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#428916 - 08/06/10 10:34 PM Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools?
TaekwonDoFan Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 271
I think there is.

Yesterday, I saw a kickboxing/karate MMA school that was next to an Aikido school. Just a few miles up the road was a Taekwondo school, also next to a local gym that offered various martial arts programs. And I know also that, not too far away, were two more martial arts schools.

I checked the other suburbs in my city, and it seems that there are half a dozen schools in every suburb, all offering programs in training, fitness, self defence, and so on.

With our economy the way it is, I think the boom in MA schools will become a bust. IOW, quite a few schools will shut down.

Does anyone else share the same feelings?

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#428920 - 08/07/10 05:14 AM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: TaekwonDoFan]
ninpopo Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/10
Posts: 72
Loc: Africa *drums starts playing i...
I dont know, where i am again, we werent affected by the economic crisis at all (was confirmed on the yearly financial reports on the news). But we do have a serious lack of MA/Fighting art schools here, but the ones that are here, are of good quality if i have to say so myself.

I do however see more potential for business in this country regarding various martial arts, since everyone doesnt like the same style.

So i guess your statements reply will differ from region to region smile
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#428921 - 08/07/10 10:06 AM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: ninpopo]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
TKD Fan

Maybe.....kinda depends on just how good the people running them are at business.

When the economy gets rough just being good at martial arts isn't going to be good enough.

Like all hobbies (from the students standpoint) MA has a pretty "soft" base.....people need time, "extra" ie disposible income,transport, etc and can easily be sidetracked for many reasons.

Many schools also depend on children as the prime income source. And kids have a huge "churn" rate even among MA students which have a huge "churn" rate as far as customers go anyway.
So schools with a high child to adult ratio are going to feel it.

There are always exceptions of course.

Best hedge is a good business model and a owner that knows how to do business.
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#428923 - 08/07/10 01:07 PM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: cxt]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
Possibly, but I don't think so. If a school is having trouble getting students it usually has more to do with the business model than the quantity of options.

Most schools are run by Martial Artists, not business people. Which is usually good for the Martial Arts, but not so good for the business. In General anyway.

I know of schools here that because they offer what is hot, and have the reputation. Get away with bad location and bad marketing/sales. What they don't realize is when the winds change, their enrollment will drop, unless they change or anticipate.

For now though, students (myself included) drive past several other schools to get to their bad location, while these other schools are fighting to keep the lights on.

Meanwhile, down the road a bit the other way is a school that is run by a business person. They have people knocking down their doors, sometimes 3 to a bag in some classes. The product is "OK" but their marketing and sales is excellent. Many of those students would probably do better and save money at the schools that are struggling, but those owners don't know how to market themselves to draw them in.

This is during not so great economic times, which is what I am sure the low enrollment schools believe is the issue, when really that's only a small part of the problem.

So, to the point I think it's more likely that some schools did well because there were so few options, they got students by default (this is not reflective of their quality BTW). Today, if you want to be successful, you have to either appeal to a wider base (whats hot in the mainstream) or market you specialty. That has way more impact then the number of shingles hanging on storefronts along the way.

IMO
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#428924 - 08/07/10 02:06 PM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: Kimo2007]
TaekwonDoFan Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 271
Kimo, you're right, but that does not mean there's not an oversupply, especially in these economic times. Ningpopo, I have never been to Africa, but I'm glad there's a good set of quality schools.

Cxt, again, your observations are spot on, but the question remains, what's the supply relative to demand?

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#428925 - 08/07/10 02:50 PM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: TaekwonDoFan]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
Quote:
Kimo, you're right, but that does not mean there's not an oversupply, especially in these economic times.


Honestly, I don't know what the saturation point for MA schools is and if we are/are not at that point. That would require a market analysis. It's a complicated model though because there are different target markets, Kids, fitness/weight loss/MMA (modern)/traditional. Plenty of different factors.

But oversupply is not really the way to look at it because this is a disposable income item, meaning availability is far less important that marketing. I give you Starbucks as my example, did the world really need a 3 dollar cup of of coffee? Coffee was almost as easy to get as water, still is for that matter.

So are there too many Martial Arts schools? More variety is better for the consumer usually so in that sense no. Is there an oversupply for the available student base? Possibly, as everything has a saturation point (only so many mouths to drink the coffee), but in general I would say,if you can sell it, they will come.

On another note, the economy hurts, but usually by a percentage. Business may be off 20%, doesn't mean you close your doors, good business models weather the storm.

Unfortunately, (as CXT stated) good Martial Arts often is not enough.
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#428928 - 08/07/10 03:49 PM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: TaekwonDoFan]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
TKD Fan

"what is supply relative to demand?"

I have no idea. But I would guess that it depends on what exactly you are counting as "supple" and "demand."

Have to make some assumptions here.

I used to travel a lot for work and could almost always find a TKD school no matter where I went.
Traditional karate was noticably more rare. However people teaching varients or their own personal approachs were more easily found but still fewer than TKD.

