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Have you been asking how you should choose a martial arts school? That’s a great question. It comes up a lot. I think you need a mixture of everything. A good foundation in self defense and a good understanding of how people will attack you. I also think that you need a long term view on your martial arts. Your martial art has to be of some benefit to you in the long term that doesn’t have anything to do with conflict because you may never ever use your martial law for conflict in which case why would you invest all of that time into training in the first place.

Where to Start

The first thing that we’re looking for is a school that’s somewhere relatively local. There’s no point in having a great school if you’re not going to be able to get there and if you’ll not be able to maintain it. Becoming good at martial arts isn’t an overnight thing, it takes time.

The Right School For You

The next thing I’d be looking for is some nice people. Sometimes people running schools just aren’t nice people at all. They enjoy inflicting pain on you making things as uncomfortable for you as possible. When I first started my Aikido training there was a guy that was training with us. He would come into our class and he would have bruises. And I’d say “What’s that about?”  In some respects when you do your martial arts training it is good to shake you up.

Some mistakes I made when I first started training – I was so enthusiastic and I was running all over the place I was having to wake up at 6 AM. I burned myself out in the first 2 years. If you’ve read our previous posts you know that we advocate a mixture. I’m not really too interested in mixed martial arts because mixed martial arts is solely designed for kicking people up. I ain’t really interested in kicking people up. The way to get around that problem is to start off with one martial art. Once you’ve been there for maybe one or two years, start to think about training in another school. And always remember this is your training, this is your life, make sure that you are happy with your training. It’s the most important thing. If you are unhappy then it’s a frickin’ waste of time!

Go to Training

The things to watch out for, if you are not looking forward going to training. It should be a pleasure, you should be missing the people, you should be enthusiastic. If you are hesitant or have a feeling of dread, this isn’t the right school for you.

If your instructor or your teacher is afraid of you seeing other martial arts and they’re afraid that you might leave, then this isn’t the right school. The teacher should be relaxed. Teachers should be okay and happy that you’re exploring.

You can also learn different martial arts on our training center http://frankwhitetrainingcenter.com/

 

Here’s an idea to help with motivation, and help with retention for Karate Instructors. You can pass out martial arts certificates based on random things or specific things like “the best listener of the day”. Another award might be “the best kicker of the day”. There are a variety of options when you use your creative mind. This kind of change of the patterns of the class gives instant gratification as students are earning their belts.

Other ones might be for kids that are just “excited to be here”. For some of the credit kids that maybe aren’t athletic and struggling to get awards and are overlooked, you can provide mini-prizes to keep them engaged.

You can also create a “best ‘blank’-of-the-day”, but you could do punch or you could do striker, best yell of the day, etc.  You could also use a concept like rope skipping.  We do rope skipping and I have that’s a jump rope that has no middle and with the best or most 30 seconds of jump roping.

At one time, I had off site locations so you could list them all on one certificate. Pass out stickers for the kids to put on their certificates; maybe one, two or three stickers to customize it and make her/him look and feel part of the cool groups.

The students used to stick them on their shirt — and I made them stick them on the paper because it usually will stay. I find if I say, “Hey guys we’re going to pass out this best kicker of the day certificate at the end of the class”, I’m gonna see who’s got the best kicks for the day. Or who’s going to be an all star for today.

It’s one of the things that I found that really motivates a lot of the kids – and they’ll perform at higher levels than you even expected – its like “wow they’re really working hard for that!” It gives them some self esteem, it helps them with their spatial awareness, etc.

Another one we put stickers on is “other things you can do”. Yes like I said you can incorporate your school curriculums. For a hi-tech folks out there, you could put a QR code right on the certificate and then their mom or dad could scan it with their smartphone and you could take him to whatever page you want– whether it’s a video of the class or picture of the class or your enrollment page.  You know could you be creative on that tip.

Other things that I found that works really well in addition to the stickers, is putting your name on it.   You have parents sign a release where you can take pictures and photos what I would do it my next location is free do the certificates what the pictures of the kids are so for example let’s say this was an actual face of a kid.  You would have a blank space that they would say “best ‘blank’-of-the-day” and then have five blank certificates already printed up with her/his picture on it.  I guarantee you, if his or her pictures on the certificate they’re gonna keep it, they’re going to treasure it. You can also change the borders of the certificate- — some don’t have borders and some have borders.

What I found, kids that get the outstanding student once, they seem to always get outstanding ones so they’re good. Let her/him know that they’re good, but kind of change up to certificates. Change up the borders, and colors of the certificates.  Hopefully these tips help you generate your own ideas for helping retention in your school!

For more tips, you can check out our website: http://frankwhitetrainingcenter.com/