How to keep martial arts students motivated

Martial arts schools are much more than places where students can go to learn the art of self-defense. Yes, offering instruction in taekwondo and karate may be the hook to get people enrolled in classes, but once participation begins, teachers will quickly find that they will need to be proficient in other areas to keep people engaged. One of these is motivation.

As is the case in many situations, students, particularly those just beginning their martial arts training, will come in with a wealth of energy and enthusiasm. However, once the euphoric feeling of starting something new and exciting wears off, it's not uncommon for enrollees to drop out. There are a number of causes for this, including boredom or people discovering that self-defense training isn't easy and can even be physically taxing.

However, this is where experienced instructors must become master motivators to keep classes full and students coming back to see their training through to the end.

Here are a number of motivational techniques that instructors can use to help students see the value in learning martial arts:

  • Set expectations: Many first-time karate or taekwondo students think Bruce Lee became the master he was overnight. Those teaching martial arts classes should be honest and inform students that there will be both good and bad days, but it's important to remain focused on the reasons they signed up for self-defense classes in the first place.
  • Demand excellence: According to TeachHub, students won't perform up to their capabilities on their own. As a martial arts instructor, it's up to you to set the expectation in class that nothing less than an individual's best will be expected.
  • Instill discipline: Today, particularly with the advent and explosion of technology, attention spans are shorter than ever. For martial arts teachers that have classes full of children, demanding that they concentrate and focus at all times during class will instill a sense of discipline that will carry over into their daily lives, according to Allegheny College.
  • Make instruction relatable: According to TeachHub, it's important for instructors to help students understand that what they are learning during their martial arts classes can also be applied in their daily lives once instruction ends. Doing so will not only help to instill a sense of self-confidence, but it will make them hungry to learn even more.