What makes a successful martial arts academy?

Date: 13th December 2016
Author: Master Bonthuys

Any good academy is simply the sum of its individual parts, organised in a way that provides the very best experience for the student.


These are the school owners that have developed consistent operating systems and methods.

If you train, are the successful months of your academy limited to just a handful of the year? Successful schools achieve consistent results month after month. Year after year. This provides longevity and security. They have the ability to replicate and duplicate solid results in a number of locations with different instructors.

How? They have found certain ways of doing things and systemising them so that instead of achieving results based on their enthusiasm, they achieve results based on what they have found works best - time after time. These systems and methods provide consistency, which leads to credibility, which inspire confidence, which ultimately develops student commitment… students need to feel that they are in the right place and that they are being taken care of - with their best interest at heart.

The best academies have systems for every aspect of the martial arts business. They have a well-designed modular curriculum. A martial arts curriculum should be like a pyramid turned upside down, with less material for students to learn at the beginning of their journey and much more material at the top. This allows the new student to progress and learn the initial skills quickly.

However most schools are the other way around - they overwhelm beginners and expect too much from them, with an emphasis on learning a foreign language and history - causing a high number of dropouts. If a student manages to get through all of this (and achieves the coveted black belt) - they then find out that there is less to learn; twiddling their thumbs for 6 months having to learn just one new pattern or kata.

A good curriculum should motivate your students and not discourage them by its design. It should be exciting and progressive. It should make a student want to come to class each and every week.

At Martial Art World, we feel passionately that the instructor should be a motivator that sets the example to follow. One that inspires and coaches each and every student on his or her journey to black belt and beyond. How about your martial arts school? Does it have similar systems in place to provide a level of consistency for you?


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