CREATING UNBEATABLE PARENT-INSTRUCTOR TEAMS
Black Belt|August/September 2021
“IN A TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL, PARENTS AND INSTRUCTORS BECOME AN UNBEATABLE TEAM HELPING SHAPE CHILDREN FOR THE PATH TO SUCCESS.”
FLOYD BURK

Those words come from a motivational speaker named Bill Banan. They’re fun, inclusive and positive — good medicine for any martial arts school, club or program, whether traditional or eclectic. The underlying message is simple: We are in it together!

I like the concept so much that I placed the quote on my school’s website. I’m discussing it here because it can help you build your school’s youth program, and it’s good for business. It’s also noble, which is one of my four keys to success in business and in life. What could be better than that?

I originally picked up the quote from the Facebook page of James C. Smith II, who told me he got it from Banan. Smith — owner and master instructor of White Tiger Martial Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland — said he believes in the quote and the concept on which it’s based. His 6,500-square-foot dojang, where he teaches taekwondo, hapkido and kickboxing, offers tangible proof of its logic: The school has nearly 300 active students.

I’ve visited Smith’s facility several times and seen him in action. He likes to put his teamwork beliefs right out in the open when he signs up a student. “I always discuss with parents what they want out of the training,” he says. “I ask, ‘Do you want your child to listen better in school? Do you want your child to fight better? Do you just want your child to have an activity?’

“We discuss whatever is on their minds. I tell them their child is not a number; they are a person, and they are going to be an important part of the school and a part of a family. And I tell them we are a team. I let them know that I want them to be around for a long time.”

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