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.

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Does Your Website Build Trust?


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Get Certified as a Martial Arts Instructor Online

MATA Martial Arts Instructor Certification Course

Module 21-The Proper Use of Student Instructors

by Scot Conway, Esquire

The $25,000 Volunteers

Excerpt from the Martial Arts Instructor Certification Course:

Using upper ranks to teach classes has been a long-standing martial arts tradition. But, is it legal?

A California instructor had his black belts teaching under-rank classes at his studio. In exchange, he no longer charged them tuition.

This continued until one fateful day when the owner and a black belt student had a disagreement.

The vindictive student contacted the California Labor Board and reported that his instructor had been employing assistants by requiring that they teach classes each week.

This can constitute an Employer – Worker relationship. The only thing missing was payment for the workers and the taxes the government would collect if they were being paid.

The State of California investigators concluded that the owner, over the years, had a total of 25 black belts teach classes.

They defined them as uncompensated employees, which is illegal under the laws of California, and fined the instructor $1,000 per incident.

The final bill: $25,000 for the volunteers.

Lesson: Know your state laws regarding utilizing assistant instructors.

Get a Great Looking Website at

The first 2.6 seconds a visitor spends on your website determines their first impression. British researchers analyzed how different design and information content factors influence the trust of business websites.

The study showed clearly that the look and feel of the website is the main driver of first impressions.

Great design gets people to trust you and to stick around. Poor design creates mistrust and makes people leave. First impressions are formed in milliseconds.

The first second on your website matters more than all other seconds that follow. Make sure your site makes a great first impression.

First impressions are most influenced by the visual appeal of the site.

This means that within a fraction of a second, half of all your visitors decide that they can’t trust you – purely based on what they see, and not what you say. You can’t afford to be losing half your site visitors every day.

And according to 3M, human beings process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Invest in a well-designed website and find a photographer in your school’s circle to take great pictures of:

  1. Happy, smiling students
  2. School Interior
  3. School Exterior

You can use your phone if you have to, but you DO NOT want to use stock images. Stock photos look fake. People can spot them a mile away.

The better the pictures, the more attractive your school will be.  Your photos can go a long way toward communicating an authentic, solid first impression. The key word is authentic. When a visitor sees the same stock images on three sites in the area, your trust level plummets.

Understand that just having a website is not enough. You can have the best-looking school but if it’s out in the desert people will not find it. You have to invest in SEO so that people searching for martial arts will see your website on the first page of the search results.

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