Now that the new dojo is up and running, I’ve been trying to do a lot of research regarding how to take care of it from a business perspective. There’s actually quite a lot of opinions and thought behind running a dojo; some of the articles and essays I’ve come across have been very interesting to read.
One of the most thought-provoking essays that I’ve come across so far is this one from 24 Fighting Chickens. In this essay, the author discusses many of the assumptions martial artists make when they start running their club as a business.
It seems that most instructors assume that you are either remain true to your art, in which case your club often remains small, or you become what is less-than-politely referred to as a “McKarate” dojo–a place in which the sole point of the school is to make money, as opposed to teach a specific art. The author then proceeds to reject that these are the only two options available to you; that is certainly possible to build a club that provides quality instruction without constantly teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
The link I’ve provided is part one of two. It provides a very interesting perspective on what actions an instructor takes that can actually drive away students. I looked through the list, and was pleased to find that I did not have some of these habits, but surprised that I did have some of them.
Even if you are not an instructor or responsible for running a dojo, check out this essay. You never know when you’ll be in the driver’s seat.