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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1868

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:53 pm    Post subject: Teaching children/youths: is it vital? Reply with quote

In your(general) experience and opinion, if one wishes to teach and charge for instruction either privately or opening a school, is it absolutely necessary to the financial health of the business to take children and youths? Is it possible to make it with only adults (default legal age where one resides) ?

Why or why not?
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28901
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think anymore, it is more and more difficult to rely on adult students to keep a school afloat. Non-profits may have a different experience, but I'd be willing to guess that most of them don't have a large adult student body.

I know at our school, the kid's program is what keeps the school afloat. Before the quarantimes, it was normal to have kids classes with 9-12 students in per day. We're fortunate to have 3 or 4 adult students, most of whom are higher ranked colored belts or early black belt ranks.
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http://www.sunyis.com/
www.aikidoofnorthwestkansas.com
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1868

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would seem that the common expectation and assumptions are correct then. This would make the place I train an exception as every student is an adult except for two or three out of the number. And half of the student body has trained before in a variety of other systems from aikido to kendo. Maybe it falls into the non-profit category as most of the dojo income keep the lights on and the rent.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28901
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Believe me, I wish it wasn't so; I'd love to be in a class full of adult students, but I haven't seen one of those in ages. I think, generally, most adults just believe they don't have the time and can't make the time for a hobby like this of their own, especially if they have kids of their own that they run around all over hell's half-acre to their own events. I know that's what I do right now, and finding the time to squeeze in two classes per week is tough.
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www.aikidoofnorthwestkansas.com
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15407
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Teaching children/youths: is it vital? Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
In your(general) experience and opinion, if one wishes to teach and charge for instruction either privately or opening a school, is it absolutely necessary to the financial health of the business to take children and youths? Is it possible to make it with only adults (default legal age where one resides) ?

Why or why not?

No...and Yes!

No school needs children as a part of its Student Body to financially survive. Yes, a school can survive financially with having only adults as a part of its Student Body. Either way, to a good CI, demographics never matter at all...if I might be course, a student is revenue, and a business needs revenue to survive, no matter if it's for profit or not. Things, someway and someplace, require some type of legal tender to survive.

Overhead needs never take a rest, ever.

The CI has the authority to do whatever it believe is the best for whomever this might concern. After all, it's their school; their decision.

The school is a business. Therefore, students are customers, whether the student is a child/youth or an adult. Paying students generate revenue for said school.

Sales Revenue=Sales PriceXNumber of Units Sold...month worth of lessons.

If a CI is capable of teaching students, then either a child or adult can benefit said school. Sometimes, CI's are quite selective as to the demographics that are to make up its Student Body; that too is their choice.

I see that revenue can be earned by either demographic; quite affable and agreeable towards a schools bottom line.

Understand and study ones P&L Statement; the answer(s) lie within the P&L.

Imho!



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SLK59
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 05 Nov 2020
Posts: 94
Location: USA
Styles: Shotokan Karate

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I began training in 1974, our for-profit dojo had classes for adults only {15 years and up), none for kids. Classes were held on M-F evenings and Sat mornings. Typical class size was 10-30 students.

By the time I was manager and CI for one of our dojos in 1981, our adult classes were smaller, with fewer white belts and a high proportion of ‘old timer’ brown and black belts. Meanwhile, rents and expenses were going up, and our largest competitors were now running Kids classes very successfully.

So we had added a Children’s program for kids age 7-14, with classes M-F evenings and Sat mornings, as well as a dedicated instructor ranked Nidan or higher for each program. We did not have junior grading or belts - children partnered together for kumite training and testing, but used the same overall grading criteria and belt ranking as adults. Over time, the Children’s programs grew in size (20-40 per class), while the original adult classes decreased in size, with higher proportions of upper-level belt ranks.

So kids classes were vital for a commercial for-profit dojo 40 years ago. From some of the posts above, it sounds like they are at least as vital for most for-profit dojos today.
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Last edited by SLK59 on Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:23 am; edited 3 times in total
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28901
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SLK59, that is the trend I've seen at my school, as well (although not over as long a timespan). If we didn't run a kids program, I'm not sure where we'd be. We are fortunate in that we also have a gym with a solid membership, and that can help the TKD school, if need be.

Bob, I understand what you are saying in regards to it being the CI's choice as to whether kids or adults are the focus. However, demographics aren't the same everywhere, and we just don't have a large adult population looking to study Martial Arts. Therefore, in order to do what's best for the school, we need to provide opportunities for kids, as well. Perhaps if I was in a more populated area, I'd notice a difference, but where I'm at now, kids are a big, important part of keeping our school open and alive.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6408
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it depends on what your goals are and how you market yourself. Admittedly my experience is more limited having run my school only for 2.5 years (and one of that was during COVID) but our kids classes pay the bills and allow me to teach adults. We never really had many adults come to us, more teenagers. But then I've not made a massive effort to target that age with our marketing, any growth has been organic in that class.

It depends on how you present yourself but there are plenty of boxing and MMA gyms out there which are heavily geared towards adults.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15407
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
SLK59, that is the trend I've seen at my school, as well (although not over as long a timespan). If we didn't run a kids program, I'm not sure where we'd be. We are fortunate in that we also have a gym with a solid membership, and that can help the TKD school, if need be.

Bob, I understand what you are saying in regards to it being the CI's choice as to whether kids or adults are the focus. However, demographics aren't the same everywhere, and we just don't have a large adult population looking to study Martial Arts. Therefore, in order to do what's best for the school, we need to provide opportunities for kids, as well. Perhaps if I was in a more populated area, I'd notice a difference, but where I'm at now, kids are a big, important part of keeping our school open and alive.

Nonetheless, demographics exist, and therefore they're the same everywhere. Not to ones liking, but they still exist. I mean, where kids are, adults are there as well. The CI has to find out why adult prospective students aren't lining up at the school's door, then try to fix it, if fixable at all. Some CI's could care less one way or another.

I talk about the importance of knowing and understanding of interpreting a P&L Statement, so, let's look at Hays, KS...

Population 20,899 (2019)

Median Age is 31

Of those 28,899...

BY AGES:

0-9 12%
10-19 14%
20-29 23%
30-39 12%
40-49 9%
50-59 9%
60-69 12%
70-79 5%
82+ 4%

Adults 18 to 64 is 65%

Kids 0 to 18 is 26%

Adults demographics outweigh kids by over 2X.


There's no one to blame, and it's not my place to do so. Not every adult in Hays, KS wants to learn the MAists, even though just a smidge of the adult population in Hays, KS could fill any MA schools P&L sufficiently.

Demographics don't have to be the same because someone lives somewhere...therefore, demographics are the same because they exist.




Reference: https://censusreporter.org/profiles/16000US2031100-hays-ks/
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28901
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, those are the stats, and I'd say they are pretty close to that now, too. What I'm saying is that there doesn't seem to be an interested adult demographic here, or in many rural areas that I've seen. Yes, there are plenty of adults; but I don't know how many adults there are with spare time on their hands to put in two or three hours of training per week.
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