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How to start a pre-school martial arts program, Steps 6-10

karate boy jumps through tubes

How to start a pre-school martial arts program, steps 6 – 10 offers more tried-and-true tips to begin your new program . Of course we sprinkle in a few links to our merchandise and video tutorials, but the choice is yours to click. 

6) Offer a free class to your local pre-school

When you have become more comfortable with this age-group you can begin to “mobilize and advertise”.  There is absolutely no cost to you, and you will have a captive audience of your target market.  Keep in mind that you must have a class-size limit! A manageable number of 6 to 8 students produces the best outcome.

You may or may not be allowed to hand out brochures or information, especially if you are on their property. But you can always reward the kids with a sticker on their chest for trying hard. Our toddler-approved Little Eagles Martial Arts logo on round stickers are perfectly sized for pre-school size kids.

7) Colorful flyers attractive to toddlers

E-mail continues to be the best for advertising to your target audience. After all, parents are the ones responsible for signin-up their child in your toddler martial arts program. But if your target student doesn’t have an e-mail account (in this case 4 to 6 year olds) then you are missing some opportunities!  

Print advertising is still a fantastic way to attract immediate attention to what you have to offer. Brightly colored and professionally printed flyers can be placed strategically for your target student to take notice!  Displaying flyers at the height of the average adult’s waist places them at eye level with a pre-schooler.  It’s the same reason the candy at the super-market checkout is at a child’s eye level! 

8) Encourage pre-teen students to help out

If you can remember when you were a youngster you will remember that an older kid being given responsibility meant he or she became a role-model for younger kids. Bringing a pre-teen into your toddler classes to help-out will make the little ones take notice. They will have a role-model closer in age that they can look up to.  

9) Have a system of rewards and promotions

This young age group responds very well to tangible rewards and achievements.  Our stand-by of products includes stickers, temporary tattoos, balloons, patches and diplomas.  

When a new student attends his or her 5th class, they are rewarded with a uniform patch. For smaller achievements we recognize a job well done with stickers and temporary tattoos. Using balloons in the classes for practice and handing them to the best-improved student at the end of class is a huge boost to a little ego! 

Little Eagles “Taking Flight” diplomas are the most coveted by this age group. Proud parents post pics of their proud graduates on social media, and framed diplomas are hung proudly!

10) Teach good behavior not good technique

So many martial arts teachers and instructors don’t want to teach toddlers. Reasons range from “feeling like a babysitter” to “that age group cannot comprehend the purpose of techniques” and everything in between.

If an instructor feels like a babysitter than he or  she probably is! If you have the mentality that the only activity you can do with toddlers is to watch them run around, then you ARE a babysitter. The teacher has to take charge and know what they want to teach to these kids. Focus? Patience? Sharing? Taking turns? Kindness?  Know that your short-term goal is to help them with basic life skills. And the long-term goal is to cultivate students for years to come!

Technique and comprehension is definitely not a good idea for these tots! Helping each with balance and coordination is a better choice.  Improving motor skills with appropriate drills-skills is a great choice too.  The good news is that we can absolutely help in making your toddler martial arts program a success.

Little Eagles® Martial Arts offers has compiled countless quick  ( average 2 minutes )streaming and downloadable video clips of actual classes.  In less than 10 minutes you will essentially have your lesson plan DONE!  Easily accessible by your staff, too. Your style; our supprt! 

**Be among the first to request FREE stuff! Follow this link to submit your request.**

 

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How to start a pre-school martial arts program, Steps 1 – 5

young martial arts students kicking

You are ready to start a pre-school martial arts program in your school, studio or dojo. Great – now what? Let us help you get started. We offer our 20+ years experience starting with steps 1 – 5. Of course we sprinkle in a few links to our merchandise and video tutorials, but the choice is yours to click. 

