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Re: SPECIAL OFFER! NINJUTSU TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE.
Village Old Timer
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There is nothing wrong with paying or covering your training location debt. If you have it for a place to train. If you have the dojo to make money such as a source of income and set out to make it your job. Hmmmm then I would have to honestly say it's a shame. But I don't really get that impression from you. It seems you just wanted a really nice place to train and had others help you out as a group. If the location is expensive then you have to have people come to the dojo. But, having training fees is not the same as making the dojo as a source of income. Training fees go back to the dojo and your own training.

The focus really is the difference.
You have to cover the training space. And in your case you have to cover a lot of space and debt for that space.

Are you buying the space or renting?

Posted on: 2009/3/9 22:51
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Re: SPECIAL OFFER! NINJUTSU TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE.
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In America you can't just go to a gymnasium and start teaching, you need a specialized location to teach. You can't expect people to seek you out as an instructor without advertising of some kind. That stuff requires money.

Here's the thing about training on hard wood floors, in parks, in gyms, in backyards, in garages, in parking lots, etc...

You will have few students.

Why the hell would anyone go train with you in your backyard when they can go take judo or tae kwon do classes in the comfort of a climate controlled studio?

I've trained at commercial schools, at university training groups, backyard training groups, and guys in a garage.

Quite frankly the best training experiences I have had are at the commercial schools. They have mats, safety equipment, training weapons, and other students to train with. They can afford to have seminars with guest instructors. It's a better overall environment for learning.

Posted on: 2009/3/10 1:51
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Re: SPECIAL OFFER! NINJUTSU TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE.
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But when you train in your backyard or in the garage, outside the comfort zone, you find out who the more dedicated students are. Besides, how many students do you really need anyway in order for you to practice this budo?

There are benefits to both types of learning environments.

Posted on: 2009/3/10 2:56
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Feel the Burn.......
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Re: SPECIAL OFFER! NINJUTSU TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE.
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I agree with Hank that there are benefits to both approaches.

Quote:

TheTengu wrote:
In America you can't just go to a gymnasium and start teaching, you need a specialized location to teach. You can't expect people to seek you out as an instructor without advertising of some kind. That stuff requires money.


Based on my own Bujinkan experience, I don't entirely agree with that. Until this time last year, 50% of my weekly classes were held outdoors in a public park. The other half was indoors, at various times over the years in dance studios, a gymnastics gymnasium, etc. -- anywhere there was sufficient space to train and we could, as a group, afford the monthly rent.

I only ran advertisements in the very beginning, in order to get a few bodies together on which I could experiment. From there it's all been word of mouth and a website.

Quote:
Here's the thing about training on hard wood floors, in parks, in gyms, in backyards, in garages, in parking lots, etc...

You will have few students.


I don't see that as a bad thing. Since I've never tried to teach for the sake of an income, I've aways just looked for (to paraphrase the Marines) "a few good training partners". Average class size has for years held steady at around 20: As some people move out of the area due to jobs or whatever, others find us.

Quote:
Why the hell would anyone go train with you in your backyard when they can go take judo or tae kwon do classes in the comfort of a climate controlled studio?


This time last year we lost the space where we'd been training 50% of the time and began renting space (100% of the classes now) in an actual martial arts training facility with mats, striking/kicking pads and heavy bags, all that sort of fun stuff. I had to increase what I was charging in order to handle the increased rent, to about double what the fees had previously been. . .but they're still only about half what classes cost for other martial arts in this area. And the move has neither increased nor decreased the average class size.

On another note, I once had a student for a while (who later moved to another state) who had gotten a shodan through three years of training via RVD's video course. Really nice guy, but the differences between our movement and what he thought was going on (and I mean at a really fundamental level) were staggering. Some might think that a video course would be better than nothing for someone with no access to an actual instructor, but I'm ambivalent about it. If one NEVER has access to a teacher I think it's probably worse than useless in terms of learning our art (though one might develop reasonably good self-defense ability, which is not at all the same thing). On the other hand, once this guy was able to engage in regular ongoing training in a dojo and could be shown "what was missing", he progressed quite well.

