Communication Beyond the Mat: Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Martial Arts Student Retention

How do you keep your dojo family strong and thriving?

It’s a question that goes beyond merely attracting new faces; it’s about nurturing the bonds within your existing student base.

Think about it—every roundhouse kick… every belt earned… it’s all part of the journey that keeps your dojo humming.

And, while top-notch instruction and curriculum are undoubtedly crucial to retaining students, there’s a whole other dimension that can help bolster student retention: that is, the moments that unfold beyond the mat.

Enter communication—a powerful tool that can weave connections and strengthen bonds.

In today’s world, where attention spans are fleeting, savvy martial arts businesses can leverage email and text communications to keep their students engaged and committed to their journey.

These touches can serve as gentle reminders of student progress, fostering a sense of connection that extends far beyond the mat.

After all, when students feel deeply connected, they’re far more likely to stay the course and remain committed to their martial arts journey.

Strengthening Martial Arts Retention Through the Use of Email & Text

So, you might be wondering, what exactly should you be saying to your students to foster that sense of connection and strengthen retention? Well, the options are endless, but let’s start with three impactful communications:

1. Personalized Birthday Greetings

Everyone loves to feel special on their birthday, right? Imagine the smile on your students’ faces when they receive a personalized birthday email or text from their martial arts studio.

It’s more than just a message; it’s a heartfelt reminder that they’re not just part of a class, they’re valued members of a martial arts family.

By acknowledging this important day, you’re not only making them feel appreciated, you’re reinforcing their sense of belonging within the dojo community.

2. Thoughtful Checking In/How Are You Messages

Life gets busy, and sometimes students might miss a class or two.

When this happens, seize the opportunity to extend a thoughtful “checking in/how are you?” message. It’s a simple gesture that goes a long way in conveying your concern for their well-being and progress.

By reaching out when they’ve been absent, you’re not only showing that you care about their journey, you’re encouraging them to stay on track and remain committed to their martial arts practice.

3. Elevating Achievements with Congratulatory Messages

As students progress through their martial arts journey and achieve milestones like earning a new belt, it’s essential to celebrate their accomplishments. Beyond the graduation ceremony, sending personalized congratulatory emails or text messages can add an extra layer of significance to their achievements. It’s a way of saying, “Hey, we see you, and we’re proud of you.” By acknowledging their hard work and dedication, you’re not only boosting their confidence, you’re strengthening their connection to the dojo.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

While the immediacy and cost-effectiveness of emails and text messages are undeniable, the impact of a mailed birthday card, a “we miss you” card, or a congratulatory card cannot be overstated.

Consider the last time you received a card in the mail.

It’s a rare occurrence.

And that makes the gesture even more memorable and impactful.

By sending cards in the mail, your martial arts business will stand out from the crowd, and at the same time, elevate its impact on students.  

Forming the Foundation for Financial Stability & Growth


Whether it’s sending a heartfelt birthday message, checking in when someone misses class, or celebrating achievements with a personalized note, every interaction strengthens our bonds.

And let’s not forget retention’s impact on a studio’s financial health. Strong communication isn’t just about keeping your dojo family close; it’s also about ensuring your business thrives. When students feel valued and connected, they’re more likely to stick around, boosting retention rates and ultimately contributing to the studio’s success. So, by investing in meaningful communication, you’re not just building relationships; you’re also helping secure the future of your dojo.

Raise Your Communication Game!

Set automated emails and text messages based on specific student criteria like birth date, days absent, and belt promotions. An easy and thoughtful way to strengthen student retention. 

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