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  1. biomed190 is offline

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    Jan 2007
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    Posted On:
    1/29/2008 7:14am


     Style: JKD BJJ JUDO MUY THAI

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This school sounds like one of the biggest ripoffs I have ever heard of. For 750 a month you could get several privates from a Gracie.
  2. Ninbubbaja is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/06/2008 11:32am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Budo Taijutsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What the #*!@# ? There will always be individuals who will prey on the weak and ignorant. Steve Oliver is living his american dream. He has educated himself on how to get the most out of people ,by selling "key phrases" , Marketing "fear and intimidation",and distancing himself from "tuition collection". He is just one of many, who are attracted to MA by money(greed). With that being said...I believe companies like Educational Funding Company...promote these marketing systems and theeir brand of brainwashing in order to collect more % of MA schools tuitions. Oliver keeps good company. It seems the real problem is the marketing/collection companies promising "a substantial check each month". Does this sound familiar?
    1.motivated,dedicated,ona quest to be our best....
    2.Develope a network- email,phone #'s
    Upgrade the image of MA
    Expand your market
    Maximize opportunities
    3.Never loose sight of a goal w/out taking action
    4.Focus on likes, loves,and what you want more of
    5.Choose your friends-Love your family
    THIS MY FREINDS WILL MAKE YOU A MARTIAL ARTS MILLIONAIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe people need something to believe in at this unstable point in history...And MAYBE it is the secure feeling people get by taking their kids to MHK that makes it worth the $$$...
    I don't like the idea that there are MA schools that feed on this notion and wrangle students in withthis senario. To each his own....If you have the $$$ , you're having fun, and getting somekind of self defense, What the#*!@# ?:new_vampv :pottytrai
  3. Reboot is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/06/2008 2:23pm


     Style: Five Animal Kenpo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by StephenOliver
    Why too many school owners are failing to succeed.

    Last year there was what I could only describe as a “flood” of school owners getting themselves in trouble financially, often leaving many students out in the cold and leaving our industry with yet another “black eye.”

    How did they get themselves in trouble?

    Well there are several causes of financial difficulty with any business – and a few that are perhaps unique to our industry.

    First. Failing to take the responsibility to really run a professional business. Many who operate a martial arts school never bother to learn about and maintain proper records. Many martial artists fail to hire a payroll company and skip paying taxes on employees. Others only watch how much cash is in their bank account on a daily or weekly basis rather than really keep proper business records and track their results effectively. When you start a business someone has to be the accountant, payroll supervisor, and the CFO. With our schools we have a separate accounting department that keeps all of the books and records for our school owner-operators. You’ve got to get this done yourself or find a way to affiliate with a reputable company and get it done for you.

    Second. Failing to take responsibility for learning effective sales and marketing techniques. It’s imperative to have enough new students coming in the front door to grow your school. You really can’t lease a space and start teaching and assume that word of mouth and the people who happen to stumble through your front door will be adequate to support your business. The most important skill you can learn is effective marketing. This is the role in your school that really shouldn’t be delegated. You must plan every month for mechanisms to feed an adequate flow of students into your school.

    Third. Taking cash for 3, 4, 5 or more years of lessons without adequate financial controls. Many in our industry got excited about big cash deals last year but failed to put two important things in place: a. Adequate marketing systems to keep enough new students coming in the door and, b. Adequate financial controls. When someone has paid you for several years in advance then it’s your responsibility to recognize that you’ve only earned the amount that you’ve provided in lessons. It’s important to put the excess into the “contingent liability fund” until you earn it by teaching lessons.

    Fourth. Failing to appropriately price your services. It may seem like that if you keep your lesson price “lower than the competitors” that students will flock to your doors. However the reality is different. Rarely do prospective students choose a school based upon price. Additionally you’ve really got to figure out the economics of your school so that your prices support the operations. For instance: if your breakeven point is $15,000 per month. In the simplest terms you can accomplish that amount by having 200 students at $75 per month or 100 at $150 or 75 at $200. You’ve got to figure out what’s the easier number to hit and plan every aspect of your business accordingly.

    Fifth. Being cheap about your own education. At every stage of your career one of your biggest expenses should be your own education. This is a place where you never want to cut corners, be cheap, or take the least expensive route. You must constantly be looking for ways to improve your knowledge about how to perfect all aspects of your business.

    Sixth. An extension of the above point: Focusing on “technical” education to the detriment of
    sales, marketing, and business management education. Honestly, when running a school many of us train like we are preparing to teach a school full of 5th Degree Black Belts while failing to study methods for adding more white belts and keeping track of income and expenses. You’ve got to focus on your career and business needs not just on your own hobby.

