Training the Trainer

Why smart schools invest in their instructors

For Brazilian jiu-jitsu and other martial arts schools, instructors are a crucial part of our business success, and at Infinity, we truly want to provide our instructors with great careers and opportunities.

But to have a great career, ongoing development is important — everyone needs to keep learning and developing — and from a business point of view, we want to see our instructors stay ahead of the pack.

For this reason, Infinity takes a four-pillar approach to ongoing staff training and development, which I’ll outline in more detail below:

  1. Face-to-face training

Our regional heads run a weekly training session that comprises two parts: ‘theory’ and ‘practical’.

  • The ‘theory’ part isn’t like school, but it’s where we go through our business processes, address any concerns or problems instructors are having in their clubs and generally have a chat about how to teach professional classes.
  • The ‘practical’ part sees all of the instructors training together – obviously a very high-level session. For this part we even invite some of our best students in, to make that session a bit tougher and to breed the next generation of instructors.

Face-to-face we also run our annual ‘Immersion Camp’ where we go through everything we’re adding to, or changing in the curriculums for the coming year. We also go through many of the key concepts to become a great martial arts coach, and instructors get to see the classes in action at our busy HQ academy. It’s a great experience and excellent way to be immersed in professional development for a full week.

  1. Ad-hoc consultation

Any of our instructors can also book in for a private phone call or one-on-one session. If they want to discuss business and how to run their schools then a phone call is usually fine, and if they want to brush up on some techniques or class plans, they can book in person for a private session. While it’s not mandatory, our franchisees have access to one session per month, as we think it’s a very valuable part of becoming a great full-time instructor.

  1. Annual overseas tour

We invite all of our instructors to join the team on an annual overseas training camp, exclusively held for Infinity instructors. We take them to the best academies in the world including in the US, Clark Gracie’s, Marcelo Garcia’s, Renzo Gracie’s; in the UK, Roger Gracie’s, Braulio Estima; in Denmark, Checkmat and the BJJ Globetrotter; and in Norway, to Frontline. This tour builds camaraderie amongst our leadership team, and everyone who’s been on one of these trips knows the value and the great life experiences it provides.

Sometimes when you teach only in your own school you can lose sight of the big world out there, but when you travel to the very best places you get a reality check and also get to see what’s happening at the edge of evolution in our sport. Some of our instructors had never travelled overseas before we took them, so they value it greatly and it’s one of the most anticipated events on the Infinity calendar each year. This year we’re off to the UK to Braulio’s and to Belgium and Germany to explore what’s happening in the developing parts of the BJJ world.

  1. Online Instructor-only Portal
  • Infinity has its own online instructor portal. This includes everything our instructors and franchisees need to run their martial arts school. We have all of our curriculums in video and PDF printable formats, with tips and common questions on each technique.
  • In addition to the martial arts teaching side of things, we also have all of our business processes and procedures there, with any forms we use available for download.
  • On the marketing side, we have templates for everything you can imagine – flyers, timetables, business cards, newspaper adverts, posters, stickers, etc.  We also have all of the knowledge-base on marketing there with blogs and articles written by our Chief Marketing Officer.

To me, even as an old-school bloke who started teaching BJJ on carpet in the back room of a gym, this is by far the most important resource we offer our instructors. They can logon at any time they want and get all the info they need to run a successful martial arts school. Harnessing this modern technology to teach better classes and run better gyms is a great leap forward. I can’t wait to see the future of our sport grow stronger due to these kinds of advances.

Neil-Owen

Neil Owen is the Head Instructor of Infinity Martial Arts. With over 20 years of experience in BJJ, he is also one of the early pioneers of the British BJJ scene. Neil is fast becoming known as one of the top instructors in Australian BJJ. With seven full-time academies in Queensland, plus one affiliate and another three opening in the United Kingdom this July, Infinity is the most promising franchise opportunity for BJJ clubs in Australia right now. 

To enquire about franchising or affiliating with Infinity please contact neil@infinitymartialarts.com.au — all enquiries are treated with the strictest of confidence.

neil-owen

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