I don't know if you guys have them in Murrika, but every Wednesday here in Québec we receive "Publisac" (ie. "ad bag"), which is exactly that : a plastic bag with a bunch of flyers and coupons in them. A lot of people do read them because it's an ezmode way to receive flyers from ie. Wal-Mart.
I've received flyers for one of the Villari schools nearby once advertising all sorts of start-up programs. Now of course, everyone knows Villari's stuff is expensive and useless, but what could keep a Judo school from doing the same?
Or hell, an ad in the local newspaper.
Another big problem as people have noticed in this topic is student retention. Most newbies that enter the door never really return. There is currently one white belt in the adult classes and she joined very recently. There used to be at least 3 or 4. From what I remember, we've got 7 new students from january to june in the adult classes and only 3 come with any regularity at all.
More than the vagaries of ukemi in the first classes, I think it's just because Judo is challenging. People don't want challenging stuff that hurts. They wander into a Judo dojo, get thrown around a few times, view the art as a pain cult and run. They don't want martial arts. They want LARPing with compliant techniques and chambered punches, they want a delusion of self-confidence coming from flawed training that doesn't hurt.
And Judo is not an art that can target that particular demographic.
QFT. I've been at this for only about a month and there have been many times after an especially painful throw or a black belt is mashing the hell out of my ribs on the ground and I ask myself, "WTF am I doing here???" For some reason, I go home, forget about the pain and am back at it a few days later. It's kinda like childbirth, I suppose.
Originally Posted by kikoolol
Maybe diversify a bit? I remember in junior high phys ed we had a "Combatives" unit... schoolyard games with the addition of grappling. Example:
Originally Posted by kikoolol
1) Start with most of the group on one side of the mat, with someone who's "it" in the middle.
2) Start a timer.
3) The group has to make it to the other side of the mat (without standing up) by the time the timer elapses. If they don't (they get slowed down by someone who's "it" enough), they're "it" too.
4) Continue until there's one (or no) people left.
Dunno if it'd work for judo as well as for wrestling, but it might. Something to warm people up to contact grappling with a smoother learning curve.
Originally Posted by Emevas
Sometimes we play "Judoball".
Two teams, sensei throws a ball on the mat, the goal is to get to the score zone on the other side. You must stay on your knees. You can pass and crap but the core of the game consists of groundwork.
If you've watched "Human Weapon" on Sambo, it's pretty similar to the "Basketbrawl" drill except on your knees.
It's a pretty fun cardio workout, but I'd rather do straight-up randori.
Other random ideas :
-implement Judo as a credited course in college. In Québec we still have required phys ed classes in college, except you can choose one activity amidst the proposed ones. I took fencing (my college doesn't offer Judo) but a lot of colleges do offer Judo.
-students help propagate Judo. Your club mustn't do all the work! Ideas being demos at elementary/middle schools if you're an high enough grade, or making Judo the subject of a paper. I've done a mini Judo class for my final English oral in college and it was well-received.
I remember an USSD instructor coming in and making us do drills and showing us a few moves when I was in elementary school on lunch hour.
-have your club bring out portable mats and do one or two classes outside. Something like a local park (without too many hooligans), or something like that. Having a randori session on the plains of Abraham (google) is a little fantasy of mine.
I'm bored, I might just be saying ****, as I'm an horrible salesman myself.
Last edited by kikoolol; 5/22/2009 9:54am at .
I remember my Judo club at uni when I was training there, best martial arts club I have trained in, quality instructors, quality atmosphere, it had a huge attrition rate amongst the guys but amongst the women it was amazingly good at keeping students. It had Monday Wednesday Advanced classes Tuesday was women's night Thursday beginners and Saturdays had all the black belts+ and it seemed that whatever the girls did on Tuesdays kept them in the club. Self defence and worked on techniques to use on the boys on Mondays and Wednesdays. Judo also had some holiday programmes and kiddies classes...basically gymnastics mainly for co-ordination. Oh yeah AUD$44 for unlimited classes every six months... I think the sadistic belt whipping, hopping tag game was why the guys quit...jackets or no jackets?