    Seventh. Trying to “save money” rather than let others do vital services. Examples of this folly are keeping billing “in-house” rather than using a billing company. Doing payroll in-house rather than using a payroll company. In order to grow your business you’ve got to let go of some functions and grow into more and more expertise in others.

    To summarize. Those who are successful in running their martial arts school treat it first as a business and second as their hobby. They educate themselves on all necessary functions of running a business. The recognize that priority one is marketing and student service. Finally they exercise “fiscal responsibility” in managing their cash receipts and paying their obligations appropriately.





    Stephen Oliver, MBA – 8th Degree Black Belt is the founder of Mile High Karate, author of the Extraordinary Marketing Program and of the NAPMA Squared “Maximum Impact Program” He can be contacted at his web site: www.MileHighKarate.com

    Heh, notice that nowhere in that looooooooong post does he speak about actually training your students. Nowhere at all.
  4. Kepler66 is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2008 1:28pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Goju-Ryu Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I visited one of Stephen Oliver's dojos a few years ago and was actually pretty impressed at what I saw, to an extent. It was a very well run school and the students (kids) loved it. There was fist pumping music blaring, audience participation, and before we knew it, my wife and I sat through four classes. They were relatively short classes, but all four classes had about 20-25 students. Our jaws dropped at how much money had to be coming through the door. We had no idea just how much money.

    The school I attend is traditional - run by the man who founded it. It's a hard knocks school with very high standards. And the proof is definitely in the students. Oliver's black belts are babysitters and his students are children. The music is wonderful for an exercise class, but it's obvious that actually learning tae-kwon do (his style is not karate, despite the name of the school) is not a priority. The kids have a good time - and that's the focus. The school is clean, the instructors are clean, and there's pretty much no correction whatsoever. And compared to playing video games or watching TV, his school looks wonderful for kids.

    As an adult, I wouldn't make it two classes. Having come from a good, traditional school - I just wouldn't be able to take any of it seriously.

    The problem is - just about every school I visit is just as bad as Mile High Karate - the only difference is that MHK is better organized. I've seen plenty of lousy schools that charge more than I'd pay, but it's all relative. Oliver talks about expensive schools like Georgetown in relation to martial arts schools. I get it, but it's just not accurate. The martial arts you learn in Mile High Karate, as I've seen, doesn't cut it. His school is not the Georgetown of martial arts schools. It's a correspondence course with Georgetown prices. But I won't begrudge a man making a living.

    If you were to evaluate MHK as a serious martial arts program, it would fail, but then again, so would most schools. But if you were to evaluate Stephen Oliver as a business man, I'd say he's a genius.

    In reading some of Oliver's posts here - it's clear to me that his argument is that he wants to keep students for an extended period of time - to give the student time to get good. Yeah, maybe they will, but without fundamental basics, if they do end up good it will be by accident.

    One of the key things that makes martial arts different from a gym is discipline and etiquette. I saw etiquette, but no discipline; and absolutely no demonstration of fighting or self-defense ability in his advanced ranks. None. Oliver also makes the point that not everybody joins martial arts for these reasons. He's right, but a student joining a martial arts school that doesn't want to learn how to fight and learn self-defense should not be encouraged to join a martial arts school. They should join a cardio kickboxing class.
    Last edited by Kepler66; 3/05/2008 1:35pm at . Reason: typo
  5. Omega Supreme is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2008 3:33pm

    staff
     Style: Chinese Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler66
    I visited one of Stephen Oliver's dojos a few years ago and was actually pretty impressed at what I saw, to an extent. It was a very well run school and the students (kids) loved it. There was fist pumping music blaring, audience participation, and before we knew it, my wife and I sat through four classes. They were relatively short classes, but all four classes had about 20-25 students. Our jaws dropped at how much money had to be coming through the door. We had no idea just how much money.

    The school I attend is traditional - run by the man who founded it. It's a hard knocks school with very high standards. And the proof is definitely in the students. Oliver's black belts are babysitters and his students are children. The music is wonderful for an exercise class, but it's obvious that actually learning tae-kwon do (his style is not karate, despite the name of the school) is not a priority. The kids have a good time - and that's the focus. The school is clean, the instructors are clean, and there's pretty much no correction whatsoever. And compared to playing video games or watching TV, his school looks wonderful for kids.

    As an adult, I wouldn't make it two classes. Having come from a good, traditional school - I just wouldn't be able to take any of it seriously.

    The problem is - just about every school I visit is just as bad as Mile High Karate - the only difference is that MHK is better organized. I've seen plenty of lousy schools that charge more than I'd pay, but it's all relative. Oliver talks about expensive schools like Georgetown in relation to martial arts schools. I get it, but it's just not accurate. The martial arts you learn in Mile High Karate, as I've seen, doesn't cut it. His school is not the Georgetown of martial arts schools. It's a correspondence course with Georgetown prices. But I won't begrudge a man making a living.

