A Look at Business
Date: March 27, 2020
Article by: Grandmaster Randall Flaherty
Since 1991, when I began Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate Association (FKKA), I have concentrated on implementing safe martial arts training programs and classes for children, teens and adults. As a business owner, teaching students and marketing the martial arts to people from all walks of life, I’ve noticed that people have a difficult time choosing a martial arts school or style that best fits their needs. Martial arts prospects often ask me, “Which martial arts school is the best?”
My ongoing answer: “Whichever one you put your heart, mind, body, and soul into.”
We try to be that kind of school at Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate by offering quality self-defense lessons in a safe environment with good communication, and a high level of ethics. We not only encourage skill development. We encourage good student behavior. We have high expectations for our students and consistently provide words of encouragement, along with step-by-step explanations and demonstrations of the day’s objective. As each student masters the learning objectives, ample opportunities are offered by the instructors for students to demonstrate their proficiency levels. In addition, instructors continuously review prior lessons in order to insure that students do not loose the ability to recall previous learning objectives.
In addition to creating martial artists, we also work to build leaders. Instructors are encouraged to act in a way that shows others how to act. We teach that leaders must LEAD BY EXAMPLE, that by walking your talk, you become a person others will want to follow. When leaders say one thing, but do another, they erode trust. Trust is a critical element of productive leadership. Positive leaders do the work, practice, know the school’s material of study well, respect the chain of command, listen to the team, take responsibility, and remember that their actions and words will have a direct impact on morale. A true leader is a person who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way by taking responsibility for the team, who will inspire class attendees and spectators with his or her martial arts skills and knowledge.
We offer the information in this article to help or assist our brothers and sisters in the martial arts business industry. We believe it is important to have a well-established martial arts business that is always kept clean, bright, inviting, organized, and air-conditioned. We have matted floors, punching and kicking bags, and mirrors for martial arts performance viewing. Our lobby, which is open to parents, guests, and students, is adorned with motivational wall photos of karate action pictures, plaques of awards, and trophies, and weapons on display. The lobby has clean seating and an open viewing area, offering a first public impression that the academy is clean, busy, exciting, and successful.
On the walls throughout the training areas there are many awards and accomplishments that attest to the FKKA’s long and distinguished martial arts history, newspaper articles, and pictures of our students, parents, and many FKKA instructors, in a way that warms the hearts and minds of most on-lookers.
To keep the excitement going, it’s good business to have a class schedule in place with an excellent martial arts system for learning, teaching, and promoting. According to one of our karate parents (a 7th grade math and science teacher), “The FKKA curriculum and instruction is detailed, comprehensive, and embraces different modalities of learning. Student engagement is paramount, and the instructors equip all students with the necessary skills, strategies, routines, and knowledge in order to perform at, or above, their established belt levels.”
FKKA has an open door policy for communication. Many instructors from other martial arts businesses have dropped by the academy to have a look, offer their respect, hang out for a while, or just to talk about martial arts history.
With the ups and downs of our society, Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate owners, are always willing to change and adapt to individual needs as warranted. Safety, organization, and quality of service are the most import values in our martial arts academy. During all crisis situations, the FKKA will make safe and well thought out adjustments and modifications while still assuring that legal, safe, and high quality ethical standards are met and practiced. Any time people are faced with a crisis situation, our hearts and prayers go out to everyone involved.
Please, stay warm, safe and prosperous!