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Four Rules for Getting Students to Leaderhip

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

Martial arts instructors want the best for their students. It’s our job and our mission to help those around us reach higher levels of intensity and productivity.  We create drills and lesson plans to help our students but don’t over look these four very important rules for helping others become their very best.

#1 Find and Promote the Good

Make what is bigger.  What I mean by this is that its easier to improve focus if the individual already believes he can learn.  It’s easier to encourage intensity if the student already knows she is a hard worker.  A good instructor is going to be aware of what detail must be corrected and what change needs to be made.  A great instructor will know the improvements that need to occur and will be able to promote the student as someone who can achieve those levels of performance. Leadership is fostered by recognizing and amplifying exisitng traits in their positive forms.

#2 Let the Student Make Mistakes

If you have teenagers you know how hard it is to watch them make mistakes that you had once made without saying “don’t do that… don’t go there… don’t hang out with that guy he is a wet mess…”. However, you made those mistakes and you learned.  Mistakes are a part of the learning process.  It’s entirely okay (and actually effective) to let the student do the move and wobble.  Jumping in to correct every detail can overwhelm the student and create paralysis by analysis.

As a tip try explaining to the student how the technique will feel when they get it right and give them time to try to find the correct feeling.  For example – When you counter punch correctly you will feel as if the block and the counter are only one move.  When you complete the throw correctly you will feel as if you are lifting a very light weight.  When you throw the kick properly you will feel a connection of energy that starts in the floor travels through your core and ends at the end of your kick.  You will know the feeling of winning. These types of statements will get the student to think deeply about the movement and will encourage discovery and curiosity.

#3 Set Up the Environment

Make sure you do everything you can to promote a safe and exciting training environment.  Play high energy music, celebrate success and encourage team support.  Use great equipment and implement unique training tools.  Keep your academy and yourself immaculate.  Welcome students and parents.  Look around your school and make sure you can say, “I love this place, I’m proud to be working here.” Show leadership in everything you do.

#4 Be Great

You can not inspire happiness from depression.  You can’t develop strength in others if you don’t have strength yourself.  Train outside of your comfort zone.  Challenge yourself by taking the next step as a martial artist, business owner, teacher.  This means pushing through excuses and justifications and even current truths.  Do you use statements like… I can’t because of (fill in the blank with favorite excuse).  I tried that and it didn’t work.  My team won’t listen to what I say.  Or the heavy weight champion of excuses… “I can’t afford it.”

It’s up to you to find a way to succeed. Of course all of the ducks are not in a row right now, if they were you would already have what you desire. Your work is getting the ducks to line up in height order and say “sir” when you call set.

If you want to inspire power, hit hard.  If you want to encourage work ethic then set a goal and achieve it on time.  If you desire to inspire desire then have big dreams for yourself and a big vision for your academy. If you want to inspire wealth and abundance, buy a yacht. If you want to inspire creativity then stop reading this article and plan an unbelievable class that will blow your students away.

Send us an email to And let us know what city you are in. If we don’t have an academy in your city, we have a network of friends, and we can put you in touch with what you need: professional support for a competent, structured, effective martial arts program.

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