If I were looking for say Okinawan Goju, depending on exactly where somebody was the "supply" would either be "not enough" or maybe "many choices."
Same if I were looking for Tang-soo-do or Hwarang-do instead of TKD.
Or koryu jujutsu instead of judo and judo period in many places.

If you dump ALL arts into one big bag labled "martial arts" then I suppose that you could argue that supply exceeds demand.....maybe......since you could also argue that the exsistance of so many schools could tend to indcate that saturation has yet to be reaached.

If you treat seperate arts as offering different things then "demand" and "supply" questions need to focused on those specific things.....whatever they might be.

In terms of the question you could probably, generally, say that people have more GENERAL access to "martial arts" but fewer actual/real choices than the overall numbers of schools might indicate.


Edited by cxt (08/07/10 03:51 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#428931 - 08/07/10 04:56 PM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: TaekwonDoFan]
Kathryn Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Washington, DC
It probably depends on the art -- it's easy to find a karate or aikido studio in most areas, but other Japanese traditional arts are still in a position where prospective students are often faced with long commutes or making a move to a city where they can train.

Kathryn

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#429117 - 08/15/10 11:25 AM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: Kathryn]
TaekwonDoFan Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 271
As the economists would say, substitutability isn't perfect, but there's still some substitutability. IOW, while the various styles offer different programs, they still compete with each other to some extent, so, together, they may have created an oversupply.

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#429118 - 08/15/10 02:34 PM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: TaekwonDoFan]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
TKD

"they still compete with each other to some extent."

Maybe, maybe not.

Depends on their business model, whom exactly their customer base is, and whom they are aiming for.

Buddy of mine ran a "hard core" club--age 18-35 avg, hard contact, plenty of sparring, really hard workouts. Another club on the other side of town was a "family" place, lots of kids with their parents, short classes, not much sparring and it was heavily padded, classes were not all that tough from an objective POV.

And they both were the same style.

I would agree that "martial arts" in general, might, just might be in oversupply---depending on where you are located.

But a good business owner understand market differenation and how to use it.

Of course that presumes a "good" business owner smile


Edited by cxt (08/15/10 02:35 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#429127 - 08/16/10 03:47 AM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: cxt]
Mark Jordan Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 138
Loc: Burbank, California
It depends on the arts. I don't think there is an oversupply of school teaching Bando thaing in Burbank where I live or Kyudo, Shintaido just to name a few.

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#429131 - 08/16/10 09:51 AM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: Mark Jordan]
TaekwonDoFan Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 271
For the individual art, perhaps not, especially if it's an exotic one. But, for karate, taekwondo and kung fu, I'd say yes.

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#431686 - 03/09/11 06:10 PM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: TaekwonDoFan]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
I agree that marketing is a very important tool to use to have people want to check your school out.
My area probably has enough schools for it's size, but few of them are schools that I would want to learn at. My area karate schools have had a decline in enrollment largely due to the increasing popularity of MMA.
I chose karate because I was interested in it as a way of life rather than simply to fight.
Our school has a lot of kids, and adults range in age from 35 years old and up. We're missing the 20-35 year old age group largely because of the popularity of MMA.
Don't get me wrong....I have nothing against MMA, but I think that a lot of younger adults are impressed by the fighters that they see on T.V., and they feel like they can do that style also. The fact is, the pros do their MMA as a full time occupation, and it's pretty difficult to achieve that level while working full time and having a normal life, ect...


Edited by choonbee (03/09/11 09:30 PM)
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#431698 - 03/11/11 10:31 AM Re: Is there an oversupply of martial arts schools? [Re: choonbee]
Matakiant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 117
Where I live there is no such thing as oversupply.

Right now I live in a town of 50k~ and there are only 3 choices here - Shotokan, TKD & ''pure'' sports karate. All three are very small and both the Shotokan and TKD focus mainly on sports.

In the 300k~ person city I used to live at there were more schools and places if I recall right all in total with the different karate, judo, ju-jutsu, aikido & boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, mma around 20 schools.

But the enviornment here is very much different martial arts schools don't advertise themselves, they all just have some website and the only advertisement really is person to person and sometimes some demonstrations in schools.

Very few schools/clubs can afford to rent proper facilities and I only know of 1 that has their very own rooms. Most just use public school halls and similar places to conduct their lessons.

The schools are all very small.. And mostly filled with kids and all that though in here we don't really have the toddler classes.. Most kids classes are around 7-14.

Most schools and clubs are only around 50 students a few of the ''bigger'' clubs have around 100-200 students across the country.

Even with the almost non-existant commercialism McDojos do exist and almost all schools focus on sport sport sport.

Also 99% of Senseis have day time jobs and so on. I personally only know 1 man who earns his living through teaching martial arts and that man is the head of a world wide karate organisation for this country.

It's probably like this because the country is small and people don't have that much of an interest in martial arts here the few that do may find it very hard to get to a school because outside of the cities the availability is 0.

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