Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-08-2005, 07:46 PM   #1
p00kiethebear
 
p00kiethebear's Avatar
Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 374
United_States
Offline
finding more students

Our dojo, though small has about 8 dedicated students right now in the adult classes. The kids classes have been booming like crazy to the point that we're running out of space to safely train. However me (and the other senpai) have been trying to find a way to attract more adult students (We haven't had a new one come in in almost 5 months) We currently advertise through our local parks district and put up fliers in public places and such and we're also planning more demonstrations.

But does anyone have any great plans or things that they've done in the past to hook more students in? I think to some extent all dojo's struggle with income and ours is no exception. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 08:29 PM   #2
thomas_dixon
Location: Florida, USA
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 185
United_States
Offline
Re: finding more students

Demos at other schools (of different styles), having yourself listed in the Phone Book (Yellow Pages), and online in the Yellow Pages might help a little.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 09:26 PM   #3
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Re: finding more students

Quote:
Thomas Dixon wrote:
Demos at other schools (of different styles), having yourself listed in the Phone Book (Yellow Pages), and online in the Yellow Pages might help a little.
A friend of mine who runs a dojo polls incoming students and claims that in the last five years, they've all come from internet searches--none, nada, zippo from the Yellow Pages.

As always, YMMV.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 09:54 PM   #4
Thom Hansen
Dojo: Aikido Yuishinkai Cleveland Dojo
Location: Brisbane
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 28
Australia
Offline
Re: finding more students

Hello Nathan

Definately in Australia i have a Yello Pages add and i still find more interest comes from dojo listings on the internet .....


good luck

Regards Thom

Life is a gem .. Treasure every minute
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 11:21 PM   #5
Huker
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 63
Canada
Offline
Re: finding more students

If there is any type of post-secondary school nearby, you could try posting flyers. Most places have billboards for that sort of thing. If you are close enough to the school, your student gain could be fairly large.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2005, 11:26 PM   #6
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Offline
Re: finding more students

One thing that definitely works is some type of Martial Arts expo for the community. This can be done at a mall, in a park, at a school, etc. Get any three other schools, each focusing on a different art to get together and each do two rounds of 10 to 15 minute demonstrations. In other words, do a morning set where each group demonstrates, take a break to chat with the prospects (bring flyers, cards, hats, free passes for 1 week of training, etc. to give out) and then do the whole thing again just after the break. Right around lunch time can work great for weekend demos. You will certainly build a good relationship with the other schools. The selling point for getting the others involved is very simple - there really isn't any competition. Someone who wants to do Aikido probably wont join a TaeKwonDo Dojang and visa-versa. When a student who is genuinely seeking to begin training has an opportunity to go to one place and compare four arts and four schools in about 90 minutes, how can he pass that up.

Just a thought...

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 02-08-2005 at 11:32 PM.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2005, 12:10 AM   #7
Jeff Sodeman
Dojo: San Diego Jiai Aikido
Location: San Diego
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 76
Offline
Re: finding more students

Internet is the biggest way people find us.

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2005, 01:18 AM   #8
batemanb
 
batemanb's Avatar
Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,029
Offline
Re: finding more students

We've grown quite a bit over the past year, had at least 20 new members come through the doors (not all still practicing though). Aside from 1 or 2 that saw the poster in the window of the community centres, all of them have come to us following internet searches.

Don't just have your own web site, use dojo search engines here and AJ, register with local councils and libraries, they have local sports databases online too.

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2005, 01:41 AM   #9
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,021
Japan
Offline
Re: finding more students

Ditto on the internet and the advice about linking to Dojo search enjines and community sites.

Generally the more links you have the higher your site will be on search engine priority.
I increased traffic on a friends site 150 fold in three months after two years of very little response just by adding meta tags (no not mentioning sex) and asking a few places to add a link.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2005, 03:25 AM   #10
Peter Seth
Dojo: Zanshin. Sunderland University
Location: Sunderland
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 124
England
Offline
Smile Re: finding more students

Hi Nathan
How about putting on a charity fundraising event, you can select a worthy charity, contact them and arrange maybe a demo, a 'come and try it', or an event with other martial arts involved. Publicise the event for at least a month before in all media, posters, contact other marts clubs/organisations, newspapers, radio, tv etc.
I organise an annual 'Festival of Martial Arts' to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, I am presently organising the 5th event which will involve a full day where around 15 different arts demonstrate their 'stuff' for free. This not only generates funds for the charity but raises the profile of the arts, the charity, builds bridges between the arts and develops interest from the public and therefore new members.
This year so far I have been invited to 3 fundraising events/demo's to raise funds for various charities.
The last one raised around $800 in 2 hours for the tsunami appeal and also a great deal of interest in the arts.
Just an idea, but great fun anyway - a win win situation.
Pete
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2005, 06:37 AM   #11
p00kiethebear
 
p00kiethebear's Avatar
Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 374
United_States
Offline
Re: finding more students

Quote:
How about putting on a charity fundraising event, you can select a worthy charity, contact them and arrange maybe a demo, a 'come and try it', or an event with other martial arts involved. Publicise the event for at least a month before in all media, posters, contact other marts clubs/organisations, newspapers, radio, tv etc.
Incidently, we're putting on a charity fundraiser for a coastal village in Sumatra that was devastated by the recent tsunami's.

