The Secret Weapon For Retaining Teen Students

“Every school owner has a huge problem once kids reach about thirteen years old. This is the age that kids leave martial arts to go and play high school sports,” says Mr. Jonathan Frank, a successful ATA school owner with three locations in Maryland. “Retaining teen students is almost impossible.”

“But my sparring program has 55 kids, all in that age range, and not one of them has dropped out this entire year since we started using 20/20 Armor. That’s a 100% retention rate of the most difficult student population to keep. Honestly I’ve never seen it before. 55 kids and not one of them quit. That’s amazing. That’s how it needs to be.” 

Industry standards show that martial arts schools lose 7% to 11% of their student body every month, which means that for every 100 students schools need to recruit 7 to 11 new students to replace them just to break even. A retention rate of 100% percent stops the revolving door and as a result his school is growing rather than maintaining.

Why is 71 District Championships Important?

“20/20 Armor has not only more than paid for itself through student retention,” says Mr. Frank. “It has given us the edge that allowed us to win 71 District Championships, more than any other ATA school in the United States.” 

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HOW DID HE RETAIN HIS TEEN STUDENTS ? 

Mr. Frank uses 20/20 Armor with his elite sparring competitive team which has 55 members. With 55 students it’s impossible to give everyone individual attention. But that’s where 20/20 Armor steps in. 

“20/20 Armor keeps my athletes honest,” says Mr. Frank. “I think the biggest thing is that it’s so easy that any of my guys can operate it.  So they can spar without a coach or a judge to give them individual supervision. They know when they get hit and when they land their strikes.  There is no “he hit me, he didn’t hit me”. There is accountability because they can see it right on the vest. I have 24 video game scoring vests. 24 athletes can train at once with just one coach.”

Mr. Frank trains with his sparring team for four hours at a time.  Any coach that holds long sparring sessions knows that students lose focus and that a lot of time can be wasted. With 20/20 Armor his students stay focused the entire time. 

“When they train and they hit, they know instantly that they did,” says Mr. Frank. “It’s what they are used to. It’s what they are familiar with. It’s just like getting a like on a photo. It’s what they have been learning to crave. Only it isn’t just attention they are getting, it’s a sense of accomplishment. When you give kids that feeling of accomplishment you’ll be amazed by what they can do.

WHY IS SPARRING SO IMPORTANT FOR RETAINING TEEN STUDENTS?

“Teaching kids to spar is the most important thing you can do that keeps them training at your school when they become teenagers,” says Frank. “The experience you get on the mat when you’re sparring is something you can’t get in any other sport. But kids are reluctant to take that leap. With 20/20 Armor they hear that they get to play video games in real life and they’re willing to try it out for the first time. It’s what they do at home but now they can do it with their friends. And they get addicted to it. 20/20 Armor is my secret weapon to keep students at my school as they reach their teens.” 

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