Student ServiceHow to Make Your School Easy to Work With
MATA Professional Code of Ethics
As a MATA Professional, I agree to live by the Martial Arts Teachers’ Association Principles of Professional Conduct. Whenever I work with students, the public, other martial artists or fitness professionals, I agree to:
1. Provide a safe atmosphere.
2. Give effective instructions.
3. Treat all clients on an equal and fair basis.
4. Constantly update myself on every aspect of health and physical activity research.
5. Carefully study this research so that I comprehend it and can put it into
6. Become CPR certified and maintain this certification.
7. Have a good knowledge of first aid.
8. Know and comply with all city, state and federal laws applicable to my business.
9. Fully understand and comply with all Employment and copyright laws
10. Constantly attempt to educate the public on the benefits of the martial arts and fitness
11. Keep all clients’ information confidential.
12. Without hesitation, when deemed necessary, refer students to someone who is better qualified to meet their needs in the medical, fitness or mental health professions
MATA Professional Practices and Disciplinary Procedures
The Martial Arts Teachers’ Association has standards of professional practices and disciplinary procedures which are written as a guide to aide and educate certified instructors, certification candidates and members of the public on the MATA Application and Certification Standards which MATA deems relative to members’ professional conduct and disciplinary procedures.
It is understood that revocation or appropriate action may be taken by the MATA for violation pertaining to the application or certification of an MATA member or prospective member in the case of:
1. Member or prospective member is found to be ineligible for MATA certification.
2. Dishonesty during the taking of the certification exam.
3. Found to have unauthorized possession of certification examinations, answer sheets, score
reports, answer sheets, unauthorized certificates or applicant files or any other confidential
or any proprietary MATA documents or materials and the unauthorized use, distribution or
access to same, copyrighted or otherwise.
4. The making of fraudulent statements or material misrepresentations to the public or MATA.
This would include, but not be limited to, any statements made to apply for, obtain or retain
Certification by the applicant, certified instructor or anyone else.
5. Found to have any mental, emotional or physical condition temporary or
permanent, which would impair or have the potential to impair the competency or impair the
ability to act in a professional manner. This condition would not be limited to but would
include any substance abuse.
6. Found to be negligent in the professional performance or intentional misconduct. This
negligence or intentional misconduct would include, but not be limited to, releasing
confidential information to unauthorized persons, a disregard for the safety of others,
physical, emotional and mental abuse of others.
7. Conviction of a felony or a misdemeanor, a guilty plea or a plea of nolo contendere, when
it would be relevant to the health, martial arts and/or fitness instructions or education of
the public or would be detrimental to the public’s health, martial arts and/or fitness
and would cause an impairment of the competency of the certified instructor or impair
the ability to provide an objective professional performance. This would include, but not be
limited to rape, violence toward another person, sexual, physical or emotional abuse of
a child, sexual harassment, to threaten the use of or the use of a weapon of violence, the
possession, sale of, intent to sell, the distribution of or the distribution of any controlled
8. Failure to meet the requirements for certification or recertification.
MATA has developed a three-tiered disciplinary process starting with a probable cause review. Should probable cause be found, there will be hearing. Should the person be find guilty of alleged violation(s), that person shall have the right to appeal in order to ensure that the examination of the alleged violation(s) of the Application and Certification Standards was determined unbiased and fairly in order to (1) determine probable cause and (2) impose sanctions that are appropriate and necessary to protect the public and the integrity of the certification.
Note: As an MATA Certification candidate and/or certified professional, it is your responsibility to become familiar with and comply with the MATA Professional Practices and Disciplinary Procedures
Percentages in the categories indicate how much of the exam is devoted to each area.
To become a MATA-certified Martial Arts Instructor, a basic understanding of pedagogy, sports and child psychology, physiology and risk management, and injury prevention is required. Studying for this certification will also involve expanding your knowledge of effective communication. Instructional techniques and motivation skills
Automate the Process of Saying “Thank You”
In today’s texting and e-mail world, the mostly forgotten, good old-fashioned physical “thank you” card has more impact than ever.
Sending a card with a little gift is even more powerful. I do this with every new client as well as with people who give me their cards at trade shows.
You may be thinking, “I don’t have the time to shop for a card, find a gift, write the card, and mail it. Neither do I. That’s why I automate the process. I use a company called http://www.SendOutCards.com (SOC).
All I do is enter the person’s contact information and set what card to send and when to send it.
For instance, I meet someone who gives me his card. I ask when his birthday is, and write it on the back. I’ll send him a “Nice to Meet You” card with the push of a button and then automatically send him cards on major holidays and on his birthday.
