As a teacher or school owner it’s important that you create a culture at your club that makes it a place that people want to go to. And it all starts at the top – with YOU and your black belts.
Ask yourself what have you done for your black belt students lately? In my opinion it’s important that you strive to reach and teach them more than the bare minimum.
(For “Office Space” fans – You don’t want to wear just the minimum amount of flare do you?)
Up until black belt, training for many people can just be about attaining it, or reaching that level. And often after people earn their black belt, they are left with a feeling of emptiness. A sense of “what’s next”? And since the time between black belt gradings are so much greater some students can lose their way.
One thing I learned from my sensei is that you must go above and beyond what you give to everyone else to make “black belt” really something special. The benefits are you’ll develop a tight knit group, an elite unit to build moral, set a standard, influence other students and help grow your club.
Things you can do to achieve this :
- Give an extra class once per month EXCLUSIVELY for your black belts.
Make it on a special day and make it a longer class than usual. In this class run through all your kata, and give deeper technical advice and coaching. Also teach new kata to this class that no other students get to learn until they reach this level. Give them something EXTRA, first class service that NOBODY else gets.
- Organize special events just for your black belts.
This could be a dinner, a day out at the movies, go cart racing, sky diving, whatever. Have 1 or 2 of these per year and if possible see of you can pick up the tab. You and your black belt students will form a tight bond and appreciate this.
- Ask them for their opinions on how to make the club better.
They’ll be honored that you did! And you’ll probably be surprised at what you discover. I guarantee you’ll find out things you didn’t already know, gather some great ideas and fix some nagging problems. Feedback is so critical for success.
Get your top students involved and watch how your school transforms. You’ll raise moral, make some friends, develop student loyalty and reap the financial and personal rewards of your efforts…