We're having people sponsor the kids to do rolls (most of these kids are pretty hardcore and are doing between 500 and 1000 rolls) That's definitely a chance to push for more students.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2005, 08:04 AM   #12
ian
 
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Offline
Re: finding more students

Web page, more permanent posters (e.g. in library) can work. Also you can run 'short courses' with a specific objective. Don't forget, people like me started because of wanting to do some weapon work; even though I always enjoyed the taijitsu more. I think the best policy is to get as many people in as possible; IMO the people who stick at aikido are often people who would not normally want to do a martial art.

Word of mouth has ALWAYS been the best recruiter of consistent students in the clubs I have been in. Socialise more and tell your friends!

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2005, 09:26 AM   #13
akiy
 
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,835
Offline
Re: finding more students

Hi folks,

Just a reminder that it's always a good idea to check out your dojo's information in the AikiWeb Dojo Search Engine to make sure it's up-to-date. If the information isn't current or it's "stale" (ie a yellow or red icon indicating its relative staleness), please be encouraged to send in an update using the administrative interface for modifications. Your updates and additions are very much appreciated by me and by everyone who uses the AikiWeb Dojo Search Engine!

More on-topic, here's a poll I took a few years back:

How did you find your first aikido school? - 11/9/2002
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=138

I wonder if it's time to take another poll with the same question to see if there's been any changes...

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2005, 12:10 PM   #14
thomas_dixon
Location: Florida, USA
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 185
United_States
Offline
Re: finding more students

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
A friend of mine who runs a dojo polls incoming students and claims that in the last five years, they've all come from internet searches--none, nada, zippo from the Yellow Pages.

As always, YMMV.
http://yellowpages.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2005, 04:52 PM   #15
kironin
 
kironin's Avatar
Dojo: Houston Ki Aikido
Location: Houston,TX
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,032
United_States
Offline
Re: finding more students

website / internet / word of mouth would be my experience too.

never the yellow pages.

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2005, 04:59 PM   #16
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: finding more students

Hello,
I think one of the main reasons that most people find Aikido dojos on the Internet rather than in the Yellow Pages is because not very many Aikido dojos have advertised in the Yellow Pages. That's usually the first place people looked and I know I looked there in most cities I've been to and I've found a whole lot more Aikido listings on the Internet.
But, as people have said above, Internet search engines, banner ads, here, Aikido Journal. Flyers in the library work as well because people go to the library to find books on Aikido and sometimes check the boards. Flyers on the boards at stores if you can manage that, too. Not that those things work well, but one in a few hundred is better than none in a few hundred. Basically, flyers anywhere there is a board to put them on and the place will allow it: library, stores, work, banks, colleges, universities, YMCA, etc.
If you have a web page, make sure it is detailed. Include phone and address, instructors and background, style, dojo history, class schedule and rate. People like to see that so they know whether or not they have the time and money to start. Plus, let them try a week or so for free and mention that. Invite them in to watch a class or two and then try a class or two for free.

Mark
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2005, 09:35 AM   #17
Bronson
 
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Offline
Re: finding more students

Contact the "Neighborhood", "Lifestyle", "Local" or whatever editor of your local newspaper/tv news. They are usually looking for stories and will come out with a crew and take pics/video and do an interview. It's all free and has a wide distribution.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2005, 02:37 PM   #18
Jeanne Shepard
 
Jeanne Shepard's Avatar
Dojo: Puget Sound Aikikai
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 351
Offline
Re: finding more students

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
Contact the "Neighborhood", "Lifestyle", "Local" or whatever editor of your local newspaper/tv news. They are usually looking for stories and will come out with a crew and take pics/video and do an interview. It's all free and has a wide distribution.

Bronson
And if they do do a "Lifestyle" segment on TV, make sure they NAME your dojo! They didn't ours!

Jeanne
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2005, 04:40 PM   #19
Aikiscott
Dojo: Central Coast Aikikai
Location: Gosford
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 65
Australia
Offline
Re: finding more students

For what it is worth I keep stats on my advertising for the Kids class I instruct. Though keeping students is hard as we are in a Youth Centre that has 5 martial arts on offer, plus things like circus training.