In some cases, I’ll include a small gift that I order and pay for right in my SOC dashboard. The gifts are FAR less expensive than they cost in a store, plus everything is just a click away. It’s a great time saver.
I search the media and use SOC to send notes of congratulations to people in my ideal client demographic for getting media cover- age or relate my note to their story.
A personalized card with a reference to the article is a great first impression.
Sending a thank-you note with a gift to the media outlet that covered you is an excellent way to stay on their radar.
SOC is inexpensive and super convenient. You can upload your own images or choose from their huge library of cards for all occa- sions. You can even upload your own handwriting so it looks like you wrote the message by hand along with your signature.
SOC is a multi-level-marketing company; you have to be referred to use the service (my user id is 151106). Unlike most MLM compa- nies, the cards you buy from SOC are actually WAY less expensive than the cards you would buy in a regular store.
SOC is a great service that every small business owner could benefit from.
Send cards to everyone you meet and keep the list growing. Also, send them early during holidays. If your clients get cards on Dec. 23, they may throw them away Dec. 26. If they get them early, the cards may sit out on the mantel for weeks. Which keeps you on the radar all the longer.
The 4-Hour Rule
No matter how good your school or staff is is, you’re going to experience complaints from time to time.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t lose students every time you make a mistake; you lose them when you don’t properly handle their complaints.
Think of complaints as an opportunity to impress your clients.
1. Respond within four hours to the complaint via phone (not email).
2. Listen carefully to the complaint.
3. Apologize for any inconvenience caused (whether real or imagined).
4. Restate the complaint back to the student. “Let me make sure I understand your concern…”
5. Thank the student for bringing the issue to your attention.
6. Ask the student,“What would you like to do?”This is really important. Often, the answer is much less than you expect.
7. Describe exactly what you are willing and able to do to resolve the issue.
8. If you can’t do anything, avoid citing business policy. Instead, use the “feel, felt, found” pattern, for example. “I understand how you feel. A number of student through the years have felt the same way. In time, they found that…”
You can also use the “because” bridge: “I understand you want this, this and this. Because we have to be fair to ALL of our clients, we’re only able to do this
in these types of situations. Again, thanks for bringing this to our attention.”
9. Write down what you promised in your log book and follow through.
10. Send a sendoutcards.com thank-you note (you may include a gift certificate for a local restaurant as a surprise gift).
The 3-Foot Rule
Once you’ve set an appointment for an intro, its important that you confirm the appointment 24-hours in advance.
Confirming appointments greatly increases the likelihood of your potential students showing up for their classes prepared for action. In your phone call you mention that you’ll be following up with a courtesy call (either the day of their lesson or the day before).
The call isn’t to ask them if “they’re still going to make it,” or some other negative statement, but to make sure they know exactly where the school is located. It’s meant to be a friendly reminder.
And, if there’s time, the rapport-building process should be continued during the confirmation, regardless whether a secretary or the instructor makes the call. The information sheet for a scheduled introductory should have the essential information for the caller, such as: Parent(s) name, child’s name, age and any other notes taken during the course of the call (For example: “Johnny’s been getting bullied at school.”).
Adding Friends and Family
During the initial phone call and then again on the confirmation call, it’s a good practice to ask a prospective student if they would like to invite friends or family members to participate along with them in their first lessons.
Anyone coming through the front door of your school should, at the very least, be acknowledged before they can take their fourth step into your reception area. No matter how many introductory lessons you might schedule in a single evening, it is important to treat each lesson as if it were your only one of the night, or the month, or the year.
You should know their name(s), and so should your entire staff. It’s best to have a welcoming board at your front desk where the names of your next lessons are written for all to see. They’re VIP’s, and having a front desk person say, “Hi, are you the next intro?” is a universe away from, “Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Johnson…and you must be Johnny? We’ve been looking forward to teaching you!”
The Three-Foot Rule
Make sure train your staff to greet everyone within the first three steps into the school and to come out from behind the counter to greet intros and their families.
It’s also during the greeting that the potential student fills out a school application/questionnaire and release form.
In a perfect world, your front desk person is a master of entertaining everyone who walks through the doors — incoming and outgoing students, parents and potential students. And anyone in your school who comes in contact with an instructor or other staff member should get the same kind of consistent courtesy and goodwill.
John Graden is the Executive Director of the Martial Arts Teachers’ Association and the author of the bestselling books on how to run a successful martial arts school without selling out. www.MartialArtsTeachers.com