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Brian Gillaspie
08-07-2010, 07:51 AM
I've been involed in Aikido for several years now and have never been too successful at getting people (friends, coworkers, relatives, strangers) to give Aikido a try. Other students in my dojo have the same problem.

What do you think are the best methods to get people into the dojo and try out a class?

Marie Noelle Fequiere
08-07-2010, 10:31 AM
Well, it's just that not everybody likes martial arts, the same way not everybody likes apples or onions. You have to respect that.
Besides encouraging people to come watch a class or even offer a free trial class, there isn' t much that you can do.
I am the first woman ever in my family to enjoy martial arts, and they all think I'm a little looney.
I know that a lot of people have trouble figuring out the fun of having someone inflict even the slightest pain on them. I also know that a lot of women do not like being told to trim their finger and toe nails short.
Just respect other people's tastes. They might no know what they are missing, but you and I might also be missing a lot of fun from other activities that we do not care to try. For example, I am trying to figure out the fun in golf, and I just do not get it.
I may not know what I am missing.;)

David Yap
08-07-2010, 11:55 AM
I've been involed in Aikido for several years now and have never been too successful at getting people (friends, coworkers, relatives, strangers) to give Aikido a try. Other students in my dojo have the same problem.

What do you think are the best methods to get people into the dojo and try out a class?

Why? To get more people to share your grief?

mathewjgano
08-07-2010, 01:43 PM
I've been involed in Aikido for several years now and have never been too successful at getting people (friends, coworkers, relatives, strangers) to give Aikido a try. Other students in my dojo have the same problem.

What do you think are the best methods to get people into the dojo and try out a class?

I've always had the view that if something is useful and available, "why wouldn't you incorporate it?" So, I've experienced this too when I was quick to suggest the idea that people might want to, "learn a little Budo." The best method I've found, however, is to not try. I believe most folks aren't very interested in learning a martial art, let alone being convinced or otherwise compelled to learn one. The best thing I could recommend would be to simply express your enjoyment of it where the situation naturally presents itself and hope others take note.
I know in the past I've sensed when a friend was trying to get me interested in something and that usually just made the effort feel contrived...Of course that's just me and mine, but I think it's a good rule of thumb to consider whenever I feel like I have something of value I want others to have too.
Take care,
Matt

fisher6000
08-07-2010, 02:27 PM
Why do you want to get people to try? Honestly, I think it's a weird thing to try to convince people to do.

My husband is very supportive of me, watches tests and thinks the concepts behind aikido are fascinating, but he's got zero desire to train. His motivations are totally reasonable. He thinks it's fun to watch and obviously good for me, but also kind of overly intimate, painful, frightening, a little disgusting and weird. He thinks I am insane to spend my summers in a smelly, unairconditioned room with way too many clothes on doing vigorous exercise. He thinks it's gross when I come home smelling like someone else's sweat. He is not interested in loaning a training partner his body, and doesn't want to take responsibility for someone else's body. He thinks dojo politics are nutters. Conflict doesn't interest him. Nikkyo is painful. He would rather ride his bike.

I can't help but imagine that most people look at aikido and see what my husband sees: a fascinating but frightening hour of highly ritualized armtwisting in a fraught social landscape.

I think it makes more sense to admit that, while aikido is obviously this intense and wonderfully enlightening thing for some people, the majority point of view is pretty accurate.

Brian Gillaspie
08-07-2010, 03:09 PM
I completely agree that Aikido is not for everyone and I am not trying to recruit every person I see into the dojo. I just know that Aikido has been good for me and would like to share it with other people I know but I don't push it on them. I have had people constantly push me into doing things and I know I find it annoying.....and it usually doesn't work.

I guess I also could have changed my initial post to something more like "how do you get people to come through the door of your dojo so you can build up and maintain a student base". I am in the process of getting classes started at a local YMCA and I am having a hard time getting people to sign up even when we are offering two free weeks of classes.

fisher6000
08-07-2010, 04:13 PM
Oh, I see. That is a different question.

