Starting And Running Your Own Martial Arts School
By Karen Levitz Vactor & Susan Lynn Peterson, Ph.D.
Softcover, 298 pages
Review by Richard Reichert
Being a good martial artist is rarely synonymous with business acumen.
Martial arts schools face daunting challenges, the biggest of which is
the basics of knowing how to run the business side of the school effectively.
This book offers invaluable tools to help any martial artist make his
teaching efforts a success.
Making a martial arts school or business work involves a whole host
of matters from how to answer a telephone call, to advertising, to student
retention and cost for lessons -- each step a critical element that builds
So, if you are just dreaming of opening a martial arts school, or have
a school but are having trouble making it profitable, or have a profitable
school and want to maximize its operations, "Starting And Running
Your Own Martial Arts School" can be of valuable assistance.
The authors made this book generic, which allows it to be useful to
a wide variety of martial arts schools. The vagaries of the business
side of chain schools, various martial arts organizations, and styles
with a head master are just too complex and different to be able to address.
This reader particularly liked the way the authors provided a broad
overview of a wide variety of business topics without getting too detailed.
Too many small specifics can confuse and obfuscate rather than clarify
This book capably covers such topics as: establishing a memorable identity
for the school, developing an effective marketing program, funding to
get started, basic business organization, selecting a location to bring
in students, setting realistic student fee schedules, contracts, hiring
and developing good employees, developing an effective advertising and
marketing program, how to handle telephone calls, walk in students and
methods of closing, tracking students and money management, student retention,
selling uniforms and other martial arts products in house, as well as
Undoubtedly many readers will benefit by how the authors break down
and discuss various parts of a subject. In chapters eight and nine, for
example, marketing is broken down. The pros and cons, key aspects, costs,
planning and other basics of mass marketing and direct marketing are
discussed and compared. This discussion will clarify the subject for
readers who do not have a comprehensive business background. Readers
will be educated in a wide variety of basics, learn the alternatives,
options as well as potential pitfalls.
The information the authors give is a product of experience.
An accomplished black belt in several martial arts, Karen Levitz Vactor
has a degree in business administration and more than 35 years of experience
in business management and marketing. During this time she successfully
founded and developed several karate school.
Susan Lynn Peterson, Ph.D. is also a black belt martial artist and teacher.
As a writer she was a Gold Medallion Book Award Finalist and her articles
have appeared in several martial arts magazines.