Taekwondo as a business?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by gorilla2, May 3, 2019.

  1. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Our instructors go through a certificate program each year before we start our summer programs. It includes a background. All have done this multiple times so it is something of a formality.

    I agree it is something that should be mandated. Plus it reduces our insurance burden a little.
     
  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a very different attitude than the US. People tend to trust a well-organized...well, organization...more than a solo person working on something. It leads to even solo businesses using the pronoun "we" to talk about themselves.

    That's changing, though. There's less trust of larger corporations in some areas, more people seem to be looking toward the high-touch handling from small businesses. All of that might help the small dojos over time. At present, many more people want to sign up with a big fitness center, gym, etc., where they can get lost in the crowd.
     
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  3. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Many years ago sport was a pastime, for mostly well off people so amateur sport was the norm, as in the Olympics, and considered 'the thing'. Where there was chance for a sportsman ( I'm using sportsman deliberately as rare were women offered a chance to earn at sport) to earn money they were looked down on. For example it was common for the aristocracy to have cricket matches. They either play other teams like themselves 'the gentlemen' or against professionals 'the players'. In rugby it was worse, rugby league players were almost always working class player who were paid, rugby union were amateurs, so much so that you would be thrown out of your union team if you dared be paid for playing any sport, if you went league you were excommunicated!
    This attitude is slow in dying, amateurs nearly always are given more respect and we love the plucky and gallant loser. We also will always support the underdog rather than the big successful team, don't get me wrong, we like winning but the people we love best are not the winner but the tryers. Very martial arts don't you think?
     
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  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I can see that being a natural progression from the long history of aristocracy. America, being a blend of so many cultures (even early on, it was French, Spanish, German, etc.), and perhaps influenced by the hands-on needs of the early immigrants (the pilgrims, etc.), perhaps had a chance to shed some of that class separation...though we by no means shed all of it, nor even the majority of it, I think.
     
  5. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ah but the upper class aren't all aristocrats. Old families here go back to the Norman Conquest ( 1066 CE) and don't necessary have titles, we have people who have titles they received just a couple of years ago and are by no means aristocrats but just people with titles, often working class people. They will always be working class even if they are in the House of Lords. Class here isn't about how much money one has, you can be very poor and still upper class if you come from the right family. For example and this is NOT a political comment, your President, a very rich man, would never be upper class here because his parents weren't nor their parents, his ancestors won't be considered upper class either. Kit Harrington, the actor who plays Jon Snow in GoT is upper class because his family is a very old upper class family, his wife Rose Leslie however is an aristocrat. Charles Dance, despite his accent is working class. Hugh Laurie is upper middle class as is Damian Lewis, Tom Hiddleston and Emma Watson. I would be regarded as middle class however being Jewish I'm not actually included in the British class system!
     
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  6. gorilla2

    gorilla2 Yellow Belt

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    That is a revenue source for us...
     
  7. gorilla2

    gorilla2 Yellow Belt

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    Thanks everyone for all of the great comments...
     
  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    All after school clubs, kindergartens, nurseries and child minders have to be inspected and pass government certification as well as have official police checks.
    Sports clubs don't have to have the DBS ( police checks) but won't get far if they don't as parents now expect them and won't put their children into anything that doesn't use them. The martial arts associations here which most clubs get their insurance from, even the unaligned ones stylewise, have child protection policies in place. It a good protection for instructors and club owners, it covers all sorts of situations and what to do. It helps instructors be confident there's little they can't cope with outside of martial arts such as a child abused by adults, bullying etc. They know where to report to, when and how. Sadly something that's needed these days.

    It's very worth while if you teach children to have a safeguarding policy for children, even if it's not mandated by your authorities either 'governmental' or from your style association. This is the one from Sport England, the national body for sport here, most clubs follow this and have their own safeguarding policy too.
    Sport England Safeguarding Code - Martial Arts: Log in to the site
     
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  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I, for one, would be interested in hearing any results that come out of these ponderings. If you make some change, or decide not to, would you come back and update this thread and let us know about the experience, and how it turned out?
     
  10. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    It's possible to make a decent living running a martial arts school. If you're in a very poor area, that may be a difficult prospect, though. In that case, you might do better by reorganizing as a non-profit and seeking grant money instead. I knew someone who ran his school as a non-profit in a lower-income area and supported his family that way, though I'm not sure of all the details of how that worked. Moving to an area with better-off families is another option, like you suggest. You'll probably lose most of your existing students, but if they're paying you peanuts anyway, that probably won't significantly affect the financial well-being of the school.
     
  11. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    It does kind of suck though, if you’ve got some dedicated students who have been loyal for some time, to just tell them “see ya” because of the money. Maybe some arrangement could be made for them, might get complicated. It’s part of why I generally feel that martial arts ought to be separated from business. That’s my opinion.

    I get it, some people feel that making a business out of it lets them offer consistency and be dedicated to it. It can go both ways. But the business aspect definitely has a down side in terms of the teaching.
     
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  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Sorry Crane, but I just read this.
    If you have debt for your brick & mortar school/garage/gym space/park space, whatever your MA teaching project is held in, and it generates bills, how to you separate the two? That said, the quality and purity of your teaching never goes past the business office wall nor vice/versa. Best case scenario is when the teachers have nothing to do with billing and payments. This is written very early on in our student manuals. I only remember someone trying it on rare occasions. Usually a parent.

    I honestly don't which scenario is worse: someone who already works a fulltime or part time job opening a school with debt & bills who gets in a financial bind and starts making ethical sacrifices in their business/teaching to stay afloat or the full time owners who are truly only in it for the money. It gets hard for me to get on board with MA franchises, regardless of style. I think the line is more often crossed with them and MA quality goes down, especially if they have made up their own style or system such that they have no accountability.
    I commend people who want to take a few people in and teach them for free. I think that speaks to traditionalism in some styles.
     
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  13. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Why would you assume that someone who's teaching martial arts full time is only in it for the money?
     
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  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I certainly did not mean to imply ALL full time schools are unethically in it for the money. Although money is the driving component for staying in business if you have debt/bills. That said, the "in it for the money" inference has different meaning.
    I believe the much larger majority are the totally legit full time schools. Using my analogy, I believe the full time (or part time for that matter)school who knowing goes into it with unethical intent is the much worse of the two.
     
  15. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    It's very doable. I strongly recommend getting a mentor, someone who runs a successful school (preferably in your style) and then pick their brain. I just got back from the ATA World Championships and I did a LOT of business training there. This old dog learned a lot about social media marketing, etc., and these seminars are taught by people who run one or more schools with over 100 students in them.

    You might look at Stephen Oliver. In addition to running successful schools, he does m. a. consulting. Very worth taking a look at.
     
  16. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    I will second and even third that comment!!
     
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  17. Bruce7

    Bruce7 Purple Belt

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    Your post is right on the money.

    Tiger Rock is a real money maker, located in an area where parents have money and care about their children's development.
    Parents will be glad to pay for a program that children enjoy and develops disciple, a belt system that makes you money and gives the children a sense of achievement earn or not. It is a cool physical activity and if they learn Taekwondo that is just a bonus.
    Kids is where the money is at.
     
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