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Old 01-10-2004, 01:25 PM   #26
Michael Young
Michael Young's Avatar
Dojo: Alamo City Aikido
Location: San Antonio, TX
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 133
That is a very original idea you had about the stand, one I've never heard of or considered before. It sounds like a great way to get people in for a demo or something, and it would only take an afternoon or two of time...hmmm we might give that one a try. In our experience demo's not only generate interest and students, but if you "charge" a $5.00 "donation" its works as a good fundraiser too, particularly if you are set up as a non-profit organization. We actually had people giving us larger donations as well. All we ever did to promote them before was put up flyers at local book stores, resteraunts etc. We do have a lot of foot traffic going past this new space as well as drive by...there are lots of little walk in shops and good sidewalks on the street. So maybe we'll give the little stand a go there and at a local mall or someting...thanks Maresa. BTW what videos did you play? Between all of us here at our dojo we've got a pretty good collection, maybe we could find some of the same ones you used to peak interest.


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Old 01-11-2004, 08:35 AM   #27
Dojo: Tupelo Aikikai
Location: Tupelo, Mississippi
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16
Hi I'm pretty new to the aikiweb and to teaching aikido. I started my dojo in my home about 2 years ago. I was lucky that I have a good friend who was willing to train with me alone and help find new students. We now have 7 full time students.

One of the things I have done that helps out the most is I started a yahoo group for my dojo. We have made alot of contacts and most of our full time students came from the yahoo group. The only trick to it is that you can't make the group as an advertisment and post class prices or yahoo will cut you off. We are truley a non-profit organization as we give the classes for free. Since we train out of my home/dojo we have very little cost in running it. So we didn't have a problem with yahoo cutting our group off. If you start a group on yahoo you could start it as a discussion group for your school and throw in your location contact numbers, email address ect...

The group keeps up with the number of people who have joined and unsubscribed from the group.

There are some other ways to get your name out in yahoo that are free. Your profile for one allows you to post links in it. If you can get all your students to post your link in their profiles that helps too. Join all the yahoo interests like aikido, judo, karate, etc... check out my profile and group at yahoo for some more ideas.

Best Regards

William Gibson
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Old 01-11-2004, 07:45 PM   #28
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
You don't have to post prices - you just have to get the phone call. I use geocites and most of my inquires come from there. A properly designed web site including meta tags, and submitting to search engines like google is very important from getting the message out there.

You do a search for Himeji Aikido - my site pops up first. That should also happen with your dojo.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-11-2004, 07:47 PM   #29
Dojo: Aiki Kenkyukai
Location: Indonesia
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 176
Video? Embukai videos, the ones showing many participants and spectators gets more interest. Or maybe... Seagal's "the Path beyond thought"

I used Yoshinkan Aikido's 32nd birthday video most often because there's more variated embukais there like Kids, Females, Tanto-dori, Katas and general demonstration.

a suggestion for the stand: Wind is bad, Sun is bad and extra Chairs are gooood...


As for donations, we started without renting the space. So we didn't think it would be necessary to ask for it.

The club hired my sensei for a montlhy fixed fee, the space and mats are provided. Students pays their montly fee directly to the club.

This method works pretty well so far, although maintaining good relation with the management is necessary as well.

I think new yudanshas can opt for this method, as it didn't require too much starting capital.

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
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Old 06-01-2004, 12:01 AM   #30
Michael Young
Michael Young's Avatar
Dojo: Alamo City Aikido
Location: San Antonio, TX
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 133
Re: Starting a new Dojo

Its been a while since I dragged this thread up, so what the heck, here is an update on things for anyone interested:

As I stated on the 9th of January, we got a lease at a place on a major thoroughfare in town with a decent (though high for us at the time) rent. It has been a lot of work and expense, but we finally have the space about 90% (hmm maybe more like 80%) finished out. We've now have 1,000 sq ft of mat space and a nice big sign on the road. Has it worked?...so far we are up to 17 adult members, and we just started a kids program about a month ago...nine kids so far. We didn't have a sign until 1 week ago, and things were a big mess in the space up until 3 weeks ago with the build out and all. Since we put the large sign out last week (and I do mean large.. 2 of them facing both sides of the road, each 4ftx8ft and 34ft up in the air on a post) we have gained 5 new members. Of the members who have joined since the beginning, we have only lost 1. We also lost one of our founding members, but that was because of a job offer out of state. BTW we started with only 8 members when we moved into this space. I would say since putting up the signs and finishing the space out, we get an average of 2 to 3 people per night walking in and checking us out. Our goal was to reach 20 members by the end of the year, looks like we will be surpassing that much sooner than we thought . I will be taking some new pictures soon and posting them on our website if anyone is interested.

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Old 06-01-2004, 12:25 AM   #31
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
Location: Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Re: Starting a new Dojo

Congratulations on the new dojo. I can only think of a couple of things:

Get affiliated with a university club. You'll get steady students, fresh commers, event opporunities, and people with time on their hands who are usually happy to help out w/ fliers. My old karate club did plenty of events, charity, parties, etc. We also did the self-defense seminars for freshmen (that was a pretty big boost), and wiggled our way into making karate classes for PE credits.

Make a webpage and update it.

get in the yellowpages.


Sell shirts (worked great in my University's karate and kickboxing clubs)

good luck
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Old 06-01-2004, 05:03 AM   #32
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
Re: Starting a new Dojo

Congratulations Mike,
You were instrumental in helping us get our program started with the "advice" you gave me. It all worked out fine. I saw Joe Rangel at the last seminar in SA and we had a nice talk. I hope to be in touch with you all later.
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 06-01-2004, 06:34 AM   #33
Dojo: Kyushinkan
Location: Roswell,GA
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 123
Re: Starting a new Dojo

does anyone know of a Shodan starting up a dojo. Is this disrespectful in any way? This may be indirectly related to the point of the thread, so please advise if anyone has heard of this. The little venture capitalist in me would like to know. Thank you and take care. ps-this could include a shodan running shop/owning the property etc,.. while having higher ranks show the ropes/chief instruct etc.thanks for responses. daniel.
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Old 06-01-2004, 07:52 AM   #34
batemanb's Avatar
Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,031
Re: Starting a new Dojo

daniel vanhee wrote:
does anyone know of a Shodan starting up a dojo. Is this disrespectful in any way?
I open the doors on my new class in a new location tonight. Whilst this is a new venture being mostly taught by me, the class retains a direct link with my original dojo (where I still teach the kids weekly and a monthly senior slot), and students will be encouraged to participate in all classes.

I don`t think there is anything disrespectful in this, in fact we have been "pushed" into it by our chief instructor (5th Dan) as a means of expanding the club and giving the dan grades more opportunity to teach and develop.



A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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