I think that if I were marketing an aikido club, I would focus on the "Aikido in Everyday Life" and "anti-bullying" angles.

I got into aikido because I wanted to handle conflict better, and I think this is a more or less universal aspiration. I signed up for a class at the rec center where I was going to grad school and was immediately entranced because the sensei was pretty good at talking about the Terry Dobson angle, thinking about how these concepts on the mat relate to concepts in the office or your marriage or whatever.

A lot of my friends with young children really want their kids to do aikido when they're old enough because they are worried about bullying.

These two ideas feel really related to me, and so I would organize around getting the idea out there that aikido is a healthy way to organize your thoughts about conflict, so that you can be more loving, sidestep bullies, etc. Blogs and social networking tools make this easier than ever--you can become an expert on these ideas by just writing about them regularly and having an honest, thoughtful opinion.

scarey
08-07-2010, 08:51 PM
I've been involed in Aikido for several years now and have never been too successful at getting people (friends, coworkers, relatives, strangers) to give Aikido a try. Other students in my dojo have the same problem.

What do you think are the best methods to get people into the dojo and try out a class?

By nature, humans are simply social, which is why you aren't doing Aikido by yourself. That there *are* other people who want to do this is already a benefit that establishes social proof.

So you have to think about how to get them to want to twist their wrist, bend their back and walk on their knees. Inviting them to try that for a free class is probably a much more difficult approach then telling them that a few friends from the dojo are going to a pub and that he or she should go. This does the following:
1. invites them to join a social circle which is a much better entrance
2. lets them see that people are able to walk out of class in tact!
3. Gives them a chance to experience what your dojo's culture is like prior to having their elbow put behind their head.

Buck
08-08-2010, 01:38 AM
I was in a YMCA class and it failed. Traditional am told, meaning 20 or more years back a YMCA was ideal. Now it seems not so. Those who seek out a YMCA, are specifically geared exercise minded. They are joining the "Y" because they need weight loss, or something along those lines. They seem not interested in Aikido. UNLESS.....you are teaching mostly to kids. Even then Aikido isn't like Karate or TDK that seems to appeal to the parents.

Meaning if the "Y" doesn't take off then this could be the reason.

We found more success after the "Y" when we where in a neutral location. The Ye Ol' Strip Mall. The traffic there was less specialized. All sorts of people pay visit to the mall and we got more interest. What really helped too was the Sensei letting people know we existed there, and the decor of the dojo, and its space. It wasn't in a gym any longer. It didn't seem like you where in a gym. The atmosphere felt like a dojo. It was clean and not noisy, it was organized and not make shift. Call it ambiance, but that really helped.

In a nut shell, atmosphere is important, and location where there is exposure to general, generic high traffic.. That is my 2 cents.

Shadowfax
08-08-2010, 06:55 AM
Don't forget we live in the age of the internet. Having a website is pretty much a must for any small business venture. I found my dojo by doing web searches for aikido in my area and emailing back and forth with the sensei. A lot of the people who come in to watch class have said the same. In the last yeah I only recall one call (of the ones I have heard about) that found us in the phone book, the rest were either word of mouth from existing students or results of web searches.

As a student I talk a lot about my classes to my friends and co-workers. They see what it has done for me and that does interest them. I have invited them to just come watch me play or watch a test and join us for the after test pizza or to the dojo picnics just to socialize and watch. But out of all of the ones I have gotten to come only one actually tried a class or two and even he didn't last long.

Getting a dojo established is something, I would think, takes quite a long time.

dps
08-08-2010, 07:01 AM
... and location where there is exposure to general, generic high traffic..

The best method I've found, however, is to not try.

Just show what you do to a large number of people and let them come forward on their own.

David

SeiserL
08-08-2010, 08:12 AM
Mindfully model that its fun and beneficial.

Aikido is not for everyone. (Actualy, its a pretty small niche.)

"Let" them, don't "get" them. Isn't that Aikido?

Adam Huss
08-08-2010, 11:51 AM
What made you interested in aikido and why did you start training?

