An introductory lesson, or intro private for short is probably the greatest marketing tool at the disposal of every martial arts academy. Small or large.
Back in the old days, there was this shark tank mentality of putting all of the students together. Both beginner and advance. And letting them duke it out. Where only the toughest and most dedicated would survive and become members.
This weeding out process is probably why most Jiu Jitsu academies didn’t make it. They were ran by Bjj fighters geared towards developing other Bjj fighters. But your average guy off the street doesn’t want to be a fighter, a competitor, or train really hard.
Of course, there will always be a few that want the challenge.
But the majority of students starting out just want a fun and safe activity that will help them lose weight and stay off the couch.
This fact is hard for many instructors to understand. Especially those that are younger and compete frequently.
Any academy that wants to be commercially successful will need to put energy towards this demographic. People with probably no martial arts training or any active hobbies and looking for something different than the run of the mill gym experience or boring cardio.
People starting today often have no coordination or basic motor skills, and are probably overweight and out of shape.
The longer I teach the greater the amount of time that I spend working on fundamental human movements like: posture, squat, and balance.
This is where the intro private lesson shines.
Instead of having a fresh student jump right into a class with people more experienced on day one. We can use the intro lesson to introduce these basic, fundamental movements in a low pressure environment.
Have you ever tried to teach a new student how to shrimp while doing drills in a group class?
It’s not pretty.
The more experienced students often feel slowed down and the newer student(s) feel rushed and they almost never have enough time or instruction to get the technique down.
From a technical standpoint the intro lesson is a great way to introduce the movements and techniques that you deem essential to a student starting out in your academy.
Be it how to fall properly or spider guard. You can use this one on one time not only to put a greater focus on technique but to also introduce the new student to the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The philosophy behind our art form and why we choose to spend so much time on the ground.
This is especially important to a beginner. Knowing why we focus so much time and effort on the ground is one question that you will always have to address.
Especially for younger students and female students.
Students who spend one on one time with an instructor are more likely to stick with the training.
It’s as simple as that.
Taking the time out of your busy teaching schedule to spend time with a new prospective student is often the difference between having a new member sign up versus leaving to try out another academy.
As much importance as we place on techniques and competition. We often forget the power behind getting to know our students and becoming a part of their life.
Of course, there is no guarantee that a student will sign once you do the introductory lesson. But it will allow you the opportunity to connect on a much deeper level.
Larger academies can have more senior students hold the intro lesson while smaller academies might need the instructor to step in.
Whatever the case, the intro lesson can definitely take your academy to the next level.