Karate

    • 5
    Luca Valdesi - Unsu kata
    Demonstration of Unsu Kata
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      John Luttrell As part of our club's 15th anniversary we had a course on Unsu with Sensei Hazard and Sensei Trimbel it was excellent and we all learned a great deal. If you get a chance to train with either of these gentlemen you will learn a lot.
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      Al W Can anyone help me develop the jump in this kata? I need to learn to perform the Sempu Tobi Geri on both legs for reasons that will remain classified at present
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      Al W If I could be half as good as him then I would count myself lucky
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    What is "hard" and "soft" karate styles?
    What does it mean when you see a karate style labeled as "hard" or "soft"? Does hard mean you chew on iron nails for breakfast and soft is tai chi-like? :)

    Seriously, wikipedia labels some karate styles harder than others - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_karate_styles

    Also according to the opinion of karate students (and not wikipedia) - what is the hardest karate style? And what is the softest karate style?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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      Bryce Hard and soft styles, in my own personal experience, tend to be all about how one approaches blocking. In hard styles (in karate, at least) such as Shotokan, you see blocks which have a lot of power, and the point of these blocks is often not only to avoid injury yourself, but to injure the opponent as well with the power of the block. In order to put up with the impact created by such powerful blocks, practitioners of hard styles will often take part in exercises to toughen up their bodies (see Kyokushin karate).

      Soft styles, on the other hand, tend to focus on staying relaxed during a fight and tend to redirect or avoid their opponent's energy as opposed to directly clashing with it. This means that the blocks themselves only use enough energy to avoid injury, in theory allowing the soft-style practitioner to retain their energy for later in the fight (with enough endurance training and body control their is obviously no difference in endurance levels between practitioners of different styles; this is just the theory). Wado-Ryu karate is one example of a soft style; the style blends the relaxed, circular movements of Japanese jiujutsu with the hard, direct strikes of Japanese karate in a style of movement called Taisabaki (or body shifting). In this, the practitioner shifts away from the opponents strikes using their core, employing their blocking hand merely as a safety measure to ensure that the punch or kick does not redirect (in theory, one could perform this part of taisabaki without moving their arms at all). This places the practitioner away from the opponent's strike, but closer to the opponent themselves, allowing the practitioner to move their shifted body weight into the opponent with their counterattack.

      One of the other black belts once asked my sensei which was better, and in response he said "punch is punch; kick is kick." In other words, both types of martial art can be deadly. It depends on yourself and your teacher, not the style itself.

      (Note: Sorry that the soft style explanation is larger; I am a practitioner of Wado-Ryu, and I have more experience with it than I do the hard styles. I felt I should only explain as far as I understood).
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      SenseiMG For those who wonder why Kyokushin is considered the hardest karate I will give you some answer. Foundator of kyokushin or a main figure like Shigeru Oyama thought that there was no practice without sweat. Also, combat practice was their priority. Courses included training with pads but many movements are done directly on a partner. Talking about the first Kyokushin school in Tokyo, Shigeru Oyama said: « Face punches were allowed at this time. I was surprised to find that everyone had their hands wrapped in towels. Teeth will cut your hands. So everyone had their hands wrapped in towels.» Also, at that time, the hyakunin kumite (fighting against 100 man consecutively) has to be done to become a teacher of this discipline. Today, kyokushin become "softer(!)" in order to keep more students in their rank, but many traditions remains in the actual pratice and in the virtues of kyokushin. There is no more face punches but kick to the head is allowed, hyakunin kumite still exists as the ultimate challenge for those who wish to accomplish it and black belt exams include tameshiwari (breaking techniques) and many kumite (usually between 15 to 20 combats against different opponents for a shodan) in addition to kihons and katas.
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      Andy In practically all martial art (certainly of the oriental variety) hard and soft are both parts of the whole and one cannot be practiced without the other, Kata is considered a 'soft' technique (though it does incorporate many hard elements) because it involves visualisation, timing, accuracy (all soft/internal elements that should also be applied to sparring and other hard external elements). The thing is that it is generally a misconception (perpetuated by the Ashida Kim's of the martial arts world) that there are specific hard and soft styles. Take Tai Chi, it is often taught and practised by old ladies in village halls as a healthy exercise, there is however a real combat (hard) application of genuine Tai Chi and in it's hard element it is a devastating martial art. In Karate,Kata should also be practised under dynamic/isometric tension to strengthen the internal and external parts of the body which is another reason why Kata are included in the soft aspect of training.
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    New School Blues
    So as it stands I am currently running a class on a Thursday night, on my instructors advice, but at present all I have is at most 5/6 students.

