Starting a school?

Discussion in 'Kuk Sool' started by ember, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. ember

    ember Valued Member

    Well, we did have a topic sort of like this a while back. Instructor training, I think?

    How do you think this could be improved? Do you think that business skills need to be a part of every black belt's training?
  2. hwarang cl

    hwarang cl The Evil Twin

    NO, only those who want to open schools/certified instructors.
  3. Choiyoungwoo

    Choiyoungwoo Guest

    Neither, because it would require that WKSA governs and regulates something that is outside of thier area of expertise. There are MANY trade orgs out there that are decades ahead of WKSA in this area, it would not make good sense for WKSA to go down this road. Also, This is not possible using the current WKSA liscence agreement model. It would require franchising, which WKSA is clearly not either willing and/or able to do.

    also it would not fall under inst training, that should be left to the school owner, it would indeed fall under school owner (or prospective school owner) training but WKSA should, at most, outsource this.. In any business, if you want to succeed you should model the most successful people in that industry(assuming the definition of success is similar). You may have the best "widget" out there but if your other aspects of the "widget" business are sub par then it doesn't matter.... KS already has the competition beat in terms of content, but much of the rest of the business methods within the WKSA Dojangs has only recently started to migrate toward the "best practices and principles" in the industry.
  4. SatoriTheLush

    SatoriTheLush Valued Member

    Practicing martial arts is an amazing life style change for most people who come to find it. We all entertain dreams of opening our own schools at some point, I think. I mean, if you love the art (and I'd say most people enrolled do indeed love it), then can you think of a better way to live your life than practicing what you love? I've found myself confronted with this dilemna several times in my life. When I was coming out of high school, I was *really* into playing the guitar, and I imagined myself living the life of a rock star. Not such an uncommon fantasy for an 18 year old I imagine ;.) I even planned my life around an assumed success in music for a couple of years before realizing that such success was truly unlikely, regardless of how good I got at the guitar.

    I think it's much the same with people's dreams of opening Kuk Sool Won do jangs. We all think about it, maybe a lot of us even start planning our life around that goal, but when you actually get right down to it, hardly any of us actually go through with it. That's probably a good thing, too, because no matter how well intentioned, I can't imagine that the majority of us would have the magic combination of financial wherewithal, charisma and leadership, business and marketting savvy, and skill at teaching the art itself to become successful. And the WKSA is probably better off without the kinds of schools most of us would actually open if we stumbled into it haphazardly.

    I think that it would be in the WKSA's interest to give seminars and training on business practices and standards, and on all of the other things that go into making a school successful, to those blackbelts that are actually poised to open their own schools. The association benefits when it's schools thrive, after all. But I really hope that it is never practice to treat opening a school as the proper goal for every Kuk Sool student. When you really get down to it, that isn't even remotely related to the pursuit of the art.
  5. Bahng Uh Ki

    Bahng Uh Ki Valued Member

    Outsourcing, yes. This is what colleges are for, to teach business. Same with accupuncture and chiropractic; there are already schools to teach that. Why try to replicate what other people are already doing?

    I do think that there should be seminars (beyond specialized MA training) for instructors, passing around ideas of what works: what works to get new students; what office organization practices work; new computer programs; school programs; clubs.... I'm sure there are plenty of business practices special to MA schools (maybe even KSW schools) that wouldn't be covered in a basic business degree.

    I'm guessing that in the distant past, successful martial arts instructors either came from rich families, married someone with business sense, or had a day job and just lost money teaching MA. Any evidence one way or t'other?
  6. Choiyoungwoo

    Choiyoungwoo Guest

    Yes it is, as is the student, and the owner.

    And you would be right iif WKSA was responsible for the majority of operating procedures of a dozen schools with multiple hundreds of students., but they are not. They are only responsible for the content of the art.

    Without a doubt!! so you would think they would, in policy, eliminate as many barriers to the growth of members schools, as possible. Right?
    Very true, but it can lead to that.
    There are plenty!!! but they are not sanctioned, promoted, or even recommended by wksa, any guesses as to why????
  7. Bahng Uh Ki

    Bahng Uh Ki Valued Member

    My first guesses would be disorganization and miscommunication.

    I also suspect Kuk Sa Nim has martial arts masters doing what would be the work of businessmen. There is something to be said for trust, there is also something to be said for expertise. While I'm not going to doubt the martial arts skill of any martial arts master, I suspect that as far as business goes, there are other people who know better.
  8. SatoriTheLush

    SatoriTheLush Valued Member

    I imagine that there's quite a bit of expertise and business savvy floating around between Kuk Sah Nym, In Joo Suh, Sun Jing Suh, and Alex Suh. KJN Alex has multiple hundreds of stundents in his own right. The students of the above mentioned masters combined are truly legion. They also hold monopoly over textbooks, pamphlets, uniforms, and patches - the Association's hands are very much in the business pie. I'm sure there is quite a bit of value that they could impart to new school owners, don't you?

