How to build up Muay Thai program?

We are looking for some ways to help "boost" our MT program. We are very fortunate to have Matee Jedeepitak teaching out of our school in Michigan. Our dilemna now is how to "drum up business"? Obviously we can't send out advertisments to other martial art schools and say "Look what we have!" Should we just do it like any other martial arts schools w/ mailers and flyers? Any help would be appreciated.

Just some quick ideas....


-Have promotional muay thai postcards printed up, slip one in every martial arts book in every barnes and noble and book staore in the area, leave them in cafes, schools, and highly trafficed area

-Host a free self-defense class that anyone can attend, have your MT teacher teach a part of the class or all of it

-Demonstrations at cultural events, promote Muay Thai as a cultural thing

-Contact gyms in tha area that do not offer any cardio kick-boxing and explain to them that you will offer a discount on lessons for any of their students that wish to train muay thai at our school, promote the idea that you will generate cross revenue as martial artists often also belong to a gym

-Send out a press release to local papers extolling the virtues of your instructor and how unique he is the the area, depending on the size of the paper they may love a "Thai Champion to teach local kids" story.

I'm in the same boat right now. My enrollment is staying pretty constant. My program has really solidified into a good program with strong core of dedicated students, plus we have a former Thai champ from the 70's teaching for us, also.

I've printed up some very simple flyers. Across the top of my flyer, it merely says:

Muay Thai: The Original Art of Kickboxing

Then there's a really cool photo of some Muay Thai fighters kicking each other.

Underneath is our school info, with the phone # listed in the largest font available.

I try to pass these around to people, hang them up in Starbucks and places similar that have bulletin boards. We looked into advertising in a local paper, but its WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. We just can't justify that type of advertisement.

I'm also working on a flyer aimed at females who are interested in the physical fitness aspect of training. I'm toying around with different ways to get the message across that even if you aren't interested in training to fight, Muay Thai is a GREAT way to get into shape and learn some effective self-defense techniques.

Khun Kao

Yep, my class hasn't grown at all in the last few months. I think you just to make it as known as possible. Unfortunately things like Muay Thai or any hard-core style of kickboxing are just not popular in the Detroit area. Most successful schools are that way because they are watered down and oriented towards families and kids.

"Most successful schools are that way because they are watered down and oriented towards families and kids."

That is what I think the crux of the matter is. I toyed around for about a year with watering the program down and making it more recreation-oriented, and you know what? It SUCKED!!!!

I finally got a few young adults in my class who were interested in serious training, and I've been steadily picking up the pace in my classes. For each new, serious student I get in class, I lose on of my slackers, so my class enrollment is staying pretty constant.

I wish I could get more people in class, but would be totally happy if I'm just able to keep the guys I have now. They're really busting their asses and training hard. I'm no longer getting complaints.

Khun Kao

KK... sounds like a cardio KB class is in your future... u know high energy music... girls in sports bras... it works for us... one of the most popular claases at our gym... too bad we don't reap the $$$ benefits tho...

TTT thanks guys! I can't read these right now, but I will when I get home....anyone else?

MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Girls in Sports Bras...

yep...... every Weds for us... that way we don't waterdown our 'real' program... and I know how Va gets down so if u start a program like that... I'm sure we can work out a guest instructor type deal ;-D...

"I'm also working on a flyer aimed at females who are interested in the physical fitness aspect of training. I'm toying around with different ways to get the message across that even if you aren't interested in training to fight, Muay Thai is a GREAT way to get into shape and learn some effective self-defense techniques.

Khun Kao "

I actually feel that is THE most important thing about advertising/promoting a MT program. Obviously not everyone is going to training hardcore w/ hopes of banging shins in a MT fight. On the other hand we don't want it to become a "TaeBo" class either. It's that in-between level that I feel should be established.

Angelo....

Yeah, thats exactly how I feel too. I'm trying to find a that comfortable level of training that meets the greatest number of peoples expectations and needs. I've had a really bad track records in my attempts to do so in the past.

Right now, I'm simply conducting a medium to hard level Muay Thai class which everyone participates in. Novices to advanced level students, including fighters all workout together. I just try to make sure that my students trade partners constantly throughout class so that the less experienced students get the opportunity for some individual attention from an advanced student or fighter who can give them pointers and/or instruction.

Sometimes I will grab a partner and perform the drill, other times I "float" around offering pointers to everyone throughout a drill.

I'm *really* happy with my current class format. But I realize that the training isn't quite that in-between level that would help draw in a bigger crowd. I try to schedule LOTS of contact drills during my classes, and that does not appeal to a large number of people.

Khun Kao

Institute a cardio-kickboxing class that runs in and around the same time as the Muay Thai class. Go to all the strip clubs and hand out business cards, offering the strippers free cardio-kickboxing classes for a week if they show the card - espouse the benefits of the class in helping them keep their weight down, etc. and maintaining their lithe figures. With strippers in the cardio-kickboxing classes, men will soon follow. The men will soon see the Muay Thai class going on at around the same time and eventually, some of them will filter over there.

;-)

Flash - you are a pretty sharp guy.

The only thing is, and it sounds like KK has come to terms with this somewhat, is that an atmosphere you are going to be comfortable with? Once you get the ball rolling that direction you might not like where it leads. On the other hand you migh pick up some bouncers who want to go hardcore.

Actually, I was joking.

Angelo,

Could you send Matee Jedeepitak to Los Angeles for a week or so?? :o)

Maybe an affiliation program could find pockets of high interest while expanding the reputation of your program. You might even develop a nationwide or international network.

I know of a grappling class that did something similar for a couple weeks. Quickly changed directions.

ttt

DOOD. The cardio program is ify at best. I know THAI BO makes it seem like they got tons of customers...but from the classes I've seen at CARL RUNK's in FAIRFAX VA. Well...they started off great...but then next thang u hear is these peeps go into YOGA or sumthang less strenous...girls seem to jump on the WHAT's FAD NOW programs. No offense to serious chicks. Another thang was most of the cardio kickboxing classes I've seen had some FAT chicks in it! EWWWWWWWWWWWW...

3 words:

First Month Free!

Plastered in big letters over your door, those who don't like MT won't come back after 1 day, and a month is long enough to get attached to a group and not want to switch again.

Either that or you could try going around to other schools and kicking hell out of the instructers in front of ther students, then leaving flyers.

j/k (that last part, sort of)

Hmmmm....

That is DEFINATELY food for thought. I'll have to discuss this with the school owner and get his thoughts. I don't make the business decisions, but I make recommendations and suggestions. (some of which are occassionally taken seriously)

Khun Kao