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'Attitude'

'Motivation'

'Inspirational'

Mentors & Instructors

MA1st and SPARK Membership are extremely proud to bring to you some of the most influential leaders of both the business and Martial Arts world. This stellar lineup of speakers will share with you years of experience, first-hand knowledge and revolutionary concepts that will lift business owners and staff alike to the pinnacle of success.

"This is an incredible group of individuals. Some of the best business innovators I've met."

Kyoshi Fred DePalma

Business Track - MA1st

Instructor Track - MA1st

Kyoshi DePalma started teaching the martial arts for his instructor in 1981 and went on to open his own school under his instructor’s guidance in 1986. He had 4 schools in CT before selling them to the managers and heading out to AZ in 1991 to open schools there. In AZ he oversees 8 locations that are either owned by him or franchised to his students. Over his many years of being involved not with just his schools but the Martial Arts industry, Kyoshi has spoken for many of the leading Martial Art Companies such as EFC, MAIA, NAPMA, UP, MAUI and others. Currently Kyoshi spends his time running his schools and the MA1st Company where he gets to talk with and personally coach school owners worldwide. If you wish to speak with a Martial Artist who has had and still has successful schools and loves to share, then Kyoshi F. DePalma is the person you need to know.

Both the DePalmas believe in putting their family first. The success of their schools along with the success of their staff allows them to take 3 months off each year to travel and vacation with their two sons Edge (19) and Dagger (16). This isn’t about bragging but rather demonstrating what is important to them.

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/25/2019 05:00PM General Q & A Salon A-C
04/26/2019 01:30PM Creating a Why for Upgrade Programs and How to Market Them to Your Students Salon C
04/26/2019 04:00PM Owners Only Salon C
04/27/2019 10:45AM How to Manage a Large (or small) Class with Minimal Staff Salon A
04/27/2019 02:00PM Finding, Coaching, Developing Staff for the Future **Owners Only** Salon C
PLATINUM Sponsor

Shihan Robin DePalma

Business Track - MA1st

Instructor Track - MA1st

A 4th Degree Black Belt, Shihan Robin DePalma has been in the Martial Arts industry for 20 years and is currently the Corporate Manager or DePalma’s Team USA Martial Arts. She currently oversees 6 DePalma’s locations. She is in charge of the Manager Training, Marketing, Business Systems, Pro-Shops, event planning and statistics of each location. Her resume includes developing a Cardio Kickbox program of over 700 members, running one of DePalma’s most profitable locations, co-founding the 26 month SWAT – Mentor Leadership Program, Developing successful business systems for the DePalma’s organization and reaching a $200-$400 student value at any location she has worked at. She contributes her success to her love of the students and families and her passion for making a positive impact in their lives.

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/26/2019 11:30AM Life Skill and Physical Skill With Every Drill – Giving Students and Your Class Purpose Salon A
04/26/2019 02:45PM Life Skill and Physical Skill With Every Drill – Giving Students and Your Class Purpose Salon A
04/27/2019 02:00PM Why Do We Do What We Do, How Do We Make It Happen Salon A
PLATINUM Sponsor

Ron Sell

Business Track - Spark

Instructor Track

Ron Sell has been practicing martial arts since 1979 at the age of 7, taught by his parents, Grandmaster Edward B. Sell and Grandmaster Brenda J. Sell. At the age of 19 he opened his first martial arts school, 2nd location at 23, third location at 29. After selling his three schools, he moved to Tampa Florida to start a new martial arts school, and started inventing one of the top martial arts software in the United States, RainMaker. After leaving RainMaker in 2015, Master Ron Sell went back to working with thousands of school owners, helping them grow their membership, learn how to be a better instructor and grow their income. In 2018 he launched Spark Minds Software, a all-in-one martial arts software for true martial arts school owners and instructors. Ron lives in Tamps, Florida, with his 5 kids and wife Jennifer.

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/25/2019 06:00PM Spark, Martial Arts School Software Salon A-C
04/26/2019 10:15AM How Spark Software can work for you to improve your school and your time – even if you don’t use Spark, learn how to get the most out of your software. Salon C
04/26/2019 05:00PM Extra Event – Spark Users and Schools interested can sit with Ron and discuss your questions and use of the Spark Software Salon C

Sr. Master Kazi M. Qais

Instructor Track

8th Dan Bushi Ban, has lived the martial arts life as a student, teacher, competitor, and school owner for over 42 years. Style influences: Bushi Ban, TaeKwondo and Wado Ryu Karate, He also Studied Aikido, & various meditation and personal development systems. Master Kazi competed at World Championships in both Taekwondo and Karate. His educational background (Double masters) and vast work experience offer many lessons for the Martial arts industry. Settled in Nasa Country, Clear Lake-Texas, he runs 3 successful schools

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/27/2019 03:15PM Effortless Customer Service, how to win the hart in one day! - school owner for over 42 years Salon A

Sascha de Vries

Business Track

Instructor Track

Bachelor in fitness economics • Business manager • Marketing manager • Sales & service manager • Sports & fitness administrator • Quality manager • Human resources manager martial arts several organizations • State recognized sports teacher • 5th degree black belt karate, krav maga • black belt kickboxing & kung fu • State approved instructor: military – police combat and tactics • 2-time world champion weapons (ISKA) • national champion point fighting

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/26/2019 11:30AM How I built Germany’s largest school chain and what school owners can learn from it. Salon C
04/27/2019 09:30AM Military Police Tonfa Basics Salon A

Roger Bornstein

Business Track - MA1st

With over 40 years in executive marketing with Six Flags Theme Parks and NASA’s premier visitor center, Roger Bornstein has worked with many of the biggest ”powerhouse” brands in the country, including Walmart, Lucasfilm/Star Wars, Coca Cola, Time Warner and Pokémon. Bornstein’s session will convince you that marketing like a “Caveman” will take your business to a new level.

