We are not part of the martial art industry. In fact, we consider ourselves to be anti- “martial arts industry.” It’s important to keep in mind is that the martial arts “industry” is just that, a business. It uses a business model built on memberships and turnover, and there are striking similarities between what goes on in the exercise industry and the martial art industry. The objective of both is to gain as many clients (or students) as possible. As a result one sees an emphasis in marketing on how to allure the customer to buy into training. If you are not sure whether or not to believe me, allow me to educate you on how the majority of martial art training programs are designed:
- Get the person to sign up for a particular program that has a cessation point (such as the “2 Year Black Belt” program)
- Under the basic program the student is allowed to attend a certain number of classes each week (usually 2) at their appropriate level -- Many schools say unlimited class attendance, but only have a particular class 2 x week.
- A student can pay more to “upgrade” to a better or special program, such as joining the “Black Belt Club”, or add on special classes such as a “board-breaking” class, a “weapons” class, etc.
- Students are required to pay additional fees for “belt testing”, etc
- Some form of ranking system is used as a ‘dangling carrot’ to keep the student coming to classes, so a new belt or sash has to be issued every so many months (usually 2 to 3 months)
We don’t run on the model that other facilities run on, or that gyms operate on. We want to be sure our facility is the correct place for potential students, and that they are a good fit for our facility. We aren't interested in having people join and then quit after a month or two, or burn out and not come back. Many of our students have been training for years. Why? The answer is simple. Because they enjoy it so much, as well as feel it’s beneficial and enriches their life. They’re not interested in wearing exotic uniforms or getting different colored belts or sashes, etc. They’re interested in personal growth.