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Old 03-04-2008, 07:42 PM   #26
boyana
Location: New York
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 40
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Re: Business and Budo

How many rich Sensei are there?
Very few?
And the rich ones worked like slaves,for many years!
Peace !!

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Old 03-05-2008, 01:37 PM   #27
dragonteeth
Dojo: Elkton Ki-Aikido
Location: Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 108
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Re: Business and Budo

To me, if someone is dedicated enough to teach budo as a career, then he has all my respect and a right to make a decent living. If a teacher is dedicated enough to spend his spare time teaching for free but chooses a different career path for whatever reason, then he also has all my respect.

However, the teacher who cheapens his art with glitter and glamor, cheesy marketing, 38 belt levels each requiring a fee, guaranteed black belts, unfair contracts, and so on...does not have my respect. I think it's perfectly fine to advertise, but do so with the dignity the art deserves. Having testing fees is fine too, but don't try to nickel and dime the students to death by expanding the belts beyond that which is traditional in the art. If there must have a contract, give the student a grace period to decide whether this is truly a good fit for him or her, especially in the case of youngsters.

Budo is a wonderful thing in all its many colorful forms and practices. Packaged "budo"on the other hand degrades the hard work and dedication of all the practitioners who came before, and contaminates the art with commercialism for all those who come after.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:16 PM   #28
tuturuhan
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 244
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Re: Business and Budo

Gentlemen, Sensei, Businessmen,

There are instructors out there that have very bad technique. Nonetheless, many of these guys have very successful dojos that make money.

My personal opinion is that if you are going to teach publicly, if you are going to apply for a business license and pay taxes; you must make a profit. Just has you hone your technique, you must hone your business skills.

Your success in life should reflect itself in all your prisms of light. In other words, a guy like Musashi was master not only of the sword, the suriken and other assorted weapons. He was also a master painter, flower arranger etc etc. He also made enough money to place his adopted sons into positions of status and power. And in his last days, he was given the title of "general" which secured his retirement. Even in death, his book of 5 Rings is a world best seller.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

PS My wife is a lawyer too.

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:59 PM   #29
Kaze0180
Dojo: Houston Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 14
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Re: Business and Budo

Someone once told me that if you own a dojo, you HAVE a business. Not running it properly is just running a bad business. This is a detriment to the students. Running a professional dojo/studio that is worth what they pay should be the responsibility of the staff.

Do you know the national average for what students pay in Martial Arts overall? $145 for 3-4 classes a week!! That means if you are running lower than this you are not getting what your worth. Sure it can fluctuate a bit depending on what market you are in, but being way off can actually repel potential members! People want value, and it's reflected in the price of the program. If it's too cheap people will not appreciate it because they think there is no value. It's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy, you have low prices so people can come but then end up not coming because the program is perceived as cheap.

Whether we talk about economy, marketing, sales, etc. it's all about equilibrium of price to the market that you are selling it to, it is also about being a professional and giving the students who do pay you a lot of money everything they can get out of it! Give them an experience that they will thank you for, and always strive to improve!! We can not avoid the fact that we as owners of schools need to understand marketing, sales, staff management, customer retention, and supply logistics, to keep a school/studio existing. But we can always keep our integrity by making sure we give people the best quality programs available.

Understanding these several "arts" of running a business will allow you to reach more people about Aikido. Hell, you could even start a non-profit portion in addition to your business that will really make a difference in the world! This is how the mega-billionaires do it, they make great money with great services and give back to society in a great way. Look at Warren Buffet, the richest man in the world worth $62 billion! He gives away almost 20% of his wealth every year to society in many ways...THAT'S 12 BILLION DOLLARS DONATED TO SOCIETY EVERY YEAR! When was the last time any of us did this kind of contribution and how many doors it opens to the people and organizations he's given it to.

Anyways, not pricing a quality program is a disservice to Aikido. How many more people can you reach and how much impact you can make on this Earth by giving it a worthy price? Spreading the art and philosophy of Aikido is only limited by your mind and heart, you should be asking yourself how big are my dreams and goals! Maybe they are not big enough, expand your circle.

-Alexander
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:21 AM   #30
Jack M.
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 13
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Smile Re: Business and Budo

Reading this discussion, I am reminded of something I heard on the topic of charging for services rendered. Think of money as energy - I work and thus expend my energy. I am then paid money by my employer.

When I go for marital arts training, or indeed any other kind of service or product, I am paying for that service or product, essentially giving the "energy" of my money for the "energy" of what it took the other person to provide what they did to me.

I hope I am not being too unclear here. I sometimes hear about why people should have to pay for things like marital arts training, or an instructor's reluctance to charge more than a modest or meager fee for their services. It's all about an exchange of energy.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:14 AM   #31
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 588
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Re: Business and Budo

Budo is about survival. Business is about survival.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:50 AM   #32
Bronson
 
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Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
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Re: Business and Budo

I once heard that if you want to make a small fortune you take a large fortune and open an aikido dojo. Before you know it your large fortune will turn into the small one you dreamed about

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."
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:17 AM   #33
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Kuwait
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Re: Business and Budo

I have a good one for you. I was told by a student at a dojo where I used to practice once in a while: "Why should we buy any of the DVDs you made. Since you practice here, we don't have to buy the DVD to learn from you." Needless to say, I won't be going back to that dojo any more. If they can't afford to support the project, I can't afford to support their learning.

Rock
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Old 06-04-2008, 01:31 PM   #34
mari
Dojo: Green Bay Aikikai
Location: Green Bay
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 28
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Re: Business and Budo

I wish the dojo where I practice was run more like a business. We are on the verge of not being able to pay our bills, to which the solution was - raise the dues; which is not a bad solution given the situation but nothing is being done to attract new members. Just to clarify - Sensei only teaches, he does not take care of the business side, senior student does that. We are lucky to have Sensei regularly teach twice a week, his drive to the dojo is 2 hours in each direction.
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Old 06-04-2008, 02:48 PM   #35
Chuck Clark
 
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Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Monroe, Washington
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,134
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Re: Business and Budo

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
Needless to say, I won't be going back to that dojo any more. If they can't afford to support the project, I can't afford to support their learning.Rock
Hey Rocky,

It's pretty much inbred in a lot (an awful lot) of people that they're always out for the "best deal"... they just don't seem to get it that a two way support system works best over the long haul. I'm with you, those kind of people don't last long in relationships with me.

Best of luck in your new adventures... kiotsukete, neh.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:24 AM   #36
jennifer paige smith
 
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Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
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Re: Business and Budo

Quote:
Jack Walter wrote: View Post
Reading this discussion, I am reminded of something I heard on the topic of charging for services rendered. Think of money as energy - I work and thus expend my energy. I am then paid money by my employer.

When I go for marital arts training, or indeed any other kind of service or product, I am paying for that service or product, essentially giving the "energy" of my money for the "energy" of what it took the other person to provide what they did to me.

I hope I am not being too unclear here. I sometimes hear about why people should have to pay for things like marital arts training, or an instructor's reluctance to charge more than a modest or meager fee for their services. It's all about an exchange of energy.
That, by definition, would make it "Currency", right?

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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