Our CEO Master Ali Ghafour had the great privilege to sit down with Hanshi Dave Kovar, a true legend in the martial industry to have a frank discussion about the industry today and what you can do to serve your community and mitigate financial losses at your school. The conversation was incredibly positive and Dave Kovar gave great tips on what you can do to help your business during this difficult time and how to use this crisis to grow stronger mentally. Watch the whole video above this paragraph.
In addition to being an elite martial artist with black belts in 10 Martial Arts styles, Hanshi Dave Kovar is recognized worldwide as an innovator of best practices for martial arts school operation. He oversees the operation of eight Kovar’s Satori Academy schools and he founded ProMAC, the Professional Martial Arts College.
We encourage you to watch this genuinely uplifting seminar in it’s entirety but we have you covered with bullet points below:
What Are You Seeing as the Tone and Mood Today
- I think it's interesting. I'm blown away by the innovation that has happened in such a short time. We are trying to get online training up for four years but we didn't have the time. Now, in three days, we are up and running. I see so many great ideas and so many people sharing what is working for them. There is a lot of unity in our community.
- I also see a lot of people who have already given up. Who are disillusioned and concerned. Who are paralyzed. There is very little in the world we can control. But we can control where we put our focus. What we focus on can adjust the outcome.
What Should Be Your Main Focus as a School Owner?
- Your main focus is to keep your emotional connection with your students. People are using Facebook live and Zoom and they should be. But there’s more you have to do. You think you are having a lot of interaction with your 30% who are on your social channels but you need to make sure you are there with the other 70 percent who aren’t. Start mini private lessons. Make a phone call to all your students. And I mean all of your parents and students. The time you spend right now could save your business.
- First thing checking with your families, perfect world it’s someone calling who has a relationship with them. Letting them know that we have transitioned from a physical school, but we are online now and we are open. Those words are important. You are still open but your online. And your instructors are checking in to make sure that they are able to use the online resources. Guide them through it. Show them what’s available and tell them what will become available in the future.
- When someone wants to quit we ask them to give us a couple weeks on the online before they make that decision. And 9 out of 10 times that works and they give us a chance. Logic and emotion are oil and water. You need to get to them on an emotional level. And you have to show them that in a personal way. We made 3000 calls last week. You should call everyone you can. Emails aren’t enough.”
Advice For Keeping Your Mind on What You Can Control
- This is a time to guard your personal habits and make sure you aren’t being over consumed by the bad stuff in the news right now. Be aware. Don’t be ignorant. But don’t let it take over your mind. Don’t let that control you. If you haven’t already started meditating, you should do that. It helps you be in the moment. Two things give us anxiety, regret for the past and fear of the future. That’s a waste of time. You have to prepare for what you can take action on.
- Nothing feels better than taking massive action to a worthy goal. Get out of your fear loop. Shoot a video. Interact. Get you moving in the right direction. You want to get to the North Pole and you lose your map. Do you wonder what you are going to do and panic or do you go North and get closer to where you have to be? You get moving. And that’s where it’s at. We don’t know where this is going. Don’t get paralyzed by finding a perfect solution. Doing something right now is better than inaction. Adjust as you go.
What Are You Projecting Right Now for Your Schools?
- We are planning on a 50% adjustment in revenue. We are negotiating with our landlords about rent. Looking at unnecessary expenses. The main thing for us is guarding is my staff’s livelihood. That’s most important to me to protect my hard working fearless team.
What Should You Not Be Doing Right Now?
- Some people have gone to the extreme, saying to his whole school that i”m so gutted and I had to shut down and he sends it down to his student body. It’s not the right message. He should have said, “Hey guys we are still open but we are online. Our physical location is closed.” You can’t make it sound like you are shutting your doors completely. If you need support, ask for it in private messages. if you are going out into your clubs with a message you need to wait until you are clearheaded. If you send it while you are angry or sad they’ll be able to see that and they’ll lose confidence in you.
- You can’t withdraw completely. You need to work harder than ever. Try to limit your panic. You may have those moments. Take those breaths and get over it. We all have hard times. That’s life. I’m a fan of making a segment of your day to put a time in to worry. But then move past it in the rest of the day.
How to Find Gratitude at a Time Like This
- I was on the last plane out after cancelling some speaking engagements so I could get home while all this was happening. And there are guys checking our temperature before we got on the plane. At point in one of my flights you can see everyone was here for last minute change of plans. There were college students and this one gal lost her phone and she was just melted down. Her friends were trying to comfort her. Her boyfriend went to get it. We think there’s no way he’s going to be able to get it. Right before the flight close he makes it and brings her the phone. She went from fearful, to joyful when he brought it back. It took losing that to make her appreciate it. There is this phrase Amor Fati. Love your life. Love your fate. You have lost some stuff and you can dwell on that. Or you can think about what you still have. Envision losing it now remember what you have. The sun is coming out. Chose to focus on that. So you can be better for the people in your circle. And be proactive in helping them.
How Could We Have Prepared Better for This?
- Always have six months of savings ready for personal and emergency. The stock market has always gone up for 10-12 years. There is always a downturn. In the mid 2000s it dropped by 50%. The thing we should always be doing is that we count every dime even if we have plenty of dimes. Be wise with our money. Another thing is you can judge a person’s character by how they judge people who are least important to them. If you’re there for the people in your community they will be there for you. It’s always better to have friends then enemies. Build your community so you can lean on them when you need them.
An Opportunity to Grow Stronger
- Couple years back my wife and I are in San Fransisco. There’s Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge. We are on the bay bridge waiting. There are 18 gates at the toll station. I hate waiting in line. And it’s taking a while. I meet an attendant who is swaying like she’s listening to jazz music and loving life and she says you have a great day. It completely changed my mindset. It was a reminder to be in the moment. There’s another bridge and the toll booth officer doesn’t look up and if I could visualize her mind she’s thinking I’m wasting my time and my sister is doing better than me at life and it felt the exact opposite. It’s a reminder of the Samurai maxim, be like a weed, and bloom where planted. And you can see the affect of that positive energy that we can give off. Fear is contagious and so is courage. You can’t have courage without fear. True courage isn’t fearlessness it’s overcoming fear. This is a great opportunity for us to become stronger.
Stay Up to Date With Us
We are going to continue to provide resources for school owners dealing with the impact of the Coronavirus on their small business.
Sign up on our Rebuilding From Coronavirus page for regular updates and join our Facebook group to get all the insights from our live streams with experts from the Martial Arts Industry. We are going to do everything we can to help. We are going to get through this together.
Note: Dave Kovar’s tells his stories far better than we’re able to summarize them.