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Kovar Systems
Student Retention Student Acquisition Business Tips

6 Basic Human Needs & Martial Arts

By Dave Kovar

Beyond the basics like food and shelter, there are six basic human needs. If you provide these for your students, their connection will be very strong and they'll never want to quit. 

Here are those six basic human needs...

1. The need to fit in - We all want to feel like we have places we belong, where we are with other people like ourselves.

How Martial Arts schools can fill this need: Certainly your uniform is a good start. When we all wear the same uniform, we all have something in common. And keeping students of similar age and skill level adds to the feeling that each student fits within their class. But to really fill this need, we need to help our students feel that they really fit perfectly in their class. Be sure that they form bonds with their instructor(s) and their fellow students.

2. The need to stand out - We all want to feel like we are special.

How Martial Arts schools can fill this need: Look for ways to let each student have their moment to shine. This can be done in any number of ways. If a student is particularly good at something, find an opportunity to give them their moment in the spotlight.

3. The need for certainty - We all have the need for familiarity and routine. Not in every detail, but at least in the general structure of our lives.

How Martial Arts schools can fill this need: A generally consistent class format addresses this very well. The details will change from class to class, but if your class structure is consistent, your students will find comfort in that. And while there are very valid reasons for changing your schedule from time to time, a consistent schedule helps provide certainty in your students' experience.

4. The need for variety - We all need the stimulation that comes from new experiences.

How Martial Arts schools can fill this need: Keep your material fresh and keep the pace of new material at a level that enables your students to master the moves, but changes before they get bored. Change things up from time to time. For example, consider introducing a new three month leadership program or a nutritional challenge.

5. The need for acknowledgement - We all need the feelings that come from being validated, appreciated, and acknowledged.

How Martial Arts schools can fill this need: The first level of this is obvious...Tips, stripes, and of course belts are symbols of accomplishment and when they are presented with sincerity, they can be powerful methods of acknowledgement. But you can make a more powerful impact by being quick to recognize good effort, good performance and good improvement. Compliment kids in front of their parents and be sure your adult students are also recognized for their efforts and performance.

6. The need for contribution - We all need to feel that we make valuable contributions in the various aspects of our lives.

How Martial Arts schools can fill this need: Provide opportunities for students to help in and around the school. There are lots of ways to do this from sweeping the mat to being a Storm or Swat Team member. You can take this one step farther by valuing and recognizing community service.

Martial Arts School Owners!

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by Dave Kovar