Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
...Did you start through a health club? University club? rent a space? How did you get students if you were new to an area and didn't have a base?
I would like to start either a club or a small dojo outside of my immediate area and would like to hear about other peoples experience.
Hello Ms Massey
The two dojos that I train at share space with others.
One is a Police and Citizen Youth Club (Like a community hall run by the Police Department). We use the space that is used by the Gymnasts. The disadvantages: a sprung gymnastic floor...not good on the knees for suwari waza; sprung mat is too soft and forgiving so you dont pick up any mistakes when doing ukemi and the mats can get dirty because various groups use the floor. Advantages: we're covered by the Police Department's public liability - our dues are include an amount for insurance; membership dues are low (I think about $120 AUD for 10 weeks for three sessions a week); the administration and advertising is handled by the Policy and Citizen Youth Club Adminsitrators (PCYC) and access to other PCYC Clubs and facilities.
As for getting new students, the PCYC arranges for ads in the local newspapers and letterbox drops about the activities at the PCYC. Otherwise its been through word of mouth. We did do some demonstrations. So far we have about 30 people on the mat for our sessions and we have been going for about 8 years.
The other dojo that I train at, the Sensei shares with another group (Tomiki practitioners). His mats are on the floor but the dojo is registered to the Tomiki Sensei. He pays a hire charge for the nights that he conducts classes. I pay $50 AUD per month for two sessions per week. THis is a smaller club with about 5 people on the mat but the training is intensive and at times rigourous. He has a entry in the local telephone book. He doesnt actively seek new students - its usually by word of mouth. I tend to recommend to other practitioners to contact this sensei if they wish to have additional training.
As for public liability insurance, he organises that.
Hope this helps. Best of luck with your endeavours and if I am ever stateside and in the neighbourhood, I would love to train at your dojo.