Senshin: The Enlightened Mind

Martial Arts Blog

normrobitza On September - 2 - 2013

AdultkaratesuitThere are many ways to get new students. My dojo is located at a University and we only have classes during the school year. At this time of the year, we are gearing up for a fresh group of students. The problem is that we are not always very successful at getting new students.

We put poster up around the campus. This gains us a few students but not as many as you would expect. The second week of September, the University holds a Clubs Fair. All of the clubs at the University set up displays and hope to gain members. We usually get 20-50 people sign up for classes at this fair but only a handful will actually come to a class. During the fair, I try to take small groups of interested people and teach them a simple self-defense technique. This has been the most successful method for gaining new students.

This year we tried something different. Yesterday, Sempai Jolene and I went to the University and performed katas and bunkai outside some of the buildings on campus. Mount Allison has a huge Japanese enrollment and we were lucky enough to have a large group of Japanese students walk passed us. I overheard some of them talking about us. They were surprised to see people doing karate at the university.

Classes will begin in a week or two. We usually are held up due to the university policy on clubs starting. We are forced to hold classes in the hall way or outside for the first couple of weeks. I hope to get things started sooner than later. Having to wait for the university is difficult because it forces the students to work really hard to get ready for grading.

If you are looking for ways to attract new students, try having a fundraiser or do demos at the local shopping mall or a centralized park. Perhaps there is a festival that your group could see about doing a demo at. Demos show potential students what your style is all about and demonstrates the strong bonds that are formed at your club.

Maybe have a self-defense class or if your club accepts children talk to some schools in your area to see if you can go in to do a demonstration or to teach some self-defense training. In this age of bullying, perhaps anti-bullying classes would draw attention.

If you have the funds, you could drop a flyer in mailboxes or place door hangers on all the homes in the neighborhood. Whatever you decide to do, stay focused and be professional. The students will come, it will just take some effort and time.

Good luck and train hard!


Categories: Teaching/Training

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