Owners of martial arts schools have to wear a lot of hats. On one hand, they have to ensure they teach disciplines at the highest levels so students will be encouraged to not only start their training, but also see it through to completion. The other important task is making sure enrollment numbers are high and classes stay full in order to support the viability of the business. Both functions are critical and challenging, but there is another daunting task that must be faced as well: teaching children.
Although adults enroll and participate in martial arts training, many schools are primarily filled with children. In fact, many owners market and advertise their classes as being geared towards younger participants because the level of interest is likely to be higher for both potential students and there parents. However, there are some adults with small children who express concerns about self-defense classes, particularly with respect to the physical nature of disciplines such as karate and taekwondo.
So when working to convince a parent on the benefits of enrolling their child in training, Eric Stevens, a martial arts trainer and sports psychologist, highlighted a number of selling points for the Breaking Muscle website. For school owners having a difficult time convincing parents on why they should sign up for classes, these tips should prove helpful:
- Increased self confidence: There are a number of kids who are shy by nature, and parents are often eager to get them to come out of their shells. Training in taekwondo and karate can accomplish this goal because it can help them uncover who they are as individuals and allow them to participate in an activity that is challenging, fun and includes social interaction that will allow their individual personalities to shine through.
- Knowledge of how to resolve conflicts: Sometimes kids can be mean and hurt the feelings of others. Bullying is a big problem in today's society, especially among children. Training in the martial arts can help young people diffuse situations before they flare up and become big problems. The sense of self worth gained from participation in classes can help them effectively manage almost any situation.
- Increased focus: There are a lot of distractions in the world today, especially when it comes to the younger generation. Smartphones, tablets, television and video games are all common indulgences among children that can greatly contribute to diminished focus. However, in order to be successful in martial arts, focus is critical. Participating in classes can help them still their minds and learn how to concentrate.
Strategies for class planning
Once parents have are convinced that martial arts will benefit their children, they may want to observe a class to get a better glimpse of the training their son or daughter will receive. This is the most critical opportunity for a martial arts school owner to sell him or herself as a teacher and highlight what other students are being taught.
Fighting Arts offered some helpful class planning tips that any owner can benefit from. However, the most important may be with respect to the language used during training.
Parents want to feel that their children are being taught in both a safe and encouraging environment. Therefore, it's important for owners who are also instructors to ensure they are supportive, offer correction that isn't harsh in nature and praise students based on their ability and the effort they are putting forth.
By putting this on display, a parent will be encouraged to enroll a child into class and may be encouraged to spread the word to others in their social circles, helping a school grow and thrive.