The martial arts landscape has changed somewhat over the past 15 years—as have the expectations of its participants. Gone are the days where rustic dojos with bloodstained mats and a baptism by fire culture can thrive or even exist.
Training in martial arts, whether it is BJJ, Muay Thai, MMA or anything in between, is being pursued by kids, teens, students and professionals alike. And the physical environment they expect is clean, well maintained and, dare I say it, good looking.
Training in the martials arts teaches us that function comes before form. How something works is much more important than how something looks. That said it’s important to realise that how we present and maintain our gyms, sends a message to both our current students and to the new students coming through who’ve not yet stepped on the mat and are judging this book mostly by its cover.
It’s important we take the time to think about how we present our gyms
Little things can greatly impact conversion rates at the sales end of the experience, culture on a day-to-day basis and even retention of students in the longer term.
What is the first thing someone sees when they walk in the door at your gym? Is it clear where they should go or even if they’re in the right place?
Next time you go into your gym stop and look through the eyes of someone who’s never been there before—you might be surprised what you see. The physical space we spend so much time in everyday should always be clean, neat, organised and hygienic. And just as importantly we have a huge opportunity to also communicate the cultural ideas that matter to our gym, community and business.
Be thoughtful and deliberate in what you do (and don’t) put out there for all to see.
Choose wisely because it greatly affects your culture. And culture is king in the gym.
David Hart is the owner, Director and Head Instructor of Dominance Mixed Martial Arts which has operated in Melbourne for more than 13 years. He has a BJJ 2nd Degree Black Belt, is a multiple Victorian, National and Pan Pacific Champion in gi and no gi in both weight class and open weight, and has placed second in the Pan Americans gi and no gi.