the information is there, it’s proven, and it’s cheap as heck compared to the alternatives. And, just by virtue of the fact that you are reading this, that means you have access to the Proper Knowledge for your own martial arts business success. That puts you in the elite group of people who are “in the know.”

See, in this day and age, it’s not who you know, but what you know about who you know that makes all the difference. Just knowing people isn’t enough any more. You have to be able to discern who are the RIGHT people to know, and how to leverage your key contacts, to succeed.

You have a key contact in me, and knowing what you know about my systems, it makes sense that you should get the materials and use that knowledge to your own advantage.

Note: If you don’t know where to start, join and go through all the core 100 and 200 level courses. Then, get Small Dojo Big Profits, then get the Martial Arts Marketing System, and finally read the Phone-to-Enrollment Sales System, in that order. That’s pretty much all the knowledge you need to get to 150 students or more in your school.

Proper Mindset

I’m not going to sugar-coat this.

Let’s forget Eastern philosophy for a minute (it’s overrated anyway, in my opinion) and just talk in terms of good old American gumption. For over two centuries, the thing that has driven the success of entrepreneurs in this nation has been an attitude that success is there for the taking.

Well guess what? It still is. We live in the most prosperous nation in the world (despite attempts from people within to destroy our standing as the world economic leader). And the reason for that is the attitude I mentioned above.

But to get that success you have to get out of the entitlement mentality and own up to the facts that:

  1. No one owes you a darned thing –
  2. The government is NOT going to bail you out –
  3. It’s simple, but not easy to succeed in business in America –
  4. You alone are solely responsible for your own success –
  5. And, no one else is going to do the work for you, so ultimately it’s on you

You know who I find make the best entrepreneurs? People from other countries. It’s true – go read “The Millionaire Next Door” and you’ll see the authors’ data on this.

Why is that? Because they are accustomed to living in countries where there is almost zero opportunity. So, they see opportunity everywhere here in the United States. (And they’re willing to do the work – see “Proper Actions” below.)

But, many of us who have grown up here are so used to having our candy behinds wiped for us, we can’t see it to save our own lives (or businesses). Shame on you if you fall into this category.

So repeat after me –

  • Success is achievable,
  • Average everyday people are doing it every day, and if they can do it so can I,
  • I am solely responsible for my own success.

Which brings me to the third leg of our success stool…

Proper Actions

In business-speak, we call this “elbow grease”, or “sweat equity” or “getting your hands dirty.”

It’s also known as “showing up for work.”

Here’s something that I observe time and again in the failure of small business owners.

They don’t do the work.

Here’s something that I observe time and again in the success of small business owners.

They do the work.

What, were you expecting some keen and incredibly brilliant insight? Sorry to disappoint, but that’s really the difference between success and failure once you have the other two legs of the stool in place.

See, you have to start by knowing WHAT to do. Then, you have to have the mindset. Finally, it all boils down to execution… actually doing the work.

My martial arts business system is simple, but it’s not easy. If it were easy, everyone would own a successful school.

But, it’s very do-able. This is one of the few businesses I know of where you can start with nothing – no money, no fancy education, no students, and no place to teach – and build a six-figure income in a matter of a few years. I’ve seen instructors do it over and over again over the last two decades I’ve spent in this business.

But, they had all three legs of the stool in place.

Do you?

Because, that’s what it takes – what it really takes – to achieve martial arts business success.


  1. Jason on November 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Hey Mike,

    GREAT post!!!

    You are completely and totally right about all 3 legs. I just opened up my martial arts school three weeks ago (as you know) and have 9 new students. Not a stellar performance for now, but I am in massive ACTION mode and have been getting my marketing in place both online and offline and reviewing the Small Dojo Big Profits guidebook all the time to get done what is needed. If I would have been able to have my marketing in place from day one, I probably would be sitting with about 20-30 students. Not a problem though because I know the power of what you speaketh.

    My first marketing mailing piece is going out in about 5-7 days and that should yield some great things. Yes, maybe not the best time of the year to do marketing, but I have been getting great interest out here from families who want to find something since soccer is ending. I have one more day to get one of my landing lead generating pages completed and then my website should be up by Friday. The one I have up currently isn’t good, but I will say the message is strong, so people are willing to call me from it.

    Then, I need to SEO the sites and drive major traffic!!

    You consistently deliver great advice and it is great to have you as a partner in our quest to become successful!!!

    Thanks again and come January I have all my weight loss stuff in order for my boot camps and will be hammering home some good things for that. Also, I am working on launching an after school martial arts character building program. So, like your advice says, you need to work and that work means planning ahead for all this in order to be successful. Success doesn’t fall on your lap, it is achieved with W.O.R.K., determination, all the traits we teach in martial arts, and NEVER GIVING UP! Marketing and success aren’t something that you put on autopilot either. You need to work at it daily and consistently bring your “A” game if you want to win in the world of entrepreneurship.

    Thanks again Mike and I look forward to all the great advice to come.

    Folsom Martial Arts Center
    Folsom, CA

  2. Mike Massie on November 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks for the positive feedback, Jason.

    You have the attitude and skills for success, and it sounds like you’re really following through.

    I expect to see great things coming out of Folsom Martial Arts Center!

  3. Jason on November 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks Mike. I will be keeping you posted as I move along here and am excited to see good results.

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