Demo Structure

Now that you know the difference between a pro-active and reactive demo, we can go over how to structure your demo, to make it fun, interesting, and still enroll lots of students.

Your teaching skill is the best attribute you can show off, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t include a traditional martial arts demo. The length of this martial arts skill demo is going to depend on the size, ages, rank, and skill of your demo team.

But even if you have a world class team, I suggest you structure the skill portion so it lasts no longer than 15-20 minutes. In most cases, an average school should have a 10-12 minute skill demo, followed by another 20 minutes of a teaching demo (audience participation).

The most common error I have seen schools make is to allow the skill portion of the demo last far too long, and put the audience to sleep with basics. The number one reason why we bother to train a demo team, schedule a demo, and take time out of our busy schedules is to ENROLL NEW STUDENTS.

I have seen too many instructors turn their demo team into a “feel good” team, where every white belt gets to be the star, and do their form as a solo. As a result, we end up putting on an hour long show to an audience that consists mainly of parents of our demo team, which can see the same thing in every class! Then, when their child is not included in every part of the skill demo, they complain that their child is being left out! You can’t win.

 Not only are demos like that boring and too long because everyone has this sense of “entitlement,” but they produce little to no enrollments. Creating a fun group of kids that increases retention, and builds camaraderie should be a distant second on your list of reasons for performing demos and having a team. That benefit should be your primary reason for having a Black Belt Club, not a Demo Team.


If you are ever limited on time, you should sacrifice the SKILL portion of the demo, NOT the TEACHING, or the SCHEDULING parts.