Developing Your Martial Arts School to Be the Best it can Be Part Two!

This month we continue our discussion with part two of, “Developing Your School to the Best it can Be”.

With all the revelations going on in the martial arts industry, new curriculums, marketing products, business systems, new and improved software, and even the organization of corporate chains of schools. Sometimes with all of this great information and changes, we can often get distracted and overlook some of our very basic tasks that really makes a difference in our school by providing great customer service and can bring us to a new level of professionalism.


In order to be the best school in your area, you and your staff have to enjoy what you do. Running your school has to be fun. If you where part of my staff at East West Karate, you would know that I want everyone on the staff to enjoy working and teaching at the school, HAVE FUN! What makes the school not fun is complaints from parents, students failing tests, and un-motivated students, Right? So what can we do to eliminate this? You’ve got to do things right the first time. You need to set up systems to eliminate as many problems as you can. And you need systems in place to recover easily when something does go wrong. One example of these systems is “Instructors are responsible to make sure every student is ready and able to pass stripe tests.” It is not acceptable if a student doesn’t know his material or is behind in classes. When teaching, all instructors must carefully monitor the student’s progress. Any students needing extra help should get that help right away. If someone is falling back on attendance, give them some extra help. Now when it comes to stripe testing I’m strict on making sure students earn the stripe. We don’t just give them away. If a student does not pass the instructor must meet with the student and parent right after the test – that day. They need to explain why the student didn’t pass, set up an extra help class (they don’t get paid for this since I’m not going to pay them for not taking responsibility) and they would schedule a make up test. By having a system like this your students are ready for testing, students are happy, and you have made it fun for the students and instructors.

Another system that is in place to make things fun and easy is our Leadership team and our Demo team. We hold practice every Saturday from Noon – 1:00 pm. The last week of the month I hang a huge banner in front of the school, OPEN HOUSE AND DEMONSTRATION Saturday Noon – 1:00 pm. I also advertise that in the newspaper. This way the demo team has a chance to perform monthly at their regular time – fun for them and new students for the school.

I also mentioned recovery, if something does go wrong as it will. You may do things right 99% of the time, but when something goes wrong it becomes the most important thing to that student or parent. If you have a good recovery system you can often turn a disgruntled parent into a raving fan. Part one of your recovery system, Apologize, don’t justify. Say you are sorry and take responsibility. Don’t say “That hardly ever happens.” That will only fuel the fire. For instance someone ordered something and you forgot to make the order. 1. Apologize, “I’m sorry, its´ my fault.” 2. Fix the problem. “I will call Century right now and have it overnighted at my expense.” If a parent says “My son didn’t get any attention in class today.” I’m sorry, let me take a few minutes right now and have one of my leadership members work with him for fifteen minutes.”

Remember, Have FUN by doing things right the first time to eliminate problems and when things do go wrong, and they will, – take responsibility and fix the problem immediately.