Shannon Frye
08-08-2010, 03:52 PM
Martial arts aren't for everyone. Among those who DO martial arts, Aikido represents an even smaller group.
And for some, it's about being at a place in your life where you can accept what Aikido can teach you. When I started, I was ready for the physical that the art offered, but wasn't able to transcend the lessons 'off the mat'. Still working on that.

danj
08-08-2010, 06:11 PM
Good work on opening a dojo, its a fantastic thing to do and really rewarding in serindipitous ways. A common maxim i heard is 'its hard to open a dojo, but even harder to keep it running'

I think there is a lot that can be earned from the McDojo's out there. You can have the best teachers, facilities, students in the dojo but if no-one knoews about it its not going to attract new students. I read and enjoyed Gradens 'Black Belt Management' book on opening and running a martial arts school which has tons of ideas. It was a good book in helping me decide what I did and didn't want to do in order to run a successful dojo, some of the ideas I implemented some i didn't, (some ideas made me cringe actually).

One of the big keys to success was getting the word out there and we tried many things. In talking to friends that ran dojo in other places I noticed what worked depended quite a bit on local culture/demographic. For us a good website that ranked well on search engines on popular topics related to aikido, then getting those people to turn up to the dojo, getting those that turn up to try a class and getting those that tried a class to stay...etc etc.. was what worked.

I tracked the retention over 10 years (god help me I'm a scientist couldn't help myself) and found several places where we tended to lose students and adjusted activities in the dojo to help tweak those a little.

Some time ago I presented a summary of the basic findings at a national seminar as a workshop on runnning a dojo. Together with our actual statistics kyu by kyu. we found that around 1 in 500 students gets a black belt, which was quite sobering - its a lot of work do develop a new instructor and they often aren't around all that long neither :(

You might find ot of some intrest to read
Growing a Martial Arts dojo in Brisbane (http://www.aikidorepublic.com/articles/growing-a-dojo)

I also plotted a projection chart of final student numbers based on the number of walkins a month, its not rocket science and lots of reasons why it may not work in all dojo but we found it useful.

happy to talk more if its interesting/ helpful

best,
dan

bulevardi
08-09-2010, 12:47 PM
For some reason I notice lots of times that people from an Aikido dojo always have to ask people around them to come to their dojo... They have to lure them to the dojo to get them interested.

While other dojo's like of taekwondo, karate, ... get members just by existing, without having to ask everyone to get interested. Those people were already interested to come to the dojo.

That's because of some reasons:
- aikido is not that known yet
- other martial arts are more impressive to watch and practice
- both reasons go hand in hand.

Shadowfax
08-09-2010, 01:14 PM
They have to lure them to the dojo to get them interested.

Not always.... I got interested because a horse trainer said it could improve my riding and a Karate instructor friend of mine said it would improve my life. Both were correct. But you are right about one thing. The only way you truly understand how amazing and powerful aikido is is to feel it. Because to watch it simply does not convey all that is going on.

My interest was perked by knowing what it could potentially do for me. Feeling it simply created the addiction. :)

sarahfiechtner
08-09-2010, 03:39 PM
I got into Aikido this year by going to a self-defense class that used Aikido as its base. As I started learning more about the philosophy behind Aikido and its unique approach to resolving confrontations, I got hooked. I started going to a regular dojo and am now training several days a week.
Because the class was marketed to a group of people who wanted to defend themselves rather than attack people, Aikido was a perfect fit vs. a more defensive martial art.

Karo
08-10-2010, 12:33 PM
a fascinating but frightening hour of highly ritualized armtwisting in a fraught social landscape.


That's the best description of aikido I've heard in a long time :eek: :D Mind if I quote you, Deborah?

