I am writing this to get some T-Nation advice on starting a Martial Arts based class.
I have found so much good information and advice on T-Nation over the years that I think this is a good place to write this. I think this is a place where I will actually get advice and not just trolls/trolling. Sorry for all the text, but I thought some background/info would help me to get better advice.
Some history: I grew up studying a traditional MA. I was a member of a large organization. I became an instructor when I was still a teen. When I went to university I had my own club/class and trained. I had a bit of a falling out with the org and I handed off my class to some of my students and I walked away. I spent years away from martial arts. This was back in the UFC #1 days and the guys I was training with (like many at that time) were talking about broadening the base and " taking what works and discarding the rest " Like a lot of folks, we were moved away from " which style is best" and studied a large number of styles/etc. Our instructor was encouraging us to branch out. I really enjoyed the variety. A lot of the falling out with the org centered on these ideas.
Perhaps I am romanticizing things, but I was thinking of getting a club started up again. About a year ago, I started meeting back up with my old instructor and doing some training. He and another friend would help and help teach if I take the lead. I won t be doing a TMA class though, nor will I be doing some sort of MMA class (I would not feel comfortable marketing myself in this way). My basic idea would be a class with a strong focus on fitness and good technique. We would borrow from a lot of different styles. I have not finalized my thoughts yet, but the idea is to study what we want to study and just try to have fun. Really, I am not looking to make a lot of money with this, but I want to finance my hobby and hopefully find some like-minded people to train with.
I am thinking of just sending out a few letters and then following up with some calls to local gyms/fitness centers to offer this class. I am hoping to get one of them to sign off on my class and operate under their insurance and with their equipment. Right now, I do not want to try to start my own gym. I have seen friends do that. Some are successful, some failed, and most struggle to pay the rent every month. All of them have made this their lives. That is not what I want. Anyone have any advice as to how to market myself? What is the market now? What are gyms looking for? I am thinking of selling this as a fitness class based-upon martial techniques or some-such. Perhaps I am not wording this well, but does anyone have any thoughts?
Things are VERY different than when I had a club so long ago. Now people are talking about insurance, insurance, insurance. I attended some classes and I was blown away at the amount of (what I thought of as silly) padding/gear. I watched a testing with some higher ranking students where one got really angry when another one caught him with a stiff hook. I was blown away; we used to THANK people who showed us our weaknesses. Anyway, my understanding is that liability is causing these cultural changes ? and necessitating huge amounts of gear/no-touching-rules/etc. I feel like a noob again. What do I need to know?
This post got away from me a bit. But I am thinking of starting a small class/club, I would appreciate any advice/suggestions.
As always, thanks in advance.
edit: to fix formatting issues. Apparently I should not copy and paste from word