Requesting Feedback For a Gym Idea...

brentjones

White Belt
Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
7
Reaction score
5
Hi everyone, I’m doing some research for a potential project I have in mind. I’m considering purchasing a property to host martial arts seminars/weekend get-away events, and wanted to get an opinion on the concept.


Ideally the property would be about 3 – 4 acres in size located in a wooded mountain area with some nice views. The gym itself would be more like a wooden deck with a roof (think like a traditional 'dojo' style). Students will be able to jog and workout around the property as well. The location would host single-day seminars and / or weekend workouts for any style of martial artists wanting to train surrounded by nature. I’m thinking it would be a great meditation spot as well for those that just want to go up and meditate.


So my questions are the following:
  1. Would you (or if you're an instructor have students) be interested in training at a place like this?
  2. Are there any other places/businesses/gyms already like this that I could reach out to (I'm in GA)?
  3. What is a “must have” for a place like this to make it worth the drive (it is located away from the city about 1.5 hrs) and potential cost for prospective students and teachers? (i.e. gym size, nature, oriental theme, training equipment, etc.)

Thanks in advance!
 

Instructor

Master of Arts
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
1,523
Reaction score
397
Location
Knoxville, TN
Hi everyone, I’m doing some research for a potential project I have in mind. I’m considering purchasing a property to host martial arts seminars/weekend get-away events, and wanted to get an opinion on the concept.


Ideally the property would be about 3 – 4 acres in size located in a wooded mountain area with some nice views. The gym itself would be more like a wooden deck with a roof (think like a traditional 'dojo' style). Students will be able to jog and workout around the property as well. The location would host single-day seminars and / or weekend workouts for any style of martial artists wanting to train surrounded by nature. I’m thinking it would be a great meditation spot as well for those that just want to go up and meditate.


So my questions are the following:
  1. Would you (or if you're an instructor have students) be interested in training at a place like this?
  2. Are there any other places/businesses/gyms already like this that I could reach out to (I'm in GA)?
  3. What is a “must have” for a place like this to make it worth the drive (it is located away from the city about 1.5 hrs) and potential cost for prospective students and teachers? (i.e. gym size, nature, oriental theme, training equipment, etc.)

Thanks in advance!
I would say any woodland setting with a pavilion would work for this. State parks, Church grounds, that kind of thing.
1) sure, in fact I have done a few times.
2) Like I said most state parks have pavilions you can reserve. Most large Churches have them too.
3)I would say a couple of porta potties if no other facilities exist. Otherwise, just need people and maybe beverages.
 

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
7,458
Reaction score
7,403
Location
Lexington, KY
It does sound like a nice environment for a seminar. However as an instructor I wouldn't consider renting a venue like this unless I reasonably expected to have more seminar attendees than could reasonably fit in my home gym - so quite a lot.

Almost 40 years ago I was part of a small club practicing ninjutsu, back when that was a new art in the U.S.. We normally trained in the park, so when we hosted seminars with out of state instructors we would rent venues for the occasion. One time it was at a location similar to what you are describing and it was very pleasant. However that was at the height of the "ninja boom" when there was a demand for a relatively small number of available instructors and we could attract enough attendees to pay for the rental.

In addition, "wooded mountain area" in most areas would indicate a further drive for most attendees than our regular gym in town - which would likely lower attendance unless this was for a really special occasion.

I have seen ads for special martial arts retreats/seminars in venues like the ones you describe. Usually they are multi-day events with famous instructors designed to attract participants from around the country. (They also tend to be expensive, which is why I haven't attended any of those, despite being an avid seminar goer.) I think in most cases these are venues which cater to all types of events, some of which just happen to be martial arts seminars. If you wanted to make a full time business out of just hosting martial arts seminars in such a location, you'd probably have to figure out a way to regularly book famous instructors with the sort of following that they could attract seminar students willing to travel to attend the event.

I do recall seeing an ad (on Facebook, maybe?) last year for a venue that seemed to be doing something like what you describe, with an ongoing schedule of expensive, multi-day retreats with famous instructors. It was out of my price range, even without the travel, so I didn't consider it. I can't remember the name of the business, and I don't know whether they exclusively catered to martial arts seminars, and I don't know if they were financially successful or whether they are still in business.
 