Karo

Philip Hornback
08-10-2010, 02:42 PM
I think that you have to have a website and it should include some clips of the students, a demo in other words. When I started my dojo was in a small strip mall that did not get a lot of people coming by. We relocated to another strip mall and had more people come by to see what we were doing, but they did not join or did not stay very long. Our student base dropped so low that we had to move once again to my instructor's house. In the last two years we have had a lot of people call and say that they'll come by but never do. I think they get turned off after hearing that the dojo is in someone's house. On the good side we had two students join last year and they are still here and we had two more join a few months ago, so maybe we sill be able to get into a new place soon and have more people join us. My instructor tells storys about how when he started there were alot of students in the dojo. He also said that the would do demos at various locations. That helps get the word out. It also lets people see what aikido is and may be get them interested.

Chuck Clark
08-10-2010, 02:58 PM
Do your practice and people that have an inclination to look into it will approach you if what you're doing seems interesting. Have a decent presence on the web and an available phone # for information, etc. The best way to spread the word is how people notice you and the people that train with you.

Buck
08-10-2010, 04:32 PM
I got into Aikido this year by going to a self-defense class that used Aikido as its base. As I started learning more about the philosophy behind Aikido and its unique approach to resolving confrontations, I got hooked. I started going to a regular dojo and am now training several days a week.
Because the class was marketed to a group of people who wanted to defend themselves rather than attack people, Aikido was a perfect fit vs. a more defensive martial art.

The secret is reviled! In my experience this really is the key. I don't think anything works better than this model.

Adam Huss
08-11-2010, 08:19 AM
I trained in karate for years, and watched Steven Seagal movies, and never heard of aikido. I quit karate for a couple years, came back, and my karate school was also doing aikido and they were like "come at 5 instead of 7, we're doing aikido now as well" and I was like "ok." I don't know if I was just ignorant...and granted this was when the internet was in its fledgling state...I needed to be slapped in the face with the knowledge of aikido's existence to find out about it...and now its my primary style I train in.

rachford
08-14-2010, 10:37 PM
I first heard about aikido reading a paper while going to grad school at the U. or Chicago and decided then that that was something I wanted to try. However the Chicago dojo was too far across town and I had no time. Years later someone started an aikido class at the Rec Club on the military base where I work in Washington, DC but I was involved in karate and tai chi at the time. My doctor had been nagging me to drop karate because it was destroying my joints. So I started aikido while gradually tapering off the karate. That was 23 years ago. Still doing aikido and loving it. I find that if you can get a science PhD interested in trying it they are likely to persist, They are drawn to difficult puzzles and are fanatically persistent. At Capitol Aikikai many of the high ranking black belts are science PhDs including Takeguchi Shihan.

mickeygelum
08-15-2010, 10:03 AM
Martial arts aren't for everyone. Among those who DO martial arts, Aikido represents an even smaller group.

Aikido is not for everyone. (Actualy, its a pretty small niche.)

I concur with both of these statements.

One step further, most of those whose perception what they moniker as Aikido, is solely their observation. The adamant profession of Aikido as an end-all and spiritual uplifting to the highest cherubim, is just as detrimental.

" ...It is away of life..",
" ...Oh, We do not hurt anyone ",
" ...when we fall, we help each other by not resisting. '' ,
" ...there should be no pain involved. '
"....it is ukes obligation to keep a connection. ",
" ...this technique takes 20 years to learn. "

To an experienced or accomplished martial artist, pugilist or average individual with competitive athletic history..that sounds so lame. Then why do you call it a martial art.

In my opinion, that is why most , after attending some dojos, think Aikido is for pussies.

Train well,
Train hard,
Train honestly,

Mickey

lbb
08-15-2010, 10:53 AM
I guess I also could have changed my initial post to something more like "how do you get people to come through the door of your dojo so you can build up and maintain a student base". I am in the process of getting classes started at a local YMCA and I am having a hard time getting people to sign up even when we are offering two free weeks of classes.

There are all kinds of tips and tricks to lure people through the door. Getting them to come back for a second or third class is another trick altogether. You might pique someone's interest, but getting them to keep coming back once they realize that it's plain hard work is another matter -- remember, for most people that first class isn't going to be fun. It's going to be frustrating, strenuous, painful, confusing, or all of the above. That being the case, I think the way you keep people coming back is to acknowledge that it is hard, point out that everyone in the dojo had their own first day on the mat, and let them know that it's all up to them whether they decide to do the work or walk away.

