Developing a Winning Team at Your Martial Arts School

3 min read


Building and leading a team is one of the most difficult aspects of any business. In the martial arts industry, a strong staff is paramount. Your staff, from instructors to front desk assistants, are often the first impression for your students and prospects. Beyond that, your staff members have the opportunity to change lives and create massive impact. When considering such importance, a thorough examination of your staffing process is crucial, especially hiring and ongoing development.

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Recruiting and Hiring

The hiring process is your school’s first line of defense in which your culture and long-term strategies are safeguarded. Successful hiring systems usually begin by recruiting highly qualified candidates. These candidates can come from a variety of sources, from student referrals to online job boards.

Depending on the position, you may find the most success in recruiting people who are already members of your community. Younger students who are passionate and knowledgeable about your community make great front desk associates. In a similar way, students who have followed your instruction for years and advanced through the ranks make great instructors for the same reasons, they are passionate and knowledgeable about your community.

Learning and Development

Your school’s learning and development plan should have two primary components, onboarding and ongoing development. The best way to ensure your new staff members follow operating procedures and understand the culture is to have documented systems in place.

Once your staff members are onboarded, show them you care about their development by investing in continuing education, mentorships and martial arts industry conventions.

Simply put, the ingredients of a winning team are firm hiring practices and a commitment to ongoing development. Fortunately, discipline, consistency and commitment are all familiar characteristics of martial arts communities. The overarching theme of these ingredients is unwavering care – care for your students, your staff members and your community.

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About the Author: Kelli Sweeting

I'm Coach Kelli, a devoted CrossFit gym owner with 15 years of experience managing my facility, along with owning yoga studios and wellness centers. Beyond the fitness world, I have a passion for cooking, cherish moments with my children and family, and find joy in spending time outside. Having experienced the highs and lows, I'm dedicated to leveraging my expertise to help you grow and succeed on your fitness journey.