If you’re going to open a martial arts school, please beware that you will have to deal with troublemakers. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen the martial arts movie where a karate teacher is busy teaching class for example, and all of a sudden, a bunch of clowns from a rival school show up and want to fight. If you think this scene only happens in the movies, you are sorely mistaken. It is not uncommon to have challengers come into a martial art school looking for a fight. As the proprietor of a martial arts school, I have seen troublemakers come in many forms, some subtle, some not so subtle. If you plan on running a martial art club, you really need to understand how this can happen and what to do about it.
We once had a rival school send a drug-crazed maniac who walked into a class with the purpose of hurting people. Another sent two women who openly wanted to challenge our female instructors. One of these women actually lunged at me! These people are dangerous intruders bent on violence. We have not hesitating in resorting to legal action by calling the police and getting our lawyers involved. As the head instructor, you are responsible for the safety of your students. Send someone else to call 911, while you try to calm the situation down before the police arrive.
Most troublemakers don’t come in packs like they do in the martial arts movies. Very often, a rival school or local street fighter registers as a student with your club and his primary goal is to challenge your students and pick fights. These people are not interested in forms, technique, or fitness. Martial art schools don’t like to turn paying students away, so I take a “wait and see” attitude. If a perspective student is so obnoxious, you are within your rights to reject him as a member of your club and tell him to go elsewhere.
Street fighters want to prove themselves. They are there to fight. I usually handle these people myself or delegate their training to an experienced fighter/instructor who will be able to handle him skillfully. I built my first school on local street fighters who came here for a challenge and ended up being loyal students. Individuals from rival schools are there to cause trouble. They are either sent by their instructors or are there on their own. Their mission is to check out your operation and cause disruptions. This comes in the form of challenges to you or your students. They will also berate your style or the way you do things. Again, I usually handle these people myself or pair them off with a skilled fighter/instructor. Whether it’s the blatant challenge or the Trojan Horse, always be vigilant. While the challenges are not as dramatic as they are in the movies, they do exist. This is a business that tends to attract this type of element.
Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness
507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851