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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    393

    Default Want to lend a hand with some dojo homework?

    I need to define what I'd consider a "successful" martial arts school. I have some ideas of course but I'd hate to miss something.
    Thoughts?

    Thanks.
    -Gary
    Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.

    “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    5,406
    Let's narrow it down---for sport, self-development or actual combat?
    __________

    "To spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary." Pournelle

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    1,371
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Spade View Post
    Let's narrow it down---for sport, self-development or actual combat?
    For financial gain. Who many people will run a school without that?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
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    44,570
    I did it professionally from 1982 to 1986. Unless you are a big name dude (I wasn't back then) you will need to have something for everyone. Not everyone is a Hoyce Gracie or a Tak Kubota that can choose to only teach advanced adult classes. So what did i do?

    There was no internet or any of that jazz so I placed ads in local papers, bought a yellow pages ad and had flyers put on cars that frequented the area on a regular basis. I rented out local middle and high school gyms for tournaments and events (the kind that are flashy and appeal to kids). The little kids - pain in the ass as they sometimes are - are what keeps the lights on and keeps the business open. Few schools earn more from legit adult training than from training kids.

    I arrived at the dojo at noon, returned calls from the answering machine, did some training, and had the first classes starting at 1500 HRS. The first class was PeeWee karate and in essence a baby sitting session for which the soccer moms paid $50 per month for an hour or two of after school martial baby sitting that allowed them to go do mom stuff. At 1700 HRS the first adults showed up. Then again at 6:00. Each class was a bit more advanced and I allocated time for them even if I had no students. At 1900 hrs the advanced students arrived for a general session and at 2000 HRS I closed the doors for my true adult combat class that went on until 2200 HRS. This last class was the true Karate class, and what was done before was to pay the bills and at best rated PG so I would not scare off moms and dads and others.

    This went on initially three days a week and then for six days a week. I added special training on Saturday comprised of kata and applications. Friday evening and saturday afternoon I had a Tai Chi class for older students.

    Oh, and I worked part time at a weight lifting gym in the evenings sometimes...evening being 2300 HRS to 0700 HRS.

    I did this for three...almost four years before I went into Law Enforcement. The traditional dojo model is not a good business model. The modern dojo model sacrifices true martial training for mass appeal. Its that way with few exceptions. I suspect when Gracie and Kubota first started up, they taught alot of little kids to keep the lights on.

    If I were to do it today, I would use a far different system, similar to what we have for the firearms stuff. But if you are an unknown, the reason people will attend your school is because its close to home and because they can afford it.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
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    5,731
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    Unless you are a big name dude (I wasn't back then) you will need to have something for everyone. Not everyone is a Hoyce Gracie or a Tak Kubota that can choose to only teach advanced adult classes. So what did i do?

    The little kids - pain in the ass as they sometimes are - are what keeps the lights on and keeps the business open. Few schools earn more from legit adult training than from training kids.

    The traditional dojo model is not a good business model. The modern dojo model sacrifices true martial training for mass appeal. Its that way with few exceptions.

    But if you are an unknown, the reason people will attend your school is because its close to home and because they can afford it.
    I just celebrated the 15 year anniversary of my dojo last month. I can tell you that everything Gabe said is true.

    I've tried to make the "traditional dojo model" as good as possible from a business sense. And it's been reasonably successful, but it will never be as lucrative as the modern dojo model. Some are better than others, but I have yet to see an example of a modern dojo model that has anything to do with real violence.

    One thing that really helps is having good partners that can share the load. Both in terms of time on the mat and business admin functions. But that cuts both ways...the more partners you have, the more profits must be shared.

    In my dojo, each of the partners has a day job. The dojo is a secondary, part time business. We don't rely on it for putting food on the table.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    393
    I see everything you say as true. "Self defense " stuff isn't popular when compared to the sport stuff around here either.
    Our dojo is shared with a judo, jiu jitsu and karate school. We do the combatives stuff. The other "schools" don't like it when we practice head stomps and attacking downed " opponents".... The highest ranked black belt in the Dojo has to come over and tell us that we're going to get into trouble if we "do this stuff for real". This man might know a few things about fighting but it's obvious violence is foreign to him. He even had the nerve to say our knife defense stuff was over the line. My sensei will respectfully listen and then let him know he's wrong but it proves the point.
    Lord knows What will happen when they see us doing the pistol Kata.
    Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.

    “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    5,731
    So aside from financial success...

    IMO one measure of success is the ability to do and teach what you think is important.

    If you want to focus on self-protection and combat (these being different things with some overlap), then do that. Don't be distracted by people who don't understand.

    Be strong in your convictions and firm in what you think is important. At the same time, be open to new knowledge, because hey, we all have things to learn. Also, recognize that you may be mistaken about some firmly held beliefs. The wise man assesses himself honestly - owning his skill and knowledge, but recognizing things change based on new knowledge and changing circumstances. Empty cup and all that.

    Remove the fetters of martial bullshit. Eliminate etiquette stuff that is meaningless, silly or unhelpful. Distance yourself from political BS that only serves others who have no interest in your success.

    Eliminate silliness. We are already silly enough running around in white pajamas.

    Be real. Be kind. Don't be a dick...and know when it comes time to break shit.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

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