    It's two classes back-to-back and only 2/3 students do both lessons. I've advertised on Social Media, and leaflet drop in the local area for more students, but at present I am struggling to keep the focus of what students I do have, who also train at our main club on other days of the week.

    Any help?
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      Andy @Al W, you need to be creative with the name/description of your class, you need to advertise something that will get people's attention, I don't know, maybe something like Big AL's MMA KRAV-BJJ Martial Arts and fitness accademy. Join NOW and receive a 10% discount towards my 'Realistic Chain Saw defence' seminar this coming December, dont forget, Free entry on Thursday to ALL female students (provided they are between the ages of 20
      -40 and pass the 'Fitness' test (if the bouncers think your fit they'll let you in) :)
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      Jean We're about to embark on this path within the next year. I interested to see the ideas that will come out in this thread.
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      Ray Try being a karate school at an mma gym. We have a all included program. Many pay for it. Only 6 kids participate in the karate program full time. Of course we get dozens to filter thru. I have 12 at my sparring class. Of course waivers are signed.

      After we swept a local sparring tournament last year my karate class grew to almost 20..... and now I am back to the original 4 plus 2.
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    Own Dojo
    From all of you experienced martial art peeps, when do you think someone can start a dojo?

    My Sensei is giving me his Community Center dojo when I become a black belt sometime next year. He is letting me create the curriculum and run it how I want. I will still be under him to promote brown and black belts, but in essence it is my dojo. He even wants me to have it under a different name.

    My question to you is will you look at my dojo with respect at first glance?

    I have great things planned. I know I will be ready and will give quality instruction. I am not in it for the money so it won't be a McDojo, but I am just worried about what other people in my small Karate community will say or think.

    Any advice or opinion is greatly appreciated!!!!
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      S.P. If you are gonna make changes, I suggest small ones and not all at once. People get used to a given routine and tho it mayn't be (or, may be) great, changing that should be gradual.
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      Richie Our founder:
      We should open Karate to the public and receive criticism, opinions and studies from other prominent fighting artists.” – Chojun Miyagi (founder of Goju-ryu Karate)

      Goju-Ryu was founded from a merge of other styles. This is why I love my style so much. The best comparison is a Japanese version of Jeet Kun Do.
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      Andy [220601,Richie], first off I think it is great that you are going to be running a dojo. No doubt there will be people (other martial artists) who will be negative and disparaging without having the vaguest clue as to what your club is all about (you could have the best dojo in the world and teach excellent, genuine no BS MA and there will still be some who will bad mouth and slate you!). The thing is to not give a hoot what others say or think and to go into it with a positive mindset and do the best that you can do, at least you are (or will be) a genuine, conscientious black belt and as long as you yourself are still learning and are willing and able to pass on what you have learned so far (and what you will learn in the future) then all should be good.
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    • 4
    Promotion.
    So today out of the blue I was tested and promoted. Sill not a black belt but that takes about 6 years minnimum. In Chidokwon Karate.

    With all the other years of training. 2 tkd, 4 plus boxing, 2 of military combative including 1 as an instructor. And the 4 plus of mma training. And other weapons etc over the years, I need to ask.

    What makes one a real black belt?
    Is it years at 1 art?
    Or years of training?
    Or is it mind set and the ability to pass on that knowledge.?