1) Your student’s younger siblings are your first students

You don’t have to look far to get your first students signed up! In fact, that is exactly how our Little Eagles Martial Arts program got started. Three younger siblings of our elementary school-age students were our first ever “Little Eagles”!

You won’t have to spend anything on advertising to start your pre-school program. Another benefit is that the parents of these new students already know you and your school.  The relationship has already been formed. This makes parents more comfortable as well as the instructor, or teacher.  That familiarity means your skills can be tweaked and sharpened before you add more students to your new program.

2) Make sure you have the “right” instructor

toddler martial arts studentsOh yes. Definitely an essential for teaching toddler martial arts classes. One big reason for either a) a failing toddler program or b) not having a toddler program at all is having the wrong instructor!  The owner or master instructor may not be the best choice for teaching this age group. A responsible teenaged or adult student could be a better choice.  

If you are of the mindset that the owner or master instructor “must teach all classes”, let me tell you, we were too. When we started teaching our toddlers classes in 1999, we failed miserably.  When we tried again in 2000 we asked an adult black belt if she would like to begin teaching the toddler classes. Best Idea Ever. 

3) Limit toddler classes to 1/2-hour

Limiting your toddler classes to one-half hour is the best option. Remember – the instructor has to switch things up often. Five different activities within that 1/2-hour can sometimes be a challenge. At the end of thirty minutes, everyone has given their all!   You can always use the last 3 to 4 minutes of class to let the students give you a review! Ask them what they liked best about today’s class, what they learned in the class and what they look forward to doing again. ( Hint: don’t ask about negatives. An example would be asking what they didn’t like about the class. Keep it all positive – that’s the feeling they will go home with!)

4) Offer classes twice a week

Offering classes twice a week is ideal for this age group. We let parents know that once a week is fine; twice a week is better.  Pre-schoolers really won’t benefit from more than three classes a week.  Space the classes out with at least one day in between. (Tuesday’s and Thursday’s have worked for us!) 

5) Know what you’re going to teach beforehand

Many seasoned martial artists do not have a “lesson plan” for their classes. We teach according to what our student’s needs are at the time.  And when you’ve been teaching for a long while you also know that the best plans can go drastically off course! Flexibility is key.

However, teaching or instructing toddler or pre-school classes does require some planning. What specific drills and games will you cover that will keep them focused, alert and interested? Your focus is not on their proper foot placement or cadence. It should focus on taking turns, sharing, sportsmanship and respect for their fellow students and teacher!

Little Eagles® Martial Arts offers has compiled countless quick  ( average 2 minutes )streaming and downloadable video clips of actual classes.  In less than 10 minutes you will essentially have your lesson plan DONE!  Easily accessible by your staff, too. Your style; our supprt! 

**Be among the first to request FREE stuff! Follow this link to submit your request.**

 

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5 Essentials for Teaching Toddler’s Martial Arts Classes

toddler hits a pad

Instructors need to keep kids moving in toddler martial arts classes. These classes should not involve meditation, breathing exercises or technical techniques. Toddlers need to be entertained while they are learning. These 5 essentials will ensure a successful toddler martial arts program for you!

1) Toddlers should wear their own uniform, or gi

While a full gi, or uniform, is not absolutely necessary, toddlers should know that it is only worn for their martial arts classes. Our toddler classes have always included a full gi for these youngsters with our logo on the back and a Little Eagles® Martial Arts patch sewn onto the front chest.   Wearing a uniform means toddler’s feel a sense of community. This age group can also begin to understand the significance of equality which is one reason martial artists wear gis.

2) Make sure you have the “right” instructor

Oh yes. Definitely an essential for teaching toddler martial arts classes. One big reason for either a) a failing toddler program or b) not having a toddler program at all is having the wrong instructor!  The owner or master instructor may not be the best choice for teaching this age group. A responsible teenaged or adult student could be a better choice.  

If you are of the mindset that the owner or master instructor “must teach all classes”, let me tell you, we were too. When we started teaching our toddlers classes in 1999, we failed miserably.  When we tried again in 2000 we asked an adult black belt if she would like to begin teaching the toddler classes. Best Idea Ever. 

