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Old 10-11-2008, 08:23 PM   #1
AikiKamiNikko
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3
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Dojo Costs

Ok... I've decided to start a dojo. Not right now, but I like to think ahead. How much are costs for the dojo operation?

Mortgage
Utilities
Supplies
Payroll
Phone
Insurance
Tax
Misc

These are the things I though of that will need attention. Thanks much for your replies and help.
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:23 PM   #2
ChrisHein
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,635
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Re: Dojo Costs

What kind of Dojo are you planning on running there?

Most of those things would be pretty low on my list of important costs. If you're starting your first dojo, why not have it at your house, or at a park? This would eliminate almost every cost on your list, and provide some valuable "learning how to be a teacher" time.

Even if you have spent lots of time teaching for other people, it's very different teaching on your own. In some ways you have to learn all over again.

Before getting a physical dojo, you need to make your own abstract dojo. You need to figure out who you are, what you're about, how that relates to other people. What it is you are offering them?

Money should be your last concern at first. Teach because you love it, find others who learn because they love that. Everything will start coming together like magic; when it's suppose too.

Not the answer you're looking for I'm sure. But that's the truth as I understand it right now.

Last edited by ChrisHein : 10-11-2008 at 09:27 PM.

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Old 10-12-2008, 04:03 AM   #3
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
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Re: Dojo Costs

I wish it were a joke, but from many people's experience you might want to add;

alimony
child support

Charles
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:08 AM   #4
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,218
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Re: Dojo Costs

Onegaishimasu. Visit other dojos, especially dojos just starting up. Especially during thunderstorms. (that is also not a joke).

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:45 AM   #5
Mary Eastland
 
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Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,200
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Re: Dojo Costs

Ron started at a WMCA...then moved to a community center...then a basement in an old boy's club...then we moved to a health and fitness center backroom for a month...then to a garage in a storage unit for 14 years...for 7 years we also had a smaller second dojo. We commuted 50 miles to teach there. Now we have our own dojo at our house...it took 26 years.

All along we both taught at colleges...we did demonstrations every chance we could and did a lot of marketing.

We don't have a payroll...because he and I are the only teachers. We are married and we don't get paid. The dojo pays for itself....including insurance, supplies and our home equity loan that we borrowed to build it.

Mary
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:16 AM   #6
AikiKamiNikko
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3
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Talking Re: Dojo Costs

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
What kind of Dojo are you planning on running there?

Most of those things would be pretty low on my list of important costs. If you're starting your first dojo, why not have it at your house, or at a park? This would eliminate almost every cost on your list, and provide some valuable "learning how to be a teacher" time.

Even if you have spent lots of time teaching for other people, it's very different teaching on your own. In some ways you have to learn all over again.

Before getting a physical dojo, you need to make your own abstract dojo. You need to figure out who you are, what you're about, how that relates to other people. What it is you are offering them?

Money should be your last concern at first. Teach because you love it, find others who learn because they love that. Everything will start coming together like magic; when it's suppose too.

Not the answer you're looking for I'm sure. But that's the truth as I understand it right now.
fantastic insight. thank you very much

For everyone else, thank you also. The reason I worry about money now is because I love the art so much that I want to make sure I can keep teaching and not worry about money. Maybe I can ask around and just keep going at it.

Thank you very much for your responses!!
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:44 AM   #7
ChrisHein
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
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Re: Dojo Costs

Sounds like you already have the right attitude.

Good luck, I'm sure things will turn out well for you.

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Old 10-12-2008, 01:00 PM   #8
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,133
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Re: Dojo Costs

Your question is almost impossible to answer with specificity due to all the variables involved. While its wise to begin thinking of all the possible recurring expenses of a dojo, the actual costs are going to be based on your geographic region and scale of your operation. To rent a small storefront in some areas is $10 a square foot and in others well over $ 100. How you build your dojo is also a variable. Will you be using traditional tatami? Stretched canvas? A vinyl mat? They each require different cleaning materials for example and those costs vary widely.

When you speak of payroll all sorts of expensive things start to add up too. Depending on your state and local laws you will probably have to have some form of workers' compensation insurance and other required benefits. You can probably get all the info you need from your state Labor Commissioner through the internet to help in your planning.

