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Old 12-02-2003, 09:42 AM   #6
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
I started our dojo about 3 years ago. Luckily I was also working at the local university and managed to use their facilties. One possibility is to see if there are people who would be willing to support an aikido club at the local university/college (it is likely that there will have to be a student treasurer/chairperson or other, although the instructors need not be).

If it can become a student club (as long as external people are also allowed in) you may get very reduced or even free hall hire.

What was useful for recruitment, but not necessarily aikido training, was to run a 10 week course (tailor it to self-defence if you want, but make sure it really is self-defence which can be utilised within 10 weeks). This can be a one of charge for the 10 weeks, paid up front, and then when the course is running you can discuss continuing training, but as aikido.

Question I must ask is, why do you want to start a club? Are there no clubs around? If this is not the case - beware. In the first two years you'll feel you have given up aikido just to become an 'instructor'. It is very different instructing in an established club to starting a club. When I started there was only one other person who was cable of doing ukmei! Also, students are likely to see your group as a seperate, unattainable standard to reach, until lower grades establish.


P.S. I would also agree that most advertising is a waste of money. Some initial advertising through the sports centre/college/dojo/town hall/police stations/hospitals can help, but the only students that tend to stay are those that come by word of mouth. (thee majority of people want to learn some instant death touch type of thing).

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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