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Martial Arts Drills: Great Drills To Keep You and Your Classes Motivated

Updated on September 21, 2014

Do your classes hate their martial arts drills too?

Practicing martial arts drills...this had to be the worst part about learning Karate.

After becoming a karate instructor myself and opening my own Dojo, I decided there was no way I would teach those same boring karate drills kids hate. So, I searched online for karate class drills and new ways to motivate my students and keep them coming back for more.

I was luck that a fellow teacher recommended I look into the Martial Arts Drills system. This program changed how I taught Karate and I found my classes having full attendance week after week. I'm going to share with you today some tips on keeping your drills fun and interesting.

martial arts drills
martial arts drills

Keep your martial arts drills moving with music

Think upbeat, HIGH ENERGY!

I've discovered that boredom has to be the number one reason that kids drop out of karate classes. These kids are doing the same old low-energy drills week after week. Hell, who wouldn't want to quit after that?

My first tip is to play high energy music. Each class I turn on high energy music with a driving beat. This sets the tone for our martial arts drills. You can see a visible change in the stance of each student in my class when the music comes on. There's something about the music which energizes them to push harder and be more engaged. It is like they begin to take on the energy from the music.

I've found that using high energy music in my classes along with using the fast-moving karate drills I found in Martial Arts Drills always help my students perform at a high energy level while helping them to improve their endurance and focus.

martial arts drills
martial arts drills

Turn your Martial Arts Drills into a Challenge

Give them something to compete for

I've found that it really motivates my students when I give them something to compete for. Everybody loves to win...especially when the prize is getting out of doing a hard set of strength-building drills!

Use focused karate drills to test your students. My favorite has to be the pushup challenge that I learned from . Whoever lasts the longest in this drill gets to sit out of the next drill which is usually a killer set of kicking drills. Since starting this drill I found at Martial Arts Drills in my classes, I'm finding that my students are not only getting stronger, but the desire to compete against each other keeps classes fun.

There are also other great challenges in this program which have even challenges the strongest student.

Hysterical martial arts drills and bloopers - See any of YOUR students in here?

Ok...I'll admit it...I actually made the same nun-chuck mistake in the video...and yes - it HURT! Never picked up a pair again after that...heh heh...

martial arts drills
martial arts drills

Adjust martial arts drills for different levels

Kids vs. Adults

Always keep your students in mind when deciding which martial arts drills to plan for your classes. Odds are you probably have a wide variety of ages; from the very young beginners to the more experienced teens and adults. For beginners, keep up the high energy but tone down the drills so they are doable. On the other hand, don't do beginner drills with older kids and adults - it's a sure way to lose students!

I've found that by using Martial Arts Drills, I can quickly search for drills that are appropriate for virtually any skill level quickly and easily! In fact, I usually find myself using one of the many ready-to-go lesson plans. This really saves me time and keeps the routines fresh!

My stress levels have also gone down and I am really beginning to see some new business come in due to referrals from my students.

Does your Dojo need help?

Check out this book:

Small Dojo - Big Profits

It provides invaluable advice which will help to increase your business in 2010!

martial arts drills
martial arts drills

2010 Advice for Dojo Owners / Future Dojo Owners

Information that helped get me back on track

As we go into 2010, I wanted to talk about making this year your best business year ever. Whether you are making the transition from teacher to owner or you currently own your own martial arts schooI; I wanted to take a moment to recommend some reading material to you called Small Dojo, Big Profits. Switching up your martial arts drills is only one way you can keep students. This book really helped me to change the whole way I think about my business and helped me pull my Dojo out of the red and back into black. These are the top 3 things this book taught me:

How to run a Dojo on a shoe-string budget Explicit instructions on how to choose a great location without spending a fortune on rent (this saved me a TON) Student retention strategies that work for all styles and systems (based on principles, not procedures)

I would highly recommend that you pick up this book. It was the foundation for helping me to rebuild my business after everything else failed.

What Martial Arts Drills do you find effective in your Dojo?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Maybe my lens can help you guys get started on martial arts,check it out!

    • TonfaGuy profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens.

      Some good tips and advice here.

      well done and thanks.


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow, these are great tips! They sure would help to motivate students, and martial arts practitioners in general.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I started jiu jitsu just 2 years ago and one thing is for sure , I am a very slow learner but I see so many progress at different speeds.

      I would siggest you add Bookmark Widget to your lens.

      Rebuild Toyota Prius Battery Guide

    • biminibahamas profile image


      6 years ago

      Good information! Thanks for sharing ...

    • savateuse profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens! Thanks!

    • AlokaRuwanpathi profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. Nice job!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh and I'm adding this to my featured Lenses!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is great advice! When I was studying as a kid drills were almost like tests. No one likes tests!

      You might like some of our training exercise videos, have a look:

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My boys, 6 and 3, don't do drills to music but they looooove their classes. The sensei is an ex police negotiator and has awesome people and kid skills. The sempais all follow his example and it's just a fabulous place to go.

    • lucky izan profile image

      lucky izan 

      7 years ago

      martial art and music, both will be perfect combination. in fact martial art always be related to any kind of arts such poetry, painting etc

    • TheBestGadgets profile image


      7 years ago

      These are really handy. I just added this lens to my lensography of the best martial arts pages on squidoo

    • LaurenIM profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh yes this sounds like a fun way to do martial arts drills! I can see why you use it.

    • BrandonSharp profile image


      7 years ago

      I LOVE the idea of using music to help with drills, but real traditionalist probably won't go for it. I had a TSD instructor that unfortunately didn't understand that you can maintain tradition, while bringing you training up to date.

    • Chris-H LM profile image

      Chris-H LM 

      7 years ago

      Our dojo had S.T.O.R.M. team members (Special Team Of Role Models) who helped teach class but also had extra things they would do in the drills (like extra or more difficult pushups, etc.) The other students looked up to the STORM team so they would try to do them as well.

      We would switch things up often and challenge them to always do their best no matter what. Sometimes we would have them shout "Black Belt Attitude!" in the middle of the drill.

      Great lens! Taking martial arts and becoming a Black Belt along with my son is one of the best things I ever did!

    • daedrea lm profile image

      daedrea lm 

      7 years ago

      nice is really awesome for a good workout

    • robinrags profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens. I like the music concept the best!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      7 years ago

      nice tips to keep the class motivated.

      Awesome job!

      Take a peek at my lens, Homeschooling 101: Guide to Free Curriculum and Other Resources.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice ideas!

      need cheap martial arts equipment?? take a look at or see for more links.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hah, these really are great. Thanks :)

    • tigerheartlegend profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow! what a useful lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great site

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love it - also I love the guitar

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome! I loved the video! :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      great lens!!


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