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Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 723
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2023 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nevinyrral wrote:
And I would say, offer real full contact sparring. Hard contact hard training. It could be separate class.
I myself find this what brings adults to boxing or mma. Classes that teach real fighting, not games for kids.
Yeah you might get few parents to join with their kids, but they will mostly stop training after a while, and definately when their kid stops.
And people who want to learn how to defend and fight will look for something different than just doing basic drills, sparring with no contact or doing standing joint locks on unresisting opponent.

For me it depends on the individual and the style a lot.

e.g. i relatively recently changed my bjj academy. My old one was an excellent school but was pretty hard and i eventually decided that i am in my early 40s, work a professional job and have kids so i wanted something a little less hardcode. Changed schools to another excellent one but this one has more 'hobbyists' (though still has an excellent competition team) and i feel more comfortable there. For karate i went back as taking my son. What was important to me here was the standard is decent and we can both go. he has been going for 16/17mths and still hasn't graded as he hasn't got his kata down yet - i am totally onboard with this as it shows they have standards!

As an adult who has looked for new schools relatively recently i would say that what i like most is someone approachable, who i can easily view straightforward details on on their website, and who i can contact. The ability to come along to a trial class and take part properly is important too. I then look at the other students and make my own judgement on the quality of the tuition and how i think i would fit in personality wise.

Looking at it the other way round what would put me off would be :
- no website for the school or a very very basic one. I want to see some details
- lack of detail on the instructors. I don't want a life story but i do want to see 'gained Sandan in 2009 under the (association name here) etc. Just saying has a black belt in .. is not enough
- clearly call out the style. There are a lot of karate schools that i have looked at their site and it doesn't state explicitly their style. I would either be looking for a particular style or if not i would wonder why it was hidden. If they hide something so basic, then what else will they hide
- not being allowed to attend a trial class/es without a very very good reason.
- the attitude of other students in the class being one i don't think i would fit with
- a blanket policy of watching a class rather than trying first time. I have experience in a few styles so i am confident i can survive a basic first lesson. IF there is a genuine safety reason why i can't then please spell it out. Otherwise i wonder what is being hidden

Hopefully i didn't go too off on a tangent there, I thought it would be useful to have some info on what not to do also (in my opinion)
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 30001
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2023 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scohen0300 wrote:
Thanks, bushido_man!

I definitely got lucky. But what I think was most important, was I made a video of the female instructor, just showing her training and beating me up. Then, me and a couple other people shared it all over social media (particularly Facebook), across multiple groups in the area. This really got the word out and got people excited to come.

Iím already scheduled to host another at the end of February, and I think 7 women have signed up already?

Social media is key!

Our CI advertised on social media, but they didn't use any kind of demonstration videos. Nor do we have a female instructor at this time, which I'm sure doesn't help, either.
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Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 27 Jun 2022
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2023 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yearly commitments are a huge turnoff for me; I reject them outright and move on in my search. And purely having dedicated adult classes with more than 2 days per week
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Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Posts: 100
Location: Australia
Styles: Matsubayashiryu Karatedo Kobujutsu / Yamaneryu Kobudo

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2023 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a strong focus on adults karate and kobudo in my dojo and have around 100 adult karate students, and 30 kobudo students.

I believe we've successfully hosted a strong adults roster because:

1. We focus on karate for self defence.
2. 60% of our training is partnerwork. 40% is kata, kihon, etc.
3. We give the opportunity for students to train with varying levels of contact and intensity.
4. Our instructors are taught to teach and to understand andragogy and that instructors facilitate learning while students are required to take responsibility for their own learning.
5. We have a variety of online learning resources to support them.
6. They don't train with young kids, and there are many adults to train with.
7. We run a lot of community engagement and social activities and focus on creating a sense of belonging.
8. We have a strong marketing plan in place (this is my professional day job) and our material is marketed to adults.

Hope this helps!
Reece Cummings
Kodokan Cummings Karate Dojo
5th Dan, Matsubayashiryu (Shorinryu) Karatedo Kobujutsu
1st Dan, Yamaneryu Kobudo
"Even after many years, kata practice is never finished, for there is always something new to be learned about executing a movement" Osensei Shoshin Nagamine
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KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 458
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2023 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So let me tell you the reasons that I ultimately decided to start taking classes at my current dojo. My son was already enrolled (he was in their 4-6 year old program at the time). The reasons I decided to start taking classes are:

1 - The instructor has very high standards for his students. He will never tell a student that their technique is "perfect". There is always something to improve upon. Don't get me wrong, when a student does something well, he will give them honest praise, but he will then look at a few elements of their form and ask them to make improvements.

2 - The instructors are also students. My CI and his wife regularly travel to Okinawa and to Michigan to train with their teachers. In fact, this weekend we are hosting a seminar for Seishi Itokazu (10th dan Uechi-Ryu, 10th dan Matayoshi Kobudo), who is visiting from Okinawa. He visited a year or two pre-covid, and I learned quite a bit. This time, we brought in another high-ranking Kobudo instructor to act as an interpreter, since Itokazu Sensei does not speak much English.

3 - Dedicated adult classes with a solid student base. When I started up in classes, there were adult students of all ranks attending. There were 4 adult classes each week (mon-thurs evenings), and there were other adult students ranging from teenagers through mid-50's. There were a couple of black belt students who helped with teaching, and there were other students at my grade. So I didn't feel like a fish out of water. Most of the adult students did have a child also attending, but not all of them. There were a number of adults in their early to mid-20's who didn't have any kids.

4 - While the curriculum for testing is the same, the material is presented differently to adults than to children. Youths tend to get material "spoon-fed" to them -- they are only shown material needed for their next grading. If an adult shows hiim/herself capable, they'll get shown material they may not need for several ranks, so they get comfortable with it and can internalize it. For example, we had an adult white belt (jukyu) last night who I was teaching our kicking drill (not required until shichikyu). It's a hard drill to get the hang of, and she was struggling with it. However, seeing it now will give her plenty of time to internalize it for when she needs to test on it. Also, the adult classes are longer, which allows our CI to present more material in a session, and go into more depth with it.

Granted, if you don't have any adult students yet, getting all of those things going is going to be a heavy lift up front. The important takeaway, I think, is that you give adults a solid reason to join.
My Journey (So Far)
Shuri-Ryu 1996-1997 - Gokyu
Judo 1996-1997 - Yonkyu
Uechi-Ryu 2018-Present - Nidan
ABS Bladesmith 2021-Present - Apprentice
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Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 861
Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2023 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your students are your best advertisement. Word of mouth.
If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please..feel free to stand in front of them.

Student since January 1975---4th Dan, retired due to non-martial arts related injuries.
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