    You are implying here that the Association doesn't do all that it could to help growing schools along. I'd be very interested to hear more along those lines. What could the WKSA be doing that it isn't doing? What is it doing that is detrimental to the growth of new schools? I probably don't need to say this, but I'm going to anyway - my interest in this is academic rather than political. I have absolutely no interest in criticizing the Association or it's practices for any reason other than to better understand it. I'd appreciate it if any responses kept to the spirit of that sentiment so that we can avoid getting sidetracked into yet another unpleasant political thread.
  9. musool

    musool Valued Member

    So if you decide to open a martial arts school AND run it like a business (which unless you're funding it some other way will likely close if you don't run it like a business), you have several choices as someone has said: 1) take business courses yourself and be your own business manager 2) hire a professional business manager 3) hire a professional management company like United Professionals or EFC. Here's a chance to get an idea of what is working for average to large size schools. This could help other schools that are struggling and also the ones just starting or contemplating opening a school. So that we can compare apples and apples, say what kind of school you are, how large, and what your business system is. If it is a management company - which one? Just general answers; you don't have to identify your specific school. This sounds like a great time to share business ideas. And to address previous threads, I don't think the WKSA should get involved in this end of running a school except maybe in terms of offering advice. Anyone willing to participate? What are the benefits/ problems with each of the three systems? If you're not a school owner, helping run one or contemplating it, how many of you signed binding one year contracts? I agree with Satori, let's keep the politics out of it.
  10. Choiyoungwoo

    Choiyoungwoo Guest

    and your suspicions would be correct. it is my guess that a real master realizes when he is not in his area of expertise and knows to listen to people who know better. A real master knows when it is time to act like a student.

    I would like to know how you came to that conclusion, based on what evidence would you assume that?

    He does? Where?

    well it depends on what you value. if you are going to create a situation where your business is dependent on what a single source provides, then maybe you are right, value is abound, but if you are running a business that has to compete in the open market, then your sources for products need to be as cost effective as possible. -- Small business 101
  11. ember

    ember Valued Member

    Agreed. On the other hand, I've got a career that I'm trying to keep going. The way things are looking, if I'm going to to get paid what I'm worth, I need to look at other locations within my company. Some of those locations have WKSA schools. Others don't have KS of any sort within a distance that allows for a regular weekly training schedule.

    I'd also like to give Coyote a family-friendly option besides stay-at-home-dad.

    So while I don't have plans to do anything now, it's been a thought.
  12. GetNtheGame

    GetNtheGame New Member

    Interesting perspective -- getting paid what you are worth -- when others (not you) on other posts have gone ballistic over their schools 'charging too much' for classes. Evidently when you pay for something it's supposed to be cheap, but when you're being paid it needs to be 'what you are worth.' Not surprising that the school owners on this forum get so frustrated with that type of attitude.
  13. SatoriTheLush

    SatoriTheLush Valued Member

    Well, I think it's a somewhat safe assumption. Kuk Sool Won went from nothing in 1961 to some 500 schools globally 50 years later. Don't you think the Suh family had a little something to do with that?

    At our school in Tomball! We have somewhere between 250-300 students enrolled. Not that every one of them shows up for class every day or anything, but they are on the books.

    And I notice that you completely evaded the part of my post that had the potential to be constructive. What could the WKSA be doing better? What is it doing that holds school owners back?
  14. Choiyoungwoo

    Choiyoungwoo Guest

  15. ember

    ember Valued Member

    It rather depends on what I'm doing. There are some things I'm quite happy to contribute my time to for minimal to no monetary compensation. There are people on other MAP forums that seem to think that teaching MA should be a secondary labor of love.

    Having lived below the poverty line at a few points of my life, I am all for making MA accessible to inner city and impoverished neighborhoods. But I also fully believe that such contributions should be at the CHOICE of the individual teacher.

    And as far as a primary school goes, I agree with my chiropractors advice: go where there's disposable income. Being an engineer, that's where I am likely to be anyway.
  16. SatoriTheLush

    SatoriTheLush Valued Member

    Well, I'm not qualified to contribute to that. I don't own a do jang or know enough about what the WKSA does or doesn't do to help promote member schools. You opened that door when you implied that there was more the WKSA could do - I was just trying to find out what you meant by that. If you aren't comfortable going there, however, then let's just let it drop. I didn't mean to drag the conversation into dangerous waters.

  17. Choiyoungwoo

    Choiyoungwoo Guest

    no problem

    cheers/gahm pae
  18. hwarang cl

    hwarang cl The Evil Twin

    Why drop it, Obviously Choi thinks there is something WKSA could do to help school owners, why not have him or anybody else who has an opinion express it. Im rather curious on what could be done to help school owners, new and old.
  19. kiseki

    kiseki beating shadows since '06

    Choi obviously has reasons for not brining that up. Why don't you ask him via PM?
  20. Choiyoungwoo

    Choiyoungwoo Guest

    There is not much to say. I don't know that there is hardly anything that WKSA can do to help. What is really interesting is that so many seem to assume that they can. Is there anyone here that remembers .38 Special, the southern rock group from a while back. I think WKSA should listen to them. "Hold on loosely don't let go if you cling to tightly you're gonna lose control"

    I would hope that the list of rules and regulations never exceed the list values and benefits of membership. An interesting exercise would be listing the two side by side for comparison. then making a non-emotional judgement.

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