Posted on: 2009/3/10 4:56
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Dale Seago
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Re: SPECIAL OFFER! NINJUTSU TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE.
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"Why the hell would anyone go train with you in your backyard when they can go take judo or tae kwon do classes in the comfort of a climate controlled studio?" -TheTengu

People will train outside, backyard or riverbank or gravel pit, when the instruction offered is what they want to receive. It’s all about personal preference.

Some people like to play in the mud while others prefer not to get dirty. Grass, mud, concrete, gravel, lino, carpet, hardwood – makes no difference to me. Training on tatami is like a treat after that, and it provides the opportunity to practice ukemi that would not be advisable on concrete or broken glass or uneven ground.

The universe is certainly not going to wait until someone is in a ‘climate controlled’ environment before providing them an opportunity to apply their ukemi skills.

And then there's the consideration of ‘sport’ and ‘non-sport’ martial practice...and that conversation would still wind back to mindset and preference.

Posted on: 2009/3/10 7:44
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Taosphere Hakkei Dojo

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Re: SPECIAL OFFER! NINJUTSU TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE.
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Fewer people is a good thing.

The first two dojo I learned about in my hometown didn't advertise; the shidoshi was featured in a newspaper interview, a one-off.

The dojos I train with in my hometown are year round in a park. All the equipment needed - gi, boots, practice weapons, camera they bring themselves. The value of the training is determined by the dedicated teacher and students and the elements.

Here in Japan we're spoiled because indoor training space is cheap and every town has a gym or dojo floor.

Posted on: 2009/3/10 8:48
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Re: SPECIAL OFFER! NINJUTSU TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE.
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Quote:

Why the hell would anyone go train with you in your backyard when they can go take judo or tae kwon do classes in the comfort of a climate controlled studio?


_MSC_CLICK_TO_OPEN_IMAGE

Posted on: 2009/3/10 10:08
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Duncan Mitchell
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Re: SPECIAL OFFER! NINJUTSU TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE.
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Duncan, dude, you've hit the nail on the head, as you so often do.

Posted on: 2009/3/10 10:19
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Re: SPECIAL OFFER! NINJUTSU TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE.
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I am fortunate to have been invited to run a Bujinkan class out of the Intel Corp facility in Folsom, CA (USA). They have a beautiful fitness center, paid for all the matting and other training gear. There's a karate class that also operates out of there on alternate nights. I charge a minimal fee (since I have no overhead) to cover my gas, time and to make some $$ to help pay for my own training. The karate class is free (the instructor is an employee there, so he's already on site). My class numbers at about 10. The karate class numbers anywhere from 20-30.

I'll take my 10 to their 30 any day. They have the regular influx of newbies who pop in and out, never commit to staying and such. I do too, but the quality of those who stay is far greater because they really want the training - not just the "free martial arts" - and are willing to pay for it.

So there's something to be said for charging (even if a little) and definitely something to be said for a smaller group of highly dedicated, good hearted folks to train with. This kind of group will train anywhere because they are committed to the training and to each other. That's who I want to commit my energies to working with.

Posted on: 2009/3/10 10:26
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Re: SPECIAL OFFER! NINJUTSU TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE.
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"Quite frankly the best training experiences I have had are at the commercial schools. It's a better overall environment for learning."

I'm not so sure about climate controlled spaces being a better learning environment. It may be a more comfortable learning environment, but I doubt it is better. We train outside on the park, and while an indoor dojo would be nice when it's below freezing or in the middle of summer, there's something special and intangible about training out in the elements. Those with indoor training facilities should venture outdoors occasionally, particularly when it's too hot, or cold, or raining, or windy, etc. Spend enough time training in the environment and you'll see what I mean. But I digress.

Vince

Posted on: 2009/3/11 1:22
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