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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6137
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:58 pm    Post subject: Instructors: what did you wish you knew when you started? Reply with quote

As soon of you may have seen, I have officially started my own school!

September 3rd is my first class and I will have an hour for kids and then an adult class after.

Instructors, what do you wish someone had told you before you started?

Need all the help I can get.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my case - I wish I would have explained less. I tended to go on and on about topics or techniques and applications till I beat it into everyone's heads. I guess it was my way of proving that I had depth of knowledge on the subject and to gain my students trust in my teaching abilities. What it really did was bore my students to death.

My advice stick to brief explanations unless asked to expound on the subject. I now show the technique give a brief explanation and get right to it. If someone doesn't understand or wants to know more I'll speak with them after class instead of stopping the class.

On another note don't let your expectations be lowered. Maintain your requirements. You'll have better students.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27701
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's good advise there. Spend more time listening to your students than talking to them, and you'll find out what you need to do to help them out more.

The other thing I would say it to make sure to take the time necessary to stay on top of the "running-the-business" aspect of things. Its easy to want to just head home after a long day of teaching, but you may have to stay a little later to shore up some things as far as paying bills, addressing student dues, scheduling, etc. Make sure to stay focused on all that stuff, too.

Lastly, do your best to not let your own training take a back seat. Make the time to train. Try to schedule times to train with other high ranks, if you can. This is the hardest part, but possibly the most important. If you forget why you had the passion for this in the first place, everything else will be affected.
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Chunmonchek
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 177

Styles: Goju

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Approach your teaching methodology, style and approach the same way you approach your training...

...teach in a logical and progressive manner...

...always look to improve...

...try to avoid past mistakes...

...build on past successes...

...teach the way you wish you could have been taught...

...do not forget what it's like to be a beginner with a beginner's mind...

...teach from the heart...

DO NOT BE SENSEI KREESE!


And, lastly, understand and remind yourself that each person that enters the dojo does so for their own reasons, which may not be the same as yours.

Just my .02 yen
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That my dojo was a business; first and foremost.

It's always been a business, but at first, I didn't treat it as such for one reason or another. Through trials and tribulations I learned the truth...

Take the school for granted will only get you taken to bankruptcy court!!



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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6137
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
In my case - I wish I would have explained less. I tended to go on and on about topics or techniques and applications till I beat it into everyone's heads. I guess it was my way of proving that I had depth of knowledge on the subject and to gain my students trust in my teaching abilities. What it really did was bore my students to death.

My advice stick to brief explanations unless asked to expound on the subject. I now show the technique give a brief explanation and get right to it. If someone doesn't understand or wants to know more I'll speak with them after class instead of stopping the class.

On another note don't let your expectations be lowered. Maintain your requirements. You'll have better students.

The bold is great advice. I guess it is a fine line between enough explanation and too much explanation.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6137
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
That my dojo was a business; first and foremost.

It's always been a business, but at first, I didn't treat it as such for one reason or another. Through trials and tribulations I learned the truth...

Take the school for granted will only get you taken to bankruptcy court!!



I have to say I have been obsessive over my financial calculations. It is making me feel really ill the amount I've spent out so far but I worked it out as if I recruit around 20 students over the year I'll break even.

I've gone in hard on the marketing and have had 37 sign on for trial lessons and I'm hoping I can convert at least half of them.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
That my dojo was a business; first and foremost.

It's always been a business, but at first, I didn't treat it as such for one reason or another. Through trials and tribulations I learned the truth...

Take the school for granted will only get you taken to bankruptcy court!!



I have to say I have been obsessive over my financial calculations. It is making me feel really ill the amount I've spent out so far but I worked it out as if I recruit around 20 students over the year I'll break even.

I've gone in hard on the marketing and have had 37 sign on for trial lessons and I'm hoping I can convert at least half of them.

You've got a very solid plan; excellent.

The school must comp up through positive variances as well as peer variances. Those parameters will go negative, which is to be expected, but as long as the positive parameters are far much more, the doors stay open.

I sincerely believe that you're solid across the board!! Again, you're in a great place in your MA betterment/journey!!!!!!!



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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
That my dojo was a business; first and foremost.

It's always been a business, but at first, I didn't treat it as such for one reason or another. Through trials and tribulations I learned the truth...

Take the school for granted will only get you taken to bankruptcy court!!



I have to say I have been obsessive over my financial calculations. It is making me feel really ill the amount I've spent out so far but I worked it out as if I recruit around 20 students over the year I'll break even.

I've gone in hard on the marketing and have had 37 sign on for trial lessons and I'm hoping I can convert at least half of them.


Sounds like you have a great start.

Remember to have fun. Running a business and constantly watching finances can become a burden that breaks you. You have to focus on the business side but don't forget to focus on the other side. Your are obviously in the arts because you enjoy it. Don't loose sight of that.

If you are not enjoying yourself your students will pick up on that vibe. Remember to brush off the stresses of the business side before stepping on the floor. If your giving good quality instruction and enjoying what you are doing it will be contagious and your students will enjoy it too. With any luck they'll tell their friends and the business of recruiting will take care of itself.

My first year teaching I was a stress monster worrying about rent, electric and water and it showed. I ended up learning a hard lesson when students started leaving. Went I thought all was lost and just started enjoying myself students started bringing in friends and everything turned around. I taught for 12 years before making the decision (based on ever increasing rent) to drop the retail space and find free training places.

Just don't loose sight of why you started. You'll be fine.

Just my 2 cents.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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LLLEARNER
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 687
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you are off to a good start, and I wish you all the success in the world. Hopefully, you will grow to the point where specialists become necessary.

Having a partner can alleviate massive amounts of stress. I met a man who lost a lot in his business until he found balance with his wife's assistance. In the beginning, they lost focus on the business side and just focused on the teaching. They lost their home and cars. Now, she is a fantastic support to him and helps keep his focus properly aligned. Properly aligned focus is necessary for any business and seems especially important in "recreational" type businesses. It can be easy to focus too much on the training and lose sight of the financial health of the business, or easy to focus too much on the finances and lose students due to poor teaching.
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"Walk a single path, becoming neither cocky with victory nor broken with defeat, without forgetting caution when all is quiet or becoming frightened when danger threatens." ~ Jigaro Kano
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