Keeping students in the age of Covid

WaterGal

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Are most of your students set up on EBT? I see this working with Zoom classes from a financial standpoint.
It gets tenuous sometimes but there are certain students who more than pay for themselves just with their presence. You have to really, really be careful with the relationship. I can only think of one or two actual issues I ever had with folks like that. They just are not going to take advantage of the relationship. And man oh man do they make classes better.

The only "EBT' I'm familiar with is "electronic benefits transfer", which refers to government programs like SNAP and TANF that pay benefits onto a debit card. I don't think many of our students are on EBT.

We have a couple dozen students who joined before Covid and are still paying their regular membership dues and training only from home over Zoom. We also have a bunch of students that are taking a mix of in-person and Zoom classes, so they might come in to the school once a week and then take two or three classes from home.
 

WaterGal

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Once a job is lost, a person will cancel anything that isn't necessary. I've been through 2 lay offs and it was always the same. response, spend less money, look for work, stop subscription and membership services. Oh and no unnecessary traveling in the car. Not much can be done about those situations except wish them the best and tell them to keep in touch.

There's nothing fun about no job and no money. An online component may be standard for everyone, even for barber shops. (making appointments online). I'm pretty sure martial arts will go the same way.

Yeah, for sure. However, sometimes people will say "I can't afford it" instead of "it's not a priority for me".
 

JowGaWolf

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Yeah, for sure. However, sometimes people will say "I can't afford it" instead of "it's not a priority for me".
That's what I told my Sifu when I got laid off. But I told myself I have to get my priorities straight because I was willing to pay for classes without a job. Not a good thing when married with kids. It took about 10 seconds to come back to reality. It had a good outcome though. When people know you are "down on luck" and going through some hardships, it's not uncommon to get help even if you don't ask for it.

But it's one of the hardest things to talk about to others. I had to swallow a lot of pride. After I got laid off then my Sifu got laid off his job a few moths later. It was much harder for him to swallow his pride. That's when his weakness came out. Mine was my pride. His was quitting. When things got bad he just gave up everything instead of keeping the things that were working. . I know a lot of people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic are going through similar and worse situations that what I went through. The pandemic is like the depression but without the depression. Big corporations are still making money.
 

dvcochran

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The only "EBT' I'm familiar with is "electronic benefits transfer", which refers to government programs like SNAP and TANF that pay benefits onto a debit card. I don't think many of our students are on EBT.

We have a couple dozen students who joined before Covid and are still paying their regular membership dues and training only from home over Zoom. We also have a bunch of students that are taking a mix of in-person and Zoom classes, so they might come in to the school once a week and then take two or three classes from home.
Electronic bank transfer. Setting up automatic payment.
 
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J. Pickard

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We have always offered online training resources even before covid to all active members. We had 2 months where we went to all virtual classes on zoom and this is where we saw the most loss as most students didn't want to do an online virtual class. When the weather warmed up we were able to hold outdoor classes which helped a little but we run very contact oriented programs; lots of partner work, sparring/rolling, bag work, weights/bands, etc. When we had to reformat our classes for virtual this component was lost and our students were not fans of it. For the most part the biggest obstacle seems to bee reduced wages for our students and/or their family. Recently a pksa Karate school closed permanently due to covid in our city and the only schools that seem to have had no negative effects from it are a local bjj school and a generic "martial arts" school that focuses mostly on martial arts inspired games for kids. We offer discounted rates for anyone who signs up for automatic billing instead of paying month to month with cash/check. I like the idea of a virtual class for those that aren't comfortable with in person training, I just don't want to get them used to one type of training and then finally start in person training and have it be complete culture shock but it still sounds like an idea worth trying.
 

JowGaWolf

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I just don't want to get them used to one type of training and then finally start in person training and have it be complete culture shock but it still sounds like an idea worth trying.
It's all in how you market the online classes. Those who aren't close to physically attend classes, are the ones you want to really enjoy it and get used to it. Those who you want to eventually see in person, are those who you market the online classes as temporary workaround for those who attend. However the school chooses to market it, those are just some of the things that they have to take into consideration

The financial part is always difficult.
1. Money never "Trickles Downs." which is why all the rich people in the business are at the top and not the bottom.
2. If your customers don't have money then they can't buy your services.

