As martial arts instructors we try to find ways to keep our classes interesting and engage our students. It's important that in every class students are learning, building skill and strength, and enjoying themselves in the process. This leads to long term, dedicated martial artists. Here are a few points I like to keep in mind each week when I'm planning out my classes.
Choose a Class theme: When planning classes I like to have an overall goal or theme I'm focusing on. For example, some classes I plan to work the push kick from all angles, how to use it, how to defend it. All pad work, partner drills and sparring drills relate to that theme. It helps guide your class and ensure students are getting the opportunity to really drill and improve in that area.
Focus on Curriculum:
Whatever style of martial arts you teach, be sure to focus on your curriculum in every class. It's important to make sure students stay motivated by staying on track with testing and belt ranking. If they aren't learning the material, that's on you as an instructor. Be sure to spend a good portion of your class on curriculum and add some additional skills or fun games as a treat toward the end of the session.
This is really key especially when teaching younger students. If you spend too much time on one skill without any variations, students start to lose focus and fidget. Know how long you have for each class and plan your drills accordingly. When writing your plans, make note of how much time you'll spend in each area. Make sure to spend enough time on each skill so that students can practice and improve, but don't make it so long that it becomes mundane. You can spend more time on a skill if you vary the drill. For example, have students practice their front kick technique in the air for 2-3 minutes, then have the kick a target for several minutes, then have a fun contest and see who can perform the most front kicks in one minute. Remember that attention spans are increasingly short these days and we as instructors have to come up with creative ways to keep training interesting.
I hope you found this useful and please subscribe for additional monthly content on ways to be a better martial artist, instructor and school owner!