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Starting and Running Your Own Martial Arts School Paperback – November 15, 2002
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About the Author
Susan Lynn Peterson, Ph.D., is a published author and Gold Medallion Book Award finalist. She holds a third-degree black belt in Okinawan Shuri-ryu karate and is a USA Karate Federation national tournament champion. She has studied karate, kobudo, Shaolin Chuan Fa, and Tai Chi Chuan.
Sensei Karen Vactor has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arizona and a fourth-degree black belt in Okinawan Shuri-ryu karate and other arts. She is a USA Karate Federation tournament champion and has been listed in Marquis Who's Who in Finance and Industry.
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Top Customer Reviews
Chapter one covers marketing your identity, whatever it is that makes your school unique and interesting to potential students, including how to choose a name that reflects your image. Chapter two covers the business groundwork, something that very few martial artists really understand how to do properly. It covers advisors (e.g., attorney, accountant) that you might need and how to develop a business plan. Rule number one in retail is location. So is rule 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6... you get the idea. The next chapter not only covers how to find a good location, but also how to figure out what it will cost you, how to negotiate a lease, and how to layout your dojo floor space. Chapter five covers essential legal administrivia like insurance and regulatory compliance.
Chapter six covers student contracts, fee schedules, and hiring employees. Not sure I entirely agree with the author's philosophy here, but the advice is sound nevertheless. Chapter seven covers advertising tools such as brochures, business cards, flyers, and your entrance signage. Chapter eight comprehensively covers basic marketing such as mass mailings, yellow pages ads, etc. Chapter nine goes into more detail on the same subject. Once marketing brings perspective students to your door, chapter ten deals with how to "close the deal" and sign them up. Chapter eleven covers attendance, student tracking, and payment tracking. Chapter eleven covers the how to keep track of your cash flow and create basic financial statements. Chapter thirteen is a good overview of strategies that keep students motivated and interested in coming back. Chapter fourteen covers how to place and sell products associated with your training (e.g., uniforms). It covers the basics of pricing, costs, profits, inventory tracking, and display. The final chapter is a "troubleshooting guide" that can help you solve problems such as high drop out rates, attendance problems, "closing" problems, etc. The glossary of business terms is a great overview for folks who don't really understand all that stuff.
Author of Surviving Armed Assaults, The Way of Kata, and Martial Arts Instruction
Well after purchasing this book I took it home where it sat for several weeks before I finally decided to open it up and take a look at it. Now I am sitting here writing this review in hopes that I may be able to have some impact on another person such as myself who may be thinking that already know how to run a martial arts school and therefore may tend to disregard this book. It would be a very profound mistake! Trust me, I did and then I realized after reading this book that I may have run successful martial arts schools, but I could have run them even better had I read this book years ago (if it had been available at that time).
I am on the verge of opening up another school after semi-retiring for a few years and I am glad that I picked up this book and read it before I really got started getting everything put together. Now I admit that I knew a lot of the information that is contained in this book, but I will also admit that there was also a lot of information in this book that I didn't know, or didn't know as well as I should have. Needless to say, I am very glad that I read this book and I am really looking forward to implementing a lot of the things I learned in it.
Is this book perfect? Of course not! A lot of what the authors tell you in this book will probably not sit well with a lot of us more traditional martial artists, but if you take what they tell you and modify it accordingly to fit your own specific needs, then you will no doubt be a lot further ahead than if you simply ignored this information.
Now I could go into all the specific areas that are discussed in this book, or I could simply tell you that pretty much everything you need to know from A to Z about starting and running a martial arts school is included in this book. I think I will take the latter.
Here are three other fantastic books that I would recommend to any and all instructors regardless of the particular martial arts style that you are teaching, and those books are Martial Arts Instruction: Applying Educational Theory and Communication Techniques In the Dojo,The Way of Kata: A Comprehensive Guide for Deciphering Martial Applications, and The Way to Black Belt: A Comprehensive Guide to Rapid, Rock-Solid Results all written by Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder.
Creator of numerous books and DVD's.
The book is filled with new ideas for operating your school as a business without turning it into a belt-factory (Extremely important in my view)!! I highly recommend this book to all who have a dream of opening their own studio some day.