3) Limit your class size

Depending on the size of your mat you may have anywhere from under 10 to over 30 students training at one time in your evening classes. This is definitely a time when size does matter! If you are instructing alone, toddler classes should have no more than 6 students on the mat at one time.  Having an assistant, or helper, is always a good idea. However, more than one instructor does not mean you should double your class size.  A maximum of 8 students, and a  maximum of 2 instructors ( don’t have too many distractions!) is a good rule of thumb for this age group.

4) Know the best time to run your toddler class

This is when talking to the parents of your students is priceless. We changed the time of our toddler classes a few times until we found the sweet spot that we have stuck with for many years.  We have been offering our Little Eagles® Martial Arts classes every week on Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. . The students have taken their nap after lunch and had a snack on the way to their class to keep their tummy’s full and brains sharp. Our older kids classes begin at 5:00 p.m. which gives plenty of time for the toddlers to end their class without interruption or distraction.

5) Your style and our support!

Toddler martial arts classes should be about students learning to interact with each other, taking turns and earning respect. Instructors should make their classes engaging for toddlers while teaching valuable social skills all at the same time! After 2 decades of teaching toddler martial arts classes we know what games and drills work to instill these characteristics in our youngest of students! Little Eagles® Martial Arts offers quick streaming and downloadable video clips of actual classes for instructors to use in their own toddler martial arts classes! Your style and our support can mean new students and successful toddler classes for you.  

**Be among the first to request FREE stuff! Follow this link to submit your request.**

 

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3 Reasons to Teach Martial Arts to Toddlers

toddler karate kids

Should the master instructor teach toddlers?

The quick answer is : maybe. The next questions should be: is there an adult student that would be better than the master instructor?  There are certainly occasions when a reliable, trustworthy, mature adult student would be a better choice.  That’s a  decision for the owner(s) or manager to make. The title of this post is “3 Reasons to Teach Martial Arts to Toddlers”.  It’s not “3 Reasons Master Instructors Should Teach Martial Arts to Toddlers”!

Reason 1: Increase student numbers now and later

If you are waiting to enroll kids until they reach 4-1/2, 5 or even 6 years old, then you are losing between 6 months and 3 years worth of income. If you have already begun trembling at the thought of teaching a 3-year old, I refer you back to the first paragraph!  In over 20 years of running continuous Little Eagles® Martial Arts classes at our traditional karate school, our master instructor has never taught these classes.  He has, however, become these youngster’s instructor when they graduated out of Little Eagles® Martial Arts. Toddler program students now, kid’s program students later!

Reason 2:  New programs spark new interest

If you are just beginning a toddler martial arts program you have a great reason for new prospects to walk through your door.  Most likely you will generate students for your new toddler program from within your own current database! Parents of toddlers know other parents of toddlers, and so on and so on. 

It’s easy enough to start a program, any program. It’s another thing to turn it into a succesful program.  None of us were self-taught the techniques that propelled each of us into a career in the martial arts.  Each of us learned from someone, or from many, whom were experienced and qualified. That’s where Reason #3 comes in…

Reason 3: Your style + our support = One great toddler program!

You know best how to market and advertise for your business.  And we know how to offer you specialized  support to make your toddler program worth talking about! Your style and our support are the perfect combo for succesful toddler martial arts classes!

Little Eagles® Martial Arts offers invaluable support to keep your toddler classes full , without pages of curriculum or expensive monthly subscription costs. Weekly posts and suggestions will help instructors of any style of martial arts bring new and fresh ideas to your  toddler classes. We’ll provide links to video packages, marketing items, and informative articles. Plus links to online stores where you can purchase affordable products for your awesome toddler class! Nothing to sign-up for, use what you want when you want.

**Be among the first to request FREE stuff! Follow this link to submit your request.**