As a martial art school, there's very little that can be done about the two things above. Except to try to maintain the existing students so that they will be there when they can afford to pay. Or lower the prices and cut back on some costs if necessary. All hard decisions.
 
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J. Pickard

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It's all in how you market the online classes. Those who aren't close to physically attend classes, are the ones you want to really enjoy it and get used to it. Those who you want to eventually see in person, are those who you market the online classes as temporary workaround for those who attend.

I can give that a try. Wouldn't hurt at this point.
 

WaterGal

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That's what I told my Sifu when I got laid off. But I told myself I have to get my priorities straight because I was willing to pay for classes without a job. Not a good thing when married with kids. It took about 10 seconds to come back to reality. It had a good outcome though. When people know you are "down on luck" and going through some hardships, it's not uncommon to get help even if you don't ask for it.

Oh yeah, I don't mean that people should prioritize martial arts training over feeding their family.

But sometimes, people have some financial hardship that's not that serious - they just need to reduce their bills a little bit to make things work. So maybe, they take kung fu class and guitar lessons and have premium cable and go out to the bar every Friday night, and they need to cut out 2 of those 4 things. So they need to decide which of those activities provides the most value to them. If your kung fu class is more important than HBO and guitar lessons, they'll stick with you. If it's not, they'll quit.
 

dvcochran

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My personal hope is that folks in 20 years aren't doing what I'm doing - even folks I've trained. I hope it has evolved as folks find better approaches for both application and training. If it becomes unrecognizable, I'm not concerned about that. I seriously doubt MA are going to evolve that quickly (for either the good or the bad) though.
I have pondered this quite a bit. I try to think of measurable comparators. We have all heard the "that is not how we used to to it" argument and it has at least some weight. A heavier historical measurement is MMA. Even in comparison to say PKA it radically changed the landscape of competitive MA's. Most would agree it is an amalgamation of sports, styles, and most notably rules. Some would argue a lack of or lessening of rules.
Drilling down to specific styles, Olympic Judo and TKD are unrecognizable to many stylist. Competition karate has changed quite a lot for the perceived universal term.
There is no arguing MMA's effectiveness, both as a business entity and combat skill. Is it for everyone and will it replace some/most MA styles? I don't think so, mainly because it is mildly to mostly elite in nature. That said, I assume there are schools/gyms that have 'kids' MMA classes. Marketing 101.
I also love the idea of evolution; it is at the nexus of the work I do. I agree the last 20 years has not made martial art styles unrecognizable and I am not aware of many valid styles that have outright disappeared. Hopefully the same will be true for the next 20, innovation aside.
Call me old fashioned but there are just parts of my martial arts that I would be fine if they never change.
 

Steve

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With all due respect, online martial arts training is pretty worthless. Unless the student and teacher are both streaming at 100+ fps you won't see any subtleties. At that point you might as well try to learn from youtube.
100+ FPS? That doesn’t sound right. Most video you watch regardless of resolution is 30 FPS (really 29.97). Some high speed cameras record movies action sequences at just under 60 FPS.

Gaming can run at higher frames per second to help people avoid getting motion sickness. but for video, 120 FPS is, at least right now, overkill. Certainly, a high resolution video shot at 30 FPS is plenty crisp enough to see whatever subtleties you need.

I think the real limitation will be on the lens.
 

Steve

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I think there’s more value than that in some situations. Certainly where there’s some experience for the student, there’s room for input, and 100 FPS isn’t necessary unless you’re trying to view full-speed movement.
Even then, sheesh. I’d recommend spending some dough on decent lights, learn a little about blocking and hitting marks so that important things aren’t obscured by shadow, and get a decent lens with good depth of field and the ability to shoot some clear closeups.
 

Steve

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If they were to just think outside the box a little, they would be able to sell products, not only sale products but generate business deals with companies that sell hair care products and other related products. Set up a nice display tv in a barbershop and run ad space for these companies and their products. Have a website? Do the same thing?

