Hello everyone! This is my first post since the MAIA convention and I’m going to tell you all about it so let’s get started!
MAIA stands for the Martial Arts Industry Association and it has been around since late 2001. The association describes its mission statement as “To grow the martial arts industry, one school at a time.” Many martial artists who are just getting started or already have schools established come to the MAIA convention to learn more about what it takes to get make a very successful school of your own. As described on their own website:
“Today, as the consulting arm of Century Martial Art Supply, we are proud to be the world’s most innovative and creative martial arts business association, growing the industry by raising the standards of professionalism in teaching, curriculum, education, techniques, methods, safety, and communication.”
The actual convention was two days long, taking place on the majority of Monday and Tuesday with an opening ceremony on Sunday night. Each day had a number of classes that fell into specific categories; physical, pr/marketing, managing a business, and more.
Our group attempted to attend as many classes as possible in an effort to record as much knowledge as possible. The physical (red) classes were the only classes which involved leaving your seat, so aside from the red category we were able to audio record every speech in the other classes that we attended. This approach was clearly the most promising option because when you are thrown information for half of the day the details tend to get fuzzy. So this option was the best way to remember our experiences/advice we went to the convention for.
What about my experience? In general I thought the convention was very informational. There were some classes that seemed unnecessary or weren’t exactly what I expected, but for the most part I was quite satisfied. I was also very happy to see how many people there were that came together for this convention just because of martial arts. Seeing the industry aspect work with so many different martial artists was certainly a new experience.
I have been out of practice for some time so I did not feel as confident as I usually am in a martial arts environment, especially with extremely skilled martial artists at every turn. But I learned something valuable in all of my physical classes which I believe I will remember for a very long time. Especially with different approaches to sparring and striking. I did not see the Krav Maga, grappling, or takedown classes but I am sure those were just as beneficial as the physical classes that I did attend.
Lastly, the actual store was very impressive as well. The heart of the convention was a mass conglomeration of martial arts material for sale. Everything ranging from books to an air mat or machine designed to gradually increase your split flexibility. I enjoyed looking through all of the latest martial arts supplies because I haven’t taken the time to look through magazines or other mediums to keep myself updated. The supplies included certain software that I had no previous knowledge about, which is what MindBody was all about. I suppose this should have occurred to me, but there is a whole market for management in martial arts schools. You can get a software to help you manage your entire business so that you can spend more time focusing on what matters: building your martial arts school. File management to time management, the software itself and its benefits were intriguing. I won’t be starting a school anytime soon, probably never, so I would never benefit from a product like that. I can see how it would be beneficial to a martial arts school owner, though. Especially if the school is already established, doing well, and the owner would like to spend less time on the nitpicky management.
Well, that’s all I have for the MAIA convention. My book review for The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People will be up Tuesday night!