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Old 11-24-2002, 08:16 AM   #76
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
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Iowa, sounds inviting (actually, I think Dar Williams has a great song about Iowa).

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Old 11-24-2002, 01:26 PM   #77
Dangus
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 48
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Corn is cheap here, so is bacon. How anyone can live elsewhere is just unreal

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares plow for those who keep their's" -Ben Franklin
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Old 11-24-2002, 02:50 PM   #78
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
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I was just in Iowa Cita (which, I think, is less than 75 miles from Cedar Falls) and trained for an evening in a lovely dojo run by a woman named Diana Harris. They even have a home page (http://www.uiowa.edu/~aikido/index.html).

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 11-24-2002, 06:19 PM   #79
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 142
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speaking of Iowa, our dojo is in Cedar Rapids, a half hour from Iowa City and an hour from Cedar Fallsİ Diana Harris is great, I'm still new to Aikido but I had the pleasure of her instruction when she did a guest appearance, and she's coming back next week I believeİ My instructor was a student in Iowa City before starting our dojo, and he has a great relationship with those guys, they mix it up a little as they're so closeİ My point is that we both benefit from good relations, and we get to see a different Sensei once in a while to mix things upİ Our Sensei also has an affiliation with a dojo in Madison, WI, but I'm not sure how that worksİ I know he went there for something a little while backİ Anyway try out more connections with other dojos, or even other artsİ I think the mood should not be that they think you're going to "steal" their students but that there are more options for places and times to trainİ Maybe even a split rate with another dojoİ I think I might be willing to do a split thing, as I have a night open with no class, I might pay a few bucks more to go to Iowa City that night or somethingİ Just a thoughtİ Best of luck to you!

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 11-24-2002, 11:41 PM   #80
Dangus
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 48
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Even the Northern end of Cedar Rapids is 65 miles from Cedar Falls, and Iowa City is 85-90 away, even if you consider Coralville to be inside Iowa City.

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares plow for those who keep their's" -Ben Franklin
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Old 12-17-2002, 06:04 PM   #81
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
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tonight I had my first visitor to the dojo who was looking to train. I did a free class and he signed up! Cause for celebration! Hopefully this will be the start of something great, wish me luck.

Rachel
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Old 12-17-2002, 08:13 PM   #82
Kat.C
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 212
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Congratulations Rachel, and goodluck! Perhaps your new student will encourage some of his friends to come and join.

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 12-17-2002, 08:42 PM   #83
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,055
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Hi Rachel;

You and me are in the same boat at the moment although this is my second time around. First day in Quebec I had 20 on the mat, first day in Himeji I had 8. In both cases I planned on losing half of them and growing from there - and in both cases that is exactly what's happening. So you ask - how did you manage to get so many? Work - the great untapped resource. I understand keeping work and play separate but you know there are a lot of people that know you whether by sight or actual conversation and they will support you because of that. Even if they find Aikido is not for them they may run into someone who is.

Make a web site (a simple one is very easy - please see mine as an example).

Submit it to as many search engines as possible - google must be on the list.

Get the web site listed on Aikidofaq and Aikiweb - I've actually had inquires based on both. I also suggest http://www.aikido-world.com/

Further - does your town have a home page. Himeji does - I've asked to be listed. Does your organization have a home page - ask them to link to you.

Journalists - the bane of mankind do have uses. When my wife opened a ballet group in Tsukuba there was a short filler article done and the next day she had 85 students. Took two days for her to recover from the shock.

Yellow pages are also a good source although I've never used them. Mainly because I was unsure of how pernament my club was.

Fliers - I don't think anybody pays attention to them. Not worth the effort. Your students will probably come from people already looking for a martial art if not Aikido specifically - what you need to do is put the information out where they can find it.


Last edited by PeterR : 12-17-2002 at 08:56 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-17-2002, 09:01 PM   #84
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
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Japan
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Me again - I realize that you probably have done most of what I mentioned (ie. I saw the web page).

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-17-2002, 10:54 PM   #85
MaylandL
Location: Western Australia
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 241
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Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
tonight I had my first visitor to the dojo who was looking to train. I did a free class and he signed up! Cause for celebration! Hopefully this will be the start of something great, wish me luck.

