Info for Martial Arts School Owners and Instructors

The Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA) is a professional organization that helps martial arts school owners and instructors improve their teaching skills and grow their schools with proven marketing, management, and curriculum design.

Click JOIN MATA to learn more.

martial arts instructor association and curriculum

8 Types of Video That Can Help Your School Stand Out

by | Offline Marketing & Sales

Setting Expectations for Martial Arts Students Upfront

Authority is highly influenced by emotion.

While your staff and students may intellectually understand that you are the boss and master instructor, they have to feel it, not think it.

It’s the emotional connection that anchors your authority on a deep level.

If there is one powerful moment in your role as a professional martial arts instructor, it’s in the enrollment conference.

While the parents may see you as the master black belt, they usually don’t have an authoritative reverence at this early stage.

The enrollment conference is a seminal moment for you to establish your authority and gain the respect and gratitude of the family you’re dealing with.

Presenting the programs and their cost to parents can be tense at times. Some parents want to negotiate. Others might object to the agreement. Some want a safety net in case their child wants to quit.

While it’s important that you are prepared to overcome any objections, it’s when the bottom line is signed and the initial investment is completed that you have a critical window to demonstrate your authority.

Many owners complete the transaction and gush with statements like, “Awesome. It’s great to have you on board. Johnny, you did an awesome job tonight. High five! Thanks Mrs. Jones it’s great to have Johnny as part of our family. Let me know if I can help with anything.”


Who has the role of authority here? Mrs. Jones and her credit card. That was a missed opportunity.

Let’s try again. You would adjust this script to the age and circumstance, but here is an authority template for the enrollment conference.

Mom has just enrolled Johnny into the program.

You, “Johnny. You want to learn Empower Kickboxing, right?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good. I want you to understand that your mom just enrolled you into a six month program. You are going to learn a lot of great skills and lessons. It’s going to be fun and sometimes it’s going to be hard. That’s the good part because that means you’re learning. So you have to pay attention and practice at home 20-minutes a day when you don’t have class.

Are you going to work hard and practice?”

“Yes sir.”

“I’m glad. Your classes are Monday and Wednesday at 5pm. When are your classes?”

“Monday and Wednesday at 5pm.”

“Good. You’re a smart guy. That means that you have to be ready to come to class by 4:30 on Monday and Wednesdays so that you’re not late. Will you do that?”

“Yes sir.”

“No matter what you are doing, you will be ready by 4:30, right?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good. The first lesson is integrity. Integrity means that you do what you say you are going to do. You keep your promises. You promise to work hard and be ready for class, right?”

“Yes sir.”

“No matter what you’re doing. Right?”

“Yes sir.”

“Great. We’re going to be so proud of you. Your mom just enrolled you, so please turn to her and say, ‘Thank you mom.”

“Thank you mom.”

“Alright. When someone does something good for you, you always say thank you. That’s called gratitude. What’s it called?”


“Correct. So you’ve learned two important lessons today. Integrity and gratitude. What does integrity mean?

“Keeping your promises.”

“Yes. What does gratitude mean?”

“Saying thank you.”

“You got it! You are going to do great, I can tell already.”

“Remember, your class is…”

“Monday and Wednesday at 5pm.”

“When will you be ready to come to class?”


“You have a good head on your shoulders Johnny. You’re going to be good at this.”

“Because you’ve showed your mom gratitude and you’re going to keep your promises, here is a school t-shirt for you to wear. Every time you put it on, I want you to think of integrity and gratitude. Will you do that?”

“Yes sir.”

“I just gave you a shirt. How do you show gratitude?”

“Thank you sir.”

As taught in the MATA Certification program, it’s also a good idea to let mom know that it’s important that she control what Johnny is doing around 4:30 which is the agreed upon to be ready for class.

If Johnny is playing with his friends or deep in a video game, it’s going to be harder to get him to get ready than if he is cleaning his bedroom or something he’d like to leave to go to class.

Keep in mind that mom is watching this happen before her eyes. What have you done to establish your authority?

  1. You’ve provided her with a language pattern that both her and Johnny understand. This is huge.
  2. You’ve given mom the “integrity” framework to deal with any reluctance to go to class.
  3. You’ve provided her with a strategy to engage Johnny in less fun activities so that going to class is an easy decision.
  4. You’ve laid out when Johnny should get ready for class without complaint.
  5. Before her eyes, you taught her son important lessons with real world examples. No doubt, your authority sky-rocketed in her eyes and in her heart.

Look for places where you can make these kinds of strong emotional connections.

Demonstrate true authority and leadership. That will last much longer than a trite, shallow compliments like “Awesome! Good job.”

This will help your students to understand how and why they are training with the best school.

8 Types of Video That Can Help Your School Stand Out

In case you haven’t noticed, video is huge for marketing. Studies show that 3x as many people will watch a video rather than read the same information.

Since virtually every school website uses the same stock images and promises the same benefits, video is where you can make a strong personal connection that is virtually impossible to do with text and/or images.

Here are eight videos to include on your website and Social Media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, to help grow your martial arts school.

1. Promo Videos
Short videos that are less than 30-seconds for Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

Sample Promo

2. School Highlight Videos
Everyone has a video camera with them. Each year, ask your students to submit their best clips to you. Combine those with your own and edit a one-minute highlight video that you can share on social media and your website.

These samples are from many moons ago but they have energy. Imagine a highlight reel for every year of your school’s existence.
Sample 1992
Sample 1988

3. You Teaching
Rather than just advertise your trial program, why not show highlights from an actual class? You don’t have to post the entire class, but edit together a 3-minute series of segments that best convey what your school stands for and how it is delivered.

4. Testimonials
Shoot these from the chest up. Make sure there is no ambient sound unless you have a lapel mic on the speaker. Then, it works if there is action around the testimonial as long as the audio is strong.

Edit the full video into short sound bites. Let the subject know that they can do a retake if they feel they stumbled. Some people get really nervous in front of the camera.

  • Here are some questions.
  • Why did you choose our school?
  • What improvements have you seen since starting here?
  • What was the biggest surprise for you once you began training here?
  • How would you describe our school to someone who was looking for a martial arts school?

Sample USA Karate
Sample Tim McCahan After-School Sports

Here are some tips on creating a good testimonial video.

5. Media Coverage
Every school needs to have a PR strategy to keep you in the news. Media coverage is like an implied endorsement. Have a Media section on your site that is a gallery of your media hits.

You can also take advantage of the powerful, “As Seen On” line. Even if you didn’t get on the news broadcast, maybe your press release got picked up by Fox News Tampa. You can then use the Fox News Tampa logo with a link to your article. This positions you as an expert.

How to Get Major Media Outlets to Run Your Articles

6. FAQ
What are the common questions and concerns people have about joining? Answer them in person via video. This helps create a connection and personalize the experience.

7. Overview of Your Program
Without going into detail, you can create a fast-paced, exciting rundown of your various programs. This helps people to visualize the program in ways that text and images can’t.

8. Your Bio
This can backfire if you go deep into your personal martial arts lineage. Which do you think the average visitor to your website will understand easier? You earned your Shidan or you completed and passed the Martial Arts Teachers Association Instructor Certification Program?
Sample John Graden Bio
Sample John Graden Bio 2
How to Write a Bio

Don’t be afraid to use humor. It never hurts to bring a smile to someone’s face.

Here are more tips to improve your video marketing.

You May Also Like…