One budget item to consider is a reserve for unplanned events. We just had an unfortunate hot water heater failure above the men's bathroom. When the heater failed, water leaked into the ceiling above the bathroom and ruined the sheetrock. By the time all the repairs are completed, it will cost somewhere around $ 1000.00.

Overall, operating a physical plant dojo is a serious business undertaking and requires capital and a lot of sweat equity. Starting with the YMCA/Recreation Center model seems like it would be a good starting point unless you have a pocket full of money available. Good luck with your future project!

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:35 PM   #9
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Dojo Costs

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu. Visit other dojos, especially dojos just starting up. Especially during thunderstorms. (that is also not a joke).

In gassho,

Mark
Very wise Mark.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:21 PM   #10
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
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Re: Dojo Costs

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote: View Post
I wish it were a joke, but from many people's experience you might want to add;

alimony
child support

Charles
Add attorney's fees.

Joking aside if it were a joke. Isn't running a dojo same as running a small business from this stand point? The city and state, and all others involved i.e. insurance agents all look at it as a small business venture. I would like you would too look at the dojo as a small business, and approach it that way. Part of being a small business owner is the possibility of being sued. Lots of people run businesses and are successful and dojos too.

Last edited by Buck : 10-12-2008 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:39 AM   #11
AikiKamiNikko
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3
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Re: Dojo Costs

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Add attorney's fees.

Joking aside if it were a joke. Isn't running a dojo same as running a small business from this stand point? The city and state, and all others involved i.e. insurance agents all look at it as a small business venture. I would like you would too look at the dojo as a small business, and approach it that way. Part of being a small business owner is the possibility of being sued. Lots of people run businesses and are successful and dojos too.
a friend of mine has told me this. very very true statement
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:11 AM   #12
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Kuwait
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Re: Dojo Costs

Rule from business - the success of your venture is often directly proportional to the amount of funds you allocate to the start-up. If that rule holds true for a dojo (it did for all of mine), it makes more sense to save money by starting small and relying on low-overhead locations until you can save enough funds to have a grand facility. On the other hand, if all you want is to continue practicing Aikido, then the financial and growth objectives are moot so you can stay with the low overhead operation.
Rock
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:04 PM   #13
Jacob Clapsadle
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Oakland
Location: Oakland California
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8
United_States
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Re: Dojo Costs

The dojo I belong to turned into a nonprofit 501(c)3 a few years ago which helps keep certain costs low and managable. This was established, however, when there was already a stable student body and a group of dedicated instructors who didn't need to get paid to teach. Still, if you have another job to support yourself, this might be an option worth looking into.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:18 PM   #14
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Dojo Costs

My current 'dojo' is completely portable. It consists of a mini-van full of mats. I teach at the community center and my rent is $20/month. I just have to haul my mats back and forth from my house. Fortunately that's only 1 mile away. I think I'm getting a great deal. Course I don't charge much either.
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:58 AM   #15
Kieran Barrett
 
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Dojo: Midleton Aikido Club
Location: County Cork,
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 11
Ireland
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Re: Dojo Costs

Hi, My experience here in Ireland is find another martial art club that is willing to let you rent form them on nights that they are not training. They will be glad of the extra revenue.The club I run is paying for itself [non profit], but at the start I decided to finance the cost of tatami's and insurance myself. This gives me freedom of movement.... whenever I want to move!!!!!

Kieran
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:25 AM   #16
DemonGibber
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2
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Re: Dojo Costs

I read this thread quite often cause i myself, am looking at starting up a dojo or maybe even training camp not quite sure. Yet to comments stuck out in my head

1. the Child support n alimony. yes you might want to look into that if your married n your wife is insecure or you become very famous.

2. something about teaching for non profit/ just for fun im sorry this sounds great n i enjoy both learn the arts n teaching others but my personal opinion is this, shouldn't i get paid for being beat up? I mean if your training someone n actually roll with them most likely if they are new they are gonna move wrong n if ur a bad instructor ull let your student get hurt rather then releasing a hold n them continuing to move n u get hurt.

my other statement is are u doing full contact or stand in line n do the same thing cause either way ur gonna have to have some outline for incase u want a vacation n 1 of ur high belts take over.
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