    My students are always assumed to be higher belts than they are. Is this the decline of western martial arts or is my school just that thorough in training

    For example my oldest does boxing wrestling and karate. 4 days a week for 3 years strait.. He had a green belt in tkd at 8 But is only a 8th kyu in Chidokwon. He knows all the techniques and does them well. He lacks the disapline ti advance though , and he knows it.
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      Al W A belt round the waist is just that, a belt round the waist. I can buy a black belt of Ebay for £5, doesn't mean I am one. A black belt is more than the belt, I would have to say they must meet (at least most of, if not all) the following criteria:-
      Be compassionate
      Be able to encourage their student to try their best
      To be dedicated to their chosen art
      An ability to demonstrate advanced techniques in a way that less advanced students are able to understand
      Display a level of knowledge expected of a teacher
      Someone who never gives up on a student
      Someone who knows the difference between discipline and being a bully
      Someone students can look up to
      Someone who is approachable
      Someone who would never belittle a student
      Someone who knows that respect is earned and not given
      Someone who understands that everybody learns at different speeds and not every student is capable of superhuman feats of agility
      Someone who will take the time to help a student who is having problems learning
      Someone who will take into account a students age, disabilities, and other limitations into account when teaching and/or assessing
      • 1
      Michael I think the western idea of a black belt is "someone who is taught all the moves." I have seen so many schools promising black belts in 1 or 2 years. One school I remember from my youth was notorious for loosing kumite matches for being too aggressive/ lack of control. On the other hand, the marines who brought Isshinryu back to America only studied with master Shimabuku for a year or two before being named black belts. Nowadays, any reputable Isshinryu school requires 4-6 years before black belt.
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      PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS First, congrats @ Ray on your promotional test. What makes one a real black belt ! my world-wide understanding is: acquiring all the black belt skills and passing a test in one style by a recognized karate organization or sensei thereof. Second phase, maintaining black belt proficiency levels after acquiring 1st dan or Japanese Shodan.To me, the key word is "real", which I believe equates to "experience" or 2nd or 3rd dan, with proven personal respect for the art and standards thereof, and the ability to teach skills with objective integrity, and maintain righteous pesonal character and honour karate herritage.
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    • 3
    What is the best way to get splits at the age of 30+
    Hi, I'm 31 years old male and I'm trying to find out best and most effective way to get side splits at this age. Some people told me it's not possible at this age. But I believe that it is still possible. I just need the right information to get it done.

    I watched numerous YouTube videos but none gave me good information. Mostly female are able to get side splits easily but as for male concerned very few, I see on YouTube.

    I also tried easy flexibility program for the front split but maybe I have to try long enough.

    I would like to know if any male at this age or around at this age was able to achieve side split. This will also encourage me, and if those individuals can share what really benefited them that would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
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      Michael I have struggled with tight hamstrings my entire life (literally, my father who used to do TKD learned I couldn't get my leg waist high at abou 7 years old). For someone like me, I think splits is an impossibility. With years of stretching, you may yet be able to do it. Here are a few videos I have used to improve my flexibility.

      https://youtu.be/xJwwioOcE4E

      https://youtu.be/V_bh8CAGDi4
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      Andrew Patterson You just have to stretch every day. It will happen.
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      Christopher Adamchek theres no special secret to stretching after a certain age
      its just a thing that needs to be done nearly ever day, take your time doing it, and push yourself
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    • 3
    newby
    hi guys, first off thanks for having me, well im 48 and trying to get in shape ! always been interested in learning the art for balance in life. i need beginner material thanks
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      Richie Follow your Sensei with an open heart and an open mind. Research your style and google will take you where you need to go to further education. If you don't have a sensei get one, don't learn it online or by books.

      Never cement your ideas, especially in the beginning. Always challenge yourself and your knowledge of the arts.

      Most of all PRACTICE!
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      Christopher Adamchek Welcome, what sort of beginner material are you looking for?
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      David Ianetta Hello [244177,Neil Lochner] , first let me say welcome! Second I want to encourage you that (as [171807,Andy] says) 48 is NOT too old. I myself started up two years ago when I turned 50. In fact I blog about it (http://taekwondobbjourney.blogspot.com/). I'm only sharing the blog because it might offer some encouragement. Feel free to bounce any questions off me. You will be amazed at what your body can still achieve, and how much an older (and perhaps wiser) mind can offer when understanding the deeper aspects of the Martial Arts as well as the focus and determination it takes to push through difficult times. This is a great community, [199522,PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS] , [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] and [171807,Andy] have given me extremely valuable information.
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    Karate - Push Hands Tegumi
    This Karate video looks at the pushing hands technique as a part of Tegumi (Okinawan wrestling) training for Karate.

    To all of our Karate members - Does your school teach Tegumi? Or does your school see Tegumi as "not Karate" and/or a sop to people who want to learn MMA-like grappling techniques?

