One of the biggest decisions martial arts businesses make when building their school is their class schedule. Your students’ training and practice revolves around the classes they take and there are a lot of different factors to consider, when trying to build out the optimal schedule. Some of these factors include timing and breaks between days, differences in seasons, ranks, and promotions.
The best schedule is one that takes into account the present state of your school, while keeping the future of your students and classes in mind. Here are some tips for optimal scheduling of classes, for changes in rank and seasons.
Learning martial arts is a long journey and, after each class, students need some time to mentally digest the new learnings, as well as time to recover physically. Depending on the martial art, training can be pretty vigorous and, without proper rest, martial artists run the risk of overtraining: something that can be very bad for business. Back-to-back classes should be avoided, as much as possible.
Running a certain class Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for example, allows students to train regularly and consistently, without risking overtraining. Friday can be the most intense training session, as students will have two full days to recover. Also, the timing during the day can help you bring more students in. Holding classes at 6:30am can accommodate adults or kids who are too busy to attend classes after 9 am. After school classes and programs starting at 3:30 pm are also great and the bulk of adult classes should start after 6 pm, given regular working hours.
Class schedules don’t have to stay the same throughout the year. You’ll find that the popularity of certain classes will change depending of the time of year. You might find a lot of your students drop off during certain parts of the summer, as they go on trips or away to summer camps. It may make a lot of sense to consolidate your classes during these times, to relieve the workload for your staff, as well as having fuller classes.
There are also certain times during the year when a specific type of class grows in popularity. The months leading up to summer, for example, you might find a boost in your fitness-based classes, as people get ready for the beach. This also often happens in early January, as people work towards New Years resolutions.
Dividing Classes by Rank
Once your school grows to a certain point, it makes sense to split up classes dependent on rank. For example, a Taekwondo school may want to have beginner, intermediate, advanced and black belt classes. Beginner may be white to yellow belt, intermediate may be green to blue, and advanced classes may be red and early black belts. This allows your classes to be more focused, which is better for training.
Another thing to think about is training your instructors in a way where you can develop new classes. You should always have students in line to become instructors who work their way up the ranks. That way, if you have an instructor who is testing for their black belt, you can relieve them of their teaching duties, so they can focus on their test more effectively. In their place, you can have an instructor fill in who will eventually be teaching higher ranks.
For more information, check out Master Ingrid Katzberg’s webinar on scheduling classes for optimal results. Master Katzberg is a North American kickboxing champion and founder of Champions Academy. The webinar recording is free, with some excellent information on how you can best create your school’s class schedule.
What are the biggest challenges you have with class scheduling at your martial arts school? Share with us on our Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.