Not having consumables for sales is a choice. Barbers choose to do or they don't. When I was a teen the barber used to sell a lot of stuff in their barbershop. One year I went and they were trying to sell direct TV services. While that's not what I would go for today. It was when Satellite TV was hot. Sometimes people would walk in trying to sell jewelry and gold chains. lol. My point is if there is a worth while opportunity to generate additional income then a business should take it. A business should also take into consideration about how that money comes in. Does it only come in when people come in or can you generate income in other ways, other than just when people show up..
Funny story, when I was a kid I would spend most summers at my grandparents’ house in Henrietta, TX. My grandpa would take me down to David’s barber shop to get my ears lowered. David’s shop was set up on two sides. on one side was his two chairs (he only ever used one... the other was for whomever he was visiting with.). On the other side was his Nocona Boots and leather outlet. I still have the wallet with my name on it I got from David’s. An entrepreneur barber before it was cool.

Place is still in business, though David passed many years ago. Also looks like they’re a thorogood store now, not Nocona, but I guess the model works. :)
Waggoners - Google Search
 

Danny T

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Danny, do you just set up a camera and Zoom the classes or are they interactive?
My Zoom classes are designed for practitioners to work footwork, form, and drilling movements without a partner. I usually have a student with me who is able to perform the drills as the 'spotlight' person. I will instruct and show the footwork/drills to be practiced and then I spotlight the practitioner who is excellent at it while view the attendees and coach them while they are working.
 

Martial D

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100+ FPS? That doesn’t sound right. Most video you watch regardless of resolution is 30 FPS (really 29.97). Some high speed cameras record movies action sequences at just under 60 FPS.

Gaming can run at higher frames per second to help people avoid getting motion sickness. but for video, 120 FPS is, at least right now, overkill. Certainly, a high resolution video shot at 30 FPS is plenty crisp enough to see whatever subtleties you need.

I think the real limitation will be on the lens.

Really though, even it the highest definition possible you won't get much from video training. At best you will end up being able to convincingly ape movements. I mean, if you practice some style where nobody fights anyone and you just like synchronized movements then sure..why not. If you are looking for more that that you will need another human being present to lay your hands on.
 

_Simon_

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Really though, even it the highest definition possible you won't get much from video training. At best you will end up being able to convincingly ape movements. I mean, if you practice some style where nobody fights anyone and you just like synchronized movements then sure..why not. If you are looking for more that that you will need another human being present to lay your hands on.
Just curious here, in your training, every single drill you do is done with a partner? Every single one?
 

JowGaWolf

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I mean, if you practice some style where nobody fights anyone and you just like synchronized movements then sure..why not.
I think you are confusing Training vs Learning how to fight. These are 2 different things.

When people are talking about training online, they aren't talking about training how to fight. They are training people in the techniques and application. These are different than knowing how to use it in a fight.


Remove the pad holder and you'll have your solo drill.

In both videos he teaching technique. If she wants to actually know how to use this stuff then she'll need to get some sparring in. This is true for online and offline course. In terms of training sparring is an in-person activity, but it doesn't have to be something that is only done at the school. In my 20's a lot of my sparring was done outside of school with my co-worker. I sparred more out of school than in school.

Some people who train online have friends or family that they can spar with. For those who don't, the only place to spar is going to be in the school. If you need to spar against other people in the same system, then sparring at school is going to be the easiest way to go about this, but it's not the only way. It's much easier for me to find another Jow Ga student to spar with in a school than it is is to randomly find a Jow Ga student outside of school to spar with.
 
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dvcochran

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Really though, even it the highest definition possible you won't get much from video training. At best you will end up being able to convincingly ape movements. I mean, if you practice some style where nobody fights anyone and you just like synchronized movements then sure..why not. If you are looking for more that that you will need another human being present to lay your hands on.
You are missing the gist of most threads. The consensus is video/zoom classes compliment but do Not replace live classes.
 
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Martial D

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Just curious here, in your training, every single drill you do is done with a partner? Every single one?

Well. Yes actually. Aside from the warmup.

But look, if you guys want to believe you are getting something from martial arts zoom meetings, great. I just don't see how, and more than anything it seems like a cheap and easy way to make a buck by those selling said lessons .
 

WaterGal

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Really though, even it the highest definition possible you won't get much from video training. At best you will end up being able to convincingly ape movements. I mean, if you practice some style where nobody fights anyone and you just like synchronized movements then sure..why not. If you are looking for more that that you will need another human being present to lay your hands on.

A lot of people do have another person present in their home. Sometimes multiple people! And they might have even more people who come over to their house sometimes.
 

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