JJF
08-16-2010, 05:05 AM
That's the best description of aikido I've heard in a long time :eek: :D Mind if I quote you, Deborah?

Karo

Deborah: do you mind if I put this om my website? it's a very cool description :)

JJF
08-16-2010, 05:15 AM
I have approx. the same problem. I have started a small dojo in my area hoping to gather just enough students to have a sincere practice every week - however my three students so far are all not able to come. One is a recent mother (for the second time) - one is a recent father (third time today) and the last is on evening shift at work and is not able to join classes in the evening.

So... I'm left alone with my iaito and some sword practice... which is good.. but I sure would love just a handfull of students to help me get the club going...

The thing is - it is true.. we can't get people to pracitce unless they want to. I am not going to sell aikido as anything else.. it is not UFC relevant (the way I do it), it is not the very best self defence in the world (when it comes to skills taught in a short time). It is an art/quest/game that takes time and dedication to master (or so I have been told... still getting there).

What CAN we do then... well..make sure people know we are here - and hope that eventually they will find us. Get som pictures in the local paper, make a website, make sure your dojo is on 'dojo-search' here a aikiweb and show what it is to as many people as possible... then they will come - if they are out there.

You can boost income/number of students by teaching selfdefence or childrens classes - but it will only get you a miniscule no. of sincere students over a long period of time... so it comes down to this... Get the word out to the right people and stay true to what you believe Aikido is. If it can fly - eventually it will... otherwise pack it up and go somewhere else to train.

Just my thoughts on the matter...

- Jørgen Jakob

Brian Gillaspie
08-16-2010, 06:32 AM
Thanks for the replies. I'll hold the first class at the YMCA tonight and as of now I have 4 adults who have signed up for the free three week trial period. I still don't have any kids signed up but I'll have my own two kids there for the class. The good thing is that the room we are in is right off the main lobby and has windows all across it so basically we will be visible to anyone that walks in the door.

JJF
08-16-2010, 07:16 AM
Thanks for the replies. I'll hold the first class at the YMCA tonight and as of now I have 4 adults who have signed up for the free three week trial period. I still don't have any kids signed up but I'll have my own two kids there for the class. The good thing is that the room we are in is right off the main lobby and has windows all across it so basically we will be visible to anyone that walks in the door.

Good luck Brian... remember to wear your best looking hakama to attract as many people as possible ;)

One word of advice.. I found it very difficult to mainain the proper level of disciplin and tradition with no experienced students present.. it is difficult to explain everthing like how to sit, where to sit, how and when to bow etc... if you can bring somebody you know who is a bit experienced then it would be really good...

I'll cross my fingers for you

- JJ

Buck
08-16-2010, 09:17 AM
Another thing is time. It takes time to build a student body because Aikido isn't something EVERYBODY wants to do. Part of that also is you. First impressions, good presentation, play a huge role in getting people on the mat.

The thing is out of the general population there is a certain low percentage of people in that general population in say a 30-40 mile area who are going to be interested and interested in Aikido. You have to let them know you exist and appeal to their interest; which is where much of what allot of people have pointed also applies.

As well as:

Charisma and the charm of the sensei has allot to do with attracting and keeping people. Most people are naturally attracted to people who have these positive qualities. How many people really are attracted to a personality of a dead fish, or obnoxious,or annoying, or who still lives with his parents in the basement, or something along those lines. As a fact people gravitate to those with charisma and charm of the positive kind.

Dojo feel; what your dojo looks like on the inside. Does it look like a warehouse with mats on the floor and a picture of O'Sensei on a Ikea stool, or on a folding chair? Or when you walk in it, does it have a feel of being a special exotic place and esoteric experience.. And that it isn't a Fly-by-night operation. In terms of esoteric, that it is a special activity.