Ivan

Black Belt
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
664
Reaction score
386
Hi everyone, I’m doing some research for a potential project I have in mind. I’m considering purchasing a property to host martial arts seminars/weekend get-away events, and wanted to get an opinion on the concept.


Ideally the property would be about 3 – 4 acres in size located in a wooded mountain area with some nice views. The gym itself would be more like a wooden deck with a roof (think like a traditional 'dojo' style). Students will be able to jog and workout around the property as well. The location would host single-day seminars and / or weekend workouts for any style of martial artists wanting to train surrounded by nature. I’m thinking it would be a great meditation spot as well for those that just want to go up and meditate.


So my questions are the following:
  1. Would you (or if you're an instructor have students) be interested in training at a place like this?
  2. Are there any other places/businesses/gyms already like this that I could reach out to (I'm in GA)?
  3. What is a “must have” for a place like this to make it worth the drive (it is located away from the city about 1.5 hrs) and potential cost for prospective students and teachers? (i.e. gym size, nature, oriental theme, training equipment, etc.)

Thanks in advance!
There are multiple factors to consider before opening such a place. The most important factors will be location and accommodation. These are the things that stand out the most to any traveling martial artists. There are famous people out there who host seminars all over the world, as well as martial artists that will travel to the end of the earth to extract as much knowledge as possible from them. Is your location close to an airport? Is it easy to find? Is it close to any hotels or lodgings with a good reputation and good online reviews? That's the first thing I would check if I were considering to travel around the world.

Next, what are the facilities in your dojo? Are the bathrooms comfortable to use, is there lockers, do you offer refreshments, and the quality of your mats or equipment? If you want to market to everyone in the world, you will have to offer the best quality possible.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
11,968
Reaction score
6,018
Location
New York
I have my doubts you could even afford taxes on this place with martial arts seminars alone. You would either need to have a long-running dojo there (some places in china have live-in students at monastaries..something like that could potentially work), or keep it as an area for all kinds of events. Camping trips, corporate retreats, a location for a haunted house in october, maybe host a renn faire, stuff like that. And martial arts seminars would just be one of the many.

Alternatively, you could have it as a wedding venue, and just black out certain weekends for martial arts seminars. If you build a lodge/cabin there, I'm sure you'd find people willing to pay for a weekend outdoor wedding, with an nature/rustic/oriental theme.
 

Wing Woo Gar

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
3,452
Reaction score
1,837
Location
Northern California
Hi everyone, I’m doing some research for a potential project I have in mind. I’m considering purchasing a property to host martial arts seminars/weekend get-away events, and wanted to get an opinion on the concept.


Ideally the property would be about 3 – 4 acres in size located in a wooded mountain area with some nice views. The gym itself would be more like a wooden deck with a roof (think like a traditional 'dojo' style). Students will be able to jog and workout around the property as well. The location would host single-day seminars and / or weekend workouts for any style of martial artists wanting to train surrounded by nature. I’m thinking it would be a great meditation spot as well for those that just want to go up and meditate.


So my questions are the following:
  1. Would you (or if you're an instructor have students) be interested in training at a place like this?
  2. Are there any other places/businesses/gyms already like this that I could reach out to (I'm in GA)?
  3. What is a “must have” for a place like this to make it worth the drive (it is located away from the city about 1.5 hrs) and potential cost for prospective students and teachers? (i.e. gym size, nature, oriental theme, training equipment, etc.)

Thanks in advance!
Look at Dr Yangs retreat in Miranda California. Very similar idea.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
23,195
Reaction score
7,876
I have a friend of mine who hosts seminars as a side job. It could work. But you would probably have to set most of the seminars up. Rather than just creating the venue.

 
OP
B

brentjones

White Belt
Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
7
Reaction score
5
I would say any woodland setting with a pavilion would work for this. State parks, Church grounds, that kind of thing.
1) sure, in fact I have done a few times.
2) Like I said most state parks have pavilions you can reserve. Most large Churches have them too.
3)I would say a couple of porta potties if no other facilities exist. Otherwise, just need people and maybe beverages.
Thank you! I didn't think about state parks or church grounds. That is good to know.
 
OP
B

brentjones

White Belt
Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
7
Reaction score
5
I have a friend of mine who hosts seminars as a side job. It could work. But you would probably have to set most of the seminars up. Rather than just creating the venue.

Thank you! And thank you for sharing the video as well. The idea is similar, but it wouldn't be nearly as nice as that haha.
 
