Attracting adult students


I am one of those parents who joined a few months after my son.

I wasn't getting much exercise, but enjoyed watching the class. I would speak with the instructor each night, and he began asking me to be "the dummy".

I would stand up in front of the class while he showed the kids a particular kick, puch, etc. After a few times, I said.."Maybe I should be in class", he said why not? It was that simple.
Two years later, I'm still enjoying MA.

I asked other parents to join, and the same answer is embarrassment or concern over looking foolish.."I could never doo that!!!). It's not the money, it's getting over that first hurdle. We now have four adults at various levels..(none in my class)
All have been "the dummy" at least once.

Just an idea.......
Transform your art into something esoteric like Nicaraguan Snake Swirling and you'll have the fashion victims falling over each other to try the hot new fad for two weeks.

Maybe the focus should be less on competition or self-defense, but more on personal growth, something that most adults are interested in.

Personal growth through martial arts:
-learn to reign in poor impulse control
-gain a better posture to prevent back problems
-gain stamina and a better sex drive
-improve muscle tone without boring repetitive exercises
-learn about new cultures
-develop better manual dexterity and control
-yell without being arrested

Anyway, I guess you can catch my drift. And don't forget to wash your hands afterwards.:D
This is my first post here, so first off, hi everyone :)

I have been teaching for six years. I have 75 students and only 10 are adults.
All are parents of the junior students except one and he is the 23 yo brother of one of my teenage students.

Hall hire costs are expensive in this area so I teach the adults and kids in the same class. It doesn't cause any problems.
My instructor was joking about telling people we'd put them on a waiting list and as mat space becomes available we'll call them. That way they will talk around town and get interest stirred up.
My instructor does not advertise at all. All his students come from word of mouth. The adult class is usually around 25 students, but many more are signed up and attend when they can (night shifts, etc.). We usually break up into 2 - 3 groups depending on belt rank and one of the adult black belts works with each group. Several of the adults have kids that take kenpo as well.
Update on me. I've got six students now (they seem serious) I still try to get more by offering a two-for-one deal. Would you believe I still get no bites on those? Maybe the Goldendragon was right, I ain't no good after all? :(
RCastillo said:
Update on me. I've got six students now (they seem serious) I still try to get more by offering a two-for-one deal. Would you believe I still get no bites on those? Maybe the Goldendragon was right, I ain't no good after all? :(

Hey that's still good! I ran an ad for about 4 weeks before opening and had one student my first day. I've been open for 2 weeks now and have 4 regular (if you can call it that already) students and 2 who may drop in now and again.

I'm not in it for the big bucks tho. As long as my dojo stays open and functioning, I'm happy. The more students I have, the more I can put back into the dojo in the form of mats, weapons, etc.
Ive been teaching kids and Ive found that most of them dont want to be fighters (kick boxing ect) they just want to learn self defense so Thats what I do now very basic hard stances (japanese system w/ a lot of kata work) and self defense. The kids are loving it.

Now for adults, The most successful schools here offer both. For the adult who wants to learn self defense well be sure offer a basic class for both begining and advance student in self defense a couple maybe 4 class for each group a week. Then for the fighters offer a adult fighting class a couple of nights a week and lets not forget private lessons adults who are busy (read working for a living) have a limited amount of time so privates are a good way to boost student enrollment.
Also the MMA thing is becomeing a great marketing ploy so you could mention MMA Kick boxing with BJJ.

Also like Joe Lewis said on his one of his tapes people like equipment. They love health clubs all the bells and whistles when they buy a car ect. The equate equipment with quality.
Have lots of equipment. Maybe a floor level ring ( for sparring with lots of heavy/speed/ double ended bags , kicking pads , muay thai kicking pads, focus pads ect and add them to your work outs .

Plus like what was already mentioned have family discounts 2 fers on a 6 month contract. Have family group classes that way Johnny and his daddy can go with Billy and Uncle Steve.... Adult female begining classes with 2 fers so Suzie and her GF can go with out feeling intimidated and some females are intimidated when they go to a class and see a lot of guys sparrnig ect so the possibilites are endless.
I disagree that the belt system turns off adults, hey, we need some encouragement too!! I'm not into those stripes that much, but if that's the way the school system is, it's fine.
I also agree that doing demo can really attract people, it can get people really excited!!!
In terms of classes, it's probably necessary to have a lower belt or beginner class, and advance classes, perhaps some classes more concentrated on self defense (alot of adults are into that!), and for people who love to spar, do 1 or 2 nites of sparring classes!
Boy, this is a really old thread, the originator probably doesn't check back anymore...but in any event, people are reading this....

Alot of the adults we have are also from kids being in, me included. We also have the 10 Gup system. White, Yellow, Orange, Green, High Green, Blue, High Blue, Red, High Red, Rec. Black1st Dan Black. That in my opinion is enough tests. I think it is excessive to test in-between more than one stripe especially if it requires more testing fees. If you take these additional tests into account and average it out over the tests, making testing fees lower, it would be ok.

Faye is right about the demos. Also fair booths attract alot of attention. Special self-defense classes do too. Also special summer kids classes which then go into regular classes. When I taught kids, they mostly liked breaking boards, easy boards until they were capable. In fact, that was like candy-if they behaved and did as asked, then there was time to do breaking at the end. We do breaking at fairs, it attracts alot of would-be students. We show them how to break, usually palm strike and we go through a ton of boards which they pay for. Kids first, and then parents join.

As far as class makeup, its better when lower rank train with higher rank.
The lower student learns that techniques can be learned and the higher rank will help the lower with tips. Sparring is more meaningful too when one partner knows what they are doing and injuries are less. But women like to start out in a less intimidating environment and like to train for the first year without men. I think that changes though, the stronger they get and more sure of their abilities. TW
I think that adults like to learn and not just sit around like some kids do. You have to keep adults by showing interest in increasing there position. Sounds odd but I think it works. We used to have adult classes and kids classes seperate.

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