Good presentation and first impressions are so very important in attracting people. Aside from letting people know you exist, via advertising and appealing to those who are interested in Aikido. And keep in mind it takes time to reach all such people.

Eva Antonia
08-16-2010, 11:47 AM
Hi,

as for me, I'd prefer BY FAR the warehouse dojo with O'Sensei on the IKEA stool...then I'd know that this is neither a cult nor a commercial operation but just a matter-of-fact dojo!

But for attracting students I really don't know...our dojo in Belgium has pretty the same problem - we are enough people to keep the dojo running, but it does not really GROW.

Wishing all the new-dojo-establishers very much luck!

Eva

lbb
08-16-2010, 12:14 PM
Dojo feel; what your dojo looks like on the inside. Does it look like a warehouse with mats on the floor and a picture of O'Sensei on a Ikea stool, or on a folding chair? Or when you walk in it, does it have a feel of being a special exotic place and esoteric experience.. And that it isn't a Fly-by-night operation. In terms of esoteric, that it is a special activity.

Emphasis mine.

Buck, if you really believe that aikido is an esoteric practice, I'd like to know where you're getting your definition of "esoteric", and also where you are seeing this put into practice (i.e., where you train). Esoteric practices are the mental (and sometimes physical) equivalent of a daily workout, or a daily practice session on the piano, or something like that. Watching "Kung Fu" (or visiting a dojo made up to look like the set of "Kung Fu") is not an esoteric experience. And, while training in aikido (or mowing the lawn, or cleaning toilets) could be a form of esoteric practice for someone who already has a grounding in such practices, someone who doesn't have such a grounding isn't going to be able to walk into a dojo and get trained in these practices. Expecting to be taught esoteric practices in a dojo is like expecting beef Wellington in a sushi bar. It isn't going to happen, because the large majority of aikido senseis have no qualifications -- zero, zip, zilch -- as teachers of esoteric practices.

Could you lure a few more suckers through the door with a little bit of woo-woo decor that plays to ignorant martial arts stereotypes? Sure, but you'll ultimately disappoint them. At the same time, you'll be scaring away any potential students who didn't just fall off the cabbage truck. Bad idea imo.

Brian Gillaspie
08-17-2010, 07:06 AM
Class went well last night. Had 6 adults show up for the class. I also had 2 kids (my own) in the children's class so overall I was satisfied with the first night.

Good luck Brian... remember to wear your best looking hakama to attract as many people as possible

One word of advice.. I found it very difficult to mainain the proper level of disciplin and tradition with no experienced students present.. it is difficult to explain everthing like how to sit, where to sit, how and when to bow etc... if you can bring somebody you know who is a bit experienced then it would be really good...

I wore my best looking hakama...unfortunately most people just see a guy wearing a dress:D

Dojo feel; what your dojo looks like on the inside. Does it look like a warehouse with mats on the floor and a picture of O'Sensei on a Ikea stool, or on a folding chair? Or when you walk in it, does it have a feel of being a special exotic place and esoteric experience.. And that it isn't a Fly-by-night operation. In terms of esoteric, that it is a special activity.

My dojo feels like a room in a YMCA. I would like to have a nice looking dojo but it is what it is. If people can't dedicate themselves to training in a plain room then I have my doubts they could really dedicate themselves to training anywhere....but that's just my opinion.

JJF
08-17-2010, 08:53 AM
My dojo feels like a room in a YMCA. I would like to have a nice looking dojo but it is what it is. If people can't dedicate themselves to training in a plain room then I have my doubts they could really dedicate themselves to training anywhere....but that's just my opinion.

Glad to hear it went well.. anything more than one of those six people comming back is a succes.

I agree about the room. Though a nice place with a welcoming atmosphere is a good thing, a lot of this can be achived just by emitting a good and joyful spirit from the people there.

Buck
08-17-2010, 09:27 AM
Class went well last night. Had 6 adults show up for the class. I also had 2 kids (my own) in the children's class so overall I was satisfied with the first night.

