You can tell a great deal about the level of professionalism a business possesses the minute you walk through their front door. This is true whether you’re walking into a fine restaurant, a grocery store, or into a martial arts studio.
To the layman, martial arts and those who consider themselves to be professional martial artists are a bit mystifying. Whether it’s the uniforms that are worn, the fact that martial artists are very disciplined and can defend themselves in fascinating ways, or that the martial arts stems from ancient Orient roots, people tend to view the martial arts with awe.
Therefore, when students enter your studio, you’ll want to present the highest level of professionalism – because that’s what your customers are going to expect from you.
What does that mean exactly?
Well, put yourself in the shoes of a person walking into your studio for the first time. Think about the image that your staff is presenting as they walk throughout the studio.
How do they talk to each other and to the students? Do they reflect the professional, disciplined image that is expected from a martial artist?
School owners are often the only instructors in their schools in the beginning. This makes things simple. However, as your school grows, you’ll be required to select new assistants to help accommodate your students.
Here’s where it gets tricky. You’ll want to choose an assistant instructor that shares your goals, and teaches students using the same or similar methods and techniques as you use when you teach.
The assistant that you choose must understand that you require a certain level of professionalism from him when he is teaching at your school and interacting with the students and other staff members.
Most of all, you should be respectful of your assistant instructors and their abilities. Actually, there should be a level of mutual respect between you and your instructors. You should always avoid correcting your instructors in front of students or other staff members.
Be particularly careful not to let your ego get in between you and your instructors. While you may be more skilled, you’ll create hard feelings all around if you are always trying to upstage your assistants in front of their students.
You should always be coaching and training your assistant in private. However, make a point to meet with your instructors at least once a week to discuss the preferred way to teach a technique. This would also be a good time to offer ideas for teaching and motivating students.
It’s important that you and your instructors work hard to present a unified front to your customers. When interviewing a student that will be taught by one of your assistants, take a moment and introduce the new student to his instructor.
Choose your assistants wisely as they will be representing your school and all that it stands for.