    Will
    Black Belt Wiki
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      Nico We used to practice this when in trained Okinawa Goju-Ryu but (wrongly?) called it Kakie.
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      Superamazingbadgerman I'm gonna be a RMA snob and go ahead and say I don't like the explanation. You just have to keep your body and arms soft and let the other guy through!!!!!!!!!! D:<

      It's a pretty good idea. I don't see why such a fundamental skill for martial arts would be stricken from the art of Karate. If they don't teach it, they should!
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      Rom Hamilton Interesting. As a Gemini I have done the nominal tkd kicks, blocks and punches of course. Force. I am fascinated by the acceptance and redirection of said force, however. Wish I'd known of this about three fights ago. We don't really practice this at all in a class of 60 kids. I see it as important to understand.
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    • 3
    Realistic kakie (pushing hands) usage
    Exaples of kakie practices
    Primary defensive usage example
    Secondary offensive usage
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      Superamazingbadgerman I LOVE this!

      The only thing I don't like is how you use the arm drag to close the distance and shove his hips to push him away. It works (and is actually a much better choice than my preferred takedown if he has friends or a wall or an object you can push him into), so it's probably just a matter of personal preference and I'm just whining on the internet for no reason. :P

      If he DOES have friends though, it would be easier on you if you don't tie your hands up working with his legs. That's a decent option (and actually feels pretty good), but it's quicker and more convenient and keeps you more available to address whatever else is going on if you keep your hands working up top and leave the matter of controlling his legs to your footwork.

      Nitpicking aside, this really is awesome! Thanks, [171786,Christopher Adamchek] !
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      Jody Williams Nice relaxed technique
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      Will - Black Belt Wiki Chris

      Thanks for sharing... and making this video.

      Will
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    Famous Karate Quotes
    The wiki has a page on famous martial arts quotes - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/martial-arts-quotes

    However, it is severely lacking many good Karate quotes. Can you please post some of the classic Karate quotes (with the associated style & originator) on this thread?

    I would like to get things such as "One becomes a beginner after one thousand days of training and an expert after ten thousand days of practice." and "The only secret is sweat." from Mas Oyama (Kyokushin Karate). [212430,James] perhaps you know some more good Oyama quotes.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Will
    Black Belt Wiki
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      Andy "Stomp the groin, then restomp the groin" Master Ken :)
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      Andy "Do not blindly follow, always internally question the validity and practicality of what you are being taught" Andy, just now! :)
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      Will - Black Belt Wiki I have just added a Karate quotes page to the wiki - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/famous-karate-quotes

      I will add more of your quotes later today when I get a minute.

      Will
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    TKD vs Karate...
    Haha no I'm not that crazy.. but now that I have your attention, my TKD school has been recently invited to a local Kumite (I appoligize if I use wrong spelling or term for karate at anypoint) and I was just looking for some of the karate guys if you have any "does and don'ts" or rules that I might need to know of for a Kumite where it might differ from a TDK tourney anyway (when in doubt... bow is universal to MA I think). They have given us a standard bit of rules so far, but wondering if there Is any traditions etc that I might not know about being from the TKD side of things? The rules of sparring they have set out is no head contact but shadow spar hits might be accepted if judges agreed it's a controlled strike, is this a common rule? Is karate sparring typically knees up or belt up? Other rules seem pretty straightforward body strikes, point sparring system.
    ....Also anyone that wants to give up tips for sparring against karate I'm all ears as well..... lol I know, I know I'm the enemy....
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      Hermit Thank you all for your advice, it's great to build that strategy (that well all know will go out the window 15s into the match lol). I look forward to the differences in the styles, and am by no means arrogant enough to think that one is better than the other. I hope that this will be a good experience to help in building my sparring, if I can go, just completed in a TDK tourney this weekend past where I stressed my ankle (just before the gold medal match too, I had to drop out to avoid further injury....argghhh), hope it heals proper by the end of the month. I will update here after the tourney with what I have learned!
      • 1
      Erica In all my tournaments we always go Belt up while sparring. Sometimes there is exceptions but not usually.
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      Michael Each tournament is different. Some belt-and-up, some knees-and-up. Some don't allow "blind" spinning moves, others allow it as long as there is control. Some allow head contact, others don't (depending on the rank of the combatants) and others require "light contact". The best rule of thumb is if there is a question, just ask whoever is hosting the tournament. Also, many tournaments have video from previous tournaments available online which can give you an example as a frame of reference.
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    Bunkai - Why not taught?
    What are the reasons why Bunkai may not be taught in a dojo?
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      Nigel Kersh The primary reason bunkai is not taught in the dojo is because the sensei doesn't know it.

