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Kovar Systems
Student Retention Business Tips

Why Did I Start Teaching Martial Arts?

By Dave Kovar

"I love our profession. I’m extremely proud to call myself a Martial Arts Instructor. I believe that one of the most important factors that will increase our student’s success in Martial Arts, or anything else for that matter, is our own belief that our students can succeed. " - Hanshi Dave Kovar

Do you remember your first “white belt' moment” – a moment or epiphany early in your journey when things clicked into place for even an instant and you realized for the first time “I can really do this!” or “Martial Arts is for me!”?

For me, I remember clearly my first lesson: My instructor taught me a two-hand chest grab defense called “Kimono Grab.” At the time, there was a bully at my school that was making life unpleasant for me and many of my friends. Although I never had to use it, I clearly remember the moment of learning that technique, thinking it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen, and instantly feeling more confident and empowered. I was hooked and never looked back.

I’m sure you have a similar “white belt moment” or “ah-ha” where everything clicked into place for you emotionally, mentally, and physically. What was it? What was its lasting impression on you? How did it steer you towards your current path as a professional martial artist?

There may not be only one white belt moment that we remember either. Many moments may have combined to set you on your path and purpose. Just as you can remember this moment or series of moments, what is so wonderful about what we do is that we all are creating similar memories for others every day with our students, families, even for ourselves!

It’s important to remind ourselves of these types of moments – the sparks that ignited our passion, or the reasons why we fell in love with the lifelong journey of Martial Arts. This week, reflect on the following questions:

  • What prompted me to start training?
  • What was my first “white belt moment”? What goals did I want to achieve at that time?
  • What goals do I still have today?
  • Who was that positive person who guided me along my martial arts journey?
  • Are you that positive person for your students?
  • Would I be the same person now if I did not train at all?
  • What does it mean to me to share white belt moments with my students?
  • What will nurture my instructor enthusiasm with my students so every class feels as exciting as my first class?

Once you answer these questions on your own, share them with your team. Tell them the answers you discovered in your reflection, then have them answer the questions on their own or share them amongst the group. This is a great opportunity to strengthen your team and your shared mission statement, i.e. what you are aiming to accomplish in your school. Find ways to then share these explored moments with your students. This will both inspire your students and enhance the connection they have to you and your school. 

We have another great read for you this week about Martial Arts Student Retention! To download our FREE ebook, "Creating Special Moments: A Retention Case Study," CLICK HERE.



by Dave Kovar