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Jorx
04-18-2002, 05:02 PM
Hello everyone.

I thought it was time for a monetary and materialistic type of topic:)

So:
I guess noone denies it that MA is usually a bussiness as well. Even when sensei earns his money from somewhere else, you still need to pay the rent, buy equipment etc etc. Therefore you need students to pay you.

Now comes the big question:

How to sell Aikido? Who to sell it to?

How to advertise it? To draw people into it? Who should be the people who would likely like Aikido whom you should target?


If you want to bother yourself with a more specific wireframe: small town in post sovietic country (50 000/120 000 inhabitants) most of the rich ppl have awfully lot of work so no time for MA:) quite many students but they don't have much money. Women are not easily drawn into these things, kids want to learn how to kick ass. The market is crowded with different types of Karate-Do but several other MA as well. Your dojo conditions are okay but not that fancy you could name it an exclusive sportsclub. You are short of tatamis and other equipment. So every dime you spend counts

First thought I got was a slogan: "Aikido - a martial art for a thinking human being" or smth like that. But that's pretty much all I got. How did You start your dojo and get ppl in it? How SHOULD one do it? :confused:

Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai
Riveta Sportsclub

JW
04-18-2002, 08:03 PM
My dojo just had its second yearly open house.
It is mainly a demo designed to show people
just what Aikido is; indeed its purpose is to
"sell" aikido.
It has both times been marketed toward people
who have heard of aikido or at least are interested
in MA.
This year for my part of the demo I wanted to
express my own opinion of who it should be
marketed to (different people got to do their own
part of the demo):
I think one of the best and most valuable
potential "customers" are people who are
interested in peace--people turned off by the
idea of fighting and by their ideas about MA.
So I thought, lets market it as "the way of peace"
and have my part of the demo highlight the
fact that Aikido, while remaining firmly in the
realm of budo, in which one might be drawn into
conflict, Aikido is in a very real sense non-violent.
Peaceful to everyone, attacked and attacker, Aikdo
is a way to remain safe in the most dangerous
conflict while allowing for the choice to calm the
conflict rather than escalate it.
This unfortunately presented a problem: the only
way I could think of to show that Aikido is non-
violent to a person who hates violence was to
show what WOULD be violence compared to
how an Aikidoka chooses something else in an
identical situation (ikkyo contrasted with drawing
out uke's arm and breaking the elbow for example).
In other words, half of my demo idea for our Aikido
dojo was non-aikido. That was kind of weird, and
the idea was trashed. It also would make someone
who IS interested in MA but unfamiliar with aikido
say, hmmm why should I join here instead of
somewhere where they DO show me how to do
that stuff that looks so "effective?"
So that's my story.. I really think Aikido should be
marketed toward those who want to learn how
to safely preserve the peace that they want so
much, but it is hard to quickly show to a layman
that Aikido is indeed this (after all, it might look
violent since there is always this one guy standing
and one being thrown down to the ground or
being held down and restrained).
Sorry I couldn't give a good answer.
--JW

Greg Jennings
04-18-2002, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by Jorx

I guess noone denies it that MA is usually a bussiness as well. Even when sensei earns his money from somewhere else, you still need to pay the rent, buy equipment etc etc. Therefore you need students to pay you.

We're lucky enough to have a situation where we pay no rent. The dojo members (that usually means Sensei and me) contribute everything else that's needed.

Being free from monetary concerns keeps things on the honest side.

Best,