Expectations of a Student..

Following on from my last post, I’m going to look at the students expectations of the product “Martial Arts”.

As I’ve said before, martial arts isn’t the same as buying shoes or a burger.

But unfortunately, we have to market our product as if it is.

Students come to the martial arts for many reasons:

  • Fitness
  • Self-Defence
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Social Events
  • Discipline

With so many reasons and the current need for instant gratification, how can we meet the needs and expectations of the student? Should we change the arts to suit?

Students train for their own reasons, these may change over time but if you don’t address their immediate needs they won’t stay. So at their first lesson, I ask their reason for joining, I ask what they are looking to gain from the arts and then get them to tell me a little about themselves.

It’s important that students and class are a good fit. If both are singing off the same hymn sheet, training will be fun.

If not, there will be a parting of the ways.

Expectations can change depending of the background of the student, instant gratification can be a major issue in the arts.

The first question many students ask isn’t about cost of classes but often how long it takes to get to black belt. They are usually surprised by my answer, 5 years.

That is a long term commitment for someone that is used to next day delivery, downloading a full series of a TV show or food delivered in 10 minutes.


Martial arts training is difficult, sore muscles and fatigue are the norm.

This to can be a shock for new students.

The question is do we want full classes that are easy, fun and inclusive with everyone passing every grade?

Or do we set strict standards and maintain the quality of the techniques we teach?

Well that’s a decision each instructor makes for themselves, I’m not here to judge either business model.

I try to meet the expectations and needs of my students but not at the expense of the art.

And when it comes to class sizes, I opt for quality over quantity.

If I could make all the lessons fun, then I would. But in the end I’m more about results.

Thanks for reading, hopefully see you at class..




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