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Old 08-28-2013, 08:56 AM   #1
scarey
Dojo: Shinkikan
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 28
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Top 5 problems you are experiencing as a dojo owner/instructor?

Curious what everyone's vibe is regarding the business of Aikido.

What are the top 5 problems you are experiencing as a dojo owner/instructor?
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
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Re: Top 5

What are you dealing with at your dojo?

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:41 AM   #3
scarey
Dojo: Shinkikan
Location: Houston
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Re: Top 5

I'm dealing with a lack of students :-D
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: Top 5

Many dojos I know of have seen a drop off since the economy tanked and more people have less disposable income.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
Mary Eastland
 
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Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
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Re: Top 5 problems you are experiencing as a dojo owner/instructor?

We have small steady group of students so I can't think of 5 problems. We have adjusted our expectations to the point where we are grateful to be able to train 3 times a week. We usually have 6 to 8 people in class.

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Old 08-28-2013, 01:03 PM   #6
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 385
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Re: Top 5 problems you are experiencing as a dojo owner/instructor?

Shawn, you're in good company and in a similar boat to hombu right after WWII. Do you have families living and cooking in your space, too?

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Old 08-28-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: Top 5 problems you are experiencing as a dojo owner/instructor?

Not being a dojo owner, I'll still chime in and say that I see one big problem being a disconnect between what people expect and what they find when they come to a dojo. One common (and problematic) expectation is that the dojo will be like a gym (nice locker rooms, a cleaning staff, showers, amenities).
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
Conrad Gus
 
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Dojo: Victoria Family Aikido
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 243
Canada
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Re: Top 5 problems you are experiencing as a dojo owner/instructor?

  1. Aikido takes a long time and a lot of commitment just to get to a solid foundation skill level. Very few people are willing to commit that level of time and energy in a sustained fashion.
  2. See #1
  3. See #1
  4. See #1
  5. See #1
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:37 PM   #9
danielajames
 
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Dojo: Brisbane Aikido Republic
Location: Brisbane
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Re: Top 5 problems you are experiencing as a dojo owner/instructor?

I played with the stats awhile back and found 38 members is about average of whats possible for my local city. Of course getting there ou have to hot critical mass and then the retention starts to kicking.

My biggest challenge?, maximising time on the mat to keep learning

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:14 AM   #10
scarey
Dojo: Shinkikan
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Re: Top 5 problems you are experiencing as a dojo owner/instructor?

I'm going to experiment with outdoor boot camps. It seems that adopting this format might address some of the issues described in this thread.

1. Amenities - Showers, lockers, any other amenities would not be expected (all though some parks do have them).

2. Commitment - To be successful in Aikido (or anything) does require some longterm devotion. Not everyone wants that. Some students would maybe prefer a four week session, knowing they probably don't have any intention of studying for a long period of time, much less indefinitely.

3. Economy - This one is tricky. Aikido can be very a very good workout. But it seems to suffer from the reputation of being extra curricular. Compare that to the expense of a gym membership, which largely goes unused. People probably justify paying for a non-used gym membership because it's directly associated with healthy living. Bootcamps are exploding in the parks here in Houston. I'm actually a member myself of one. I think business-wise we can take a few pages out of their playbook.

I started this thread just to brainstorm some ideas and hopefully help instructors or potential instructors do something they thoroughly enjoy. I'm looking forward to this experiment with bootcamps and hopefully we can come up with some other ideas to "keep the ki flowing".
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