How to Teach Intro Lesson 1
Trial Lessons: What to Teach
What you teach in your trial lessons or introductory course must be consistent with what you’ve promised you’d teach the student. In other words, if you’ve promised that you teach students how to use self-discipline and control, then your lessons should clearly point out how what you’re teaching develops those life skills.
When new students see and feel the value in the training they’re receiving, they’ll want to continue in your program.
This week, we’re going to cover what to include in the first lesson of your trial course. Depending on your curriculum and program, some of the techniques you teach may be different, but the benefits and key points you’ll discuss will be the same.
Trial Lesson Overview
Each trial lesson is about 15-20 minutes long. It’s best taught in a private or semi-private scenario and if you’re teaching a child, with the parents sitting right there and watching.
New students are given their uniforms minus the white belt. They are to be earned at the end of the second lesson.
This lesson does not have to be taught by a black belt. Anyone can learn to teach this well with some practice.
Prior to this lesson, you will have interviewed the student and/or parents to determine what they want out of the martial arts. You will see many areas where you can customize this lesson to directly address those areas and clearly demonstrate how the martial arts, at your school, will benefit them.
In our lesson example, we’ll use the practical jab and front kick as the main techniques. Students respond directly to these as they are clearly effective and pretty easy to do.
We do not suggest you go into deep torturous horse stances or forward walking stances or anything that isn’t clearly effective or that may be too much too soon for a beginner.
The goal of the first lesson, is to excite the student enough to make them want to return for the second lesson and to teach them enough to test them for their white belt in the second lesson.
Next, we’ll move on to give you a brief overview of the content of the actual first lesson.
What to Teach in the First Lesson
I’m going to give you a brief overview of what to teach in your first lesson, brief that is compared to the 10-page trial lesson script in my book “The Truth About the Martial Arts Business” and the article found at the Martial Arts Teachers website you can access by clicking here.
It’s important to have a set structure for teaching trial lessons that all instructors follow for consistency and that everyone teaches with a high amount of energy and enthusiasm.
Here is what to cover:
1. Welcome to the School – a brief explanation of style taught, the balance between the body/mind; responsibility to not misuse the training, goal of earning black belt=personal excellence for all students;
2. Give examples of how to use personal/Black Belt Excellence at home, at the job, in school, with parents, etc;
3. Teach the two most important techniques-respect and focus. A. Explain what respect is and why it’s important to demonstrate it; use a handshake, waiting for a turn to talk, and a bow to explain it. B. Explain what focus is and why it’s important. Give examples of concentrating on the task at hand 100% without being distracted, and being ready to learn and pay attention. Tie it in with your attention position.
C. Call them to their attention position a few times and remind them it stands for focus/concentration and self-control and then have them bow and remind them it stands for respect.
4. Briefly teach a guarding stance, jab, and front kick. Be sure to explain the benefits of learning each and after they’re tried each technique a few times, have them do each a bit faster, and on a very soft foam “blocker” style target. (This way injuries are not likely if they don’t use proper technique yet)
5. Review everything you’ve gone over and ask questions along the way such as to show you the attention position that represents concentration and focus and the bow represents what? “Respect sir!”
6. Preview what you’ll do in the next lesson. Next time, I’ll review everything we did today and teach you two new techniques….and at the end of class, we’ll test you for your white belt!
Get them excited and set or confirm their next lesson.
It’s a good idea to present to them the options for joining the school. This eliminates the “I want to talk to my…” or “I want to think about it.” If they return for the second lesson, odds are they are ready to join.
Action Steps: What to do now
1. Visit Martial Arts Teachers and review the additional information on teaching trial lessons found here.
2. Evaluate your own trial lesson structure and make positive changes that you feel would benefit your students.