...
Congratulations and all the best of luck. Our dojo will be doing a freebie class and demonstration in April next year to publicise the activities of the dojo and get some new members in the new year. In the meantime, we are having break over Christmas and starting up in January. All the best for the Christmas and New Year (commonly known as the "silly season" in Aussie") to you, and your friends and family.

Mayland
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Old 12-17-2002, 11:05 PM   #86
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
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I was looking some more on your web page and I wonder - does a listing of dojo rules come across to anyone else as a little off-putting.

I reallize the importance of the correct atmosphere and how ettiquet is condusive to that - but considering the sparcity of other information it seems to have too much place. I think the web site would be far better served by listing benefits rather than rules. No one starts Aikido for the restrictions. Just a feeling and too much time on my hands.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-18-2002, 02:44 AM   #87
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
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Thanks folks,

Mr. Rehse, your thoughts about an etiqutte page are good, I've never thought of that, and was trying to make my site interesting. Maybe it is a good idea to get rid of it.

Any thoughts from the rest of you?

Rachel
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Old 12-18-2002, 07:00 AM   #88
MaylandL
Location: Western Australia
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 241
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Its conceivable that some may find an etiquette page a little off putting and I do take Mr Rehse point. I OTOH was fine with it. I remember when I first started out in martial arts training I had someone "show me the ropes" about dojo etiquette and I make it a point to ask about it when I go visiting other aikido dojos.

Perhaps a short paragraph on the page explaining the purpose of these "rules" eg to promote a joyous and productive training atmosphere, for safety etc might help put all of the "rules" in context.

Just a thought. All the best for training

Mayland
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Old 12-18-2002, 07:05 AM   #89
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
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Thanks Mayland,

I took it off my website as I think Mr. Rehse did have a good point, and will make it available to students (or just hand it to them) when they sign up (note the optimism in my voice). I had a note from my teacher telling me to be patient and to trust in myself, and to remind me how long it had taken him to have a good core of students. I am just very happy that someone tried the class, found it worthwhile, and signed up!

Best to you Mayland on the upcoming freebie class. I hope it works out well.

Happy Holidays to all!
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Old 12-18-2002, 09:05 AM   #90
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
Location: New York
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 322
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Congratulations, Rachel! I'm so excited for you!

About the rules....I know you already removed them, but here's my POV. I just started Aikido in October and I'm always afraid I'm going to break a rule or not bow at the right time. Being a shy and kind of anxious individual, it helps me to go to my dojo's webpage and make sure I'm ok. Sensei also hands out the handbook when you sign up, so I have access to the info online and offline, which is cool.

So once you have a full dojo, you might want to put it back on. Not for prospective students, since I can see how that MIGHT be off-putting, but for your current ones.

BTW, this is the URL for the dojo I attend, in case you wanted to take a look: www.kingstonaikido.com

Congrats again and I hope you get lotsa students really soon!

Karen

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 12-18-2002, 09:45 AM   #91
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
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Thanks Karen,

Really appreciate your input about the etiquette page, and maybe I'll put together a "members" page or something where the general public doesn't have access to it (once of course I have a few more members!).

Checked out the website, thanks for the url! Hopefully we will meet at some seminar, as we are in the same organization, so it is likely our paths will cross. Look forward to it.

Rachel
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Old 12-18-2002, 12:32 PM   #92
aikigreg
Dojo: Mizu Aikido
Location: Ft. Worth Texas
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 94
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Hi Rachel;

In both cases I planned on losing half of them and growing from there
Here's hoping Rachel doesn't lose half of her one student!
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:25 PM   #93
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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Way to go Rachel!

One or two enthusiastic students is all it takes to start it growing. Our club was in the same situation when we started. Then a couple of guys signed up and have been enthusiastic and ongoing ever since. Other people show up get sucked in by the feeling and the energy created by the couple of people who are already there and the next thing you know you've got 15-20 people on the mat

I hope this all works out beyond your wildest expectations.

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 12-18-2002, 06:55 PM   #94
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
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Thanks Greg, Thanks Bronson!

Yup, it should help to have more than two folks on the mat in terms of energy and all. The fellow who signed up is a really big beefy guy. I guess he liked that a woman half his size was able to take his balance and toss him around.