    If you were to evaluate MHK as a serious martial arts program, it would fail, but then again, so would most schools. But if you were to evaluate Stephen Oliver as a business man, I'd say he's a genius.

    In reading some of Oliver's posts here - it's clear to me that his argument is that he wants to keep students for an extended period of time - to give the student time to get good. Yeah, maybe they will, but without fundamental basics, if they do end up good it will be by accident.

    One of the key things that makes martial arts different from a gym is discipline and etiquette. I saw etiquette, but no discipline; and absolutely no demonstration of fighting or self-defense ability in his advanced ranks. None. Oliver also makes the point that not everybody joins martial arts for these reasons. He's right, but a student joining a martial arts school that doesn't want to learn how to fight and learn self-defense should not be encouraged to join a martial arts school. They should join a cardio kickboxing class.
    Let me guess. You didn't read the whole thread.
  6. Demilich is offline

    Featherweight

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    Feb 2008
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    Posted On:
    3/05/2008 6:14pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Boxing, Sub Wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Can a contract like that even stand up if challenged? Sure, you need to be careful about what you sign, but it seems that most states protect people signing up for recurring financed expenses and I'd think would almost certainly side with the family...particularly for really long, unreasonable contracts.

    Spoiler:
    For me, this creates a possible interesting side topic that we might start in a separate thread (maybe in a different forum, like Newbietown): What is a reasonable amount to pay for training?

    I mean, for less than $100 kids and adults in Austin could go to the Relson Gracie school and learn from pro-fighters how to defend themselves via striking or on the ground and those people would also get a good start on physical conditioning, agility training, etc. And no add-on fees for testing (just entry fees for competitions or any live training seminars if a black belt from another school visits as happens from time to time). Or they could get their kid a membership at a boxing gym and pay less for a solid workout plus training.

    The kung-fu schools around here charge nearly $200 for all of the fixings (training, belt tests, etc). It just blows me away that parents would pay that much. When I was a kid Kenpo classes were $20 a month.


    It's amazing that better, harder, and more practical training can cost so much less and that parents and adults continually get into this stuff.

    I'm a hardcore capitalist and I do believe that you should charge the price the market will give you. The _counter_ to that is information: an informed buyer will not overpay. They will value a product or service correctly. I imagine parents just don't understand what, exactly, they are buying so they can't possibly value it well.

    But a contract from white belt to black belt? That seems wrong on so many levels. I'd really think that the state could get involved in something like that.
  7. Kepler66 is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/06/2008 9:44am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Goju-Ryu Karate

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega the Merciless
    Let me guess. You didn't read the whole thread.
    It's 44 pages long!! Who has that kind of time?
  8. Teh El Macho is offline
    Teh El Macho's Avatar

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    Posted On:
    3/06/2008 10:01am

    supporting member
     Style: creonte on hiatus

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    So why bother posting then? What value do you think your post is making to a discussion if you don't read the posts (and the evidence in them)? This isn't a pole in the middle of a park where you can post a sticky note that reads 'hi, I like sandwiches'.
    Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.

    My crapuous vlog and my blog of training, stuff and crap. NEW: Me, Mrs. Macho and our newborn baby.

    New To Weight Training? Get the StrongLifts 5x5 program and Rippetoe's "Starting Strength, 2nd Ed". Wanna build muscle/gain weight? Check this article. My review on Tactical Nutrition here.

    t-nation - Dissecting the deadlift. Anatomy and Muscle Balancing Videos.

    The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris
  9. chingythingy is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/06/2008 3:55pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler66
    If you were to evaluate MHK as a serious martial arts program, it would fail, but then again, so would most schools. But if you were to evaluate Stephen Oliver as a business man, I'd say he's a genius.
    I don't call building a business around a service that only provides the appearance of high quality as opposed to genuine high quality a genius business model. It would be more of what I describe as a short-term get-rich-quick business model. At the expense of the customers.
  10. Kepler66 is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/07/2008 9:50am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Goju-Ryu Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I would agree if it were a short-term deal - but he's been doing this for quite a while and with a very high degree of success - he pretty much has Denver locked up as far as martial arts schools. You say "to the expense of the customer", but none of what he's selling is a secret - you can come in and watch a class every day if you want. I didn't say I would ever go to his school - but I don't see anything wrong with putting a product out there that obviously has some kind of appeal. The bottom line is - there are no morals in business. As a traditionalist, you should put out a quality product, but if you don't like it, go somewhere else.

    Again - I'm not defending the schools as great martial arts schools, I'm just saying the man knows what he's doing as far as business goes. I think it's a crying shame that you can't make a successful career out of a traditional dojo with old fashioned rules, but you can't.

    Oh - and to "Teh El Macho", I like sandwiches too - what's your point again?

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