Only a handful of women had shown for our mid-day Fitness class. And that one class wasn’t the only one struggling. My entire Women’s Fitness program was slowing down. I needed to bring it back to life … enroll new Fitness members … but how? With 54 Martial Arts schools within a six-mile radius of my club and nearby 24/7 gyms promoting “no contract” memberships as low as $7.50 a week, I knew external marketing wasn’t the answer. It would be like throwing money out the door to compete to bring in new members. The solution: I started working with what I already had … the mothers of students who need to get fit and want to have fun. It struck me most when I looked at my numbers. I have over 200 students under the age of 7 years … that means I have A LOT of mothers of students that may be looking to get fit. And so began the “Mom’s Club” … Continue reading
Nearly one-third of all school-aged children are bullied each year.* And it’s no longer just verbal or physical confrontations in the school yard. Kids are now cyberbullied through mean text messages and emails. Pictures, videos and cruel comments are posted on social networks. Bullying is a huge societal issue that we all need to address, but how do we handle bullying and prevent it?
At Combined Martial Arts Academy, we implement several techniques and tools within our Kids Martial Arts programs. The tips I’ll provide here are used within our Little Dragons Program (3 to 6 year olds) and in our Beginners Program (6 to 10 year olds).
Bullying, in any form, can have both short- and long-term effects on children. These effects can include depression, unwillingness to attend school, loss of confidence, and can severely impact performance at school. Research reveals that one in four children is bullied on a daily basis, and if you’re of an ethnic background, chances are that the occurrence of bullying will be 25% higher.
While schools are becoming more aware of their responsibilities toward dealing with bullying issues, we, as Martial Arts instructors, can do our part to educate students about bullying and how to effectively put a stop to it.
After 35 years of extensive travel, visiting hundreds of Martial Arts schools around the world, I have come to the conclusion that when we don’t succeed,one of the main reasons is our mindset.
In 2009, Fortune 500 Magazine was able to study 400 billionaires in the U.S. That year was the first time there were 400 billionaires in the United States.
What was amazing was that 173 of the billionaires basically started in their garages with nothing. Another 100 started with a very modest amount of money (about $10,000).
What this says to all of us is that we may really be the biggest problem here, and our mindset plays a big part in it.
Your Only Limitation is Your Mindset
A young elephant in a circus is being held by a wood stake that’s tethered by a rope. At a young age, the rope is wet and tied so tightly that escaping is near impossible. But we know that as the elephant grows bigger he will be able to tear that stake out of the ground and charge around and do whatever he wants. Unfortunately for the elephant, he has been trained to believe that once the rope is tied to his leg he is incapable of breaking free and living the life he would choose to live. Of course, in truth the only limitation is his mindset.
So where does our mindset come from? Mindset comes from what we saw and what we heard and what we experienced when we were young. Now unfortunately, most of us are exposed to very poor role models and mentors because often our role modelsare friends, relations, government and institutions whose mindsets, in my opinion, are totally off target when it comes to the issue of creating wealth and financial freedom. People go to school to learn how to get a job. Essentially what we do is we take those experiences and they become real to us. They create our outlook, our paradigm if you like.
We can change that paradigm very, very quickly: the mindset you have right now is not the mindset you must have to create a different outcome in the future.
So really it is up to us, and it would seem the biggest obstacle to success, without a doubt, is ourselves.
Bill Wakefield is one of Australia’s pioneers of growth and success in the Martial Arts industry, www.c-m-a.com.au. He is a well-known and prominent speaker on the subject of Martial Arts business, as well as a Member Solutions Advisory Team Member. Read Bill’s other posts on bullying programs and running birthday parties HERE.
What’s your opinion? Do you believe that if you change your outlook, you can do anything?
QUESTION: Bullying is global. It impacts children’s quality of life and their academics in a negative way. I am wondering what strategies and techniques you use to help kids in your schools in Australia that you would recommend for everyone.
Bullying is the biggest issue in schools in Australia today. I truly believe it’s a global issue in every school.
My approach depends on which class group I am working with. If I am working with:
Pre-schoolers – I teach the children to say “STOP, I DON’T LIKE IT.”
Grades 1 and 2 — I teach the children to use their voices, but also to start identifying what bullying is.
Grades 3 and 4 ― I help the children to identify bullies and why bullies behave the way they do. We get them to understand the cycle of violence, and how they can stop this cycle of violence.
Grades 5 through 7 — I use the Bully Buster program by Dr. Terrence Webster Doyle: “12 Ways to Walk Away with Confidence.”
