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#133762 - 09/28/04 05:02 PM starting a martial arts school


I am pretty new to this forum. So Hello to all.

My question is to those of you who have your own club/school.

How did you get started?

Thank You

#133763 - 09/30/04 04:42 AM Re: starting a martial arts school
still wadowoman Offline
Improved beefier techno-prat

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 3420
Loc: Residence:UK- Heart:Md, USA
I started off teaching in two primary schools. I hired their hall after school and asked the secretary to send a letter to every studentintroducing myself.

A week later I collected the reply slips. I had far too many responses to teach all of them alone so man I trained with assisted until numbers were more manageable (if you do not have anyone to help, take a few at a time).

The drop out rate is tremendous for white belts, so it doesn't take long to become manageable.

At the beginning of each year I readvertised.

When I had sufficient graded people who wanted to train more than once a week I opened an evening class and a few from each class attended.

Later, parents joined in as well. Once there were a couple, others followed.

This was 6 years ago, I now have men, women and children. I still teach in two schools and also Tuesday evenings in the local community centre and Saturday mornings. I have around 75 students and a waiting list of around 20.

Obviously, when you aproach the school, they will want to see your qualifications, insurance documents and current first aid certificat. Most will also want a risk assesment carried out by you and in the UK, a police check is also required.

If you would like to discuss how I aproached the schools in more detail, feel free to email me />Sharon

#133764 - 09/30/04 11:06 PM Re: starting a martial arts school

Hi Sharon,

I was hoping that you would reply, I have read a lot of your post and really respect the points that you have made and the manner that you address people here.

A primary school sounds like a good place to start, I have thought about my local park, or just teaching from my home.
My instructor has talked to me about opening my own school but he wants me to buy a franchise from him. I am not sure if i should do this $$$..., or go out on my own.

what are your thoughts?

Thank You,

#133765 - 10/01/04 02:58 AM Re: starting a martial arts school
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I too started in the elementary school system. I did this for about 2 years. Problem was the same 6 kept signing up plus 30-50 more. So those 6 needed more than the constant new students. So I opened up a dojo at my house. I started with those 6 plus my daughter and son. I personally love training at my house. I knocked out some walls and built an addition on to the garange and made a dojo here at the house. By having a school at your house, you don't need to worry about paying rent and charging a high rate for classes. This way you can teach what you want, the way you want, and not have to give in to financial responsiblities. I alot like the control I have on who and the amount of students I have.

One of my Sensei teaches in the park and rec center, another in a church, so there are many ways. I simply went out bought mats, converted my garage and started by word of mouth.I think the only thing that is important is to have a base to draw from, for me it was the elemetary school, but if you have no base you could be practicing kata all night by yourself and not have any students. Another thing is I would not buy a franchise for a number of reasons. One is you have a hard enough time at first making ends meet, plus the payment to the Sensei. I think joining Organizations is good but not a franchise. they have too much control over what you do.If I join an Organization, I make sure of my autonomy first. Its hard to run YOUR school when someone is dictating to you what you must do, many times it may work in a big city but you are in a small one and don't have the same advantages.

#133766 - 10/01/04 04:51 PM Re: starting a martial arts school

I really didn't think a francise was a good Idea. to much money and then you have to keep paying. I don't see the advantage.

I have a friend who is interested in taking classes from me so maybe I should just start there. in my home or up at the park. I have another job so it would not be my main income.

Should I tell My instructor what I want to do?, or should I just do it.

I want to stay on good terms with my instructor, for my own training and because I started with him in 1989...I left the school for a while and took some other styles, but i have been back at his school for 3 or 4 years now.

One of the schools I trained at is very supportive of me going out on my own, that is what they did, but they left on very bad terms with there former instructor. I really don't want that.

how would you two go about telling him what I want to do?

Thank You,


#133767 - 10/01/04 08:26 PM Re: starting a martial arts school
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
Try teaching at your local YMCA or youth center for a while first. Teach out of your garage for a while till you get enough students to make opening a school worth it. Unless you want big profit there is no need for it. Charging enough to cover the need of the school itself(rent, power, insurance, equipment, ect...) is fine. Depends on what you want and your location.

#133768 - 10/02/04 11:26 PM Re: starting a martial arts school
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
Check out the local school system's adult education classes. I teach a class thru them. No overhead on my part - I get 70% of the very low fees off the top. Luckily this is NOT my primary source of income, but at least I won't owe money like a couple I know who had to close the doors to their dojo after 12 years and still owe over $20K.

#133769 - 11/11/04 01:43 PM Re: starting a martial arts school

I was just browers the internet and found your guys bb. And I was wondering if you can tell me more information on how to start you own martial art school. Thanks

#133770 - 11/11/04 02:52 PM Re: starting a martial arts school
still wadowoman Offline
Improved beefier techno-prat

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 3420
Loc: Residence:UK- Heart:Md, USA
If any of you asking about starting your own school are interested to hear how I approached the primary/elementary schools, email me for more info />Sharon


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