Keeping Your Students Motivated!

Do you ever have a hard time getting your students to push themselves harder?

Are you ever frustrated by their lack of effort?

Does what they’re doing actually look like karate or does it resemble tai chi more?

If your class is struggling to give their best, here’s a list of some of the one liner motivators I use to get my students to push themselves harder. As different students respond to differently, some of these motivators use the carrot, some use the stick… but all work well.

One Liner Motivators

  1. “You can rest LATER! NOW it’s time to work!”
  2. “Black belts give 100% everytime. If you want to be a black belt, you’ve got to start doing the things black belts do! Now come on!”
  3. “C’mon you guys, my grandmother is faster than that!”
  4. You call THAT karate? That looks more like…dancing!”
  5. “Is this the world’s slowest punch competition? You all won first place if that’s the case!”
  6. “Did you ever hear of the slowest gunfighter in the west?”
  7. I’m looking for the person with the BEST technique right now… who’s it gonna be?”
  8. “The person who does the next part the best, gets to choose what we do for the last part of class today. Who’s it gonna be?”
  9. “Does anyone see a sign that says, “Please try your worst?”.
  10. “C’mon, you’re better than that!”
  11. “Great job. I see your black belt in the near future!”
  12. “What the heck was that? I see push ups in your near future!”

Feel free to try some of these motivators above in your classes and see which work for you.


– Jason

P.S. What do you tell your students? What do you use to motivate them? Post away below…

6 thoughts on “Keeping Your Students Motivated!”

  1. -That doesn't look cool at all.
    -Oh… (making a face)…that stinks.
    -How old are you? (then add an age that matches the poor performance…slow=85, no focus, etc=4years old, etc)
    -Nice…what was that? (especially for roundhouse kicks or front kicks that don't go out properly or punches at incorrect heights)


  2. "I better get the bamboo stick, a few wacks on the back of the legs ought to straighten you out." No, I have never actually done it…


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