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Thread: Advertising Goju Ryu Club?

  1. #1
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    Question Advertising Goju Ryu Club?

    Hi all,

    I'm one of the officers for my school's Goju Ryu club and, while we've been around for over 20 years, in the few years I've been at the school, our club's membership has somewhat flagged. We have about 4 to 8 regular members, and I'm the only member who is able to attend every class. Other martial arts clubs have flagging membership as well (our boxing club closed its doors this last semester), but there are a few classes which have maintained or even thrived. BJJ, Aikido and Kendo have been doing well on campus, as have a few others.

    I'd like to encourage people to join our dojo, partially to keep it alive after our veteran members graduate this year, partially to have a chance to keep training and learning to teach myself, and partially because I love the dojo, our Sensei and Goju Ryu. One of our senior members pointed out to me that we're one of the few "rounded" martial arts clubs on campus, since the rest predominantly focus on sport aspects, whereas we explicitly cover both sports and self defense techniques. Does anyone have some recommendations for ways we could encourage more people to check us out? I think the barrier to entry is really the first two or three classes, since once people show up to the dojo we have a mix of useful practice and personable members to encourage people to keep coming.

    Thanks in advance!
    Jasper Howald

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hey Jasper,
    The problem is that there are only a very limited number of people that are interested in martial arts, and karate (and boxing) are not tops on the flavor of the month list. That being said, your best bet (in my opinion) would be to expand the number of people that are familiar with you in order to make yourselves known to those few that are interested. Here are some ways to do this ... 1) Demonstrations! If you can, arrange several demonstrations over time in a high traffic and conspicuous are. Include, a brief (5 minutes or so) talk on the history of Goju ryu and why people would want to learn it. 2) Make a splashy web site! There are a number of web site builder softwares available for free, and a good web site is a good way to put yourselves out there. 3) print off and make available flyers. You can post them in common areas (where adverts are allowed) with tear offs that list your web site and a phone number.

    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out!
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

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  4. #3
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    Without a big marketing budget, word of mouth may be the best path. Have your students and your friends recommend your class. Offer Free stuff...free one-on-one introductory lessons, free first month of training. Host special events: self defense classes, training with visiting Sensei or Sensei outside of your tradition. Demos help your public exposure, but also see if your university has any kind of online video sharing or events/activities e-board where you can post video. I've used many "tear-off" flyers and circulated thousands of promo/free intro cards, but these have had only marginal success.Caveat: I'm a better teacher than I am a salesman...

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  6. #4
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    Not sure what the relationship might be--meaning I don't know if you are "fighting" for members--so to speak.

    But if Aikido and Kendo are doing well, they might be willing to work with you to put on larger/more frequent demo's that showcase all 3 styles.

    Everybody wins.

    You might even recruit from the other 2 styles and vice-versa. Maybe some of "your" people might have an interest in the "other" arts.

    Yes, I'm aware that the hunter that chases 2 rabbits generally catches neither---but lots of people study more than one art.

    You also might highlight some of the non-sport advantages of classical training.

    Good luck!
    Chris Thomas

    "While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others."

    "Team Cynicism" MVP 2005-2006
    Currently on "Injured/Reserve" list due to a scathing Sarcasm pile-up.

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