      Then there's the whole cloud of nonsense associated with Japanese teaching of bunkai compared to the real-life application as taught by the likes of Iain Abernethy.

      It's the easiest thing in the world to teach kata to you students, tweaking him for having a hand her or a foot there, and really teach absolutely nothing.

      Kata were designed to be self-contained self-defence lessons, and anyone not teaching bunkai may as well just teach martial dancing.
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      Richie In my experience, it is the on with the next type of thinking. The dojo's I have been to just taught the movements and the kihon in the kata (sometimes not even that). Once you learned that and passed the test, on with the next. It was not till a couple years ago when I met a very seasoned karateka that I really started to see the bunkai. I am learning and still learning the value of sticking with one kata for a length of time.
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      PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Bunkai is so valuable today in an organization. Years ago I was not taught bunkai in Korea, but some years later I was taught it in Japan even though I was a black belt from Korean Taekwondo. Sensei's understood because bunkai was relatively new in the world and being taught in all the Japanese styles. I must admit bunkai has made me a much more better student and teacher or sensei. The pros and cons of bunkai are weight against personal performances, and I see the differences over the years, and the non-bunkai participant always fail in kumite because of the lack to recognize the attack and techniques. I must agree in reading some of the blow posts, that commercialism (profit-making and rapid promotions) have become a student motionional and school sucessor, but the lack of bunkai has made the student less effective in a fight, thus that student becoming less qualified to wear the o.b. A wise old man told me that it's better to give punishment than to receive it. Without bunkai you will most likely feel the pain !
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    Yellow Stripe Advancement
    Experienced my first testing event tonight, Yellow Stripe.(Tang Soo do). Blew some things I thought I had down cold. I need to work on focus. Broke my first "board". Front kick and blade hand. Sambo nim dool was awarded 6th Dan, and his daughter 4th Dan. Pretty cool, I'm pumped.
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      KSP08 Congrats! Nerves etc never go away but you will get better at handling them. And mistakes are part of the experience. Congrats and best wishes as you move forward.
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      Michael Congrats! The focus will come with experience. My first belt test was abysmal. Kept messing up kata that I had performed at least 100 times. The pressure is definitely part of the test, and something that I feel gets easier in time.
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      Christopher Adamchek nice
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    You win some you lose some. Does it matter?
    So today I took part in a non contact tournanent. Its a part of kyokushin thats not that widely known about called clicker fighting. Its a continuous point scoring format where we wear gloves and unlike knockdown you can strike at the head and no kicks are allowed below the waist. Although its billed as non contact it tends to ve touch contact. My current picture has been changed to show my foot planted inthe side of my opponents head today :) its not a format that I overly enjoy but always enter mainly as a warm up to the full contact tournament that will follow in a few weeks time. Although it uses a conpletely different skill set its still a tiring few minutes on the mats in front of the public. This is the sixth such tournament ive entered and chronologically my tournanent place record is ,0 3,2,2,1 and I didnt place today so back to 0. Im not in the slightest bit bothered that didnt place but wonder if I should be? Although I lost very narrowly and waa eliinated it gave me a conifdence boost for the real thing in a few weeks, validating that I can protect my head well from quick kicks from a much more ninble opponent and that despite being a 17st chunk I am quick enough to deliver a potential knock out kick to the head. My knockdown tournament record is similar 3,0,3,2,2,1 but I dont think ill be so relaxed about dropping back to a 0 as its a much more important aspect to me.
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      Mary Cayte Reiland I know a lot of people place a lot of stock in that stupid medal or trophy, but I don't, and I don't believe that they should either. Tournaments are not about winning and losing, they're another form of test for yourself to see where you rank around other practitioners in your area. If this tournament with the non contact fighting is truly a stepping stone to the full contact tournament for you, then you're placement shouldn't matter at all. Focus on the full contact, if that's the one you want to win, and also on improving yourself. Good luck!
      • 1
      Will - Black Belt Wiki [212430,James]

      Surprised this type of "non-contact" tournament is part of Kyokushin. Is it to encourage other Karate styles to join a tournament?

