Martial Arts Student Retention in the COVID-19 Era

Martial Arts Instructors
Have Some Big Decisions to Make

In order to enhance martial arts student retention in the COVID-19 era, smart instructors realize that they have to provide INSTANT VALUE for their students.

Here’s an example:

Some of you may have heard of just in case learning vs just in time learning.

Typically, it’s applied to getting a university degree vs going into business right out of high school, which is what I did.

Just in Time Learning

Just in time learning is the specific-education that focuses on the topics one needs to learn related to a business or hobby.

For instance, marketing, management, and teaching skills are immediately applicable to launching your martial arts school.

You learn them just in time and apply them immediately.

Just in Case Learning

Just in case learning is like the padded academia that helps a student become a well-rounded, educated person.

This is a person who is prepared, just in case, someone asks about the evolution of Western European art.

Traditional martial arts are classic just in case learning. So much of an early student’s experience in class is spent learning all kinds of just in case skills.

They are taught traditional blocks that violates every rule of defense. The centerline is exposed. The chin is up. The hands are on the hip or stuck in a clunky position that is held in a pose to show good form.

The instructor explains that “You’d never really block like this but keep practicing and you’ll understand when you get to black belt.”

That is a disservice to the student.

Students DO NOT want stylized representations of self-defense and fighting. They want real skills they can use TODAY, not three years from now.

That is why I created Empower Kickboxing™ as an easy Student Centric Martial Arts Curriculum.

I took the most effective, applicable, and easy to learn skills from self-defense, martial arts, kickboxing, weapons, and grappling so that students get the INSTANT VALUE that is missing from traditional martial arts.

These are just in time skills. Not just in case.

Each Empower Kickboxing class includes:

1. Bow in / Meditation

2. Quick martial arts history lesson

2. Self-defense

3. Vigorous warm-up

4. Teaching segment (martial arts, kickboxing, weapons, or grappling)

5. Pad or partner drills

6. Cool down with Life Skill lesson

This is why every week, schools are joining Empower Kickboxing to get access to the lesson plans, marketing, and direct support from me.

Take a look at a couple of sample lesson plans. You’ll see a design for fast-paced exciting classes that students enjoy and look forward to.

What are you teaching? Just in time or just in case?

See Sample Empower Kickboxing Lesson Plans

 

How Martial Arts Instructors Miss the Mark in Teaching Confidence.

How Martial Arts Instructors Miss the Mark in Teaching Confidence.

A good martial arts teacher had an educated understanding of self-confidence and what is required to nurture it.

If a teacher treats students with respect, avoids ridicule and other belittling remarks deals with everyone fairly and justly, and projects a strong, benevolent conviction about every student’s potential, then that teacher is supporting both self-esteem and the process of learning and mastering challenges. For such a teacher, self-confidence is tied to reality, not to faking reality.

In contrast, however, if a teacher tries to nurture self-confidence by empty praise that bears no relationship to the students’ actual accomplishments – dropping all objective standards – allowing young people to believe that the only passport to self-confidence they need is the recognition that they are “unique” – then self-confidence is undermined and so is achievement.

We help people to grow by holding rational expectations up to them, not by expecting nothing of them; the latter is a message of contempt.

Self-confidence demands a high reality-orientation; it is grounded in reverent respect for facts and truth. Excessive and inappropriate self-absorption is symptomatic of poor self-confidence, not high self-confidence. If there is something we are confident about, we do not obsess about it – we get on with living.

ISN’T SELF-CONFIDENCE  THE CONSEQUENCE OF APPROVAL FROM SIGNIFICANT OTHERS?

No. If we live semi-consciously, non-self-responsibly, and without integrity, it will not matter who loves us – we will not love ourselves. When people betray their mind and judgment (“sell their souls”) to win the approval of their “significant others,” they may win that approval but their self-esteem suffers.

What shall it profit us to win the approval of the whole world and lose our own?

It is commonly held that among young people the approval of “significant others” does profoundly affect self-confidence, and to some extent, this is doubtless true – but one has to wonder about the reality of self-esteem that is so precarious that it crashes easily if that approval is withdrawn.