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The 5 Mindsets of Martial Arts School Success, Part 2

Last month, we discussed the first three mindsets of a successful martial arts school.


They were:


  1. We are the friendliest place in town.


  1. We are the cleanest place in town.


  1. We only teach great classes, never just good ones.


This month, we’ll address mindsets four and five.


  1. We are excellent at student/parent communication. It has been great to see how the level of professionalism has improved in our industry over the last 40 years. Clearly, we have learned a lot about running a friendly, clean school with great classes.


With that said, if there’s one area that we are still weak in as an industry, it is student/parent communication.

What I’m referring to here is the importance of giving consistent, quality feedback to all of our students and their parents on their progress. We do this by sharing with them what they are doing well and how they can become better. As simple as this may sound, it’s extremely hard to implement unless you have a specific strategy.


We try to have as many specific touch points as possible with our students while still being realistic. Wouldn’t it be great to have an in-depth, specific, one-on-one progress check with every student in every class? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing’s for sure. It would not be realistic.


The other extreme would be to never talk to any students about their progress. Clearly, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.


In our schools, we load up on touch points early in the student’s journey, so that we can help them establish the habit of training. After that, we do our best to have a detailed one-on-one discussion with each student a couple of times a year at the minimum.


Remember, it’s way better to talk to everyone at least twice a year than it is to talk to some people 10 times a year. Developing a system allows you to do just that.


  1. Every day, we look for opportunities to recruit new members. One of the things that makes this time in our industry different than years past is how and when we market our business. I believe that it is still a great time to be in the industry. As a matter of fact, we had our best year ever in 2018.


With that said, it seems that we work a lot harder now than we ever did before to generate new members. No worries; it just means that we have to give mindful consideration to it every day.


Even with as much success as we have had generating online leads, I believe that old-school, tried-and-true methods of recruiting will always be important as well.


I recently talked to a gentleman who told me that virtually 100% of his students came from Facebook. It’s great that he’s having success in that arena. But I told him to think about how much better he could be doing if he practiced the old-school methods as well.


These old-school methods might consist of some or all of the following:


  • Birthday parties
  • Buddy Days
  • Parents’ Night Out
  • Belt promotions
  • self-defense clinics
  • referral events, etc.


You don’t have to practice all of them, but (in my opinion) you should be practicing many of them.


Of course, there are lots of other things that go into running a successful martial arts school, but you can make it too complicated. The Five Mindsets are a great place to focus on first. If they are already second nature within your organization, I’d encourage you to review them on a regular basis, so they don’t slip away.


You can contact Master Dave Kovar at [email protected].

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