Now, just wish me luck when the Rec and Ed program starts in January....

Thank all of you who have offered so much support over the past few months. I hope to bring you nothing but good news over the next few months (or hopefully, years).

Rachel
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Old 12-21-2002, 12:42 AM   #95
tedehara
 
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Rachel,

Found something you'll be interested in. This book just came out. It's the only book I've seen on the subject. Although it's written by karate types, a dojo is a dojo and a dojo is also a business.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 12-23-2002, 09:21 AM   #96
fullerfury
Dojo: Aikido Suimei
Location: Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 72
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Rachel...

Don't lose hope...Remember that achieving mastery in Aikido should not be thought of as the ultimate goal, but rather enjoyed and savoured during the journey towards mastery, even during the peaks and valleys along the way. Perhaps you can continue to keep this in mind as you struggle through this initial hiccup, although it certainly sounds as if you arleady have a very good perspective on this.

I too am starting a dojo(under construction) and am anticipating the pain of attracting new membership.

Do you have a business card with class schedule. You never know when you get to make a lasting first impression on someone outside of the dojo. A small piece of literature for a perspective new student can be a great reminder for him/her to visit the school.

Good luck...this thread has given me great ideas.
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Old 12-23-2002, 11:07 AM   #97
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
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Thanks Garrett,

Hope is not lost. Achieving mastery in aikido is ellusive and is not a particular goal of mine. My goals in aikido are basically to continue to practice with an open heart and an open mind, and with good spirit always! I know things will work out eventually for the dojo, whether it is at this spot or at another. Confidence is increasing, but I have way too much experience to feel like I will ever master this art!

Best wishes for your dojo! I hope that you will succeed on your venture. Hopefully you have a few students to start with, as it is the starting from scratch part that is difficult. Now that I have more than one student, I can actually see what they are doing (when there is only one, you can feel it, but it is hard to see some of what they are doing, and it is hard to show them too!) and they can see me, so when I demonstrate a technique I also take ukemi. It is so much better having more than one student on the mat!

Best wishes, Happy Holidays to everyone!

Rachel
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Old 01-22-2003, 01:48 PM   #98
Bronson
 
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Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Just had another way to possibly get some more students fall into our lap the other day. The local Public Broadcasting Station called and asked if we would donate time at the dojo to be given as a gift during their next pledge drive. Since we are all a big bunch of nerds and like Public Television sensei is donating six, one month "gift certificates" to them. We'll see how it works out.

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 01-26-2003, 04:18 AM   #99
Kelly Allen
Dojo: Friends Dojo
Location: Winnipeg
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 190
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Thumbs down I'm rootin for you

I have read this thread from beginning to end with great intrest. I am a junior member at a very small Dojo (only me and another deshi). We recently had to others but lost them for one reason or another. My Sensie also only holds 3 classes a week, only 2 of which I can attend due to the shift I work. It is a beautiful Dojo and can probably handle 15 students at a time. The loss of half the deshi, I think, has had an affect on my sensie. I would like personally to train more than twice a week, but the only way my wife would let that happen is if I could involve the kids some how. I am considering asking my sensie if I could use the Dojo on a night that he doesn't to have a kids class. More of an Aikido play time. You know, make up some games which incorperate basic Aikido technics. Maybe this is something you could do to attract new students.
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Old 01-26-2003, 09:17 AM   #100
David Shevitz
Dojo: Aikido Kokikai South Everett
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15
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I have learned a lot from reading this thread! My club is just over a year old. Although it started slow (first 6 months had less than 5 students) we now have about 25 enjoying practice. (Just goes to show the value of patience, I suppose!)

I think the idea of a "members only" page is interesting. I did this on my Web site (www.kokikaisilverfirs.com, if you want to look). I created a "resources page" which has a lot of info I thought might intimidate new students. Interestingly enough, a lot of my current students like it, because they have an online resource for their questions. And I have had many new students come to me after their first class to say: "I noticed the members only section--can I have access?"

I think its an idea worth looking into--but I would recommend you see what sort of scripting programs your Web hosting service provides.

Best Regards,

David Shevitz
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