In this article I will discuss McDojos and give you one technique for earning more money this month from martial arts!
I have been writing for some years now in martial arts and as a result I have encountered some amazing people and made many friends. Sadly though I have also met the opposite. Instructors and people who embody everything that is wrong in society.
Of late we have seen a real culture shift in martial arts, the term McDojo is used almost daily in forums and groups and directed towards those who seem to earn an awful lot of cash from teaching martial arts. I'm not really sure what people hate about martial arts schools earning money? Everyone gets paid for their work, but for some reason martial artists get heavily criticised for teaching their subject of choice and getting paid for this.
I truly believe that this culture shift has come due to the unprecedented period of austerity we are currently experiencing. Never before have the middle/working class in society been squeezed on their income. Costs of food, tax, rent, bills and everything else have risen whilst its been 10 years since most have been given a decent pay rise.
I have a friend who is a care worker with elderly people with dementia, she gets paid minimum wage for an hours work, yes to look after someone in the last years of their life a staff member is rewarded the same money for an hours work that a person will pay for a fast food meal!!!!
It is ridiculous to hear this, but the very people in society that used to pay the bills of martial arts instructors are now struggling to pay the rent. So its no shock that they dont send their kids to martial arts classes. So when most gyms are failing, I totally understand the animosity against those who are doing well.
Standards and Martial Arts-
Subscribe to our Newsletter!
Join My Adventure in Martial Arts and Self Defence and along the way I will share what I have learned
Dan Kennedy is a successful marketer and teaches wealth principles. His strategies are well known and in his book "NO BS WEALTH ATTRACTION FOR ENTREPRENEURS THE ULTIMATE NO HOLDS BARRED KICK BUTT TAKE NO PRISONERS GUIDE TO REALLY GETTING RICH", there is a chapter written by successful martial arts marketer Stephen Oliver and in it he writes:
"Other school owners and other business people often assume that the key factor in growing a business is having a martial arts expert at each location. I can tell you many years later the teachers are the easiest employees to find and the least expensive to hire."
The book goes onto talk about intensive instructor courses and that a salesperson is far more valuable than a teacher. I know your jaws may drop at hearing this but lets face it. Most martial experts spend their time debating on facebook 'which style is best' and 'what would or wouldnt work in a street fight' than actually learning business systems.
Its sad but true.
A lot of people believe that money is scarce and that people simply cant afford to pay for martial arts lessons but let me tell you that despite austerity this simply is not true and you have no place telling a person if they can or cannot afford to pay for your services.
Yes life has got harder for people but they are still spending money! The key here is trying to establish value in what you are selling. Just what is your training worth?
I will say right now that martial arts training should cost no less than £40 per month but I would also be in total support of people who charge £55, £65 and even £90 ( see this article).
People spend more money on Booze than Martial Arts!
Yes you may not realise this but according to the a survey commissioned by the Macmillan Cancer Support group:
Macmillan Cancer Support found each Briton spends around £787 a year on alcohol, with London’s concentration of drinkers spending sizably more. The research, conducted by Onepoll, surveyed 2,000 over-18s. Men spent an average of £934.44 per year, the data found, compared with women spending £678.60.
The article sourcing this data is here
Now if you were to charge £55 per month for 3 sessions of martial arts per week then your total costs would be £660 per year.
Which is far less than people spend on booze!
Like it or not your battle against what people call McDojo's comes down to you. Yes times are hard but if you truly believe in the benefits of martial arts training then you should be able to sell them.
I hear this all the time, these McDojos are selling self defence that wont work, they promote instructors in a weekend and they sell black belts. Hold on here, there are some double standards going on and yes you are right but lets face it, everyone rewards students for their dedication.
I went to a BJJ grading/seminar once and tapped out a number of Blue belts, passed their guards an generally did well. After the grading ( I was a white belt who rarely trained any BJJ) I watched as numerous people got their new grades and belts given to them by the instructor., including the people I had tapped out. I have no problem in this, but the instructor is rewarding them for 'THEIR' progress. Its not about how many people they tap out, how hard they are its about the progress the student is making in that 'system'.
I could if I wished create a non contact martial art and have a grade structure and reward people with black belts. There is nothing to stop me doing this but the belt would only have value to that person within the style they study.
A degree in English does not equal a degree in French! So if people have black belts I really dont care anymore, great for them. I trained in boxing for years and never had any belt!
Of course the argument can go further when it comes to self defence. The peddling of self defence skills for money is a well known and discussed subject. If I got 10 people involved in martial arts to discuss self defence they would all give different answers.
Most peoples idea of self defence is wrong, in fact if you read people on line posts you get the distinct feeling that some of these 'teachers' love violence and seem very violent individuals. Do you think I would let my children near these people? Not a chance!
You will get angry when you read this, but face it. These McDojos are better than you. They might not have your skills, knowledge and experience but they are FAR better than you at business, marketing and student retention. So if it makes you angry, go out and learn this stuff !
Its not rocket science, and yes I will tell you all right now that the only way you are ever going to beat the McDojos of the world is to increase your prices and improve your business systems. And I will give you one tip here:
How To Charge More with Split Selling
If your goal is to earn £55 per month from a student but are afraid to then dont think fear, think sales.
Most people would feel that £30 to £40 per month is about right for martial arts training (I disagree but thats life) so when someone calls you and wants training but asks about the cost they already have the price of £40 in their mind. They are already willing to pay that much so your mission is not to sell martial arts lessons at £40 but to explain why the £15 extra is worth it!
So the school, down the road charges £40 per month you need to explain what the £15 extra is for. Well simply put its because you are better, deliver results and your product is better! But you need to learn to convey your value to interested customers.
£15 spread over 30 days works out at just 50 pence extra!!! So all you are asking is that the person pays £0.50 per day extra and they get to be a member of your club. Surely you can explain how 50 pence makes all the difference? If you cant perhaps you need to look at your product, and also yourself!
Take this new sales attitude to your current members. If you have 10 members who now pay £40 per month then the £15 increase will give you an extra £150 this month. Which is cool but the fun is when you have larger schools. If you have 30 students your increase will be £450 per month.
Over a year your income will increase £5,400.
To do this you need to explain your price increase to your members. But again put it into perspective you are increasing prices by just 50 pence per day!
I would write them a letter explaining the new price structure and that you need to maintain the quality of your gym by purchasing new training equipment, getting the best instructors and keep their training up to date.
I couldnt do this to my students. I made them a promise!
I hear this line a lot and I admit I got this tactic from a fitness marketing company but offer your current members a 12 month lock in deal. If they wish to stay at the old rate of £40 per month then they need to pay up front. Offer them 6 months lock in if you feel too greedy asking for 12 months but if just 4 of your students take up the 12 month lock in deal then you will have £1,920 in your pocket this month.
If 4 of them have a 6 month lock in then you have £960 to now go out and buy new kit, book a course or pay for advertising.
Its not rocket science its about establishing what you are worth!
I have a full free guide coming out soon detailing a range of business strategies that you can use. It will only be for my subscribers so please sign up.
Yes there are gyms out there that sell sub standard products but you can beat them, but moaning about them doesnt help. Getting better at business will!
My Next article will be all about Mr Anthony Pillage!