Word of Mouth has been our biggest source of students at 33%
Yellowpages runs at 20%
Youth club ads 16%
Walk in 13%
Demo's 6%
Web site & Posters & flyers both at 3%
the remaining 6% is listed under other sources, usualy it means they didn't fill in that section on the form.
This year though we are going to try advertising in Local School news letters, as we have 5 primary & 2 High schools within a 5km radius of the Youth Centre.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2005, 12:54 PM   #20
p00kiethebear
 
p00kiethebear's Avatar
Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 374
United_States
Offline
Re: finding more students

Thanks guys. We'll look in to all of this.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2005, 03:23 PM   #21
Jack Simpson
Dojo: Western Maryland Aikikai - Frederick, Maryland
Location: hangin' with the tengu in the "mountains" of Maryland
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 91
Offline
Re: finding more students

As we train in a fitness center, we get a fair number of curious on-lookers and I try to at least put a flyer in their hand when their head pops in. We've also re-done our web site and that has helped alot as now folks can see lots of info about the club (photos and video as well). I do have a question for PeterR: What are "meta tags" and how can I install some?

We do two demos a year and while we have lots of folks watch and give out lots of flyers, we rarely see any of these people on the mat. Although I think demos are important, because people have to know that "aikido" exists to do a web-search for it.

I really think the web is replacing traditional advertisement, so links or advertising (if you can afford it) on local search sites or community web sites are a thought. Good luck and be patient.

Jack
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2005, 09:19 PM   #22
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 522
Offline
Re: finding more students

We have an arrangement with the local university to offer beginners' classes through their "Experimental College" program. This means they put our class in their on-line and paper publicity, in return for a cut of the dues.

It's been good for getting people in, but not as good for getting them to stay; the retention rate is higher for students who come in via other pathways.

Mary Kaye
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2005, 09:23 PM   #23
thomas_dixon
Location: Florida, USA
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 185
United_States
Offline
Re: finding more students

Quote:
Jack Simpson wrote:
As we train in a fitness center, we get a fair number of curious on-lookers and I try to at least put a flyer in their hand when their head pops in. We've also re-done our web site and that has helped alot as now folks can see lots of info about the club (photos and video as well). I do have a question for PeterR: What are "meta tags" and how can I install some?

We do two demos a year and while we have lots of folks watch and give out lots of flyers, we rarely see any of these people on the mat. Although I think demos are important, because people have to know that "aikido" exists to do a web-search for it.

I really think the web is replacing traditional advertisement, so links or advertising (if you can afford it) on local search sites or community web sites are a thought. Good luck and be patient.

Jack
Meta tags are what search engines use to define the contents of a page..for example, AikiWeb's meta tags are:

Code:
<META NAME="author" CONTENT="Jun Akiyama">
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Aikido: AikiWeb Aikido Information">
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="aikido, ueshiba, morihei, martial art, aiki, aikidoka, ki, jo, bokken, aikiweb, news, videos, dvd, dvds, books, supplies, akido, forums, aikicards, dojo, hakama">
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="INDEX,FOLLOW">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="EXPIRES" CONTENT="">
<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
<META NAME="revisit-after" CONTENT="7 days">
All you really need ot worry about in there is this line:

Code:
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="aikido, ueshiba, morihei, martial art, aiki, aikidoka, ki, jo, bokken, aikiweb, news, videos, dvd, dvds, books, supplies, akido, forums, aikicards, dojo, hakama">
Putting that code in your pages may help it get more traffic..you might also want to submit your URL to google.

Last edited by thomas_dixon : 02-11-2005 at 09:27 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2005, 11:08 AM   #24
Jack Simpson
Dojo: Western Maryland Aikikai - Frederick, Maryland
Location: hangin' with the tengu in the "mountains" of Maryland
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 91
Offline
Re: finding more students

Thomas,
Thanks for the "meta tags" help. I might also add "free beer!"

Cheers,
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2006, 04:35 PM   #25
Marnen
Dojo: Vassar College Aikido Club
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 20
United_States
Offline
Re: finding more students

Also have a look at Google Sitemaps. I just now discovered this and will be adding it to my personal site...
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Seminar with Frank Doran, Shihan - Aug. 8-10, 2014 at Sunset Cliff's Aikido, near San Diego's finest beaches



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"experienced" students Charles Hill Teaching 70 04-06-2006 12:17 AM
Seminar with Students of Chiba Sensei Ron Tisdale Seminars 0 01-21-2004 09:47 AM
Poll: How important is a sense of a dojo community to you in aikido? AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 4 06-13-2002 08:48 AM
welcoming new students guest1234 General 22 01-07-2002 10:50 PM
Treatment of "difficult" students BC Teaching 42 12-12-2001 10:31 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:04 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate