Re: Poll: How important is running an aikido dojo as a business?
The issue is not the making money, but the quality. I would rather train in a dojo of 5 or 6 martial artists than 100 health clubers. There is nothing wrong with having the health clubers, but there is when they become the schools focus because they pay the bills. That way you lose the martial artists from the dojo because you spoil their practice.
I was speaking with a TKD practitioner about this yesterday. He told me of a full-time TKD school in the UK where it has moved away from being purely about the martial art, and now is a bit of TKD, a bit of aerobics, a bit of boxercise, a bit of self defence, a bit of this and a bit of that. Diluted and not a martial arts dojo any more. Why, because it pays the bills by keeping students in the (Mc)Dojo.
It doesn't have to be like that, and there are great full-time schools which refuse to lower the standard, so they have to accumulate the martial artists, and when they are that good they will. To balance income, many have side-lines, some don't need too.
There is nothing wrong with making money, but there is with trashing the martial art in the process. I would hate to see an Aikido McDojo, and hope I never do.
All the best,