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I believe if we can educate our students about bullying and why some kids bully in their early school years, a difference can be made! Along with these programs, the techniques I teach are wrist locks, how to get away if someone tries to grab you, take-downs from grab position, shoulder rolls and break falls, basic leg kicks, etc. We finish each program with students breaking boards, and students receiving certificates of participation in our anti-bullying course. I try to keep it simple but fun and stimulating at the same time. This has been a very popular campaign I’ve run, and I’ve taught it at 25 different schools in a year.
Everything that’s part of the anti-bullying course is designed to show students to believe in themselves and they can change.
What anti-bullying programs have you implemented in your school(s)?
How we market every student birthday:
- We send out letters to parents six weeks prior to their children’s birthdays, telling them we host birthday parties.
- Two weeks prior to each birthday, we send the birthday student a card and a lollipop in the mail.
- We have a poster in our Dojo saying we host birthday parties.
- We put the pictures of previous birthday parties on our student board.
- We advertise on our web page and in the Yellow Pages about our birthday parties.
- Finally, we talk about birthday parties in our classes.
Note: It’s very important to continuously market birthday parties within your organization. The best way to do this is by having all assistant instructors, and staff, talk about birthday parties as often as they talk about your other programs.
Tips to run a successful birthday party:
- Have high-energy staff members conduct the party.
- The Dojo must be neat and tidy and decorated.
- Have everything organized for the birthday party (balloons, music, games, all planned out)
- Give away gift vouchers as prizes. (We once gave chocolate bars or lollipops. Now we give away gift vouchers to the birthday boy’s or girl’s friends, inviting them to our Martial Arts program.)
- Have the birthday boy or girl cut the birthday cake with a sword.
- Break a board.
- Have the birthday students wear their Black Belt at their parties and have the students’ photo taken with every friend. This is a good way to collect new lead information as you can send this picture to the friends.
- The party should not be longer than two hours.
- We limit the numbers of attendees to a maximum of 15 and have two staff members conduct the party.
- When you present a gift to the birthday boy or girl (the gift can be a t-shirt, pullover, cap, etc.), make sure it’s an item with your club logo on it.
We charge a flat fee of $220.00 per birthday party and do not supply any food or drinks. We do, however, serve the food and drinks if they are supplied by the parents.
Answer provided by, Bill Wakefield
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Question: Can you suggest a few ways to make my rank testing a promotional event?
I believe you should make every grading into a mini-show that builds up to the finale. The way I do it is that my exams are conducted as age-specific and rank-specific events. When our White Belts are ready for their first promotional exam, we personally let the students and the parents know. We invite them to bring their families along to see their children demonstrate their grading curriculum. (I feel if you make it a demonstration it eases the stress for the younger students, even though they are still actually doing an exam.)
I also have my Black Belts for that age group do a demonstration Kata, Weaponry, Kicking, etc. This reinforces for the parents at the grading that their children are training at a great academy, and the excellence their children can achieve in their Martial Arts.
Another great way is to include a ‘jumping castle’ and food and drinks, and invite them to bring a friend along to the belt exam.
Answer provided by, Bill Wakefield
QUESTION: I am looking to improve my student retention. Could you provide some classroom strategies that will help inspire and motivate students to attend their next class?
ANSWER: As have most schools, I too have implemented A & B Day’s training sessions during the week. But this can get monotonous and students can hit the wall.
What I do different is:
We tell students what they will be learning in their next session. This is incorporated into their A & B Day training, but it could be sword combat, grappling, special guests at their training sessions, etc. We also implement homework depending on what life skills we are teaching that month. We have found this to be very beneficial not only for us, but also for the parents so that they are involved and have a better understanding of the Martial Arts. We have had positive feedback from parents and great response from students.
We also have Daily Training Awards during and at the end of each class. We have Monthly Attendance Awards for students who do not miss any training sessions for the month. This was one of the smartest moves I made. When I first implemented it I had only 60 students who received the award, but from the next month onward we have handed out between 150 and 180 each month. We ask after every class, “What new skill or activity did you learn today?” This is preframing the children for when parents ask them what they learned in class.
Answer provided by Bill Wakefield
Putting a Stop to Bullying
Get a glimpse inside the world of Bill Wakefield, Member Solutions Advisory Team Member. See how his anti-bullying program is making a difference. A team of Little Dragon students, aged 3-5 years old, was aired showcasing their anti-bullying skills.
FREE! Live Webinar
Join our WEBINAR on how to implement an effective anti-bullying initiative in your school.
James Nam on Verbal Judo
Thursday, 3/18 at 2PM EST
James Nam, a Member Solutions Consulting Apprentice winner, will provide details on implementing an effective anti-bullying initiative in your school. In this 60-minute webinar, you’ll learn the benefits of Verbal Judo, plus how to:
- Implement the program into your curriculum and marketing
- Transform the lives of your students
- Increase your school’s revenue
- And more …
Click here to register.