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#432977 - 06/28/11 10:47 AM Getting new white belts.
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
In my Goju ryu club it seems that it's the same tight group that shows up to workout. While we are friends and enjoy working out, it seems that there isn't anyone coming up behind us to keep the club filled up. Our club isn't a profit making venture for my sensei, but I'm sure that there are times that he probably could use some more students to round things out.
I've found that it's difficult to get new students because everyone is so busy with their daily lives. This and the attitude of some people. You know the types. "Thats too much work." or "When do we learn to ---- someone up."
It appears that our society has made us in such a hurry that we won't take the time needed to gain understanding of the art aspect of some things.
Has anyone out there experienced anything similar to this at your club/school?

keep training, Mark

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#432979 - 06/28/11 11:44 AM Re: Getting new white belts. [Re: gojuman59]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Yes. But then, my teachers don't advertise and are happy as a small group of advanced belts.

I've found that advertising using simple handouts has worked pretty well. Simple description, class times available and a phone number. The phone call weeds them out. After that, the ones that actually show up for an intitial interview and class intro are ones that stay. I've got 4 private students, 'white belts', at this point from it. An average of one student per month of pamphleting.



Edited by harlan (06/28/11 11:52 AM)

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#432980 - 06/28/11 12:22 PM Re: Getting new white belts. [Re: harlan]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
Thanks Harlan. I think that I will bring up the handouts idea to my sensei and see what he thinks about that. I would imagine that the phone contact would separate the kooks from the serious inquiries.

keep training, Mark

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#432981 - 06/28/11 12:50 PM Re: Getting new white belts. [Re: gojuman59]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Yeah, that sounds familiar.

Getting brand new people to stick with adult Karate training is hard..don't take it personally when they leave. It can also be intimidating for new people to be in a class with lots of higher ranks, but the conundrum is it's hard to get new people!

Probably one out of every ten inquiries will actually show up, and when you have people call with a list of questions "do you do X", "why don't you Y"..you can expect that whatever you do, you probably won't satisfy those people.

Quote:
Has anyone out there experienced anything similar to this at your club/school?


Yes, I have had a little dojo on and off for about five years, and one constant is that you will have a core group, and a revolving door of other people, eventually someone that walks through that door may stay, but it may take some time.

So far i'm going with Harlan's suggestion on the flyers also..but i've been most successful simply with word of mouth..emailing people I know..and "tell your friends" type stuff.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (06/28/11 12:51 PM)

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#432982 - 06/28/11 01:17 PM Re: Getting new white belts. [Re: Zach_Zinn]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
You know we might have trouble getting new white belts because they have heard of some of our killer workouts. I tried to explain this to a new white belt. You know.. try your best.. go at your own speed..nobody is keeping score. I just think that he thought that he couldn't keep up in the fitness dept.Ah!!The memories.My first class as a white belt I thought that I would pass out.
I guess it comes down to what level of work are you willing to put in.

Mark

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#432983 - 06/28/11 01:24 PM Re: Getting new white belts. [Re: gojuman59]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: gojuman59
You know we might have trouble getting new white belts because they have heard of some of our killer workouts. I tried to explain this to a new white belt. You know.. try your best.. go at your own speed..nobody is keeping score. I just think that he thought that he couldn't keep up in the fitness dept.Ah!!The memories.My first class as a white belt I thought that I would pass out.
I guess it comes down to what level of work are you willing to put in.

Mark


Honestly I doubt it, in fact i've found that as far as Karate classes go conditioning heavy ones are easier to fill, there is always a certain section that is wanting that more than anything else. I've seen more people get turned off by contact (even fairly minimal) than by hard physical exercise. Fitness is probably a bigger draw for new people than combative stuff.

I doubt it's anything you are doing or not doing, small traditional dojos just are hard to keep adult students in, most people don't stick with the arts..that's just how things are, I doubt it's anything about your specific class causing this to happen. Just pump up that core group, get a slow trickle of others coming through and you're good..at least that's what i'm trying to do..


Edited by Zach_Zinn (06/28/11 01:31 PM)

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#432984 - 06/28/11 02:10 PM Re: Getting new white belts. [Re: Zach_Zinn]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
Thanks Mr.Z. I needed to see this from a different prospective. I guess that I always thought that the exertion of the workout drove people off.
Here's another reason I think might turn off beginners. The techniques that are taught to white belts in the beginning can be kind of boring. Building a base is the way to do it, but some want to run before they crawl. The movies have convinced some that they too can do the jump-spinning-levatating-killer defeating kick of death. These people aren't gonna want to spend hours walking in Sanchin. It's too bad that ego driven attitudes turn people away from TMA. I guess it all comes down to your motivation to train.

Mark

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#432985 - 06/28/11 02:15 PM Re: Getting new white belts. [Re: gojuman59]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
'Spending hours walking in Sanchin' sounds like a brainless exercise to me. Better ways to spend precious classroom time IMHO. Unless, you mean spread out over the years of training...?


Edited by harlan (06/28/11 02:16 PM)

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#432986 - 06/28/11 02:49 PM Re: Getting new white belts. [Re: harlan]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
Harlan

I guess I wasn't very clear about the Sanchin training. The hours were culmulative not all in a row.I should have reread my post. Certainly, walking in Sanchin hours on end is silly. My point was that to a beginner some of the training is tedious if they are expecting instant gratification. TMA is work and a slow process that many aren't willing to commit their time on.

keep training, Mark

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#432987 - 06/28/11 02:53 PM Re: Getting new white belts. [Re: gojuman59]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
smile Thanks for taking the time to clarify. Being new to sharing kobudo/goju, I find that training methodologies and student expectations are now something I have to consider as well. shocked

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