      Must be hard to switch from a knockout mentality to a non-contact point sparring style. Are any of your fellow Kyokushin martial artists good at both contact formats? Or is the non-contact format difficult for all Kyokusin students?

      Will
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      Ray My trophys are proudly set up in my home gym. Along with a note to tally all my competitions. I rarely look at them. Each and every win or loss is a big deal to me. At the time. I don't even remember my last event. But I remember my kids first steps.
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    How To Promote New Martial Arts Clubs
    HI Guys,
    I linked up to Blackbelt Wiki a year or so ago and now I'm seeking some advice. The club I am running is on a slow decline and there is a number of reasons for that, one of which is that we have been in a sports centre with 4 maybe 5 other martial arts clubs. Anyway, a new venue has come up and a couple of other opportunities so in the new school year I am aiming to make a push and get several new sessions going at different venues in my areas I live and work in.
    So what works best when I come to promoting a Karate club? Flyers, posters, website or what? Should I offer one off self defence courses for women of weightloss and Fitness advice or combinations? What has worked for you?

    Any marketing tricks you can through my way would be much appreciated.
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      PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Hi @ Phil Marc: good advice from all. I have some suggestions that may help a bit. At the dojo where I'm a part-time instructor. The business issues are: affordable prices with discounts for various entities, ie, seniors, kids, veterans, etc. Location without close competition eliminates increases the demand for students. Having a good website featuring oriental features as symbols, language fitting to your martial art, and a very high ranking (preferable oriental) dan with great credentials. I would advise to advocate your karate organizational sponsor as like, Shotokon, Taekwondo headquarters sanction for creditability. These answers are always a big part of a business owner's operational guidelines. Tournament fees shold be less than reasonable so all who want to participate are welcomed. Tournaments are a great publicity entity that attracts new students and in some cases other students from other styles. Statistical data of various events should also be on the website as: tournament champs bios and instructor bios, and kids and adults success stories. Boasting of the organizational events is a must that links good community fortune for your organization. The organization that I belong to has a contract with two local police dept's. in teaching special grappling techniques to police officers because of the widespread fears of over abbusive force, that can cause lawsuits on police officers or internal police abbusive charges that can cause a plice officers job, jail time, or both ! If affordable, hiring young instructors or obtaining part-time volunteer instructors is a great relationship to very young kids. They naturally relate to each other and invoke fun as opposed to an older Sensei's as my self, who would be imtinidating or non-related to kids at first. You may want to search the internet for marketing features of other good reputation karate organizations for tips and ideas etc. The main issue, which maybe hard, is to have a lower pricing system compared to your competition. Money is hard on families ! P.S. consider a family tuition fee along with your discounted fees also. Hope I helped. Our organization has over 800 students with a mixture of kids to seniors and black belts up to master degree and the owner /head Sensei is a 7th dan, Kyoshi, qualified from Okinawa where he goes to test when eligible.
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      Ray My school will be doing a free women's self defense class next Month.
      That usually gets one or 2 folks to sighn up.

      My truck is a billboard on wheels. Come to think of it I a a bill board as well.

      We do demos from time to time as well.

      Having a winning fight team is also a big plus.

      Our big issue is the size of our new facility. People often walk in to the gym/co op. And walk right back out. It's clean and we'll organised, but it can get a bit crowded. Curb a peal does matter, but it comes at a price.
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      Todd Mendenhall I agree it is better to retain students than start new ones. However, I look as a school as a generational family, have seniors, juniors, young and new born (not age just level). So, you really want to find a balance of retaining students and at same time bringing in new ones. As far as promoting, Demonstration are the best tool. Look at the demographic your going to demonstrate for and try and match it. Once did a demo as a senior center and ensured had some senior (age) students there, so others can see "wow, I can do that". As far as retaining, talk with them often. Keep them motivated, we all know the thresholds that people get too, motivate them to stay with it or help show them the path, "just one more wall and a haven is open to you"
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