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Old 07-22-2002, 09:57 PM   #5
Steven's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Yoshinkan Sacramento - Seikeikan Dojo
Location: Orangevale, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 635
Hello Rachel,

I learned early on that people have this mis-conception of RANK versus ABILITIES. I always get the question, "What rank are you?". Depending on the attitude that it's asked, I usually reply "I TOOK A SHOWER BEFORE CLASS SO I HAVE NO RANK."

So with that in mind, the first thing I did was to make sure all my dan ranks and instructor certificates were up to date with our honbu dojo. Turns out this was a good move as the location I'm in now requested copies to show I do belong to a reputable organization and didn't just finish watching a Steven Seagal and Bruce Lee marathon.

My first location was located in a Gymnastics studio. In this case, they were also running a pre-school program and needed the extra income. Along with gymnastics, dance and cheerleading, they had a karate teacher who also taugh Tai Chi and then myself. They were very kind as I had no students at the time and we agreed to a percentage. We were covered on their insurance.

My new location is through the Parks and Recreation. The only bummer here is I'd like to expand the hours but can't due to scheduling. No worry though. I had taught a 10 week self defense class for them early on which fortunately got good reviews, so when I approached them about a full-time Aikido program, I had my foot in the door. I also brought with me instant enrollment which was a plus.

My advertising consists primarily of my web site. I estimate about 70+% of my original and current students found me on the web. I also have a small add in the two local phone books. The biggest bang for the buck came just recently. Through the P&R, they advertised to all the local schools that they were offering Aikido. Just like that, my youth program went from 4 to 12, not including my 3 girls.

So far things are working out really well with the P&R. I tried the "OTHER" martial art school thing but most had a bit of an attitude with me being the new kid in town.

Hope that helps ...
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