Zulkifli Adijaya (Zulk) wrote:
How about setting orientation periods (5 to 8 meetings of 1 hour each should do it) for the new beginners? I mean instead of dividing the dojo into advance and beginner classes, assign a number of capable sempais to guide the new student on the importance of ukemi, stretching and most importantly proper manner in dojo.
This is exactly what we do at our dojo. The beginners' package is four Friday evening classes plus six regular classes. People seem to really like it as they start out with other newbies and when they go to the regular classes there are often familiar faces as the newbies will be there plus the regular dojo members who often help out during the Friday evening sessions. From talking to people who have come from other dojo it seems ours is beginner friendly and people appreciate the emphasis on fundamentals.
I'm not sure if this really helps with short and long retention rates compared to other dojo though. I've been involved with many organizations over the years and it seems people coming and going is the norm. I try to do the best I can for them while they are here and wish them the best if they tell me they are leaving or if I notice that someone has not shown up in a while. At times I have gone into periods of wondering why people leave, surveying them if possible, etc. but then I realize those times I've quit something I often don't have a clear, rational, reason in mind. Whatever that something was has slipped down the priority list.