Tips for opening self defense school?

Later in life im planning on opening a self defense academy. My school will not so much focus on a specific style but just the most effective and realistic techniques there are. The curriculum will be very similar to a Krav Maga curriculum. As realistic as possible! I really want to be involved my community, doing demo’s at city gatherings and getting involved with local law enforcement agencies. I will also try to be involved on the internet, offering service through online tutorials. I know just like any business that you have to walk before you can run. I will probably start off teaching at YMCA’s, colleges, high schools and so on. So for anybody with some experience what advice would you give me. And do you think that my school will be successful business wise with teaching only effective self defense and not a style (or at least for now, maybe I will teach some style later in the future as well as just self defense). Thanks for any advise, I need as much info as possible!

P.S The reason why I don’t want to teach a specific style is because I dont want to create a curriculum that is limited to a style’s specific principles. Either do I want to spend to much time on kata’s or forms. I want to teach my students the most effective self defense in the most realistic and modern matter.
Jim R I never said i want to teach martial arts. I want to teach a program that is intended towards people that want to learn self defense immediatly. Look at krav maga or the system the military uses, thats what I aim for. Whats so wrong with that?
Also if you read the first sentence of my paragraph it says later in my life. I know im not ready yet. I just like to think ahead. Im still in highschool lol.

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8 Responses to Tips for opening self defense school?

  1. Jim R says:

    Your error is glaring. You state clearly that you wish to water-down the methods of real martial arts, teach it to the public for money, and send them out there thinking they know a martial art? Damn, they’ll be invincible! Where can I sign up? You sound like another up-and-coming Capt’n Chris.

    edit: you have stated clearly my problem with this. Immediately. One word that takes you far from reality. That is Captain Chris has the same thing going, and he is a fraud of the highest order. Martial art/self protection can not be learned in such a fashion. If you see all the old timers here who agree with me, you should realize the truth of this. You may become a fraud if you wish, but I (and they) advise against it. You mention military. Do you teach them to shoot people too? that is mostly what military is concerned With.

  2. Keyboard Warrior says:

    If you have to ask how, especially on YA! you aren’t ready by any means…

  3. Shiro Kuma says:

    Jim R and Keyboard Warrior are right.

    Anyway, since this is your plan for sometime “later”, then instead of asking on online forums, go out there and talk to real people. You mentioned Krav Maga, so why not talk to actual Krav Maga instructors who have their own schools and learn from their experiences. Same thing with LEOs or the military; they should offer great insight on what constitutes actual self defense scenarios, the legality of it, training methods, etc.

    Second, creating your own curriculum is not as easy as you think. If you want to teach “the most effective self defense in the most realistic and modern matter”, then you need to actually know what such a system would entail; and that would come from years of training and actual experience. Remember also that self defense encompasses a lot more than physical techniques; and nothing as complex as self defense can be learned “immediately” – there’s more than enough incidents involving students of so-called self-defense systems becoming overconfident about their abilities to defend themselves in actual incidents. Try skimming through to get a glimpse of the subject matter you’re trying to tackle.

  4. Shihan J says:

    well if you dont understand Jim R’s answer your diffidently not ready.

    like Jim R said, and what you people fail to understand is that short cuts like self defense course are just watered down versions of martial arts.
    as pugpaws described in an early answer self defense course are just like the outside layer of martial arts. there is much more detail that these programs leave out, and don’t cover.
    you want to to be successful you need to understand what your teaching
    there is a difference between, practicing, learning, studying and teaching. if you dont understand the difference then it is pointless to explain any further.

    kata and forms are self defense. they have all the moves you need to defend yourself. if you cant understand that, then you have no understanding of the style you learned.
    all the techniques in karate kung fu, japanese jujutsu are in kata. the moves form other styles like aikido, judo, bjj krav maga almost all of those moves are in karate kata.
    kata. has stand up and ground fighting, locks, throw, trap, strikes, etc in them.

    the systems use by military is nothing more then a crash course. there main focus is on shooting the enemy not hand to hand fighting.

    and lastly online tutorials are the worst way to learn self defense

  5. Alex says:

    Well for a different POV, I think all who responded are mostly incorrect, as well as showing a lack of patience or guidance that a martial arts instructor should. I think its good youre showing some initiative and wanting to create a business for yourself. I have been doing as you have; I have over 20 years in the security/protection business as well as jeet kune do, kali, silat, muay thai, etc etc.

    Its not a highly lucrative business to be sure unless you work it 24-7…plain and simple….and you DO have to make a distinction between a martial art and self defence and subject control schooling. Self defence implies preventative mindsets, NOT getting into altercations, etc…there may be elements of martial arts in various things like Krav maga. Subject control is more geared to law enforcement, security etc….A MA club becomes dependent on enrollment and a steady influx of students to foot the bills; a SD club you can do part time or pigeon hole a certain corner of the market and have a low key semi private club.

    However in this journey dont negate or water down the martial arts and beleive that the one system you teach is the be all of self defence; krav maga works for some not for others, it depends on attributes of an individual. You must also forever be studying and learning from anyone and everything you can as well as gain some kind of life experience. Seek qualified instructors and research them well. My personal experience with krav maga was not good for example nor with Systema. I walked into their clubs and their intro to a new guy was standing across from me and driving me in the gut almost 80% power. They said this was part of the ‘conditioning’…which of course, is nonsense. Of course, over time you can develop a desensitivity to impact but at the expense of nerve endings and that feeling of perpetual numbness in your knuckles and forearms.

    Fortunately i learned about this style of teaching years ago from an old school boxing club(which broke my ribs), so i just weathered the first shot and told the instructors thanks but not for me and walked out, telling them, I would be informing their chief instructors exactly how much money was walking out the door. Don’t become one of these fools. Longevity is the key. Yes you will need to get some impact and hard sparring in but it must be managed properly with proper recovery time and extensive study and learning from it.

    I wish you well on your journey.

  6. Leo L says:

    You are hearing, but you are not listening. Katas are are essential part of a true martial artist’s training. They are not a waste of time, but a path to a higher level of performance. Traditions become traditions because they work. A person who achieves a very high level of training and skill at one legitimate martial art is a far superior fighter than someone who has trained in a bastardized version.

  7. Stephen says:

    You assume that krav maga and that the system the military uses is good for self defense. Well is it good for you? The average person doesn’t plan to fight a war on the street. You also said you don’t want to be limited to one styles specific principles. REAL martial art styles have principles that are not limited and can expand to fit most any situation. I knew you were you young by what you wrote but that’s not bad and it is great to have goal. I do have some advice for you. All systems of fighting must have a martial element to them. Any fighting system or method can have it but it is missing from most Traditional systems and most fighting methods. Fighting isn’t just a collection of techniques, you do this and I do that. It goes much deeper yet it is rather simple. Katas do teach self defense so if you think other wise you have a long way to go. Find a true traditional martial art to train in first then branch off in to a self defense method. Without a martial element “internalization” you will just be doing the moves “techniques” with muscle and never hit as hard, move as fast, be as strong as some one with a understanding of true martial power.
    Good luck…

  8. Janice Sloan says:

    Well, that idea could be just good. Personally, if would want to learn self defense, I would definitely want to learn the very basics and only the most effective ones. Since the essence of self defense is not to fight in the ring or so, then just the basics and only one which do fit my physical appearance. For example in those self defense videos, if you could observe, it only teaches you the basics and the simplest form of self defense. If we learn so much of an art or martial arts, there are a lot of those techniques which in turn we could not use. Learning self defense is individual. One technique may one be effective to another because of physical built and level of preparedness. If you could just individualize this, then it could be just the best.

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