Your Martial Arts School as a Center for Personal Development: Part Two
To implement the teaching of personal development, owners and instructors must recognize where the opportunities to teach mental benefits are in there daily operations of a martial arts center. We must take advantage of situations to highlight personal skills development, as well as be able to change challenging situations into opportunities to teach mental benefits. Let’s exam all the opportunities we have to empower our students lives.
The information call – When a prospect calls us to receive information about our center, its a great time to pre-frame them about a philosophy on personal development. By asking the prospect what the two most import benefits they are expecting to gain through martial arts lessons, we let them know immediately that their personal development is our priority. This also gives us the information that we need to better serve our new client by making sure we begin to teach them their wanted benefit right away in their introductory lesson.
The introductory lesson – By teaching an exciting benefit driven lesson, we are able to educate the student and parents how we plan to instill personal development skills in our students through their martial arts training. Teaching a student how to increase their coordination, to have respect for others, the importance of self-discipline, and to use common sense before self-defense, all in their first lesson, will quickly show the parents that their children are getting an education in personal development not just learning to punch and kick. This will be important when you want the prospects perceived value of your program to match your programs cost. Then we can charge the fair tuition of an educator and not get paid like that of a coach of an after school activity.
The student creed and class ending creed – A schools student creed is an affirmation to your student and parents of your schools philosophy of personal development. Having our students recite our creeds is not enough. We have to teach them its meaning and refer back to it when we need to correct the student’s behavior and remind the students of what we expect of them.
Drills for skills – Drills for skills is the portion of a class when you teach a physical benefit of martial arts training. We use these drills to disguise repetition to better educate, entertain, and excite the students while they refine their basic skills. Being able to tie a mental benefit to physical drills is very important for your students to understand that physical principles have correlating mental benefits. That the physical movements of martial arts can teach us benefits for us to grow strong physically and mentally. An example of this would be if we teach a drill in which the students had to throw a side kick into a round plastic circle (one of my instructors named this a side kick-a nator). The students would slide up, chamber their side kick, execute the kick, and re-chamber without touching the circle. This is a fun way to have the students get some well needed practice on their side kick, and teach them the importance of the chamber and re-chamber. We should then continue to explain that by the student blocking out all distractions and focusing on the center of the circle and not focusing on the circle itself, that they will be more successful in the drill. We should then explain that focus should also be used at school to concentrate on the teacher when she is speaking. That when they look the teacher in the eye when she speaks they will learn ninety percent more of what she is teaching them. Your students and their parents should understand that using the skill of focus will enhance their martial arts, and should also be used in their daily life to help them grow as a person. Now, you have been seen by the parents as a professional educator in personal development.