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Old 06-27-2003, 12:45 PM   #26
Tom Walsh
Dojo: Aikido of Volusia
Location: Edgewater, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 10
I started a dojo in the fall of 1998,rented space and opened the doors. The first night I had four new students....thought it was easy....then reality set in, there are up's and downs in the business part of running a school, the reason I am still going is because I love the art, just my thought...
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Old 06-27-2003, 01:10 PM   #27
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
I hope that I have never come off in any of my posts as someone who is trying to do this for the money (what money?). The main reason I wanted to start a dojo was to be able to pursue my training in a different direction and to affiliate with the organization I felt most comfortable with. My posts are generally directed at the trials and tribulations of trying to start a dojo from scratch. I haven't been so lucky as some, but do believe that one day it will improve, if I can afford to keep it up until it does. We all need to give back what we can to this art, and this is one way that I can do it, even from a relatively low-level. We all have something we can give. I give patience and encouragement, and my love for the art.

Apologies if I came off wrong. Rachel
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Old 06-29-2003, 01:40 PM   #28
Tom Walsh
Dojo: Aikido of Volusia
Location: Edgewater, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 10
No apologies are necessary, I just wanted to let you know that there are other people who have gone through the same things...I too have been where you are now, you might try and find a health spa,ask to teach out of there facilities, charge for your classes, you might have to split with the owner, but the money you earn can go towards buying a permanent building...just passing some experience along...

Good Luck!!!!
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Old 07-01-2003, 04:53 AM   #29
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646

I don't think that there is any shame in running a dojo that is financial secure and financially stable, and that can actually put a little cash into the pockets of its instructors and other people who help out, such as receptionists and/or records keepers.

A dojo that is financially viable can be more stable, which ultimately is better for the students.

Money and aikido do not have to be mutually exclusive. It's ripping off the students and finding ways tou gouge them that is wrong.

The love of money is the root of all evil, not money itself.
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Old 07-03-2003, 03:10 PM   #30
Harry Nguyen
Dojo: Austin Aikido Club
Location: Austin
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 5
It's really interesting to read all of your notes and thought about opening a dojo. I opened dojo twice, first time with another aikido instructor, second one by myself. I see the up and down of my dojo due to the economic but most of the time I am still on the plus side. (BTW, I practice Aikido since 1972 and still a Shodan :-)) It's hard to open a dojo, but it's also really hard to find a dojo that match with your "style". You have to deal with difficulty either way. Currently my dojo is pretty small 45'x16'. And I have around 10-15 students now. I could not accept more students due to the dojo size.

The down side of a small class is some day you have only a few (2-3) students, and you feel less than worthy to teach the class. And kids tend to be discourage and drop out with small class. We have up and down, but I learn a lot from teaching and enjoy every minutes of it. In 7 years, we move twice, first dojo, I shared with another Aikido branch. Second dojo, I shared with an Thai Boxing instructor, we have a roll up mat, pretty tough, and no A/C (remember we live in Texas). The third one, we have good mat, A/C and our own room, even it's small but we share with nobody.

I don't know if there is a value at or you can learn anything from my story, I just want to share mine.

Austin Aikido
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