OP
B

brentjones

White Belt
Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
7
Reaction score
5
I have my doubts you could even afford taxes on this place with martial arts seminars alone. You would either need to have a long-running dojo there (some places in china have live-in students at monastaries..something like that could potentially work), or keep it as an area for all kinds of events. Camping trips, corporate retreats, a location for a haunted house in october, maybe host a renn faire, stuff like that. And martial arts seminars would just be one of the many.

Alternatively, you could have it as a wedding venue, and just black out certain weekends for martial arts seminars. If you build a lodge/cabin there, I'm sure you'd find people willing to pay for a weekend outdoor wedding, with an nature/rustic/oriental theme.
Thank you for your thoughts! Camping trips and other events is a good idea. I would probably just focus on health related stuff.
 
OP
B

brentjones

White Belt
Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
7
Reaction score
5
There are multiple factors to consider before opening such a place. The most important factors will be location and accommodation. These are the things that stand out the most to any traveling martial artists. There are famous people out there who host seminars all over the world, as well as martial artists that will travel to the end of the earth to extract as much knowledge as possible from them. Is your location close to an airport? Is it easy to find? Is it close to any hotels or lodgings with a good reputation and good online reviews? That's the first thing I would check if I were considering to travel around the world.

Next, what are the facilities in your dojo? Are the bathrooms comfortable to use, is there lockers, do you offer refreshments, and the quality of your mats or equipment? If you want to market to everyone in the world, you will have to offer the best quality possible.
Thank you for the comment! You bring up good questions I need to consider. It's not close to any airports or hotels, but the area I'm looking at has been growing recently and I've heard purchasing land in this particular area would be a good investment. That being said, I would be targeting people who are wanting to get away from the city (Atlanta and surrounding area) to the mountains who are okay with "roughing it" in the woods for a day or too. And yes, I would definitely have/build bathrooms and refreshments, ensure a safe environment, etc.
 
OP
B

brentjones

White Belt
Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
7
Reaction score
5
It does sound like a nice environment for a seminar. However as an instructor I wouldn't consider renting a venue like this unless I reasonably expected to have more seminar attendees than could reasonably fit in my home gym - so quite a lot.

Almost 40 years ago I was part of a small club practicing ninjutsu, back when that was a new art in the U.S.. We normally trained in the park, so when we hosted seminars with out of state instructors we would rent venues for the occasion. One time it was at a location similar to what you are describing and it was very pleasant. However that was at the height of the "ninja boom" when there was a demand for a relatively small number of available instructors and we could attract enough attendees to pay for the rental.

In addition, "wooded mountain area" in most areas would indicate a further drive for most attendees than our regular gym in town - which would likely lower attendance unless this was for a really special occasion.

I have seen ads for special martial arts retreats/seminars in venues like the ones you describe. Usually they are multi-day events with famous instructors designed to attract participants from around the country. (They also tend to be expensive, which is why I haven't attended any of those, despite being an avid seminar goer.) I think in most cases these are venues which cater to all types of events, some of which just happen to be martial arts seminars. If you wanted to make a full time business out of just hosting martial arts seminars in such a location, you'd probably have to figure out a way to regularly book famous instructors with the sort of following that they could attract seminar students willing to travel to attend the event.

I do recall seeing an ad (on Facebook, maybe?) last year for a venue that seemed to be doing something like what you describe, with an ongoing schedule of expensive, multi-day retreats with famous instructors. It was out of my price range, even without the travel, so I didn't consider it. I can't remember the name of the business, and I don't know whether they exclusively catered to martial arts seminars, and I don't know if they were financially successful or whether they are still in business.
Thank you for your insights! I attended a seminar several years back and it was a large venue and we had around 100 - 125 students training on the mat, and everyone had so much fun. So, I would be targeting a similar size.

A further drive will definitely lower attendees, so I would need to market this as something to 'get away from the city' type of thing (among other perks).

That's an interesting insight about inviting famous instructors. I hadn't thought about that, but my current idea is to have a lower cost to attend, especially during the first couple of years. Later on though, I think I could try inviting instructors.

Thanks again!
 
OP
B

brentjones

White Belt
Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
7
Reaction score
5
Thank you all for your great insights! I'm still very much in the exploratory phase of this. Haven't comitted any money or anything, but your comments have given me good things to think about. Thank you again - it's very much appreciated.
 

Latest Discussions

Top