Re: New Aikido Dojos (New Senseis)
Coming from a business research background, I always used the following formula for the western world communities and estimated draw of a dojo I started (within a 10 year period):
10% of the general population in an area will be seriously interested in martial arts.
10% of those will be interested in Aikido if there is a good selection of martial arts in the area.
25% of those will actually start Aikido.
10% of those who start Aikido will stay in it for the long term.
20% of those who stay in Aikido for the long term will want to become instructors.
20% of those who want to become instructors will end up with the resources, time, and freedom to start and maintain a dojo.
That means, if you take a city with 200,000 people in it, and you start a dojo, you are lucky if you get 2 people who are able to start satellite dojos out of that group. So far, I have found this formula to work quite predictably.
Like any marketing situation, a lot depends on population density. It seems the bottom limit for the general accuracy of this model is a city with a population of about 75,000. That would make sense because anything below that, is a result of one or less. A city of 75,000 cannot support more than about 10 martial arts dojos. Oh, this only applies to Aikido, of course. Depending on the martial art, you get different percentages of draws. In Kendo I found that only 1% of those interested in martial arts were interested in Kendo and only 5% stayed, etc.
I've come to Barbados during the past four years and found a population ripe for two aikido dojos and with a population of about 275,000. I expect to get perhaps two or three people who will open up dojos on this island but no more than that. This island couldn't support any more than that in just Aikido.
I don't expect to get more than about 750 people through the dojos over a 15 year period if there are three dojos. In fact. I think for this culture, I will have to drop the percentage of those likely to start Aikido to about 10% due to the lack of money for fees and the high cost of do gi. I think I will end up with one person who will actually start a dojo and keep it going here.
Florida may be saturated do to the population characteristics. If too much of the population are above 60 years of age, that will reduce the percentage of those that are interested in MA as an activity.
If you go to a location where the population is getting younger, you will automatically incease the percentage of those interested in MA.
If you go to a location like Guyana where much of the population is poor, you will have a much lower level of percentage in those that can afford to do Aikido.
The percentage have to change depending on the location but the numbers I have up there seem to work in general with some modifications. It is similar to the business models for sales of a product when building business proposals.