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/26/2019 02:45PM Market like a Caveman in 2019 - With over 40 years in executive marketing with Six Flags Theme Parks and NASA’s premier visitor center Salon C

Kyoshi S. J. Maczuga

Business Track

Instructor Track

Kyoshi Maczuga has taught corporate self-defense programs for fortune 500 companies like Entech, Freedom One Financial, and Compuware Corporations. He has trained and managed security teams all over metro Detroit at various nightclubs and has performed as a personal bodyguard both armed and unarmed.

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/26/2019 01:30PM Instructor: Pace, repetition, details – the trifecta of class success! always Keep students engaged and improving Salon A
04/27/2019 09:30AM Business: Behavior Redirection for challenging students. Turning hard cases into best cases. Salon C

Shihan Derek Morris

Business Track

Derek Morris is the owner of The Hidden Dojo in Lancaster, California where he teaches Japanese Jujutsu and Swordsmanship. Derek is fluent in Japanese which has allowed him to forge strong relationships with some of Japans most famous martial arts masters. He travels to Japan twice a year to continue training and also give students the opportunity to go along and experience the Japanese culture for themselves. He is passionate about personal development and dedicated his life to the process of self-mastery and teaching it in a straight forward and enjoyable way so all may reach more of their infinite potential.

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/27/2019 10:45AM The 4 Disciplines of Entrepreneurship Salon C

Grand Master Zulfi Ahmed

Business Track

Grand Master Zulfi Ahmed is the designer and developer of the Bushi Ban system. Grand Master Ahmed has over 30 years of martial arts experience and has won over 300 martial arts awards including the 1993 NBL World Traditional Weapons title, and the 1992 USKA Open Forms World Title, and has also been inducted into eleven different martial arts halls of fame.

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/27/2019 12:00PM Running your business with the exit plan in mind – what is your retirement goal and retirement involvement with your school Salon C

Chris Nott C.E.O. Family Knowledge Action LLC (FKA)

Instructor Track

Located in Margate, Florida FKA is family run business that successfully uses the business model of martial arts, afterschool & Summer camp, Chris has over twenty years’ experience working in the martial arts industry and has worked in every capacity within a martial arts school, his background is primarily in Jun fan Gung Fu and Kali.

He began his Martial arts training in 1981 and has studied and learned from some of the industry’s top martial arts instructors and business coaches.

He is an active member of several groups within the martial arts industry, and is very passionate about teaching, sharing, and learning, he firmly believes to be a great teacher we must constantly strive be a great student.

Chris lives in Pompano Beach, Florida with his with his wife of 24 years, Andrea, and their two daughters, Carissa age 21 who is a black belt in Jun Fan Gung Fu and Ashlin age 11 who is working towards earning her Jr. Instructorship in the FKA Kali program.

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/26/2019 10:15AM It’s all about the sticks – training session Salon A

Stephen Stewart

Instructor Track

Stephen started training in the martial arts at the age of four and continued all the way through to his black belt. Although he took an extended break during his teen years, the lessons he learned from karate had a lasting impression on the growth and development of his life. He graduated at the top of his class from Arizona State University in 2012, with a Bachelors degree in both Biology and Sociology. After working for AMC Theatres for several years to support his way through school, his karate past came full circle when Kyoshi DePalma offered him the opportunity to start training again and begin teaching classes. This was the chance of a lifetime, and as fate would have it, he was presented with another opportunity in 2013 to take over the Power Ranch location. For him, it’s hard to imagine life without martial arts. And after almost four years of running the Power Ranch school, he wouldn’t have it any other way. His location earned “Karate School of the Year” in 2015, and in 2017, Power Ranch grew to its highest active count ever! He is grateful for these amazing honors, but what he cherishes most is the pride that his students bring him each and every day. The karate school is his second home, and it would never be the same without its Power Ranchers!

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/26/2019 04:00PM Personal Development Work Ethics – how to make yourself, your school and your team better Salon A

Jeff Barley

Business Track

Senior Master, 6th Dan, Bushi Ban International • Executive Director and Chief Instructor, BBI Pearland, Texas location • 15+ years Martial Arts Operations Management Experience • Expert in After School Martial Arts Childcare, all day Summer Camp, and Day Camp planning, marketing, and operations • Formerly 20+ years Research, Development, and Management in Petrochemical Industry • Sometime Triathlete, Adventure/Challenge Race participant

Presentation Schedule

Date Time Session Location
04/27/2019 03:15PM Summer Camps and After School Programs – how to add them or run them at your school. Salon C

Business Track

Business mentoring can be a highly effective way to improve business performance. This track will allow you to study with this world class assembly of Business mentors while they show you how to leverage their knowledge, experience, advice, counsel and industry know-how to drive your successful business model.

Instructor Track

Contrary to popular belief, it takes more than just having good kicks or good credentials to instruct martial arts for a living. Like most jobs, if you want to teach martial arts for a living... you need a good mentor, too! The 'MAIN' Event organizers have assembled some of the most motivate and skilled professionals in the world and they are here to instruct you.

Check this page often for the most current roster of world-class speakers brought to you by MA1st and The 'Main' Event.