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Starting a business

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It's been a while since I've posted anything; Life issues and such. But now I have an opportunity to start a business. Along with that I have a lot of questions, a few I thought you all may be able to help with.

First, Do you have a recommendation on whom to contact for liability insurance?

Second, any examples of waivers you have students sign.

Third, I need to purchase mats that are portable/folding since I'll be sharing the facility with a "Jazzersize" group. Any recommendations on thickness and brand?

Those are just a few of the things I have to consider. Any help you all can give would be great. I'll have more questions as time goes on.


First this like a..."generic martial arts" business?

I'm not sure what you mean by "generic", but my idea is to set up the curriculum along the line of your CQC matterial (of course giving all credit where due  :)  ). I want to incorporate my Hapkido & JKD training as well. So, I'm thinking of 10 levels with each level dealing with an aspect of  grabs, kicks, Takedown, invading hands as well as situation awareness. I want to include some weapons training, but I'm weak myself on that top since I don't consider what I learned in Hapkido training very practical.

What I really want to do is teach the concepts and tactics that give the best chance of surviving an attack, knowing that not everything works all the time. I enjoyed my Hapkido training, but I don't think the "system" is the best way to train to survive a genuine attack.

It looks like I may be able to start with some kids (12 -16 years old), so I'm taloring the program for that age group. I'm leaning towards not having gis or belt progression. Rather, I'm thinking comfortable pants and t-shirts where the color would reflect the students level.

I just know that the training I had with you in Rhoad Island was the best I've gone through and wish to be able to pass that on.

In a practical way, this article is about a young man that I coached at the high school in soccer. I now wish I would have had a gym where I could have coached him in being more aware of a situation like this.

Alen is donig well as of today, but still having to go through some physcial theraphy.

You can get insurance by joining up with one of these national martial arts groups. Others here may have specific advice on that. I have no insurance, but I have no regular school. If someone sues me? They get nothing because I have near to nothing.

Which leads me to the disclaimer. Mine is unique to traveling road show and I suggest getting a good one form someone here or that you know.

It is hard to teach hand, stick, knife, gun combatives to kids, but some have danced around the delicate subjects and try. But have a multitude of courses/subjects and rent space to Zumba and...and guitar lessons and...and, and anything to pay the bills.

I "ran" a multi-subject, school from 1989 to 1998, but am not an expert on the particular problems modern folks have these days. maybe others here will help with ideas.


Most martial artists spend most of their time planning their curriculum but do little to promote their businesses.  If you are part of say, the Premier Martial Arts organization or NAPMA or or the like, they will help direct your business, but at a cost.  It works for some.  The benefits are that you have a support network and a business guideline.  Very important in this environment.  I find they have some very good strategies to get to students in the door and good ad ideas.  You still have to do the leg work.  If you are self motivated and have business savvy, then this won't be a problem. 

The key is retention, retention, retention.  You have to keep your students will getting others in the door. 

Carefully choose your options as things can get expensive quick.  It is important to determine what you want.  You usually get what you pay for in the business world and you MUST research and choose reliable people.  Another difficult job.   If you go cheap, expect trouble. 

Make sure you have a budget and a clear cut goal and business plan.  The MA business is an ugly cut throat world and there are those looking to take advantage of the next kid with a dream so they can take his money, pride and dreams.  Choose carefully and good luck.


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