The martial arts are popular forms of physical activity, due to the benefits being more than just physical, especially in an individual’s formative years. Through building on many character traits and physical and mental resilience, a martial arts program can be a great addition to your parks and recreation offerings.
Starting one can be as easy as finding the right martial arts style for your community, looking to your local martial arts experts, and then marketing it to your city. Whether it’s Tai Chi in your park or Taekwondo lessons in your recreation center, here’s how to start a martial arts program at your parks and recreation organization.
Why Martial Arts?
Practicing martial arts is a long-term commitment and it’s one that can impact students for a lifetime. Through the level of difficulty of a martial arts curriculum, students tend to develop discipline, mental strength and health, and self-confidence, while building social bonds with other students and instructors. The martial arts also focus on respect and integrity, helping to build character within students.
Empowerment is common too, as students can learn how to defend themselves, while feeling stronger from the physical aspects of the practice. As well, martial arts can discourage physical violence, by providing a positive philosophy and guidelines. With so many great benefits for students, starting a martial arts program at your parks and recreation organization can bring with it many advantages.
Finding the Right Program
Surveys and research are important for determining what style of martial arts may be popular in your community. Neighborhoods with older community members, for example, may be more interested in a martial art such as Tai Chi, while younger communities may want to see Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu programs. Some neighborhoods will respond better to fitness-oriented martial arts classes and others will want a more traditional practice.
Self-defense classes are also a very popular introductory class that can be suitable for people not looking to take on the martial arts journey but who are still looking to reap some of its benefits. Take a look at some of the most popular forms in your area, to better examine possible opportunities and which style will resonate most with your community.
Private instructors can be risky to deal with, unless their credentials and student base are well established within your local area. Alternatively, one of your best options is to speak to a local martial arts school that’s popular in the area; they may not be ready to expand to a new location but they may be big enough to benefit from providing satellite classes at your recreation facility. Because they’re representing your parks and recreation organization, you’ll want to do your due diligence. Take some classes from the instructors who will teach at your facility centers and make sure they’re the right fit for your community.
Promoting Your New Martial Arts Program
A new martial arts program at your community center can make joining a high-paced school less intimidating, for some potential students who are nervous about joining. If it’s your community center’s first time starting a martial arts program, it can generate a lot of buzz and local interest. Get your social media team to profile your new lessons, possibly with some action footage of instruction or classes. Your newsletter can also do a great job building the excitement and showcasing the martial arts addition in your program guides should get your memberships flowing in.
For more information on how you can effectively manage these classes, take a look at our intuitive cloud-based solution, built to grow and manage your martial arts programs.
What new, exciting programs would you like to see offered at your parks and recreation organization? Let us know on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your PerfectMind news.