Chances are that your journey to club instructor has included being shown how to teach a technique, how to run a class, and details on how your club is run. So by the time you decide to run your own club, we are sure you have a fair idea on how to run a successful martial arts club.
Here are some of the key but yet basic points to consider when running a martial arts club:
We all hate paperwork, but keeping on top of it as you go will make life so much easier when it comes to submitting your returns at the end of the financial year. It'll also help you keep track of lesson planning, the insurance status of each student etc - all useful things to be on top of!
This may seem like common sense, but simple things like smelling nice and looking clean are so important for an instructor. Martial arts is a close contact activity, and you don't want to scare off new (or even existing) students with bad breath or the smell of stale sweat. So keep to simple things - brush your teeth before class, wear a clean gi / jifu, and use deodorant!
This is especially true if you are a smoker. As a smoker you don't always notice the smell of smoke on yourself, but trust us it is there!
Be Approachable and Feared
Sounds like a bit of a contradiction doesn't it? But a good martial arts teacher is someone who's students can approach at any time and ask questions, but yet at the same time your students should respect your ability enough to be scared of you!
So be nice to your students. Don't always be the big scary instructor, as your students won't feel comfortable asking you questions, and won't therefore learn as much from you.
A lot of students working their way up to black belt are very keen to start their own club and be a teacher, but don't take this step until you are ready. To find out if you are ready talk to your current instructors and explain your desire to teach. They'll tell you what you need to do in order to be ready for that step, and they will hopefully also give you chances to teach small groups of a class, sections of a session or even take some sessions your self.
There are insurance companies out there that specialise in insuring martial arts clubs. Talk to them, get yourself insured and learn how they want you to go about making sure your students are covered when they are in your class.
Covering yourself in this way is so important, as it protects you from someone making a claim in the future.
Getting the message out there about your club is the only way it will survive. Check out our section on the basics of marketing to learn more.
If there's anything here you'd like to add or ask about, please email us, or use the comments box below.