MAIA Independent Consultant Evaluation
Mr. and Mrs. Keane,
I wanted to thank you for your hospitality when I visited The Academy the first week of January. As you know, I travel around the country conducting school evaluations, talks to children at Elementary schools and seminars. I felt compelled to write and tell you about some of the things that were so impressive about The Academy. First, the school looks magnificent! It was as if I had stepped off of the plane and into Japan when I walked into the doors. Wow! This is what a karate school should look like. The atmosphere helps get students in the correct frame of mind to train and adds to the overall experience.
I began training in Martial Arts at the age of 5. I’ve been training for over 30 years now. When I was a kid, this is the karate school I dreamed of taking classes at but we didn’t have one like this in Georgia. The next thing that struck me was the Team. All of the members of your Team were extremely professional. Everyone knew what to do and when to do it. I saw true systems in place that instructors and students were using for communication.
Most martial arts schools say that they teach life skills such as confidence, focus and self-discipline. What ends up happening is the students that stick around had these traits to begin with. Instead, your instructors used class plans, notebooks for students, matt chats and instructor training to actually make sure that each student is truly being taught the current life skills.
I personally met at least fifteen members of your instructor’s team. Classes were broken down into groups so that a great student teacher ratio was maintained. In our industry, the average student teacher ratio is 20 students to 1 instructor. At The Academy, the ratio is 10 to 1. This is unbelievable! I hope the students and parents appreciate the extra instructors you have on the floor. I’ve seen big schools before but the quality of martial arts being displayed by your students is far superior. Holding true to your quality of martial arts and great student teacher ratio will allow The Academy to continue growing in the future.
Every bit of success at the school has filtered from the top down. I’ve met a lot of martial artists in my 30 years of training. Some are true martial artists, others are fake and then there are the ones just trying to make money. I saw people at the Academy that truly walk the talk. Yes, that is you, Mr. & Mrs. Keane, Shihan and Shidoshi. Both of you still train as martial artists and teach classes. In the South, we’d say “you are good people.” The saying goes, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” Well, I can sum up your success in four short words: You really do care. Have a great day!
Again, thanks for your hospitality. Talk to you next week. I look forward to seeing you the Team at the Instructor College in March.
Dedicated to your success,
World Karate Champion Kyoshi Ron Martin
Todd & Kristen,
I want to thank you for the wonderful tour of your school. As you know I have been many places and have done many things and have many achievements in the Martial Arts. I want you to know I would trade every single one of them to have created a dojo such as yours. The way your dojo is run has a positive outcome on every single student that trains there, even if it is for a short time. The amount of time, effort and creativity that went into developing that coordinated system is staggering ! What is so astounding to me, is that something that was implemented and was found to work, was never discarded and always followed through, no matter the effort required. In truth this is exactly what we require of our students. You have held yourselves to the same high standards when in fact there is no one above you to insist that you stick with the plan. The best part for me is that you have done this remarkable thing with out sacrificing quality.
Having a school where you can train, develop and nurture talented teachers is wonderful, but being able to compensate them for their talent with a livable wage, is nothing less than a miracle. The two of you have done what I thought was impossible. I can find no fault with the product you deliver and the teachers I saw were enthusiastic, up tempo, interested in the students and best of all relating accurate information. When Hanshi told me that you had three or four separate rooms….I must admit I had my doubts about the feasibility of such a set up. I held great value in being able to see all the different groups that were being taught by my instructors, and being able to step in if they went astray. I was wrong on three counts. First, Hanshi said rooms….this is inaccurate…you have four dojos, big difference, two, I never for one second gave a thought about how closed circuit TV would solve the problem of observing what was being taught in each dojo….three, I must concede that in the open dojo that I was used to teaching in, once the groups were separated, the lower rank students would often be distracted because they wanted to see what the advanced students were practicing. I was Indeed Impressed. The school I ran had many very good students, many champions and many good teachers but compared to yours we were a Boy Scout Troop and you two are I.B.M. When we finished the tour and sat talking in your office, I quickly turned the conversation to my strategies of fighting, because there was nothing for me to add to a conversation about how to run a school. I knew I was on much safer ground with my technical knowledge of the Arts. If you would like to share this with any of your employee’s and/or students please feel free. All of you deserve to feel good about what you have created. This indeed is a pat on the back for all of you but remember…..sometimes the pat on the back might be a bit lower.Thank you again for your kindness and hospitality and I look forward to seeing you again when I am in N.H. in the spring to teach a seminar for Hanshi Bernard.
All my best to all of you,