12 Ideas to Add Sizzle to Your Summer

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Here are some thoughts that may get you started on your most fun and profitable summer ever…

Host a family picnic

It’s hard to beat a family picnic held on a beautiful day in scenic location. Everyone is relaxed and comfortable. This makes for a great opportunity to really get to know your students and their parents on a personal level.

Plan early and reserve a picnic area at a park or lake near you.   Recruit a couple of volunteers and have them help you to organize the food, games, and contests.

Picnics are ideal for building camaraderie among your staff and your students.

Sponsor a martial arts camp

 According to a recent article printed in Inc. Magazine, more than 5 million kids attend an estimated 8,500 day and overnight youth camps nationwide each summer.  And, since kids are always looking for a way to have fun, hang out with their friends, and experience new adventures, it would be safe to assume that there is a market out there for a martial arts camp.                       Many school owners say, that by hosting a successful camp, or series of camps, they can earn anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 in a summer.

Make your class schedule “summer” friendly

Daily routines tend to change or fall by the wayside during the summer months. Kids are out of school, and everybody finds themselves busy with summer activities. Therefore, it would benefit you to adjust your class schedules to accommodate busy summer days.                                                                                                           

For example, you might consider adding some additional family classes to your schedule to accommodate those folks that would prefer to attend class at a time different from their usual class time. Encourage your students who maintain a good attendance record by recognizing them with a certificate, or rewarding them with a small prize.

Offer a weekend martial arts retreat                                                   

A weekend retreat is a nice alternative to conducting an extended summer camp.   It’s not as labor intensive and still produces a good profit.                                                                                              

Camps are available to rent by the weekend. They come with all the amenities including a pool, bunkhouse, auditorium, cafeteria, and a selection of activities.                                                                           

Camps generally charge anywhere from $40 – $60 per person and includes use of the facilities and meals. You’ll be able to charge each student about $150 to attend this retreat.

Offer to teach martial arts classes at other summer camps

You may be able to offer classes at some of the summer camps in your area.   For example, take your equipment out to the camp, and offer a one-hour class every Tuesday and Thursday for the length of the camp.

Offer to give the camp sponsor a small percentage of your take for allowing you the privilege of conducting your classes at their camp.

Keep in touch with students while they’re away for the summer                                                                                               That old adage, “out of sight, out of mind”, definitely holds true for martial arts students.   After all, except for the most diehard of martial artists, it’s just human nature to be easily distracted by other, seemingly more attractive, activities.

That’s why it’s important for you to maintain contact with your students in their absence.   The longer they are gone from your class, the less likely it is that they will return.                                                                        

Hand out a projected absence form at the beginning of the vacation season.   It will solicit the student’s name, phone number, summer destination, and address.   This will give you the opportunity to periodically contact that student via newsletters or phone calls.

Ask the student to send the school a postcard of their destination so that you can post it on the bulletin board. This is a great way to keep your school at the top of your student’s mind. So hopefully, when he returns from his travels he’ll continue on with his lessons at your school.

Offer fitness kickboxing classes                                                        

With increased attention being paid to the nationwide problem of obesity, you’re likely to gain the attention of adults who are looking for a quick way to lose weight and get in shape.

According to Muscle and Fitness magazine, aerobic kickboxing is the fastest way to burn calories. You can increase your summer season revenue by offering a six-week fitness clinic for anywhere between $69 and $99, depending upon your market.

Conduct a martial arts/fitness sports camp                               

Speaking of fitness, you can offer a strenuous one-week fitness program at a local sports camp in your area.   This class could about two and half hours a day for one week, and bring in considerable revenue for your school.

Host a few “themed” sleepovers                                                    

What kid doesn’t love a sleepover with his friends?   You can offer a variety of themed sleepovers.   Themes can be related to martial arts such as Black Belt Club, and sport weaponry.                                         

You can go with a patriotic sleepover around the Fourth of July, or have a sleepover with a tropical theme such as a Hawaiian Luau.

Kids love this because they get to hang out with their friends, eat pizza and watch movies all night.   Parents love this because for just $40 per student, they know that while they are getting to enjoy a little free time, their kid is having fun in a safe environment.

Offer a special summertime rate on lessons                                          

One of the easiest ways to bring in students during the summertime is to offer a special rate on your classes beginning with Memorial Day and ending with Labor Day.

For instance, you might consider a special that would entail an unlimited number of classes per month at your standard monthly tuition rate.   Waive your registration fee, if you have one, and include a free uniform in the deal.                                                                     

Be sure to advertise this special early, so folks will have time to consider what a great deal this is, and set aside the time to attend.

Ideas To Help You Through The Summer                                                    

As you know, summertime can be one of your toughest competitors.  So you’ll have to devise some methods to keep your students interested in attending class during the summer months.

Here are some of creative ideas to help get you started

Beat Your Best Day                                                                                      

Those students that have a competitive streak will really love this annual event.   Parents and students gather for an exciting record-breaking competition.   Those who set the record for any number of activities will get to see their name on a special plaque that you can hang in your studio.

Then, next year when you hold your Beat Your Best Day, participants will try to set a new record, or best their old record.

Competition categories are limited only to your imagination. However, they can include belt tying for speed, and long jump for distance. You can even create a record-setting event using the number of push-ups, punches, or kicks that can be accomplished in a minute.

Hold An Open House                                                                    

Holding an open house is a great way to introduce potential customers to your studio, and entertain your students, their family and friends.                                                                                      

Make sure you have your demonstration/leadership teams on hand to show their stuff.   Hold a raffle for some special prizes, and add some street festival style games to include a face-painting booth, demonstrations, and pony rides.


Break your students down into three or four equal, well-balanced teams.  This means that each team should have the same number of members, and should include a balance of beginners, advanced students, and adults.

Each team should select a captain and a co-captain, and be given a special color and a team name that will differentiate them from their competitors.

This is a team-motivated competition that can include a whole range of events. Truly, your imagination is free to roam on this one.   Teams can compete for the best attendance record, which team learns their techniques the quickest, who runs the fastest relays, and so on.

Bring-A-Friend Week                                                                         

Have your student’s bring a friend for free during this week.   Take that opportunity to recruit the friend.   These weeks are best done in the early part of May and the latter part of June.

Theme Nights                                                                                         

Theme nights are a fun way to add interest to your classes.   You might consider hosting a gladiator night, professional wrestling night, laser tag night or a movie night just to name a few.

Celebrate Moms & Dads                                                                          

During the month of May, invite your students to bring their moms to class.   Offer them a free month of lessons for attending.   This makes moms feel special, and they might just like it enough to sign up for your classes on a full-time basis.

Of course, when June comes around, you’ll have an opportunity to treat your students’ dads with the same offer.

Parents’ Night Off                                                                            

Parents will be particularly fond of this event.   See, they will drop their kids of at your studio about 7 p.m. and pick them up at midnight.   While they’re enjoying their evening off, your students will be enjoying a pizza party, movies, games, and fun activities all night.

Martial Arts Boot Camp                                                                       

This will be an intense two- to three-day martial arts training program.   Each session should last at least three to five hours. Give your students points for attending.  These are a great way to fill the slow periods in July and August.   At $99 a session, you’re students will have fun, and you’ll make a nice little profit.

These are just few of the steps you can take to increase your revenue.  

So, what would otherwise be a “slump” can really end up being a very profitable time of year.

And, to top it all off, the real payoff to any of these programs, is the possibility of having generated enough interest in the martial arts to acquire new students for your fall program.