Running a martial arts school is a large responsibility, not only to yourself as the owner, but to the instructors, children and adult students, parents of these students, the community at large and even on occasion, with the law enforcement community.
There are a large variety of school issues that will arise and for which you must be prepared to overcome. For some this will be building memberships, business planning and other issues, which we’ve discussed in other sections. For other clubs/organizations, this will entail different issues, from the class bully to irate parents, dissatisfied potential customers who were denied membership to your facility. There are also others as well such as financial/membership contracts between you and students, affiliations with various groups, demonstrations, testing and certification, premises liability and injuries, and many more.
Let’s expound a little on one of these issues, one which is of critical importance to not only your club, but to our country. That issue is education. Ask yourself, ‘why do students come to my club?’ A short answer is education; they wish to learn. It is not so important about why, but what, where, and when.
Education is considered by many Americans to be the single most important long-term issue our country faces. After protecting our borders, public education is the government activity with the single most profound and far-reaching effect on the national character. However, despite all the attention paid to education, attempts to improve our schools and our educational system have generated more questions than answers and more conflict than consensus about teaching, learning, schooling and education.
As a martial arts instructor, you can have a lasting impression to make a profound influence on your students. The effort required to learn Kenpo and other martial arts can spill into all aspects of one’s life through persistence, determination, mental toughness, preparation, and other aspects.
At the USKKA we have strict standards for all our younger students, requiring that a B average or better be maintained to attend our classes. Failure to do this may place the student on probation or dismissal from our groups. This signifies to the student how important education is, whether it is martial arts or home work at school. It forces the individual to make a choice to perform or not and, research has shown that when strict requirements are necessary most, because of his or her desire, will meet those requirements. This creates not only desire, but persistence and fortitude.
We can still recall the stories of old where the great instructors were sought out and the student would set at the master’s door and do menial chores as he or she was tested by the master to determine if the student had the fortitude to be admitted as a formal student. Dr. Tindall still does this and has had students attend his club from other countries, using his dojo as residence while in training - one of the more recent being from South Africa.
The point is, when it comes to education, there are few positive role models in society that students can look up to in real life and one does not need to be a Hollywood starlet of MMA fighter.
Students want to know that they can trust you; parents want to know they can trust you with their children and thus, you have an awesome responsibility as an instructor and organization because unlike many students who attend class and have but fleeting interaction with the teacher, students who attend the martial arts have constant physical and mental contact with their instructors that provides such a strong bond that for good instructors, it is difficult to break. Thus, you are in a position to make an impact for a lifetime. This is but one of the school issues you face and, it is one of the most important.
How can the USKKA help you? Just for the education issue we are approaching this challenge in two ways. First, we assist in developing programs for you that explore and analyze these issues in depth such as exploring and examining lingering and growing questions about education in a search for deeper understanding of the issues that face parents, instructors and even policymakers today.
Additionally, we are moving our own work into the educational domain, by designing curricula around the topics addressed by our projects – from the basic student to women’s self defense and even law enforcement at both the practical and formal education levels. Our earliest efforts in this area has been the the development of a curriculum for both women’s self defense and law enforcement (explained previously).
Through these projects and others like it, we hope to inspire new generations of thinkers and doers to take part in our society and work to benefit us all. As an owner, instructor, and club/organization you can benefit and help push these efforts.
Let us help you with these issues. Look for these services in our store.
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