Stretching and Warm Up Procedure

The story of Steve and Lucy. Steve is a member and Lucy is trying out your kids class for the first (or second) time today.


We should all be working to ensure our assistant instructors are running the stretches at the end of class and the warm up at the beginning of class on their own. That is their most important job, and it allows you to do your most important job at the same time.


The ideal procedure for this part of class is as follows:

  • THE STRETCH DOWN FINALE: the main instructor calls the students into line or a group and then tells them that the assistant is going to take the stretches
    • note: don’t let the assistant try to get all the kids in line on their own, the main instructor should help them with this. Once they are all lined up and the class is quiet, then the main instructor is free to do their REAL JOB!.
  • THE BEST FRIEND: your job (one of your most important jobs) as the main instructor is to ‘meet and greet’ prospective members. If there are none there, then your job is to talk with parents of existing students – tell them how good their kids did today, or how much they have improved lately. Smile, laugh, interact with them. Talk to them about some upcoming camp, grading, event, competition, whatever!!! This helps with retention. It is a daily chip-away that will lead you to being ‘friends’ with all of the parents. The key here is don’t get entangled in long conversations – just short bursts of small talk and spread your time (don’t always talk to the same people – vary the conversations).
    • this is also the time you should be helping to fill in forms – for a prospects first class (student about to try the next class), or going over to the parents of the kid who is trying out and asking if they want to join him up.
      • I ask twice if they want to join (ask the parents before the kid is even finished the class – sometimes they sign up before they even talk to their kids, and then I go over to the kid at the end of the class, tap him/her on the shoulder and ask them (within hearing shot of their parent) “you did great today! Did you enjoy the class Lucy?”
    • THE AWARD: You should then cut what you are doing at the appropriate time, and run back onto the mat for a quick mat-chat at the end of class. This should ALWAYS, EVERY DAY, include some encouragement to the students – highlight what they did positive that day, or even quickly talk about one technique and then hand out a sticker for best in class. This whole point should take no longer than 40 seconds!
      • example: “okay guys, we focused today on the escape from mount. Remember in this position it is important to bridge your hips high… today I saw that John was doing this really well – congrats Steve – best in class for today!” [lead a round of applause for John]
    • THE PROMO: Now you move on to another extremely important part of EACH and EVERY class – the promo. Promote whatever it is that is coming up. Your job as the main instructor is to MAXIMISE the number of members we have attending gradings, camps, team training days, BBQs, whatever the fuck event is coming up… this is where you ask them ‘do you want fries with that?’
      • this should only take around 30 seconds also…. so you see between the award and the promo you are only spending 1 minute! But that is amongst the most important 1 minute of your day…
    • CHANGEOVER: Now you should dismiss the class with a big smile on your face. You should have built the energy in the room in that previous 1 minute to a point where parents are smiling and you have control of the room. Your job is to now very quickly find Lucy, rush over to her and start a chat. Make sure you are within ear-shot of her parents when you say: “you did great today Lucy! Did you enjoy the class?” (remember: compliment then question – it works for a girl you are trying to impress at a party and kids on a BJJ mat in the same way!)
      • of course she will say ‘yes’ almost all of the time, so then hit them with the sale (but do it in a way that the parents almost cannot say no) – “let’s get you started then, how does that sound?” or “let’s get you on the team then”
      • give them the member details form and ask them to fill in Lucy’s details. This will give you time for your next quick job:
    • The next job is to help get the next class on the mat very quickly and lined up. This should take only 30-60 seconds maximum before you have the assistant instructor warming them up, and you are back in the waiting area being THE BEST FRIENDRead over THE BEST FRIEND again – this is you!



In summary:

    • either: signing up a new member or being ‘friends’ with current members and parents


I can’t emphasise how important this stuff is! It is more important than what you teach (at least in so far as the health of the business goes). How good you are at this directly impacts on the overall number of students you have, and also on the average revenue per student. These are the two main drivers of profitability for a martial arts club – so get to it!