New year, New beginnings


Purple Belt
Oct 27, 2002
Reaction score
Bellingham, MA
This is noy only for school owners but instructors also.

With the new year right a head of us any ideas or GOALS the you would to put into play based on what you have seen in 2002.

Example: New programs child/adult, new adds, new philosophy or stick to the one you always had, but really do it this year.

Like I said this is for insructors as well even if you teach a couple of kids classes a week. I let you know now what you do makes our lives easier some times you the bolt the keeps the boat afloat.

Respectfully Dan Brady.
The YWCA, going on my 3rd year, very, very few students, no support from the Y, lack of communication from the staff.

I've decided to try and shift to different days so that I will not compete with a kick boxing class that averages 25 people, among other things.

I will spend more money on advertising this year to see what happens.

I only teach adults, and I wanna keep it that way.

I'm in a great place, (facility wise) what a waste.

I'm stuck, and have run out of ideas. I sure as hell hate to beg, chase for students.

You guys got any? I'm listening!

I finally added a phone line to the school. That brings with it a free yellow page ad. Granted it's just one line, but it is a start. As soon as funds free up a bit, I'm going to start running an ad in the local penny saver. I've aslo started doing demos for church groups, we'll see if that shakes anything loose!
Originally posted by RCastillo
I've decided to try and shift to different days so that I will not compete with a kick boxing class that averages 25 people, among other things.

I've found that kickboxing classes tend to attract a different crowd than traditional martial arts, so they're not stealing potential students. Several things you could try:
1) offer a "self defense" course on days different than the kickboxing days and advertise with the current students. Explain how you can show them how to properly execute the things they are currently learning into self-defense situations.
2) advertise with the current kickboxing students to try to pull in their husbands and boyfriends. Say that it's beneficial for mutual support for their goals and allows them to "be together".
3) not what you want to hear, but provide some sort of kid's class at the same time as the kickboxing so that women who have kids have some place safe they can keep them while they work out.

You may have to look hard at the programs you are currently offering, too, and see what would make them more exciting or friendly for "today's" adult. I don't know how long you've been teaching, but hard-core training isn't as desired any more. Fitness is always good, but people tend to want things that are more fun to do. The hard part is figuring out what is fun that still sticks with your core art.

I only teach adults, and I wanna keep it that way.

My school is about 80% adults, but it's a difficult market. People are willing to shell out a lot for their kids, but seem to not want to do things themselves. They have different desires than the kids and tend to want more fitness than forms/katas, some want more realistic sparring and self defense.

I'm stuck, and have run out of ideas. I sure as hell hate to beg, chase for students.

Why don't you join a management group such as NAPMA or MAIA. They continually have ideas on teaching, advertising, etc. If nothing else, NAPMA has an instructor listserve on Yahoo that anyone can join. You may get more ideas there too. I don't know much about MAIA.

For me, I've changed my advertising strategy to directly attack the target market. My yellow page ad was OK, but pulled in the same number of people as my targeted local newspaper ads, which are half the cost. I'm advertising a lot of 12-week "Intro to" classes to help get people started.

I'm also starting a 12-week rotating self-defense course that addresses stand-up punch and grab defenses, ground defenses, and weapon defenses. Each class touches on fitness drills, self defense techniques, and self-defense discussions. I think it'll be slow to start up, but I have high hopes for the future. I think self defense classes will be the next Tae Bo wave.

Today I saw a flyer for a charity dinner and dance, they also have a silent auction. I called and donated (4) one month of lessons certs. I really don't lose anything because the 4 spaces are open anyway. I know out of 4 I'll get 2 sighn ups after the free month is over.

If I don't I still lost nothing and I got the press from the charity auction and thats still more networking. The women I spoke to said her childs doctor said she should find a martial arts school for her son, so she was glad I called for both reasons.
I had sent the four gift certificates The auction was on a saturday night and the next tuesday I got the call backs. I had three out of four in class, the other was one of the moms she waiting till her night classes are over to use hers.Now the first week of march The 3 are sighning up, so the investment of making up gift certificates more than paid off. One of the parents is on the board of a private school and she said that there having an auction and wanted to know if I would be interested, hmmm yes.

I think for those of us who have schools without a big advertising budget it nots a bad way to go. A big plus is the fact your helping out charities, and thats good for public relations.

Anyone else working on anything, I know I'm not the only one looking , listening, learning, and working to make a difference in my little corner.

Respectfully Dan Brady.