We started to prepare instructors for a potential lockdown back in March 2020. We found ourselves learning about streaming Martial Arts lessons & Facebook Live classes & YouTube tutoring. We took ourselves into outdoor spaces, come wind, rain or shine.
We had to modify everything by creating non-contact classes.
We went back indoors, with Risk Assessments, mops, steamers, sanitisers & fog machines.
Our precious matts have been taped to make ‘individual training pods’.
Our capacity is restricted.
It’s been a journey for sure!
Some found it too challenging. Some absolutely smashed it.
After months of negotiating all those challenges, this is what we know:
It wasn’t the style you teach; all be it some have more challenges than others…
It wasn’t the area you’re from, although that’s had some advantages & disadvantages…
It has been the mindset of Instructors that has seen the biggest success.
Those who didn’t reduce their price. Those who didn’t panic.
Those who didn’t reduce their streamed classes to treasure hunts & games – those who decided teaching martial arts was enough.
Those who just accepted the modification to remove contact.
Those who understood the maths – teach less people = charge more money.
Those who used software & systems to manage communication. Those on direct debit. Those who made their standards to follow guidelines really strict.
Those who put reassurance & safety first.
Those who didn’t bend the knee to desperate decisions when students left.
Those who just decided they would replace, rebuild, re-invent.
Those who made failure or closure Not An Option. Those who are marketing.
Those who have taken on board branding themselves within their local communities.
Those who have stepped so far into the realm of discomfort – and do whatever it takes.
Those who felt the weight of ignoring the business side of things – but did something about that.
Those who didn’t seek to blame anything – those who took 100% responsibility for their survival. Those who made friends with change… A while ago I asked our Martial Arts GB Business group on Facebook for some words – 3 things they attribute to their survival.
Here are some of thier responses;
Attitude, Action, New ideas – Robert Agar Hutton Mindset, Mental Strength, Attitude - Christopher Blade
Engagement, Enthusiasm, Passion – Colin Payne Previous forward planning, Passion, A Pinch of luck! – Kevin Cooke
Consistency, Enthusiasm, Positivity – Mike Shelton
What I find interesting, none of the attributes actually had anything to do with any of the circumstantial things, like their style or anything like that – every one of them had to lean in on their mindset.
I am in awe of some of the guys I’ve shared this journey with.
The level of commitment to preserving Martial Arts in the UK will be down to those men & women, scattered throughout Great Britain, who refused defeat.
What I know is, regardless of what the ‘matter’ is, the mindset is the magic ingredient between winning & losing.