I wore my best looking hakama...unfortunately most people just see a guy wearing a dress:D

My dojo feels like a room in a YMCA. I would like to have a nice looking dojo but it is what it is. If people can't dedicate themselves to training in a plain room then I have my doubts they could really dedicate themselves to training anywhere....but that's just my opinion.

Maybe in time you will be able to change that.:) Like anything you have a starting point with a long term goal. Allot of people think you have to be popular over night having hordes of people knocking down your door in the first week. But a dojo runs along the same model as a small business. You build your customer (student) base overtime looking at long term success over short term success.

Like one poster said you do need experienced students. You also need time to work things out, trying new approaches, finding what works and doesn't for you. As I mentioned the importance of "curb appeal," impresses prospective students sending the message that what you do is special, inviting, and sets and matches expectations. That doesn't have to happen right a way. It is a tool that will bring in those interested in Aikido. Or at least gets people interested in Aikido.

I hope my posts contributed to your question and not distracting. I am sure your dojo will be successful with many students. :)

Karo
08-19-2010, 09:12 AM
as for me, I'd prefer BY FAR the warehouse dojo with O'Sensei on the IKEA stool...then I'd know that this is neither a cult nor a commercial operation but just a matter-of-fact dojo!


I agree with Eva. My first dojo was a bare-walled gym room where we put down the mats before every class and put them away at the end, with a small picture of O'Sensei tucked by the wall. Even from the very first class, I knew I was there to train, not to admire the decor.

Karo

Brian Gillaspie
08-19-2010, 10:15 AM
My first dojo was a bare-walled gym room where we put down the mats before every class and put them away at the end, with a small picture of O'Sensei tucked by the wall.

That is basically what we have at the YMCA which doesn't bother me but it would be nice if we didn't have to set up and take down the mats every night.

I see you train at Okinawa Aikiki. I was able to train there one night a couple years ago when I was in town. I really enjoyed it and was impressed by the instructor and all of the students I interacted with.

heathererandolph
08-20-2010, 03:36 PM
To friends and collogues you say: I am trying to get an Aikido class started. Can you please come to the local YMCA for a couple times and try Aikido? You never know. I had one friend join who is still in the class when I started. If they know you need their help to get the class started, they may be more willing to help out.
And they might become hooked, you never know.

As for getting the class started it helps to get some students in their, of course, so do what you can. Roam the YMCA asking questions about people's interest in martial arts. Say you are taking a poll to find out what type of martial arts class to offer here.

There could be someone who really wants to do Aikido but may never even know about the class being offered. Make it your goal that everyone coming to the YMCA knows about the class. Make your goal modest. In order to practice you need one student that is all.

I know they are out there, people interested in Aikido. As time goes on your class should grow, but as long as you have one student you are good to go. If your instructor (or you if you are instructor) are any good, they will come.

A website could help,even with a YMCA. Or at least list your school on the many directories out there. Try putting a query on the Internet like "Aikido school and your area" to find out where you can list your school.

heathererandolph
08-20-2010, 03:40 PM
To friends and collogues you say: I am trying to get an Aikido class started. Can you please come to the local YMCA for a couple times and try Aikido? You never know. I had one friend join who is still in the class when I started. If they know you need their help to get the class started, they may be more willing to help out.
And they might become hooked, you never know.

As for getting the class started it helps to get some students in there, of course, so do what you can. Roam the YMCA asking questions about people's interest in martial arts. Say you are taking a poll to find out what type of martial arts class to offer here. Talk to the people working at the YMCA, and let them know you are looking for students and how Aikido can benefit people. They may refer some people to you.

There could be someone who really wants to do Aikido but may never even know about the class being offered. Make it your goal that everyone coming to the YMCA knows about the class. Make your goal modest. In order to practice you need one student that is all.

I know they are out there, people interested in Aikido. As time goes on your class should grow, but as long as you have one student you are good to go. If your instructor (or you if you are instructor) are any good, they will come.

A website could help,even with a YMCA. Or at least list your school on the many directories out there. Try putting a query on the Internet like "Aikido school and your area" to find out where you can list your school.