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How to Grow Your Martial Arts School During Back to School Season


It’s that time of year again. Time to connect with your school-aged students and get them re-enrolled in your programs. Otherwise, you miss out on one of the best ways to grow your martial arts school. As you know, the easiest way to do that is to host a few events. Then you catch them before they get involved in other school or community sports and activities.

To inspire you to do the planning and coordination to make this happen, we’ve got a few different ideas for you to try.

Recruiting events

If you had successful back-to-school recruiting events in the past, then go with what’s tried-and-true in your community. If not, try a few of the events we have listed here. We’ve seen them work well for schools like yours.

- Back to school pizza party
- Parent’s night out
- No bully workshop
- Hand target seminar
- Invite a friend night

For the best possible attendance, schedule both weeknight and weekend events. Publicize them by posting flyers in your school and local stores, creating Facebook events to alert your fans and followers, and ensuring your team personally invites everyone they can. You can also make a list of families you want to see again and call them with a special invite. Chances are, if you do that, they’ll come in.

Added Incentives

Offer a limited time enrollment incentive to ensure your event attendees become paying students. Two examples of great offers that work well this time of year are providing free uniform with enrollment, and offering a discount for sibling or family member enrollment.

If you’re hesitant to offer discounts or promotions, just remember that it normally only takes enrolling one child before the entire family starts taking classes with you. That means your average cost of new student acquisition is still low.

The Right Class Times

The next key element of turning back-to-school time into one of your best recruiting times is making sure that your classes support an influx of new students. Schedule for the two waves of after school students, both in regards to time and skill level. If you only provide classes right after school or mid-evening, or only offer beginner classes on the weekends, you’ll be missing out on enrollments.  

Team Involvement 

Meet with your team and get them excited to bring in new students. Remind them that they have the power to make this time of year success. Ask them to take a moment and personally invite students and their families. Personal invitations go a long way towards making students feel welcome and excited about being a part of your community.

Instructors should always announce your events at the end of each class. They should also praise students in front of their parents. When your team members give a little extra attention and time, your students will flourish.

Even though you’ve had these talks with your team before, giving them again reignites their energy and passion. To turbocharge the momentum around getting more martial arts students, consider running an incentive based contest for your team. Recruiting is as easy as turning to a sibling and asking them if they’ve ever tried martial arts, so do what it takes to get your team invested in this process.  

What do you do to grow your martial arts school?

We'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Share them by commenting below! Looking for other ideas about growing your school? Read why this martial arts school got rid of traditional marketing to grow their school

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John Rougeux

John is co-founder and CMO at Causely. When he's not trying to build the most philanthropic company in the world, he's probably hanging out with his wife and three daughters in Lexington, KY. You can also find John on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Matthew Watson

Matt is Customer Success Manager at Causely, where he does everything in his power to help our customers succeed. He loves sports, his wife, his dog, and the great outdoors, but not in that order. He may love his dog more than sports. You can find Matt on Facebook and Twitter.


Sarah Werner

Sarah is a writer, marketer, and brand specialist. She has experience in both non-profit marketing and financial development as well as for-profit content marketing and social media. She holds degrees in English and Art from Asbury University. When she’s not writing content for Causely, you’ll find her outside with a book or camera enjoying the company of trees. You can also find Sarah on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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