Book Review:Make a Living with Your Backyard/Garage/Comunity Center Dojo

Masters Inosanto (left) and Atillo in the Garage

I just ordered this book from Master Gatdula, and received it almost instantly. Although the book is small, when you consider that it costs just $9, postage paid, it is practically being given away.

I’ve decided to take the plunge and to start taking in students, so this book was exactly what I was looking for. Why a garage dojo? Years ago when I studied Thai boxing with Khru Paul Metayo, I sat down with him to go over the finances of his school. By the time we added up the rent, the electricity, the water and trash, the phone bill, etc., he was losing money with the number of students he had, and eventually had to close the school. I wouldn’t have realized the cost of martial arts school overhead if I hadn’t learned from Khru Paul’s experience.

It seems to me that the garage/backyard dojo (or pagadalan) is one way to get into teaching without an large up-front investment, and with minimal risk.

Let me cut to the chase: the book is an excellent investment. It is chock full of great tips. It provides an overview and a feel for the martial arts school business, while also serving to motivate the reader.

The book is an easy read. The writing is clear and the tone is conversational. I easily read it through in a single sitting, then re-read it a second time, highlighting key passages. There was a lot to highlight, because the book is packed with substance. I guarantee there will be something in there you hadn’t thought of, like the suitcase idea (Lesson #7).

If you are considering opening up a small school, or would like to take your school to the next level, I heartily recommend this tiny investment with the potential to pay off big.

PS. In the future I would like to see Master Gatdula offer a larger, expanded version of the book. A larger book would be able to go into the nitty gritty of running a school, such as fees, contracts, payment collection, specific advertising, specific insurance agencies, dealing with injuries, etc.

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2 Responses to “Book Review:Make a Living with Your Backyard/Garage/Comunity Center Dojo”

  1. […] Book Review:Make a Living with Your Backyard/Garage/Comunity … […]

  2. This also ties into your FMA uniform posts.

    I am doing some training in a tiny music studio and outdoors, we don’t take off our shoes and get into uniforms that are more comfortable than the clothes we would have to fight in during an attack. You don’t glide across hilly grassland like you would on a polished floor. You don’t take wild overhead swings when you have a low ceiling with low beams.

    Not having a nice clean polished dojo is not a disadvantage, but really an asset to making your training apply to the real world we all walk through everyday.

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