I guess here is where one would need to think outside the square. RBSD is all the rage in the MA mags here and often complete rubbish. Apparently one of the Judo girls in the previous paragraph however managed to break a guys arm and naked strangled him out when she was attacked on the train. Judo is usefully effective as a self defence art to sell to the girls, the previously victimised, the larpers, the paranoid, the people that don't want to learn how to ukemi. It seems to pay dollars here in Australia. Although to be fair the beginners girls at Judo were I would say compared to the boys somewhat technically superior and you don't have to teach rubbish either like compliant wrist locks.
The best money spinner I have so far seen and it is hard to make work and involved schmoozing a local private school is getting the martial art offered as a selection of the compulsory sport programme, being an ex-student or parent would I guess help a lot here. (This guy was a very slick Kyokushin teacher, slicker than good brilliantine cream)
The next best money spinner I have experienced to help a club survive was the kiddies TKD classes fairly basic striking patterns ra ra ra. My instructor started in TKD as a kid and then went on to realise that Muay Thai and Wrestling were way better. To fund his Muay Thai club he used the TKD fees, he tried to do a wrestling class (he used to be an olympic team wrestler I believe, in Australia I guess that is a pretty niche thing to be). He was a terrible businessman though, he should have run cardio kickboxing for the ladies and fitness classes, it's right in a really posh rich area with plenty of unemployed rich house wives who would love to think they could kickbox because they got to cardio kickboxing. Again I am sure anyone who is moderatley fit from martial arts can run a get fit class for hot housewives in Lycra, it's getting the knowledge of its existence out there in the print media and competing against gyms well. Price, atmosphere, service...find the gap that no one else has.
I was reading somewhere years and years ago on the Federation website that most clubs should expect something like an 80-90% attrition rate from the first six months.
That is atrociously bad and it seems that Judo as a collective just accepts this or has tried everything to no avail.
Location seems to be important too, I moved house recently about an hour away from where I lived before. In the first area I lived in I couldn't find a UFC DVD to hire if I sold my organs for it. The place I live in now, the local place here has every single UFC... BUT on th eother hand there is no where to train here though, bizaare.
There is a huge interest in UFC etc the xbox game sold out the day it was released up here, I drove half an hour south and they couldn't give it away...just in terms of interest in the sport. Location seems to be an issue. Do you have bogans do you have business people what are your demographics and what do they want?
I guess I didn't really add much to the thread but I think Kiddies classes, liddies and parents, rich yummy mummies in lycra, seminars, MMA classes, self defence for people less enthusiastic for ukemi, or ne waza for beginners, conditioning classes for fighters/rich women, school programmes... essentially sell your soul to support what you really want to teach. Door traffic and keeping people there, do a survey, do a mail drop, find out what people want.
Since I didn't see anyone else respond to this, I'd just like to say the Boy Scouts are flat out anti-martial arts as far as I know. When I was in Scouts and got the magazing, I recall a letter being written to Boys' Life, and the mail answering donkey said something to the effect of "The Boy Scouts of America doesn't approve of hurting people".
Originally Posted by Snake Plissken
I've stopped keeping track of all the reasons I hate the Boy Scouts.
Well i train with the national coach for northern ireland and he charges me 2 pounds (about 4 bucks) for a two hour class.
Originally Posted by jnp
Judo is cheap and widely available so why would anyone pay 25 bucks to train with someone when they can get top quality coaching for 4.
It seems like most of the judo schools I've come across are non-profit. Even the best judo school in my area, a well-known place that has been around since the 40s, only charges (converted to dollars) $4.50 a session, plus $25 a year to be a member of the club. The lesser ones, that is the ones that are run from boys clubs or youth centres, only charge $3 per class.
As a side note though, BJJ in my area, taught by a Marc Walder black belt, is $65 a month, which I gather is quite cheap.
This is how I feel. It's painful at the time (although I actually quite like being thrown, there's something about that loud slapping sound when I hit the mat that is quite satisfying) but when I get home and am relaxing with my body aching, replaying everything in my head, I feel FANTASTIC and can't wait to go again. I don't know what it is, something about punishing your body for 2 hours but getting through it and actually knowing you've gained a bit more knowledge is really great.
Originally Posted by JavaRonin
If you have someone who can make a living on that, more power to them.
Originally Posted by cam4276
In there is why I simply can not afford to teach.
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