Martial Arts Industry

Leveraging Modern Gaming Strategies to Maximize Your School's Curriculum

Gamification of Personal Interactions

In a recent MAIA Elite seminar, Mr. Roland Osborne mentioned how he had updated his school's curriculum to create new sparring games or martial arts games in order to provide more entertainment to the students, or as he put it, a better student experience. Mr. Osborne qualified these new curriculum strategies as gamification of his course material.

Gamification is a new paradigm where business and educational institutions (for examples) are changing the way they engage their customers and/or students. It tries to move away from the mundane and in some cases, gamification of certain tasks simply tries to make jobs more enjoyable.

My personal interest of gamification began through my research of major corporations using gamification in their business marketing strategies …. rewards, challenges, even the use of a donut ring to track your savings … primarily to increase customer loyalty. Research also showed that Educational Institutions were looking at gamification in order to make the student experience more enticing, which to me was where I felt that martial arts schools could benefit from this new paradigm.

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The Covid-19 pandemic brought challenges to the martial arts industry that have never been seen before.

In my latest series of articles "Martial Arts After the Pandemic," I examined how school owners and organizations had to adapt to the new environment. Even though some school owners managed to find new ways to keep their businesses running, and keep students engaged, many took heavy losses.

While most school owners are clawing their way back from the economic abyss brought on by Covid-19, it will be years, if ever, that they can find a way to pay off the debt and unforeseen expenses brought on by the required shutdowns.

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In review of loss activity during the 2020 pandemic for Markel's martial arts insured, the most impactful events involved water damage. Water damage to any business can have a devastating impact. A martial arts studio can suffer downtime associated with water extraction and mat or floor replacement. During mat or floor replacement, a martial arts studio may expose their students to surfaces that are inappropriate for a particular activity resulting in an increased possibility of injury. Additional damage can involve damage to business personal property, such as computers, laptops, phone systems, pictures, and other memorabilia important to your dojo.

Swift actions are often necessary to reduce the extent of damage water can cause when it becomes an intrusive assailant.

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Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone, but if you want to be your best self on, as well as off the mats, you have to fight for it.

Recently, everyone's favorite BJJ Coach, John Danaher, wrote a very insightful post on Facebook, "It's natural to leave every workout strongly doubting whether you are making any tangible progress. This is because as you rise in skill level, EVERYONE AROUND YOU IS RISING AT ROUGHLY THE SAME SPEED AND THEY ARE LEARNING SIMILAR TECHNIQUES AND TACTICS, SO THEY KNOW MOST OF YOUR ATTACKS. As such, you never really feel like you're making forward progress. It's natural that you should feel discouraged by this – no one likes to expend large amounts of time and effort without result." This post hit home hard for me, and after sharing it on my personal Facebook page, it was clear that it hit home for many other BJJ practitioners as well…

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