Re: Poll: How important is running an aikido dojo as a business?
Running your dojo as a business is really the only smart way to do it. Let me give two scenarios, I started Aikido in 1994 at a small dojo so small theat my sister and I were the first and only students. It was great b/c we had 100% of our Sensei's attention and learned new techniques quickly. It was like having our own personal Aikido tutors. After six months the school closed down and we could no longer train. A year passed and I began taking Karate at a very well run school. My new Sensei ran his school like a successful business, he advertised, he got involved in community events such as parades, all to promote his school. He did however maintain excellent standards in martial arts instruction and was by no means a Black Belt factory as so many schools become. My Shodan test was conducted over two days four hours each day. I have since returned to Aikido training and would eventually like to open my own school, probably not as my only source of income. If I do open my own Dojo I certainly would model it after my Karate instructors dojo just to ensure it stays open so that people can come and train.